The Penguins were kind of in a weird place where they didn't look 100% like a real hockey team all the time and there were all these depressing stats about how the Pens lost every single game ever to every team that has ever been worthy of the playoffs.
Well, tonight the Pens hung with the team that had the top spot in the NHL. They managed to control the play for the most part, alongside some puck sweet-talking by Marc-André.
Of course the Blackhawks were going to come out flying in the third, but all we had to do was hold them off, I guess. Or some shit.
Engo is probably going to be suspended for some awkward, probably unintentional high hit that he landed (and then had to fight a guy over it).
But, the gods have given us this photo, which means something pure and good game from the incident:
We also did, however, receive the Most Awkward Photo OF ALL TIME:
Which is also kind of adorable and possibly a lost vignette from Sebald's The Rings of Saturn.
Our favorite moment of the game was, however, Ben Lovejoy's assist to Tyler Kennedy, which will go down in no NHL history book but be remembered by anyone worth being friends with.
Basically everyone can suck it except us tonight, because we did A Good Thing compared to the last Good Thing we did, which was blow out a broken man at the end of his rope. Not that Ray Emery is the pinnacle of emotional stability, but it's not like he played badly.
Even despite the fact that James Neal apparently had his way with at least one official's teenage daughter in the back of a convertible in Miami or some shit. He even scored a goal, because we're that pimp.
WOOOO WHATEVER about as excited as we're going to get about a game in December that we didn't even get to go to. WELP. Fleury was amazing, did we mention?
Protip: booze anytime you have to deal with Patrick Kane on your TV.
The Penguins were kind of in a weird place where they didn't look 100% like a real hockey team all the time and there were all these depressing stats about how the Pens lost every single game ever to every team that has ever been worthy of the playoffs.
We remember you, you asshole.
We remember thinking that if you just suffered and blew it for a few more years, you'd be ready to win the Cup. Then you got it up too early and somehow got faced with the task of facing MICHAEL LEIGHTON in a Stanley Cup Final. It was all over.
Now, we have no mercy. You've just been such rudeasses. We still don't believe that you earned your glory or your reputation. Like a 16-year-old who rolls into the school parking lot the day after he receives his license in a brand-new BMW 6-series, we are not going to be your friend or go to your parties.
Oh fuck they are on top of the West (and the League) they're even better than the Great Minnesota Wild we better watch the fuck out.
We've just read that Staal and Adams are skating this morning at an apparently optional skate.
Good sign? maybe?
Tonight's recap will not be written in rhyming couplets, because I think I may have broke my rhyme muscle with that last one.
Also, I'm slightly mad, because my dear TKhusband will be at this game with one of our friends, and I am clearly not joining them at the CEC tonight.
He's like an overexcited puppy. I can't stay mad at him.
Also also, everyone has lost their goddamn minds and forgotten that when it's cold enough to snow, it's definitely cold enough to freeze bridges, and so when I was out running errands earlier today, I came about a foot away from being in a multi-car accident. If I had gotten my car smashed up and ended up with a concussion, that would be a pretty succinct analogue to the Penguins season so far.
Carl Sneep? That doesn't seem like it should be the name of a real person. Let alone a real person playing defense for our team.
Arron Asham looks sharp in his three-piece suit. Also, is he seriously wearing a headband for TV??? And inviting Dan Potash to his house for a sleepover???
Brooks Orpik is asked for his cogent analysis of how to stop Thomas Vanek. He calls for discipline and fewer shenanigans.
GOOD CHRIST ERREY OBVIOUSLY TK IS SHOOTING THE PUCK HE HAS NO OTHER MOVES
The Pens are playing like they're possessed. Possessed by the spirits of decent hockey players, that is.
Jason Williams fires a shot from the blue line that managed to get past Ryan Miller and catch everyone by surprise, including Steiggy, who was in the middle of a sentence when he had to make the goal call. Pens 1-0
Weber goes off for tripping so that the Penguins power play can pretend like they know what we're doing. Although Despres decides to prove my skepticism wrong and throws the puck at Miller, hard, from the near circle. That's the second power play unit scoring to put the Pens up 2-0.
I think the Pens players all woke up this morning and said to their adorable children:
FUCK THIS NOISE.
NEVER LOSING AGAIN.
