A point in Montreal is worth it.
Now, we know it's really irrational to be so pissed beyond all belief at a loss in a shootout, but Montreal did their best to prove, yet again, that they are whiny pieces of shit. And we will never think that they deserve to win any of the games, ever. Not even ones against Detroit. Remember that time they beat the fucking Caps? We didn't even really think they deserved that.
It seems like every Habs game in MTL of the last few seasons though has a distinct arc though, which we would like to examine in outline form.
I. Habs act like they're all hard.
No one will score for awhile, but there will be much gnashing of teeth by someone who should know better but doesn't. Like Subban trying to jaw at Malkin because, god forbid, Malkin tried to check him. Get real.
A. Habs will feed off the crowd and look like they deserve it for a minute.
Habs will score some goal or have a big shift, and act like it's the best day ever. The fans will get really into it and start terrifying everyone. A car fire will erupt in the suburbs unexpectedly.
B. Opposing team will work hard, but feel like they are being choked by stupidity. They will get bailed out by like 2 of their best players to keep things at bay.
II. Talent will reign. Someone will play hockey well (like Malkin or Joey V) and things will seem more even and calmed down for awhile. But, it is well-known that this is a temporary illusion.
A. We will proceed into a vast and godless ocean.
B. The outcome will make no sense and probably involve someone killing someone else.
Like Letang flying across the ice to deal with Subban attacking Gene for no good reason. Malkin had just apparently drawn an interference penalty on Darche? And then Subban was like gjskdlfjlskd. And then Letang was like GET THE JESUSFUCK OFF OF MY RUSSIAN. You can't make this up, folks. Yet this photo doesn't really do it justice.
This one is a bit closer.
Letang, in other words, gave zero fucks.
Shootout is ridic, it was won by Plekanec if that gives you a sense for how insane it was.
Malkin's goal will be talked about for at least ten more minutes, because it shows how much he really thinks of Carey Price to put that kind of move on him.
Fleury was reportedly "furious" after the loss. I mean he definitely didn't deserve to get scored on by Plekanec.
Everyone is upset that Jason Williams had the game on his stick. We were, too. But, sometimes the ultimate result of this formulaic existence in Bell Centre is death.
Whatever, we have the Jets on Saturday at home, that should be strange as all hell again.
Jets? Really? Oh Canada.
A point in Montreal is worth it.
These Blingees come from rexy, in honor of our two injured centers:
rexy's caption: "Staal looks longingly at a kitten."
And here is one of Sid:
And here is a topical one, for tonight's matchup against the Habs, from Loyal Friend of PH Carla:
Good versus Evil indeed.
May we learn something from all of this.
We're over it.
I don't know about you, but my Saturday is crammed so full of stuff that it's starting to squeak. Watching this hockey game is about the only break I'm going to get today, in between running errands, editing a paper for a nervous pearl-clutching grad student, and going on a Hot Date later with the husband.
I think we're going to the shooting range and then the Chinese buffet
Also, let me tip my hat to reader Carski, who made us this glorious Blingee of The Prettiest Princess.
Any time you want to send us Blingees, girl, we are all about it
My esteemed compatriot Zoë is in attendance at today's contest.
Save me a French cruller, Coach
I am totally looking forward to Errey telling me how long Chara's stick is at every possible moment.
Apparently the line of Sullivan-O'Reilly-Kennedy is now the "Irish line"? We need some better nicknames for our lines, STAT.
Neal-Malkin-Kunitz should be the Destroying Goaltenders' Collective Wills to Live line.
The Bruins are playing about as well as one would expect, considering they are the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Timmy and Fleury are engaged in an epic goalie battle.
On one side is AMURRRICA and cheeseburger cakes. Possibly actual cheeseburgers.
On the other, humility and juice boxes with cookies for Geno.
Which would you rather have on your side?
I feel like this game will be a game of inches.
Of tiny, almost imperceptible things.
I don't feel like there's going to be an Epic Meltdown on either side.
