Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recovery

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So for the second time in 3 nights one of the Penguins scores a hat trick, this time Captain Sidney Crosby gets the three goals.

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I had all intentions of doing my hockey blog posting yesterday afternoon to rant about Friday nights loss to the Sabres, but hubby took me to see the new Bond flick. Then again this morning to recap both games, but once more I got distracted, this time by cuteoverload.com... go figure. But, I'm here now... at least I think so.

It needs resaying but it was obvious the power play is still pretty darn weak. The game against Buffalo is was painfully obvious, last night with the Devils it only looked slightly better. I don't recall seeing them struggle so badly with this last year. And obviously if you are on a 5 on 3, no if's, and's, or but's about it... you have to score.

I was highly irritated by the loss to Buffalo. It seemed the Pens had happen to them what they have been doing to other teams in the league. And that is coming back from being down a few goals to win. Being on this end isn't near as fun, and highly frustrating.

My irritation was slightly calmed by watching Sid in action getting a couple goals, but what a surprise I was in for to see him go against the Devils.

Style wise, the game couldn't have been any more different. Against the Sabres the Pens seemingly struggled at points, but with the Devil's they were playing a complete style of game from start to finish, and they looked good doing it.

Though Sykora and Satan both have been struggling, it was nice to see Sykora at least get a goal even if it was a 'give me'. Sidney on the other hand made up for the other 3, each one a highlight goal in and of itself. His skating skills and doing those spinnerama's... he's just fun to watch.

So the Pens lose to the Sabres 3-2 and win against the Devil's 4-1.

Is anyone else looking forward to MAF returning, I sure am. Sabu... well, he'll suffice, but I seriously enjoyed watching Curry in net more.

Are Malkin and Crosby really a two headed monster? And who else wants to see them keep this hot streak going for a while? ME!!!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Who needs 60 minutes to win?

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Apparently not the Penguins. It happened yet again last night on the Island. And I say again as this has been a rather routine thing of them this season. Playing half assed or at some points seemingly not at all, only to rally in the third period and pick up the goals they need to tie and or win.

All this makes for some tough hockey to watch. I mean, typically I'm pretty optimistic when my team is down, but c'mon. How long can this go on, only playing for 20 minutes out of 60? Seriously, you can't play a whole season this way, there needs to be some overhauls in a few spots... mostly the powerplay situation. Last night I believe the Pens were 0-3 in that category.

So sure, we won. And that's great. Evgeni Malkin getting his second career hat trick was also great. The goals him and Sid scored were definitely the things superstars are capable of. I could watch those over and over again.

Seeing John Curry get his first NHL win in his first game, also a highlight of the game. Last night Sabu just didn't have it, and it showed early on in the game, to the point he got pulled in the middle of the second period. But I'm left wondering if Sabu is gonna cave under the pressure of having to perform on a regular basis like he did last year when Fluery was down for an extended period of time. If that's the case, could Curry be the new (younger) Conklin? And what of MAF? Have we heard how much longer he's going to be out?

Max Talbot took a nasty blow to the ankle with a puck. He's usually a trooper as far as playing hurt, but it must be serious enough that they've listed him as day to day, and recalled Janne Pesonen from the Baby Pens.

I'm not a hockey coach, nor do I claim to know all there is to know about running a team as far as strategy, etc. I'm not a novice either or a casual watcher. I take my hockey watching/following seriously. Otherwise I would not be doing this blog or read/watch all the hockey related things that I do. So in that regard I know enough to say something needs reworked. But then again, you didn't need me to tell you that :)

Tomorrow night, it's the Sabres.. in Buffalo...... Go Pens

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

time for some hockey

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I have fond memories... ok, so it only happened 4 times... but HEY! those can be fond memories, correct? Anyhow, said memories involve going to Pens games either the night before or day after Thanksgiving. Always makes for a good time, but I was trying hard to think of the teams I've seen at this period in time. One for sure was the Tampa Bay Lightning, and another had to have been the Rangers. But dang, my memory stinks anymore, can't think of the other two.

