as a reminder, we don't give awards in the playoffs. There's one bigger award everyone has to worry about. We don't want to detract from actual glory.
You know that feeling you get, when you are at just that right height in the air in an airplane, and it's nighttime, and all of the lights beneath you are pulsating frantically like living creatures in a hopeless dark ocean?
The playoffs are just like that and you don't really quite feel the intensity of that, the senseless floating in the vastness of Everything, shrouded in the most delicate little lights, until it's a little bit too late?
This was really just some kind of thought experiment, right? We didn't actually do this? After the leaden, soul-crushing nature of the West games we watched yesterday, I can't be sure that this follows the emotional arc of the universe. Rest assured, we will suffer this playoff season, in one way or another. Tonight is not representative of all. The gently pulsating lights are not always your friend.
The Pens got an early power play and Beau Bennett totally smoked Nabokov:
Then it was Dupuis after Adams mixed it up with Nabby in the high slot.
Up 2-0 after the first period, you'd think the Pens would probably sit back a bit. but it's also the playoffs, and it's also the Islanders, and it's also the Penguins.
The Islanders also got themselves into penalty trouble early in the second. Letang had a one-timer from the point that was deceptive, quiet, and deadly. We'll ignore the fact that ROOT Sports said that the ladies would have to be "easy" i.e. restrain themselves for a Letang intermission interview. Puh-lease. The hair is long and dramatic and apparently fathered a child but we have dignity. Also Joey V is in the press box so the general vaginas in the immediate vicinity are safe, amirite.
oh right there was a goal:
Ah yeah. Apparently we broke Nabby. Also Neal hasn't been back--I totally forget when exactly he was hurt but it was at some point in the middle of the second period, right?
Yep looks like that Kazakh needs some tuneup. That'll be our standard $100/hour service fee and one Kevin Poulin.
Not a great deal is honestly happening. Tanner Glass was along the wall just hanging out and put a puck towards Poulin because he could, and it went in.
Oh so it's 5-0. We really weren't expecting this. We realize this feeling is not actually safe, that we could simply drown under the weight of our own hearts.
But yeah, we scored five goals, and the Isles really obviously didn't have five goals to answer with. And one of those goals was Tanner Glass. Also MAF was in everyone's faces.
What's surprising is that the Islanders haven't actually tried to kill anyone yet. Might have to wait til game 3 for that to happen.
John Tavares is mad, btw.
It's weird because I remember the day that Tavares was drafted and I remember him playing against the Pens and I just don't remember him doing much of anything and I always think that this game is going to be the game he's going to be a villain and score a hattie. He hasn't yet. But he will. Keep an eye out. Check your tarot cards.
Marty Reasoner stuck his skate out maliciously in an attempt to take out Jokinen. Reasoner it looks like got a major penalty for being awful and a game misconduct. CONGRATULATIONS ISLANDERS.
Mario looks out on his kingdom:
This is one hell of a castle we have. But it's just going to get harder to defend.
If anyone is seriously hurt, look out.
The playoffs are such a strange sensation. This is not at all like last year, at least, so we don't need bear tranquilizers to deal with it.
It's important to not get too excited. To not pollute the stream with words and promises we cannot keep. Still need to win three more of these bitches and they ain't all gonna be 5-0.
from Please Chase Me by Joel Ross
Basically one of our main emotions throughout our lives.
Are you ready? Still?
as a reminder, we don't give awards in the playoffs. There's one bigger award everyone has to worry about. We don't want to detract from actual glory.
Recap of last night real quick. The Pens get down to business with the Islanders tonight but we are already primed for shaking and crying by the events of last evening.
Blackhawks vs. Wild - Blackhawks lead the series 1-0 after an emotional overtime goal
Niklas Backstrom went down in warmups. All the East fans who have never seen the Wild play a game this season suddenly perked up from their BLACKHAWKS IN FOUR! arguments. Emotional investment in the Minnesota Wild was nonexistent before this moment--everyone was still pissed at them for grabbing Parise and Suter. It seemed an almost Kovalchuk-ian move, superstars taking pay raises to play for a team that is never going to do much of anything. Except everyone on the Wild apparently doesn't suck like we've been led to believe. Josh Harding, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year, took his spot between the pipes without a backup and spent the rest of the evening holding off the "best team in the NHL this season."
And just like that, it's war.
The Wild played an unbelievable game all around. Not only were they steady defensively, holding one of the best offenses in the NHL to one goal through 60 minutes on their home ice, it was exciting to watch.
You'll have to forgive us, Northwest Division bros, for not paying attention to this team at all this season. We were pretty busy.
The old gods have bigger plans for Minnesota. Whether our hearts just get wrenched out with prejudice, or they manage to pull off an upset. We don't want think it's going to be a sweep anymore.
Blues vs. Kings - Blues win in OT after Kings tie it late
The Blues were all up in everyone's business and the Kings managed a late goal by grinding it out. It was equally emotional. The two OTs last night ended at the exact same time, which is probably a coincidence but there could be ancient curse involvement.
Alexander Steen stole a puck from Jonathan Quick behind the net while his team was on the PK and put it home before JQuick could even put his pants back on. Pretty crazy.
Ducks vs. Red Wings - Anaheim leads the series 1-0, winning in regulation because the Wings got their only offense from Dan Cleary and also they suck
Selanne all day
If your body wasn't vibrating while you were watching these games we don't know if we can be friends.