Just when it looks like Malkin is finally going to be able to get around Chara and do something, he gets blatantly cross-checked by Peverley.
Malkin then proves why he's so awesome by scoring on the power play with 8.1 seconds left in the period. 1-0 Pens
I missed the first part of the second period because TKhusband decided to give me a gun-safety lesson in advance of our Hot Date.
Gun safety is important, gentle readers.
I came back to the game in time to see the Penguins' power play collapse in upon itself, like a dying star.
Dupuis has accidentally whacked Tyler Seguin in the mouth with his stick. OOPS
In the epic Timmy vs. Fleury Goalie Battle For Great Justice, Fleury is winning. And not just because of the score - Fleury's making ridiculous saves all over the place.
Brooks Orpik shows why no one wants to encounter him in a dark alley by putting an enormous hit on Paille. Seriously, that guy flew like ten feet across the ice. He even applauded a little when he got back up.
The Pens come out firing on all cylinders to start the third.
A bad neutral-zone turnover sets up Matt Cooke. The Most Hated Man In Boston stuffs it in to make the score 2-0 Pens.
Alas, we are none of us perfect, and the first Bruins shot in the third period goes in to make it 2-1 Pens.
The Bruins have picked things up in this third period, as well they might have. I remember hearing something about them being the best possible third period team. Which seems odd, because aren't we the best possible third period team?
Despite a ridiculous back-and-forth effort during the third period, the Bruins cannot seem to score. I notice Timmy sneaking off the ice with about 45 seconds left in the game.
Fleury completely bails us out, refusing to let anything else in the net. Penguins win 2-1
ALT THREE STARS
Joe Vitale, for getting a new contract, and because we love him
Brooks Orpik for putting Paille into low-Earth orbit
The New York Times for using the Florida-as-dong picture of Malkin on their Slap Shot blog
Up next: New Jersey. SNORRRRRRRRE
And that man's name is Brent Johnson.
Somehow, after last night, the Whatever we had just wasn't quite there. Plus, everyone played way tighter. Just not much going on.
Beej had an actually amazing game. Of course, there is going to be some contingent on the Internet who always thinks the Penguins goalie is to blame for every single loss, or that he "sucks" even when he carries the team on his back to the win.
But, Brent deserved better. Pens couldn't score. Reimer was there when he needed to be--played equally as well as Johnson. Playing well is often irrelevant to numbers. It happens.
Some key photographic evidence of the evening:
Top facial expression of the last century.
THOUGH THIS ONE IS CLOSE BEHIND.
Fun fact: we received an e-mail this week from a blogger asking if we knew any "fun tidbits" about James Neal. As far as we know, the man has no personal life; he is just perfection embodied. Smoke on that.
Officiating was weird this game. Some correct calls (like the Kunitz no-goal) and just a ton of stuff gotten away with by both teams.
Mike Brown thought he was at jousting practice maybe:
Whatever; I can't speak for the rest of the PH contingent but I am too jazzed about attending Saturday's game in Boston to be of much analytical or narrative help this evening. I was, understandably, also very offended that no one is reblogging my Sidney Crosby pepper .gif on Tumblr so I may need a personal day to recover from the slighted, hurt feelings.
Got a really deep tweet from a Leafs fan earlier, though:
Why does anyone do anything.
Why are we here and where are we going.
TO TD GARDEN TO PROVE WE ARE STILL A MOTHER FUCKING GOOD TEAM, THAT'S WHERE.
~ go pens ~
Once upon a time, this post was to be titled "all of the balls."
But that is not what we have here, my friends, no. We do not have any of the balls, in fact. Unless we mean the good kind. In which case we are back to having all of them.
In a time with no hope, we found hope. Where there were no heroes to be found, they came to our rescue in droves.
Today is a day in which we have fought, and we have triumphed.
Let us reap the rewards.
A DARK PAST AND A WICKED RULER
The leader in the kingdom was cruel, unjust, and from a land far away where their mere pronunciation of words was an affront to common decency. Aboot. It was like a dagger in the heart every time they placed another foot on our soil. How dare they come to this place.