Geno sure ate some of those Wheaties this morning, backing up a ridiculous Penguins rush and following Kunitz's lead to drive to the net and score.
Pens lead 3-0
OMG THEY TOTALLY JUST CHASED RYAN MILLER OUT OF THE NET
Hi, Jhonas Enroth. I look forward to fucking up typing your name all evening.
The list of Penguins players that are out is just plain depressing.
Speaking of depressing, Thomas Vanek manages to score one for the Sabres. Pens up 3-1
"He can pick a hole as good as anyone can in the NHL" - Errey on Vanek
I don't know what kind of wall-humping moron works at ROOT and controls the camera angles, but we almost miss a fantastic play at the blue line by James Neal to throw the puck up to Geno, who DESTROYS Enroth. Pens up 4-1
Geno's playing HARD. I think he is currently having emotion. No word on the size of the taste, though.
The period ends with no further scoring.
FIRST PERIOD AWARDS
Most Pathetic goes to Ryan Miller. If you let in three goals on seven shots, you don't deserve to play in the game. I feel a tiny bit bad for him, is the thing. Hence the pathos...and much less taunting than we would normally engage in.
Speaking of pathetic, Most Hilarious Outcome goes to Philadelphia, who managed to lose 6-0 to Boston today. I seriously cannot wait to see what Insane!Bryz has to say about this on 24/7.
Every time I raise my eyebrow, I let in a goal. Why you heff to be mad?
Dan Potash asks the Pens what they want for Christmas.
Simon Despres wants socks and underwear
James Neal wants Dan Potash to get a new haircut
Craig Adams wants to be on the first powerplay unit
LET'S MAKE SOME CHRISTMAS DREAMS COME TRUE
Ryan Miller is back. Back for more, Ryan Miller?
I look up from the keyboard to see James Neal get set up super nicely by Malkin and make Ryan Miller look incredibly foolish. Pens up 5-1
I really think the Pens are just sick of losing, sick of not having guys in the lineup, and sick of making excuses.
Seriously, the Sabres can't get anything done and the Pens are running roughshod all over them. Not really scoring any more goals, per se, but still. Roughshod.
Ryan Miller allows another soft goal, this time from Deryk Engelland. Not that he's a bad player or anything, he's actually super great, but MAN. Pens up 6-1
Dupuis gets an assist on Engelland's goal and now has 300 POINTS! Good job, Duper!
The period ends with no further ridiculousness.
SECOND PERIOD AWARDS
From now until the end of time, James Neal is the Prettiest Princess. We will always, always, ALWAYS love him.
I think he's already surpassed Rob Rossi's predictions for his performance this year, which kicks ass. Well done, gingerbeard.
Jhonas Enroth is back in net. I'm not sure how much it's going to help, at this point, but hey. Worth a shot, right?
Buffalo will not go gently into that good night, though, and a backwards-skating referee screens Fleury to let the Sabres score. Pens lead 6-2
Errey is jinxing us as the Sabres get a good 2-on-1, catching the Pens out of position, and score another goal. Pens lead 6-3
I bet the TKhusband is cursing Fleury as we speak.
Geno has decided that this aggression will not stand and cruises in from the right side to stuff it in past Enroth through the five-hole. Pens lead 7-3
Our excitement is tempered by the absence of Craig Adams, who has left the game with "a lower-body injury." Let's hope it's just a twisted ankle or something really minor and that he's all right, because I am not losing Craig Fucking Adams to injury as well as everyone else.
"A bullet by Kunitz" goes right in, banging off the post with a mighty THUNK. Pens lead 8-3
We receive confirmation that Adams's injury isn't severe, but since the score is kind of ridiculous, he won't be coming back. Fair enough.
The game ends with nothing else notable happening.
THIRD PERIOD AWARDS
Geno gets my top award for Best Russian. This award comes with a copious amount of Russian smiley faces.
))))))))))))) all for you, Geno
Brokenest Souls go to the entire Sabres team. I feel like we've just given them an epic curb-stomping.
Notable Milestones go to:
Geno's seventh career hat trick
MAF's 200th win
Dupuis' 300th point
Despres' and Sneep's first NHL goal and point, respectively
Geno being unable to complete a postgame interview because people are yelling too loudly
In short: if yesterday's game was the Titanic, I am James Fucking Cameron.
