Before the game today, Zoe decided to get inspirational and sent me this:
I have decided it is a sign. Or an omen. Or it's a message that this is all a fleeting dream and we will wake up with the misfortune of being Flames fans and we should cherish every moment.
Who knows. I fucking hate the Caps.
MOST DATING JOKE
The game starts out normal enough. Everyone does their national duty of boo'ing Ovie, Mike Green makes us wonder if Good Charlotte jokes are even relevant anymore (j/k, they aren't), and all is as expected.
It gets scary for a second when Brooksy offers up a turnover behind the Pens net and Grabovski gets the puck to Ovie. He tries a wrister, but luckily MAF is there to coo at us and tell us it's okay. Fehr tries to get in on the party but the Flower says he isn't on the guest list.
MOST ROOTED IN CAPITALISM
Some sick work from the boys in black and [vegas] gold lands Orpik with a chance for a slapper from the point. Neuvirth acts all cool like he's got it under control, but the puck has plans of its own. Unfortunately student debt loans and the recent foreclosure of his parents' home caught up to the little guy and killed his hopes and dreams as he sat right there on the goal line, incapable of making it another inch.
We can't really blame the puck, but we mourn the loss.
THE WORST THING LETANG WILL DO TONIGHT (HOPEFULLY)
The Pens go on the PP after Ward is called for tripping. Shortly after, Tanger skates the puck out from behind the net and passes to...? Anyone...? Okay, so, potentially Sid or Malks, but it's all kinda blurry. Alzner helps himself to it while we all scratch our heads and gets it to Laich.
Tanger makes one last try at ending this disastrous chain of events but Laich shrugs him off and sends it sailing past MAF.
The score is 1-0. Blergh. But MAF spends the rest of the first making sure it stays that way and he does a damn fine job.
MOST STUFFED SNAILS EARNED IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. THUS FAR THIS YEAR
The first half of the second is really just MAF killin' it. A few wristers here and there, no big deal. Even when Carlson gets a really good chance through traffic, even when he again tries a tricky bad angle shot, Fleury shuts it down. It's a pretty great effort to keep the Caps at bay while the boys figure their shit out.
In case you were considering sending a token of your gratitude, MAF is on a strict no-juicebox regimen. The team has taken to finding and offering tiny novelty stuffed snails in order to keep him Happy and Healthy.
I mean really.
BEST THING LETANG WILL DO ALL NIGHT (HOPEFULLY NOT)
Kris Letang is a complicated creature and no stranger to searching for redemption (much like Jet Li in Fearless.) Kunitz skates the puck out of the zone and sends it to Glass, who finds Sid. Sid, who is always game for helping a good ol' redemption play, gets it to Tanger.
Now here's the thing: KTang wasn't TRYING to score. He was TRYING to get the puck to Kunitz. The puck decides to avenge his goal line slain brother by deflecting off of Backstrom's stick and into the net.
We'll take it while wildly side-eyeing everyone in the room to the point that we sustain minor retinal bruising.
MOST INDECENT EXPOSURE
The Caps cash in on some really clean passing and Chimera is the one to cash in. The defense was left completely naked and confused, and while we typically wouldn't complain, if you wanna show us yourselves while this vulnerable, save it for Skype after the game.
MOST SURPRISING THING THAT ACTUALLY REALLY HAPPENED
Maatta makes a fucking genius play, faking a slapper and sending Wilson sliding around like a fool, and gets it right to Pyatt. Pyatt takes full advantage of the opportunity and tries a one-timer which just so happens to go right beyond the reach of Neuvirth's glove.
We know, right?! Pyatt. Huh. What shock and awe will the third bring?
MOST CONFUSING FUCKERY
A series of events that I am too bored to explain leads us to a 4 on 4. The Pens are too bored to explain why we are playing with 3 defensemen. The Capitals are too bored to ask, and instead yawn as Ovie fires one right past MAF.
