Tuesday, October 31, 2006
102 times out of 100, we like to come up with our own original ideas for content on the Pensblog.
However, we were reading the Chuck Norris Facts that have spread like wildfire across the internet, so we thought: Mario Lemieux can do all that stuff, too.
(We have no intention of copying Chuck Norris facts, but one or two may have seeped into our subconscious. Please forgive us.)
- It's a little-know fact that during the 04-05 lockout, there was an NHL all-star game. It was Mario Lemieux vs. himself; the game is still going on.
- Mario Lemieux can score a hat trick...with only two goals.
- Mario Lemieux can smoke two packs of cigarettes with one match.
- There wasn't a second gunman on the grassy knoll that killed Kennedy. It was a Mario Lemieux slapshot that missed the net...and he wasn't even born yet.
- Mario Lemieux can find the square root of a negative number.
- The doctor couldn't catch Mario Lemieux when he came out of the womb...Mario Lemieux deked past him, got in his 'vette and drove home.
- Mario Lemieux doesn't use a Mach3 razor...he uses a rusted pair of skate blades.
- The Civic Arena is the house that Lemieux built. No, seriously, Mario Lemieux built it...by himself.
- When Mario Lemieux chooses to hit the post with a slapshot, it registers an 8.2 on the Richter scale.
- It's called the Richter scale because New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter almost died twice from a Mario Lemieux slapshot.
- Mario Lemieux was first line center, with Jesus on right wing.
- Mario Lemieux fired a slapshot into the ground...and it killed three people in China.
- Area 51 isn't heavily guarded because of UFOs, but because Mario Lemieux trains there in the off-season.
- Mario Lemieux wears hockey skates to funerals.
- We, in fact, did find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: Mario Lemieux's slapshot and wrister.
- The Mellon Arena doesn't need a zamboni; Mario Lemieux just breathes on the ice.
- Mario Lemieux farts on sand and it turns into glass.
- Mario Lemieux coughs and immediately gets credit for an assist.
- The goal light never comes on when Mario Lemieux scores because the shockwave of his slapshot kills the goal judge.
- Mario Lemieux can curve the blade of his stick just by looking at it.
- Mario Lemieux's saucer pass is illegal in 17 states.
- Mario Lemieux's hands are so good, he can give an instant orgasm to any creature...dead or alive.
- Mario Lemieux can speak braille.
- One time, Mario Lemieux passed a puck so hard that it went one week into the future...and Lemieux was there to accept the pass.
- Mario Lemieux lost his virginity before his own father did.
- Mario Lemieux's slapshots create crop circles.
- Mario Lemieux can solve Sudoku puzzles by only using the number six.
- Mario Lemieux can solve a rubik's cube with hockey gloves on. In 16 seconds.
- Mario Lemieux once scored a goal in a celebrity softball game.
- Mario Lemieux names his slapshots. His last one was named Katrina.
- Mario Lemieux's average bowling score is 305.
- Back in '86, Mario Lemieux skated from Los Angeles to New York in 22 minutes to score a goal on John Vanbiesbrouck. Blindfolded.
- One time, Mario Lemieux played an 18-hole round of golf and shot a 14.
- Mario Lemieux won the 1994 WWF Royal Rumble.
- On April 24, 1984, while playing for his junior team, Mario Lemieux got a 5-minute major for high-sticking. He scored twice during his penalty.
- A Mario Lemieux slapshot brought down the Berlin Wall.
Leave your own in the comments section.
...If you're beginning to follow the Pens this year just because they are doing well, please fill out our Bandwagon Application Form...
...The Pens are number 8 in this week's TSN.ca Power Rankings...
...The Pens debut at number 7 in ESPN NHL's Power Rankings...
...Panther goalie Alex Auld injured while 'horsing around' with Eddie Belfour. Hopefully, 'horsing around' doesn't mean man-sex.
...Take a look at the San Jose Sharks tonight on Versus (7:30) when they play Florida...
And, a little Halloween fun for us today:
Monday, October 30, 2006
So look what I found... you can watch live NHL games on Yahoo. Truly good times. Right now I am watching the Kings smoke the Rangers.
Also from Yahoo: great article here.
This guy picks the best players, by their numbers.
some Penguins notables, as you could imagine:
I thought Joey Mullen should've got considered for being one of the best to wear number 7.
Looking at this list is just good times..
85. Petr Klima. hahahahha
96 Tomas Holmstrom ... You have to give this to Pavel Bure, I know he changed it, but Tomas Holmstrom sucks.
Some more great links. We blasted John Buccigross for over-doing it, but this is an emotional column.
Speaking of the Arena... Sometimes I just feel like banging my head off the Computer screen
Ed Rendell couldn't help build a Lego Arena, let alone one for Pittsburgh.
I love the move by Shero keeping Staal up. Here's some love from NHL.com.. Kevin Stevens with this quote:
"The first time I saw him in camp, I didn't know if this kid could ever play," Stevens said. "I didn't recognize what everybody thought was so great about him. But every time I see him play he gets better and better. Now, I can see he's a phenomenal player. It's amazing when you look at the young players this team has."
Now around the NHL..
The Flyers won... the Blackhawks are reeling
The Ducks beat the St. Louis Blues in a shootout..No word if John Davidson will go back to being Mr. Belvedere
If you didn't watch Mr. Belvedere back in the day you're lying to yourself
The Leafs beat the Thrashers...
