When was the last time we even beat the Caps at home? It can't have been that memorable, 'cause I don't remember it. It's October, we got to OT, and now we have fresh new controversy to field off in the form of Asham's KO and subsequent shenanigans.
But I don't want to give too much away, folks. For this is a very special bedtime story about how, once upon a time, the Washington Capitals beat the Pens in October, and it was the best thing ever, of all times, even better than the Stanley Cup!
There were of course, reasons that this happened. Reasons that were entirely the Pens' fault. Others that weren't. We can tell you about it
MOST DECEPTIVE BEGINNING
The game starts out hardcore as shit, as first shift Matt Cooke sits on someone.
Ovechkin gets shown up trying to cherrypick at the Pens' blueline--surprise, doesn't work.
Shortly thereafter, Malkin gets pissed and comes flying down the left side. Drops to Sullivan, meanwhile still drawing like all the Capitals. Sullivan notices James Neal wide open waaay over on the other side of the nice. Nasty pass. Unlike most people taking shots for the Penguins this evening, James Neal doesn't miss.
With Letang and Engelland all over Ovechkin every shift and Beej flashing serious glove saves, it looks as though we might have beaten the Curse and may be reaching the True Church. Not that we weren't already close to the True Church. Observe:
Malkin comes within inches of pulling a classic "Mario against North Stars" goal but it's ~not quite there~. Everything is going well, though. Nothing to fear? No, perhaps something to fear.
The Pens get unlimited PPs and look mega legit, but nothing actually happens. Red flags.
~~~INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM AWARD~~~~~~~~~~
During intermission, viewers turning in on NHL Network are forced to watch Ovechkin being interviewed about Lokomotiv by some blonde who looks straight out of a videotape that someone accidentally recorded an hour of CNN on in 1997.
She asks Ovechkin if the Lokomotiv tragedy hits him closer to home because he's Russian (okay) and he FREQUENTLY FLIES ON AIRPLANES FOR HIS WORK.
Apparently hockey players are the only people who can fall victim to airplane crashes. Just terrible broadcast journalism by this woman. What a dumb question.
"Why did you and Evgeni Malkin decide to have this event tonight?" would have sufficed. But no. We have to start asking questions that make no sense in order to create some kind of dramatic undertone to an already tragic event. IT COULD HAVE BEEN ANYONE. BUT ESPECIALLY YOU. BECAUSE: AIRPLANES.
GOAL THAT YOU COULD HAVE CALLED YESTERDAY
Caps get some shift in the 2nd, Knuble crashes the net, and it goes in pretty much instantly. THAT'S A GOAL. And of course it was Knuble. It's always Knuble. It will always be Knuble. When the Earth is a fireball of lava and charred earth, there will be Knuble.
WE ARE THE FUCKING MONSTER, PEOPLE.
There are a lot of big time photos of this game floating around, but there weren't any after this goal. Strange.
Vokoun is subsequently getting pretty much everything the Pens throw at him, and we realize: this is actually a game against the Panthers in 2009. At least 80% of a game against the Panthers in 2009. To wit: the shots were 19-41 Pens. DEFINITELY a Panthers game. Or at least 80% of a Panthers game. The Panthers would never get a power play in OT and score.
MOST IMPROPER USE OF MAGIC
While the Pens are pissing all over themselves on yet another power play, James Neal loses his stick, and someone (we forget if it was Steiggy or Dan Potash) says we might not see the Pens' PK at all this evening. Errey calls them out on the jinx. It was The Worst Jinx. The game then deteriorated into something that felt sort of like a fistfight in a dark room.
Early in the third, it's business as usual until Mike Green shoots a puck towards Johnson that Ovechkin puts some insane disgusting redirect on. a.) we hadn't even noticed that Mike Green was playing and b.) NO ONE noticed the goal except Bob Errey and it had to be reviewed and it was true. No photos of this either.
The lamb is key. We are now the lamb.
This image is of Una and the Lion, from Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, which a great professor named Christina tried to make me read once sophomore year. It's like 1200 pages. Una, like Mario Lemieux, represents the True Church. And she has a lion and a lamb, so you sort of can't go wrong. Redcrosse Knight, where are you?
WE INTERRUPT THIS SPECIAL BROADCAST TO BRING YOU A VIOLENT IMAGE
Asham dropped Jay Beagle hard and fast with two good punches to the face. No one really knows who started it.
Word on the street he may have been imitating CM Punk, or ex-PH Staff member Ann's favorite wrestler, Razor Ramon. In our universe, Asham did it for Ann. Which might not make it better, but.
Seriously Jay Beagle looked like he was carrying a plum in his cheek.
He kind of made up for getting his ass kicked by pulling his own tooth out. That is pretty badass. Not that this is a badass competition fueled by the mentality of the patriarchy or anything. We're just happy that he wasn't more seriously hurt and that we have a discussion point to unite around this evening.
