Friday, February 29, 2008

beat down

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Who would have ever thought that the game you anticipated the most, would have been one you'd just rather not have seen... and even secretly hoped was all just a dream?

Marian Hossa's debut as a Penguin in Boston... all eyes, even the jealous ones who didn't get him on their team, were watching. And we failed miserably.

Conklin looked subpar at best. They were scoring on us easier than the town tramp on a Friday night. It was really quite hard to watch. In the back of my head I kept thinking... they'll come back from this, they are the cardiac kids. Bah... no go.

A small glimmer of hope was when Conk got pulled after letting in that 3rd goal right off the start of the second period, and Fleury went into the net. Even seeing that renewed my hope of coming back from a 3-0 deficit. Not a chance :\

But I will say Fleury looked good, played the puck a little more than what I've seen him do in the past, but last night's loss wasn't on his shoulders. We'll just blame it on new team members not meshing yet... yeah.. that's the ticket...

Of course Hossa getting hurt, geez... is this team made of glass or what? One could almost hear the laughing coming from Montreal and Ottawa, I even had an online friend, a tried and true Canadians fan, told me it was karma! :P

Thankfully, the estimates are that Hossa will only be out a week or so. Then it has to be any day now that Sid should return. I'm willing to give the team a few games and practices to get their stuff in sync. It's just that this time of year, every loss just hurts a little bit more at the ultimate goal... da cup.

Management is serious, they want the prize. Jordon Staal says they've got the team to do it now. So what are we waiting for?

Let's roll.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Weekend woe's... and the aftermath

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Bare with me while I play a little bit of 'catch up'.

Just when things looked up ... the bottom dropped out.

First it was losing to the Sens on Saturday.. just barely.. in OT. More precisely, with 3.2 seconds left to go in the overtime period. Ouch. That hurt... I think it would have hurt less to be poked in the gut with a stick.

So, not having much time to get over that nasty loss, another 3pm the next day against the Sharks started with the blood letting of a zamboni. Well... at least that's what it looked like :P But in the same fashion it all came down to OT, then the shoot out. Maybe I felt a bit over confident going into the shoot out. I mean, Rutuu, Letang.. even Christensen. Conklin stopped some scary shots thru the game, but it seems when it came down to some one on one action, he choked. He didn't stop a one. *sigh* So.. again... we lost.

Now we try to get past all this. Correction, we have to. To sort of cheer myself up, I decide to watch Buffalo on Monday night beat up on Philly. Bah... even that wasn't to be, pesky Sabres lost to them in a shoot out. Cripe. >_<

(Ok... I just lost 3 major paragraphs about the Armstrong, Christensen, Esposito trade!!! I refuse to go back and redo it! Safe to say I'm gonna miss ya Army!!!)

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How will Hossa fit into all this? Is he going to be the winger Crosby has wanted all this time, and really needed? Only time will tell. The mind reels at what the new line possibilities could be, again... all wait and see. Hopefully, on Thursday night in Boston, we'll get a hint of what's to come when Sidney returns.

As for last nights game against the Islanders, we were a little cheated. Chris Simon got sent to the Minnesota Wild in the trade negotiations, which maybe was for the best. The Pens were shorthanded player wise, not having Colby or Christensen. And it took until the end of the first period for the two fill ins from WBS to get there. Nice.

The fact we were able to get two goals under those circumstances makes you realize just how bad the Islanders suck. So we let them score one as well. Then Jordon Staal woke up and decided to score a goal rather than take another round in the sin bin. A few minutes later Conner James who missed the whole first period coming late from WBS, scores his first NHL goal, making it 4-1. The Isles score one more, finally ending the game for a Pens win 4-2. That win was really needed.

Today we're now left to collect ourselves and reshift our focus to the end of the season. Ray Shero has set the bar high, it's a given getting Hossa they're minds up in the front office are we're making a cup run. If we keep going with Malkin as he is, and these young guys finding their niches, Sid coming back any day now... I say... do it.

I'm right behind ya boys... Let's go Pens!


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Friday, February 22, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

1 win + 1 win = 1st place !

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Am I excited to be a Pens fan? Do you dare have to even ask?!?!

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So it was a very... very... productive hockey weekend in the 'Burgh!

Saturday afternoons game against the failing LA Kings, would as most had hoped have predictable results. But hey folks! This is the NHL, nothing is taken for granted. Just the Thursday before, the same poor performing Kings took down Detroit.

I sort of enjoy these 'matinee' games, starting at 1pm on a Saturday in February. What else is there to do? Might as well enjoy some hockey, right!?

Suffice to say the game went as all Penguins fans could have hoped for. With a goal from Malkin in the first period, followed by another in the second, then 2 more from Malone and Staal, one would have thought it was all locked up.

4-0... that's it... right?

Not so right... meh.

LA got two, what I call... 'gimme'.. goals. The Pens just gave them up, and terribly at that. No reason either of those goals should have been scored, game should of ended 4-0... not 4-2. Ahh well, we'll happily take the win, but Sabu needs to be watching out for his job anyway, what with Conk being so stellar in the net, and MAF getting ever closer to returning.

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As entertaining and satisfying as Saturdays win was, it was just the primer for Sundays game against the much hated Flyers. Yeah.. those rat bastards. As much as I miss Sid playing, a tiny part of me was glad he wasn't there for the game. After the utter chaos that was part of the Flyers - Rangers game the day before ( a full line on line fight.. wth? ) you had to know the Broad Street Bullies would be out in full force.