Mike Peca...your thoughts:
"I find (skilled) teams with the makeup like Atlanta .. want nights off from time to time," said veteran Leafs forward Michael Peca. "It was our goal to drive up the tempo and energy and give them a reason to not want to engage in this game."
What a Dick.
That's it and that's all folks.. see you at center ice
...Nothing really going on today, aside from news that Jordan Staal is staying. But everyone knew that 5 games into the season...
...Who else is pumped about the Chicago-Philly game on Versus tonight? Ha...
...Here's an article on Vancouver GM Ted Nonis mentioning Crosby and free agency...
...Post-Gazette article on Fleury's strong start...
...Stuart Scott on ESPN is getting tired...
It's Sunday night, and it's not time for Pink to sing some crap song for NBC, but rather for the Pensblog to do our weekly look around the Atlantic Division. Can't stress enough how much the Atlantic Division factors into our every day lives as Penguin fans.
1. ( 6 - 4 - 1 ) 13 points
Powerplay: 14.3% (19th) Penalty Kill: 84.6% (14)
The Devils and Penguins have been playing musical division spots this week, and the Devils find themselves up top at the end of the week. The Devils lost on Tuesday in the game heard 'round the world. Then, they beat Florida and Columbus to close out the week.
The Devils top scorer, Brian Gionta, only had one point all week. Martin Brodeur is giving up 2.7 goals per game, and is stopping 90.9% of shots he is facing.
2. Our Penguinos.
4. (4-4-2) 10 points
Powerplay: 18.9 (9th) Penatly Kill: 77.3 (25th)
No team really baffles me quite like the Isles. Their strong play at home (3-1) has really helped them out. Alexei Yashin is the leading scoring, registering a solid 4 goals and 8 assists. They also had only two games this week, splitting them. Three of the next four are at home, so don't be surprised if you see them stay afloat. Rick Dipietro is terrible this year. When he is not hurt, he is giving up 3.6 goals a game and his save % (.890( is bad. Mike Dunham has been the jobber we all know and hate. Hes' only giving up 2.2 goals a game. Best stat for the Isles is this: When they score first, they don't win. They are ranked 27th in the league with a % of .400 when they light the lamp first.
5. (2-7-1) 5 points
Powerplay: 9.4 (30th) Penalty: 84.6 (14th)
Oh, how the Mighty have fallen. I love it. This stat is my favorite in the NHL: Derian Hatcher is -14.
Goons. Thats all the Flyers are. In the NHL, you have to understand the salary cap, and the Flyers signed all these morons, and poor Bobby Clarke couldn't just dump them as in previous years. And folks, let's remember...this team has been up for the better part of 10 years. You only get so many chances. And how bad is their goaltending. It's bad. Not only does Antero Niittmaki look disinterested, he sucks too. He is giving up 3.2 goals a game, and his save% is a staggeringly bad .887...but Robert Esche is as easy as you think a girl dressed up as a hooker with a tattoo on her lower back on Halloween is. He is giving up 6.2 goals a game, and his save % .785...The Flyers do have 5 of the next 6 games at home, so you never know if they get out.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Early reports indicating what the Penguins will announce Monday morning:
The 1993 Penguins can pop the champagne because the Buffalo Sabres finally lost. The record still stands at 18 games in a row. But I wonder, being that Buffalo didn't lose in regulation, if they get up to 18, will they try to play it off as there still unbeaten?
because I am too stunned to go on after watching Fedoruk get his head beat in.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
I think even Jim Balsillie scored for the Pens tonight. What an explosion. Did anyone else feel bad for the Flyers tonight? Yea, me neither.
The scoring tonight started with Ryan Whitney making a mistake that I learned not to do when I was in the womb: don't clear pucks into the slot. Even with this atrocious play, that Mike Knuble shot still shouldn't have gotten past Fleury anyway, because Fleury didn't secure his short side. In years passed, I would have went and grabbed a Jack-n-Coke because I knew it was going to be a long game. However, the next six goals in this game were all scored by the Penguins. And I grabbed a drink anyway.
Four minutes after Knuble scored, Sidney Crosby started his rampage. Ryan Whitney fed Sid a nice pass on the rush that Crosby knuckled into the net. Six minutes later, the Flyers had a 4-on-3 powerplay, and it felt like they could take the lead there. But, Forsberg and Gagne decided to hump each other, springing Maxime Talbot on the most liberal breakaway in Penguins history. Talbot buries it, and that shorthanded goal ended the scoring in the first, Pens up 2-1.
The second period started with Maxime Talbot scoring another goal to make it 3-1. 18 seconds later, the Penguins score again, with Crosby jamming home a rebound in front of the net. Less than six minutes later, Crosby picks Derian Hatcher's pocket in front of the Flyers net and scores on the backhand...pretty much all in the same motion. It wasn't a flashy hat trick for Sid tonight, but a hat trick nonetheless. About five minutes after that goal, Crosby keeps a play alive in the Flyers zone that resulted in Malkin one-timing a pass into the net...using Crosby's one-knee shot. That powerplay goal ended the second period scoring, Pens up 6-1. Yea...6-1.
