Friday, February 27, 2009
The game was fast, with the Penguins crashing the net and owning the first period. They played hard. Fluery was sharp as well, until the third period when seemingly the Pens decided not to play the same way they did the first two periods.
New guy Chris Kuintz got his first goal as a Penguin early in the first, and was there hitting and getting right into everything thru the whole game. Looked impressive!
Malkin was seemingly absent, yet was in uniform. But showed himself in the OT period by slapping a shot right into the net to win it for the Pens.
Yay for 2 points, and not having to share them with another Eastern Conference team :P
Word has come down from the powers that be (whoever they are) that Sidney Crosby is out again tonight with a sore groin. I guess if he had to miss a game, this one against a Western Conference (ie. nonthreatening to our dismal standings in the East) team would probably be the one to miss. Then there is also Sunday's game against Dallas, but it remains to be seen what Sid's status will be then. Have to wait and see.
Speaking of Chicago, they are most certainly no slouches right now, or a team to take lightly. They are in 4th place in the West, and like the Penguins, carry two pretty heavy hitters... errr skaters?... in Patrick Kane, and Jonathan Toews. They also have Brian Campbell, no word on how the Penguins play against big ugly redheads.
Joining the Pens tonight for the first time will be newly added Chris Kunitz.
I really didn't voice an opinion yesterday on the Ryan Whitney trade, so I'll give in and say my piece now. Was I broken up over this? Certainly not. Do I think it was a good move on the Penguins part? Yes, I do. In my opinion, for what it's worth, Ryan Whitney has not lived up to any expectations that anyone has had for him the last 3 years. Granted he was dealing with an injury and missed a great deal of this season, but even before that he never made me stand up and take notice of him.
Maybe it was being in the shadow of Sergi Gonchar, and not having the hitting ability of Brooks Orpik, but Whitney never made himself stand out apart from the crowd. He wasn't bad per say, but he wasn't outstanding either. In the last three weeks he gave up 2 really bad passes that resulted in goals for the other team. This can't be done.
The Penguins have a pretty solid blue line with the likes of Gonchar, Scudderi, Orpik, and Letang. Add Alex Gologoski into that mix (and that guy should STAY & PLAY in the NHL) and everything looks good. Hal Gill for all his size is alright, but he hasn't brought anything to the team this year, and I've been disappointed in him.
Also lost in the shuffle of yesterdays trade with the Ducks was the fact that the Penguins put Chris Minard on waivers and brought up Tim Wallace, while sending Janne Pesonen back down to the baby Pens in the AHL. All this is rather... whatever. Pesonen for all his hype hasn't done diddly, and Minard has done about the same. Tim Wallace though, I dunno... I think he has some potential there, but whatever.
All that said.... game time in a few hours... oh SNAP!! Central time zone, 8:30 start!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Pittsburgh Penguins have cleared up a bit of their log jam along their blueline as they have traded Ryan Whitney to the Anaheim Ducks for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi.
The 26-year old Whitney was a vital piece of the Penguins' Stanley Cup run last year; however foot surgery caused him to miss the first 31 games of this season. He has 2 goals and 11 assists in 28 games for Pittsburgh this year.
The Boston-native is one of the better puck moving defencemen in the league and should be a big boost to the Ducks' power play. He became deemed surplus goods when fellow defenceman and Penguins' primary powerplay quarterback Sergei Gonchar returned from a shoulder injury.
Whitney is in the second year of a six-year contract he signed with the Penguins last season. He was chosen fifth overall by the Penguins in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
In Kunitz, the Penguins will be getting an offensive-minded player who won the Stanley Cup in 2007. After campaigns where he put up 60 and then 50 points, the 29-year old Regina-native has 16 goals and 19 assists this season. He has spent the majority of his four NHL seasons with Anaheim.