Of course when Umberger scores right off the bat, you hold yourself, and hope that it's not gonna end the way the previous 4 meetings with Philthadelphia (misspelled wrong intentionally, tyvmkthx). We needed.. more importantly.. we wanted.. to win this one, and on home ice.

Before the first period ends, Petr Sykora answers the call and ties it all up, 1-1.

But.. haha... the highlight of it all. Since Ben Eager got his sorry butt traded, and there was no way to get justice on him, next best candidate, and thug wannabe, Steve Downie starts up with Jarkko Rutuu. Both got in some shots, but Rutuu wore the pansy Downie down, and whooped him till he literally broke away from the fight and skated away! When did you ever see that in a hockey fight? Maybe on your grade school playground, but not in hockey!

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Rutuu making Downie his beeyaahtch... :P

The Russian duo of Malkin and Gonchar score in the second period, and we get several shots of Geno's parents who are in attendance. How cool. And shockingly enough, there were no penalties in the second period!

Kris Letang scored a sick goal in the third in between two goals by the Flyers Umberger and Scott Hartnell, the last of which should have never happened. Conk supposedly got his stick caught in the boards where the zamboni comes out. My thinking is on this... he has to know that's a vulnerable spot, right? Oh well.. it happened.

But taking down our rivals on a winters afternoon felt great. Makes a true fan anticipate the next time. Shame we have to wait until March 16th. :P

We take on Boston tomorrow, then Carolina on Thursday... let's roll :)

Some thoughts...

Fleury has been sent to Wilkes-Barre for conditioning for two weeks, is MAF that close to returning? Please... say yes! The debate on his playing over Conklin will continue up and until Fleury reappears in the lineup. I think he needs to be played, agreeably not alot at first, but he was our first string guy, the teams guy, and deserves to reclaim his spot. Not to diminish Conks play, but he's been in the league enough years, that if he was that good consistantly, he'd be someones first goalie... or maybe I'm wrong on that.

The brutal cut Richard Zendrik took to his throat during Sunday nights game with Buffalo and Florida was tough to watch. Mega kudos to the medical staff on hand for getting him the attention he needed quickly. Healing prayers sent out to Richard, and hope he's better real soon.

Gary Roberts is on his skates and looking as tough as nails. Today we're proudly wearing our new WWGRD shirt, ordered over at the Pensblog. GREAT SHIRT :)

Malkin is the beast we knew him to be. The fact that he's snaking his way up the points leaders list is a good sight to see, especially since he's closing in on fellow Russian Ovechkin. We're just bummed that it could be him and Sidney battling for that spot. Wouldn't that be great?

Speaking of all things Crosby...

He's not only skating again, he's skating with the team during practice. Yeah.. we love that. He's got the yellow, no contact jersey on, but it's letting us hope that its the light at the end of the tunnel we're seeing and hoping for.

This team has surprised and not disappointed in the slightest since he's been gone, and that's a great thing. But having him back would just make a good thing better. And with news Ottawa has traded for Carolinas Cory Stillman, and Commodore.. we're gonna need him.

With that said... Let's Go Pens!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Doing a little catch up

Ok, so real life interferes sometimes, but only in blog land. I should say that I have not wavered or diverted my attention from the Penguins, or hockey in general, but you know, sometimes life kinda sidetracks you, and my blog is usually the one to suffer. And I get easily off course. Meh..

So where does that leave me?

Since the win in New Jersey that I last posted about, we've taken a few knocks, most noticeably the night against Atlanta and Mark Recchi. How bad does that hurt.. and suck? For all the good things one could say about the Thrashers and the other more talented members of their team, losing to them all because of Recchi is on the squad just stinks.

But.. we digress.. we have to..

Febuary started out rather promising, having the Carolina Hurricanes come into town fresh from the All Star game, Eric Stall almost didn't even seem to be there. Instead, little brother Jordan and the rest of the Pens kicked some butt, taking the 'Canes down 4-1.

Alright, so it's been a week since we took down the Devils in their own house, and we were back there again this past Monday. Who the hell makes these schedules anyhow? Regardless, to say that I was hopeful for another romp, is an understatement. As it was, seems the people of New Jersey thought they'd lose again too, still no one at these games, what's wrong with them over there? Pfft...

The Pens at times seemed like greased lightning, taking the puck in and leading 3-1 at one point. The fact that NJ came back in the 3rd and tied it up to send it to overtime made me sick. But, a 2 goal lead in the NHL is not a sure thing. Go figure :P

Going into OT was torture. And sadly the torture didn't last the full 5 minutes. Devils score, game over, we lose. Blah...

Where does that leave us now?

Well tonight we have the Islanders at the Mellon Arena, they're in 13th place in the Eastern Conference... let's get a win here... please?

Dany Heatley is coming back tonight after his shoulder seperation??? Bet Ottawa is really liking the sounds of that.

Sidney Crosby was skating yesterday... is this a good thing? Let's certainly hope so.

The Sabres shootout win against the Devils last night... sweet.

The Captials beating the F*in' Flyers also last night... sweeter still.

Tonight we need to win to get back into a tie for first place in our division with the Flyers... Let's do it.

Hey, Rick Tocchet is back with the Coyotes... wanna make a bet? Ok.. that was in bad taste :P
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