During the second intermission, all I could think about was getting out of Philly alive, without any players getting injured. Two minutes into the third, Stefan "Vladimir" Ruzicka scored for the Flyers to make it 6-2, but I don't think anyone cared. The P.A. announcer was pumped because he could finally do his excited voice. Later, Recchi finally got on the board for the Pens, jamming in a rebound. Five minutes after that, Dominic Moore got the goal he's been clamoring for all year, making it 8-2. And that was it.
- Sidney Crosby: 3 G, 0 A (As I'm typing this, it puts Crosby roughly 5th in NHL points.)
- Evgeni Malkin: 1 G, 2 A (9 points in 5 games)
- Jordan Staal: 1 A, and doing well in all areas of the game.
- Shots: PHI (33) PENS (30)
- Powerplay: PHI (1 for 7) PENS (1 for 5)
- Flyers goalie Antero Nittymaki started the game, but gave up 4 goals on 2 shots. It's not even possible.
- Maxime Talbot with two goals tonight. One year older, one year better.
- Early in the first period, why didn't Armstrong shoot that puck? Instead, he gives Crosby an awkward pass. Come on Colby. It's just a matter of time, though.
- How bout Thorburn standing up for Gonchar by taking on Derian Hatcher. Chris Thorburn sounds like the name of an NFL special teams specialist. But I like having him on that fourth line.
- And what's with Derian Hatcher? He gets jobbed by Crosby earlier in the game, and has to take a meaningless shot at Jordan Staal at the end of the game?
- Gonchar's hit on Gagne looked painful. It was the Jon Lovitz Subway Sammich of the Game...and rightfully so.
- Anyone else notice that saucer pass that Malkin fed to Crosby in the third period? It was cross ice, chest-high, and landed right on Crosby's tape. Sick.
- The Flyers performed a forward lateral in the first period, where one guy basically threw it to another guy who caught it...and no whistle blew. Shocking.
- Sidney Crosby has Levi Strauss make him customized jeans, because his legs are so masculine and sweaty.
- Steigerwald mistook Armstrong for Crosby...twice. Bob Errey was stunned.
- How awesome was it seeing Flyers fans just sitting there with their heads in their hands.
- Gonchar's stick got stuck in the boards on the Gagne hit. Bob Errey started to compare it to a tree on a highway or some crap, but then he just sorta trailed off because he knew it was going nowhere. Any one of us couldn't do a perfect broadcast either, but it's just funny.
- If you wake up early, and get home late, you're a Ford Truck kind of guy. Not really, you just work long hours. Toby Keith has never been to a construction site in his life, but we gotta buy Ford Trucks because he's tough and flosses his teeth with barbed wire. You've got talent as a musician, but you are a terd when it comes to Ford Commercials, Toby. Stick to singing about the Taliban. Pensblog, out.
Next Game: Wednesday, Nov. 1
@ LA Kings - 10:30
Air you are, Julie.
--Courtesy of PittsburghPenguins.com
Evgeni Malkin should have many assists during his NHL career.
However, his biggest assist may have come off the ice.
Malkin, the 20-year-old Penguins rookie, helped facilitate a much-needed surgery for a 6-year-old girl in Magnitogorsk, Russia, in September.
Dasha Tusaeva was born without a left arm and her mother, Natalia, hoped she could one day improve her daughter’s life.
This year, Natalia found out it was possible for Dasha to get an operation that would allow her to have a prosthetic arm. However, with Dasha’s father paralyzed during a street attack a few years ago, the family could not afford to travel to a Moscow hospital for medical testing and a medical procedure.
Enter Malkin. The young star learned about Dasha’s situation through a newspaper ad seeking financial assistance for the family in his hometown of Magnitogorsk. Some people from Magnitogorsk donated some money and, when Malkin was alerted to the situation, he stepped in immediately – in a big way. Malkin paid for the family to travel to Moscow for Dasha’s tests.
When it was determined surgery would benefit Dasha, Malkin stepped up and paid for the 350,000-rubel (approximately $13,461) procedure and covered the costs of the girl’s rehabilitation.
“I am very happy that the surgery went well for her,” Malkin said through translator George Birman. “When I learned about her situation, I knew I definitely had to help her. She was in a bad health condition without the one arm. I am glad she is doing very well now that she had the surgery.”
The whole situation was a surprise for the Malkin family as Evgeni did not publicize his act of generosity.
“His parents didn’t even know,” Birman said. “After the surgery, a newspaper reporter called them and asked what they thought. They had no idea what was going on.”
Malkin left Russia for the United States shortly before Dasha’s surgery, so he has not had a chance to meet her. Regardless, the Tusaeva family printed a newspaper ad thanking the Penguins rookie for his generosity.
“It happened right before I had to leave. I did not meet her personally,” he said. “I knew what was going on and what happened and how everything went. I left the country, but as far as I know, they contacted a newspaper and said thank you for everything I did.
“I would love to meet her. I hope she is doing well. Maybe I will see her this summer, we’ll see.”
--Courtesy of PittsburghPenguins.com
Friday, October 27, 2006
...Detriot squeaks by the Stars... At least Detroit won something tonight.
The Wild beat the Ducks... No word on whether or not Minnesota Miracle Man Gordon Bombay was in attendance.
