Today's post title contains a hat tip to whoever picked that team name for the Thursday night Rinkotology game. YOU ARE GREAT
What more can be said about Winnipeg? I don't even have any witty observations about the town. Or the team. Or poor Tyler Kennedy, on the sidelines with concussion-like symptoms. I hope he gets better soon. Him and Geno both.
Come back TK, some of us miss you
Also: honorable mention to the fine people making James Neal GIFs.
I hope you keep scoring goals so people keep making these
According to Dan Potash, Arron Asham is the man of the hour in cold, blustery Winnipeg.
Winnipeg also has not yet won a game this season, prompting this Onion article: Citizens of Winnipeg Realize They Hate Hockey Now
Evander Kane is also out. And with Sid and Geno out too, this game is probably not going to be a blowout or anything.
Holy balls, Richard Park is the #1 center tonight. No commentary; just BALLS.
If you blinked, you missed the first goal of the game, which Winnipeg commenced scoring in EIGHT SECONDS. I don't think I've ever personally seen anyone score that quickly. And I have been to frat parties on Halloween. 1-0 Jets
The crowd commences taunting Fleury, but that is not something that I recommend. Fleury is like the Penguins' Happy Fun Ball. And if we've learned nothing else from TV, it's that you do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
We decide that it's Beer O'Clock at the first commercial break. The husband's best friend, who comes over for dinner a lot, likes to bring us beer in exchange for hosting him. So now we have half a case of Sam Adam's Harvest Pumpkin Ale.
Blake Wheeler takes a penalty for interference, but I wonder how the power play's going to work without Malkin or TK. I thinkthe answer is "basically terrible." I have flashbacks to the entire last half of the previous season. James Neal is lovely, but he can't do everything by himself. Nor should anyone expect him to.
The power play is awful, as one would expect. James Neal is playing like he's on fire, but he seems to be the only one.
Deryk Engelland takes...a SKATE to the FACE? WHAAAAAA
He and Thorburn have a little scrap about it. GO ENGO
The Pens begin to turn things around, although Kunitz pulls his best TK impression and takes a good shot that hits the post.
Letang makes a lovely, lovely shot, which is indicative of the Pens clawing and biting their way back into this game.
Burmistrov refuses to give up on the puck and passes to Tanner Glass, who shoots through traffic and scores on Fleury. Sigh. 2-0 Jets
DICKS, ET CETERA
As the period ends, I am reminded that it could be a lot worse.
FIRST PERIOD AWARDS
Fattest Jet goes to Dustin Byfuglien. If he were any fatter, he would be a 747.
Most Heart goes to James Neal. I hope that he's not the only one on the Pens who looks like he's actually playing hockey during the rest of the game.
Hainsey goes off for tripping, creating an opportunity for the power play to...do whatever it is they think they're doing. Which mostly seems to mean not finishing anything they start.
The husband is off watching this game in a bar with his pals. I can only imagine how angry they must be, right now.
The crowd is about as rowdy as a crowd is allowed to be in Canada. The Pens are playing as hard as they can, but they just can't get anything done.
Fleury makes a pretty good save and smacks the net off its moorings, much to the chagrin of the refs and the crowd.
"Suck my dick Kyle Wellwood" - Zoë
I'm about to call shenanigans on this game and go and get my broom, I am totally serious.
Park gets called for hooking and honestly, I'm not really that worried. Of course, I say that now and I may be very sorry shortly.
No one knows if Byfuglien is a forward or a defenseman, because he is so fat at everything.
James Neal gets a penalty for slashing (???????) and Root shows a close-up of him going to the box, yelling a lot of unintelligible curse words. I like to imagine that "Fuckstain" is among them.
However, nothing much happens on that power play for Winnipeg. I drink my beer and seethe with rage that the Pens aren't doing better than they are.
Park and Sullivan set up a lovely, lovely play, but for some reason, Pavelec is everywhere. Ondrej Pavelec is hockey Visa right now - he's everywhere that the Pens want to be.
All of a sudden, Michalek blasts one past Pavelec and almost, ALMOST redeems himself for messing up at the beginning of the game. 2-1 Jets
Sullivan takes a hooking penalty to end the period. I'm exhausted. I need another beer.
SECOND PERIOD AWARDS
Worst Burger Name goes to Dave's Hot 'n' Juicy. I mean, I'm sure the burger is really good, and it's nice that it's named after Dave Thomas, but COME ON PEOPLE. It just sounds SO WRONG.
Personal Redemption goes to Zbynek Michalek. Someone had to score the first Pens goal of the game, and I'm super glad it was him.
Also: Best Pie goes to me, because I made a butternut squash pumpkin-style pie with a brown butter gingersnap crust over the weekend, and it is really, really good. Better than pumpkin pie, quite honestly.
The third period commences with the remainder of that Steve Sullivan penalty. Fortunately, the Jets fail to get set up properly, and the penalty expires again with NOTHING HAPPENING.
Bogosian rings one off the goalpost that just sounds painful. I swear I heard that crack from here.
I feel like this whole game has been simultaneously rage-inducing and very, very boring. Maybe that makes me an inferior hockey fan, I don't know.
Sullivan attempts to lift the puck past Pavelec, but fails to do so, resulting in much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Zoë has officially broken up with Pavelec at this point. He is dead to her, along with the whole city of Winnipeg.
Stuart gets smacked right in the face with a slapshot from Niskanen, but he doesn't seem to be seriously injured, which is good. Much as we may hate on Winnipeg and their extreme fatness, we don't want anyone to get hurt.
Fleury continues to come up huge. Let's hope this trend continues. It's holding so far, even as Kris Letang has to bat the third rebound-shot out of the air right in front of the goal.
Letang hammers Burmistrov into the boards and gets a boarding penalty, about which the fans are angry, because they think it's an OMG EVIL HEADSHOT. It's not, jerkwads.
Steiggy accidentally calls the Jets the Thrashers. We suspect it's because he's angry and discombobulated like us.
Thorburn hooks Kunitz and finally, someone from Winnipeg gets called for something. It causes an angry, tubby pileup with many rage-filled exchanges.
This is important to keep in mind
After the shoving is resolved, the Pens end up on the power play. Unfortunately, it ends up forcing MAF have to make an excellent save.
Disco Dan pulls MAF with a minute left, and the Winnipeg fans LOSE THEIR GODDAMN MINDS. Steiggy and Errey are forced to yell to be heard.
Dupuis plays goalie for the final five seconds to make sure the puck doesn't go in, but...the Pens totally fail to score, and the game is OVER.
THIRD PERIOD AWARDS
Honorary Goalie goes to Pascal Dupuis for making things less embarrassing than they could have been at the end.
Brickiest Wall goes to my boy Fleury. Yes, Winnipeg scored eight seconds into the game, and yes, they eventually won. But Fleury made some bomb-ass saves, and it could have been much, much worse.
Minnesota tomorrow? Fuck. I'm gonna have to stock up on No-Doz, aren't I?