This season. What to even say about it? It feels like a strange dream, an alternate universe. In which Jussi Jokinen, Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray are all Pens. (It's a shame they're here for a short time--we've only just gotten used to their fuzzy faces burrowed in our hearts.) Being tops in the East is a weird feeling. Being "regular season good" is like a terrible curse. It's like being the Caps in 2009. No one ever wants to be that. We'll have to make this work after today. But a win today would still be good.Let's give some awards, because they're meaningless, and it's worth it.
ALSO BTW LOL WE TAGGED THIS POST WITH THE #CAROLINA HURRICANES IS ANYONE PREPARED TO CRY ABOUT OUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH ON THE FUCKING INTERNET? Hockey is love, ladies and gentlemen. Hockey is love.
So ROOT sports is talking up the Canes having three Staal brothers.
This is the most belligerent family reunion in human history. There are like eight coolers full of Yuengling and Early Times in the Sons of Italy pavilion right now. Jokinen playing the Canes, Sutter playing the Canes, Tim Wallace playing the Pens (THE ALASKAN STORM), Staal playing the Pens, Eric Staal and Jared Staal playing each other. Anyone we missed? Should we have brought more beer?
Oh and we've got PaulMart back AND James Neal.
The real challenge here will be to stay sober.
Apparently JStaal (Uncle Jordy, not the other one) has been "struggling" this year. How strange! Poor Jordy. Remember when you saved Christmas?
No but the Staaliest is probably Eric. He took a penalty in the first period to give the Pens a PP.
The PP looks pretty ehhhhh but it's pretty obvious that Neal and Malkin are back to being soul brothers. Next rush on the PP, Gene is weaving his way through a pack of Hurricanes off of a pass from James and gets a puck past Peters in one of those beautiful moves we always know he is capable of, even in those moments when he is flailing around and getting his temper.
Oh and guess who got an assist on that goal? Dad MAF.
Maybe Evgeni should offer to share his parents with PaulMart because it's his first game back after breaking his hand and he flipped the puck over the glass like immediately after the goal.
It's okay Pauly we got your back. And how! Even a Kuni breakaway after the penalty is over! Gosh golly gee whiz.
How did Tim Wallace manage to draw a penalty on Douglas Murray? Do we really have to play this game?
Well not really because it was like playing even strength basically. Canes are really bad at this game.
We wish we had more stormy things to announce, but we don't. It's a breezy summer day both on and off the ice. Let's hope we don't start sucking each other's dicks too soon.
Oh Gene we've missed your sweet voice.
PERIOD OF LIGHT IN WHICH WE MAY HAVE GOTTEN TOO COCKY
Neal snipejob eventually. Canes don't even know.
Oh did we mention MAF? because MAF
Malkin's line gets 40 chances but none are buried.
MAF makes some ridic save on Eric Staal but a rebound is forced to the stick of Jiri Tlusty. Apparently the last person to touch it was Westgarth. Who we care very little about. So no shutout for Dad.
at least westgarth seems happy
Random: why do red hockey pants always look like they've recently been pooped in?
This is no offense to all red hockey pant-wearing teams. Maybe it is.
LEAST COMPETENT--BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYWAY
Jokinen and Dupes get a 2 on 1. Jokinen shoots--Peters could have stopped it, but doesn't. Jussi gets the juicy (SEE WHAT I DID THERE) rebound from a bad angle. It floats right in. God, Jussi.
here is jussi looking super unimpressed with himself
Hearing Jokinen speak, btw, was a jarring experience for me. I totally forgot that he would have a Finnish accent. I guess I always saw him as a silent hero. Why is Peters in this game again?
LEAST GODS IN THE CASTLE
god damn it Tuomo Ruutu. Fleury makes another excellent save but then gets in trouble. Someone forgot to pick up the Finn. Easy goal. Water bottle flying around.
And then there was Westgarth from the point. Fleury seems rattled.
Come on you guys we've gotta win THIS one. This one is still important. We have to keep the castle pure. Letting the Staals get in your mouth is not the way to keep pure.
3-3 to the end of the second.
It's obviously Jared. Jared ran into MAF thinking that he could let McBain score. But no. You can't interfere with the goaltender Jared. Did they not tell you that while you were playing in the backyard pond? Possible brother sabotage.
On the ensuing PP, Malkin to Neal to snipejob. It's seriously like they missed no time at all. How are they so flawless together? It's obviously witchcraft.
MOST FLAWLESS THING TO EVER HAPPEN
Did we mention something about James and Malkin being perfect together?
Because Gene had another pass for James on the rush and James had another bullet of a shot that Peters apparently could care less about and that's the fucking hat trick, people. You have babies inside you. It was a perfect two on one.
Sutter's line struts up next shift after they get rid of the hats.
Morrow up in Peters' kitchen. Gentle tap-in. Morrow opens up another Shake Shack in Justin Peters' nutsack.
he is so happy.
so Sutter is having a much better game than Jordy. And season. They showed Jordan on the bench after that goal as if they were reading our minds. We're sorry Jordy but maybe you should have thought of this before.
Pens kill another penalty that doesn't feel like a penalty. Welp
JUST ADDING INSULT TO INJURY
Mattie felt he had some demons to exorcise after this ridiculous week of the entire Northeast Division trying to burn him in effigy.