How dare they manage to take the reigns.
It was a dark time in Pittsburgh.
There was panic amongst the people.
Every other moment there was another raid, another pillaging, another raping of our pride and probably our women, too.
Consumption of mead was up at least a thousand percent.
We all had to try and pretend we weren't seeing what we were in fact seeing.
Nothing was sacred to these heathens.
We all feared goodness would never return to our land.
THE HEROES RETURN
Suddenly, on the horizon, we see our heroes returning to us.
Maybe things can get better.
We give all of our hope to our heroes, but it feels like a slim chance.
We don't want to doubt but it is beyond our understanding how we will get out of this one. Things, however, seem to get better.
We could win the battle.
Well, it's possible, but it feels kind of like bailing water out of the Titanic; a phrase which, when used here, is an anachronism of the several-hundred-year variety.
But to hell with it. Someone pass the whiskey.
This is all of the balls.
All of them.
And yet....slowly we feel the fight returning to us.
A VENGEFUL AND YET MERCIFUL GOD
One of our very own leaders lifts his head to the heavens and asks for a sign.
WHY GOD WHY
God answers by sending the five billion year old ocean hell monster to aid our battle.
Suddenly, everything has changed.
Good is overcoming evil.
Order is returning to the land.
And, at long last,
And to seal the deal, the Almighty makes a joke.
go to Pepper.
Showing up when needed, as always.
Like your distant, disapproving father.
If you are the type of person who is easily offended by us relying on photoshop rather than content, we apologize. We'll get'cha next time.
In the mean time,
We really have to give it to the NHL this year, btw.
In making up for that completely surreal and tragic opening ceremony experience, they have turned out some of the least shitty and bizarre All-Star Game portraits yet.
They've eliminated weird lighting techniques and have put the players in their jerseys to ensure that any fashion faux pas are mostly ignored.
But they're also kind of boring.
Joffrey Lupul: Man on a Wire. Does he look scared or is it just us?
This is classy. This says, "Hello, is it you I'm looking for?"
HELLO MY NAME IS PAVEL
That's really all this says to us.
Maybe LOL as well.
Too tall for School, yo.
Subtly placed Penguins logo.
We also got a good view of Gene's stems from the Penguins thanks to this shot. Do they all wear ballshortz to the portraits? We may never know.
Hossa went for the hat.
We think this choice is a little tacky.
Corey Perry says: hey check out my white stick tape while I hold my knob.
Okay come on his face is out of focus.
He looks like he just got back from a Cheeto marathon with Rick Nash or something.
ALSO: guess what the variation is on this pose? You guessed it: Kessel with his stick behind his back.
We are starting to get the impression that they wanted them to be "in and out" without much fanfare.
Not very All-Star.
ugh wtf he kind of looks normal
Also is it just some shitty compression that is making everyone look noisy/pixelated? Getty. . .
Looks genuinely happy to be there. No critiques.
Fun fact: if you asked us to envision Marian Gaborik before today, we would have no idea what to put in our minds.
Now we do. We know the face behind the shot. Really nothing remarkable here. Except you might forget him 10 seconds later which is a little creepy. He could be a replicant.
Jordan Eberle has a perpetual case of bedroom eyes, apparently. Or, "dude I had too many bonghits last night" eyes.
PRESSING QUESTION: why is Tyler Seguin sanding his stick on an artistic black background? Looks like an interlude in an episode of Reading Rainbow or something.
Also, fun fact, every time a picture of Tyler Seguin is taken, a child in another, parallel dimension loses a balloon to the sky.
OMG JAMIE BENN'S HAIR SITUATION
WHAT IS IT
DID MATT NISKANEN CATCH IT FROM HIM IN DALLAS?
Also obviously way too tall for School.
Not a bad picture. No idea what to say.
Timonen looks like a shop teacher that left your middle school under shady circumstances in this picture. Also: what on earth is with his pinky.
It's like Ryan Suter had no idea where he was.
