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.
Earlier today when you heard that Malkin and Staal were BOTH game-time decisions, you probably had two schools of thought on the matter.
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.
"BEEJ IN YOUR FACES" - the demure Ms. Mary
In ROOT Sports' most valiant attempts to get you drunk, they gave you this:
They also gave us this, so from the bottom of our hearts, we have to extend a big, full shot of cheapest vodka:
FAYETTE COUNTY REPRESENT
No honestly, this game was just a dirty roller coaster ride of awesome.
The first period was tits as Canes fans made unintelligible moaning noises at every single whistle or movement from the ice surface. Mental pandemonium, and Jeff Skinner is doing the hockey equivalent of eating a fetus as he charges around the ice with no regard for human morality.
The Staal brothers faced off.
A Staal won.
We are informed that Henry Staal is in attendance.
If you're still conscious. . .
Jamie McBain almost singlehandedly destroyed our chances of winning.
He was like "I don't have any goals. But I'm going to go score a couple."
He did. It was terrible. But Craig Adams, Arron Asham, and Pascal Dupuis were there to prevent that.
Craig Adams silently had 2 points, more than Crosby. He might catch him for all we know.
But clearly we're not having any problems with anything, because Craig Adams is present in our lives and that's okay.
We may have lost Engo, which brings our "healthy badass defensemen" category even lower into the abyss.
But we're really here.
We did it. We won.
Sorry for the shitty recap, but our fave stream crapped out in the middle of the game and there was an incident with some fried rice that had to be taken care of immediately, lest it interfere with bourbon consumptions.
At least our screenshots are legit.
We will make a more comprehensive post tomorrow.
A State of the Union if you will.
NHL.COM YOU'VE OUTDONE YOURSELVES AGAIN
YOU KNOW WHO PROBABLY HAS PLENTY OF DUCK
HE PROBABLY EXHAUSTED THE SUPPLY BEFORE BRUCE EVEN GOT TO CALIFORNIA
IT'S A FUCKING CONSPIRACY
Also, Bryzgalov played like poop and Hiller stood on his head. This was an overtime loss. Br00tal. Fuck.
We play the Canes tonight. All right then.
Bring it on.
Every time the Pens play the Caps, it turns into a Big Deal.
A lot of people have had a lot of things to say about the decline and fall of Bruce Boudreau, and even though I'm not a huge fan of the guy, I'm not about to rag on him too much here. I hope he finds success in Anaheim.
I'll pour out some wing sauce for you, Bruce.
But while Boudreau is gone, the Capitals remain. And so do all their obnoxious fans.
We here at PH like to call certain players fat, which is most definitely deserved.
Dustin Byfuglien. Super fat.
Brad Richards. Extra fat.
Chris Osgood. Ridiculously fat.
I'd like to thank the Academy. And fried chicken.
But the Capitals seem to suffer from a fatness that's grown beyond normal proportions.
I would characterize it as a fatness of the soul.
A hyper-obesity of character.
An adipose arrogance that causes them to come tantalizingly close to achieving their goals, but to inevitably fall short at the last moment.
There's a reason why I love watching the Caps lose a game. Or a playoff series, for that matter.
Will the Caps team we see tonight suffer from the same problems we've seen in the past?
Will Ovechkin remain a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, buried beneath a thick layer of fat?
Will Nicklas Backstrom continue his campaign of creeping Swedish evil?
The comparative Crosby/Ovechkin graphic shows really all you need to understand about this matchup tonight. Sid has almost as many points as Ovechkin despite only playing five games of the season.
Fans at the Verizon Center are also apparently taunting Sid with signs. Stay classy, Caps fans.
OMG STAN SAVRAN JUST CALLED BOUDREAU "BARBECUE BRUCE"
Coach Disco doesn't think Ovechkin's in a slump. "He's still dangerous." Dangerous to an appetizer sampler, I'm sure.
Watch, now that I've said that he's going to really turn it on and destroy our collective wills to live while everyone in that building wearing red is going to act like they just won the Cup or something.
Errey is wearing some pretty excellent glasses. He looks like a slightly bewildered professor.
Despres is up from Wilkes-Barre and we'll see how he does. Good for him, playing in his first NHL game and all.
Holy crap, you guys, I actually saw the opening faceoff of the game.
