Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No Penguin No Cry

Just in case you forgot what Gary Roberts brings to a team:

Watch what he does to Brian McCabe.

If the Pittsburgh media was comprised of jobbers,
we would have gotten word by now that we were all victims of a cruel April Fools joke.

But you wake up today, and the news still rings true.

= The news first came that Hall and Roberts were anticipating returning very soon. [ PG ]

= And then Dave Molinari came around with a short follow-up piece. [ PG ]
There was no threat of this being an April Fools joke because Molinari is always a joke.

"I'm just trying to get ready to play, whether it's one game -- maybe on Sunday, if things go well the next few days," he said. "I need a few more days of practice, but it definitely feels better. Hopefully, with no setbacks (over) the next few days, maybe I'll play Sunday."


Now, it's time to examine the repercussions that will filter through the Pens lineup.

A few months ago, we would say Christensen or Armstrong would sit for Roberts.
Case closed. Go have sex with someone and move on.

But the two players received in exchange for those two are mainstays now.

And as Dupuis was the dark horse in that trade,
the prospect of Adam Hall returning is also a little under-the-radar.

The only reason his name will be thrown around
is because of his 50.7 faceoff percentage in 44 games this season.

So, who sits?


Talbot -- PK beast



We all like Kennedy. He's a scrapper.
But this isn't 2003-04.

He hasn't found the net recently, and it's not even worth it to look his crap up.
Kennedy doesn't have a presence on the ice other than, well, being present on the ice.

[Jon M]

Roberts presence will infuse more in the playoffs
than Kennedy's hyper-chihuahua presence will.

Why immediately throw Kennedy down the well and high-five Jeff Taffe?
Taffe can win faceoffs.
Taffe is balding, so he looks older and thus more experienced.
That sentence is why we don't coach a professional hockey team.

And with Laraque, nobody but HCMT knows what's going on there.



The people have asked for it.
MAF and Letang make it to Flashblog.

It could jinx everything, but if the Penguins lose because we made a change in flashblog,
it just wasn't meant to be anyway.



Wow. What can be said?
A C-blog comment record in the GameDay80 post.

The comments were 70-strong when we commented
that the Rangers' D isn't solid enough to get them anywhere.

It turned into a Goals Against Average war.
The Rangers fans gathered for a big meeting.

[Thanks to Malkinian for the behind-the-scene pics]

What we meant by that comment was basically that the trap Devils during their Cup years
wouldn't let a team tie the game in the third period.


In some lighter news, Dapper Dan handed out awards and crap.
[ Post-Gazette ]

Big Number 66 won most-stellar athlete in Pittsburgh sports history.

"Absolutely," Lemieux said when asked if he was astonished to register a victory over such elite athletic company. "Look at the names on there, some of the greatest athletes of all time in their sport. Just to be nominated alongside them - and to win -is a great honor."

Psst...he wasn't astonished. He knows he is the best.

Bill Mazeroski's 1960 home run took home the best moment in Pittsburgh sports.

The steroid-ridden Steelers of 1978 won the all-time Pittsburgh sports team.

There were even Steelers whining that the Immaculate Reception
didn't win the greatest-moment award.

Maybe if the Dolphins didn't ram it up their sphinx the next week,
the Immaculate Reception would have actually mattered.

Ben was given the most turnovers in the playoffs award in a one-horse race.



One thing you can't accuse the Penguins of doing is not giving the fans a voice.

Over at [] you can fill out a survey about the TV/Radio broadcasts.
And it isn't just some dumb survey. It covers a lot of ground.

You can even Commit To The Stoosh in a little comments section at the end.