Geno-esque move. it works b/c it's Peters.
blah blah blah
Dupes snuck up on everyone to score an 8th goal because the Canes are awful.
SPECIAL REPORT: SHIRTS OFF OUR BACKS IS THE FUCKING BEST.
we're busy crying
here is beau with a small girl
and craigsy with a small girl
and malkin with a li'l dude
and stevemac with another li'l dude OKAY WE'LL STOP NOW
well actually not after we show you this bad screenshot (but the best we got) of Vitale Girl aka Zoë's soul sister
SHE IS PERFECT
oh yeah the pens won btw
Chad LaRose just stop.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Brendan's face
2. Joe Vitale's suit
3. This lady.
still gotta figure out who we play first round
Oh my god this game.
The Debs are impotent and sad by the time we get to the Jerz, but they are still holding this game's two points over our head. We waaaant theeemmmm.
It's like when the old, failed Survivor contestants get to judge the still-successful ones. This is what I gather from conversations with your mother, at least.
She loves that show.
MOST DESERVING OF A KIND SALUTATION
First,of course, we all say hello to Johan.
Please don't stop any of our pucks tonight.
Picnic in the park if you say yes.
Once again, a rare "good Swede." But we aren't afraid to cut you off. Or cut you, for that matter.
MOST MANLY ADORABLE FIST BUMP
The first period spends way too long finding its legs. It has the cadence of a normal game, we guess, but it's almost playoffssss.
Well. For the Pens.
Eventually it finds itself a little personality when Hedberg couldn't track down the puck in front of the net and Cookie was able to shuffle it in just over the goal line. It is confusing as hell.
At first you're not sure if it's a goal or not but adskjfhadskj it is.
This award was ALMOST "Most adorable manly fistbump." But let's be honest, that fistbump is more fundamentally adorable than manly.
This may be arbitrary and strange, but goddamnit if those aren't our middle names.
Sutter follows up by getting a NASTY chance, Johan says no. Peter Harrold's name is floating around, which for certain reasons (refer to our middle names) is a delight to us.
MOST UNACCEPTABLY AWKWARD
Kovalchuk tries to do it all and wastes a really decent play by being a selfish bitch. Josefson is pissed. Like, openly angry. We can't imagine that. It's like we got invited to our friend's house for dinner and his parents had a domestic dispute at the dinner table.
And we had to act like it's normal.
(We swear, it's a one time thing. Never again.)
MAF makes a save with the side of his skull, BoBo almost got one in but Hedberg pulls rank, and Gene makes us gasp before chipping the puck over the net. All in all, the hockey is alive with the sound of crunching bones and obscenities.
The hills are totes jealous.
Then, Letang gets a sweet pass to Jussi, who absolutely launches it at the net. The puck makes this insane clanking noise akin to the noises we hear in our nightmares but somehow it went over the line as it hit the post.
Both of the goals in this game so far have just barely made a case for existing, but it's 2-0 nonetheless.
Also, for the record, there's a moment wherein Ktang makes love to the entire Penguins bench because he quickly had to jump off the ice to avoid a too many men penalty.
Totally worth mentioning.
MOST SPECIFICALLY NOT A GENIUS
Some word are said about how excellent BoBo is. Unfortunately that sentence is uttered near a sentence that contained Lemieux's name.
Bobby and Steiggy spend some time - too much time - an insulting amount of time - clarifying that they are NOT comparing BoBo to Lemieux.
And while we know that and agree and have no opinions to the contrary and think it is silly to even waste time on, it was just a biiiit offensive how much time they spent clarifying that.
"You didn't even have to think about it, did you?"
Zajac (more like Za-jag, ammirite?!) has this gross turning shot that gets behind MAF. It's offensive and, quite frankly, rude.
MAF already told us that Zajagis not being invited back to NHL cotillion.
Which MAF runs.
SLOW DESCENT INTO DARKNESS
Well, it felt slow. Really, it was this fast:
At least we know what a U-turn is.
Pens lose, 3-2
If Bob Errey has one nice thing to say about Kovalchuk, he ain't saying it.
He sounded so stern, the whole game.
It's adorable, but also unsettling.
ALT THREE STARS
BoBo - Seriously, though, BoBo, we love you. We hope your mom wasn't listening to the local broadcast in Pittsburgh.
Peter Harrold - We heard your name. We're proud of you for being on the map.
Cookie - Because our team has no depth.
Can't even be too upset.
Never losing again.
My oh my.[[MORE]]
MOST IMPROPERLY ERECT SWAGGER
Out of the gate, Gene almost buries one on Miller. He is fucking starving for points, hitting Nisky with some kind of ridiculous pass for a one timer. Steiggy goes so far as to describe Malkin as "frisky." Scandalous.
Jochen probably does not want Gene to get too frisky w/ him.
Honestly a game like this, to us, could be a perfect trap for the Penguins. Who were also frankly embarrassed by Buffalo last time they met. But this is a different night. Did we mention BeauBeau is back too? Our California lover has returned. And TK Pony Go is scratched.
Malkin has a God Mode shift. Unfortunately Ryan Miller appears to be awake. We'll have to get through Silver if it kills us.