MOMENT YOU WERE MOST ANTICIPATING AT THE END OF THE PENGUINS' PLAYOFFS LAST SEASON
That moment when the Pens get a power play off of some stupid move by a strapping young Capital (in this case, Troy Brouwer), go on the power play, and see a perfect goal off the rush by James Neal, assisted by Malkin. Total fucking mayhem. CEC gets loud for the first time since Crosby's last hat trick in the building, probably.
It's a tie game, and we made the tie happen, and we're going to win this shit if it's the last thing we do!
OH WAIT NEVER MIND
Pens have to go on the PK in overtime (hah) because Jordan Staal gets called awkwardly for tripping that wasn't really tripping. Despite the presence of Craig Adams, Michalek, and Cooke on the ice, Dennis Wideman pretty much gets a nasty shot off, and it's all over. Needless to say, this will really be on our minds come May or so. *cough*
INDIVIDUAL AWARD: BEST BEER BUDDY
Brent Johnson. We don't blame him for this at all. ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Craig Adams
2. Evgeni Malkin
Kind of can't go wrong there. 2 big-time assists. Flying like a madman.
3. Third star not being given tonight in order to ask: what is this I can't even:
Certainly an expression we've seen many times on the Zhenya and Sasha Comedy Hour.
SPECIAL AWARD: MOST GOOD DEEDS
Before the subsequent descent into Hell, the Zhenya and Sasha Variety Hour united to play a special game for the Lokomotiv tragedy:
Pics via Empty Netters
All the team jerseys had these special patches and will be signed and auctioned off on NHL.com to benefit the families of those killed in the Lokomotiv plane crash. So, something good comes out of tonight.
Mary will be bringing you Angry Friday tomorrow.
When was the last time we even beat the Caps at home? It can't have been that memorable, 'cause I don't remember it. It's October, we got to OT, and now we have fresh new controversy to field off in the form of Asham's KO and subsequent shenanigans.
For a home opener that the Pens managed to win, this sure was a silly production. We're putting the Pens and the Panthers On Notice until they can figure out how to play a game that makes more sense.
Honestly, it wasn't so much that we won. We combined individual efforts to Suck Less Occasionally.
But we won, so I have to give awards. Let's hope I don't fuck it up.
We are first treated in the Pens' official photo coverage of the evening to this extremely flattering picture of David Booth (?).
Again: we have no idea why our home opener is against the Panthers.
But we'll roll with it. It's been a beautiful workday. We're still sleepy with the long weekend having snuck out on us. But we'll allow it.
We had to deal with some intense pregame light show and ceremony with strobes and shit. Here, Richard Park ominously foreshadows the evening's result. We have learned not to ask questions.
MOST BEAUTIFUL TIE
Between Gene and Sid, who would you choose?
We chose Gene, independently. Sid's tie was described by Pensblog's Derek as "questionable." We have to respectfully disagree and find that the bold striping compliments his personality and presence. But this isn't an episode of What Not to Wear.
Still, why do none of the ladies on the glass have jerseys on? Serious concern.
MOST SUBSEQUENT CONFUSION In the same sequence, we find out that the Panthers coach is Kevin Dineen.
According to the AP and Getty, both of these photos are Kevin Dineen.
Will the real Kevin Dineen please stand up?
there you are, Kevin.
Do you have any idea what the hell is going on here?
Well, I guess we're in this together.
QUICKEST BREACH OF TRUST
Before you know it, Kris Letang took some weird penalty. It was looking to be one of those nights. Pens killed it.
The Florida Panthers' best power play strategy is to put Versteeg in front of the net. We wouldn't trust Versteeg to shut the screen door properly, let alone become a screen. Or deflect a compliment. But the Panthers are on top of this shit.
Sean Bergenheim almost scored after using some of his patented voodoo Penguinkiller magic. Suddenly, it feels like last season all over again. No Malkin, no Sid, no chemistry. And every time we look at Kevin Dineen, we get Brass Bonanza stuck in our heads.
MOST ACED CHEMISTRY TESTS
This goes to Joe Vitale, who flips a beautiful puck in front of the net, and Pascal Dupuis goes after it.
He gets it past Theodore, who looks shockingly similar to Chris Osgood in the 2008 playoffs as he flops gingerly to the ground and rolls about a bit.
shortly before the goal is scored. Identify the fear in this photograph. It's coming off Dupuis' stick.
And we get a great, classic Pascal Dupuis photograph out of it:
Perhaps not all hope is lost.
Perhaps this is a mountain we can climb.
Fleury makes a Jesus Christ reach-behind save that nobody bothered to photograph, and we get out of the period alive. No surprises.
PERIOD THAT WAS MOST LIKE A TANGO BETWEEN DOOMED LOVERS
For some reason, I start my notes for this period "Theodore looks like he's at a discotheque."
