Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome backs, and sad goodbyes

With free agency looming and less than 24 hours away, already Ray Shero has been at work taking care of some of the Penguins.

Craig Adams was invited back. I didn't really know much about him when the original deal was made with the Blackhawks to acquire him, and at first he didn't show much, but down thru the playoff's he had a few plays that were invaluable to the Penguins. A solid fourth line player, Adams two-year deal is worth $550,000 per year. And according to what I've read, he took a pay cut to stay with in Pittsburgh.

Another clutch player since his acquisition at the trade deadline in March, and also taking a pay cut in order to stay with the Pens is Bill Guerin. After making $4.5 million last season, Guerin made a deal worth $2 million for one year.

Both moves were solid negotiating by Shero, and shows that these guys aren't always in it for the money, and are committed to this team. Thumbs up to that.

One Penguin to fall by the wayside is Mike Zigomanis. In the era of the salary cap, and the Pens already having a number of quality third and fourth line players, Ziomanis is an item they just cannot keep or afford. He'll be in the free agent market tomorrow. My condolences to Seth over at EmpterNetters.

So far the Penguins have committed $51,218,300 to 17 players for the coming season. The NHL salary cap will be $56.8. And within that remaining dollar amount the management needs to decide if the can afford to keep Rob Scuderi. Most likely if they are able to make a deal with him, they won't be able to keep Hal Gill. And what of Ruslan Fedotenko?

It was already rumored days after winning the Cup that they would most likely not be keeping Petr Sykora. But who knows, free agency day is always so much fun to see the comings and goings, unless it's one of your fav players.

But, unlike the trade deadline, there will not be a huge amount happen tomorrow, but it will start and will happen thru the summer.

So puck heads.. all for now, more signing news as it happens... or at least shortly there after :P

I'm back, baby.. I'm back!

Not one to let myself be kept down for too awful long, my insufferable DSL connection had kept me down and out for ... well gosh, I can't even begin to think how long. Finally hitting rock bottom, at a whopping 32kbps, I'd had it and turned my fury on AT&T, I was going to miss blogging about the draft, and I was a woman on a mission.

Alas, running now at a proper speed, I can now resume my blogging duties. Such as they are ;)

First off, must share two pictures from the upcoming issue of The Hockey News. I get the digital issue of it along with my paid subscription to the actual hard copy. I am so jacked up to get this issue, and after you see the cover you'll see why!

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Great isn't it??? :) Here is another picture from inside...

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I will just leave it at that and let you go buy your own copy to read the article lol.
PENS ALERT: Pens sign Bill Guerin to 1-year contract. Guerin, 38, had 7 goals, 8 assists, 15 points in 24 playoff games in 2009. He's won 2 cups.

Monday, June 29, 2009

PENS ALERT: Pens sign Craig Adams to 2-year contract. ADAMS: 3G 2A 5PTS in 24 playoff games in 09. He was acquired on waivers from CHI Mar 4th.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It just has to make you laugh

But hey... I called it!

I'm not usually one to rub someones nose in it after I've been proven right, and had I not gotten this comment to one of my blog posts, everything probably would have went along unnoticed by me or anyone else for that matter. But seeing as how this is MY blog, and I can pretty much write what ever I wish (within limits, of course) I can't help but add my 2 cents.

In response to my May 28, 2009 blog post The Penguins Conspiracy Theory , a poster using the name, NHL Insider (which funny enough, didn't have any real blogger profile and was created June 2009) replied with this:

NHL Insider said...
Penguins fans who actually think their cup win is legit are the truly delusional ones!!!

Nevermind the schedule...the Malkin non suspension despite clear league rules...27% more PP opportunities than any other team after round 2, a 5 on 3 PP in OT vs PHI????? I could go on and on!
DISGUSTING!
June 20, 2009 1:59 AM

Now that is pretty funny stuff. However, I do beg to differ.

The schedule? Could this mean the regular season schedule, or the one for the Stanley Cup final, which is what I hinted at in the original blog post. Most likely. Please. All 30 teams play 82 games a season, and those making it to the playoffs have to win another 12 (and in most cases play more) to make it to the finals.

So if one team is a little more battered and bruised for whatever reason, how does that make any schedule lean to or against any particular team? Answer? It doesn't. Like I mentioned originally, Detroit was going to cry party foul over this if it didn't end their way. Get over it already.