Point being is tonights game and the one on Friday are both away games.

For tonight, the Penguins face the Islanders. One knows not what to think of them since they started off sucking the tail pipe pretty hard, but as of late they've been not so bad. From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

Penguins: Are 7-1-1 in November. ... Four consecutive road wins tied for current NHL longest streak. ... Are 9-2-2 vs. Eastern Conference, 3-0-2 vs. Atlantic Division.

Islanders: Have won five of past six. ... Doug Weight has six-game point streak (1 goal, 7 assists) and Bill Guerin has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in past six games

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Friday night it's hockey night in Buffalo up against the Sabres... who's fortune has turned rather sour of late. They started off the season on fire, but right now they are barely a flicker from your bic lighter. I'll refrain from comment about how I refer to the Sabres logo as the Buffaslug. Mayber later......

Other stuffs.......

Last night's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Atlanta Thrashers was quite intense. Former Penguin Colby Armstrong laid a hit on Jason Blake resulting in him getting a concussion. Now... the hit was not that vicious. Colby at 6'3" towers over Blake. The fact that Armstrongs elbow hit him in the head is that he's so much taller. About the only fault I find with it after seeing the hit several times is that 'maybe' Colby should have pulled up sooner since Blake no longer had the puck. The concussion most likely was a result of Jason Blakes head bouncing off the ice, then from the actual hit itself.

Then there is the matter of Atlanta's (and finger pointer) Ilya Kovalchuk going at it with Toronto's Ian White. I'll give Kovalchuk props.. he really was into the fight. The Thrasher's end up winning this game 6-3.

And Ryan O'Byrne shame has gone international... Scoring a goal for the Islanders the other night has won him world wide fame it seems. This screenshot is from a Dutch online newspaper my husband reads (yes, he's Dutch so he knows what it says)

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I've held my tongue commenting on the firing of Barry Melrose, who anyone that knows me, knows that I can't stand him. Suffice to say I think he got his just desserts and there is a big reason why he worked at ESPN and not behind the bench. Remains to be seen how Rick Tocchet will handle the head coaching duties, or if he'll take odds against his own team.

It's a great day for hockey........

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Game tomorrow on the Island

I've been a little lax in making a game recap from Sunday's loss to the Canuks. I had all intent and purpose to do it yesterday morning, but I found out a dear internet friend passed away over the weekend. So yeah... I was pretty useless.

Tomorrow's game against the Islanders is sort of important, mostly because the Pens need to spring back from that lost to the Canuks, as it was a pretty sad display of hockey.

However, I hope to do a posting tomorrow! So chin up buckaroo's!

Go Pens!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Not so Wild about Minnesota

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If you managed to keep your eyes open for this game, consider yourself one of the not so lucky ones. I say that only because the Penguins lost 2-1. It would be rare for me to complain about such a thing as I love hockey regardless, especially if it's my Pens.

That said, the Wild's style of play doesn't lend well to being entertaining as well. Think New Jersey Devils. Games with them tend to play out along the same lines, ie. boring. Not only does Minnesota have one of the top defenses in the NHL, their goaltender is first rate as well. You have to wonder what is missing.. oh yeah... scoring. Defend all you want, but you still need the goals to win a game and the cup. It's the only thing that seperates the Wild from the Dread Wings. Hey, I don't like admiting that any more than the next Pens fan, but Detroit can score the goals and lots of them.

This was a game about goaltending to be sure. Niklas Backstrom is kick ass in goal, that's why he's on one of my fantasy teams. (As a side note, since I also have Fluery it was good he was out of the lineup, so he didn't lose yet I still won with Backstrom!) His stats pretty much speak for themselves and he wasn't letting anything past. The goal Matt Cooke did get by him wasn't the prettiest one out there, but it counted.