Earlier today when you heard that Malkin and Staal were BOTH game-time decisions, you probably had two schools of thought on the matter.
One was: fuckkkkkkkk.
The other was: WHAT IF WE MARCH INTO THAT ARENA AND BEAT THEM IF JOE VITALE IS OUR TOP LINE CENTER!!!!!!!
Luckily, Malkin and Staal played, but there wasn't much else to it. Malkin scored a gorgeous goal after one of the most boring and bizarre first periods of all time, where neither team could manage the puck and everyone looked like they were expecting iced doughnuts to start raining from the ceiling. And by "everyone" we mean Jimmy Howard.
Oh but yeah that Malkin goal, it was pretty good:
Man on the glass reaching out towards faith and love.
However, this was a final-seconds-type goal, and it's kind of hard to ride the momentum of that between periods in the middle of December when your injury/depth situation is balls and a half.
The second period featured Malkin and Neal in particular trying to destroy everyone's lives. This play alone was captured at every angle by photographers of the World:
We still don't know how it doesn't go in.
check out Neal's face. The gingerbeard is trying to achieve the Beyond.
But Datsyuk got free in the slot, as he is wont to do when the Penguins commit turnovers in their own zone:
It was all downhill from there, even if Malkin did have 9 shots (at least) and almost score fifty million times.
Everyone tried really hard.
But there were just ridiculous situations.
ROOT Sports missing a power play goal after commercial from Johan Franzen, so we don't even know how bad it really was.
And getting our asses handed to it by Chris Conner on an odd-man rush.
At least no one scored anything off of Holmstrom's butt:
We have this picture of Ty Conklin on the bench with this clipboard, which suggests that the entire Wings organization may be a puppet regime led by Ty himself.
This is an untested theory which will be proven soon.
ROOT also dabbled in the Creepy Torture Porn industry by showing us a slow-mo hair shot of Professor Kronwall.
Also, our goalies still love each other and have their shit together, so that counts for something.
As soon as the team decides to wake up and come to play again (and our defense gets sort of healthy and less rookie-ish), the riches will be strewn across the lands for all to see.
For now though I guess we have to deal with the crazy.
We will though, and we'll come out on top.
Like we said last time we lost to the Wings, Never Losing Again.
Today's the day that we receive news about Crosby, who didn't go on the team's last road trip and had no intention of playing from the outset. He met the media this afternoon and said words we're all pretty familiar with. No timetable for return. He wants to be at 100%. He doesn't feel bad, but he has symptoms.
Sidney Crosby's head injury made waves this past January. The idea that the game's best player could be taken out indefinitely in the middle of a career year was unthinkable and disappointing. What matched the magnitude of that disappointment, nearly, was the shock and appreciation that Dan Bylsma and the remaining team, after seemingly endless injuries, still played well and made the playoffs. We know that winning isn't necessarily due to talent or to determination, it's a combination of both. Crosby obviously brings both, but the rest of the team is capable as well. And so we succeed, to a degree.
The fact that Crosby has suffered a setback is, at this point, disheartening. But this type of thing is going to happen, medically.
Sadly, we also see it as a sign that the NHL is in crisis mode with regards to attitude about its product. Crosby isn't the first talented player to go down this way--we should be glad that he seems like he's going to try to come back at all. (Because I'm in Boston I have to drop an obvious name--Marc Savard.)
But there is also a ridiculous number of players out with concussions right now. . .from farmhands like Robert Bortuzzo to high-profile guys with great skill sets, like Claude Giroux (whom we've always kind of liked).
Seth Rorabaugh wrote today that Shanahan's discipline has been inconsistent if much less nebulous than it was under Campbell.
The root of this problem seems to be a.) the "system" being unable to keep up with medical understanding of injuries and b.) a gross misconception of the on-ice product as understood by the NHL's executives. They may seem unrelated, but this is why the realignment was allowed to pass. We're thinking in terms of numbers--travel costs, television ratings, "fan confidence", ticket sales, etc.--and not in terms of reality and human life.
There's a reason why New York Times reporters were doing all the digging on the death of Derek Boogaard, for example.
We are only speaking in euphemisms when it comes to the toll that the game takes on players.