Tangradi, who just turned 20, is having a fine season with the OHL's Belleville Bulls. In 52 games, he has 38 goals and 87 points. He was drafted by the Ducks in the second round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Anyhow, my speed of a snail DSL connection rarely lets me sit and watch these damn things without a long wait while it continuously buffers. (SBC-AT&T those bastids!) But it was cooperating this morning so I was looking at some hockey videos.. imagine that..
This was a good find..... enjoy...
Coach Bylsma had a little more time to get ready for this game agains the Islanders than he did the last one. Goodie.
The game had lots of skating (imagine that.. in a hockey game of all things...) and for 57 minutes no scoring what so ever. Comparitive wise, there were not -that- many shots on net for either team, so you can't say either goalie was overly tested. Not to make less of Marc Andre Fluery, but the Isles goalie was pretty much on his mark despite letting that lone puck past.
Of course wearing those nice powder blue jerseys as a fan you get a little nervous since we've not won in those too much, but hey, maybe this is a sign of better things to come. Gawd... we can only hope.
Tuesday night, the Sabres, Hurricanes, and Panthers all did us a big favor and lost. Thank you, guys, feel free to do it again... real soon.
LET'S GO PENS!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
An obscure title for a hockey blog post to be sure, but given the odd state of affairs around the NHL the last few days, is it any wonder?
First off, I'm still recovering from my own induced bout of fullofmyselfness. Posting the picture of the Wacovia center with the word stunned over it after the win against the filthy Flyers must have jinxed myself. (at least that's what I'm chalking it up to) The Pens showing against the Craps on Sunday afternoon was a bit more than I had expected.
Sure you expected them to be on the tired side after such an intense game not even 24 hours prior to that, but dang. Fleury getting pulled wasn't even the worst of it... or was it? I'm trying to block it all out as a bad memory.
It's obvious for all to see that the Malkin/Ovechkin saga has gone by the way side and we're now back to the Crosby/Ovechkin drama. The verbal barbs have been tossed back and forth since the end of the game, and that is not including the ones that went down during the game.
As far as I'm concerned, it's cool that each player is different, and that they play their individual games in a different sort of style, but come on people, just how many more years are you going to milk out the term 'cry baby' in describing Sidney Crosby? If that's how you think, fine, but we all know it basicly just comes down to a jealousy thing. But seriously, come up with something new, would ya?
And if you've not had enough drama for your liking today, stop over at the Pensblog, they have a rather interesting post about one of my fav hockey bloggers, Puck Daddy and some other 'journalist' whose name will not grace the pages of this blog. Makes for good time wasting reading. Also worth reading is the following post about yet another Crosby 'hater'. Not to be forgotten though is yesterdays new jobs for Michel Therrien photoshops. I'm jealous, an avid photoshopper, I just am not as funny or cleaver as most of those people to come up with the ideas for that stuff, still I can appreciate them and lol right along with them. Good stuff.
Seems the Penguins are not the only team to be firing their coach as the season heads to that do or die stage. The Rangers fired Tom Renney yesterday and hired former Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella. In my opinion it wasn't Renney's fault what is going down in New York, one has to kind of look to the GM in this case. (OMG... should we do that in Pittsburgh too?... wait, no) Since coming to the Rangers in 2000, their GM Glen Sather hasn't done anything noteworthy, and aside from bringing in the likes of maybe Marc Staal, hasn't brought them a young prostpect or draft pick to use for the long haul.
Don't misunderstand, I'm no fan of the blue shirts, especially since they let Jagr slip off, but seriously, I think they are just being mismanaged, and that wasn't Tom Renney's fault.
Now if you ask me about my own Penguins... dunno. I mean it was Craig Patrick who got us Crosby, Fluery, and a few other core players. But Ray Shero has also seen to it that we got the extra stuff we needed last year to make it to the finals. This year... well.. the trade deadline is a week away, and the Pens still sit in 1oth place looking to move up. What happens next is anyones guess... if even anything does happen.