PRETTIEST THING WE DISCOVERED WHILE WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN IN THIS GAME
Nisky accepting his Good Guy Award like he would a second-choice but very cute prom date. We all know that Mattie should win the Hart of Hearts.
blah blah blah Thomas Vanek scored. All alone in the slot. REALLY. No one even thought about Thomas Vane. No one even knew Thomas Vanek had ever been born apparently. This is looking fun isn't it?
THE RYAN MILLER MEMORIAL OF TEARS AND SNOT LTD
Next rush Ryan Miller also forgot that he had ever been born. Even that he had appendages and human form. Totally didn't even try on what looked like an easy glove save for RyRy from Chris Kunitz who has 22 fucking goals.
Maybe we can give Ryan some conciliatory picnic tickets. They're going fast ladies and gents. Get your PH picnic tickets while they last.
aaaand we're tied.
The rest of the period is uninteresting. Promise.
where the fuck is Brooks Orpik
we barely have time to think about it because we are apparently being dazzled by Malkin and also Dustin Jeffrey who looks like some kind of Selke winner. Speaking of, why didn't Jordan Staal ever win the Selke? He may never have the chance again.
Buffalo thought they scored but they didn't. Calling some kind of interference on Vanek, who has knitted too many woolen cock cozies today. Legit call. If Letang is hurt on the next sequence though it is tantamount to attack on a unicorn sanctuary.
Better end this award before the stormcloud gains friends and followers.
BEST DAD EVER
MAF stood up to make a breakaway save on Vanek. Nope. MAF is going to win some kind of award for being the most amazing father in human history. We can tell.
Then Letang went to the locker room after getting hit high. Luckily he returns during the TV timeout otherwise we would have been picketing the streets. It's okay though. The unicorn blood is safe. Lord Voldemort will not rise again.
Breaking news: Douglas Murray's head is still large. A baby of his would be hard to birth.
DO THE SABRES HAVE A PLAYER NAMED BREW-WHEEVIL OR SOMETHING
We can't understand a word Steiggy is saying. The Pens almost score 5000 times. There still isn't much happening that we can even talk about but we did do some serious research while this was all going on:
oh okay that really clears things up for us. Here is a selection from Chad Ruhwedel's Twitter which we would like to submit as an exhibit to the Hockey Hall of Fame as an exhibit of the quintessential hockey player Tweet. They like to mention each other and use hashtags made of food. That's really the peak of the experience. We're happy that Chad is from California, though. Very happy about it.
Great dinner with @arnbarn90. Great guy #chickenparm #not
— Chad Ruhwedel (@cdiesel3) April 17, 2013
That's just poety, Chad. Really eloquent.
Bennett drew some kind of penalty and then Ott started shouting and was kicked out for 10 minutes. We can only assume that he was Very Offended by what happened on a Very Personal level.
The rest of the period is dot dot dot.
PERIOD WITH THE MOST QUESTIONS
we have no idea what is going to happen. Pens don't seem to have quality shots on goal to rub together despite how well they seem to be passing and getting in the slot etc. The Sabres are just over the season and want to go to a farm sanctuary.
They score, though, apparently.
Shortly thereafter the news drops on Twitter that Orpik will not return. Could be not a big deal. Better safe than sorry. Ennis has a massive giveaway to Malkin and it looks like he's off to the races in one of those beautiful moments--but it was not meant to be.
Mark Eaton even tried to have some kind of Crosbyesque shift down low. That's what this game is about apparently. We have no idea what is going to happen. The Sabres threw the puck out of the rink with their bare hands because that is how bad they are, that's a penalty.
anyway, Iggy came here for a reason. He's gonna one time a game-tying power play goal:
We don't have any pics of the goal yet and it's late so here is Gene looking like a baby giraffe who just fell down:
which I mean answers our main question.
MOST DICKS IN YOUR MOUTH
Ott thinks he scored. We'll see about that, says the crossbar.
Yep: Steve Ott. It's always Steve Ott.
Toronto comes on our faces. It's a goal. Why did you do it Devorski.
Pens have some Serious Business shifts to try to tie it up, but it wasn't meant to be.
Vanek knits some special baubles onto his cock cozy and sheathes it in velvet for the empty netter.
the Sabres are the only team that can beat the Pens apparently.
MOST LIKELY TO BE JORDAN STAAL IN A SKINSUIT OR PERHAPS INHABITED BY HIS SPIRIT BECAUSE ~DAMN SON~ THAT TWO WAY GAME WAS PRODIGIOUS
DJ. remember when he used to wear 42? those were the days.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Ktang, five shots, 28 minutes. hard to argue.
2. Evgeni - for some reason he won a lot of faceoffs. Good for him.
3. Mark Eaton. Deliver us from evil amen.
The truth is that playing the Sens right now should be thrilling.
As a potential first round match up it should be hard fought.
As our chance to cash in on a perfect record against the Sens, it should be exciting and rewarding.
Danny has that bottle of champagne for his 200th ready on ice.
In the end, we know there's going to be a lot of griping about Mattie, a lot of penalties exchanged, and boo-birds abound.
Here's hoping we can all rise above and enjoy some good ole frenzied late-season hockey.
Awards will obviously be in order.
MAF is abandoning us tonight, but that's okay, because we are far more deserving of being abandoned than his perfect wife and brand new daughter. We don't even bring tiny shoes to the equation, you guys. We never had a chance.
The baby-in-the-Cup photo opportunities are mind blowing.
