Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here we go again...

Sergi Gonchar to be out 4-6 months recovering from shoulder surgery...

Please... not again... where's my barf bag?

Friday, September 26, 2008

going north to Toronto

Tonight is another preseason game against Toronto, this time in the home of the TML's. Always a hot bed of media crazieness when the biggest star of the NHL is in town. Then again, that just happens anywhere he goes (even his own ice practices). One just has to look back to last winters trip out west for the Pens to show that is proof positive.

People can name call, make fun of Sidney Crosby all they want, but when going thru Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancuver last December, the media attention he got was worse than it ever was. Fact is, people (Canadians especially) want to know all there is to know about number 87.

I've mentioned it bunches of times before, but it bodes well to mention again that anyone who speaks ill of Crosby is simply jealous. What if their team had won the lottery and gotten to choose him first? Yeah, chances are I'd be doing the same thing, but, since he plays for the Penguins, I'll defend the poor guys honor.

Some side notes...

Penguins resign Tyler Kennedy... I approve.

Will Kris Beech pass waivers down in the AHL ? Hey, I'm just glad he's not up here with the big boys, tyvm.

Ryan Stone wants out of the Pens organization after not making the NHL team and getting sent to the AHL instead. The guy needs to hold on. Yeah maybe he is NHL material, but things.. stupid things... happen. One day your in the minors, the next your up in the big time. But.. whateveh..

Now saying Gonchar may be out up to 6 weeks. Yikes.

No word if Crosby will play tonight.

And Center Ice uped their prices $5 from last season. Any reason why? Anyone's guess.

Go Pens!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Leafs fall

With the promise of regular season hockey starting in just a little over a week, I've been trying to be patient in regards to not getting to watch any of these preseason games. Center Ice is already waiting for me.. I just know it...

So last night no game on TV, but I guess there was a feed online of what was getting shown on the Jumbotron (bet that was nice with no voice commentary?). But thanks to Empty Netters I read where the NHL Network was reshowing it this morning at 6:30am.

Granted I already knew the Pens won 3-2, but it was still fun to watch :)

Sid was out with a sore groing (already??) and Sergi Gonchar has been listed out 'indefinitely'.

There is one more preseason game up in Toronto on Friday before the Penguins head to Europe to start the regular season.

Ahhh hockey is in the air... can'tcha just smell it? :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Preseason Parts 2 & 3

Monday night saw the Pens in Tampa Bay to try and turn around the loss they had against them on Saturday night.

The Lightning put more than just their AHL team on the ice this time, but for some reason didn't get the same results. All this lack of preseason coverage really sucks. I listened to the game on a Tampa affliate radio station online. It was on XM... but I wasn't sitting in my car either >_<

Game sounded like it would have been a great one to watch with all the fighting majors going on. The Pens ended up winning 3-2.

Speaking of the Pens/TB connection... Ryan Malone was interviewed on NHL Live yesterday. Now.. I like that show, but the one host whose name escapes me at the moment, is like fingernails on a chalkboard. He asks some of the lamest questions! Geez... like.. "since you're now playing in Florida, are you still following the Steelers?" Now, don't get me wrong, I like Ryan Malone, admittedly maybe not as much now since he 'sold out', but who gives a flying flip about football on a HOCKEY program??? Dorks..

Tonight the Maple Leafs come into the Mellon, always a guaranteed fun time for everyone, and it goes without saying there will most likely be lots of Toronto fans in attendance. Empty Netters has probably one of our most fav pictures up today... so as thus I steal it to show you...

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'Enuff said...... Go Pens!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Video from Thursdays Scrimmage

I truly hate the speed of my DSL connection, it's safe to say it can be worse than dial up... I'm not kidding.

I took some video when I was at the Penguins training camp on Thursday. This is one of the shorter ones and I was able to upload it to youtube. So, despite recording this in HD, youtube does their thing to it, so.. hope it's worth your watching inspite of all that. Trust me, the real recording rocks.

Preseason Game 1

The Penguins first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning went unseen by anyone, unless you were one of the fortunate few to be at Mellon Arena to see it. There was no video or radio feed of it to be found.

For a great game recap, shuffle over to Empty Netters, he was blogging live from the game.

Suffice to say a preseason loss doesn't count for anything, so we're not going to worry (too much) about it. Though it was a tad bit disturbing that Tampa Bay really didn't have any of their better players on the ice... Steven Stamkos aside.

Oh well, that's just what the preseason is for... working out the kinks, and finding your place in the whole scheme of things once again. At least we get another shot at them on Monday night in Tampa... eat early, and show up on time, this is the town that goes to bed after the six o'clock news.

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photos courtesy of getty images

Training Camp, Day 2

After enduring a painfully slow traffic jam, and thinking I was going to be 'early', I sat fuming in my car, the solace of Mandatory Metallica on XM radio the only thing keeping me from officially 'losing it' to road rage. I had everything (or so I thought) planned perfectly, but once I hit 279, then the Vetrans bridge exit off that, I knew I was going to be late for the start of practice.