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Saying all this about Backstrom isn't meant to imply that Dany Sabourin sucked, cuz he did hold his own, quiet impressively in fact. The goal he let by in the first period was a bad one, but he didn't let it fluster him into giving up more. Sabu has been hot in the shootout, but the game winning goal in by Marek Zidilicky (what a name) was one that would have got about anyone. I think :P

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Other game noteables was Jordon Staal having his second career fight with the Wild's Erik Reitz. Is it me, but if Staal had been able to stay on his feet, he'd have really kicked some ass?



Also, Evgeni Malkin takes a puck to the face and goes off in the second period holding a towel to his face. He came back to play in the third period, and no word if he required any stitches or not.

The Penguins are 7 for 52 on the power play over the past 12 games... uhm.. that's not good >_<

Anyhow, tomorrow night the Pens are off to Atlanta, where former team mates Colby Armstrong and Eric Christiansen still play. Interesting stuff coming... I'm guessing?

Go Pens!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Game day VS Minnesota

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It's snowy and cold here in Northeast Ohio, weather more prone to hockey than anything else, ya gotta love it :)

The Pens welcome Minnesota into the Mellon tonight. The Wild's record is 10-4-1 and they are in 5th place in the Western Conference. However let it be said that their penalty killing is probably the best in the NHL right now.

On the flip side the Penguins are at a respectable 11-4-2 and in 4th place in the Eastern Conference.

Competition aside, me and my husband agree that the Wild has cool jerseys. Just had to say that... don't hold it against me.

I'm torn... the game is on VS tonight, so that sorta sucks but on the other hand it'll be in HD, and I like watching my Penguins in HD :)

The 'new guy' Philippe Boucher will most likely be suited up tonight... I don't know much about this guy so should be interesting to see what he contributes. But it's not like we'll be missing Daryl Sydor, though they might miss him in the press box.


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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winning catch ups

That title has more than one meaning!

Yes, I'm catching up (the term slacker could be thrown out there if you so choose), but it's also not to far off to compare my own catching up with that of the Penguins in 3rd period play of the last two games.

We won, sure.. but it wasn't MAF's best performance either. Sabu came in for the last period to finialize the win.

In Thursday nights win over the f'in Flyers, the Pens were up by 3 goals only to give up 4 more, then tie it up in the 3rd. Jordon Staal again became a factor in the game. But the game didn't get resolved in regulation and went into overtime for the eighth time in 16 games.

In the shootout it was fail after fail on both sides until Goligoski, the sixth and final Pittsburgh shooter, put it home behind Biron. All that was left was asshat Scott Hartnell. It's safe to say I seriously hate the Flyers, but this dude is right up there at the top of the list. He misses a pathetic shot on Sabu, and then plows him over... then goes to the Flyers dressing room to have his diaper changed. What a baby.

Pens win... 2-0 on the Flyers so far this season... yeah, baby!

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Last night the Buffaslugs (c'mon... look at that logo! The classic buffalos with the crossed swords rocks, this does not) came into the Mellon fresh off a royal butt kicking from the Blue Jackets on Friday night. You had to figure they were ripe for a revenge game against anyone they played, and the Pens were next in line.

Jason Pominville scores half way thru the first period to start things off, and that's all the scoring that took place then. At points this period was a bit of a snooze fest, lots of back and forth skating. And what was up with Paul Gaustad going down on one knee during his face off's??? Like Bob Errey I'm thinking... isn't this cheating?

The second period starts with Fluery slashing a Sabre, and Cooke goes to the box to serve his penalty. This is noteable later in the game... at least in my opinion.

Finally deep in the Sabres end, Gologoski, Malkin, and Sid play around with the puck and it makes it past Miller. It looks like Sidney hits it in, but it's already past the line and they give Geno credit for the goal... 1-1.