...Penguins released Karl Stewart on waivers sometime ago. Wow, we have no idea how that flew under our radar. The Blackhawks picked him up today...
...Our Black and Gold Insider friend is reporting that the Bruins are unhappy with their goalie, Tim Thomas, and are interested in Thibault. The Bruins' Brad Boyes and Glen Murray are two names floating around in rumored trade talks...
...We like ESPN.com's John Buccigross, but I think he's getting way too into himself with all kinds of music references and crap. Dude, you ARE funny. Just space it out please...
...A local high school (Hampton) has re-named their mascot in homage to Pens forward Maxime Talbot...
Read this Sidney Crosby quote:
...Some somber news from the YouTube front. Apparently, they are starting to crack down on all of the copyrighted material. A lot of our favorite Penguin clips are being removed. If you want to salvage the movies before they're gone forever, download this extension for the Firefox web browser. It downloads movies that are embedded into web pages.
Wake up tomorrow and know the Pens are playing. Night.
...Malkin helped a little girl in Russia get a prosthetic arm...
...This may be the best news that me and the friends I grew up with in Cecil Township, PA have ever received: Coyotes renaming Glendale Arena to Jobing.com Arena
...Blue Jackets trade Eric Boguniecki to the Islanders for defenseman Ryan Caldwell...
...John LeClair is finding his role on this year's Pens team...
...We figured that since we have some pretty good graphic designers on the Pensblog staff, we could have a little fun with our logo. Pensblog's Chris made this autumn one.
If you would like to see us do a certain theme in the logo, let us know...
...Mark Cuban wishing he bought the Pens...
...Try to check out the Staal story in Sports Illustrated this week...
Now to the games...
Buffalo is unbeatable. I am now convinced. But let's face it, the Isles suck. Still the Sabres are the first NHL team since the '93 Maple Leafs (Maple Leaves?) to go 10-0.
Philly got the John Stevens (most boring name in the NHL) era off to the right start. They beat Hot-Lanta 3-2 in a Shootout. The Moose was in net for the Thrashers.
How about this junk from Boston.... I guess after Montreal scored the go-ahead goal, Bruins fans littered the ice with trash.
Preds squeak by the sharks.. is anyone else really excited for the Pens/ Sharks game?
Big Wayne got the 6-2 win over the Oilers, no recap available, but I am sure it wasn't a good game.
Special thanks to commenter Dennis for the Barney Rubble pic.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Recap coming shortly.
But I wanted to dedicate a post to the actual Penguins, being that this is a Pens blog.
So many times coaches get blamed for stuff when things go wrong, and they don't get enough credit when things go right.
Think of what Michel Therrien is dealing with. He has the second youngest team in hockey. He has Sidney Crosby Superstar, and Geno Malkin superstar is waiting. He has a young goalie, and a somewhat previously maligned defense. The guy is the perfect coach right now for the following three reasons:
1. He is decisive. Sometimes, coaches over simplify. And they over-coach themselves. I am still on the fence whether I like Malkin and Crosby on the same line for the long haul. But you know what. I have to respect what Therrien did. He said I have two players that compliment each other way better than anyone thought. I am going to make you beat them. I love it. Like it or not, he made the decision to do it, and never let it become a distraction. Its just smart coaching.
2. His handling of Fleury I thought has been wonderful. After sharing verbal barbs with Adam over this subject, I finally got him to concede I was right. And I may not be, but my opinion is, play Fleury as much as you can. Especially in division games. Now I am sure he will get a rest on the west coast trip, but nonetheless play the guy. The kid is in the top shape of his life, he's young. Play him. You can't play musical goaltenders. Your team needs to know who the number 1 goalie is. and if you remember the 2001-02 NHL season, José Théodore won the Hart trophy... guess who was his coach. Yep.
3.Look Therrien can be a dick. But I believe he is somewhat of a players coach. He goes to bat for his players, and he his honest. Right now you can tell the players want to play for him. And he may be mellowing enough that he is actually cracking smiles at points.
Michel Therrien is running a good ship right now
One can't help but think, that if Michel Therrien was driving the Exxon Valdez, things could have been different
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Before we get to the NHL recap, I found this when browsing on Facebook:
"Pomp" sounded off, saying that Jordan Staal needs to stay with the team.
This is the first time the Pensblog has accepted anything Bob Pompeani has ever said.
The Rangers were the only Atlantic Division team in action tonight, and they lost 4-2 to the Panthers. I think Stumpel for Florida scored a goal by batting the puck in from mid-air.
...The Wild improve to 8-1 with a victory over LA...
...Carolina beat Atlanta in OT tonight (5-4) in a nice little Southeast showdown...
...Anaheim is leading Edmonton 4-2 at the end of the second period in the Pronger Bowl. I am listening to it, and it sounds like a fun game to be at.
I was sitting at work today, smiling ear to ear.
I think to myself:
It's a shame. I may have liked Wayne Gretzky, but its my birth rite to despise the man.
As I am enjoying a delicious salami sandwich and reading Dave Molinari's half-hearted attempt to write a story, I nearly choke:
I was reading in the Pens notebook...and they made mention on how the Devils lost to the Senators 8-1 the other day...and how they hadn't lost that big since the Edmonton Oilers beat them 13-4 in 1983.