This is a subject we have tried to harp on a lot.
We know the people at FSN work very hard,
but the broadcast this season is sub-par for several reasons:

  • Missing faceoffs. This cannot happen. It happens at least four times a game.
  • Not enough replays of what they should be showing, and too many replays of stuff they shouldn't be showing.
Example: When Bing flipped the puck over some dude last week. It was a great move.
But FSN showed it 12 times. All the while, someone gets a penalty, we see no replay.
  • When the puck goes into the corner, we don't need a cut shot to the corner. Keep the camera angles simple. Hockey doesn't need all the bells and whistles football needs, because hockey isn't boring.
  • Too many graphics. No one cares.
  • Terrible on ice audio. Compared to NBC, FSN isn't even in the same building.
  • Don't cut to a shot of MAF recovering from a big save while the Pens are headed the other way on a 2-on-1.
  • As far as broadcasting teams go, it's hard to replace a Hall of Famer.
All and all, it is the responsibility of the two broadcasters to handle the game.
What they say and what they are talking about is what dictates what we get to see.

If Bob Errey can't get over Sidney Crosby flipping a puck in the air,
that's all we are going to see.

You're never going to make everyone happy,
which is why you conduct surveys.

Now, there is some good on the TV side:
  • Rob King--beast. No attitude. No ego.
  • Dan Potash. Solid reporting. Gets in and get out without interrupting the game.
  • Errey in between the benches is cool.
  • Say what you want about Errey's oddities, but he notices intricacies in the game better than most.
On the radio side:

Mike Lange is the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.

While we are usually split here at TPb (one of us listening to the TV broadcast, the other listening to the radio over the TV broadcast), there is nothing like Mike Lange doing a game.

Lange and the Ol' 29er have a great chemistry.
Bob Grove does a good job with pregame, intermissions, and post-games as well.

Only complaint:
  • Sometimes the radio does not sync up with the TV broadcast. It's real Tom Petty to mention it, but it's irritating.

:: The Goalie Mask Tournament at [ NHL Logos ] has just recently started up.
The guy over there, Chris, has done an UNREAL job setting it up.

Shamefully, we didn't keep tabs on when it would start,
so we've all missed out on a couple matchups.

But thankfully, the Pens aren't up yet.
Judging on the current one-per-day format, here is the Pens schedule:

April 9th
Conks vs. Hedberg

Looks to be one-and-done for Conkblock.

April 21st
Fleury vs. Craig Anderson

You could just simulate this one.

April 24th
Sabourin vs. Carey Price

Habs fanboys will push Price in this one.

[ Here ] is the bracket.

The only real threat to MAF in his immediate bracket looks to be Antero Niittymaki.

The whole gangster/mob thing has appeal to people.


This stuff was a big deal, too.
Thankfully NHL Home Ice stunned the world and is having a free preview all week.

The Devils escaped with a W on Long Island.
They have clinched a playoff berth.

But it still leaves the Pens without the Atlantic Division title.

The Habs won and kept pace with the Pens atop the East.
Both teams have two games remaining.

Washington was playing in their home rink with their backs against the wall.

They beat the Canes, so now those two are tied for the Southeast lead with two games left for each.
Carolina holds the tiebreaker.

Side note:

Ovie scored his 63rd goal, which puts him in the company of Luc Robitaille for most goals by a left wing.
It's such a stupid statement.

Is he always on the left wing when he scores goals?
Doesn't he score on slappers from the point on the PP?

We recognize that it's his position on the roster, but come on.
It doesn't take away from an unreal season, though.
Props to AO.

CLEAR! Beep...beep...

The Sabres win a 9-round shootout in Toronto to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Should've won the Winter Classic. Woooo.

The Leafs are a joke. Have fun golfing.


[Ken W]



sh0ez said...

A party will be had upon Roberts' return. I can't wait.

The goalie mask competition is intense.

Staff, as I said in the post before, Fleury still has Conk's stats (other than W-L) Just giving you a heads up.

Let's Go Pens!

Mr. Plank said...

that sens fan photoshop has to be one of my favorites of all time. great work.

gmarx21 said...

Can someone do me a favor and link the original copy of that Mario photo over the city of Pittsburgh? I searched Google images but it was not to be and that is such a classic picture.

Pensblog Staff said...

Gmarx -- You can just click ours to get the original size of the pic.

Conk still has MAF's stats.
That will be fixed in due time.


Flyer Hater said...

Adam was too busy writing down in his diary how cool he was to make sure flashblog was correct, joke.


BlacknGold66 said...

