Thursday, November 2, 2006



It was like waiting all week for the AFC Championship Game, and the Patriots come out and return the opening kickoff for a touchdown. 25 seconds in, Mike Cammalleri (seafood jokes are below us) scores at the end of a sequence that made me throw up in my mouth.

Fleury was still sleeping when Cammalleri started the scoring


It was all sparked by Fleury playing the puck, which he shouldn't do unless the Pens are on the powerplay. If this were your grandma's Penguins, I would've already been turning off my Randy Gilhen Night-Lite (TM), but this Pens team is for real.
Jordan Staal comes back less than a minute after that goal to tie it up. A bit later, after both teams argue over who doesn't want to win the game, Crosby feeds a pass out in front to Malkin who buries it. The FSN camera crew decides to zoom in on Armstrong's battle on the boards, and we are deprived of seeing Malkin's goal. No, FSN. NO.
First period ends, Pens up 2-1.

Besides the Kings scoring two goals in the second, I almost fell asleep...and my throat hurt from yelling at Ryan Whitney.

In the third period, we figured that if this team is supposed to go somewhere this year, they had to pull this win out. We get a powerplay about five minutes into the third, figuring we'd get the tying goal there...but we didn't. Six seconds after the penalty expires, though, Noah Welch threw a puck to the net that hit some shit and went into the net. Tied game. Huge. The rest of the third had Pensblog Nation wishing that the Pens can at least escape with a point. The third period ends, and overtime commences. Happy with a point at least.

Any overtime game this year will excite us because we get to see Crosby and Malkin in flowing 4-on-4 action. It took the Kings about a minute to crap on themselves, as Mattias Norstrom gets sent to the box for hooking Malkin. After toying around with the Kings for a while, The Malkin ends up scoring off a rebound. Game.

Stats
  • Crosby: 3 A (18 points, pushing for NHL lead)
  • Malkin: 2 G
  • Shots: LAK (27) PENS (23)
  • Powerplay: LAK (1 for 2) PENS (1 for 5)
Miscellaneous
  • In the new NHL, every game must have a winner. Neither team should have won this game tonight. The Penguins looked like they were skating in mud, and the Kings just looked like the Kings, I guess. This was the worst game the Pens have played since the Carolina game.
  • Maxime Talbot was flying around the ice tonight like he was gonna be sent back down to Wilkes-Barre unless Steigerwald called his name 20 times.
  • Rob Blake tried to lay out Malkin, but Blake took the worst of it.
  • Anyone else see Colby Armstrong punch Rob Blake in the face in the third period?
  • Marc-Andre Fleury made the saves he was supposed to make tonight.
  • In all fairness, the Kings should have had another one or two powerplays tonight.
  • Pens: 5-game winning streak. (4-0 on the road)
Things We Learned Tonight
  • Former Penguin Tom Kostopolous' intermission interview was not spirited at all. Thanks for rounding him up, Danny Potash. The plant on my coffee table gives me better answers when I ask it questions.
  • The Staples Center challenged the Nassau Coliseum (Islanders) as the most somber place to watch a hockey game. They have flashing lights and a boisterous announcer and the fans can boo when one of their players fall on their own, thinking a penalty should be called. But...no spirited Let's Go Kings chants, no buzz when the Kings would get a powerplay. It's almost like they expect the Kings to suck. Glad I'm not a Kings fan.
  • Bob Errey called out San Jose's Joe Thornton tonight, asking why he should have got the MVP trophy last year, since Thornton didn't even play for the Sharks all year. No comment.
  • If the mood strikes you, take a moment and add yourself to the "Dear Trendy Hockey Fan Girls -- die." group on Facebook. It might sound cold-hearted, but it's actually a grassroots campaign to flush out girly Penguin fans who have to slosh two pounds of make-up on when they go to Pens games so they can get on camera and hold up signs about having Fleury's baby. I bet the Kings would've taken some of those fans tonight. Wait, it's L.A., nevermind.
No Kings blogs worthy of posting

Next Game: Saturday, 11.04
@ San Jose Sharks - 10:30

21 comments:

chris said...

im sitting in other room while you write these posts listening to you laugh knowing that i am going to love them....what a great feeling when i am not disapointed. haha

Andrew said...

I'm going to say this...and you listen well, youngsters...When a team can pull wins out of their ass like the Pens did tonight...that means great things. Look at the years that the Patriots won the Superbowls. How many of those games should they have lost and somehow, someway Our Lord and Savior Tom Brady (at least in the eyes of non-Pittsburgh media) pulled victories out. That's what we have in Pittsburgh right now with our belov├ęd Pens. Watching Malkin and Crosby in OT makes me want to shoot my literal and metaphorical jizz all over the place.

Adam said...

Andrew, what are you doing up at 3 am?

What am I doing up at 3 am, you ask?

Damn it.

Amen to everything you said.

loralei said...