Some stupid boarding penalty leads to another PP for the Penguins, but they don't get anything done on this one, either, despite the fact that Niskanen actually did something awesome to keep the puck in on a clearing attempt.
We continue to fail to understand the New Panthers. Joe Vitale makes another awesome setup to Matt Cooke driving the net like a boss, and we think we've figured out how to beat Theodore: get him to try to move.
However, we are subsequently teabagged by Sean Bergenheim (AGAIN!!!! I THOUGHT I TOLD THAT BOY HE WASN'T ALLOWED TO COME OVER ANYMORE) and Marcel Goc scores:
We're not sure that Marcel Goc isn't a character that they wrote out of Beauty and the Beast. Someone with Disney connections needs to do research and confirm. Send findings to us via e-mail.
The Pens take a penalty, and it seems like shit is about to get evil real fucking fast, with Bergenheim and his ballsack lurking in the corners.
But then Richard Park flies in and ATTACKS. 15th career shorthanded goal.
So right now it's like 3-1.
Park's goal stands as the game-winner, since Tomas Fleischmann gets all up in our business shortly after the Panthers PP is finished sucking about as bad as ours does at the moment.
Then, quite suddenly, for insurance:
The Pens are on the PK for the final 1:45 of the game, so they get to take free shots at the empty net, but even with aggressive 6-on-4 PKing and some diving clears, no one can get it.
Fleury tries to shoot for it at the end, but KTang gets all confused trying to protect the puck and Fleury has to run back to the front of the net after his scoring attempt pops well, well short.
Thank god we have some energy and talent to make up for the weirdness of what just happened. We love you, everyone.
SORRY THE RECAP SUCKS
NEXT GAME IS AGAINST THE CAPS
INDIVIDUAL AWARD: PRETTIEST
As in, other than James Neal.
Easily Matt Cooke:
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
#1 and #2
Sid AND the mysterious finger creeping into this frame.
Probably Deryk Engelland, because we're biased.
We hope that reality adjusts itself shortly.
Whoa, probably because suddenly they have players you've heard of.
Well, that's not really an adequate explanation, but all the other teams were probably busy?
What, you mean most of the other teams actually WEREN'T busy at all; and that in fact only Minnesota and Ottawa will even be remotely busy with each other after 7pm tomorrow?
WELL, THE PLOT THICKENS.
I mean, seriously, look at this shit:
click through to visit the Panthers site. . .it's beautiful overall
We totally buy Jovanovski here. Dude looks like a hardened Army general who refuses to pull his men out of the city, even when it appears that all hope has been lost and the panzers are coming in bunches.
But who is Upshall trying to kid?
Campbell and Versteeg don't look so much "built to win" as if they're doing a screen test for a straight-to-DVD action movie.
They aren't even going to get the parts, either.
You know who would have been better in this picture?
The angelic face of Dmitry Kulikov.
Imagine Kulikov as the young infantry soldier who doesn't know if his girlfriend still loves him or if he'll ever see his baby sister again.
Then again, we can't imagine that weird lighting-from-below thing would be attractive.
Already can't wait for the ASG portraits. Not that any of these guys will be involved. *rimshot*
No we made that up. Maybe they will be. That's a lie. No idea what's going to happen.
No but how can you go wrong with the Panthers at your home opener?
They beat the Islanders 2-0 in their season opener, and are on the road for a bajillion years to start the season, too, so they have some kindred feelings with the Pens. We're not getting Vokoun'd and everyone who cared about the "rat trick" is probably dead so this is an entirely different Panthers team we're facing, folks, complete with. . .Kris Versteeg. . .and other people. And Jose Theodore. Whatever.
Bore into our souls, Florida. We're waiting.
First off, thanks for reading my previous recap and commenting, if you did. For some reason, Lifefyre isn't letting me sign in, but it's nice to know that you appreciate my recap style. I'm gonna keep it up for tonight, though probably with less wine...I do have to work tomorrow.
Unfortunately, I don't have any Fun Facts to share with you about Edmonton. I know less about Edmonton than I do about Calgary. I know it's in Alberta, Canada, and that the team is called the Oilers. And that when you talk about the Oilers, you usually reference things like this.
He has EVERY RECORD
However, this sort of thing hasn't happened in Edmonton since 1990. You know what this makes them? The Pirates of hockey.
I know, I know, the Flyers haven't won since 1975 and the Leafs last won in 1967. But that's because the Flyers are goons and the Leafs just straight-up suck.
In other news from today: the Winnipeg Jets had their season opener. I saw about five minutes of this game, but I did see the very beginning of the broadcast, where they showed the Rick Rypien tribute video. That was a very classy thing to do.
Also: the national-anthem singer Chantal Kreviazuk has a third cousin named Mike who lived in Winnipeg in the mid-90s. How do I know this? Because Mike and I used to be internet penpals. Mike, if you're out there, I hope all is well with you.