Sutter and Jokinen don't wait long to tie it back up. Sutter sets Jokinen up just to the right of the cage. It may or may not have glanced off Orlov's stick, but Jokinen gets the goal.
You are officially gasping for air.
Maatta fakes a shot and plays sneak thief all over the ice before lining up a wrister. Pyatt does something cool again and makes an awesome screen to help out. Maatta sinks it.
ALT THREE STARS
Pyatt - ?!?!
MAF - Pretty sharp. Got a couple snails revoked, but still deserves the rest.
Letang - for the lols
We're back in the hockey drought after tonight.
Try not to lose yourself in the abyss.
Before the game today, Zoe decided to get inspirational and sent me this:
You know those machines in like convenience stores where you push a button and an "espresso beverage" comes out?
i.e. a cocktail of sugar and death?
That is kind of how we feel about hockey lately. It is super concentrated. It is drinkable and (kind of) delicious. But man is it like a kick in the teeth sometimes.
- The Penguins play one game this week. What the fuck is with that? And it's an 8pm "Wednesday Night Rivalry" game with the Capitals, which is the gas station French vanilla latte of hockey, basically.
- Brandon Sutter is utterly blasé about his own nudity. If that happened to us, we'd be like oh my god we're mortified and shut the fuck up. Then again, due to patriarchal society, we'd probably be shamed for appearing nude even by accident, whereas no one is going to remember this in a few days because hockey and unencumbered penises create a marriage that has been public and largely accepted for some time.
- We are skeptical about the old adage that "you don't have to eat ALL the Chex Mix in one sitting."
- Here's your advanced stat tidbit of the day, courtesy of Jesse Marshall of faceoff-factor.com:
If we look at score-adjusted Fenwick as an indicator of team strength for all 30 teams, the Penguins have the 12th toughest schedule in NHL— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof)
- which, okay.
- We've been reading a bit about advanced stats and sometimes can't tell the difference between when they are being used properly as evidence and when someone is just trying to be upsetting. But this in particular seems to be a legitimate statistical prediction. The Penguins' schedule is pretty middle of the road going forward, so they should be able to continue on at a pretty good clip, barring disasters and feelings
- BREAKING NEWS: the Penguins have recalled Nick Drazenovic, whose name we have NEVER HEARD before this exact moment.
- Ate too much Chex Mix. End transmission
Go Pens etc
Another 10pm game, another "wtf this is usually almost my fucking bedtime" from your resident pseudo-ancient correspondents. I'm in my early 20's and the rowdiest thing I've done so far in 2014 is pilfer a bottle of pink André from a weird sad upstairs new year's party. Maybe the Pens can help me. Maybe it's time to go rogue and mix fancy ginger ale with rye while I wait for GameCenter to start.
We don't know much about Edmonton except that it's in Alberta and sadder than Calgary. At least its hockey team isn't a total fucking dumpster fire (maybe 5/8 dumpster fire). Maybe this will be fun.
Edmonton is the only NHL team (other than the Pens obviously) that Sidney Crosby has not scored against. There was probably some kind of blood sacrifice at the hotel.
MOST NECESSARY DRAMATIC SHOT OF SID HAVING FEELINGS ABOUT CANADA
O Canada. This shot may have been conjured during the blood sacrifice.
LEAST WONDERFUL ACQUISITION
You know, all the ladies love Taylor Pyatt's face but we just can't even get a semblance of a hard-on for him. Especially when he is skating minimal minutes and just taking penalties. Hopefully now that we've called him out in our extremely important internet blog he will get his shit together.
Pens kill the penalty though and the game goes back to being boring. Thank goodness. Not sure if anyone is even at this game. Hello, Canada? HELLO? "like a ping pong match right now" says Bobby. More or less, but not Olympic level table tennis. like shitty. Table tennis does have the potentiality to be some edge-of-your-seat action.
FIRST MOMENT SOMETHING HAPPENED
Yakupov got free and actually had a decent chance on Zatkoff. Emergency save. A noise was faintly heard from somewhere deep inside the arena. There might be live ones in here.