MOST FAVORITE DICK
It's clear from the start that this is going to be an event largely focused on how much Matt Cooke is in everyone's head. Mattie, who has been nothing but professional about it, isn't taking shit for an accident, but everyone is all riled up.
The Sens fans are booing Mattie every time he touches the puck, because it is the most boring thing they can possibly think of to do.
The whole scene is gross and it makes it that much sweeter when Morrow gets a cute pass over to Dustin who gets a mouth-watering one-timer into the net.
He's a dick, but he's our dick.
Also, p.s., Dustin's rage over being a recurring guest rather than a co-star is translating into some really amazing play. Hunger looks good on him.
PRETTIEST PRETTIEST PASSER
Morrow doesn't even wait much longer before setting up another insane pass because he doesn't have time to mess around like some of these other children. Iggy picks it up with ease in front of some open net and puts it in.
For normally holding it down, Anderson is really being the piece of gum I stepped in yesterday.
BEST OCULAR PAT-DOWN
Penalties are flying left and right to no great end. Every whistle ends in a tiff, and finally it boils over with Brooks and Neil having words. It gets a little too heated for Mac, who has been visually assessing the threat level, and he steps in to do his job.
It's excellent to see Mac stepping in. No reason for Brooks to be fighting, as much as we sometimes daydream about it. Mac got a 3rd man in for this, which is soff as hell seeing as this wasn't even a fight.
Meanwhile, Bortuzzo is off to the side dealing with Smith in an actual fight.
Fists all around!
Also, mustaches all around!
I see some stache envy in that other dude.
It ends up with the Sens going into the second with a PP on hand. If Sutter keeps owning the PK like he has been? No problem.
MOST ENRAGING ALLEGED TRADITION
50 bucks to whoever brings us that bugle or trumpet or whatever. Dead or alive.
WORST TASTING CROW
As penalties fall from the sky left and right, the goaltenders are looking pretty strong.
The officials are trying to keep up - some of it ends in bullshit, but really, they're doing okay for such a messy game. Not the worst thing we've ever seen.
No...no...that comes later, in the form of Tyler Kennedy doing this:
Thanks, TPb! Sort of. Staring at this over and over makes our stomachs hurt.
We're still not jumping ship.
But come on, TK. You aren't making it easy for us.
DJ gets clipped on the cheek, poor fellah, he's down the runway but will almost certainly be back for the third.
TINIEST LITTLE PK
Morrow gets a penalty that starts with a faceoff in our zone. Alfredsson and Gonch just kill it at the facebook and get it to Wiercioch just in time to call it a PP goal.
Pens get up fast on the PP but get no answer. The edge of the seat is officially occupied.
MOST CONFUSING ONGOING DRAMZ
For some reason Neil and Murray keep happening into one another, as if that is even a thing that should happen.
I mean, Neil is a disgusting monster, but he's not going to get anywhere with Murray.
I think we just keep him chained in the basement on off days and feed him raw meat.
I'm just saying, we're afraid for a man's life here.
MOST OUTRAGEOUS WISH FULFILLED
When you ask TK for redemption, you maybe don't totally expect it.
SHAME ON YOU.
Cookie made it happen for him, setting up a pretty sweet play, but TK finished on it like he had something to prove.
Thanks, TK. We needed that from you.
We cruise into the end of the game, Vokoun standing strong in the face of a few good chances.
Fastest to 200 wins?
We don't like our men to rush, but in this case, we're ecstatic.
Also awarded to Vokoun for those sweet 300 wins.
MOST OVERLY BLONDE
Just a second here to address this, you guys: Jussi, thank you for leaving the black mouth guard at home.
Now, can we talk about this hair situation?
We need you to blend here in the 'burgh here a little more. Rust belters don't trust this look. Let's get you a freshman dorm room dye job soon, k?
ALTERNATE THREE STARS
Mattie - Keeping cool with all that extra attention.
Mac - Stand by your man.
Crosby - For being our spirit animal.
With playoffs are disorientingly close and half of our lineup in suits, it's so comforting to see us stay calm and work hard for a win. The penalties could have been controlled a little bit more, especially with a couple of To Much Man, but we can't say we didn't see it coming.
Let's cinch it in at the waist, you guys.
Keep strong. You're making it happen.
We can never say it enough.
Yesterday was another extremely difficult day in Boston. Not trying to get super personal, but I think it's important to put this game in context. I'm a pretty rural girl, having grown up in the kind of place where people don't lock their doors. So waking up to 10+ text alerts from your place of employment and missed calls from close friends at 5:45AM telling me not to leave my house and that the MBTA was completely closed was pretty surreal. I spent over twelve hours glued to my computer listening to a police scanner, in lockdown most of that time, under instructions from law enforcement along with most of the rest of the Greater Boston community to not leave my home or even open my shades. This was because of the manhunt, which has been covered to hell and back in the US media, so I don't feel the need to bring you more deets--other than to say that it was bizarre, listening to the scanner all day, having no idea where this kid was and whether he was going to blow up someone's house within, idk, a mile of my own. Then they said we were allowed to leave our homes again. And then some poor dude in Watertown found a bleeding man in his boat. And then, after some more police scanner craziness, they finally got the guy. Needless to say, the Pens game was cancelled.