Brent Johnson will be in net tonight. This is excellent, because I love Brent Johnson and love to watch him play. The husband will probably also be jazzed to find this out, because he is a Fleury Hater of the Highest Order. He just doesn't like that Fleury is streaky, whereas I, the girl who grew up watching Patrick Roy being streakier than bacon, am used to inconsistent goaltending.
I called my mom today, as I usually do on Sunday, and she told me all about the Avs home opener, which she attended. "They really don't look so good," she told me. "I'm going to have to find another team to cheer for."
"How about the Penguins, Mom?" I suggest helpfully.
"That could work!"
With any luck, I'll soon be reporting on Mom's Penguins-related mancrush
Malkin is out with a "lower-body injury." I hope he's not too seriously hurt and that he feels better soon. And that he STAYS ANGRY.
Coach Disco's lookin' good. I mean, he always looks good. But he's looking especially good tonight.
MacIntyre and Park are in for this evening.
I cannot wait for this stupid road trip to be over and for games to be on at a normal evening time.
Also, I have no idea how Steiggy and Errey are going to mangle the name "Paajarvi" throughout the night.
Awww, I didn't know Mark Letestu was from Elk Point, Alberta. It is apparently north of Edmonton. Fun Fact #1!
Good God, the Oilers uniforms are...orange. Their official Pantone shade must be something like "Aggressively Orange."
Omark serves a penalty for too many men on the ice shortly after the game begins.
"This last year, the Oilers were terrible in just about every category." - Steiggy
Well, thanks for that trenchant and piercing analysis. Tell us how you really feel, Steiggy.
The power play strikes again as Letang fires it from the point.
We're all thinking it, but she's the only one saying it
What kind of Bizarro World do we live in where the power play is this ridiculously good? I don't know, exactly, but I'm really liking it.
Joe Vitale gets two minutes for holding, and we get a close-up of Ryan Smyth's terrible white skates and wooden stick. "That's ancient! It's only for dinosaurs and Ryan Smyth!" - Errey
Beej is looking sharp. I mean, he always looks sharp, but he's looking especially sharp at the moment.
Lovejoy takes a penalty, this time for a cross check. He takes this opportunity to remove his helmet and wipe away the sweat. You know, when his face isn't all swollen up from blocking a puck with it, he is adorable.
Are they seriously playing Dance Commander by Electric Six during stoppages in play? Because if so, that is AWESOME.
I wanna make it last forever
Mark Letestu gets called for cross-checking. Something about the Edmonton arena must angry up the blood and cause otherwise normal players to sink into a mad frenzy of cross-checking.
And during that penalty, Dupuis gets called for hooking. I remember my mom telling me, "If you can't score during a 5-on-3, you don't deserve to win the game." THANKS MOM.
The Letestu penalty expires with no scoring, as does the Dupuis penalty. Then Petry goes off for interference. Man, it's just a whole bunch of wacky back-and-forth between both teams.
FIRST PERIOD AWARDS
Biggest Balls goes to our boy Beej. I think they're what's actually blocking all the Oilers shots right now.
Native Son gets split between Letestu and Engelland. I don't think Letestu can touch the puck without Steiggy and Errey commenting on how he's from Alberta, and how he grew up in Alberta, and WE GET IT HE'S CANADIAN SHUT UP ALREADY.
We are also treated to a nice soft-focus Potash feature on Deryk Engelland, including such hard-hitting questions as "Did you ever think about becoming a professional chainsaw sculptor?"
The second period commences with the husband arriving home from bagpipe practice. This means he can take care of the dog and yell things at the TV like "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT YOU ASSHOLES!"
My own personal color commentator
A Penguins power play results in more shots on goal. No scores, but more shots on goal.
Petry and Adams/Kennedy get into a shoving match. "FUCK HIM UP!" the husband yells. He likes regular hockey, but he really, really likes a fight. I think he would fight Colin Campbell, given the chance.
They replay the Sarich hit from last night. I didn't want to see it the first time, I don't want to see it again.
A whole lot more back-and-forth goes on, with not much happening. No epic saves, no crazy plays, nothing.
Finally, something happens. Gilbert gets called for hooking and the Pens get a few shots on goal, but Dubnyk makes a sick-ass save on Letestu. I guess Beej doesn't have a monopoly on sick-ass saves tonight.
The husband and I pass the time by discussing the origin of Don Cherry's suits. I maintain that he must have a special tailor, and goes in to see the new fabrics every so often, and they just make him a new ugly suit whenever he wants one.
Our conversation is cut short by Beej DESTROYING THE OILERS' WILL TO LIVE by stopping EVERYTHING THAT COMES HIS WAY. And even draws a golatender interference penalty. TEAM BEEJ
Some penalties happen, but there's no scoring, and the period wraps up with the score EXACTLY THE SAME AS WHEN WE STARTED.
SECOND PERIOD AWARDS
Best Husband goes to the husband. Last night, I went upstairs to get ready for bed, and discovered that not only had he bought me an etagere for the upstairs bathroom, he put it together to surprise me. It's my own fault that I did not discover this until 2 AM.