Kris Letang then took an interference penalty of some kind while back in his own zone on the PP and made that stupid Letang trollface that has all the Frenchness of the Despres trollface without any of the innocence, charm, or latent sanity. No one knows what the actual penalty call is. "Let's buckle up here and see if we get a little action on this 4 on 4" says Bob Errey as the Rexall Place timekeeper tries desperately to resolve some issue with the clock. People start cheering. We can hear breathing.
garageleague with the flawless screen grab of this important emotional moment
ASIDE: THE REXALL PLACE ANNOUNCER GUY SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A LASSIE MOVIE WTF
Bobby is now talking about the relative quality of the ice in Edmonton here as opposed to now, currently, when the ice is apparently trash.
NO ONE CAN FIGURE OUT THE CLOCK
WE WOULD LIKE TO AWARD THE MOST KAFKAESQUE TERROR AWARD TO THIS FUCKING PERIOD wow is this the fucking Castle or something starring Kris Letang as Frieda
Malkin steals a puck from some idiot behind the net like three times and then passes it to James Neal for a sharp angle elevated shot that takes Dubnyk by surprise. PRAISE THE LORD
1-0 Pens. The shade being thrown by Jeff Petry in this photo is unprecedented. It will come back to us. The blood sacrifice. It all went wrong. Jeff knows.
Oilers try to do things for a bit. We continue to hear breathing from beyond the veil.
MOST PREMATURELY SUCCESSFUL BLOOD SACRIFICE
Sid comes down the wing and tries to pass to Kunitz in the slot but it goes off of Sam Gagne's skate and in. Whoops.
2-0 Pens, and Sid takes his final victim
An Oiler tripped and I screamed. His name is Arcobello. Really.
The Oilers then force some turnovers after an extended shift in the offensive zone by the Pens because they were probably also getting really bored with life and couldn't deal with the softly falling snow and conflicting administrative information.
Steiggy, Bob, and Dan Potash had an extended conversation about elk meat and cabbage rolls. We wish we were kidding. "And they have nothing to grasp onto right now" - Bob Errey on the Oilers and their tactile skills.
For some reason Malkin and Dubnyk try to fight each other. Dubnyk hits Malkin after Malkin kicks his stick away like a dick and Malkin hits back. They have a bit of a scuff, so to speak. Gene goes to the box for the initial stick-kicking penalty. Welp Gene.
Gene received roughing, interference, and Dubnyk got roughing.
OCCASIONALLY YOUR DRAFT PICKS WILL DO SOMETHING NOW AND AGAIN
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the power play just before the Malkin penalty expires. And it's off to the races. 2-1
MOST EXPECTED KRIS LETANG
Pens get a PP and Letang is open and winds up for a big shot but misses the net. SURPRISE
Niskanen with a rare huge turnover that leads to a chance for the Isles. Then Kris Letang went full-on Frieda and tackled Taylor Hall while you're still remembering the last time he bitched at you about how you're not married yet.
YET AGAIN, ONE MIGHT EXPECT NUMBER ONE DRAFT PICKS TO DO A THING OR TWO
Engo turned the puck over which led to a rush the other way in which Taylor Hall got mad position on Jeff Zatkoff.
Fun fact: Franz Kafka's The Castle ends midsentence. Let's hope the same fate does not befall us.
4 on 4 by the grace of god. And then a 4 on 3 power play. . .
COLDEST MEDIEVAL WASTELAND
Then. . .WHAT THE FUCK FRIEDA
Kris Letang may be sleeping with your surveying assistant, but he sure can snipe it from up high. Gagne gets a free pass to manhandle Letang because he's been manipulating us this whole time.
the ethereal "LET'S GO OILERS" chant as if from the grave. Belov ties it.
god damn this country (by which we mean Canada)
what is this team can we stop doing it yet
first NHL goal for Belov, since we totally let those sorts feast on us. Seriously the final four minutes of this game have been taking literal aeons.
Sutter took a late penalty. Welp.