Last night was a beautiful night in eastern Massachusetts--warm, breezy, and misty, and once we were all allowed out of our houses, and we knew there were no more bombs in the city, I think we felt a whole hell of a lot better. And we'd be up in the morning for hockey.
Needless to say, despite the army dudes with assault rifles and the fact that there were no fewer than eight large vehicles emblazoned with Homeland Security in front of TD Garden today, things are back to normal. I know so, because frat boys were yelling over the Garden ice from the nosebleed seats to put Matt Cooke in a body bag and the boos rained down for everything from Jarome Iginla drawing breath to a hairline offside call. Looks like we had a game on our hands
The Bruins and their fans were like a band of drunken pirates out of the gate. B's were getting all the shots, and like the villain in some kind of 90's buddy cop movie, Matt Cooke took a penalty. Of course they were gonna score on that one. About halfway through the period:
It made sense. The Bruins had some exorcisms to do. Even as a Pens fan I wasn't really gonna complain. When I'm in an arena for a Pens game on the road I just try to smile and nod. (Except when I'm in Nassau then I just shout.) Really I just love hockey. The Pens locking up the #1 seed flitted through my mind in this moment.
Before all that happened, Tanner Glass fought Adam McQuaid. Standard ballroom dancing. Yep this is the Boston game I'm used to.
MOST DANGEROUS GAME
Iginla got booed, by the way, every single time he touched the puck tonight. It was like the Bruins fans totally forgot that Matt Cooke was even playing. Iggy felt like he was getting shit so he eventually dropped the gloves with Horton for an unknown reason. Horton did not return. Everyone seems to think it was his hand and not his precious head.
Ridiculous fight. Not a clue why this happened. Or why Iggy was getting booed so much--really shouldn't everyone be mad at Jay Feaster for telling Chiarelli they had a deal before talking to his player or something? BUT I DIDN'T SEE A "BURY FEASTER" BANNER NOW DID I BOSTON
the story of the game was blah blah blah penalties. There weren't too many of them, but they seemed to fall at pivotal moments. In both the second and the third period, penalties carried over from the previous frame.
THE BEST BASTARD LINE EVER GOD DAMN IT
Glass, Jokinen, and Adams are the forwards on the ice in the second period about five minutes in. No idea why. But it worked. Craigsy and Tanner worked the Bruins defense over a bit and no one picked up Jussi, who was able to swoop in and make a diving play for the puck past Rask's hand.
Rask is trying really hard you guys. But Juice and Craigsy and Glass are trying harder. Tanner Glass assist alert, bringing his season point total to two~~~.
There was a sequence mid second period here it was all fucking Bruins all the time and the puck eventually was poked in, but the whistle had blown and also someone had tackled Vokoun. So that was legal.
Equally legal was Chara remembering Matt Cooke and getting all up in his business and taking a penalty:
For this moment everything is amazing. Jagr took a penalty at the end of the period because he's busy Jaromir-ing it up and didn't realize it was the end of the god damn period.
the vast majority of us do not miss you in your current form
unlike the Pens taking eight thousand penalties in the first period, the Bruins took eight thousand in the second period instead. IN OUR DIFFERENCES WE ARE MUCH ALIKE
The third period really could have gone either way.
But it went a different way. The Bruins looked a little unfocused and were not the shot-creating machine that they were in the first. The Pens had found their legs.
And also their power play which is for some reason still amazing without Crosby, Malkin, and Martin. Jesus. Marchand tried to fight Jokinen for some reason but ended up just being a dick.
Bruins fans are busy booing Iggy, so he put a slapper in from the center point. Eesh, Tuukka. Yeeeeesh.
boooooooo Feaster boooooooooooo on you
A few minutes later the Pens get another PP. This time Letang, who has been having one of those quiet, gentle, perfect, we-all-want-him-to-get-the-Norris-nomination games, puts one in from way up top. Can't really boo anyone on that. It's the unicorn blood within.
COME TO ME MY BRETHREN
MOMENT THAT EVERYONE IS ALLOWED TO SAVOR
The Bruins realized that time was running out on them eventually but they still played hard and tried to get just one more. Tyler Seguin did get one with like 2 seconds left and my dear friend Paula, next to me in her Seguin jersey, was like, "Just one more! We'll take it."
and so they did.
Pens win, 3-2.
TENDER MOMENTS WITH TANNER GLASS
WHY AND HOW WAS THIS PHOTO ALLOWED TO BE TAKEN BY SOMEONE
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Beau Bennett: should never not be in the lineup seriously
2. Iggy because iggy
3. Boston--thanks for getting back to normal, and for all your stupid townies on my post-game train who didn't know how many stops it was until Kenmore. I love you.
I know that feeling safe outside of our own locked front doors meant a lot to everyone in the Garden this afternoon, win or lose. It's all for the love of hockey. See you in the playoffs dicks.
Dan Bylsma wore this shirt in his pregame interviews. These are being sold by the Bruins. There is a Red Sox version as well. The proceeds from these shirts go in full to benefit the victims of the marathon bombings. They can't make them fast enough because everyone is buying them, but they appear to be getting more hot off the presses all the time (like I think I bought mine right after it was pulled off a truck this afternoon). If you're in Boston, you can pick one up, or buy directly from the Bruins pro shop here: http://www.bostonproshop.com/bosttee1.html
Please buy from the Bruins and not from some dude on the street or a third party website because hospitals are expensive as fuck and a lot of the people injured probably don't have health insurance at all. It's a cool shirt and you are actually helping. (I haven't taken mine off since I got home and it is already covered in cat hair--a symbol of love.) You can also donate directly to One Fund Boston.