As for Evgeni Malkin's suspension. Anyone that has read any kind of reports on that incident and have seen the written rule, knows that the NHL has the option of rescinding any kind of suspension.

Rule 47.22 states: “A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes or at any time in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident. The director of hockey operations will review every such incident and may rescind the suspension based on a number of criteria. The criteria for the review shall include, but not be limited to, the score, previous incidents, etc...”

NHL punisher Colin Campbell said: “None of the criteria in this rule applied in this situation. Suspensions are applied under this rule when a team attempts to send a message in the last five minutes by having a player instigate a fight. A suspension could also be applied when a player seeks retribution for a prior incident. Neither was the case here and therefore the one game suspension is rescinded.”

So in other words... get over that too.

As for the power play stats, really... who gives a flying fig? Anyone can manipulate any kind of statistic to suit their needs. I mean, come on. That's pretty much why I only pay only a fraction of attention to these statistics in the first place, and secondly you have to look at the source. If it's the opposing team, chances are they are giving you stats to make themselves look good, and you bad. The only ones I pay any attention to are the wins and loss and points, as far as I'm concerned those are the only ones that matter in the end.

Oh, and guess what? Here is my favorite statistic... Penguins defeat the Red Wings in 4 out of 7 games to win the Stanley Cup! Disgusting? I think not! Anyone who doesn't think this win is legit, give me some stone cold facts, anything else to me is just sour grapes.

Does this make me delusional? Not hardly. No one said being the best was gonna be easy, or that the first loser was going to be gracious in his defeat. Someone is always going to be there to knock you off your throne, and that's fine, that's how sports is supposed to be, a competition. But for the summer and up until next spring, the Pittsburgh Penguins are the NHL's Stanley Cup Champions!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It was just like any other Friday

It's been 5 days now since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, and I've held off really adding anything here to my blog other than the quick graphic I made up top there. The first couple days it was just because I was still so jacked up over it all. Then when I did have the inclination, I had no time, was at a loss for words, and oh yeah, the famous POS internet connection I have.

But, here I am at last. Yes, I'm still in a savoring state of mind, but at last able to share a few thoughts.

I've been pontificating just what I wanted to add here, and really this blog is more about my thoughts and opinions and ideas more so than any sort of 'news'. I leave that to bloggers much better than myself, and those with access to all sorts of media outlets, it is without them my own ideas would have nothing to feed off of. :)

So, in retrospect it was just like any other Friday night, except for the fact that it was game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, and my Penguins were playing! I was anxious all day for it to start, and then when it did start I almost wanted time to stop!

I remember thinking to myself once the puck dropped, how am I going to react if this is a repeat performance of last year? Devastated sure, but I would go on, albeit maybe a bit grouchy for a few days, but despite the feelings of nervousness as play progressed, I was having a very good feeling about all of this.

Seeing Sidney Crosby get hurt part way thru the second, I knew it'd do one of two things to the team. Either they were going to feed off that or they were going to let it get them down. Suffice to say it was the former and not the latter.

Superstar Max Talbot giving the Penguins their only two goals almost seemed poetic in a sense. Here is a guy who is obviously a fun person to be around for his teammates, but isn't really known for his talent. Max was clutch when the need arose, and in more than one instance thru these playoff's. Starting with that fight in the Philly series. I think the levity that he brings to the locker room is needed just as much as those moments when he adds to the game so richly.

Jordon Stall was another player that I was really happy to see blossom thru these games, and though he didn't score in game 7, he made his presence known.

I remember saying to my husband after the end of the second period, still uncertain what was wrong with Sid, "this game is going so fast!". Later those words couldn't have been further from the truth.

Thru these playoff games, my dog, Tulip, has become what you could call a Pavlov dog. A bunch of these games towards the end I watched on my own as my husband was still working, and I'll admit to letting go a bit more when I'm on my own in my celebrations. It got to the point when she heard the horn from the Mellon Arena from a Pens goal, she'd join me in voicing her excitement, though it has to be stated she probably has no concept of hockey, poor doggie. But it got to be fun nonetheless, every time I'd celebrate, she'd join too, even getting to the point that during the final game, half way thru the 3rd period she could sense my anxiety once Detroit scored.

For a game that I had thought to be speeding by suddenly came to a screeching halt about 1o minutes from the end. A 2-1 lead didn't seem so huge anymore. Gawd, I did not want this going into OT!!! Sure, the stamina of youth was on our side, but this was going to be the end of it all, no more second chances.

