Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Winter In The Sun-Winter Classic

We are still in mourning over the loss of Bubba.

First and foremost we are animal lovers, mostly because humans hate us.

R.I.P. Bubba.
God's Speed.


Game #39

Rather than waste time in another post, why not relive one of the most spectular events of our lives.

From the battles in the parking lot, all the way to Bing stunning the world, it was one hell of a way to bring in the new year.

It is a miracle some of us even got home.


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2 - 1

[ NHL.com RECAP ]
[ Yahoo Photos ]

Any foreword that we type here would not do this game justice.

Just unreal.


Lord Therrien prepares his team.


We had a solid view of the teams walking out of the endzone tunnel.
Daryl Sydor said he got chills. Had nothing to do with the weather.

Watching the players come out of the tunnel was about as surreal as it gets.


Look at those people. Unbelievable atmosphere.

They came out with "O Canada" to start the anthems, which wasn't bad at all.
Anyone who likes hockey knows Canada is the sport's motherland, and it should be respected in a game like this.
You can couple that with the fact that the Ralph is about 20-30 minutes from the border.

And then, to stun the world, the NHL brings in that dude who sings "God Bless America" at Yankee games.


Maybe we have tunnel vision. We know they're honoring U.S. troops.
But, wow, no national anthem.
Jeff Jimmerson wouldn't have stood for this.

After the anthems, there was a flyover, which is noticeably absent from the AP pictures of the game.
[PittsburghPenguins.com] had a nice one.

They had to do a helicopter flyover.
We're gonna make something up and say that using fighter jets would be dicey considering it's so close to Canada air space.

Then again, aren't Canada and the U.S. together in their air-force business or something?

We pulled that reason out of our ass, but it sounds good to us.



Well, that didn't take very long.
We've jobbed Sidney Crosby relentlessly for not being able to deliver the "Lemieux moment."
He gave us two reasons in the Winter Classic to take that label and distinguish it...until he doesn't bury a wrap-around in the third period of a 2-2 game in March.

He comes out flying down the left wing 15 seconds into the game, drives the net, Colby Armstrong is there to pick up the trash. 1-0.

It was almost a moment of disbelief.
All the hype surrounding this game, and a goal is scored off the opening faceoff.
Pens fans were pinching themselves.
You literally could not believe it.
Our section was full of Pens fans.
It was bedlam.
Top 10 moment in our lives.

( Jason G. )

After all the trash talk in the parking lots, after all the chants back and forth between Sabres fans and Pens fans, after all the cheers for Sabres players, after all all the Pens players' cheers being drowned out by boos from Sabres fans...

All of a sudden, there wasn't a Sabre fan to be found.

Bing reacts to the stench permeating from Sabres fans

We usually type these recaps during games just for the sake of time.
Going to games really jobs these recaps, but thankfully there wasn't all that much to write home about, besides, you know, the outdoors thing.

The Winter Classic was the only time when it was imperative to go the men's room in pairs.

Someone accused a Pens fan of writing "Ron Paul" on a bathroom door, and then they threw some anti-Pittsburgh sentiments out into the air.

There's nothing more degrading in the world than when you're trying to take a piss and some other dude starts bumping you and pushing you and telling you that Crosby sucks.
If that bathroom was this blog, Pensblog Adam would have turned around, pissed on the dude's shoe, and gave him the Razor's Edge.
But this was the real world, so he finished up, did a quick jiggle, touched the back of a Sabres fan "to gently push through the crowd" in order to clear his hands of any residual urine, washed his hands with the tears of Sabres fans, and went back to his seat.

The obligatory shot of a fan with his hands raised in a touchdown signal with the rink in the background.
Tocchet jersey. Nasty.

The first period essentially belonged to the Pens.
They had a couple power plays and they were controlling the action.

Sabres fans were getting excited when their team was finally able to carry the puck through the neutral zone.

Sabres fans love the "Let's Go Buffalo" chant.
And they find nothing better than exclaiming "Welcome to Pominville!"

It was sometime during the first period that the first problems with the ice surface became apparent.
They were many extended stoppages in play, because that's what happens when the NFL is involved in any way, shape, or form.