We can yell about terms like "hockey play" and "legal check" until we're blue in the face. We can field comments from "fans" of opposing teams saying crap like "oh he's a pussy, he needs to walk it off" or "he's just being emo" for years. The fact is that without your brain functioning properly, you don't do anything right. If your brain is damaged enough, you actually die. It's not like a broken bone, it's not like a strained muscle, it's not some nebulous injury that we can file away as an accident.
Concussions aren't the only injuries though. We've seen more videos this season so far of idiots doing cheap shit to other players than we have seen in years. We know that YouTube ability is at an all-time high and that these videos can be made within minutes, and we also know that this is anecdotal evidence at best. Still, the atmosphere has been ominous since this summer. We try to elevate away from controversy and injuries and we end up right back where we were before.
When is somebody going to say that this shit is getting old, and we're sick of seeing both our much-beloved sport and the value of human life diluted to such an astronomical degree?
Many players are going to sit this season because of things that were done to them illegally.
We're going to wait for some video from Shanahan, agree or disagree with it, and then forget about it a week later, apparently. Unless it's your favorite team's player, in which case you'll sit on it like it's a bed of knives.
This isn't okay, this is circus bullshit. People need to start paying more attention.
We miss integrity, we miss hockey.
We miss Sid, too.
'Twas a cold night in Nassau when the Penguins arrived
To challenge those jerks on the Islanders' side.
Their fans are obnoxious, the beer's overpriced,
And the floor's super sticky. There's probably mice.
But we Penguins faithful will watch every game.
Location's no biggie, we'll tune in the same.
Join me (in my Snuggie) and Zoë (with a drink)
As we recap this game from the worst hockey rink.
JStaal is hurt, Jason Williams is in.
But Engo's come back, to Matt Martin's chagrin.
The Isles themselves are winning a bit
But we're hoping that trend will reverse and they'll quit.
Disco and Potash are our favorite Dans
We like to hear all about their big plans.
DiPietro is out, but he sure won't be missed.
I bet he's just hiding from Brent Johnson's fists.
The Isles' third jersey makes them look super dumb.
But whatever the outfit, they'll still play like bums.
Tavares goes crashing straight into the net
And draws a lame penalty on Duper. No sweat.
The Penguins are having some trouble, it seems
In trying to realize their goal-scoring dreams.
Ullstrom? Who's that? Oh, just some random dude
Who stuffs it in net. 1-0 Isles. How rude.
Geno gets called for the SMALLEST of hooks.
I think he got robbed. The refs must be crooks.
Jurchina and Wideman combine for a goal
It's 2-nothing Isles. Let's get out of this hole!
The puck is now under Vitale's control.
He passes to Sullivan, who scores a huge goal!
It's 2 to 1 Isles, but I feel the game shift
A few more Pens goals would be a great gift.
Our current favorite is Princess James Neal.
We adore his sick moves. We might even squeal.
Now Neal justifies all our fawning and praise,
And scores on Montoya. 2-2 tie. We're amazed.
We love your mad skills and your great gingerbeard,
We'd be completely distraught if it ever disappeared.
The Isles start the second on a lame power play
And we just don't care. We'll kill that all day.
But after some skating, Okposo shoots high
Beating Fleury up top. 3-2 Isles, makes me cry.
Zoë wonders why Engo's so perfect inside
We missed him so much. We practically cried.
Some offsetting penalties now happen outright
As Hamonic elbows Brooks Orpik. With spite.
Montoya goes flopping all over the ice
As Neal stuffs it in. 3-3 tie. Very nice!
Fleury stands tall to keep stopping the puck.
Then Orpik comes back and starts running amok.
TK makes a great pass that goes straight to Dupuis
Who snipes the puck in to go up 4 to 3.
The period ends without too much fanfare
Let's hope that the third is a Penguins affair.
The Pens come out strong taking pucks to the net
And Cooke stuffs it in. 5-3 Pens. Now we're set.
The Isles look sad, slow, and completely dejected.
Mostly because their offensive drives get rejected.
Paul Martin puts it in off a weird bounce.
It's 6 to 3 Pens. Isles fans start to flounce.
Not much is happening. The players seem bored.
I think it's about time for some PH awards.
Consistent Saves goes to our goaltender Fleury
Who turns pucks aside with a calm kind of fury.
Although we're now winning, Crosby's the Most Missed
Games go much better when he's there to assist.
