Sunday, October 28, 2007

Point Earned. PENS LOSE.

4 - 3

( Yahoo lays the stats out much nicer. )

What a comeback.
People wanted Therrien fired a minute into the second.

MAF was pulled to a louder-than-anticipated cheer.
It may have been a salute to MAF trying hard, but probably not.

This game was all Montreal, all the time, until an old friend helped us out.


As [Pittsburgh Sports Insider] reported correctly, Mark Recchi was bumped to the fourth line for the game tonight.

Without looking at the ice-time figures, you'd think Recchi-Hall-Kennedy was the number-one line.

Regardless, a mere 14 seconds or so into the game, the Crosby line gets taken off the ice and replaced by the Hall line.
The fourth line, mismatched against the Habs' top line which was still on the ice, had to take a penalty to thwart the Habs.
Why were those lines changed?
Unless that faceoff in the Pens zone was the biggest faceoff in history and Hall had to take it.

During the penalty kill, Malone and Recchi get put on the ice.
And Recchi takes a faceoff. Wow.

A lot of people call Recchi the wreckin' ball.

Ball = Recchi
Car = Penguins Franchise
Cop = Homo

The Pens kill that power play, and the game gets going.

Later in the period, Maxime Talbot, who got douched into the boards on Thursday night, goes flying into the Habs zone and takes a vicious hit. No fear. What a player.

Next thing you know, Malone-Crosby-Malkin turn in one of the best shifts of the season.
And you would hope that means that they scored.
But actually it was the Habs who put one home.

Dandenault joins the rush and gets one past MAF.


The obnoxious Montreal fans in the section beside us stand up and sing, "Olé, Olé, Olé".
More on them later.
Looked like it was gonna be a long night.

Later in the period, Staal owns someone with an elbow and goes to the box.
Mark Eaton or Sergei Gonchar forgets what's going on, and no one boxes out.
Juicy loose puck is picked up.
Goal. 2-0. Olé Olé Olé.

Maxime Talbot went off for hooking late, and Colby made a goal-saving play on the PK.
Pens kill it.

And that was it for the first period.
The period was about as fun as blue balls, or blue ovaries.



Things were looking up. Fans were pumped.
Still a lot of game left.

Never mind. Ryder scores on a vintage MAF over-the-shoulder. 3-0.
Olé Olé Olé.

Therrien had seen enough.

In comes Sabu.

Exactly one minute later, Kovalev woke the sleeping giants.
He rams Malkin into the boards well after the whistle, prompting Crosby to go nuts.

Cheap move by Kovy.
But whatev. Without this play, Montreal runs away with the game.

On the ensuing power play, Malkin gets it over to Sykora.
Goal. 3-1.
On an impulse, Pensblog Adam ran over to get a picture of the Olé Olé Olé Habs fans stunned.

All of a sudden, the Arena was in a frenzy.

Even with Sabu chillin in net, there was confidence in the building.
The confidence grew when Malkin and Crosby did each other on a give-n-go.
Crosby goal. 3-2.

After that goal, the atmosphere was insane.
It was going to nump up another notch if that toolbag would've dropped the gloves with Armstrong.
But no dice.

Crosby takes a hooking penalty later in the period, and the Pens do a remarkable job of killing it.

Towards the end of the period, Malkin gets sprung on a breakaway and nearly turns Carey Price into a woman after getting a shot off.

Malkin has been on acid all season, and it's been starting to reach another level recently.
Crosby gets swarmed every time he touches the puck, so maybe Malkin going up on the top line will be a good thing.

Sabu wasn't really challenged the rest of the period.



Talk about a tense third period.

Gonchar took a hooking penalty, and the PK unit rose to the occasion again.

(Eric Mirchich)

Out of nowhere, the period was half-gone, and you realized the Pens still needed to tie the game up.

During a 45-second span late in the third, Ryan Whitney did his best to send the Pens packing for Minnesota with two turnovers that even made Ben Roethlisberger throw up.

But Montreal couldn't convert.

The Pens get a gift late.
A too-many-men penalty.

These pics aren't overused.
There have just been more too-many-men penalties in October than in all of last season.

The Pens carry the puck into the zone to start the PP.
No, wait. Recchi was somehow offsides.

The powerplay couldn't get things going, but the refs decide to give the Pens another one.
The Habs go to the box for slashing.