Are ASG players screened at the door to make sure no one has dosed them? Or does the NHL dose them? Mysteries.
LOL WE'VE ALL SEEN YOUR BALLS
Intense variation on any of the other portraits we've seen so far.
Thinly masking an underworld of insanity as always, Mr. Phaneuf. He knew he was going to get booed so much. Probably why he took that penalty shot hooking thing. TAKE THAT ALL-STAR GAME, TAKE THAT OTTAWA!
Banner image for any hypothetical "HEY GIRL, I'M DENNIS WIDEMAN" Tumblr. Could such a thing ever exist?
Did they really make the goalies wear their padding for these?
No, they let Price look all normal. Guess it was because Timmy was starting:
OH WELL THAT'S A NICE NORMAL PICTURE OF JIMMY HOWARD BUT WAIT WHAT IS THIS
NODFLKJDLSGHUOEIFJKDMFBLFDDL BLFDHFDJF>D NOOOOOOOOO
Now, we move onward into the Land of Swedes.
fjdkl fdkls burns a little
Solemn and classy.
Similar image: a housewife opening her door in 1979 to a man trying to push the Book of Mormon.
Last known photo.
Thanks Brother Steven.
Looks a bit confused at the "playful stick angle." Like, Sedin-Bot never holds its stick like this.
How do you tell them apart? Henrik definitely has more bitchface.
TOO MUCH TERRIFYING SYMMETRY OTHERWISE
Oh Milan. You may not be as adorable as your brother but at least you aren't horrifying.
THEEERE'S THE MONEY SHOT, babe. just act natural. Asking him to smile clearly wasn't working out. He just can't force it:
Tavares really just looks perpetually like he should have had a minor role in The Room.
Also wtf is this shit seriously.
I PLAY WITH GIROUX NOW SO HERE I AM GUYZ
"I'm here too, but no one cares."
Staring into the abyss.
Cover of a self-help book about how to deal with Swedishness effectively.
Kris is trying out his "Caleb from Pretty Little Liars" look:
We think it's working for him.
Still like Normal Kris best:
But we'll let the "individuals who are attracted to Kris Letang" contingent weigh in on this.
AMBIGUOUSLY UPSET SHEA WEBER IS AMBIGUOUSLY UPSET
Dan Girardi is for some reason giving off an aura of class in this photo. He def has wine with dinner.
Direction on the hand by the photographer: "Pretend like you are holding an irregularly shaped apple, Keith. AND YOU'RE HANGING ONTO IT FOR DEAR LIFE."
Alexander Edler could be the poster boy of any cold-weather sport. He looks like a ski bum. He is just so blonde. We can't deal with it.
Probably the most Swedish-Insane that Henrik has ever looked as opposed to GQ. We like it.
JQuick looks like his mom forgot to pick him up after pickup soccer in 9th grade. Just some indescribable sadness.
Brian Elliott is another anonymous face. We never really pictured him until now. We always imagined him as a lump of blood, sweat, and tears, coagulated into a uniform. Mostly tears.
We don't think anyone took pics of the rookies. At least Getty doesn't have them tagged properly. Why were they even there again?
NHL needs some fresh creative in their marketing.
This shit didn't get weirder. Just more subtly weird.
As the All-Star Game is the most ridiculous of all this year's hockey events, I present to you Highlights from PH Commentary on the All-Star Opening Ceremonies.