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Then a bit later Vanek makes one past Mark Eaton and MAF. (as a side note, I was going crazy during the broadcast when Steigy kept mispronouncing Thomas Vanek's name... how is that possible if you even remotely pay attention to hockey???)

In the third period the Pens are crashing Millers net pretty hard, pushing to get one past him, and I'm guessing he didn't appreciate Jordon Staals pressence to much in front of him and gives him a shot in the family jewels with his stick. No penalty... me as long as the crowd of the Mellon, and the broadcasters... stunned. Staal on the other hand was more stunned. (sorry, had to say it!)

Moments later rookie Gologoski shoots one past Miller... making it Pens 2 Sabres 2. It doesn't take long for Jordon Staal to get his revenge by adding to the score... 3-2. One minute after that it was Fedotenko's turn to score.. now the Pens are up 4-2.

When Miller abandons his net with a minute left in play, Malkin shows he's unselfish, passing it off to Staal who pads the lead with an empty netter, essentially ending the game 5-2.

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Malkin has extended his point streak (27) in 13 games... one behind the great 66.

These wins felt good, but the Pens seriously need to look into this deal of playing half assed the first two periods and coming back in the third. But.. we'll take the wins, no matter how they come!

Go Pens!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

#11 wins it all on 11-11

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If by chance you tuned out early of last nights game, say with 5 minutes to go, you definitely woke up this morning shocked to see that the Penguins indeed won against the Red Wings last night, 7-6.

There was quite a bit of the game where Detroit controlled what went on, yeah the Pens had some moments here and there, but it looked like we were in store for a world class ass whoopin'.

The whole game was the third period though. Jordon Staal was a man possessed.. on fire.. fill in your own verb here... but he not only scores three goals, getting the hat trick and tieing the game up at 6-6 with mere seconds left in the period, but he also draws a penalty, giving the Pens the advantage in OT!

To top off the Jordon Staal-orama, he assisted on the game winning goal! What a beast he was!

This win felt good, considering half way thru the game I was starting to have serious doubts >_< Beating Marian Hossa in his own house is hands down the best thing the Penguins have done so far this season. Just gotta love it... if you're into that whole revenge thing. Guess this isn't saying much for me. :P

Mike Zigomanis also showed why he's there for winning those valueable faceoffs.

I was just so proud of my team last night... go Pens!
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

going into the Motor City

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There is alot of speculation, nay saying, and all around trash talk that could be put down on paper about this game tonight. Having flashbacks to June? Of last second goals making a game 6 possible? Yeah, it's all creepy stuff to remember, considering we lost game 6... and the Cup to these rats... oh.. wait... these octupi?

But consider this. It's now November. We're barely over a month into the new season, and everything from last season is now the past. The Red Wings may be in second place in the Western Conference, with a record of 9-2-2... but that is only slightly better than the Pens 8-4-2.

Does that make me feel comfortable? Not really. The Penguins have been playing ify hockey. Blame it on what you want, but it seems they are just... right there. Like there is one element holding them back.. missing... whatevah. So tonights game makes me a little nervous, but hey, like I said, it still is just November, but... these are the Red Wings, and oh wow, how great it would feel to beat the living daylights out of them.

Oh, and there is that whole Mr. TwoFace/Marian Hossa deal.... I say.. make him eat it.

And as a flashback from last year's finals.... Chris Osgood = LIAR!!!

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

What puck? Pens win 4-3 in shootout

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A game that should have ended somewhat differently, given the records and past performances of both teams, winning this in the shoot out.. well, we'll take the win, any way we can get it. Suffice to say though, it had all the makings of ending quite differently.

Tyler Kennedy once more had two goals in the game, proving once again he's a valuable asset to this team. Malkin takes a puck to the hand early in the first period, and when he's late coming back in the second everyone was pretty nervous. But, yay, he's just fine. And Jordon Staal gave us a glimpse of goals past, by scoring one for the Pens.