In a gutsy move after that penalty is called, Therrien pulls Sabu; giving the Pens a 6-on-3 for roughly 10 seconds, then a 6-on-4 for essentially the rest of the game.

But they didn't need the rest of the game.
Malkin, of course, finds a wide-open Whitney near the top of the circle.
He cradles it, gets an erection, and wrists it.
The next thing we saw was the red light flash on the other side of the arena -- the best sight in the world.
Tied. 3-3.

The rest of the third period was about securing the point that the Pens had definitely earned.
They do it. OT.


In what was probably, in some weird way, a make-up call, the refs job Malone with a hooking call.
4-on-3 PK for two minutes in OT.
If it was the Senators, you might as well roll up your Ice-Time and put on your jacket.
But these are the Canadiens.

People forgot to tell Kovalev that this isn't 2001 anymore.
Koivu-Kovy-Ryder are pretty scary, but they can't do anything.
And, again, the Pens were unreal on the PK.

Sabu looked like he belonged there.
Penalty is killed to a deafening roar from the crowd.

At the end of OT, Malkin ties a Hab up, and Gonchar takes a run at him.

Boarding isn't called often, but that was textbook boarding. What a hit.



Going shooter-by-shooter in this recap would be a waste of life.
Some questionable decisions on who Therrien sent out to take the shots.
Then again, Therrien doesn't question us when we call in sick to work or decide whether to pay the heating bill late or the cable bill late.

Jesus Christ himself could have been sent out there.
It wouldn't have made a difference. Carey Price didn't care.

Sabu was in control.
He looked sharp.
It was only a matter of time.

Markov comes in...




  • Malkin: Two drops of acid. 3 A.
  • Crosby: 1 G
  • Syko: 1 G, 1 A
  • MAF: Shakier than Ali.

  • Notice the productivity of the Recchi-Hall-Kennedy line. It felt like they were on the ice for half the game, though.
  • Kennedy looked nervous early, starting looking comfortable, hitting everything.
  • Decision of MAF or Sabu starting in Minnesota is a coin-flip.
  • Sabu wasn't significantly challenged, but was there to make some big saves at crunch time, especially the exaggerated Mike Richter-esque glove save. It pumped up the crowd, so it was all right.
  • Going into Minnesota, you're gonna need a goalie who will have to make the routine saves that will lead to a 1-0, 2-1 win. Tough call.


Jonathan said...

Great comeback by the Pens tonight to earn a point. MAF...Well you gotta stick by your number one at times. Anybody else having a case of deja vu? Remember last year when T-Bow subbed so superbly for MAF and basically "lit a fire under his ***?"
Maybe Sabo can do the same.

Also, Crosby sticking up for Malkin tonight just shows why that C is on his jersey, and we all know even if he wasn't the captain, he would've done the same thing. Go Pens and can't wait for the Wild.

CG said...

The anger on Crosby's face as he T-bagged Kovalev was in honor of Gary Roberts. What a captain! Although I wish he'd shoot the puck more.

Pensgirl said...

Pensbloggers, I'd have rather been in your section dealing with the Habs fans than where I actually was, surrounded by a bunch of people who acted like they were at the symphony. Did. Not. Cheer. Once. Did not stand up for goals. Were not, from what I could tell, rooting for either team. WTF?

I think the 4th line has inflated stats what with Siddo in the box twice. Don't want to make that a habit, but jonathan you're right that it was good after the Kovy hit on Malkin. Sometimes this is just what the team needs to get fired up.

Barrasso35 said...

Fleury will get it together... he's a bad MAFer and he deserves the number one spot, though I was pretty impressed with some of the saves Sabu made last night. (Or, I should say, Mike Lange and the Ol' Two-Niner were pretty impressed with them, I didn't actually see them.)

Let's Go Pens!

Anonymous said...

where has staal been?

Malkinian said...

I'm really starting to worry about MAF. Your "franchise" goalie being pulled twice in the 1st 11 games of the season. I know he's still the youngest starter in the league but he's continues to show little or no improvement in areas and I'm just not sure he's the real deal. Certainly hoping though.

Hutch said...

I loved the fact that you guys took the pics of the Frenchies. My friend and i sat right next to them, he's in all three pics. I gave adam a hi-five after every pic he took going back up the isle. I have a pic of one of them scratching his head after our third goal, they were dumbfounded.

Terrible start to the game, stole a point i guess but should of been 2. Gotta hit the net in the shootout. we missed the net on 5 of 8 shots, wtf.