We'll be over here waiting to see whether we play Ottawa, Winnipeg, the Rangers, or maybe even the Caps. Battles for the bottom seeds are absolutely wild right now. Caps are 3rd seed but could fall totally out of the playoffs with one bad move. Read: their division is butts.
Happy playoffs also to the Islanders and the Leafs. We shall waltz at dawn.
The Habs are like this terrible thorn in your side that never ever goes away. And then, of course, the thorned area gets infected. And then gangrenous. And they bring Carey Price with them, too.
He's so SAD. Not starting is a serious burn. He's gonna have to talk to mad jagerbombs to sort out this emotional tiff, you guys.
Also, lols to Root for having the balls to go with "The Price is Wrong." You know at least one guy was saying "Should we? Nahhhh. Too overdone. Too Corny. Right? Should we?" Showing restraint is a sign of weakness, Root. Haters to the left.
Whatever, Carey. We're sure we'll see you real soon, you son of a bitch.
Okay, awards time, let's go.
CLOSEST TO THE SUN
The first opens up with some good up and down hockey. Really smooth - we look remarkable, considering. Actually, strike that. We don't look good in spite of anything, we just look good.
Mattie, who is hilarious when presented with the Habs, is already being a riot. He takes exception to something, of course. What the thing was isn't so important, he was just kind of waiting for a reason, much like how most bar fights are started. Mattie's out there ranting and raving, burning the candle at both ends. The man is not afraid of anyone. He, of course, ends up in the penalty box.
You'd think this was heading Mattie's way, but nope. Just before the 4-4 winds down and our PP comes up, Suttsy lands one in the net like like it's nbd.
Laughing in the face of enemies is the #1 way Brandon Sutters take their victory, what about you?
MOST EXCELLENT DIVERSION
Dupes on the ice looks to the Habs like what an inflatable clown must look like to chainsaw-wielding maniacs.
Am I too old to be alive?
Dupes, being a Man in Charge knows this, of course. So he waits until he's covered, drops the puck back for Morrow, who picks it up in the slot and puts it in the net.
It's sort of gorgeous.
FEWEST SHITS GIVEN
We look like this amazing machine. We're like a car that woke up one morning without tires and was like FUCK IT LET'S GO.
It's sort of terrifying that if you squint and don't think about it too much, this could be our healthy team.
We're just going with it.
Nisky draws a penalty towards the end of the second and Iggy capitalizes.
1 out over every 1 Jarome Iginlas agree that a smug smirk adds the greatest amount of insult to injury.
We go into the second gloating.
LEAST AVOIDABLE BAD KARMA
Okay, come on, when you found out that Carey P is here like some backup prom date, you start to laugh.
Because it's impossible not to.
We know it's terrible luck to do this, but really, that's like saying it's terrible luck to breathe. As the ocean crashes to shore, so do we mercilessly mock Carey Price.
WHIFF MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED
BoBo - son, friend, lover, prodigy - sets up a good play for Morrow to get in on. They take it to the net and it gets a little dicey there for a second, but Morrow sort-of fans on the puck, which proceeds to just sneak in under CareCare's stick.
GOLD METAL OF PERSEVERANCE
Brian Gionta tries to make us care about him by scoring, but fails.
We're way too haughty for that at this point.
More importantly, soon after Morrow works so hard that it makes us weep, and Suttsy just gets into position and waits and waits and keeps that stick on the ice and makes space for himself and is just so wonderful we want to scream. It all pays off, of course, and Suttsy gets it in when it looks like there's no real chance, netting his second of the game.
And in order to lump two Habs goals into one award for the Penguins, I'll mention now that for some reason the Habs scored again before the end of the period. But whatever, we get a major penalty out of the second when Gallagher tries to force feed Mattie his stick. We head into the third with most of it left (and Mattie's face only a tiny bit bashed up.)
MOST INFURIATING SQUANDERING
Habs kill it, and then score.
Media pretends it doesn't happen.
So do we.
Somewhere, a Has fan whispers "third period team?" and a tiny part of each and every one of us dies. Never give them hope.
MOST IMPRESSIVE THEFT OF HOPE
If you really want to stomp someone's feelings, you can give them a heads up that you haven't scored since December 9th, 2010, and then skate on by to do this:
You go, Douggy.
LEAST CORDIAL CHITCHAT
Morrow - who by the way also wins "blogger's pet" because players like him are basically the bread and butter of hockey bloggers - beats the shit out of Subban to the point that Steiggy gets concerned for his well being. That's a Gordie Howe hat trick for him tonight, by the by. The two of them head off to the box and proceed to shout at one another.
Best part? Morrow points to the clock and tells Subban that when they get out, he wants to go again. Subban tries to act cool and fails.
We'd be shitting our pants right about now, too.
Honest to his word, he keeps trying after the get out. Never gets his chance to show Subban what's what.
A few crazy post shots and an unfortunate late Habs goal later, stick a fork in it.
ALT THREE STARS
Dupes - For being the perfect man/player/person.
Kunitz - Basically for the same.
Iggy - As good for us as we'd hoped.