People who cover the NHL and find nothing better than to kick it when it's down...they'll tell you these sporadic ice repairs were a travesty.

On the TV side, it may have been annoying, but in the Ralph, it gave you time to look around and take in the whole atmosphere, which Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said he was doing during the breaks as well.
They were not a big deal at all. It comes with the environment.


Who wears eyeblack?


The other huge moment in the first period came later on, as the Sabres started mounting some pressure.
Someone made a sick pass. It looked like the Sabres had a goal.

But in pure Grant Fuhr fashion, Ty Conklin lays his life on the line by doing a ninja flop across the crease and gets a piece of it with his stick.
Upon further review, the puck hit the crossbar.
But he still looked sick.

ConkBlock city

The Pens got out of the first period with the lead, but you could feel the Sabres lurking.


Sabres mascot Sabretooth takes time during a break in the action to expose himself to fans.



If it wasn't for former Sabres goalie Ty Conklin, the second frame would have been Chernobyl time.

Early in the second, Brian Campbell, solid d-man, takes advantage of getting the puck all by himself in the faceoff circle and fires a wrister past Conklin. 1-1.

What a shot.


The rest of the second was Sabresblog. And yet again, without typing as we watch, we can't bring much to the table in regards to intricacies of the game action.

During another break in the action to do some patchwork on the ice, Mario Lemieux issues an Amber Alert for Evgeni Malkin.

Lemieux -- Did you even play today?
Malkin -- Did you get those jeans at Gabe's? Your seat's up in the press box joke.

This was the first game of the season that Malkin wasn't a presence at all.
And except for the first and last plays, neither was Crosby.
Old Man Winter took center stage on this day.

We reiterate that it was the Ty Conklin Show from the first intermission onward.

Due to our lack of game details, it's time again to blast some people.

We were lucky enough to sit amongst a solid contingent of Pens fans in Section 243, the seats from the national anthem pic above.

There was a Sabres fan at the bottom of our section with his girlfriend, and he was mud.
He kept trying to start things with us, knowing there were 60,000 Sabres fans waiting to annihilate anyone who touched him.
Luckily, there was a Pens guy in our section who would stand up and dance and give everyone the finger.

Brett Hull called.
He wants his hat back.



Sam Roberts band plays.
No one has any clue who they are.

It was bad, let;s just leave it at that.



Easily the most anticipated 20 minutes of the season.
Snow started dominating the world big-time.
You expect to see Dennis Quaid walking through the Ralph.

Ad nauseam blog, we don't have the skinny on the third-period action.

The Sabres definitely had more of a physical presence than the Pens, and that came centerstage when they showed the "hits of the game," one of which showed Brian Campbell leaving his skates to illegally job Ryan Malone.

There was fire emitting from Conklin in the third, attributing to some more ice patchwork being needed.

Picture: A fan not knowing what to do in a stadium where the home team actually wins AFC Championship Games.

In one of the most awkward moments in professional sports, the teams acknowledge that the clock would be stopping at the 10:00 mark so the teams could switch sides.
Fans who don't read stuff on the internet are stunned.

Old Man Winter and Father Time started making out as the third hit the homestretch.
And the old "at least get the point" thought started popping into our heads.

The Pens survive the third period, but Colby Armstrong goes off at the end of regulation for hooking, giving the Sabres a 4-on-3 for two minutes in overtime.

Pens fans everywhere unite.
Maybe the most nerve-racking two minutes of the season thus far.
This game felt like a playoff game.

Just unreal.



Surrounded by 71,000-plus, and Colby Armstrong has never felt more lonely.

With the snow driving, amidst 71,000 screaming Ralph Wilson fanatics, the Pittsburgh Penguins discovered who they were.
On the guts of Hall, Staal, and Scoods, backs against the wall, they stood up for us all.
It was the dance of champions.

Halfway through the PK, the Pens get it out of the zone, giving Pens fans the chance to show their unwavering support of the PK.

The Sabres brought it back in and were able to set it up again.
A couple more scares, and Colby came flying out of the box.
A huge sigh of relief.

