Tuesday, March 18, 2008

GameDay (73) -- Pens @ Rangers



The last time the Pens were in MSG,
Chicken Little was telling Marty the sky was falling on the Pens season.

It was one of only two times this season the Pens have been shutout.

"Season is over. Pack it up."

Shut up, dick.


Conks is getting the start tonight.

And in a weird twist of irony, we'll be on Hal Gill's side tonight when he tangles with Double J.


Let's hope Pittsburgh sports continues its recent dominance of Madison Square Garden


Tawm said...

Prediction: 3-2 Pens

Raybin said...

I'll go with 4-1 Pens, since I'm in a very optimistic mood currently, not the least of reasons being work is done!

Hossa, Malkin, Legame and Gonchar score for the Pens.

The Rangers goal will come when that real-world manifestation of Rumplestiltskin known as Sean Avery sneaks one past just because god hates me.

Conks stops 33 of 34.

Jagr is taken to the locker room to recover after a nuclear strike by the USS Hal Gill.

Hip said...

Loving the USS Hal Gill with a mini Letang Tugboat riding the wing. Loving it on the blue line too.

Go Pens.

hyjynxok said...


CONKBLOCK in full effect!

USS Hall Gill will destroy JJ

Hat trick for Syko [I'm gonna keep saying it till it happens, brother]

coffeytalk said...



Flyer Hater said...

The USS Hall Gill and Legame better be matched up against the Jagr-Dubinsky line.

Johnny Wrath said...

So here's the situation: New Jersey is really average, but Brodeur is really good. Brodeur covers and makes up for New Jersey's very, very average skaters, their mistakes, and they win games.

Therrien is a really average coach, but the Penguins are really good. Our glut of talent cover and make up for Therrien's very, very average coaching staff/tactics, and they win games.

Starting Conk on a "because its a long trip from Alaska" against a Rangers' team with a .682 Divisional win% just isn't sound. NY has actually scored less goals at home on average, but this isn't exactly going to be a wide-open game.

I suppose I should just be glad Sabourin isn't getting minutes.

stokes said...

10-3 Pens. Win by a touchdown.

chris e said...

Let's do this shit!

Dr. Turkleton said...

@johnny wrath

betcha Sabu plays v. TB on Thursday

if it's goalie by committee for the rest of the regular season + playoffs [excluding Sabu] is either going to make [another 1-year contract] or break [you're fired!!!!!] HCMT

Where's KevCon when you need him???

[Hossa: 3 goals in 4 games vs. the Rags this year {2-PPG}]

coffeytalk said...

Do it to it, PENS!

Flyer Hater said...

If Therrien decided to start Conklin with the sole reason being that he wanted him to play for his dad, that's staggering.

Johnny Wrath said...

Thats what he told the press, that he's "trying to make this a family affair".

Sydor just now: "You pick up Jagr while I screen Conk, then the man you should be covering takes the pass and scores". I'm getting pretty tired of how timid Sydor is. He basically completely disorganized that play.

Eric K said...

dont like the call to start Conks when MAF has been hot the past few games.

Sydor and Whitney = worst D pairing in the league

Flyer Hater said...


MT, don't pull him though, daddy dearest might get upset and cry.


stokes said...

Agreed Johnny Wrath re: Sydor. There were a lot of spectators that play. Sydor should be sitting when Scuds is back.

Avery's shot was real sweet.

Conklin, once again, almost biffs stick handling the puck. I didn't mind him starting, but he looks pretty bad thus far.

Maybe the Pens will trade their cement shoes for skates. They all look out-to-lunch.

Dr. Turkleton said...

@johnny wrath

hate to say it, but Sydor has to be King Shero's worst of the FA signings this offseason...worst part, is that's he's signed for +1 more years. I'd never thought I'd be looking forward to Scuds coming back...hopefully, sooner rather than later

@eric K

agreed...guess a 'pairing' out of necessity...would rather see Whit & Orps together & Syd-orr with Gonch

fakepaulsteigerwald said...

Teigy here with the 1st intermission report:

Random Quote from a Penguins fan at MSG: "Ryan Whitney is a fucking cock sucker peice of fucking shit prick bitch pussy."

Someone put a bullet in my head so I don't have sudden urges to tell horrible stories that even I know no one cares to hear. Sorry folks, it is a sickness.

I love Alaska.


Dr. Turkleton said...


you're starting to sound like Lange did his last year in the TV booth: Storyteller Extradoinare

Dr. Turkleton said...



Raybin said...

I hope Sjostrom just put Sydor and Whitney on his Christmas card list.

Flyer Hater said...


My d-pairings right now.

stokes said...