Alrighty boys. You have to let the little girlies have their dream moments. I was once one of them. I had a picture of Zarley Zalapski on my wall and I'm not ashamed of it. Just take heart that someday we grow up and we'll actually know who Zarley Zalapski is, and we will kick your ass on Dave Hannan trivia night. We will drink with you, go to Pens, Stiller and Red Sox games with you (sorry I live in Boston now and until Kevin McClatchy sells the team the Buccos are dead to me)and after all that we will probably hook up with you. There is hope boys. Just hang in there during these trying years. Oh and just for the record, Colby Armstrong is my favorite.

Anonymous said...

the little girlies can watch the game from their damn house and have their "dream moments" there. leave the cheering to the real fans.

-Ryan

And Lange Will Lead Us said...

Call me crazy...but as a straight dude isn't it nice seeing girls at a hockey game??? I guess if you'd rather do chest bumps with some thunderstick wielding thick dudes in backwards baseball caps, then have at it. To each its own.

I'm married, so the argument is really a moot point...but if my wife didn't like hockey or the Pens it would be a very difficult relationship. And just because she wishes Sidney Crosby was in OUR shower, doesn't really change things.

Although, if he flushed the toilet on me I'd file for divorce. That little bastard.

Shorty said...

Hey man great article, but gotta give props to you being linked on Deadspin.com for that Lemieux/chuck norris bit u did yesterday! You guyz rock and now my 2 fav sports blogs are one!

dennis said...

Yeah I emailed the deadpsin editor and gave them the blog address.

And they get thousands of hits per day so it might get you guys some more as well.

Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl said...

Ok, I just have to chime in and say that not all female hockey fans are "girlie" fans. I have three sisters and my parents (mostly my Mom) made sure we weren't just fans of the players, but also of the game. We were not allowed to attend any professional sports event unless we stayed in our seats and watched the game. The only time we were allowed to speak was to cheer or ask a question about what was occurring. No running back and forth to the concession stand, no getting souveniers, no chasing after the stupid mascot. We were there to watch the game and cheer on the team, whether it was the Pirates, Penguins or Steelers (and for a brief period of time, the Spirit and Maulers). Also, if our Mom was with us, we weren't allowed to boo, no matter what (that would get you a slap upside the head). My Dad was a bit more flexible with the booing.

As Lorelei noted, knowing who Zarley Zalapski was gets you points on trivia night, as does being able to explain icing (the old and new way), why a two line pass used to be a bad thing, knowing what penalty the ref is calling based on what his hands are doing. True fans (male or female) of any sport know these things. Believe me, I've seen both heavily made up women and obnoxious men with their signs trying to get on tv in all sports.

As for this blog, I just want to say to the authors -- THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! A change in employers moved me from the east coast to the Pacific Northwest (where professional team sports come to die) and blog like these keep this Pittsburgh girl in the know of her favorite team. I've also somehow convinced my parents that NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings, NFL Sunday Ticket and the ESPN College Game Pass are fantastic gifts for the daughter they see maybe one week a year now (although my sisters feel gipped because their gifts are no where near approaching the costs or coolness of mine).

So the Steelers are struggling. The Pirates are well, the Pirates. But my Pens are bringing light into the otherwise dreary (rainy season started in full force today) life of a Pittsburgh sports fan. Keep up the great work Pensblog!

Adam said...

I pray that the facebook group wasn't taken the wrong way by some people.

Nothing is more attractive to me than a girl in a Pens hoody, who can talk about the early 90s Stanley Cup runs like it's a second language.

I do not, however, like girls who treat Mellon Arena like a mall; girls who ave to wear short skirts and and tang tops and wear 5 pounds of make-up and carry 'kiss me sidney' signs.

trust me, I like girls. But I'm not on girl-watching duty when I step foot in Mellon Arena.

dennis said...

Reminds me of the time I sat next to Ryan Malone's girlfriend last year when we played the Habs near the end of the season.

She had no clue what in the name of Jesus was happening and the only time she really paid attention was when he got his face smashed in during a fight.

She wore high heels and a designer shirt and was an all around bitch.

Ugh...

Adam said...

ex-pat girl:

It sounds like you did Pittsburgh an injustice by leaving. Were you out in the PacNW for the Super Bowl?

I'm glad you set the record straight about girl fans of hockey. Needless to say, any girls reading the blog right now aren't the girls we are criticizing.

If you had to pick only one of the satellite sports-feeds (center ice, nfl ticket, extra innings) which one would you pick?

ex-pat Pittsburgh girl said...

Yes, I was here (Portland, OR) for the Super Bowl. I'm still getting grief from bandwagon SeaChicken fans (can't tell you how many had no clue who Curt Warner was), and the past few weeks have been particularly rough. I simply smile and ask how many rings they have, how many players they've sent to the Hall and when are they going to pick a conference and actually stay there. Then I throw in something about total championships as a pro-sports city/region and that shuts them up while they struggle to find a good comeback. I'm still waiting.