Alan said...

Very nice performance tonight by kennedy. It seems like he was going all out every shift and also had some very nice hits.

Not sure how many times I say this, but when the penguins play a physical game with a ton of hits/fights that it results in goals. Take that 2nd period for example, malkin gets hit > crowd gets pissed and rowdy > pens score 2 goals.

the general said...

the only thing worse than a canadian is a french canadian. i was in the bottom of e32, and everything someone made a half-way decent pass, the all screamed "OYE OYE OYE". i looked it up after the game, and OYE is french for "im touching myself"

- kennedy was everywhere last nite... almost reminded me of talbot jr. maybe ruutu should join naserdine in the "healthy scratch" club and keep kennedy up.

- talbot might be one of the few players that we cannot afford to lose. he does all the little shit that doesnt show up in the box score. i think he might deserve a free WWGRD wristband when they come in. sick effort last nite

- recchi is balls

- when crosby backed up malkin when he got crushed from behind, my section went nuts. agreeing with jonathan, thats why hes wearing the C. thats not his role, but he does what he has to do. then to come back on that give-and-give-and-give-and-go with malkin, wow.... i pee'd when i saw that.

-MAF will come around... im just glad sabu is on top of his shit right now. maybe colby will decide to show up more often when fleury does.

Christina said...

that was a vintage bing f-you face after kovy boarded geno....and it was glorious.

that shootout was gut-wrenching to watch...did every Pens shooter try one too many moves, or was that just me?

someone put out the Amber Alert, jordan staal has gone missing again. (except on the PK. he remains a beast on the PK)

malkin = unreal.

Eric said...

I definitely think that Sabu should start next game.

The Seeker said...

So basically this game came down to which team's goalie was better and who was chosen to shoot.

I'd think Staal would have gotten at least one chance (he's never been in a SO)???

What's scary is that Price is the Habs 3rd or 4th best goalie!

ratoni said...

Would have *loved* to see Kovi and Sid square off again when they came out of the box... but with that said:

Malkin, Crosby and Staahl should not be the ones that have to drop the gloves or defend themselves. The other guys on the team need to stop screwing around and take care of business.

Second, the Pens need to start scoring more. This team's output should be WAY more than what they are doing now.

Third, WTF Theirren? Pick some lines and stick with them for longer than a period, please.

stokes said...

kennedy played lights out for his first game, but if you were listening to steigy and errey, it was the second coming of Jesus. Every shift, they were verbally blowing him.

i beam with pride like a proud momma when Cros goes out and sticks up for his teammates, like he did with Kovy. If that doesn't get you fired up, check your pulse.

The give, give, give and go was awesome.

Like Jonathon said, Fleury needs someone to light a fire under his ass. So hopefully Sabu can be that guy, becuase this is starting to get old and worrisome.

I liked the starting lines last night. I hated the shooters that were picked.

I hate Habs fans almost as much as Leafs fans.

whatever said...

"you're gonna need a goalie who will have to make the routine saves that will lead to a 1-0, 2-1 win. Tough call."

not really

snoopyjode said...

what a game. it had a good crosby fight (WOW!), a good comeback, and a sudden death shootout. good times - until markov nailed it. oh well, at least they got a point out of it after being down 3-0 for a while.

Nick said...

Fleury is our number one goalie. Him getting pulled last night was not a matter of his poor play. I'd love to hear an explanation about how any one of those three goals was his fault.

Coaches pull goalies for a multitude of reasons. I believe that the reason the pull was made last night was to fire up the Pens. Down 2-0, first shift of the second period and one of the best shooters in the league is allowed to walk into the slot, get a better shooting position without being touched and fire? What a joke.

Remember how Fleury was everyone's hero after Washington and New York? This bashing of Fleury and the people who participate in it are an absolute joke. Sabourin faced 13 shots over 2 periods of play compared with the 15 Fleury faced in a period and 50 seconds. He played behind a much better team on the ice, and quite frankly, it's ridiculous to think how narrow minded and short sighted Pens fans have become. Guess that's what you get when everyone jumps on the bandwagon after 7 years of not watching hockey.

rwarner174 said...


2 of the 3 goals were his fault.
He needs to stop dropping to his knees so quickly when guys are shooting from the high slot. The players shooting on him arn't garbage they can pick corners and they are. If I see him drop to the butterfly and then pop his sholder up a second too late one more time I am going to scream. Review the tapes, watch the goals. Its exactly what is happing most of the time.