Can you tell that the "most spirited" isn't the Pens?
The Pens have some penalty to kill in the MOST IRRITATING OVERTIME OF 2014. This is terrifying.
Orpik doing God's work on the PK, doing Amurrica proud. Also Zatkoff with a huge save. But the pens didn't get it out.
Then Nugent-Hopkins won it.
Craig Adams didn't clear the puck.
blghghghghghgh Admiral might be time to consider becoming more Zen
Pens lose in OT
OF COURSE HE'S NOT FUCKING PICTURED GETTY IMAGES ARE YOU ON DRUGS
FINE ALBERTA BOY
got to go down to Red Deer and have a home-cooked meal A+ Canadian
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
Alternative three stars for this game have been suspended due to being lost in this girl's hair/soul/sucking vortex of the questions raised by this sign:
SPECIAL MEDAL FOR SUBTEXTUAL TOUCHING
awarded to Frieda for his caress of Ryan and also the Mysterious Hand
Calgary tomorrow. I might be ill.
First and foremost, to hell with the west coast. Why are we expect to stay up until god-knows-when in the morning just so they can get their jollies at the right time? Petition for west coasters to have to deal with games being a little bit earlier so we can all get to bed on time like the tired old maids that we are.
Other than that - the Canucks? Okay, we guess that's a thing. We're fortunate enough to avoid facing Luongo tonight due to an ankle-thingy. And that, folks, is sports reporting at its finest.
FIRST STIRRING IN YOUR NETHER REGIONS DUE TO A UNICORN FOR QUITE SOME TIME
We start out strong with some good Plans and Ideas, including Despres letting loose a slapper in the first minute of play. Lack says no, but we see weakness in his eyes. Evs gets a chance just wide. Neal gets in on the fun with a faceoff play wrister. Lack is trying to tell us no, but we are gently stroking his face and whispering that it is okay.
Five minutes in, Ryan Kesler gets feisty and tries to make magic appear out of thin air. Luckily for us, he does, and that magic happens to be in the body of a pristine unicorn, who hauls Kesler to the ice and gives him a quick wink and a whisper of "be careful what you lustily wish for."
GOAL MOST DETERMINED BY MY COMPUTER TO BE FORGOTTEN
Ummm, so I wrote out an entire award for cute lil Gibbons opening up the scoring in the first period, and now it is missing so who knows what was said or will be said in retellings of this magnificent goal. Thanks, technology. You rule.
5 into the second Malkin makes a sloppy pass that is picked up by Hensen, who tries to make it into something amazing. Luckily Fleury was between bites of strawberry crepes and had time to shut it down.
As if to immediately make up for the indiscretion, he makes a mean pass to Neal, who takes tender care of it until Malks is ready. Evs gets it back in the slot and gets a wrister over Lack. We'll call that more than even.
REDEMPTION YOU PRAY WILL BE EVEN SWIFTER
Turnovers are the theme of the night and Sid never shows up undressed to a theme party (unless the theme is Unbelievable Asses.) A backhand attempt aimed at Gibbons goes awry and Garrison is like "Yeah, Imma go ahead and take that." He flicks it over MAF's shoulder and it hops in off the cross bar.
This goal also goes unassisted. We're just hoping it won't meet up with Malkin's in the mall corridor and make a $300 puck problem we'll have to pretend didn't happen at the next PTA meeting.
MOST REMINISCENT OF PYMATUNING
Not quite half way through the third Tanev fires a slapper from above the left circle. For some reason there are five trillion hockey players in front of Fleury, and as you know, we have never once in our entire lives ever once used hyperbole. Tanev takes advantage of the milling crowd (ducks walking across their backs) and scoots it through past MAF's skate. It was like someone dumped a garbage bag full of bread heels into the water.
If you aren't from SW PA, excuse this entire reference.
Vitale attempts to hold shit down with a backhander but Lack isn't having it. Hansen and Higgins start giggling and we hear something about mumblemumblespikingthejuiceboxmumblemumble. After some slick moves, they somehow convince our favorite lil' flower to open up fivehole. Higgins gets it in and sends photos to all his friends.