Unfortunately for those of us outside of Pittsburgh... NHL CENTER Ice (as opposed to Home Ice on XM) is having a minimum number of games showed thanks to the free MLB package preview that takes up the same channels.

So while I'm freezing my ass off at Progressive Field tonight watching the Tribe I can rest assured that I won't have jack shit to watch on my DVR when I get home.

What a joke.


Jonny V said...

I'm curious to see how many people piss n' moan at the Steeler insults.

Solid post fellas. Nice heads up on the foxsports survey.

J.S. said...

thanks for mentioned the survey in cblog, jonnyv. I may have to take part in that during break or lunch.

Is the Sens pic from Charlie's scrapbook?

J.S. said...


that should be "thanks for mentioning" and not "thanks for mentioned".

With such piss-poor grammar, you'd think it was a Rangers fan posting.

FakeDannyStag said...

the Price mask is a joke. worst in the league. he's 20 years old! why does he have a crush on that singing fake cowboy? i could see a 50 year old beer leaguer with no taste wearing that mask.

at least he could have Chris Gaines airbrushed on the mask. he's a much better musician. or maybe a portrait of 80's legends Trixter!

go Conks & MAF!

Pensgirl said...

BNG, saw the same shit here. But Center Ice is carrying the Tampa game. Way to prioritize, jokes. I'm calling everyone involved the second I get to work...squeakywheelblog.

So nice of the old Steelers to be grateful at being honored, and what grace in congratulating Maz. /sarcasm

Ryan said...

You get entered to win 5 autographed pucks for taking that survey.

That's why I clicked over to take it, thinking it'd be a jobber survey, but like the staff said, it's solid. I mostly bitched about not having the radio sync up with the tv. Wish I would have read this post first, I'd have been more thorough.

Company luxury box tonight! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Pensblog Staff said...

flasblog fixed



sh0ez said...

Flashblog is still the same for me?

Well, no. The wins and losses are back to being Conk's? Wouldn't you want all of that to be Fleury's stuff? I'm confused!

Ha ha. I'm a painintheassblog.

sh0ez said...

At some point my OCD is annoying, but Hossa has 64 points. Ha ha.

sonofatruckload said...

anyone else a little surprised that hossa has pretty identical stats to sykora?

BlacknGold66 said...


I just noticed that the game will be on the NHL Network tonight.

So if you have that, you're safe.

Unless you get blacked out from Pens games like I do.

Somehow living in Cleveland gets you blacked out from Pens games, but not Red Wings or Blue Jackets games?!?!

Detroit is the closest city (by air miles), and Nationwide Arena and the Igloo are close to the same distance from Cleveland (138 to 137 miles respectively by car).

What gives? Oh, and good luck trying to contact the NHL Network. It's impossible to find a phone number or email address for them.

Here I am crying like a Ranguins fan.

M'eh, can you blame me? I want to watch the Pens!!

dappie99 said...

greatest song of all time

dappie99 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dying alive said...

Anyone else going to the game tonight? Hopefully I will win either a sweaty jersey or a big TV. Something tells me I'll have to make do with a cheap t-shirt and a free fountain drink, though.

dappie99 said...


Brett said...

Thanks for the 10am heart attack, c-blog. I didn't need to think for about 3 minutes that I wouldn't be able to watch tonight's matchup. @#$@#$ Whew

The Seeker said...

The question was asked last week if anyone had heard any news on a possible Mark Eaton return. The following appeared in a Trib article:

If the Penguins get past the second round of the playoffs and into the Eastern Conference finals, defenseman Mark Eaton could return to the mix. Eaton has been out since Dec. 23, when he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament. A mid-May return could congest an already crowded back line.

Eaton skated around lightly for several minutes yesterday and took a few wrist shots at an open net before returning to the dressing room.

"It felt good. Even though it was short, it gave me something to look forward to," Eaton said. "I have another doctor's visit in about 10 days, so hopefully he gives me a clean bill and a green light to start picking up the intensity and hopefully hitting the ice."

Having Eaton back could enhance the Penguins' depth, something they haven't had throughout an injury-ravaged regular season.