Maybe not the greatest finish with the late goal. but overall, we looked pretty good. Some patchwork to be done here and there, but the fact that we can ever have those weirdly smooth, impressively sharp periods of hockey without our "top players"?
We'll take it.
On a more serious note:
We here at PH would like to share our support for Boston and the running community. Along with Zoe being a current Bostonian, we understand fiercely loving a place (and a niche sporting group, for that matter) and our hearts break for those who faced an attack so senseless.
Keep strong and only let yourselves become more fiercely loyal.
Team Lemieux runners, we're looking forward to watching you kick ass real soon.
And, of course,
Hello from Seattle. I've missed a lot of hockey to be in the Pacific Northwest, drinkin' drinks and eating hot dogs with cream cheese on them. Is this a Seattle thing? Someone can clarify, perhaps.
Anyway, the Panthers. Apparently Malkin was a late scratch--hopefully just one of those "let's rest him for the playoffs" things because, let's be honest, the Pens can't afford to take risks right now. The win streak put us sitting pretty--perhaps dangerously--but at least we're not in the dogfight.
Seems like the Pens didn't really get going until late in the first period when Kris Letang bared his unicorn horn and put one in from the center point through a Big Deal screen. Then, a few minutes later, Morrow, Bennett, and Vitale get nasty around Markstrom (who we really like btw, sorry folks).
this photo is ominous. is that nisky looking like a mob boss?
the depth sure is showing with Sid and Malkin out of the lineup, eh, folks?
Upshall got some garbage early in the second. Accurate representation of your emotion at an Upshall goal:
ain't even no thang (we hope you are laughing at this crying fish because it is HILARIOUS).
But since then? Just a lot of playin' it simple and strong. Now is not the time to get fancy, after all. Morrow empty netter at the end.
Solid road game idk.
cream cheese hawdogs 4ever
Stormed last night in Pittsburgh and today we play the Bolts.
Root is just spazzing over the pun possibilities.
We're going to try to avoid it, but if they total 2 goals in the game...
There's going to have to be a striking twice joke.
So sorry in advance.
Let's get to the awards.
MOST POWERFUL OVERLORD
Sid shows up in a suit.
BEST RESULTS WITH LEAST EFFORT
I mean, we're not doing terribly. Just...you know. Sluggish. But then, amidst the slumbering men on skates, Dupes chips it to Morrow, who gets it towards the net. It goes through the paint and Jussi gets a foot on it, sending it into the net. Refs rule no distinct kicking motion.
Look at the happy fans behind Jussi...we were LOUD in Tampa tonight.
Then, Kennedy creates a nasty rebound for Dupes to scoop up and get into the back of the net. Suddenly it's 2-0. We don't look too good, but man do the Bolts look bad.
If the game ended now we could headline this PENS STRIKE LIGHTNING TWICE or LIGHTNING GETS STRUCK TWICE. Or something else less horrible.
Let's Go Pens! is drifting around the arena. It's a beautiful America for Pens fans.
Purcell thinks he's a real boy.
Before the end of the first moseys around, Tanger lands the kushiest pass ever on Iginla's stick. No one likes a soff attitude, but soff hands? They're a beautiful thing.Gloves stuffed with down? #conspiracy
Iginla doesn't disappoint and totally snipes it into the net.
You know that's right.
GREATEST OPPORTUNITY FOR PUNS YET
Connolly makes it easy:
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE, NOT ENOUGH
When horrible puns weren't happening, other less horrible people told the real story:
MOST HULKED OUT
Malkin is kind of back, which is awesome. We've missed him. We almost forget what insane animalistic shit he can get up to.
Malkin undresses everyone (and their mothers, but that's later) and sends it home.
Shortly after Kunitz gets into some faces while battling on the boards. Malkin gets into a shovey shovey match. Engo and Cooke step in to defend their leader. It's so bromancey up in here that it's insane.
WAY MORE THAN THE TIP
Jussi moved to get to shot that Murray took. At first the word "tip" was used, but Murray had just been getting it past some Bolts - he got it close enough to Jussi, who sent it the rest of the 10-or-so feet it needed to go.
(Oh, hai black mouth guard, how are you today? What's that? In my nightmares, you say?)
BEST CHERRY POPPING
Murray goes into a fight with Crombeem helmetless. His first fight for us! He gets a good number of fists in, totally ignoring Crombeen's helmet. Then he started getting in body shots and goes after Crombeen's hand - treats in a hockey fight. Wonderful, wonderful treats. And yes, I did just use Crombeen as many times as I could. That name.
We'll always remember your first <3
Letang spends some time ruining lives, Gudus gets kicked out because [footage missing.] It's a little on edge out there, and it gets scrappy. We're up on the power play when something really special happens.
Tanner gets his first special teams goal. Bobby actually says "good for Tanner Glass!" like he is a proud father. We all feel proud. It's just...
Brings a tear to your eye, ya know?
EASIEST TO IGNORE
The Bolts get one in in the dying stretch. Whatevs. Fuck 'em. They just wanted to ruin the puns.
MOST PRESENT MEDIA
Overhead cam was on point tonight.
Alt three stars:
1. Tanner. Gawww.
2. Tanger. Obvs.
3. Tyler. Because this game is brought to you by the letter T.
Maybe if the Pens keep winning the cicadas won't come back.
That's the only way it could get better, I think.