Ask any bro on the street and they'll say the way MAF was dressed, he was certainly asking for it. Ask us and we'll cut your eyes out and eat them to gain memories of everything you've ever seen.
MOMENT YOU STARTED QUOTING STATISTICS ABOUT GOALS SCORED IN MINIMAL AMOUNTS OF TIME
The Canucks make it a two point lead when Kassian gets a weird backhander past MAF. It's icky, but MAF is not blameless. It is a 4-2 game now with scarcely more than 6 minutes remaining.
MOMENT YOU STARTED ROCKING BACK AND FORTH CHANTING A PRAYER TO A LONG FORGOTTEN GOD
With 1:11 left, Tanger takes the puck from Jokinen and slides in a one-timer that you swore wouldn't work. If that goal worked, what else will?
MOMENT YOU LITERALLY DIED
Once again, we are completely allergic to hyperbole. With less than a minute remaining, Jokinen tries to tie it up by throwing it at the net. It hits a body, but Kunitz is there to smack it out of the air to Sid. Sid, still stirring with guilt for taking part in turnoverfest 2014, makes it a point to calm the puck down and throw it at the cage. It's a tie game motherfuckers. That's overtime.
MOMENT YOU THANKED THE GOOD LORD YOU COULD GO TO BED BECAUSE IT IS FUCKING 1 DEGREE OUTSIDE AND YOU HAVE WORK IN THE MORNING OMG
OT is worthless. Sid seals it up in the shootout. Goddamn.
The press, for looking around wide-eyed with nacho cheese on their mouths rather than taking photos of the game.
But hey, at least they got this gem.
I rolled in with about 12:30 left in the second to discover that it was 3-3. Sorry for my lateness, I was mystified by the fact that it was suddenly above freezing in Massachusetts. It's practically hoodie weather as opposed to "sitting inside feeling like you're going to throw up while trying to get feeling back in your toes" weather. The first play I'm able to pay attention to is Gene being back to his old self, by which we mean his bad old self, passing pucks to the opposing team when trying to make plays in the offensive zone. Jesus, Gene.
Then Scuderi saved a goal. GOD WE HATE THE JETS WHY IS THIS HAPPENING WHY ARE THEY EVEN HERE WHY ARE THEY A TEAM
Scoring summary so far:
1. Jacob Trouba super early on, duh it's Jacob Trouba
2. End of the first, someone named Mark Scheifele
3. GENE GENE GENE waiting for a replay I'm sure it was great. 2-1 atlantapeg
4. James Neal PPG WOOOOOO 2-2
5. JAMES AGAIN BRB PREGNANT
6. ugh blake wheeler i mean YAY BLAKE WHEELER AMERICA!!!!! 3-3
Evgeni is on like a point per period pace.
Now we return to your game in progress. . .
BRIEFEST TIE DOMI INTERLUDE
We interview Tie Domi from 66's inner circle and Bobby says that Tie has some "good lookin' teeth." We use these teeth as our inspiration as the Pens get a good offensive zone shift and Jokinen finds himself in the slot. Neal may have thought he touched it on the way in for the hattie but check your balls, Jimmy. Jokinen's goal.
everyone is so fucking happy
thanks, Tie Domi's teeth, for this sparkling moment.
p.s. Byfuglien sux
Engo appears to be back on D after playing wing last game. We don't understand his life. In any way. Who is this man? Who could he be?
Gene then gets a penalty for hooking Byfuglien because he had too many feelings. Despres is the scratch on defense today. God Simon we miss you a lot we just have so many defensemen. QUICK THOUGHT: is there a reason the Pens organization has such a glut of stud defensemen at any given time but we can't draft a forward to save our lives? Rejean has acquired great forwards through trades lately, but aside from gimme drafts like Sid and Gene and developing fourth liners like it's the Pens' job, when was the last time they drafted a forward that actually became anything? Discuss in comments. We think about this a lot when we lay awake at night.