Pensgirl said...

Yeah, BNG, thanks - I saw that on Empty Netters after I posted. When I'd checked the NHLN menu this morning it didn't say it'd be showing a game. That's not the first time this season that's happened, but it's been so long since a Pens game has been on that channel that I forgot about the menu issue.

Baltimore's not blacked out from Pens games, thankfully - but I have no idea about Philly games. It's close enough that I'm concerned about that.

M. Vanderlasser said...

BNG66, I'm proud of you for mentioning your "Indians problem" in a public forum. Admitting your problem is the first step towards recovery. We're all here to help.

Hey, I've been saying PASCAL DuPuis as in "My favorite Lil' RASCAL is Spanky."

The announcers this weekend and Monday were saying PASQUAL DuPuis as in "My favorite Lil' RASQUAL is Spanky"

Which is it, Pascal or Pasqual?

Number 9...Number 9...

Thanks, Potash.

MizzPenz said...

Nothing like a buy one get one free drink from Get Go. WoooHooo. Last year, the little kid that walked in right before us got a winning ticket. He was crying, calling his Mom on his cell phone telling her he had won. It was a sweet moment, and only once did we think of jumping him and stealing his ticket. Maybe twice.

Souper Bowl tonight!
Let's Go Pens!

coffeytalk said...

I'm excited for this evening's game. But now that Gary is looming in the distance, I am even more pumped. Today is going to take for EV er to go by...

BlacknGold66 said...

Haha, yeah, I also have a Pirates problem... but it hasn't been diagnosed as "life threatening" like my Pens and Indians problems.

If the Pens don't make it to the Finals after the Tribe lost to the effing Red Sox (see: Most hated team next to the Flyers) then I will implode and the entire city of Cleveland will be sucked into the black hole that will be my gut.

I'm sure that would make most of you happy!

Let's Go Pens!!!

coffeytalk said...

Alright friends, I've done my tailgate prep. Probably won't be near a computer for game day blog.
I'll be in the East lot near the rope that closes off the handicap section. Now off to work...


dappie99 said...

yeah im still seeing Maf's flashblog showing wrong stats

Grant said...

I dont know if anyone is keeping an eye out on this but if the Maple Leafs can pull off one more win on Thursday against Ottawa before they go golfing then Ottawa v Boston on Friday could be for both teams playoff lives.

Who would love to see Ottawa miss the playoffs!

Dr. Turkleton said...


letang replaces whitney on flashblog??

doc = stunned

just another slice of motivation for the Whit to pick up his game.

USS Hal Gill > LeGame [for flashblog ?]

[Hossa: was still 3.5 years from being born the last time the Flyers won the cup]

Nailer News said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nailer News said...

how sweet would it be if the Pens knocked out the Flyers from the playoffs with two wins against them this week? All Washington would need to do is get one point to be in. Then we could hear the Cryers whining all the way from Philly...

sonofatruckload said...

history aside, i'd rather end up playing philly in the first round than the caps

Dr. Turkleton said...


me too...perfect scenario would be for the Caps to be out & the Pens face Boston in Round 1, IMO...

wouldn't it be nice for the flyers & caps to be out...but that would mean the slugs would have to somehow squirm their way into the top 8 by winning their last 2 & getting lots of help...

with OTT in freefallblog right now, wouldn't it be horrible if they slide down to #7 or #8 to face the Pens???

I know, you're gonna have to face your demons eventually in the playoffs...I just wish it not to be in the 1st round...

Dr. Turkleton said...

just got an email from the Pens to purchase tickets to The Parade of 1st thought was: its WAY too early to start those plans, eh?

but, reading's something totally different: Celebrating Pittsbugh's 250th B-Day

dying alive said...

I don't think it matters whether the Pens play the Flyers or the Caps. The Flyers aren't the team they were at the beginning of the season and the goonery they're known for has no place in the playoffs. Washington has been hot, but I don't think they could take a 7 game series for the Pens. In the end, the Pens are just the better team and they do a pretty good job of containing Ovechkin.