I wanted to do a second award here, but I can't think of anything funny. Least Hilarious goes to me, at the moment.
The third period commences with yet more back-and-forth, up and down the ice. I'm sorry, friends, I"m losing steam and it's getting late. Even the husband has moved past hockey and on to surfing the Internet, looking for knives. Throwing knives, I would assume.
Andy Sutton gets called for flinging the puck wildly over the glass. So now they've had penalties for too many men, goaltender interference, and delay of game. How many dumb penalties can one team take? I think we are about to find out.
"Jordan Staal took a real good piece of Belanger...almost sucked him into a penalty." Errey
Paajarvi gets tripped up by Paul Martin and ends up sliding through Beej's legs right into the net. Paajarvi is the only thing Beej has let in all night.
Various plays result in various shoving. Engelland and Belanger both get penalized for said shoving. Letang goes barreling to the net, but Dubnyk makes a good save and Letang trips on the side of the net.
The Oilers get called for interference and there's a 4-on-3 power play. I feel like we've seen every kind of possible wack-ass situation in this game. 5 on 3? 4 on 3? Goaltender interference? Retarded good saves? BRING IT ALL ON, WHY THE FUCK NOT
It's Beej's world at the moment and we all just happen to live in it. He demonstrates this ably with some more epic saves.
I think I spoke too soon. Nugent-Hopkins (what a dumb name) manages to beat Beej, after hammering on him for like four shots in a row, and stuffs it in on the backhand. 1-1
Ryan Smyth gets 5 minutes for elbowing with less than 5 minutes left in the game. It remains to be seen how new and improved thew improved Penguins power play happens to be.
Holy balls, I think I just saw Kennedy passing the puck in the offensive zone.
Time expires and we're going to OT.
THIRD PERIOD AWARDS
Most Innocent goes to Zbynek Michalek, who dragged his ass just enough on an icing touch to incite the rage of the crowd. And then made a face like "What? What did I do?" You did nothing wrong, you magnificent Czech man. (PS. I didn't know you were born in 1982 and are therefore as old as me. Call me, we'll hang out.)
The penalty carries over, but once again, NOTHING HAPPENS.
Letang is everywhere. He's like our very own Hockey Jesus. He even has the hair for it.
Everyone in Edmonton simultaneously shits themselves as one of the Oilers hits the post. The guy who runs the goal strobe lights was fooled and turned them on for a little bit. However, nothing happened. Much like in the rest of this damn game.
It's shootout time, bitches.
Penguins shooters: Letang, Neal, Sullivan
Oilers shooters: Eberle, Hemsky, Omark
DEAR LORD IT'S ABOUT DAMN TIME I AM GOING TO BED
It's late Saturday night, and we are all glued to the TV. Maybe later in the season we'll be able to go out with our pals without worrying about what's happening in Calgary.
Oh, who am I kidding? I don't want to go out with friends on Saturday nights any more. I want to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Because I AM OLD.
Not quite as old as these guys, but still old
Anyway, here are some Fun Facts about Calgary that may or may not be made up, and are definitely not verified with any factual source.
1. Calgary is the Denver of Canada. Seriously. Same general geography, same Western outlook, same number of people in cowboy hats. Calgary is due north of Denver...at least, it was, the last time I checked.
2. As a result, there is less air in the air in Calgary. For normal, non-hockey-playing people, this isn't a problem. But for any kind of sport where you might need to rely on fast muscle response and rapid oxygen use, such as, I don't know, HOCKEY, this might cause some issues.
3. "Saddledome" is a dumb name for a stadium. A saddle and a dome have contrary shapes. This irritates both my inner and outer grammar nerd.
4. Calgary is home to the Calgary Stampede. As far as I can tell, this is some kind of large Western-type event. I would imagine it includes roping animals and other rodeo-type sports. (EDITED TO ADD: OH MY YES IT DOES)
Anyway, it's time to get on to the fine business of recapping.
As a note, I may or may not be slightly tipsy. The husband and I have been enjoying the Ken Burns documentary on Prohibition for most of the week, and it's making me really thirsty. I wish I had some bootleg Cobra Scorpion Whiskey.
Steiggy seems as prone to hyperbole as ever. "Sidney Crosby, the best player on the planet..." "People are talking about championships already..." Jesus tapdancing Christ, the season started two days ago. Step off, Steiggy.
The defensive pairing of Letang and Engelland is...interesting. Get better Orpik, we all miss you.
Mounties are adorable. They are the most adorable police force in the world.
Even the professional skiier wants to be a Mountie
Right off the bat, Fleury makes a really excellent save on Alex Tanguay. Whose every move I am quite familiar with, as my mother has a huge crush on him dating back from the days when he played for the Avalanche. She is the kind of crazy hockey fan who will learn all about the players' personal lives and will update me on them, whether I want the information or not.