I guess after that 13-4 game, Big Wayne (playing for the Oilers) said this:
"They're [New Jersey] putting a Mickey Mouse operation on the ice. It's ruining hockey."
I guess this is still big in some hockey circles. They call it the "Mickey Mouse Game".
Word in the Magic Kingdom is that Mickey Mouse is still pissed.
Mickey had this to say to the Pensblog when reached for comment:
I think Janet Gretzky would want some of that action.
A hearty welcome from all of us here.
Visited NHL.com to check out their three stars this morning and we were met with this:
There's really not much going on today in the Pens world, but Penguins news coverage across the board is praising the Hill District Kids. (links to the right)
How pumped is P.A. announcer John Barbaro when he announces this goal? Glorious.
In our assessment of Geno Malkin (Mull-kin), I think we (including Versus color commentator John Vanbiesbrouck) are forgetting our place when we compare him to Mario. We are guilty of it on the blog, too, but Mario is Mario. Malkin has made some cross-ice passes that we haven't seen since Mario. The comparisons are justified, and the comparisons won't stop. But, there should be a little piece of all of us that just says, whoa, timeout.
- You gotta think Thibault is starting in Philly on Saturday.
- Gotta have Fleury fresh for those big games against San Jose and Anaheim coming up.
- Those games will tell us exactly where this Pens team is sitting in the NHL.
I just don't want to go to bed tonight...
Some pretty light but good action around the NHL tonight.
Before we get to that, does anyone else kinda not mind the Versus pre-game, intermission reports, and post-game show?
Tonight was the first night I actually really paid attention.
And while I hate Keith Jones, Brian Engblom kinda looks like Joey Gladstone, so that makes me laugh.
But, in all honestly, I thought the Versus team did a good job tonight. Not to mention Eddie O was there, which I am sure was pretty uncomfortable for everyone in the studio. Poor Eddie O...this has to be like divorcing your wife...and then she loses thirty pounds and hits the Powerball.
Anyways, if anyone saw the Versus guys' picks for rookie of the year, there were some studs that we didn't even know too much about.
This guy from the LA Kings is sick...his name is Anze Kopitar. He is from some crazy country that I won't even try to spell. I wish I could watch some more west coast games.
Also, Versus houses the intellect of Bill Clement.
Bill Clement without Gary Thorne is like Balki being without the Jobber on Perfect Strangers.
In case you forgot, the two got married to their girlfriends and the final season was a huge mess. The last episode had them up in a hot-air balloon, trying to induce Jennifer, the jobber's wife, into labor.
Yes I am still single.
I was searching for this picture, and I was stunned to see that Perfect Strangers is on DVD.
So...yea to the games...
Big Number 99 better lace them skates up because his team sucks....could Wayne's job be in trouble?
The Penguins were the third story on FSN Sports tonight, behind Big Ben...and the Brown coordinator being fired...
hmm sounds like someone needs prank called again.
And lastly, Malkin's trial date has been set for November 9.
Look for the Pensblog preview of said trial.
Good night and remember...don't be ridiculous.
The last 4 years...
Watching our team; knowing they have a frozen puck's chance in Florida of winning...
I am not sure where you were. I am not sure what you thought. But I believe I felt it.
For a brief 5-second stretch, our eyes opened wide and our jaws dropped.
Maybe you screamed as I did.
Maybe you ran up the stairs to revel in the goal with a friend, as Adam did.
Maybe you just stood there, with your hands on top of your head.
Maybe you looked to the heavens and thanked Badger Bob.
Maybe you didn't even care, because you're starving to death in a third-world country.
Some will say it was like Mario. Or even Jagr. I digress.
Tonight was something more.
We have seen it all. We watched Mario raise the Cup. The goals. The Comeback.
We saw Nedved in 4 OT's. We saw Jagr, on one leg, win Game Six against these very same Devils...and all the other moments that number 68 gave us.
Kaspar the Friendly Ghost still gives us goosebumps, with the thought of him gliding on that frozen sheet of Buffalo ice in Game 7.
Nothing should surprise us.
And looking at it objectively, this goal was just like any other goal.
They may not make the playoffs; they may not win 30 games. The entire team may need emergency appendectomies.
But for 5 seconds, there was no mention of arena quarrels and gambling.
There was just a feeling of "what the hell just happened".
Looking at your friends...they know it.
Looking at strangers and just shaking your head in a stunned, but happy jubilation.
Yes, it's October. We have no idea what kind of ride we are in for.
But, let it be said...from the highest highs of Mt. Washington, to the lowest lows of South Oakland:
"Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust. And when you're up, it's never as good as it seems. And when you're down, you never think you'll be up again."
Folks, we are up...if only for a short while.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Scott Gomez started the scoring tonight, scoring on a jobber rebound seven minutes into the game. Come on, Fleury. Don't kick that rebound out into the slot. About six minutes later, though, Nils Ekman and his nice wrister tied the game on a shot that I definitely thought Brodeur was gonna turn away. That ended the first.
It didn't take long for the Pens to score in the second. Malkin, using his Mario-Vision (TM), slid it across to Crosby who put the puck in on his patented one-knee shot. A couple minutes later, Staal continued his push to stay with the Pens by converting on a play that wouldn't had even existed if it wasn't for Nils Ekman. At the end of the second, Noah Welch pulled a Corbin Bernsen and committed a four-minute high sticking double minor penalty, doing some dental work in the process.