We were preparing our exit strategy in the chance that the Sabres got one past Conk.
It would have been devasting.

Although promised, the teams didn't switch ends at the halfway mark of OT, as they did in the third period.
NBC was probably pushing things along.

The OT goes to all zeros, which brings what the NHL and NBC had wet dreams about.
Everyone just turned to each other in disbelief.


First up for the Sabres was Ales Kotalik.

He beats Conk straight-up. 1-0.

We're hockey fans. In this world, there are few things quite as awesome as hearing the collective "MMMYYEEEAARRRGGGGHHH!" from the 60,000 Sabres fans in attendance when that puck got past Conklin.
Goosebumps city.

Jason S. showed us this unreal site from [ YTMND ] regarding Kotalik and Connolly.
Definitely click that.

Christo was first up for the Pens.
There was a palpable feeling before he even touched the puck that it wasn't gonna be his day.
No dice.

At that point it looked as if we were doomed.

But Ty Conklin wasn't done yet.

Tim Connolly comes down with the weight of Gary Roberts on his shoulders.
He chokes. Wide right.

Who's it gonna be? Malkin? Sykora? Crosby?
Nope. Kris Legame hops over the bench.
He comes up huge with a solid backhand that turns Ryan Miller into a woman.

[Ryan P]

The final shooter for the Sabres was the only name that strikes fear into your balls simply because he's fast and it's a sick name.

Maxim Afinojokov thought he had a goal, but Conk shows up at 1:00am at your local bar to take the puck home with him.

Right after the save.
Pens fans everywhere know.
Our section, to the man, woman, and whatever else, starts chanting.
We have never chanted another man's name before.
But it had to be done.

It was a fairy-tale story that even Disney would have thought too improbable to tell.

Winter Classic
The game resting on Bing's stick as boos resonate the Ralph.
All game long, Sabre fans had told us the Penguins suck, Crosby is a joke.
Eat it.

This is the moment we have all waited for.

Sid skates down.

He takes his time, doesn't lose the puck.

Quick deke. The puck disappears.
Time stands still.

If you were at the game, you may have been watching for Sid's reaction.
You may have seen the puck go through and began celebrating immediately.
You could have waited an extra 8 seconds for the goal light to go on.

On the TV side, you wait for Doc Emerick's "HE sskeeeeeeeoooooorreeeeesssss!!!!!"

By that time, you're making out with someone.
Penguin fans never see eye to eye on much at times.

But for the briefest of moments, all the disagreements, all the jobbing, all the ill-will....
It disappeared.

All you could do was hug, high-five, and embrace complete strangers wearing Penguins stuff.


  • Bing: 1 A
  • Army: 1G
  • Conk: Just unreal. At least 30,000 saves


The Good

-- [ Fanhouse ] has a couple solid posts on the game.
-- David Shoalts dominates at [ The Globe and Mail ]

The Bad

-- Scott Burnside over at [ ESPN ] is never happy.
-- Bib Dicesare at [ The Buffalo News ] acts like the Winter Classic had sex with his wife.

The Capitals Fans

-- The game was rigged so Crosby could net the game-winner. [ Jobber Message Board ]
Are you serious?

[Taking One For The Team] wraps things up nicely.

And for the final time, there are too many links to list.


We were stunned by how many A-hole Sabres fans there were.
But we know they do not speak for all Sabre fans.
There may have been a few jerk-off Pens fans as well.

It was an intense scene. Two passionate fan bases.
We would've liked to see a little more presence of security.

But we didn't hear that much anyway.
We have two Stanley cup rings stuck in our ears.