So the remaining time left, Fluery say a ton of shots on goal, and like a wall deflected and blocked them out. No longer was I sitting comfortable in my recliner, but instead on the edge of my seat quite literally. For crying out loud, I wanted it all to end, my heart couldn't take another shot off the crossbar behind Fluery!!! Let alone a near miss to his glove side.

A score of 2-1, a mere 6 seconds left on the clock, please hear my cries, I'm mentally yelling to the hockey gods, LET THEM WIN THIS!!!

A faceoff, a shot on net, Fleury takes a funky body dive to his right blocking a shot, he gets back up and sort of raises his hands, even he himself isn't sure, is it over? IT IS! He throws up his stick and gets surrounded by the rest of the team.

The Penguins have just won the Stanley Cup! And imagine, Sidney Crosby didn't get asked if he was going to Disney Land. Pffft!

Me and my husband, and Tulip celebrated right there in the living room to the greatest accomplishment in sports. In no other sport do you have to go thru a series and win 16 games to get to the final prize.

I've never been ashamed of my team, but at that moment I was never more proud of them, they had gone into the Joe Louis Arena, with most folks doubting their chances to take the Cup, but all us loyal Penguin fans had their back, we above all else, knew that they could do it. And they did.

Saturday night I barely slept, all I could think about was just how exciting this must be for the Penguins and all the troubles they've had in the last year since coming out of the finals as losers. They proved to everyone that you can't take a team at face value, that there is more to a team than the faces of it's players and a bunch of mumbo jumbo stats. There is heart, and without it, all the talent, stats, and money in the world won't buy you that win.

Sunday morning I got to rewatch a good bit of the game again on the NHL network, and I'm sure over the coming weeks I'll happily watch it again. This time it is easier to watch given that I know how it all ends.

For the rest of this week, I shall bask in the glory of my team having claimed Lord Stanley's most sacred chalice for their very own, and not be ashamed to do so. I'm a gracious winner, and won't shove it in anyones face, but forgive me if I feel the need to brag a little.

You see it's happened.... a hoceky girls dream has come true.

Friday, June 12, 2009

YES WE CAN....YES WE DID!!!!
PENS ALERT: Presenting your 2009 Stanley Cup Champions - The Pittsburgh Penguins!

all for that big cup



Like many fans of the sport of hockey, I've been anxiously waiting for tonights game, but then again, I and my fellow Penguins fanatics are probably just a tad bit more anxious for the game to start in about 3 hours.

I've purposely not gone to any of my usual online hockey blogs and sites today. Sounds strange sure, but I think I've heard so many stats about game sevens that I want to puke. The past is the past, and this is the present, the right now.

And things have never looked more promising.

Admitedly I've missed my morning and afternoon visits to Puck Daddy, or reading what's going on at ThePensblog, or even checking out Seth's site, EmptyNetters. But enough is enough with speculations and what not.

All day long all I have thought of is this game. This is single handedly the biggest game of my Pittsburgh Penguins fandom. Sure there were the cup wins in '91 and '92, I'm not taking anything away from those, but I was still a relative newbie to the sport of hockey at that point, having only been remotely folling it a couple years prior to those wins. I didn't even know what a two line pass was, let alone being offsides!

And now, here we are, at the crest of what could be one of the greatest moments in any players career, as well as their adoring fans. (bandwagon fans don't count!!!) I wouldn't even bother with a blog next to no one reads if I were not that enraptured with this team. I do it for my own benefit, purely for the love of this team and the great sport of hockey. (I'm not even Canadian, eh?)

All that needs said has been said.. and by better bloggers and commentators than myself!... the team knows what they have to do, Fluery has to be HUGE, and in a game seven the Penguins have proven they can get the job done, and then some.

My prayers are going up to the hockey gods to shine favorably on the team with the flightless bird on their jerseys, and to make a hockey girls dreams of Lord Stanley come true.

LET'S GO PENS!!

If this doesn't give you chills, you're no fan...

Believe... in... miracles

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

it's not over!

If you're like me, and well, let's face it, I am rather unique, so kudos if you're like me (heh), you woke up today feeling a whole lot better about the hockey world knowing you'll be getting to see the Penguins go toe to toe again Friday night with Detroit.

The Pens played hard and reaped the benefits of doing so, forcing that game 7, and not letting them dang Red Wings lift the cup in our house again for a second straight year!

Well done, gentleman!!!