Steiggy updates us while the game clock ticks down,
The Penguins are winners as they head back to town.
I hear Errey exclaim as the ROOT broadcast ends,
"Feel better, Sid! And c'mon, LET'S GO PENS!"
I dare say I am cursed.
Some amazing games have been happening recently. Where have I been for those recaps? Probably doing something elicit. Or, more realistically, sleeping, seeing as I am Old now and I am often ready to be tucked in shortly after the final buzzer. My quick turnaround from world traveling hockey fanatic who'd stay up to 2 a.m. just to watch a 1 minute 23 second locker room interview to tired old geezer who has a strict bedtime and can keep bottles of alcohol in the house for weeks is possibly bad news for the Penguins.
In a time when I ate whiskey on my Cheerios, we won the fucking Stanley Cup.
So let's you and me do something irresponsible tonight.
Let's light that fire we used to have here. Let's bring back the luck of my recaps.
I've got a ton of drinking material, milk, a Sam's Club size jar of pickles, and work in the morning.
Imma publish this recap in parts, because it's about to get intimate in here.
Keep wearing your lucky jerseys. I'll get my lucky drink on.
ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET BECAUSE THIS IS ABOUT TO GET REAL
MOST GUT WRENCHING PHOTOGRAPH EVER, TO DATE
Let's get this out of the way, guh.
"It's like the first time you come back to your hometown after college and everything is really weird." - The Master of Nailing it Down, Zoe.
We've changed. He's changed.
We'll always love him...but he's our fond-memory ex who now has a new lady.
No analagy will make it better. We miss Max in that sucky way that means we know we don't need him, but we still kind of want him. We're sad that our guys aren't his daily buds anymore. We're sad we don't see him out and about. We're sad his ugly ass house had to be sold to some poor other human.
Max - you belong on the Flyers now, and we regret nothing. But we kinda miss your face.
xoxo - PH & gang.
LIVE UPDATE: ACCORDING TO THE INTERNET HE STILL OWNS THAT GODAWFUL HOUSE.
REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT OF THE CENTURY.
DUMBEST GOAL IN RECORDED HISTORY
It pains us to know that if this goal hadn't occurred, we could have easily won this game, OT or SO style.
Celebrate all you want, corpse-boy, this has sold-soul written all over it.
Just you wait until you are having thumbtacks shoved up your urethra in hell.
Only a tiny bit later does someone on the Flyers get a really clear shot at the net. Harnell has a wide open net right in front of him. Misses. Clearly the Flyers need the help of ten skates to get a puck into the net.
MOST SEXUALLY AWAKENED IN-GAME BLOGGER
The gal on duty tonight:
"Jagr uses those thick, strong legs of his to power into the Pens' zone."
I could say "bet you wish he'd use them to power into YOUR zone" but I respect a lady who can use such language and expect to be taken seriously on the interwebs. I mean, we do it every day. And worse.
Say, didn't we once run a feature in which we discussed what players say "the morning after?"
Rock on, Michelle Crechiolo. Rock on.
Guess who is the Happiest Girl because she bought a spot-remover instead of that cotton candy machine she wanted and thus was saved when she spilled adult chocolate milk all over the carpet? This girl, mostly because she also bought the cotton candy machine.
THE SHUT YOUR FACES AWARD
I can't get the spacing to work right anymore. Whatever. At some horrible point in the second period the Flyers think it would be HILARIOUS to score another goal. And then another.
Philly is not the greatest place on earth.
But it has some awesome things in it that you discover when you must live there for years on end. There are some good parks. There are some amazing places to shove your face full of delicious food (explaining Mr. Hartnells fatness and, dare I observe, possible diabetes) including the most awesome Italian restaurant ever in an America that loves places like the "Olive Garden" and other horrible garbage restaurants that want to serve you SPEGHETTI AND MEATBALLS - SERIOUSLY GET OUT OF A PLACE IF IT IS EVER ON THE MENU AND IT IS NOT A DINER.
But when the Flyers play there is just a certain part of me that wants to burn the whole place to the ground. Their people suck. Their sports suck. Good food can't redeem you, Philly, I apologize.