I was in the shower for both Pens goals. if i knew i wouldn't run out of hot water, i'd still be showering.

Flyer Hater said...

Can all of you Conklin supporters finally admit that this career minor-leaguer, curtain-jerker has come down to Earth? He has looked so uncomfortable during this game.

I swear Whitney should come out in the 3rd with a Rangers sweater on. He's their MVP so far.

Flyer Hater said...

This is a serious question, has Whitney reached a Melichar level with his play in his own end?

sonofatruckload said...

ovechkin with 2 assists tonight already :(

stokes said...

@ Flyer Hater: I don't think its gotten that bad, but i also can't remember that well since i've blocked all "memories" of Melichar out of my head.

Sakic19 said...

Once again I will state that The USS Hal Gill is our best "all around" defenseman...and Sydor was not worth a dime...someone argued with me some time ago that he was a great value pick-up because of his puck movement, but is becoming rapidly clear that he and his partner are one of the biggest weakness on this team...but Therrien will have them out there again and again...it's sad when Gonchar plays better defensively than Sydor


Johnny Wrath said...

Whitney can be very effective unless his D partner is softer than he is. They're just ├╝ber soft.

I want to fight Al Trautwig and that old man with the Gorton's fisherman beard on MSG. Old man Gorton is like Ms. Teen South Carolina for overhyped NY-related content. Here's what I got out of the first intermission report;

"I personally believe that subway station welterweight Elvis hardwood rice cooker is #1 at MSG, NY #1 Rangers, back to you, Al".

Al: "MSG is the loudest building there ever was, bar none. NY is really great, too, and MSG is really consmetically appealing, Wayne Gretzky".

Lets shell them, shall we? Need to keep pace before Brodeur wins the conference.

Sakic19 said...

Losing to another division opponent...this is where those cheap losses to southern teams we should have beaten come back to haunt

Sakic19 said...

Put The USS Hal Gill in the faceoff circle, maybe he can win one

Flyer Hater said...

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. The puck management in this game reminds me of the first half of the 05-06 season.



Someone take a run at Avery and knock him the fuck out.

stokes said...

I think that No.1 goalie has been established.

Not that anyone in a Penguin uniform showed up tonight...

rwarner174 said...

Anyone still think the penguins are better without Crosby? Strange you don't hear that kind of talk after a loss.

coffeytalk said...


Sakic19 said...

There playing just as bad without him tonight as they were with him during his first return...have I said bench Whitney and Sydor yet?

Flyer Hater said...

Just one of those tough nights. We'll come back on Thursday with FLEURY in net and smoke the Lightning.

Go Pens.

Ry said...

Just a bad effort tonight other then about 5 min. span, which there is no excuse for. One of the sloppiest games played in a while in terms of puck management. To play like this when you have the division/conference lead hanging in the balance is unacceptable. When Scuds comes back Whitney should be watching from upstairs.

Christina said...

just effing ugly, start to finish. (well with the exception of the ruutu goal, and orpik's goal-saving play)

i started yelling at my television every time i saw whit-sydor on the ice by the 3rd...it honestly seemed like every time they were on the rags either scored or came damn close.

anyone know how close scuds is to returning??

Dr. Turkleton said...

my choice would be for sydor to take off his velcro 'A' & take a rest...at this point, I'd rather give Nasreddine/Goligoski/Lannon/Bissonnette a shot

remember when Paul Bissonnette almost made the squad out of camp? Man, has this kids stock dropped like a rock [attitude problem?]

Sakic19 said...

I've seen Bisonnete many times in Wilkes-Barre and he seems feisty and ready to drop the gloves...haven't heard anything about an attitude problem, but it's possible...anthing is better than Sydor at this point...how many times was he on his ass tonight?...Whitney is at the point in his career(3 years in) when he should be showing massive improvement, and instead he is regressing...I don't know who is worse defensively, him or Sydor, and he supposedly is offensive minded...where the hell is the production...with Gonchar, he may make defensive mistakes but at least he can be counted on for a spark on offense...the return of Crosby will not cure Whitney's many ills

Sakic19 said...

The USS Hal Gill=still the team's best all-around defenseman

Eric K said...

Sydor -3
Whitney -3
Gary Roberts +7

Dani said...


That was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. You... lost? You were, as you say, jobbed by [shivers] the Rangers?

Naughty, naughty Penguins.


Flyer Hater said...

Gonchar and Orpik +1 tonight, very impressive.

They're a good pairing and the Gill-Letang pairing is very good.

Whitney-Sydor overshaow them all with their awful play.

Dr. Turkleton said...