As a side note, last night on Sports Beat, Stan Savarn interviewed new interim coach Dan Bylsma. Good interview if you missed it!
LETS'S GO PENS!!!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I'm still sick, so this is gonna be a quick recap of sorts.
Basicly it was a hard hitting, intense game between the Pens and the Flyers, but hey, did you expect anything less? It was a great game, the Pens played well despite a few faux paux's (Ryan Whitney's horrid turnover being the main one), but all in all they did great.
Biron's minor melt down in goal was probably the Penguins saving grace and saved the game from going into overtime, thus letting the Pens have the two points. Still, it's one of those goalie gaffs you can watch over and over again, well.. mostly because it meant our team scored. You be the judge...
Today it's on to Washington, and it's a lunch time game with Ovie. More hard hits and cool shots to come folks...
LET'S GO PENS!!!!!!!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Yay to my Penguins for taking out the Montreal Canadians the other night. Nice to see a little spark in their step and a bit more aggressiveness coming out. Much needed. Those 2 points helped.
But, now on to this tough weekend. The Flyers and Caps back to back. A tough decision on new coach Bylsma will be who to put in net. Do you use Fleury in both games, has Garon got it to go against either one of these powerful teams right now? (and sure, it's tough to say that either of them especially the Flyers are *cough* tough).
Anyhow, off I go for now. But, anyone that knows me and my passion for my Penguins knows my motto on a game day against Philly......... F*** the Flyers!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!!!!!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Test time tonight at the Mellon. It will be the first chance the Pens will get to play under new head coach Dan Bylsma with a couple practices under their belts. I'm kind of excited to see if anything has actually changed. I like that a few of the players interviewed have said they like the passion he brings to the game. :) Hey, it's needed.
Time to buckle down and get some points!!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
It was encouraging (slightly) that the game never got out of hand.. in the losing sense, and stayed pretty much tied up the whole time until the Pens lost it in the shoot out 3-2. Why Sid didn't go top shelf on that chance is anyones guess >_<
At times it really seemed like the team was working the puck and trying to keep it out of their end, but the same could be said of the Isles. The day itself probably felt 'thrown together' for both the new coach and the team as well with no morning skate to feel each other out and get the low down on how things would go come game time.
With that said, at least new coach Dan Bylsma has until Thursday when the Canadians come into Pittsburgh to run a few practices with the team. Gawd... please, let's hope something clicks before this weekend. Sat. it's the Flyers, and Sun. the Caps.
If there truly are any hockey gods up there... let's hope you hear my cries!!
Let's GO Pens!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Today is President's day. And since so many folks are off work today, the Penguins and Islanders are having an afternoon game.
The rumor mill is spinning wildly since last nights announcement. Pretty much seems he was alienating alot of his players. But if you give it enough thought, if you worked for a boss you didn't like or you didn't respect, makes for a long and rough work day. Well whatever the reasons, it's a done deal now and time to move onward and upwards.
The Penguins last game against the Islanders was more pleasent than some of their most recent games, lol. They had a 9-2 win at home when both Sykora and Dupuis each had hat tricks. I seriously would like to see another game like this, as I'm sure the team itself needs this as well.
LET'S GO PENS!!!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
So the ax has finally fallen on the head of now former head coach Michel Therrien, and he's been fired by the Pittsburgh Penguins. No word if he was given any painkillers before the incident. However, I'm sure he will have a financial tylenol to help soothe his woes given that he just signed a 3 year contract extension this past summer. That ought to help.
I have mixed feelings about this move. For the most part something needed to give during this desperate position the team finds itself in at the moment. And if all it takes is getting rid of someone that the players aren't following, hey that's fine.