I will still visit you to eat at your eateries and to sometimes walk the streets I used to walk, drinking half gallons of iced tea mixed with alcohol and riding my bike around like a useless hipster (my bike is still chained to something there in an ally....God bless it) but if you so much as try to disrespect my hockey team I will start an arson chain like you wouldn't believe.
Which is really saying something for you, Philadelphia.
NEWEST SEXUAL FANTASY OF ALL PITTSBURGH WOMEN
Double teamed by Malkin and James Neal, much like the puck in the second period that led to yet another James Neal moment. Undocumented, but here is something cute that we can pretend is the same thing
James Neal is kind of like these flavored vodkas in the way that I greatly enjoy them, but I can't be sure witches aren't involved.
I am getting kind of confused about Events and Happenings.
My man friend soon-to-be-husband
(Fiance is such a gay word for a man)
is making Anger Noises from the other room.
I think he is distressed.
My cat just took a nose dive out of the Jewish Christmas Tree in my living room.
Things are getting Scary and Strange for me.
Am I creating a broken home?
As long as the Penguins win, worth it.
OLDEST SEXUAL FANTASY OF MINE
Brooks and Malks make it happen, together, just for me, like old times.
It doesn't save the game but it saves my night.
Pens lose, but I'm pretty sauced, so next time I'll be recappin' a win. I FEEL IT.
I just sneezed and it felt like an earthquake
THE BEAUTY, ETC... AWARD
MAX TALBOT AND BROOKS ORPIK, BOTH.
ALT THREE STARS:
(Zoe, I put it on my bucket list that I would learn to do your name correctly. I will learn the alt code RIGHT NOW: Zoë
(oh god it's harder on a laptop I just googles "noël" and copy and pasted the results, I will learn, I am sorry ): )
Steve the Cat
Time for this old gal to pass out.
Not that we have a lot of journalistic sway here in this land, but we couldn't agree more with Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters and his post about the NHL realignment. The days of the regular season fucking mattering to anyone seem to be over. The idea of being mentally "in it" to make the playoffs is going to start disintegrating sometime around December for those teams who are more than a few wins behind the other teams in their conference. This was unthinkable before. Now, we might as well scratch our balls and get high and stop paying attention for how much the race to the playoffs is going to matter by midseason. Frankly, it's embarrassing. We like the home-and-home between every team--A LOT--but those games matter so much less to the playoff race now. The NHL has marginalized games that they don't consider to be marketable "rivalries" which often end up being the most purely exciting games of the season. There will be a shitton of repetitive matchups come playoff time. We feel like there is a giant NBC-shaped dick down our throats and it's never, ever going away. Fans who rarely pay attention to teams other than their own, who are total homer bastards clutching Bud Lites and eating Cheetos with their bros barely paying attention to the games, will love this change in format. People who actually watch hockey and care about it probably will not.
Things could potentially get interesting, you know, in the THIRD FUCKING ROUND, if each conference champion is reseeded according to their points. In other news, this article about the realignment "rekindling old school rivalries" is a joke.
When does journalistic integrity return to the sports section of our newspapers and websites?
Also, literally everyone fails at math.
D- for you.
Having 8 teams in some conferences and 7 teams in others doesn't actually make any sense.
Anyway, here are some speculative reasons as to why these conferences have been grouped together, and what it means for everyone involved.
This conference consists of the teams whose fates are controlled by wood elves, which have secretly dwelt in Western forests for centuries.
The elves have a particular grudge against Roberto Luongo, who had a bad run-in with them outside a Boston Pizza in White Rock shortly after he was traded to Vancouver in 2006.
What Bruce Boudreau couldn't know until he had actually stepped into his office in Anaheim was that in order to continue playing in California, he would have to make a blood sacrifice to the scrub grass.
This is a very dangerous conference (sorry, we keep wanting to say DIVISION, Gary), full of tribulation and strife.
NHL should probably call this "Conference with Teams We Aren't Sure a Lot of People Care About, and the Blackhawks, and Swedish Jizz."
Atlantapeg holla, you will like barely play Canada at all so you might as well still be in Atlanta.
Everyone has already yelled their distaste with this conference from the rooftops, since it appears to be basically OMG NORTHEAST DIVISION AND FLORIDA.
The only explanation we can think of is that the NHL is slowly trying to retract Florida back into the continental US by using the radiation from jetplanes.