That being said, this is nothing coaching shouldn't be able to fix. I'm not saying he is garbage but you appear to let flureys bad play go just because you like him.

I am not a person to blame the goalie all the time, but plane and simple MAF is in last night we have a better chance to win. Its not always going to be the case and no doubt MAF is the future. But when someone is playing poorly he is playing poorly, no other way to slice it.

Sabourin should get the nod next game, there is no doubt. Flurey needs a game or two to get back in form. Hopefully he can get back to form

Anonymous said...

WHATEVER -- When in Minnesota, do what Minnesotans do.

In this case, play a defensive style.

Doc Nagel said...

On the French Canadian cheer. Surely they're not speaking Spanish, so "Olé!" is out of the question. Isn't it almost certainly "Allez!" - imperative form of the verb to go, i.e., basically, "Let's go!" or "Go!"

Sounds a little like "olé" to Anglophones because the French "a" is close to "o" and because Americans don't understand that last consonants aren't pronounced in French.

Can anybody confirm or deny this?

Lana said...

Being from Montreal I can definately confirm it is ole ole ole and the reason for this is that people from Quebec have no culture of their own and basically stole it from soccer fans. They have it up on the jumbotron at the Bell Center all the time.

Ashley said...

doc nagel: I think you're right. I'm French Canadian and the word "Allez!" does basically mean "Let's Go!", and it sounds very, very similar to "Olé!". And the last syllables in allez and olé are exactly the same (the 'z' in 'allez' is completely silent).

Adrienne said...

WIth Recchi still getting as much ice time as he is, its a further proven fact: there is no god.

I was actually surprised that Fleury was starting after the way he played Thursday. I'm curious now to see who is going to start on Tuesday against the Wild.

Crosby's fight with Kovalev had me screaming at the tv. Fucking awesome to see Crosby really get into it for the first time this season :D

Kennedy did really, really well after he got over his initial nervousness.

Jonny V said...

Nick, I don't know where u were looking, but I really didn't see anyone bashing Flower on this post. So what the fuck are u talking about concerning that and the bandwagon jumping shit u spewed? And Sabu played behind a much better team? That statement is so stupid, it gave me a headache. I think every commentor on here wants to see him be worthy of being a number one goalie, but dude is really inconsistent. And he really shouldn't need ANYONE to light a fire under his ass. Time to grow the fuck up, this is the big leagues.

rwarner174 said...

For the record I want MAF to be our starting goalie. I am not bashing him. Its obvious that he is very talented and could be a great goalie. But as Jonny V said. Its time to start becoming more consistent, he has been in the league since 2003.

I'm not blind to the defense around him, its average at best but last night he was giving up to much of the net for sure. With the pens offense if you can keep it to around 2 to 3 goals you are going to win more games than you lose and thats all MAF has to do.

Give sabu a spot start with the wild on tuesday. This is why we have backups on the team.

stokes said...

rwarner has a point. With the Pens offense, this could easily be the 90s and MAF could get away with letting in 2 or 3 crappy goals and coming out alive.

This offense is getting off the hook in a lot of these losses and it shoud be producing much more than 3 goals/game that they are averaging.

Johnny V- i think you're partially right: MAF shouldnt need a fire lit under his ass, but as everyone likes to point out, he's still 22 and the youngest starting goaltender in the league. He needs to step it up at some point, but when is that point?

PittHockey said...

what's up with MAF and why does the goalie coach seem to have made it worse?

wilsmith said...

Who made that comment a while back about someone comparing MAF to arguably the greatest goalie ever and a statistical anomaly?

copy and paste that into this please.

Barrasso35 said...

rwarner and stokes are right.

We're never going to have an amazing defense. With the offense we've got we should be winning games 5-3 or 7-4. If the offense were in sync no one would be saying anything about Fleury. MAF does go into the butterfly a little early but he can be coached on it.

Gee... sure wish we knew of a goaltender who knows what it's like to play with a so-so defense and the best offense in the NHL that could coach MAF. Why in Gary Roberts' name did we let Tom Barrasso become a goaltending coach in Carolina?

I'm just saying.

Jonathan said...