There is a brewing problem between Penguins coach Michel Therrien and some of his players -- a number of them despise playing for him. No one will choose the Stanley Cup final as a forum to call out their coach but there are far too many whispers out there that too many players can't stand working for -- or with-- Therrien. If that isn't an issue to be dealt with immediately, it is certainly something that will grow with time. Brooks Orpik, the free agent defenceman who will be coveted by many teams after July 1, has told people he will not re-sign in Pittsburgh if Therrien is the coach. Jordan Staal is another Therrien complainer. Add to that the belief that part-owner Mario Lemieux hasn't been impressed with Therrien's work in the playoffs and that's another problem for GM Ray Shero.
If that little bit of gossip is true, someone foresaw this coming. And it probably wasn't Michel Therrien.Interim head coach Dan Bylsma comes up from the Baby Pens where he's been their head for this year. Ok, so not loads of experience here, but who is to say a little bit of a change is a bad thing? And as many of the AHL Penguins that seem to rotate thru the NHL roster, at least they'll know him.
The question remains though, what happens now. Is this minor (some may not think it's THAT minor) change going to be any kind of real 'fix' for what troubles the Penguins? If there were players that unhappy with Therrien, will they be happy and ready to produce now for 'the new guy'?
I'm still going over lots of ideas in my head. But believe it or not in my opinion the Pens going to play the Islanders tomorrow could be a mini test of sorts. This team is supposed to play and beat the teams like Toronto, Tampa Bay, and the Islanders, and for them to struggle is just not acceptable. Hell, they weren't even struggling last night, they just laid down and died.
So, until game time tomorrow. Adios Michel Therrien, I thank you for what you did do for this team last year, you made it one of the best years in my hockey life. Good luck with what life has to offer you.
With that said..... Hello, Dan Bylsma and...
LET'S GO PENS!!!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The last two showings against the TML's haven't been that great. Not even Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin could save either of those games. Things may be a changing... at least one would like to hope.
Not only do the Penguins control their own destiny, but a couple other teams do as well. Primarily, Buffalo, Florida, and Carolina. Last night both the Sabres, and Florida got 2 more points. As it sits now, Pittsburgh sits in 10th place, tied with Carolina. My guess is they don't realize the Pens think that sucks.
There is however news on the Penguins home front. Sergi Gonchar will most likely be on the roster tonight against Toronto. He has been sorely missed on the blue line and it's pretty much guessed that his minutes won't be high the first few games back, but once he gets his game back the boost to the Penguins will be immense.
Also, fellow defensemen Phillip Boucher is listed as being out indefinitely after having had foot surgery Friday. Nothing that is going to be missed there if you ask me. The trade that was made for him and sending Dallas Sydor was probably as big a waste of energy as there ever was. Not that Sydor was anything special, but Boucher certainly hasn't been anything to write home about himself. But it's good that with Gonch coming back and having a full roster of d-men, Boucher will not be missed.
One last item worth mentioning. The Pens sent down Luca Caputi to the Baby Pens in the AHL. It's probably for the best at the moment, he's pretty much still a player in developement, but I did like what I saw from him, his future will be bright with this team.
Game time is only a few hours away!!! Power to the Penguins!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!!!!!
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Yes, 19 years ago today, the 1980 USA Olympic team beat the Soviet Red Army hockey team in Lake Placid, New York.
This morning on XM's Home Ice's program 'The War Room', they were talking with people about their memories of that game, and where they were when it happened. It's so amazing how many people recall where they were on that Sunday.
This was probably safe to say my first exposure to hockey. I remember well as my family was not hockey watchers. My Dad, and brothers were avid baseball guys, and that was all they watched. But Olympic ice hockey that year caught on given the political climate the US was in, and everyone was looking to see the United States take on and beat the Russians.
Everyone rushed home from church that Sunday to tune in to watch the much hyped game, my family included. A family not used to watching hockey, and not even really knowing all the rules, but still cheering for our team, the United States. Then to hear Al Micheals, scream... "Do you believe in miracles!?" as the final seconds ticked down in that now famous game.