The Devils started the third on that same powerplay, but the Penguins penalty kill shut em down; PK is making a name for itself. Eight minutes into the third, we all got that kick-in-the-scrotum feeling (or kick-in-the-ovaries feeling, for you lady readers) when Sergei Brylin scored on a weird goal at the side of the net.
There definitely was unrest in Pensblog Nation...and then...it happened.
Crosby and Malkin were toying with New Jersey all game, and then Crosby fed Malkin a three-line pass that Malkin received while barely staying onside. This goal is hard to explain, mostly because I'm at a loss for words even as I type this. My celebration of this goal consisted of me almost breaking my face trying to run up the stairs.
Video of the goal can be found at PittsburghPenguins.com.
The rest of the game consisted of the Penguins defense, of all things, shutting down the Devils' attempts to get some scoring chances. Mellon Arena was ready to explode at the end.
- Crosby: 1 G, 1 A
- Malkin: 1 G, 1 A
- Ekman: 1 G, 1 A
- Whitney: 2 A
- Shots: NJD (22) PENS (25)
- Powerplay: NJD (0 for 6) PENS (0 for 3)
- Penguins win face-off battle 25-24
- What is up with Marty Brodeur this year?
- Mark Eaton: 7 blocked shots
- Maxime Talbot is an excellent PK man. Nearly forgot about that.
- How excellent was Malkin and Crosby's celebration after Malkin's goal.
- Pens on a 3-game winning streak
- Mike Emrick almost, ALMOST makes me long for Paul Steigerwald. By the way, who is Maxime Ouellet? Pathetic.
- How many times can Emrick use the phrase "he knifes it out to center?" He uses the word knife so much, you have to think he sold Ginsu knives during the lockout.
- John Vanbiesbrouck may be the only hockey player in history to have all five vowels in his last name. We don't count Y. No one should.
- Non-hockey, but Firefox released their new browser today, version 2.0. Firefox is the Penguins of web browsers...meaning it's pretty nice.
Next Game: 10.28
@ Philly - 7:00 PM
The Pensblog has learned that David Puddy will be in attendance tonight when the Penguins take on the New Jersey Devils.
Yeah, that's right.
Lets Go Pens. First place on the line tonight.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Not too much going on tonight in the NHL. A couple of jobber games, no Atlantic division teams in action tonight.
The much anticipated game between Buffalo and Montreal on Monday night went as expected...Buffalo winning 4-1. They are now 9-0, ladies and gentlemen.
And after making jokes all night about how the Sabres were going to win the cup, we did some detective work and provided the record of the last 18 Stanley Cup winners in their first 10 games of the season:
- '87-'88 Edmonton Oilers ( 6 - 4 )
- '88-'89 Calgary Flames ( 5 - 3 - 2 )
- '89-'90 Edmonton Oilers ( 3 - 4 - 3)
- '90-'91 Penguins ( 4 - 5 - 1 )
- '91-'92 Penguins ( 4 - 4 - 2)
- '92-'93 Montreal Canadiens ( 5 - 3 - 2 )
- '93-'94 New York Rangers ( 5 - 5 )
- '94-'95 New Jersey Devils ( 3 - 5 - 2 )
- '95-'96 Colorado Avalanche ( 6 - 3 - 1 )
- '96-'97 Detroit Red Wings ( 5 - 4 - 1 )
- '97-'98 Detroit Red Wings ( 7 - 3 )
- '98-'99 Dallas Stars ( 6 - 2 - 2 )
- '99-'00 New Jersey Devils ( 6 - 3 - 1 )
- '00-'01 Colorado Avalanche ( 8 - 0 - 2 ) SICK
- '01-'02 Detroit Red Wings ( 8 - 2 )
- '02-03 New Jersey Devils ( 7 - 3 )
- '03-'04 Tampa Bay Lightning ( 7 - 2 - 1 )
- '04-'05 Bad times
- '05-'06 Carolina Hurricanes ( 7 - 3 )
Starting in 1998, teams who got hot early stayed hot, compared to teams before that.
Only 3 teams in 18 years finished under .500 in their first 10 games. Not to say that this stat is overly important, but you have to respect it.
Moving on...Dating back to 2002, the Penguins are 9 - 29 - 2 in Saturday games.
When the Pens beat the Flyers on opening night...and when the final buzzer signaled the end of the Columbus game on Saturday, it didn't even occur to me. No one even mentioned it to us, either...until Pensblog friend Bryan Bell sent us an IM today:
...Post-Gazette deals out some gems:
- Malkin on top line with Sid
- Staal on second line
- Welch called up from WBS (Letang takes a psychological kick to the junk)
- Fleury getting the start Tuesday night.
Thanks to Josh for pointing out that Malkin is NHL.com's Frozen Moment.
Considering all the contract and free agent talk surrounding Jordan Staal, his next few games are the biggest of his NHL career. Show up every night and he may force the Pens to keep him.
But if the Pens want their PK to suffer (AND IT WILL), they'll send him down.
Good night and try to be nice to fairweather fans crawling out of their holes. We need 'em.
Fleury has a Save Pct. of .924 this season (9th best in NHL). That's an A in the Chicago Math grading scale...and possibly an A in the rest of the world, if the teacher isn't a bitwitch.