Thankfully.. and yes, I was just that, thankful... that I was able to somehow get an amazing parking spot, and got into the Mellon only 5 minutes after 9am and the start of practice. I was thirsty, so thinking I'd snag a drink from the Igloo Club stopped there first before finding a seat. I won't go into the whole thing about how my credit card wouldn't work... something else to frustrate.. but in the end I got my drink :)))

Since I was alone, it wasn't hard to find a good single seat. I literally went down center ice and found an isle seat in the third row... sweeeeeet. Right between both benches.

And looking up... this is what hung from the rafters above me. Surely a good omen the rest of the day was going to be better....

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Everything started with Team B practicing. B team included noteable players Eaton, Fleury, Gill, Kennedy, Letang, Malkin, Staal, Sykora, and Taffe.

I enjoyed watching them go thru their drills... and stretching *ahem*... Fleury seemingly hasn't missed a beat since the finals and was looking great, as did his AHL counterpart Brown. Dany Sabourin wasn't a slouch either for Team A.

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Marc Andre Fleury and David Brown compare notes after Team B's practice.

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Team B.

One thing that struck me also was Hal Gill. The dude is huge. Sure, I knew that, but to see him so close you really notice it. It was also good to see Mark Eaton, here is to hoping we see more on ice action from him this year. Someone who you would hope to stand out was Jonathan Filewich, but to me he didn't seem to. In my opinon his time is sort of running out to show why the Pens picked him 70th overall in 2003. He just didn't show me anything.

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There was a brief break between Team B's practice and the scrimmage between Team A (white) and Team (B). From my reading elsewhere it seemed the ice was in bad shape. The Zamboni came on and cleaned it several times while I was there.

Much to the relief of all the young girls in attendance (and ok, myself included) Sidney Crosby finally showed himself. He was on Team A (white) along with Dupis, Godard, Gonchar, Lovejoy (love that name!), Orpik, Sabu, Satan, Sydor, and Talbot.

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Sid and Pascal Dupuis talk during warmup's for the scrimmage between Teams A & B.

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The phrase "Free Candy" goes thru my mind... Thanks Pensblog :P

The scrimmage consisted of 3, 15 minute periods with a free running clock. There was only one penalty, a high sticking on Gonchar... no penalty minutes were assesed, instead, Sergi was allowed to shoot a penalty shot, which he missed.

Team White scored first in the 2nd period, Lovejoy shot one past Fleury just above his pad. The only other goal that was scored in the White teams win over the Black was by Ruslan Fedotenko, thus the game ended 2-0.

We take another break to clean the ice before Team A comes out for their practice, and once more the cameras clammor to take pics of Sid. Uhm.. yeah, mine included.

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Team A essentially went thru the same drills as did Team B. One thing that stood out was rookie Veilleux taking Head Coach Therrien's skates out from under him, making him fall flat to the ice. What disturbed me was the people who laughed, and laughed hard. Therrien got to his feat and immediately left the ice. The poor guy could have really gotten hurt. He eventually came back, so apparently he was alright... I just didn't find it a laughing matter. And imagine how that poor rookie felt, he probably wanted to crawl in a hole.

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Therrien and assistant coach Mike Yeo talking during practice.

Noticeably absent was Rob Scuderi, not sure if he is injured or what. Someone who was there was Kris Beech. Whoopie *note sarcasm* I've officially made him my personal whipping boy for the season (as I once did with Mark Recchi) and frankly, I won't be sad if he doesn't last the season... but that's just me.

Here are some odd's and ends photos from day 2 of training camp.

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Mark Eaton getting a drink

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MAF in goal

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Saaaaaaaaatan!!

On a funny note... When I was browsing thru the team store at the Mellon, there were two girls in search for any type of shirt or jersey with Satan on it... no matter that it's not pronounced like the lord of darkness from hell... they told the girl in the store they wanted a shirt that said Satan. Whatever... seems the store employee said there were a bunch of others looking for the same thing. Gosh...... are we that lucky of a team then that we have God(ard) and Satan both on our side? That's to be determined I guess.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Break's Over!

Alright, summer has passed painfully slow after the tragic loss in the Stanley Cup finals. The only good thing that came of it was that we didn't have to wait as long for hockey season to start as did fans of 28 other teams. *grin*

However, it's been long enough for me. The last few days I've got the Pens/Flyers semi-final games on the NHL network, and it makes me want the puck dropped even sooner.

Good news is I'll get to see at least ONE Pens game this season. I managed to snag tickets to the game against the Blue Jackets in Columbus, March 12th. Yeah... I got a while to wait for that. It'll be worth it, got tickets in the lower bowl, and close to the glass! w00t!

As you can see I've already started some graphic changes here in the 'ol hockey blog. Hope they look ok, wanted a new 'look' to start the season with.

So, until we start getting more 'news'... we're off and running :)