Jets PP pisses us off. The Jets in general piss us off. We've never been to Winnipeg, but we kind of want to go just so we can be angry at the Jets and be incredibly cold in a masochistic way. Surprise, we are full of righteous rage.
MOMENT YOU WEPT FOR AMERICA
Brooks Orpik coughed up the puck at his own blueline and Scuderi desperately tried to catch up with him, but Evander Kane was on a goddamn breakaway. Nothing anyone could have done. Except not dick around with the puck. Brooks is probably going to have to eat a family to deal with this.
MOST HIGHLY ANTICIPATED APPEARANCE OF THE GAME
Steiggy delights in mentioning the LONG STICK OF TOBY ENSTROM oh how we've missed discussing that (not)
also with 17.8 left Evander Kane scores again.
this third period is going to be nuclear
Wanted to get on your feet for an extended shift by the Pyatt line. For some reason icing was waved off and they get to change, but Pyatt and Vitale had the Jets hemmed in for ages and Maatta almost buried it. Jets were forced to ice the puck but for some reason the icing was waved off. Dicks.
Neal line showed up to get busy and Jokinen almost scored again. We hadn't even thought of who the hump is in net for the Jets, it's Al Montoya. Welp, Al.
we need a goal. just a goal. come on assholes
Jets with some classic turnovers. Byfuglien might be the worst player in the NHL mistaken for a good one. Neal shot it at the net and Gene parked by the net and knocked in the rebound. YUM DELICIOUS baller
three players on HT watch, Neal, Kane, and Malkin.
BIGGEST GOAL I HAD SPOILED FOR ME BY TWITTER (AGAIN)
Gamecenter is a great product but it is always behind the live TV feed.
Off the draw, Crosby loses faceoff but Kunitz grabs it, back to Maatta, left side to Nisky. Slapper. look at the flex on his stick. Jesus. Saw it on Twitter before it happened--damn it.
Niskanen feels the power.
MAF with a huge save a few minutes later on Devin Setoguchi and then Nealer almost got the hatty. ugh james and ugh Jussi almost scored too. Then some back and forth and turnovers and wow
LOOK AT TOBY ENSTROM HIS STICK LOOKS A FOOT TOO LONG FOR HIM
RIDICULOUS SAVES BY FLEURY ON LADD AND WHEELER HOLY FUCKING SHIT
help also Bobby apparently got to caress Gene's stick in a sensual manner
Jets have an empty net.
47 seconds left and a timeout of some nature. Jets have an offensive zone faceoff. Neal just misses the empty net and the crowd goes OHHHHH. icing tho
Jets tried real hard but they couldn't get it in. Scheifele got MAF to go down but he shot it wide. SUCKS TO BE YOU
FUCK YOU GUYS
"fuck you guys" was going to be the title of this recap no matter what happened. bye.
The press, for making really boring photos available of this game immediately after so I don't even have a photo of someone making a dumb face to create an award from you jerks
Congratulations to the greatest nation of Finland for winning gold over Sweden in overtime in the World Junior Championship--if it couldn't be the USA we're really really really glad it was you guys. Keep on Finnin' in 2014
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Jussi, for being sassy, also 8 motherfucking shots
2. MAF, for allowing 5 goals but being there when it counted
3. Dustin Byfuglien, for assisting on most of our goals
Oh hey there. I am sick and sitting here in a robe and I am about to be super unfunny at you. The Pens are playing the Rags, they're kicking ass all over town, and tonight will probably not be an exception.
If anything, this can be a fun break on your dash from all of those raving lunatic Sherlock fans (but srsly good on you guys, we love us some fandoms.)
Let's start in on some awards.
It's always nice to see the team click. The beginning of this game is really a good example of just how well we're doing together - injuries, fresh meat, line switch-ups and all, we just seem to be doing well. We're the kids that just shrugged and asked what was for dinner when mom and dad told us they were getting a divorce.