His GAA is 2.76 (18th in NHL).
(Basically it's goals given up per every 60 minutes played)
Take goals given up (18)...divide by minutes played (392)
and then multiply that answer by 60.
That brings us to the Penguins defensive play this year. Can you honestly pick out a Pens defenseman who has been consistently bad this year? Melichar and Scuderi have been steady; we don't necessarily expect points from them. Mark Eaton is outstanding; we've been giving him accolades all year. I'll take Scuderi or Eaton killing a 5-on-3 any day of the week.
Kris Letang has been a pleasant surprise...I knew he would find himself on the powerplay with that right handed shot. Ryan Whitney is a work-horse this year for the Pens, getting significant ice-time every game and looking confident. And Gonchar is taking fewer penalties this year and is lookin good out there.
Save for a couple bad plays (especially the Devils game where we let dudes park right in front of the net without clearing them out), the Pens defense as a whole has been efficient. If the defense had allowed 2 or 3 more goals this year so far, the Pens could be sitting here with a 2-5 record...or worse. We definitely need to count our blessings.
The bottom line is the defense, and especially Fleury, is keeping us in games. It's like in the 90's where we had steady team defense and steady goaltending...we just had to wait for our offense to explode.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Great week of hockey in the Atlantic, and tons of huge stories.
The New Jersey Devils are atop the standings so we begin our Journey there...
The Devils are 4-3-1. They have recorded 9 points.
Brian Gionta is money. He has 12 points to lead the team.
But what is going on with Mr. Brodeur? He has not been his normal lights out self. From getting booed at home, and then getting shelled in Ottawa, Marty is a mess this year.
Looking at the goalie rankings
Brodeur is 27th in the league. He is giving up 3.2 goals a game, and his save percentage is a muddy .895... which sucks.
Powerplay: 15.2% (19th in NHL)
Penalty Kill: 79.3% (21st)
PowerPlay: 19.1% (11th)
Penalty Kill: 80.0% (20th)
Powerplay: 19.6% (10th)
Penalty Kill: 76.4% (28th)
Their leading scorer is Mike Knuble...with 7 points. (Michel Ouellet has 7 points, too). They don't have a single player on the plus-side of the plus-minus stat category. Holy hell.
The Sabres bitch-slapped them 9-1 on national televion on Monday. They lost 4-1 in Tampa Bay. They lost to Florida at home.
Powerplay: 7.3% (5 for 44) (28th in NHL) WHATTTT?
Penalty Kill: 83.7% (15th)
What a fine Sunday morning this is. Sun's shinin, leaves are fallin, Steelers play in less than three hours, and when the memories of last night's Pens victory randomly hit you when you're brushing your teeth, you just raise your fist in the air in jubilation. The morning couldn't be any better...until you go to ESPN.com and read the main headline:
Quick little roundup:
Jordan Staal got the number 2 star on NHL.com last night...
...The Devils losing 8-1 to Ottawa last night. I still don't know how to react to that...
...Chicago's Martin Havlat, who started the season hotter than [insert favorite lady or dude], is out 2-3 weeks with a sprained ankle...
...Sneaky stat: Anaheim does not have a regulation loss this year (5-0-2). Everyone's Stanley Cup darling is off to a good start...
...Buffalo shoots for 9-0 on Monday (on Versus) in Montreal. 7:00PM...
...Pensblog Atlantic Division roundup coming tonight. Enjoy the Steeler game.
BREAKING NEWS FIRST...
Ryan Malone out 6 weeks with broken bone in hand...
Should you tell Jordan Staal he is staying...or should I?
More on this tomorrow.
As for tonight...
Let it be said: Sid the Kid to Geno tonight at the 7:04 mark of the 3rd period was the beginning of a beautiful friendship....
...Moving to the games elsewhere in the NHL:
OK, so remember how last night I said Buffalo was losing tonight...
Oops....Buffalo is a machine... I am more embarrassed than Fabio when he got hit by that bird on that roller coaster...
Last night, I almost said that Jose Theodore was going to dominate in his return to Montreal..
Well he didn't... nothing like a 5-goal third period to pee on your parade.
The sold-out crowd of 21,273 chanted "Theo! Theo!" after Alex Kovalev scored his third of the season at 12:48, then cheered loudly once again as Mike Johnson made it a three-goal lead at 13:54 on the Canadians' fifth goal of the period.
Could you imagine, how horrible this would be? 21,000 people mocking you. But hey Karma is a bitch...Theo walked out on his girlfriend and there, born again, to hook up with Paris Hilton.
Ottawa defeats the Devils 8-1. What happened to the Devils?.... is Ottawa that good? I am sure they will be in a wonderful mood when we play them on Tuesday...
The Isles won in OT against the Carolina Hurricanes, who play 6 games a week.
Wonder if Ted Nolan was crying after this one?
St.Louis rebounded quite nicely after a bad loss last night. Lee Stempniak had a three-point game.
Another late comeback for the Canucks....I really like this team, especially with Luongo , who turned away 37 pucks tonight
Quote of the night from the Atlanta game
"When you're front-runners, it's a little bit easier," coach Bob Hartley said. "These points in October are worth just as much as those points in April. And we found out last year that those points in April are real tough to get. I'm not saying it's easier in October, but it's a little easier to breathe. You've got a little more to build on at this time of year."