This is possibly the only situation in which a new and different rivalry is being created, between CANADA AND FLORIDA.
Does anyone need a change of pants?
WAIT WHERE THE FUCK IS MIKE RICHARDS
HOW MANY POINTS DOES OVECHKIN HAVE
thus concludes our analysis.
we'll be in touch with the wood elves to see if anything can be done.
Philly tomorrow. Aughghghg
Is the word they whisper low.
Oh yeah, PH just dropped a Roy Orbison reference.
Shit just got fucking real.
This game was also fucking real.
Without like half of our defensemen, the Pens let in the Boston Bruins, who have points in like every single game they've played ever apparently and no one can touch their Holy Selves. They have a man named Zdeno Chara, who purportedly has a "long stick."
They also have Tim Thomas.
They are also probably going to be dicks.
We are here to present you with several exclusive reports tonight, entitled:
BEING A DICK: ITS MEANING, AND ITS CURE
Lesson 1: something we're very familiar with by now: doing something dumb and getting a goal taken away
The Boston Bruins had this happen to them tonight and normally it would be a big to-do, a moment to be remembered, but not really. Everything went on as normal after Chris Kelly impeded Fleury from making a save. No one really cared what was going on, apparently, though we sure as hell tried.
Jordan Staal in a shield. Unreal.
Dupuis then pursued the puck, got a weird holding call for touching Chara, but that usually happens when you reach your hand out and do something so okay.
Unfortunately it's all downhill from there, since we kill the penalty, can't beat Thomas next time we try, and then Simon Despres does something and we really can't keep concentrating our efforts since we are yet again on the PK.
We see mere flashes of greatness. Crosby getting hit with a pass by Bortuzzo of all people and almost taking over the world.
Kennedy is even getting shots off for Pony Nation.
We should have rewritten the path this game was taking, but we were too busy spinning our heads around looking at those "big bodies" and "long sticks" that we didn't get a chance to pick up the pen.
We obeyed the horn.
Lesson summary: Dudes flop everywhere and act like dicks and sometimes nothing happens, even with a potentially dramatic moment that should have geared you up for success. But you are nothing. You are insignificant chunk of DNA in the great, spinning universe.
Crosby is despondent at intermission and we can't tell how much gross is on his hat.
Lesson 2: trying really hard and having weird shit happen to you instead
The Pens and Bruins both came out with chances to start the 2nd, but the Pens fall victim to a fluky goal on which Fleury lost his post and Gregory Campbell didn't give up on the puck even though Adams was destroying his will to live. Welp.
So it's 1-1.
In this brilliant situation, Brad Marchand decides to slewfoot Matt Niskanen.
Niskanen's rage permeates the space-time continuum, causing serial murder in many decades, on many planets.
This picture doesn't display at all anything like the hatred of that fight, but okay journalism. See, it looks like Marchand won that fight. Strange, huh?
A slewfoot is a match penalty but it doesn't seem like anyone is assessed that anymore. CURIOUS.
I mean speaking of major dick moves by the NHL. . .which we'll tackle later on.
Anyway, Marchand did get 2 for "tripping."
And then Chara interferes with someone, setting up a very long 5-on-3. But of course, very little happens. Anytime we get a chance, Thomas is all over it. Not to mention that we aren't being aggressive on the Bruins penalty killers at all. Just kind of standing around and letting them stand around in the world's tiniest little chess match.
The Bruins even get a shorthanded 2-on-0 somehow. Fleury broke it up. Mysteries.
As the Consol Energy Crowd magically musters an audible, rumbling LET'S GO PENS chant, Benoit Pouliot shows up and scores yet another goal.
THAT WAS EASY!!!!
Matt Cooke takes a shot off the hand, and the world might end, but then doesn't quite.
The Pens blow another 2-minute 5-on-3.
At this point you were probably checking Twitter and reading about the division realignment and identifying this as an event that just must simply be chucked into the Void of Dicks.
Lesson Summary: Acceptance of Dicks is the only way to attempt to conquer Dicks.
Lesson 3: Occasionally, there is hope.
Bruins walk out and tell Tyler Seguin he should probably score a goal, or else become victim to barbaric hazing rituals. He does.