Yes, it was nice to relive this game today in the memories of other people, as they told where they were the day that the miracle on ice occoured. It caused me to reflect on my own, and little did I know then, was just the start of a passion for the sport of hockey.
In a game that can only be described as riveting, the Penguins pulled off one of their biggest wins of the season. And for several different reasons.
Yes, there is that battling need to get some points and get out of 10th place. But in this 2-1 win over San Jose, even though they also got one point, the Penguins 2 points were valuable and since playing a Western Conference team, that other 1 point didn't effect them any. Good deal.
Then there is also that lack luster performance record. But it's easy to say that everyone looked spot on last night. Well, maybe Ryan Whitney looked a little ify a couple times, but (despite what my husband might say) I and a lot of sports writers are saying today that Marc Andre Fleury looked sharp last night and made several important snags.
Taking on the leading team in the west and beating them at their own game, well... it felt good.
Bill Thomas was outstanding, and finally was rewarded with his first NHL goal, he is probably one of the undermentioned players on this team right now.
Sidney Crosby pulled out his usual show stopping, highlight reel goal in the shoot out to win it for the Penguins. His hands moved so fast, delivering a hard wrist shot that went 5 hole on the Sharks goalie to win the game.
All in all I was very pleased with the Pens performance and was happy to get the 2 points as well. Coming up Saturday the Penguins will be on Hockey Night in Canada against the Leafs. Here is to hoping this momentum keeps them going.
LET'S GO PENS!!!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
PITTSBURGH - Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar has been cleared to play after missing the season to date with a dislocated left shoulder, but won't be in uniform against San Jose on Wednesday night.
Gonchar, annually one of the NHL's top scorers among defencemen, wants to get into game shape before playing again - possibly Saturday at Toronto.
"I will take it day by day," Gonchar said following the Penguins' morning skate.
One of these.....
But the Penguins powerplay is going to need to be top notch tonight to go up against the Sharks, and if past games are any indication, it's seriously lacking. If you can't score given 3 power play chances against the likes of Detroit, it's not going to be any easier against San Jose.
On the up side of things the Pens have had a few days to rest since that 0-3 loss against the Dead Wings on Sunday, where as the Sharks are in the midst of a road trip, playing pretty impressively against the Bruins and beating the number one team in the league last night 5-2.
Bad for the Penguins as far as the overall Eastern confernce standings is concerned is that Florida is now up in 8th place 3 points ahead of Pittsburgh. Sadness.
I'm in this for the long haul, but dang I want my team at least into the playoffs, not making it means one thing... embarassment. Having two of the best players in the league and not making the playoffs would look pretty darn bad. :\
Anyway, there are not alot of games left, 20something... so it's time to put the collective noses of the team to the grindstone and do what needs done...
LET'S GO PENS!!!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
We'll see what happens tonight... it's anyones guess, the number one team in the East against the number one in the West, it'll be a show for sure.
Monday, February 9, 2009
LIVE original music by Rheostatics
1. The space between a goalie's legs.
2. A sizzling show that brings Canada's two favourite pastimes - hockey and sex - together at last on one rollicking theatre stage.
As exhilarating as winning game seven and naughty enough to draw a five-minute major, Five Hole presents a suite of engrossing, tender and hilarious stories about the steamy underbelly of our national sport. A minor leaguer endures a passionate crush on his team’s lone female player. An NHL goalie is tight with his teammate, but dreams of getting MUCH tighter. These and other tales make up this scintillating look at hockey with its clothes off.
"The resulting union between sex and hockey is so unexpectedly harmonious that the audience, caught off guard, is unwittingly and fully seduced" - Kevin De Vlaming, The Gauntlet
"…Five Hole reverberates like a well-thrown bodycheck" - Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald
See national tour dates below!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Granted if you watched the game against Tampa Bay on Weds. night you were like myself and were pretty damn depressed as the third period started. Sure, a team can come back from a 3 goal deficit, heck the Penguins themselves have been known to do it a time or two themselves, but that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach almost made you pick up the remote and turn it off to save yourself the distress of watching another game go down the toilet.