Although they have to be pretty demoralized at this point and their goaltending situation is laughable, we still seem to struggle against Ottawa. I think the Pens could beat them in a series, but it would be a draining one.

I'd rather not play the Devs, the Bruins, or the Rags because I hate the trap. Zzzzzzz.

rwarner174 said...

Is it a sin for me to be rooting for Washington? I just think they are an exciting team and it would be good for the NHL. Especially if they get matched up with the pens, either in the first round or some later round. How about Pens vs. Caps for the conference championship! I am sure the NHL would be more than happy if that happened. Its Magic vs. Bird on Ice :)

tripledeke said...

Well once again I won't get the game tonight because i don't get the nhl network...maybe i'll just pay for the center ice package (o wait i already did). First NBC shows me infomercials on sunday now i can't watch flyers/pens this is great

Dr. Turkleton said...

rwarner174 said:

Is it a sin for me to be rooting for Washington?


Lady Jaye said...

Does anybody know if FSN will play the post-game ceremony from the game? I'd be disappointed if they didn't. For years, I made an effort to be at the closer every season. My daughter's birthday or birthday party tends to fall around or on the final game day so I haven't been able to go the last few years. I really hope they do show it.

anal fan with nothing better to criticize said...

you included #63 ernie holmes (rightfully) in your steel curtain picture, but the team that won the dapper dan award was the 1978 team and he didnt play for the steelers that year.

macedog said...

So wise panel of judges, does the way things worked out mean that those of us who chose MAF over Conk in the trial won? Is it time to make a ruling?

CMUpenfan said...

GR coming back would make my day. All I have to look forward to tonight besides an assload of homework from CMU is the pens game. It gives me a good excuse to head to procrastinateblog

Jonny V said...

Dying alive, i'll send whatever good luck I have in your getting a sweaty jersey haha. Good luck and enjoy the game tonight.

coffeytalk and other c-bloggers tailgaiting tonight, wish I could come, but work calls. Hopefully all goes well and we could do one during the playoffs, preferably on a weekend.

Lady jaye, i'm with you, I don't mind the guys on the postgame show, but i'm sure they could pre-empt that to show the festivities. I was in california last season and don't know if foxsports showed it or not.

Pensgirl said...

I'm also pulling for the Caps to get in and face us, but for purely selfish reasons. Working just two metro stops from the Verizon Center, probably the only way I'll get to attend any Pens playoff games is if they were in DC. Besides, it just doesn't feel like the playoffs if we're not dispatching Washington along the way.

J.S. said...

lady jaye, I believe they did show the jersey ceremony last year. I remember Kwiakowski walking out, looking like he didn't want to be there, doing the mandatory photo shoot, and was off with the quickness. Somebody else who was a scratch did the same thing. Nas was scratched, but it wasn't him.

Zarley Zalapski Blues Explosion said...

I wouldn't mind Washington getting in as the 8 seed because we would probably beat them like I beat Crash Bandicoot back in 1998. As the 3 seed, Zarley is indifferent.

But what I'm not indifferent about is the fact that the Center Ice preview is showing THREE FUCKING GAMES TONIGHT!!! My broke ass looks forward the free preview at the beginning and end of each season so I can watch every Pens game for a week, and since I live in Tampa they stick me with Tampa Bay, even though they're on the local fucking channel here!!!!

Immaculate Reception? Pffft LAME!! Who gives a fuck? Maz's home run? That was nothing. The best play in Pittsburgh history was easily the conception of Gary Roberts.

Haha, and some jobber named "J.T. Thomas" was the ex-Steeler that complained about it. What, Terry Bradshaw was too busy making chick movie where he shows his ass to fly to Pittsburgh and complain about the award himself? J.T. fucking Thomas had to do it? Are they sure that wasn't just the guy that squirt cologne on people in the restroom?

BTW, ESPN treats Carlton Fisk's dinger in the 75 (I think) World Series game 6 as more worthy than Maz's home run. That might be true if the Red Sox didn't get douched the next game by the Reds and lose the fucking Series.