I agree with Whit's development at this point...it's tough to keep on defending him with the way he played tonight...the 'outlet' attempted pass to Staal that led to the GWG was very bad...it just seems that he hasn't played all that well since Scuds went down/being paired up with Syd-orr....

If Scuds isn't back soon, HCMT & Andre Savard have to take another look at the d-man pairings or call someone up

Something has to change/get corrected before it's too late...all the while, the playoffs are sneaking up on them

just my frustrated .02¢

Sakic19 said...

Your right Dr. Turk...the playoffs are what, less than a month away?...this has been a glaring weakness for some time now, I mean even in most Pen victories Whitney and Sydor are non-factors...it probably will wind up being Sydor that sits, I just hope it's Orpik as his partner as the third d-pairing...Orpik has been playing alot better and next to The USS Hal Gill is probably the best defensive d-man...

riosrogue said...

I realize it's fun to pile on Whit and Sydor but was there honestly ANY Penguin player that showed up to play tonight? If there were, they certainly didn't show up for a full 60 mins.

I don't know why people are so suprised/upset about the outcome of this game. After the Flyers game, you had to expect the Pens were primed for a colossal letdown. They will pick it back up again. (That includes Whit/Sydor/Scapegoat du jour)

Stoosh said...

I didn't see it when it happened...was it Whitney that threw the puck to the middle of the ice on the Rangers' third goal?

Whitney's asstastic defense would be easier to stomach this year if he was contributing at the same pace he was last year. But his offensive game hasn't really improved either, and his defense has regressed. Even worse, for a guy whose value is supposed to come with moving and carrying the puck and jump-starting the transition game, he's made some absolutely horrendous decisions with the puck this year.

I know for a fact that Shero was so disappointed by Gonchar's play in the post-season last year that Gonchar was actively shopped during the summer.

I'm not sure Whitney's at that level yet, given that he was just signed to that extension. But if Shero and other members of the front office were disappointed in Gonchar's play last year in the playoffs, they can't be happy with what they're seeing out of Whitney this year.

I know the organization is grooming him to ultimately take over for Gonch is a couple of seasons, and I still like to think Whitney will eventually be that guy. He's still learning the game at this level and he's going to make mistakes.

But Whitney needs to realize that he's not the only offensive defenseman in this organization. In fact, there's one already here breathing down his neck who has played a much more complete game - Letang - and there's another one on the way in Goligoski. Alex Grant could eventually be another one who will factor into the big club's depth chart while Whitney is still under contract.

Stoosh said...

RIOSROGUE - I agree that Whitney has taken over for Melichar as a convenient scapegoat. 6'4", 215-pound defensemen who aren't overly physical make easy targets like that.

But the Rangers got five even-strength goals tonight, and Whit and Sydor were on for 60% of them. They were each a -3. They deserve whatever criticism they get for the way they played tonight.

The Seeker said...

I didn't wanna say it before the game, but I had a bad feeling again all day today. It's fairly predictable that this team plays flat after every emotional win...even when it wasn't that hard of a game.

1) I think we're last in the league in face-offs won. Maybe Lord Therrien doesn't think they're important? Someone needs to send him that email.

2) Whitney's not producing as an offensive defenseman, so his soff defense isn't defendable at all anymore.

3) Sydor is the worst trade Shero's made.

4) Eaton and Scuds can't be back soon enough!

4) Do we have a PP at all?

5) Fleury would have been left hung out to dry just as Conk was tonight (maybe worse?). But I know some people will still find a way to blame him because that excuse only applies when Fleury is in the net.

6) Only Staal didn't look as flat as the rest of this team did. But I guess when you play your Brother, you have added incentive.

The Seeker said...

tPB Staff:

Mike Lange said tonight that the Pens magic number was 10 going into this game.

I admittedly suck at math so I can't say who's right or wrong.

Flyer Hater said...

There's an easy explaination for why we so bad on the faceoffs. Our two best centers at taking them (Hall and Crosby) have been out for months. When they went down, the Pens were in the middle of the pack when it came to faceoffs. Since then, it's been terrible.

Jordan Staal might be the worst faceoff man in league history.

Stoosh said...

RE: Bissonnette

I've heard his stock dropped with the franchise because his attitude sucked, which was really funny to me. Most of his junior career was spent on some absolutely awful North Bay/Saginaw squads, but he was always thought to be a consummate good guy, solid leader and excellent teammate. Then again, so was Steve Downie (unless you ask Akim Aliu).

The first year I ever ventured to watch a Pens preseason camp practice was the year he almost made the team. His positioning was incredible. His demeanor was calm and he looked every bit the leader he was in junior (if you've ever seen him play, he's incredibly vocal on the ice...you could hear him yelling to his defensive partner all the time).