So, my Stanley Cup playoff flag gets to fly another few days on my front porch, proudly proclaiming my loyalty to a bunch of men with the heart and passion for the game of hockey.

Life is indeed good today if you're a Penguins fan.

We'll savor this victory for today, then tomorrow once more we shall start the fretting, and anxious restlessness waiting for game 7.

With the prospect of elimination last night, there were a few parts of the game I swore I was having chest pains, how the hell am I going to make it thru a final game 7!?

No worries, I'm willing to take my chances, especially if it means winning the cup in the process!

GO PENS!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

PENS ALERT: Pens beat Wings 2-1, force Game 7 FRI. GOALS: J.STAAL(4), T.KENNEDY(5). STARS: 3)J.STAAL 2)T.KENNEDY 1)M.FLEURY
Why did they show the cup?!?!?

the final countdown

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To say I've been preoccupied with hockey off and on thru the day would be an understatement. I can't walk into my computer room and not be surrounded by everything that is the Pittsburgh Penguins. The not so subtle Sidney Crosby fathead on one wall, the massive Penguins logo on another, the 25th anniversary season print above my television in here, not to mention the various other pictures and treasures I have in here. And I love and cherish them all, with the love only a true fan can have for her team.

Tonight is game 6 in the Stanley Cup finals. Going into this, I try to tell myself this is nothing like last years game 6... well, I don't think I need to tell you how that one ended. I guess what I am trying to say is, the Pens have played totally different this year, and sure there is always the chance of it all ending tonight, but I don't think it will. That being said, I have my own little agenda as to why I hope that's not the case.

Mostly, I don't want the season to end. Unlike 28 other teams in the NHL, I've gotten to watch my beloved team play a good 6 weeks + longer than them, and the thought that I'll have to wait until October for it to all start again seems a titch sad. Pity me, folks... remember, like any other type of obsession or addiction, it needs to be fed for it to thrive properly.

That's not to say I'll starve. There is the entry draft, the trade deadline, and woohoo, preseason games, not to mention the prospect of going to training camp again! So yeah, I'll live, maybe painfully so, but I'll survive.

Of course, I'll survive a bit more comfortably wondering what Brooks Orpik is doing on his day with the cup, or if Sidney is going to put it at the bottom of Mario Lemieux's swimming pool for posterity's sake. Hint... I want the cup.

Whether tonight is the end of the season, or this series goes to a game 7, one thing is certain, tonight is the last game in the Mellon arena for the year. Leaving only one more year of puck drops left until we'll be watching the Pens at the Consol Energy Center.

Win, lose, (obviously we prefer win!) I still love this sport and my Penguins, so if they would just oblige me and give me one more game, a game 7, I would be ever so grateful. We'll talk about how I wish for that game to end when we get there. :)

Only over 2 hours to game time. It's time to do this like you've never done it before!!! Make that igloo shake, and show them dead wings just how good of a team we are!

LET'S GO PENS!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!



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Sunday, June 7, 2009

tomorrow is another day

I'm still stunned... giving myself until tomorrow to figure out what I want to say...

but no denying... this is going 7 games

Saturday, June 6, 2009

PENS ALERT: Pens fall to Wings 5-0. STARS: 3)C.OSGOOD 2)P.DATSYUK 1)H.ZETTERBERG. Game 6 TUE @Pit. Limited # of tix on sale MON @10am
This is painful to watch :( *sigh*

Game 5, big time important!

Yes, it's game 5 of the Stanley cup finals, and the series is tied up 2-2, with only 3 games remaining... well, at the very least 2.

What makes this game so big? Well, if the Pens have any hope of winning this thing, they will need to win one of the remaining games IN Detroit. Now wouldn't it be a whole lot easier going back to Pittsburgh with a win in hand, and taking the cup in front of the home crowd?

And let's face it, the pressure to win a game 7 in the motor city would be huge.

The Penguins have youth and stamina on their side. It's been mentioned that the Wings look tired. Who knows, they are still tough as nails, and the Pens need to remember that.

As typical with important updates, my internet connection is taking the tail pipe and is slower than slow... so.. you know the routine.

Anyhow... time to do it once more... and win this, and shame Detroit on their home ice!

LET'S GO PENS!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

PENS ALERT: Pens beat Wings 4-2. GOALS: E.MALKIN(14), J.STAAL(3), S.CROSBY(15), T.KENNEDY(4). STARS: 3)E.MALKIN 2)S.CROSBY 1)M.FLEURY
LET'S GO PENS!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

my conspiracy theory


Renewed faith

Certainly not mine, I've always maintained my faith in the Penguins I'm proud to say.

