The whole theme of this game apparently came from the fact that Tanner Glass, our second-favorite Dartmouth man, used the word "gumption" when describing what he would like to see more of from his new team, and everyone at ROOT Sports was so deeply tickled by it (perhaps by virtue of learning a new word and having to Google it) that they had to use it in their broadcast five million times.
Hey let's be honest: we're not TOTALLY buying that the Pens are turning it around just because they beat the Rangers 3-0 tonight. The Rangers are a terrible team and our offensive struggles are real.
But some gumption was found.
FATTEST AND SLOWEST
The Rangers hold this title, only strengthened by their acquisition of Fat Rick.
As evidence, Ryan McDonagh is shown hating a child.
Dustin Jeffrey is back yet again from his tragic exile to see if he can combat the lipid sludge.
The Pens keep scoring these early goals and then looking like a zombie skeleton crew for the rest of the game. Tonight is no exception. Gene burns the shit out of Henrik. Sad times. The ache is in our hearts again but we do not yet feel the burn.
Never before has a 1-0 game felt less like progress and more like that box of cereal you continue to eat even after you're pretty sure it's really stale.
PERIOD MADE OF MOST DICKS
The second period. No one cares about it. Pens couldn't score on power plays. They killed a few penalties. I have nothing coherent in my game notes except the fact that Malkin blew it on some sweet 2 on 1 with Jeffrey because idk he wouldn't fucking shoot it. Weird decision making by everyone. The confidence just isn't there. The swagger. Sid also has a very yikes breakaway. Shoots it over the net. More stale cereal.
We did however get this amazing vision of Vitale and Dan having a serious conversation. We'd trust Vitale with the entirety of the coaching duties, btw.
PERIOD YOU HAD NO IDEA HAD EVEN STARTED
The third one, because who knows. Could start out fine and then all of a sudden we're losing and whoops.
Pens are on some power play to start and you had probably already written it off but then Sid managed to set James Neal up with a sweet, soft deflection. It wafted low under Hank like so many feathers. Welp.
No one photographed this goal because they hate freedom.
Here's Brooks from 2nd intermission, telling us all about how much we are risking by playing like assholes. Seriously: Brooks second period intermission interviews work. If not for goals, then at least for team morale.
MOST SUSPICIOUS CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY
Despres took some penalty the way all young defensemen do.
Everyone was okay with it.
As the penalty expired Dupes was trying to kill time along the boards in the Pens' zone and suddenly Despres was all alone in the middle. No one picked him up when he got release. Dupes hits him with a pass and sweet holy hell. I seriously only saw the 7 on his jersey and thought it was Sid. I am a fool.
seriously this is the first moment of the season where we feel like ~something is happening~
Got a bit of the swagger over here.
Game ended without anything else of note occurring, especially not if you value your brain cells. Just a weird fucking game that barely opened up enough at the end to feel good.
STORY OF THE GAME was Vokoun being perfect--literally. Rangers hit two posts in the 3rd. No one cared, least of all Tomáš. Speaking of which Errey is already calling him Tommy and commenting at length on his water drinking habits.
Write this shit out.
VokounSplosion is a tank. A tank of pure poise.
MOST ACCENTLESS ESL
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Brooks Orpik - because of reasons
2. Dustin Jeffrey - maybe we finally forgive you for leaving us alone in the freezing rain that one time
3. Tanner Glass - for being educated in the ways of the world.
our hopeful little hearts, swollen to dangerous size with love of Despres' goal, are tempted to see it as a potential turning point to the season, if only the Penguins can harness its dangerous magic.