As for having to choose just one (something my parents are threatening me with the longer I stay out here), it would have to be the NHL Center Ice package. Between the last two weeks of October and the second week of June usually, the weather absolutely sucks. I can get my Steelers fix with the local fan club at the neighborhood bar, and the owner of the bar is a baseball fan so he gets the Extra Innings package too, so suffering through, um, watching the Bucs is easy. Hockey, on the other hand, is harder to find out here. The nice thing is that I can set the DVR to record the game, get home around 5:00 p.m., start the recording and by the third period I'm watching live. No superlate nights for hockey even with the West Coast games.

I do still get to see live hockey on a regularly basis, though. Portland has a minor league team in the WHL (which is part of the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League -- 16-20 year olds) and tickets are extremely affordable, and a lot of fun, similar to going to a minor league baseball game. The PacNW really isn't into team sports. The Trailblazer are offering $4.00 tickets to get people in, and the AAA minor league baseball team (the Beavers)have many nights where attendance is lucky to top 500, despite a truly nice stadium in a great location (they do get close to 10,000 on Thirsty Thursdays -- $2.00 Miller/Light drafts). If it is cycling or running event, people go crazy and will reserve a spot on the race course similar to how we used to be able to camp out for concert tickets at NRM.

As for getting back to the 'Burgh, I'm working on it. When I took this job out here I committed to stay two years and then re-negotiate. It'll be two years in August so we'll see, but the goal is to be back in town for the start of next year's hockey season, hopefully to watch the Pens raise another banner to the rafters.

Anonymous said...

dont swear

loralei said...

Um, I was just trying to be funny. I didnt think it was going to become all that..Sorry..

Adam said...

HAHAHA, gotta love it loralei.

Anonymous said...

I moved to LA from Pittsburgh before the turn of the century, so I can explain a bit about Kings fans.

There aren't that many of them out here, but the ones that do exist are pretty passionate. Maybe not the most knowledgeable fans in the world, but they definitely get into it. Heck, they STILL get in a lather when you mention McSorley's illegal stick in the '93 Cup. Although that might stem from a total lack of franchise history.

Since I've been here, the fanbase got pretty energized during playoff runs, particularly after upsetting Detroit in the first round as an 8 seed. And in subsequent years, they loved the Palffy-Allison-Deadmarsh line.

But this year, the offseason trade of Demitra totally killed the buzz. Fans suspected the Kings would suck this year and found out that this is indeed the case. They have NOBODY to score goals.

And the fanbase is also starting to hate Philip Anschutz, who owns the team. He lives in Denver, has admitted he doesn't follow hockey or the Kings, is now more interested in producing family/Christian allegory films and basically bought the Kings so he could have a piece of Staples Center, thereby getting a piece of the mushrooming real estate market nearby. In fact, he's currently working on a residential/commercial/tourist enterprise across the street.

So...it took about 5-7 years, but Kings fans realized their owner simply doesn't care about the team winning and never will. Unsurprisingly, this has dampened their enthusiasm a touch.

loralei said...

ex-pittsburgh girl,

As another girl that moved far away, i'll offer up my opinion (if anyone still wants to listen to me cause apparently i'm an instagator) But anyway, I would suggest going w/ the Center ice package. You get way more bang for you buck. I thought about the NFL package as well, but the steelers are a big ratings grabbers so they are in alot of featured games on the networks. I can usually catch about half in the comfort in my home and the others from my local bar stool while getting heckled by Pats fans. Besides i think its neat that on a rainy Tuesday, i can not do homework and instead watch the Canadians play the Maple Leafs in French. I cant speak french but hockey is a universal language. (you like that little poetic part i threw in at the end? Yeah it was special for me too.)

Adam said...

We touched upon the Kings fan base just for comic relief; if someone said Pirates baseball fans were apathetic, we would have to agree, even though there's a lot of passionate ones out there, just like you mentioned about the Kings fans.

Thanks for the background about the Kings situation. Learn somethin every day.

ex-pat Pittsburgh girl said...

I'm with you Loralei. But as long as I can convince/guilt the parents into springing for all of them, I'm definitely going to take advantage of it. Like many born and bred Pittsburghers, they don't like to travel more than 50 miles outside of Pittsburgh so getting them to visit is pretty much a no go.

Where they drew the line was paying for the Fox Sports regional channels. Luckily that was only seven bucks a month. Now I can watch the Pens on Center Ice and catch the Pittsburgh Sports Night, which usually has the Pens pre-game at the same time.

One thing I do enjoy about the west coast though, is the ability to do an all day (morning through early evening) sports marathon on the weekends and still have time to meet up with folks late in the evening. It was odd at first having to set the alarm clock for Sunday morning Steelers games, but there's something oddly refreshing about having kegs and eggs, catching the game and then having the entire day ahead of you.

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