  • The parking lots after the game were a travesty. Anyone have any idea what happened?
  • Give it up to the NHL, Sabres, and Ralph Wilson stadium for perfectly walking the line between touting this unique game while also maintaining it as a home game for the Sabres.
  • The action was hard to pick up only a couple of times.
  • With outdoor games comes complications of the unknown. The stoppages in play easily attributed to the game's lack of flow, but if that's your reason to shrug this game off, don't come here.
  • A lot of big-name advertisers jumped onto the Winter Classic. Great to see.
  • Sabres fans are in love with Lindy Ruff.
  • This is the start of a New Year's Day tradition. Take it to the bank.
  • In the endzone under the scoreboard, it was not cold at all. We weren't being dominated by wind, and it was, dare we say, comfortable.
  • Opposing teams have to come up with something better than chants that Crosby sucks. We get it. But really does he really suck? Come on.
  • The uniform colors coupled with the color motif of the game was aesthetically pleasing. One of the gayest sentences we have ever typed.
  • Thanks for all the Pens fans we saw at the game, and the Pens fans watching at home for that matter. We may never even know each other. But it was all of us against the world. It was a great day to be a fan.


A lot of personal videos from Pens fans are showing up online.

Here is one from [LGP] poster "roller81" on youtube.




Some guy sounds like he reached his climax.
Thats how we all felt.

Here a personal video of the Bagpipes.
Credit goes to [LGP] poster "Dr. Boni."

CBC Montage.
Found by Poster [Eaglemorph] on LGP


Another update.

Dr. of photoshops J Schiff sent this in.

Click to enlarge

Here is the whole game for those who missed it.


You can download it.
You have to give the three digit code in the right hand corner.

Huge thanks to Eric P.



Mike Lange's call of the goal. [ WXDX]

[Picture+3.<span class=



[Michael W]

"Pittsburgh has a great team, great people, great organization. I had to compare the two teams, and there's a little better chance to win the Cup in Detroit. I had a great time with Sid and playing on the power play with Geno [Evgeni Malkin], but the team in Detroit is something special. I know it's a short term, but we never talked about a one-year [deal] with Pittsburgh. We just talked about a long-term deal. I totally believe Detroit has the kind of team that can win it again."

--Hossa 3:16--

Go Pens


slush said...

man, that game was the shiz.

Po' said...

still get chills reading about it...thank god i had a tv at work that day, i might have gone insane if i hadn't seen it

bee said...

i watched that game last night actually

btumpak said...

goosebumps! not the books you douche.. i think i was still up drinking when that happened

StillsandNash said...

I just orgasmed 30,000 times

wilsmith said...

I cant believe it took till january 1 for the conolly and kotalik video to make an appearance on here

Lady Jaye said...

Awww, good times. Good times. I wish I could watch that game again for the first time.

TheFandangler said...

Mid-day post...


penstone410 said...

wake up hungover
read that post
i have life in me again
i feel as though i can make it to the start of hockey season
thanks tPB
thanks winter classic

RIP bubba

dlonlo said...

Wow, TIOPS is a joke no posts since 1:45 on sunday

canaan said...

i think this post got me pregnant.

Joose said...

Bubba looks a lot like my Leroy Brown. :(

I have missed so much during the past week due to time spent at the beach. I need to go back and read all of the posts I have missed.

sh0ez said...

Such an unreal experience.

curtO. said...

Loved being there for it. Drive up was beautiful, New Year's in Buffalo partying with other Pens fans and Andrew Dice-Clay, tailgating starting at 8:30, the game, the day after. It's all a blur now, but loved every minute of it.

A once in a lifetime thing. Don't think I could ever duplicate it.

RIP Bubba.

Victor Raison said...

I think this recap will effectively and completely eliminate Tony Robbins' usefulness on this Earth.

Colin said...

Man, I really miss the "Miscellaneous" section of recaps.

TheNWChica said...

The only good thing about coming back to work is being able to read Pensblog during the day. Whooooo!

and I need to gets me a winter classic jersey...just not sure whose.

J.S. said...

was going through a link that a friend sent me.

Billy Tibbetts is not an excellent driver. 7 citations in slightly over a year while in WB/S, although two of them look like they might be from the same offense.

RedWings said...

J.S. said...
was going through a link that a friend sent me.

Billy Tibbetts is not an excellent driver. 7 citations in slightly over a year while in WB/S, although two of them look like they might be from the same offense.

His driving is a hell of a lot better than his previous convictions.

Lady Jaye said...

Me = slow

RIP Bubba. I always wanted an orange kitty. I'm jealous. Only had black and white ones.