The object of my mother's unrequited love
Scott Hannan is in Calgary now? Is there any place he hasn't played?
Geno decides he isn't going to take any shit from anyone and puts an elbow in Stempniak's head. Like you do. I confess I'm not always worried when the Pens are short-handed, but at the same time, I know that's a hangover from last year. Only time will tell if this feeling will continue.
Hearing about Bouwmeester's Iron Man streak just reminds me of Karlis Skrastins, and that makes me incredibly sad.
This game keeps bouncing back and forth, back and forth, with lots of checking. Even though it's not terribly exciting, it could be much, much worse. We could be watching New Jersey right now.
The Pens go on the power play, but just like last year, they can't seem to set anything up.
This is the time when I check my fantasy hockey team. Phil Kessel is on my team, and he apparently had a hat trick today...I had him ON MY BENCH. I SUCK.
The Flames make an EPIC play and make Fleury look ridiculous as they score. 1-0 Calgary.
The period ends during a penalty to Tyler Kennedy for tripping. I can't honestly say I'm surprised. Things like this happen.
FIRST PERIOD AWARDS
Bloodiest Nose goes to Tim Jackman of the Flames.
MATT COOKE WAS HERE BITCHES
Most Stoic goes, as always, to Dan Bylsma. His face after Calgary scored? The stuff of ICY LEGEND.
If I'm going to be up watching these kinds of shenanigans, I'm finishing off this bottle of wine. Usually I don't like to drink while I'm on antibiotics, but tonight is a special case. Also, this wine is delicious.
Yes, they have curved the turnbuckles. It will make things safer for people. SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY.
Jarome Iginla totally just wiped out, ha ha.
TK comes out of the box and tears ass to the net to do the only thing he knows how to do - shoot the puck at the net. Fortunately, this time he actually beats the goalie and scores. WOOOOOOOOOO TK
Fleury makes a lovely poke check to bust things up, but Geno gets another penalty, this time for hooking.
Can I just say that I kind of love watching hockey games that are in Canada? I feel like the crowd has a way better sense of what's going on, and is thus way more invested in what's happening on the ice. And they don't tend to yell "SHOOOOOOOOOOOT" like a bunch of idiots.
In contrast, the Flames get called for too many men. Sutter doesn't seem very happy and yells a clearly visible "Bullshit" to whoever's listening.
This particular power play is really showing what Steve Sullivan can do and is doing. I still miss Gonchar on the point, but if Sullivan can keep this up, all will be well.
Niskanen storms the net like he's been doing for the past five minutes and tips it in neatly behind Kiprusoff. 2-1 Pens
Hat tip to @MalkaMania71
Holy crap, Kiprusoff made a save and covered up the puck, and Matt Cooke skated by and didn't bump him at all. HE IS COMPLETELY REFORMED YOU GUYS
Craig Adams (a Calgary native) SNIPES THE FUCK out of Kiprusoff to put the Pens up 3-1. Awwwwwwwww yeah.
Alex Tanguay runs over Fleury and Engelland takes umbrage with that decision. Tanguay does get penalized, though. But that was the first time during the second period that Calgary spent any time in the Penguins' end, it seems.
Geno smashes it in on the power play and embarrasses everyone wearing red. 4-1 Pens.
And then Matt Cooke got a massive elbow to the chin from Cory Sarich (whose name I just had to frantically look up). That makes me cringe even in slow motion, and Cookie's out of the game for the moment. I smell an impending Shana-ban.
Malkin, Malkin, Malkin. His stick gets knocked out of his hands by Glencross, but he goes back for some shoving. And then they drop the gloves, and we discover that Geno hasn't tied his jersey down. Steiggy and Errey engage in some hand-wringing about Malkin potentially getting kicked out of the game. Fortunately, this does not come to pass.
Nothing much else happens for the rest of the period, except for constantly hammering on Kiprusoff. The Flames seriously only have 9 shots on goal for the whole game so far.
SECOND PERIOD AWARDS
Angriest Russian goes to Geno. I feel like he just wants to play some hockey, and would get to do so if it wasn't for those meddling refs. And those meddling opposing players.
In contrast, Saddest Finn goes to Miikka Kiprusoff. Maybe Luongo can loan him a handkerchief.
Matt Cooke's back on the bench. BOMB.
The speed of my observations will no doubt slow down, mostly because a) this game is sort of getting out of hand, and b) it's 12:20 in the fucking morning. And I've had an entire bottle of wine.
I also see Root Sports has taken a cue from NBC and their shitty, shitty angles. Every time something happens, you can count on Root using the worst possible camera angle to show it.
I wish there was more to say. Calgary just looks mad and the Pens are calm, cool, and collected.
Fleury's still paying attention, though, even if I'm sort of not.