But bandwagon fans are feeling better 24 hours after last nights win over the much hated Red Wings. These nay sayer's yesterday were having their doubts and already writing the Pens off.

Thee of little faith.

I'm quite happy not to add myself into that group, and as I've said here before, as far as my beloved Penguins goes, I'm always the eternal optimist. The fat lady hasn't been paged, she's not in the building, and she's not in your program..... point is, she's not singing.

For the life of me, where this optimism comes from I can't rightly say. I grew up in a non hockey household, and pretty much only knew Cleveland Indians baseball, what with a father and two brothers all baseball obsessed, it's quite ironic I took another direction/sport, yet if you know anything about baseball, the Indians and Pens have many parallels. Thus, the utter hope and optimism for a win is understood by everyone present.

So sure, I'll step out and state the obvious (at least to me), it's not over 'til it's over... and it's not over. As each game is played, the younger Penguins are getting that much closer to figuring out what makes the Red Wings machine run, and try to beat it at it's own game.

21 seconds worth of too many men on the ice not withstanding.... ahem.

So, another 24 hours must be waited out for the next chapter in this ever evolving drama involving some dude named Stanley, and his big silver cup. Keep the faith my brotha.... it only gets better from here, I promise.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PENS ALERT: Pens beat Wings 4-2. GOALS: M.TALBOT(5,6), K.LETANG(4), S.GONCHAR(3). STARS: 3)H.ZETTERBERG 2)E.MALKIN 1)M.TALBOT. Game 4 THU @PIT.
POWER TO THE PENGUINS!!!

Let's do it!

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As you can well imagine, there are ALOT of people saying the Penguins are done, have no hope of winning the cup, insert your own doom and gloom words here. And as I've mentioned before, some of these people are Pens fans!?!?

Not one to let 2 losses get me down, I'm still keeping the 'it's not over until it's over' attitude. I mean, how can you NOT? If you're a true fan, as myself, you have to be optimistic and still keep hope alive for your beloved team.

In the back of my mind I'm kind of hoping the ref thing is a bit better tonight, and that someone can keep Hendrik Zetterburgs big ol' butt out of Fluery's blue paint.

Even the Pens themselves are not giving up yet, so why should we?!?

From Puck Daddy:

Q. Sergei, can you compare tonight's game with last night's?

GONCHAR: In my opinion we did not play bad. Look at the statistics in the regular season and the playoffs. What other team managed to outshoot the Red Wings in a game? We did it yesterday and today. We constantly created scoring chances. It is a different matter that we did not convert. But this is Detroit. You also need luck in addition to playing well against them.

What in your opinion is the main reason for the loss? Just no luck? Or you couldn't cope with the system Detroit was playing?

Not really, you can play against their system and win. The most important is to finish your chances with goals. It's not enough just to create opportunities. But I will repeat myself, today they had a little bit more luck than us.

So tonight.. yeah, it feels like a GREAT day for hockey, and for a Penguins win! This series is about to take an upturn for our great team!!! Let's DO IT!

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Did you see that? They didn't either

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I've been putting off all day contemplating what to even post today. Mostly because I'm sort of at a loss for words as to just what can be said, without it coming off as sounding like I'm a whiner.

But gurandamnteed, had the other team been on the losing end of these last 2 games, you can bet your sweet behind they'd be saying the same thing too.

Point blank, the officiating stunk. Well, alright, I'll step out on a limb here, it didn't all stink, just the total lack of calls is what got me, the 'let them play' attitude is just nonsense. How do you tell 30 teams of players, that these are the rules to our game, and you have to follow them or you will be penalized accordingly, then come the final round of the playoffs you don't enforce them???

That's crap.

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The Penguins play a fast game, and skaters like Sidney Crosby are just known for drawing penalties, thus putting the Pens on the power play, thus scoring. See the picture?

And in the two games in this final there has not been even one bona fide goal that made you go, HELL YEAH!!! over. Detroit's goals they've score, with the exception of one, have been either flukes, or luck at best. Not that Pittsburghs have been outstanding either... both of them.

So after today I'll give up my officiating gripe, as I'm sure the Pens have realized they will now need to refine their game and play the Dead Wings own game against them.

Tomorrow... Game 3... AT HOME!!!

LET'S GO PENS!!!