Monday, June 30, 2008

Malone, Roberts... gone.. let's move on

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It's a done deal. Ryan Malone will be heading south to join the likes of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Who would have even thought that possible? I guess I sort of held out hope he'd take the home town discount and stay with the Penguins, but in the end, I guess when the all mighty dollar calls out your name, it's hard not to answer with a yes.

He even got the $4.5 million he was looking for too.

Just like anything else anymore... there is no loyalty anywhere. Except for me, I'll always be a loyal Pens fan, win or lose.

Gary Roberts also heading out with him was not a big surprise. He already said last week he'd not be returning to the Penguins. One has to wonder if the money was there for him, if he would have even stayed in Pittsburgh. Thanks to the Pensblog, and his own tough determination, the city of Pittsburgh embraced the guy as if he were one of their own. The cult of Scary Gary will surely miss him, myself included.

The crazyness over what will go down tomorrow is almost hard to describe. Players will be signed, some let go, and others moving on to other pastures more green. Could Marian Hossa be one of these?

A very interesting article, one that has finally said what I have thought and mentioned here a few times. And all in The Hockey News. Hossa is terrific, but he's not all that. A great read, and hey.. for those of you with short attention spams, it's not too long either. Read it HERE.

Yet, before it even starts... seems Tampa Bay is going all Kevin Lowe before things begin. The Minnesota Wild traded the rights to Brian Rolston to the Lightning for a draft pick. Big question in my mind is..... what in the hey are they doing? Guess with the raise in the salary cap, they're pushing it to the limit. Can they keep paying these players they have now past this season?

Whateveh...

Stay tuned for the loonieness that is the beginning of free agency, that all begins tomorrow. Wee...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Counting down

A new feature... though not functioning I'm sure... with the correct date.

Once the new schdule for the Penguins come out, I shall be sure and adjust that to read the correct start to the season, as of now... 99 days still seems like a long way away!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Random musings...

Ok, this is going to be a no fuss, no muss blog post. But hey, it's hockey related, so nothing wrong with that. Also feeling to lazy to log into my Photobucket account to add any graphics to this so... getovahit.

For the Penguins, Friday and Saturday's draft was merely a little diversion from the regular schdule of day to day operations. With the Pens not having a pick until round 4, what do you expect to get excited about?

I still watched the whole first round on Friday night, just cuz I'm a hockey addict, but that's already a well known fact. :) I saw parts here and there on the NHL networks replay of the following rounds on Saturday.

Some interesting highlights...

Phoenix not only gets Olie Olkin (sp?) from the Florida Panthers, they also snag the last Staal brother. Shame he went to a western conference team... one less chance to hear that he's related to Eric, Jorden, or Marc any time the teams play each other. :P

Speaking of brothers... the Islanders snagged Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks) younger brother David.

Something interesting for Pittsburgh fans, Philly's big goal scorer during the playoffs, R.J. Umberger got sent to Columbus. Not sure why, but this move surprised me. I'm sure he'll be happy anyway to be back in the capital of Ohio... he's an Ohio State alumni.

Other news of note... (sorta?)

Gary Roberts will leave Pittsburgh, and play somewhere else next season. His choice. Gotta respect the dude for leaving, giving Ray Shero room for paying some other players. Actually, he knows he didn't stand a chance given his age, and his 2.5 million dollar salary. Good move to leave on your own accord, he'll be sadly missed... *sniff*...

No matter how much the media wants to send him there, Evgeni Malkin is not interested in playing in Russia for the big bucks. But it seems Wayne Gretzky would have in his day... schmuck.

Has Pittsburgh by any chance ruined Ryan Malones chances of getting the $5 million he wants? Several teams are interested in him, but looking and seeing that the Pens aren't willing to pay that much to keep him, maybe they are sitting back and wondering why they should? Instead only willing to cough up $4-4.5 at the most? Wait and see, eh?

The NHL suspends the owner of the Ducks..... what the hey? Legal issues... anyone care?

One of the more amusing hockey news items. It has been hinted at now for a couple weeks that everyone's favorite (though not mine!) mullet, Barry Melrose, would be the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and so be it... he is. Wow. You get the first pick of the draft, and then you hire a guy who hasn't coached in 13 years? Makes no sense. And even when he did coach, he wasn't that good. Not even having someone the caliber of Wayne Gretzky on his team didn't help him, and according to him, coaching Wayne was his (only) claim to fame.

Well there is that show he does on ESPN about hockey....

Then there is the whole Marian Hossa junk. I hate to say I told you so, and I know I was in the minority here... but mark my words. He'll leave Pittsburgh for greener (dollars) patures. And in reality, I just didn't think he was that great.

Ok... stone me now.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2008 NHL Draft

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So, hockey has been over... for the most part... for some of us for little over 2 weeks now. And with that time, I've taken a little hockey vacation. Though admittedly it's a pretty tough thing for me to do. The self imposed vacation just kept me from watching anything on the NHL netowork, and thinking about blog postings.

It did include reading my Hockey News, the Pensblog, and listening to Home Ice on XM.

Tonight at 7pm is the first round of the NHL entry draft. Supposedly the Penguins don't have any picks in the first round. With that said, deals and wheels are in motion behind the scenes. Issues and deals are being whispered about behind closed doors... and sometimes those doors do indeed have ears.

To even being speculating on the numerous trade rumors would just do nothing constructive. You can speculate all you want, when it gets right down to it, what's going to happen is going to happen... just have to wait and see what it is really going to be.