A Flames goal wakes me out of my wine coma. Tanguay is the one who shoots it...Bourque just tips it in, just barely. 4-2 Pens, but the Flames have got to be feeling at least slightly better about this.
Butler goes to the box for a delay of game. The power play looks nice, but they once again fail to score. So they're going for a regular victory instead of a brutally demoralizing one.
I go to play some Words with Friends with my pal Annie and all of a sudden, the Flames score again. Although I might have given up on this game, a little, the Flames have clearly not. 4-3 Pens
Kiprusoff goes off with one minute left. Fleury reacts exactly how you would expect him to react: by grabbing his balls and yelling "WHOSE HOUSE? MY HOUSE." However, both Letang and Bourque draw penalties. And although the Flames try valianty, JStaal puts it into the empty net. 5-3 Pens with 4.6 seconds left.
THIRD PERIOD AWARDS
Most Delicious goes to the bottle of vinho verde I drank this evening. I think they stopped selling it in PA, which, if it's true, will make me very sad.
Dude of the Day goes to Matt Niskanen. Enjoy it while you can, dude; I'm sure this trend will not hold.
And with that, I'm going to bed. It's one in the goddamn morning and I'm old and tired.
Also, please let me know if you liked this recap. I haven't done anything like this before and I want to make sure I'm giving you, the reader, what you want.
It’s a lovely day in Pittsburgh. The sun is shining, the leaves are changing into pretty fall colors, and I am angry. This is sort of a natural state for me, though. As the oldest member of PH, it falls to me to claim the title of Resident Curmudgeon. While I’m not quite at the level of You Damn Kids Get Off My Lawn, I feel like that sometimes. I’m just going to say: one of my favorite blogs is Things I Want To Punch In The Face.
Things angering up the blood this week include:
1. The husband has caught a Man Cold.
Symptoms of a Man Cold include lying on the couch looking pathetic, whining about how much your throat hurts, and going to bed an hour before the puck drops. I’m recovering from a sinus infection and I still managed to stay up and drink two beers while watching Matt Cooke destroy Luongo’s will to live.
This is the new picture to represent my husband, as Mullet Jagrhusband is dead to me
2. Slutty Halloween costumes.
I hate how overhyped Halloween has become, these days, but costumes like Sexy George Washington and Sexy Watermelon really turn the rage on full-bore.
You thought I was joking. I would never joke about something as serious as Sexy Watermelon.
3. The guy who takes fantasy hockey WAY TOO SERIOUSLY.
I am basically terrible at all things related to fantasy hockey. This is mostly because I only pick guys that I like, as opposed to guys who are actually good.
You know I’m right
For example: I am currently rocking a solid -25 points in Extra Attacker. Because I am the shit.
Last year, I played Yahoo’s fantasy hockey with one of my co-workers. I think I did one trade all year, and that was for Mark Letestu, right before he blew out his knee. Again: am genius.
I tend to follow a strategy that I call “root ‘em,” which consists of picking a team and then cheering for them the entire season. Said co-worker got mad and demanded that I actually, you know, actively manage my players. To which I say: “This is contrary to my whole strategy!”
However, not everything today is terrible. Hockey has begun again. And I’ll be recapping both of this weekend’s games for you.
So stay tuned, my friends.
Go Pens.no comments
We all know we saw this game, because it's the New NHL, the modern era, where the scheduling is done at the behest of advertisers and networks. We are the product. The entire city of Vancouver, the Stanley Cup runners-up with very little to show for the whole ordeal, hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at home. When the schedule was made, there was the belief that the Penguins would roll into town with Sidney Crosby ready for the opening faceoff, returning to the building where he won the Olympic gold medal, and that's made for TV magic right there, America and Canada. Also, the Penguins still manage to be media darlings. You'd think the world would be sick of us, and how wonderful we are. Maybe they are. We haven't noticed yet. We're busy.
And so the march begins. No one cares what was said, or will be said. What matters is what is done.
But we roll out red carpets here, because we don't give a shit. What happens deserves to be celebrated and derided. If for no other reason, because it's fun. Because the discussion and the laughter always remind us why we're here in the first place.
Did we choose hockey, or did hockey choose us?
Deep philosophical questions better suited to 1950's classrooms in urban Austria. We're Aristotle over here. Plus alcohol.
A Sedin's achievements. SNORE.
I only made it home in time to watch the game because the city of Vancouver was too busy having a dick in its mouth to drop the puck.
Perhaps this is an extreme statement. However, I've always found that pregame ceremonies interrupt the flow of the Game and make everyone cranky.
Still, I'm glad for the incessant fellatio tonight. I got to see puck drop. Very little else matters. Thanks, A Sedin, for your meaningless achievements.
James Neal was the Hungriest. He started the game's true motion by flying around like his life depended on it.
He managed to successfully create a paradox within the space-time continuum via his speed, because Matt Cooke drew a penalty.
Then, James Neal scored. No one wanted you to see it. But it happened. James Neal had spent far too long ruminating on the Bullshit of last season. He wanted to get it started off right.