Shame on you though if you did turn it off! Personally speaking I've never turned off a game before it was over. Well, there was that one game last season that as soon as the clock ran out I hurry up and turned it off. It was Game 6.
When the team retook the ice it was easy to see something or someone fired them up. Malkin was playing like the beast he is. And in the end they tied the game and took it to overtime, where Geno won it for the Pens. Ahhh warm fuzzy feelings... must be what winning feels like.
If that wasn't good enough for you, last night's game was even better.
The Pens played three solid periods of hockey. Columbus and the Penguins both are battling for a couple points to make a playoff spot, so to come out on top of this was a major shot in the arm.
I was a bit surprised not to see a little more action from Rick Nash, but our own Kris Letang did an outstanding job with both his goals he scored, the one fed to him by Crosby was spectacular to watch. MAF made some outstanding saves in goal, he actually looked like the goalie that was playing during last seasons playoffs. Everyone pretty much picked up their game last night and it showed.
Granted Columbus isn't the Red Wings, or Boston... but they are certainly not Tampa Bay or the Islanders any more. They have grown in their 10 years of existance. Granted I live in the state of Ohio, though I'm originally from Pennsylvania. That said, I've never had any ill will towards the Blue Jackets, I'm guessing lots of that has to do with the fact that they are in the Western conference and do not directly affect my beloved Penguins.
I enjoyed this game for many reasons, but plan on enjoying the next meeting of these two teams on March 12th in Columbus, as I'll have awesome seats in the lower bowl. Shamefully it'll probably be my only Pens game this season, but I plan on making the most of it if that's the case!
Tomorrow it's the game that's been waiting since November 11th when the Pens beat their opponent on their home ice. The rematch in the Mellon with the Red Wings is going to be big. Remember that game 6 I mentioned earlier? That was the last time the Dead Wings were in the 'Burgh. I'd like to hope this winning momentum will kick the team into high gear and show everyone why they were in the finals last year... only this time, the Pens will win, and Marian Hossa can sit on the ice with that long pouty face again... why so serious?
Let's Go Pens!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Tonight the Penguins finish up their road trip in Montreal, in a game that is pretty important. Then again, pretty much all their remaining games are important. There is little room for error while sitting where they do in the Eastern Conference. 53 points and in 10th place just isn't doing it for me :\
I would like to thank the Buffalo Sabres for losing last night to a Western Conference team, your cooperation is appreciated. Feel free to do that a few more times, even say.. with the likes of Atlanta, Ottawa, Tampa Bay... I'm sure you get the picture.
Tyler Kennedy ended up with a one game suspension after his obvious (???) disregard for NHL rules by getting into a fight with Toronto's Luke Schenn mid line change, this past Saturday night. As such, the Pens have recalled 4th round draft pick Luca Caputi from WBS. Is it just me or does this kids name sound like something out of the Godfather?
At the same time they sent down one of my fav WBS players in Biz Nasty himself, Paul Bissonnette. I hope this guy gets to come back up again soon. He isn't necessarily a big standout player, but I just love his enthusiasim, and the fact he takes no ones crap.
Not much else to say. The Canadians are hobbled with injuries, they've lost the last few games. So.. let's hope the Penguins can cash in on that.
I've been looking for this for 2 days, and with my hubby being down sick, I've not been real hockey focused, but alas I saw Seth had it over on EmptyNetters, and to YouTube I went to find it for myself. I originally saw it during the Canadians/Capitals game this past Sunday.
Good stuff. This girl is a way more tolerable (and funny too!!) reporter than most females that are actual sports reporters.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Seeing Sidney score... inspiring.
Tyler Kennedy taking on a player bigger than himself (Luke Schenn)... gutsy.
The Pens making the game 4-4... exciting.
Losing to a team that sucks worse than you do... painful.