Crosby and Kunitz have a bizarre collision at center ice and Crosby acts like his entire body has died and it looks like doomsday. But he comes back. And doesn't do much. Starting to get the sensation that Crosby hates Boston, that he would join us in burning it with a boatload of thermite.
Malkin is, shortly thereafter, attacked by Paille's face mask. It became sentient and drove Paille to destructive head-butting via telekinesis.
After some big-time save by Thomas, the Pens get back on a rush and Joe Vitale lays it on a platter for Matt Cooke. Yeah, it was that kind of game.
Pens fans miraculously still in their seats, and the game actually seems tie-able if not winnable, right?
Joe Vitale is feeling it, as he afterwards decides to beat the shit out of Campbell. You tried to get Joe Vitale's number so you could text him and have him over for carbonara.
Moral of the story is that Joe Vitale is dreamy.
And that is where you can harness your hopes, guys.
Kennedy then tries to win the game by himself.
But the news breaks about the division alignment and it eclipses the shit,
so you're going to take that hope and stick it in your pocket until Thursday.
We took a beating.
Lesson Summary: There is no cure for Dicks. You just have to eclipse them and beat them into submission.
Pens lose, 3-1.
They made Joe Vitale the actual #3 star and that's really all we care about.
We'll explain our feelings on the big time realignment in a post before Thursday, but in the meantime, as the entire Internet noticed, we are now an all-Staal conference.
Jared Staal's rights are currently owned by the Carolina Hurricanes and he has played a whopping 13 games for the Charlotte Checkers this season (lol) so this also counts.
Images lifted from NHL.com.
Didn't resize them, because there's going to be lots of drunkenness because of us.
Also, we are dicks.
The Charlotte Checkers don't even make a shot glass.
This is usually the time of the season when you get a feeling in your heart about who your team is going to be this year.
Sure, there will be streaks of bad and good, but it's probably the best feeling in the world to sit down to watch a game in mid-December (whether in front of your computer, on the couch, at the bar, or at the arena) and know that your team might play like shit, or like a bottle of perfectly aged scotch, or like a beautiful space rocket, and you still know what type of team they are.
Some teams don't have that luxury, and Pens fans, being lucky as they are, have had it in spades in the post-lockout era. Even on the worst nights, it was kind of hard to have a complete character crucifixion in mind. Imagine being a confused Ducks fan right now. Imagine if Bylsma's system had been a bust and ever since then it had been a slow decline. No, actually, don't imagine that. No hockey fan should ever have to, in a perfect world. But this world ain't perfect. We're just lucky.
Right now? Well, the Injury Ray of Doom continues to shine down on the Penguins, taking down big-minute defensemen (KTang, Zbynek) and Tough Mother Fuckers (Deryk Engelland possibly). Jordan Staal was just hit in the face with a puck so we can only hope that nothing more serious is going on inside his sod-blessed face.
But we can't be too worried because the Penguins eternally keep us guessing. Everyone has a shitty night now and again, and everyone gets assaulted by a Hot Rookie Goalie, and everyone makes ridiculous mistakes because they got too excited and thought there were going to be Parmesan Goldfish in it for them if they played the right way. But we don't act on a rewards system here. At any rate, the Penguins keep you guessing, but not too much. Meaning: there's always hope, even when we're down 4-1. There's always hope, like there was last night, when it's a 6-on-3 and Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, and Craig Adams are wholly unavailable. There is always a chance that you're tuning into what feels like the most hard-fought game of the last ten years there for a second, or that it's going to be a magical night filled with beauty and skill. Who knows? Or maybe we shit the bed. But we still love to watch yinz try.
Even when we've lost so far this season, we've been treated to wonderful games, for the most part.
Even if someone was being a dick, it was worth it to haul our drunk asses out of our seats to yell.
Hockey is good because simple moments bring joy back to the spirited place where it belongs.
You know, like GWGs.
Basically, Pittsburgh Penguins, we feel you.
You are the team of Balls That Don't Quit.
It's only fucking December, but now, as ever, we're pretty lucky.
It's kind of impossible to jinx it because I don't think we're going to wake up and find out that the team is actually a masquerading puppy-hunting squad that kills puppies in every city it visits, wreaking havoc on the puppy community on an international level.
Win or lose, it's regular gameless nights in December that sometimes make you love your life with your hockey team even more.
And Pretty Princess James Neal's beautiful gingerbeard.