Speaking of which, I get to see the Pirates on the free MLB preview at least.

racheleyos said...

toronto fans= stunned. haha great video. and a great ending to regulation.

dying alive said...

jonny v - thanks! Actually I'd almost rather have some good electronics or something than a jersey. Nothing personal against the players, but those things probably stink and I'm not much on collecting memorabilia.

lady jaye - they definitely showed the post-game festivities last year.

racheleyos said...

"Gary Roberts' leg ain't broken he's in jail for beating up Chuck Norris."

haha not such a bad song.

Steve In Denver said...

J.T. Thomas. Wow. When I was a kid, I went to an event where Steelers were going to be present signing stuff. It was him. He was the ONLY one. I believe we left empty handed and pissed off.
Of all the great 'roided up legends they could have provided, it was J.T. Motherfuckin' Thomas. Thanks for bringing back that stinging memory, Zalapski.

Lady Jaye said...

Woo - thanks guys. I don't remember why I didn't see it. It was my daughters birthday party, probably had guests stay late or something. This year, they all get to watch the Philly game if it's in the afternoon ;-)

Eric K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric K said...

Gary Roberts will mend the crack in the Liberty Bell on Sunday.

Pensgirl said...

Zarley, I hate to make you angrier but since you live in Tampa, that game will be blacked out on Center Ice for you, which means you'll basically have a wasted CI channel.

Nice to see hockey getting back on the radar in Chicago, but damn if making this announcement yesterday wasn't ironic. Even though it's obvious that Rocky Wirtz was headed in this direction all year, there was probably a contingent of people who thought they were being punkd.

stokes said...

So, i just balanced my checkbook and there were 71's everywhere.


TheNWChica said...

I just filled out the Pens survey, if not for the pucks, but to get those two assclowns off my screen! But anyway... when they asked about the TV coverage I had this to say:

Please please please put Mike Lange and Phil Bourque onto the tv broadcast. I'm a new fan to the Pens, but after being spoiled by the teams for the Canucks and Ducks, two seasons listening to Bob and Steigy talking to hear themselves talk has made me come to one conclusion: THEY BLOW!!!

Okay, they'll probably ignore me since my address says Washington State and I'm not a ticket holder, but damn it, they need to do something!

So the game IS on NHL Network? Yay!


Pensgirl said...

Who knows, Stokes, but I wound up behind bus 87 yesterday driving to the metro. Can't be a bad thing, anyway.

Joshua said...

Conklin's performance was stellar but it was not sufficient to rebut by clear and convincing evidence the primary goaltender presumption in favor of MAF. In consideration of the equities, the court awarded primary physical custody of the net to MAF, but both goaltenders were awarded shared legal custody thereof. The court has approved a visitation arrangement whereby Conklin will enjoy periodic visitation rights pertaining to the net. Should MAF be unable to perform his primary goalkeeper functions because of injury or unfitness, primary physical custody of the net will be awarded to Conklin.

Eric K said...

if we're talking omens...i pulled a 29% on a climatology quiz today...

Go Pens

Michelle said...

I love reading your blog! I've had it as my homepage for a few months now. You do a great job! I am so excited for the game tonight!

Go Pens!

stokes said...

@ Pensgirl: I definitely had a 87 in there at some point. Good things are afoot.

@ Eric K: sounds like you killed that test, dude.

hyjynxok said...


the Pens/Flyers game tonight is not available on my Time Warner NHL Center Ice package!



hyjynxok said...

sorry for freaking out, everyone.
but i am majorly ticked that they would pull this crap.

all the nhl network games have been unavailable this season on time warner, thankfully i've got friends who have directv and the nhl network so i was able to watch a few of them at their place.

this is the last straw, i am getting directv this summer.


chris e said...

I'm with you Pensgirl. If we end up playing Washington I will get to see a playoff game live!

johnny said...


Couldn't agree with you more about the disgusting state of hockey coverage in Florida. Our craptastic Fox Sports down here plays nothing but Lightning with some Panthers games thrown in.

On the bright side, I did get to see Gorzo nearly decapitate some middle aged lady with his bat tonight, and streaming the game is a worthy substitute.

johnny said...

Mike Lange is going bananas!


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