So true...6 wins in 8 games for Hot-lanta...
Tampa Bay beat Washington....AO scored... So did Semin...
Ryan Craig, Tampa's leading goal scorer is out 4 weeks with a knee injury. Who the hell is Ryan Craig? I need to start paying attention.
The Rangers sneak by the Maple Leafs... remember me complaining about how people are way too into Brendan Shanahan? Well just another reason that I am a moron. 8th goal of the year, and lone shootout goal.
The Stars get a shutout from Mike Smith making his NHL debut... maybe they should start him in the playoffs for Marty Turco. ZING.
UPDATE: Mike Smith in the running for Pensblog's Most Boring Hockey Name.
Two other late games just finished up, The Wild and Oilers get W's over the Sharks and Wings.
That's it for me folks
Good night and Keep working in them corners.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Gave up another 2-0 lead, but it really didn't feel like it was gonna be another Saturday night Pens loss at any point in the game.
The Blue Jackets were in the Canonsburg 4th of July Parade to the penalty box early in the first, leading to powerplay goals by Sergei Gonchar/Michel Ouellet....and Sergei Gonchar. Give Gonchar the goal so Malkin can get the assist. Later, Colby Armstrong pulled a Hans Jonsson, turning the puck over in a dreadful play. Gilbert Brule, cool name, capitalized and scored a powerplay goal to end the first period 2-1.
Eight minutes into the second, Fredrik Modin scored for Columbus to tie it up at 2. Then, Jordan Staal began taking over the game. A nice little shorthanded goal for Jordan on a Mark Recchi rebound sent the Pens faithful into the second intermission feelin good, up 3-2.
The third period was Penguins hockey...like it used to be. Penguins were all over the ice, pounding the Blue Jackets into submission. Evgeni Malkin scored an Evgeni Malkin goal on the powerplay to make it 4-2. What a play by Crosby on that goal. Less than a minute later, Jordan Staal has a semi-breakaway and gets tugged on. The suspense as we wait for the referee to point towards center ice....and then, yes, penalty shot. A weird set of circumstances around that goal but I have no idea why the referee waved it off to begin with. Bob Errey was irate. Columbus pulled their goalie with five minutes left to turn the play into an 8-on-2 and they scored...and that was it.
- Crosby: 1 A
- Malkin: 1 G
- Staal: 2 short-handed goals
- Gonchar: 1 G, 1 A
- Shots: CBJ (39) PENS (34)
- Powerplay: CBJ (2 for 11) PENS (3 for 9)
- Uhh...Jordan Staal and Letang are staying this year.
- Ryan Malone may have broken his left hand in that fight (If you can read lips, you already know that)
- Armstrong is coming along.
- We're gonna have to stop praising Crosby, Malkin, Eaton and Moore sometime.
- Michel Ouellet owns a real estate company in Canada...and his music of choice is the Counting Crows. They're all right, but at least he didn't say 311.
- Paul Steigerwald may have had an extra-marital affair with Dr. Demento, the singer of the song "Monster Mash". That Nash crap was gettin outta hand.
- It's rubbing off on Bob Errey; he called Andre Roy 'Patrick Roy' and called Jordan Staal 'Eric'. We hope you caught that, Pensblog-ites.
- Paul and Bob drilled it into our heads that it was a special-teams game tonight. Say it one more time; we didn't hear you the other 32 times.
- We were given a history lesson about Magnitogorsk. 30,000 workers died building that steel factory. 30,000???? Holy crap.
- All that stuff about Malkin and they didn't even mention how he escaped Magnitogorsk.
Next Game: Tuesday 10.24.06
vs. New Jersey Devils - 7:00PM
Here's a post on Letsgopens.com
Our tongue-in-cheek buddy Black and Gold Insider has nothing to say about the matter.
A couple quick Pens-related stuff before I pass out...
I'm telling you people...warm up to Sergei Gonchar...he's good, people.
Gonchar on having to be Malkin's translator..
"I can tell you one thing: If I'm only a translator, they're paying me way too much," Gonchar said, with a laugh, after practice yesterday. "I guess I'm the most well-paid translator in the world."
I wonder if Gonchar is tempted to say something that Malkin didn't even say. I would no question have fun with that.
Coach on Gonch:
"He's our leader with that defensive group," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "I really like the way that he's played the last two games. It's a good sign."
Does anyone feel like Michel Therrien is the happiest guy in the world right now? He has been positive all year so far, he almost cracked a smile, and he seems really into the Dan Potash pregame interview. I remember last year he looked like he wanted to kill someone when Potash was talking.
Good times right now.
Crosby defends himself against Ted "Mr. Rules" Nolan...
Sid was playing hard against the Islanders, and if anything, Crosby gets beat around more than anyone. If people would've done the things they do to Sid, to Big #99, people would've called the police.
Can't touch big Wayne, but it's OK, Sid's a baby because he gets punched in the face every night.
If we would've started this blog a while ago I would've made the hire Ted Nolan as coach and CEO of the IOC casino joke... but this comment will have to do.
By the way I think Shelly Anderson stole that story from Nhl.com.
Buffalo is the remaining undefeated team...and they're losing to Boston on Saturday... mark it down
Good night and skate hard
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