July 1st and after will reveal some rather interesting things... that much is for sure.

The issue of Ryan Malone going to Columbus bums me out... that's all I'll say on that for now. Kinda keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't happen.

The Malkin to L.A. rumors made me laugh. Could they really be that seriously taken? We'll just set aside his talent and look at him as an individual. Not knowing Evgeni personaly, this is only a wild guess here... but it's obvious the guy is painfully shy. Being in the States for 2 years, his English hasn't progressed as far as maybe it should have. Him still living with Sergi Gonchar also says alot in itself. I'm guessing he likes his 'comfort zones'. So for him to take a pay cut, ala Sidney Crosby, tells me he doesn't want to leave the town of Pittsburgh, where he is comfortable.

But hey... that's just me guessing.

All that remains is to trust that Ray Shero will do what is best for the Penguin team. Tonight is just round one. Then tomorrow rounds 2-7.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer break, but a short one

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I took a week to try to decide what I wanted to post in relation to how the season ended. Then the more I thought on it, the more I realized I couldn't get it all hashed out properly. Snippets here when I was cooking supper, a thought while trying to fall asleep... but I couldn't seem to keep a grasp on any of them.

Fact is, we all know how it ended.

Yes, there are downsides to losing, and who among us can really say they don't mind losing? Losing stinks. On top of all that, losing the Stanley Cup on your home ice is a bitter pill to swallow. I unashamedly admit, I stuck around long enough to see who won the Con Smythe trophy, then immediately turned it off. No way was I watching another team get the cup and raise it in my house!

*side note: I've still not seen it.. but I have a sad feeling my next issue of The Hockey News to hit my mail box will contain a photo.

But, in my own mind I feel my Penguins had nothing to be ashamed of. Sure there were moments where I was screaming to myself "WHAT THE HELL??", but I'm not a professional athlete so I can't even begin to imagine what they go thru. But two of those games stood out, and will go down as being some of the best hockey I've ever seen.

Going to the first playoff game against Philly at home was also my personal favorite game I've ever been to. Let's hope the crowd gets into more regular season games like they did some of these playoff ones. It's so obvious the team feeds off that energy.

Of course I could go into a whole season recap, but I shall leave that to more talented writers and those with more expression for the written word than what I myself possess. The Pensblog is recounting the season thru the summer, game by game, always a great way to relive the season while you wait till it restarts!

I'd also like to thank the Pensblog and Empty Netters for being a true inspiration to me. I started this blog back in September shortly before going to a training camp session. At first I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it. There are enough blogs out there to recap games, and frankly I know hockey, but I don't think I'm that good at reviewing games. I know what happened, I know what was good and what wasn't... I just can't seem to get it into words/

That's when I just decided to blog what came to my mind. Mostly from an adoring fans point of view. Sometimes it's girlish... sometimes serious... and sometimes it just doesn't make any sense at all. But hey... that's me :)

I'm thinking before the season starts up again I'd like to revamp the look of the blog, but we'll see what I'm inspired to do. :) One thing I'd like to do is get my blog more widely read. That's another thing I'm going to have to work on doing. In addition I want to post more than just on game days.

We'll see... this is supposed to be fun, right? :)

Anyhow, the NHL awards are going to be starting here shortly. Several... if not most... of the winners will not be a surprise, but it will be a good watch regardless.

Finally, I want to thank my Penguins for making a hockey fan's dream all the more alive and realistic. This season blew me away on so many fronts... you guys rock.

Let's Go Pens! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It's all or nothing tonight

If you caught up on your sleep last night after Monday night's 2 and a half OT's, you're all the better for it. Staying up till almost 1am to see Sykora's called goal was well worth it.

Game 6 is back in the 'Burgh. Here's to hoping the Penguins are still on a wicked rush after not only coming back to tie the game with just over 3o seconds left in the 3rd period, and then playing nearly another full game to finally end it all with a win.

I know I found it hard to fall asleep after all that excitement. And I thought game 3 was exciting... game 5 beat that!

They showed the Stanley Cup being taken out of it's case, the guy handling it polishing it... I said... "Put that thing away!!!" You know... just cuz I was feeling bitter, thinking I'm going to lose. Hearing the masses in Detroit yell, "We want the Cup!"... making me want to gag.

In the end, they all jinxed themselves, the Pens were given a second chance, or at the very least, another win to show for a valiant effort in the finals.

Damn... I want to be at game 6.

I also don't want to see the Cup raised in our house either. So that means winning tonight and going back to Detroit. We've proved we can win there, and we win (last game at home being an exception) at home consistantly... so I say we can still do this, gang!!

LET'S GO PENS!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Do or die

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The legions are on edge... anticipation has given way to angst. Everyone is wondering if the near impossible is even possible given what we've witnessed so far.

Speaking only for myself, there is no giving in. Even in dire circumstances, you have to keep your pride and your allegience where they belong, with your team. It's only the weak that concede and give up, and turn their back on their commrades.

Sure, we lost on Saturday, and yes we have to win the next 3 games to win the Stanley Cup. Our determination will be tested tonight in Detroit because Lord Stanleys coveted trophy will be in the house to mock us.

At this point there is not much to say. The players know what needs to be done. If they can do it and extend the series great. If they can't and we go down in flames tonight, well... there will be disappointment to go around for everyone to share.

In the end, we want to keep going, the promise of the season ending tonight makes me sad. October seems like such a long way off. But for now we're not going to go there.

Instead, it's time to stand up and FIGHT!!!

LET'S GO PENS!!!!