So right, in fact, that there is no photo.
Assists go to Malkin and Ktang, appropriately. What beauty we have wrought.
SOME MOMENTS CAN ONLY BE CAPTURED IN OUR SOULS ~~~~~~
BEST NAME FOR A THING
Pens got another powerplay because of some dicks or whatever. Suddenly, Matt Cooke swooped in and scored the pants off of everyone.
WELL WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT
We see the replay on the (get this) Jack Daniel's Robo Cam. A robot that can see perfect replays. . .even under the influence of Tennessee whiskey. A truly fine robot that all the kids will be wanting this holiday season.
MOMENT THAT CAUSED FEWEST LUONGO TEARS
When Maxim Lapierre got lucky the way you get lucky at a scenic overlook.
2-1 Pens at this point. Fleury kicked the puck in, basically. We move on, unphased.
Fleury immediately makes a big-time redemption save that goes under review and makes the crowd buzz like so many killer bees. No goal. Letestu tries to take over the world, but it doesn't quite go. And that was the period.
THE LAST THING YOU SAW BEFORE YOUR TELEVISION CAUGHT ON FIRE
PERIOD WITH THE MOST FEELINGS
Early in the 2nd, Malkin takes an elbowing penalty, which makes Versus talk at length about Gene's mental fortitude. It's like parents talking about a child when the child is in the room. It's ~weird~ when people who actually are with the press speculate about players' FEELINGS.
Matt Cooke sensed this, and decided to use Bieksa as a pawn in his globe-spanning chess game of domination.
Through a screen on the PK, he makes it happen.
Happiness across the lands; meanwhile our friend @devinnnc is busy retweeting every Matt Cooke hater tweet. Some seriously golden stuff therein. An overflow of Feelings.
You can feel the breakdown slowly coming when A Sedin destroys Letang with a sweet move and the Pens keep allowing looks at startlingly open nets. THIS IS THE TEAM WE KNOW AND LOVE.
There was some goal.
The period ended with it 3-2 Pens. We kind of knew how it was going to turn out. MOST ALONE
Our feelings of safety and well-being when A Sedin tied it in the third period on a delayed penalty. We screamed at the void. We heard nothing back.
We played the rest of the period and the overtime in abject fear that something would happen, that the tenuous basis of our lofty aspirations was about to fly off into the Canadian wilderness and freeze itself to death on purpose this winter.
But Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin heard something.
They got Luongo to look the wrong way at least. Press is slow on the uptake, but the sight of the Pens leaping over the boards to celebrate a win in enemy territory isn't going to get old anytime soon. Just imagine it. And think. Slowly.
GENE EMBARRASSED LUONGO
INDIVIDUAL AWARD: MOST WARM
Jordan Staal left the third period with dehydration, apparently.
The building was apparently quite warm this evening.
You know what's hot?
fresh tears. Roberto Luongo is the Most Warm.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS 1. Henrik Sedin's voodoo levitation magic.
2. Kris Letang - for showing up.
3. The whites of Deryk Engelland's eyes.
It's about to be a big weekend.
Thanks for joining us again this season. We love you.
Happy Birthday to Kim and Happy Hockey Day.
We know who's waiting on the other side of this sunrise.
Would you look at those boats.
Paint the city with tears and rainbows.
Pwned by some Swede named Gustav Nyquist.
Achievements: GWG against the Pens in a preseason game
We have no other commentary. We're above making the obvious Proactiv comment but are not above the "greasy awful Swede" comment.
Gustav Nyquist is a Virgo.
He is from Malmö, Sweden.
His home team is the Malmö Redhawks, who play in an arena that looks like it was the last thing standing after the nuclear holocaust in 1979, or possibly an unfinished set painting from Robocop.
This concludes your history lesson from Malmö. Funny thing, that whole Robocop fiasco. Fucking New Detroit.
While this photo is technically from the last pre-season game and not tonight's, it still explains how we feel about the goings on of this preseason. With one game left we are the u-word. This clearly forecasts an undefeated season.
Never losing again.
Tonight we came way behind on the shot count, but Brent Johnson was a beast and the shots we took counted.
A great Friday night game. Preseason is so nice because you don't have to stress about shit. Also, you can ease back into it so you don't get teary eyed when you get media like this:
This scene is so familiar we feel it should be framed on our mantel.
While we'll miss the ease of preseason, we are so ready to get this last game out of here so we can get to the real season. Don't get caught up in the SO - we don't have to win everything in the preseason. Enjoy the last meaningless game. Starting the 6th, every game counts, and every game is a nail-biter.
That being said, let's crush some Wings skulls.
Hair leaguers, we just got a special custom order completed from a lovely lady on Etsy, so we're shipping our your packages soon. We know we said before season opener, but we are liars at our best. But we love you and wanted you to have something cool and custom.
Let's get to the real shit.