Is it sad that my 4 year old is waiting for my cat to kick it... in like two or three years... so she can get a guinea pig?

sh0ez said...

More NHL 08 boredom.

Peso scores his first goal for the Pens!

Free Candy for Sutherby? Yeah, he didn't get back up.

The Goon Blogger said...

Winter Classic=Winter Classic. 'Nuff said.

Ryan Whitney is getting defended more then OJ Simpson right now on facebook. The 1,000,000 (or whatever big number it is) Pens Fans group is buring with Civil War over Whits.

Colin said...

In the first locker room pic, why does Mr. KENNEDY have his helmet on before his jersey? Weird.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the awesome recap! It was nice reliving one of the best games of the year. I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but I fell asleep during the game. Probably somewhere between the second and third periods. We traveled to Florida that morning and I was so tired from the trip that I couldn't stay awake. :(

That was part of the reason and the fact that there were long periods of time where there was nothing going on. I did watch the OT and the shootout however.

Every Pens fan should have some kind of memorablilia from this game!

sh0ez said...

Played the Sharks. Went down 1-0 in the 1st. Scored 6 unanswered goals. Three per period. Amazing. Even Gill scored. 4 of the 6 goals were scored by picking the corner and shooting it over Nabokov's shoulder.

Malkin stuns Marleau into the glass.

Crosby gets a hat-trick.

Oh yeah, the lines I'm using are:


It works quite well.

Max Power said...

Most Buff fans were dicks. We got in 2 fights and they weren't even at the game. It was at Casino Niagara after the game. A Talbot jersey looks so much better with someone else's blood on it.

@ chica

I think a Colby jersey would be the way to go.

Annie said...

I didn't get to tell you guys last night, but I'm so sorry about your kitty. :( I gave my weird cat Homie extra cuddles this morning in Bubba's memory. I'm sure he's in kitty heaven chasing butterflies and eating fish.

And with regards to the Winter Classic, it was this that finally made me a true hockey fan. I had always liked hockey and the Pens since my brother started playing when he was little, but I didn't start following them religiously until I saw this game.


The Goon Blogger said...


I'm being defiant and buying a Whitney jersey. Whit was a monster in the playoffs, overshadwed by only Brooks Orpik IMO and I think he's on his way to stepping into Gonchar's shoes. He answered the call for toughness as well when he BEAT. THE. PISS. Out of Wade Redden.

lis said...

We've jobbed Sidney Crosby relentlessly for not being able to deliver the "Lemieux moment."
He gave us two reasons in the Winter Classic to take that label and distinguish it...until he doesn't bury a wrap-around in the third period of a 2-2 game in March.

OR when he doesn't get enough on his shot with seconds to go in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final!!!!


Victor Raison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victor Raison said...

Speaking of the Winter Classic, feel like dropping 45 grand or so on a jersey?


brndlynn said...

midday posts always catch me off guard.

I just watched this game again last night. no matter how many times you watch it it will give you chills. just incredible.

akus said...

Things i need in my life since reading tPB.

1) HD TV=crack

2) PSP NHL09=sweet

3)Updated Hamster wheel, or a real internet connection=welcome to the 21st century.

Cdubbs29 said...

Bob Smizik pisses everyone off...From whereisvanslyke.blogspot.com...

"Renewing the Smizik Ban

Two and a half years ago, I set a policy for WHYGAVS that I called "The Bob Smizik Ban." The post is related to a piece that is no longer relevant, but the conclusion to the post from that day was this:

This is why I avoid Smizik as much as possible. He looks at what people are saying that might be positive about something, and then does his best to piss all over it. Almost everything he says about the Pirates is said simply to be contrary to popular opinion.

This is important because he's rolled out another column today, calling everyone that likes the Bay and Nady trades "apologists" and utilizing with the royal "we" as if he speaks for himself, every writer at the PG, and every Pirate fan with a brain cell. He doesn't, but discussing his columns ad nauseum on the internet makes him think that he does. I'm going to stop giving him the satisfaction of doing so."

akus said...

Shoes required;

Breaking Ground

bluzdude said...