First off, I just wanted to sort of "introduce" myself to you fellow Pens fans. I am a long time Pens fan...Got hooked at age 7 with the Stanley Cup teams, been there throughout the rough years. I am a huge fan of Pensblog, their journalism style "If you wanna call it", and anything goofy, whatever it may be. I've been lurking around here since early last season, and I've basically built up the balls to comment here in the "infamous" commentorblog.

On MAF--Like I said before, he is our number one, maybe a game or two of refilling Sabo's water bottles and sporting RBK's official lids will light a little fire under him. He has shown he can rebound from slow starts to prove himself, and we should hope and support him as we head in to this season.

On Recchi--You have to understand that Rex is an aged veteran, he knows exactly where he is at right now, especially performance-wise. While I disagree with Therrien's choice of putting Rex out there every single night on the PP and top line, I feel like we all just need to give him a chance. If we were thirty games in and Rex was performing as he is now, then call in the ax, but for now, just wait and see...

On Crosby, Malkin, etc.--It will all fall in to place...These guys fight for every second of the game...every puck, every rebound.

To all of the fans who sit in our jobber sections wondering why no one is cheering or chanting...Stand up, let out some chants, get some people involved. Instesd of blaming the lackluster crowds on the "Businessman" types who bought up season tix, show them how to be real Pens fans. Its still early in the season, Lets Go Pens!

Nick said...


So stupid that you got a headache? What exactly are you talking about? Like I clearly stated, Sabourin faced 13 shots over 2 periods and the extra frame. He was supported with 3 goals and a lot of time spent in the other end of the rink. Fleury faced 15 shots over 1 period and was generally bombarded by the pressure the Canadiens applied. Your swearing also makes your commenting much more effective.

The Fleury bashing has been going on for basically the entire season, and that's what I'm responding to. As far as the fairweather fans go, it's no secret in Pittsburgh that thousands jumped back on the bandwagon and a lot of those people simply didn't see Fleury in his first two NHL seasons, nor see Ryan Malone as our best player when 22 goals was considered amazing from him, nor remember the stretch two season ago when Erik Christensen was our 2nd best forward and lighting it up with Sid. (Game tying goal vs the Isles and DiPietro comes to mind)

Rwarner, I understand where you're coming from, but do keep in mind that Fleury has only been a mainstay since the beginning of last season. He bounced back and forth between WBS and Pittsburgh the first two years, so while the experience was certainly invaluable, you can't really call him a four season veteran.

Sabourin was absolutely mud in the first period in his start in Toronto, but now he's our hero. Fleury does let up some soft goals, but he won 40 games last season. Without him, we don't make the playoffs, and we would have had ZERO chance vs Ottawa. He gave us a fighting chance in all of those games.

Stoosh said... you requested, from back on 10/19, edited down a bit...

"The Fleury bashing is making me nauseous like I just drank a homewrecker of Old Grand-Dad. Has he been letting in goals he normally would stop? Sure. Does he need to be more reliable? Sure. But MAF doesn't turn 23 for another four and he's already had two seasons as a #1 goaltender at the game's highest level.

When Martin Brodeur was just turning 23, he was just completing his first "full season" as a #1 goaltender. That was the lockout season of 1994-95 when he played 40 of the team's 48 reg. season games. He actually didn't get a standard full season in as a #1 until the following year.

Who else? Hmmm...Marty Turco. When Turco was 22 going on 23, he was completing his senior year at Michigan. He didn't approach fulltime NHL #1 until 2002-03, when dude was already 27.

Let's go to the top...Roberto Luongo. Turned 23 in April of 2002, when he was just completing his first season as a fulltime NHL #1 with Florida (58 games played in the 01-02 season...the first time he played more than 50 games in an NHL season).

When someone on ESPN Radio 1250 cautioned against the Fleury bashing because he's still relatively young, I heard Guy Junker respond by mentioning Patrick Roy and Tom Barrasso. Junker brought up those names because Roy was 20 when he helped take the Habs to a Cup in 1985-86 and Barrasso won the Vezina when he was 18.

First off, if the best that Fleury critics can come up with is the best goaltender of all time and a complete historical anomaly, then maybe we just ain't so bad off now, are we?

COULD Fleury play at an exceptionally-high caliber despite his age simply because Barrasso once won a Vezina when he was 18 years old? Absolutely. Just like one day I COULD find myself locked in a room with a drunk and willing Scarlett Johannson. Possible? Yep. Unlikely? Damn straight.

Junker needs whacked with a Koho for not realizing the absurdity of those comparisons."


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