But the big story of the whole game was the weird ending in the shootout. After Sykora nets one for the Pens, and Satan misses, it's up to the Isles to tie it up or lose. The Islanders shooter takes aim on Sabu, and he does this funny little roll and pushes his left leg out past the line of the goal. Then leans forward and pulls the puck out of his left pad. NO GOAL! Pens win!

It's good this game ended on a positive note as Tuesday the Penguins roll into the motor city to take on the dreaded Red Wings. It's the finals all over again, and this time Hossa is on their side. We shall just see......

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Playing all 3 periods

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Who knows what is in the minds of a hockey team up by 5 goals only to have to hold on for dear life during the third period and just barely getting the win by the skin of their teeth. Just think how things might have gone if that puck hadn't gone over the glass within the last few minutes of the game, putting the Pens on the power play.

Depseration does funny things to people. The Oilers most certainly deserve major props for not laying down and taking their lumps in Thursday nights game. Granted there were two goals there that they should have never gotten, but hey, they did and came back to within one goal of the Pens. It's a given that there are a few other teans in the NHL that would have just given up and taken the loss.

But, it did make for a fast paced game, and if you were a Penguins fan, the third period became a nailbiter. Well, if you were into biting your nails, which myself, am not.


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Tonight it's off to the island we go. This year there is no Chris Simon, and boy aren't we all the better for that, no need to worry if one of our players will get stomped.

As bad off as the Islanders are (again) this year, they are in last place in the East with a record of 4-8-1, we'd not want to call this game a win ahead of time, just last week they beat the New York Rangers.

Hey, it's the desperate ones you have to keep your eyes on... you just never know what's come at you, right?

Sidney was questionable about playing tonight after leaving practice early yesterday, but late word has it he'll be playing. Yeah.

Game time in 2 hours... let's dooooooo eet!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oilers come to town

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It's Thursday, and the Penguins haven't played since the won Saturday night in St. Louis. No need to remind me I didn't do a game recap, I know it all too well. Stuff happens, ya know.

Anyway, as we go into this game the Pens are in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 6-4-2, while Edmonton is in 9th place in the Western Conference with a slightly better record of 6-5-1. Go figure.

I for one will be glad when the schedule goes back to us playing Eastern Conference teams.

Last night the Oilers lost here in Ohio to the Blue Jackets, can anyone say ouch?

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Going to St. Louis with the blues

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Thankfully it is only November 1st, not March 1st. Otherwise I'd be more perturbed than I already was. You remember, that little fiasco that kept you up again on Thursday night? Yes, that one, losing to the Coyotes.

To top that all off, Crosby being day to day with the all too famous 'undisclosed injury'.

I'll try to just suck it up and move on, but... ouchie. But it's really difficult to pin point just what is going wrong at the moment. One thing for sure, the goaltending is essentially solid. Two of the goals scored against the Pens Thursday night should not have happened, and neither were MAF's fault.

Nothing is terribly wrong defensively speaking, considering we're doing without Gonchar and Whitney. Brooks Orpik has looked outstanding, Letang is doing his part, and aside from two major blunders against Phoenix, Gologoski has looked good.

Where does that leave you? Scoring. Offensively speaking we're sucking pretty hard, not taking advantage of some power plays, and just shooting the puck in general. You have to shoot the darn thing to score, fellas. Bleh.... what do I know, I'm just a girl :P

I'm going to be caustiously optimistic tonight, as we take on St. Louis ( hey I just checked my fantasy stats and I'm kicking butt, so here's to optimisim! ) but the Blues also have Paul Kariya and he's currently rocking with 14 points this season.

The Penuins called up Finnish born Janne Pesonen, let's hope good things come out of that!

Defenseman Mark Eaton will be a healthy scratch for tonight's game. Just checked the Pens webpage, and Sid is playing tonight! Downer is Fedotenko is out with an undisclosed injury. Hey... things are already 'sorta' looking up! GO PENS!

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