They are seriously booing for Sidney Crosby. I give up, Washington. I was thinking that it was good that you had a team who didn't suck so more people would care about hockey, but you Caps fans can go explode.
We seem to be spending a lot of time in the Caps zone. I'm not complaining, I'm just saying.
OMG CRAIG ADAMS SCORES HIS SECOND GOAL OF THE SEASON 1-0 Pens
In the replay, we can see that Arron Asham set this pass up beautifully. And then he takes on Erskine in a fight at center ice and...acquits himself very well, I think. Now all Asham needs to do is score a goal of his own and he'll get a Gordie Howe hat trick.
Ovechkin is apparently going into Red Hulk Smash Destroy mode and smashes Craig Adams into the boards.
The Caps are looking very confused and disjointed.
They can't get plays set up and they can't get into the Penguins zone with any degree of control over the puck.
I understand that they're trying to adjust to a new system and I get that Mike Green isn't playing, either.
Of course, just as I wrote that, the Caps spent a sphincter-clenching minute and a half throwing everything they could at Fleury.
But when Fleury's in Kill Mode, he will destroy everything. He is a Death Flower and he will end you.
(please stay in kill mode fleury)
The power play is looking...better. I mean, I know that doesn't take much, compared to last year, but it's improving.
Back and forth, back and forth. Both teams get some really good chances but no one can put it in the net.
FIRST PERIOD AWARDS
Best Helper goes to my dog Barney, who is assisting with this recap by putting his face on my keyboard because he's mad that I'm not petting him.
I can't resist that face
Slowest U-Turn goes to the entire Capitals team. You guys have four shots on goal? I mean, come on, really?
The recap of this period will be slightly marred by my getting to enjoy some delicious homemade pizza for dinner, but also having to eat it very carefully, because I just got a new crown put on my tooth.
And while I was writing that explanation, Jason Chimera backhands it into the net. 1-1
I'm really not surprised that the Caps are playing in the way that they are. I'm sure it's tough to adjust to a new coach and a new way of doing things, and this is only Hunter's second game as head coach.
Steiggy and Errey take a Moment to share their love of Simon Despres. I get the feeling that he could Crash Their Nets any Friday.
Ovechkin's fatness gets him into trouble as he gets penalized for goalie interference. However, nothing happens aside from the fans grumbling.
Steiggy chimes in with the Fun Fact that TK has never scored against the Caps. I totally believe it.
Does the Verizon Center seriously have folding chairs in their penalty boxes? How low-rent is that?
I think I might have found something lamer than the Pens power play, and that's the Capitals power play.
The second period ends with the Pens having 52 seconds of power play left, but without any more scoring.
SECOND PERIOD AWARDS
There are none. Save for the brave souls who decide they actually want to go to PirateFest.
The third period commences with the remainder of the power play, but nothing happens until Chris Kunitz catches a great pass from TK, of all people, and made it look super easy. 2-1 Pens
Also, Simon Despres got an assist on the goal, which is his first point in the NHL. Good for him!
The Caps respond to this turn of events by getting angry and frustrated. Not their best look, I must say. It results in shoving and rage.
No shots for the Capitals yet in the third period, and there's only 11 minutes left in the game. I mean, I don't want them to have any more shots, but it's kind of ridiculous.
Wow, Semin managed to get the puck right into the crease, and Fleury was even down on the other side, but he didn't shoot at all. There's gotta be something going on with this Caps team that none of us can see or understand. Because if it's a Penguins player in that situation, we're scoring a goal.
Kunitz demonstrates why he is a Superior Human by checking a Caps player, hard, into the boards and simultaneously passing the puck to Sid for a good scoring chance. It doesn't result in anything, but it doesn't suck.
The Caps are playing with "a shortage of confidence," which is painfully obvious to everyone who isn't wearing red.
They look lost and sad. Like someone stole their puppy.
I'm not trying to shortchange the Penguins here, either. They're playing very well. It just...doesn't seem fair, in some ways.
With the final shots 35 to 17, the Penguins win 2-1.
THIRD PERIOD AWARDS
Freshest Face goes to Simon Despres. I hope he continues to kick ass and take names.
Number One Star goes to Paul Martin. That is an award notable enough to be awarded here as well.
Up next: Carolina and the Staal Brothers Drinking Game on Saturday. Be there or be lame.