Kim: I am going to go make myself a stiff drink zoë: WHO IS THIS PERSON PERFORMINGWHAT IS THISthere are cameramnen on skates
Mary: like you do
Kim: MVP = this guy's sunglassesprotecting him from the powerful UV rays in the dark arenazoë: and his sweet dance movesKim: If only he had a moustache.zoë: hahaha is phaneuf getting boo'dMary: man, i appreciate the consistency of everyone booing at phaneuf all the timeKim: yeah, it's nice to have something to go back to"The economy has collapsed, our president is an international jewel thief, and we're no longer allowed to paint walls yellow, but at least we can boo at phaneuf."Mary: also lupulzoë: BOOOOOOOOpulMary: i would feel bad booing at phil kessel thoughit's like he has nothing else going on in his lifehe always looks so distraughtzoë: i'm trying to take screen grabs of this stupidity but it's all going so fastprice = SILENCEcomplete silenceKim: the media is all about these moments
zoë: EVGENIMary: ))))))))))))zoë: him saying the numbers in french too is so disarming
Mary: i think it's kind of hilariouszoë: i just got a screen grab of chara in front of that stageKim: Waitis that Mike Green?Mary: is that guy still on stageKim: I think this is his debut as an entertainer.zoë: why is EVERY event the NHL puts on like having your brain put into a blender with terrible musicomg jamesMary: hanging up the skates and becoming canada's michael bublealthough is michael buble already canada's michael buble?i don't even knowKim: I am going to use that in my life. zoë: he IS canadiani'm still traumatized from chaka khan at the nhl awards Mary: that whole event was so low-rent and terriblezoë: and THIS isn't?Mary: oh it isKim: I can't wait to do this in Columbus.zoë: god do people tailgate the ASG? how drunk can we getKim: VeryMary: well, there is nothing else to do in columbusKim: We'll need toMary: i will need to numb the pain of being in columbuszoë: this is awkward, this anthemMary: yeah, show us a nice lingering shot of Timmy the PatriotKim: This is some hippy nonsense rendition of my anthem.Mary: AMURRRICAKim: Amurrica indeed, Mary. Amurrrica indeed.zoë: timmy should just take his dick out on TVKim: I love itzoë: "ottawa, the bilingual community."Kim: Why doesn't this game ever happen on timeMary: the Ceremonyzoë: get this time to shine song out of my lifeMary: i'll find a way to muddle throughzoë: it's like they're skating in mollasesKim: they're all hungovermaaaybe still drunkwho knows
Who knows, indeed. But I do know this - this is now the longest possible time before more All-Star Shenanigans.
So, what's it going to be? Team Alfredsson or Team Chara? What are you in it for? Do you even care?
Here is a Helpful Graphic:
Malkin and James Neal are on separate teams, which makes this perhaps difficult for Pens fans.
As for Letang, we know that his hair is often a big deal when it comes to swing votes, but we'll stay out of it for the time being.
The key problem here is that Team Chara has Jimmy Howard.
But Team Alfredsson has John Tavares.
How do we balance our Grease Alliances?
P.S. where is Selanne? Anyone?
Anyway, Team Alfredsson has Jonathan Quick and not Carey Price.
We think that makes it evident enough.
GO TEAM ALFREDSSON!
go James Neal, Gene, and KTang.
For all eternity.
You know, we always forget about the Blues.
We don't know why. They've been around awhile. It probably has something to do with the fact that Missouri is just a fucking unlikely place for a hockey team.
We'll say even more unlikely than Phoenix or Atlanta or SUNRISE, FLORIDA, or Tampa Bay.
It just seems so antithetical to hockey and to pro sports and we don't even understand what St. Louis is.
We ought to visit sometime.
In another universe, we might be Blues fans.
But we're not, so.
PENGUINS, STRAIGHTEN YOUR MOTHERFUCKING TIES OKAY.
MOST "OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN"
We experienced it all in the first period.
Jamie Langenbrunner, former Devils captain, forced to play second fiddle to fucking David Backes.
We have the Blues feed and the Blues announcers are taking every possible opportunity to accuse people of diving.
James Neal actually gets called for diving.
Fleury making unbelievable point-blank saves, a man alone in the trenches.
The Pens also get a whole lot of special teams going on but nothing really happens. But: Fleury is there, and that's what counts.
PERIOD THAT BEGAN WITH THE MOST BELIEF
Early in the 2nd, the Blues announcing team thinks it's the greatest controversy in all of sports history that a holding call drawn by Malkin wasn't accompanied by a diving call.
You think it probably doesn't matter because the Pens won't do anything on the power play anyway.