This post gave me chills... so good to relive that game again. What a way to start the year.

RIP to Bubba...
I'm with ya... it's been 14 years and I still mourn the loss of our family cat. It's not every day that you get a really good one.

akus said...


A word that comes to mind is arrogant.

The purpose of arrogance is to let those whom you do not really value anyway know that you are better than them at a certain activity or in character.

akus said...

I was reading over at


Who he felt are the Caps top 10 rivals. The Pens are #1 on his list.
Most of those who commented agreed with that.

Though i did find this one comment interesting.

"I'd say the Pens but the weird thing is, it's not exactly a mutual rivalry. I bet 75% of Pens fans would say Philly is their #1 rival."

As the boys said after winning Game 5 in the SCF,

F`ckin Right


I keep thinking there must be a new post up because i am the only one posting.

Shit happens.

TheFandangler said...


It's just slow. I'm here, popping in and out.

debrisslide said...

At least Bubba saw the Winter Classic. The moments in that game were so clutch.

Capitals fans hate the Penguins because they touch themselves imagining that their team could be as good.

Hip said...

seriously, exaggerations like Conk with at least 30,000 saves - that shit just makes me smile



bee said...

"lemieux issues an amber alert for evgeni malkin"

got me through my never-ending day at work today

Stoosh said...

Bubbablog -

Didn't get a chance to say anything last night, but us Stooshes - me, Christine and Buddy - offer our condolences to Bubba's family. RIP, Bubba.

Gave Buddy an extra hug today when I got home from work.

Stoosh said...

A lot of Flyers fans don't really consider the Pens to be their #1 rival. I think it's mostly because the Flyers were so dominant in the head-to-head matchups for so long. I think they've generally considered the Devils, Caps and Rangers to be bigger rivals than the Pens.

The Flyers fans, though, have never had to deal with a situation where the team that they bullied for most of their history stood up with all the chips on the table, punched them in the mouth and...well...

Steve In Denver said...

1/1/08 was just balls. What a way to start the year off.

I love the first pic of Bing's shootout chance - most of the players are beaming on the bench in the background, especially Malone.

Sorry to hear about Bubbal...cats = most underrated pets. 1st ballot kitty HOF for work on the blog.

Steve In Denver said...

No "l" in Bubba = my bad.

KaylaJ said...

poor kitty. i had to go thru that some years ago and no matter how many times you tell yourself they had a good life etc, it still hurts. we haven't taken my last dog's ashes out of the box or moved them since we got them, i could never do it :(

but to make me a bit happier, the 1/01 game was awesome. even though i was thousands of miles away with no snow, it was AMAZING!

eileenover said...

The Winter Classic was just amazing. What a great way to start a new year. Especially when you totaled your mom's car the night before.

brndlynn said...

the new flash at the bottom of the page is looking like its going to be great. good job guys!

Hip said...


more details please

eileenover said...

I was driving home at night from Olive Garden with my friends. No I was not drinking. My other friends were driving behind me, and thought it would be fun to tailgate me. I looked in my mirror and started veering off onto the shoulder. I went to straighten the car back onto the road, and it just started spinning. No snow, no rain. I still don't understand how it happened.

Doc Nagel said...

In January, we lost our beloved Lancelot. He hailed from the animal shelter on the North Shore, and was a Penguins fan (I believe so, at least). He chased pucks all around the TV screen during Pens games.

He was orange too.

Anyway, best wishes.

eileenover said...

I guess I killed c-blog.

StillsandNash said...

I love the new page


Nick Saia (usa) said...

creamed my jeans....

sh0ez said...

New flashblog = Amazing.

TheFandangler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheFandangler said...

A good flash really gets me goin',

debrisslide said...

I also concur that the new flashblog is the best yet. I love the navigability of the schedule!

debrisslide said...

P.S. will the dates on the calendars on the schedule eventually link to recaps?!?!?!?!

cdubbs29 said...

anyone know how i can get the winter classic onto the mp4 so I can get it onto my ipod? Ive tried some converters but they only do the first 10 mins cause i didnt pay the ridiculous amount for the full version


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