What I've heard is this...Bissonnette came up to the Baby Pens when the WB/S team was loaded, so rather than let him play 10 minues a night as a 5/6/7 guy in the AHL, he spent a lot of time in Wheeling. The organization wanted him to play 25-30 minutes a night every night on a top pairing, and he wasn't ready for that at the AHL level (his skating needs work). He apparently didn't see it that way, and from what I've heard, that was the root of his issues with the organization.

There's definitely some bad blood there. I believe the club acutally cut him loose this year, but brought him back when he didn't really catch on anywhere else. To his credit, he's buckled down and done his job this year, although it seems like he's fallen so far back on the depth chart, they've been using him as a fourth-line forward recently (at least according to Jon Bombulie's Penguins Insider blog).

The Seeker said...

@ Flyer Hater

I realize that.

Which is even MORE of a reason for Therrien to devote more drills to winning them with the guys we have taking them.

It's killing us!

Crosby will be back but Hall's gone now so it makes sense to at least try to improve that portion of our game with the guys left playing.

PS: Correction on my Shero 'trade' wording above...insert 'acquisition'

Stoosh said...

Flyer Hater - I'm willing to give Staal a break on the faceoffs because he's 19. Malkin hasn't been good on faceoffs, either, but that's something that only really gets better with experience.

The Seeker said...

@ Stoosh

While I agree that face-offs are a thing mostly only veterans excel at, and it's not something that's easy to teach if someone hasn't 'got it', but maybe Crosby is an exception?

He knew that was his one weakness last season so he worked hard to get better. He's still young and he was able to improve. I certainly can't see how it could hurt to work on it 'cause we're going to need to win them more often come play-off time.

Dave said...

Did anyone notice how badly the ice seemed to suck tonight? It seemed like maybe 5 people just bit it for no reason, and that both teams were swimming rather than skating.

The Seeker said...

Oh and if losing wasn't bad enough....Ovechjoke collected another 3 points to extend his lead over Malkin. They're now only 2 points behind Philly. And Philly won in regulation to put them only 7 points behind us.

At least St Louis beat Montreal - but in a shootout so they get 1 point.

j.s.22 said...

Just throwing the question out, but is Laraque really the only real enforcer on the team? To me it seemed that the physical play has lacked since Laraque has been out.

I figured tonight Ruutu would start shit with that pest Avery, but the only shit that happened between them was that little scrum at the Penguins bench.

What is everyone elses opinion on the physical play by the Pens?

shubedoo66 said...

JS-the penguins are not a physical team at all, and they are going to have to learn to play more physical if they want to get past the first round of the playoffs. Overly offensive/non-defensive and not physical teams don't usually last long in the playoffs. Laraque wasn't playing many minutes, much less playing physical before he got suspended. He needs more minutes, especially since Army is gone. Not many of the pens players hit. Max and Ruutu do, but other than that... The hitting has to pick up. Everyone has to hit. MR. ROBERTS should help that if he ever gets back.

To all:On Whitney/sydor-I didn't get a chance to see the game tonight, but if they were as bad as everyone is saying they are, expect another kick in the balls from therrien.

Whatev, its over now

Tampa on Thursday!
Lets go pens!!

Steve In Denver said...

I need to program my dvr to stick it's dvr finger down its dvr throat whenever it records a shitstorm like that. I should have cheated and checked the score before watching that mess.

I wish we had a physical presence so at least in a game like this someone would dish up an ass beating to make the game-watching experience worthwhile. Even if Gentle Georges was in the lineup, he probably would have been seen on the bench knitting some fuzzy glove liners for Hossa while Dupuis was getting chucked around like a cheap French whore. WWGRD? Hit something, bitches.

Last, all those years of Avery practicing the double fist pump on his hairy mongoloid boyfriend finally came to fruition, I see.

Time to put my bitter self to bed, and dream of a better tomorrow.

dappie99 said...

prediciton blog:

Pens v. Rangers 3/30

Talbot scores two goals & mocks Avery's gay a$$ fist pumping towards him wherever he is ala heinz ward imitations.

i hate nothing more than seeing a jobber like avery have any success.

MT will light the fire for thursdays game, Pens will come out flying and that momentum will swing into Sat vs the Devils. If only we still had Morozov to ensure a Pens win over Broduer.


We are in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League.

In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Pensblog uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey our criticism and inform the public.

Photos on The Pensblog are used without permission but do not interfere with said owner's profit.

If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail us (thepensblog@gmail.com) and we will be happy to oblige.