Then, somehow, Martin, who is deep on the play, makes a sick pass to Neal at the bottom of the circles with like 9 guys in his butt.
Snipejob. God lives again.
Shortly thereafter, MacIntyre steps onto the ice, takes a penalty. Tangradi's choo-choo-training probably would have been more useful in this game, sadly.
Whole world is crashing down.
Fleury is fucking balls out on every Blues player who dares to venture near him.
Letang ices the puck out of spite on at least one occasion.
Like, LOOK I'M GOING TO ICE IT. AND YOU'RE STILL NOT GOING TO SCORE.
Sullivan gets some nasty deflection from a point shot and then a Blues players' skate:
Earns at least 2x every goal he scores. This one was good.
MOST NON-MARC-ANDRÉ-FLEURY BALLS IN YOUR MOUTH
Patrik Berglund mutant self-replicating balls.
First off of a huge-ass turnover.
note how you can see no one's eyes in this photograph
could it be a satanic prayer circle
MOST EVENTS CAUSE BY A SATANIC PRAYER CIRCLE
This theory at least partially proven when Vitale almost scores, and his family, in their special suites since he is from St. Louis and they want nothing more than to see him play, FREAKS THE FUCK OUT but Elliot hates joy and makes the save.
There is some penalty against the Blues and the Pens go to work, but manage to hook Berglund on a shorthanded breakaway, which leads to an instant penalty shot, and a goal, by Patrik Berglund's balls.
that's 2-2 on a SHORTHANDED PENALTY SHOT.
we're the best!
Vitale is also stopped on some whirl-around backhander that was probably telepathically sent to him by Sidney Crosby.
by the way: Fleury, still more balls out than you will ever be.
We wish we had more photographic evidence but the press was probably too drunk.
Blues use their timeout because they want to get a better matchup for the Malkin line towards the end. Just really simple, but somewhat cocky, use of a timeout.
Cooke then railroads Barret Jackman with an awkward shoulder check, which somehow becomes boarding, and which was probably embellished by some kind of fetal position reaction.
Have you ever seen a player with an actual head/neck injury go into the fetal position like clockwork after receiving a hit? Really.
Not that we're homers or anything.
Except we probably are.
But it's Matt Cooke so the Pens should be expelled from the league and set on fire with lighter fluid.
So the Pens end the game on the PK.
Start OT on the PK.
Somehow survive OT by virtue of Fleury's unbelievable work to combat the forces of evil through flexibility and sheer willpower.
His save on Vladimir Sobotka (and his hair) towards the end is what babies are made of.
But no, we're going to yet another shootout. GOD FORBID THIS GO ON ALL NIGHT.
Shattenkirk basically does the same thing as Berglund and Fleury makes a nearly identical save.
Malkin smokes Elliott. No surprise there.
Oshie scores, too. WELP.
James shoots his puck high and wide.
Alex Pietrangelo falls victim to Fleury's Impregnating Pokecheck.
And then we tote out the last component of our First Line, Chris Kunitz. You might be like "why Chris Kunitz?"
because he has one move and yet no one ever looks at tape of Chris Kunitz when studying up for the big game.
Surprise: he went five hole.
It was kind of like going to Mordor, but we did it.
PENS WIN 3-2 SO
MOST UNCOMFORTABLE TANGO PARTNERS
look at that face. that is a face that says "my body is ready." But Michalek isn't quite yet.
SECOND MOST UNCOMFORTABLE TANGO PARTNERS
Paul wasn't quite ready for Chris Stewart's advances.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. JOE MOTHERFUCKING VITALE OH MY GOD
2. Fleury's pokecheck, because him getting the other 1st star wasn't enough.
3. James Neal. 100 goals and career high 27 goals, with 33 games left in the season. lol
so, suck on that. pens don't play until after ASG when they play Toronto
BONUS SECRET MOMENT OF THE GAME
When Brent Johnson congratulated Fleury with epic laughter and was all smiles at MAF's achievement.
Start him against Toronto. Get him his confidence back.