Right from the get-go Neal gets the puck to Bortuzzo in the right circle for a nice little chance that Lundqvist gets rid of. MAF has a few solid plays, getting rid of a wrister from Pouliot, a backhander from Moore, and a couple of wristers from Nash. Lundqvist isn't bored either, with Gibbons trying the bad angles and Glass attempting a wrister of his own.
Adams gets a killer chance, left all by his lonesome to the right of the net. Lundy goes for the glove save and it looks like Craigsy has it in the bag when the left post screams YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US and we all have to go sobbing off into the bathroom to eat our lunch in solitude.
PRETTIEST UGLY THING
Nisky takes a shot into a sea of Rags in front of the net after taking a pass from Neal. The puck bounces around the flopping and flailing Rags and ends up in front of Kunitz who quickly gets around Stalman and puts the puck home. It wasn't exactly graceful, but hey, it works.
MAF, who has been showing up all period, has to deal with a little issue Engelland stirred up after Zuccarello and Brassard trick him away from the puck. Brassard ends up on a breakaway and Fleury has to kick away the shot, which of course he does because he has a baby to impress at home.
GREATEST POTENTIAL SIGN OF THINGS TO COME
Vitale gets the puck behind the net and Gibbons helps make some space and get the puck over to Jokinen. The wrister that goes past Lundqvist looks...well, it's not embarrassing, but he's not on point, and with two goals so close to one another, you have to wonder how he's going to hold up overall.
We won't say anything solid on the subject because we aren't looking to be cursed, but we're keeping an eye out in the second period.
MOMENT YOU REALIZED YOU DON'T HAVE TO HOLD YOUR BREATH AS OFTEN ANYMORE
It's not like knowing this will help you breathe during hockey games or anything, but it's a nice piece of information to have stored away. In the first few minutes of the second, Jokinen gets his second goal after the puck gives McDonagh a gentle kiss goodbye on the cheek. It's another not-so-glamorous goal, but we're working, and when you work you cash in on some ugly goals.
MAF has been killing it all game, but the chants really start coming after he shuts down a slapper from Kreider with a cat-like stretch and a glove. The game would be a lot more evenly balanced if it weren't for him working his ass off.
Kunitz grabs the puck from Staal in the Rags zone and gifts it to Sid, who navigates Stepan and sends it behind Lundy's glove. The two of them are so fucking beast together that we can't even handle it.
Lundqvist's life is obviously falling apart before our eyes.
RUDEST THEFT OF DELIGHTS
We kinda wanted MAF to get the shut out with all that hard work. Near half way through the third, however, we look a little complacent. Brassard takes advantage and strips us of the funtimes.
Shortly after there is a followup goal that is pretty messy - Zuccarello gets it to McDonagh, where the puck decides to flop around and eventually deflect behind MAF. Uglier than our ugly ones, but counts just the same.
Kunitz says no thx to the idea of the Rags coming back in this game. Swipes the opportunity off of the table with a slick move to make it 5-2.
MOST CANADIAN RAGE
We end the game with a surprising display wherein the bagged milk in Sid's veins boils over and he takes it out on McDonagh's face. Interesting.
Pens Win. Wooooo.
Take me home.
ALT THREE STARS
Crosby - qt
MAF - dilf
I am going to go nap it up for about 100 years, and I have a good feeling that when I come back from that the Penguins will only look better because seems to be our thing recently.
Always nice to clean up so nicely. That's 11 in a row at home.
2014 lookin' good.
Derek from TPB wrote this for PDL about the Burnside exposé on the Team USA selection process:
Felt the same way reading it--it was very uncomfortable to read such things said about Keith Yandle and Bobby Ryan.
The way we see it, if you closely follow the NHL and take a professional-enough interest in it to not constantly be blinded by fan bias, you fall into one of two camps:
- In most cases, you end up in the NHL, period, because you have some amount of talent, skill, or energy that makes you worthy of this level of hockey. Most players are okay. A selection process like this comes down to truly choosing the best of the best from a large pool of worthy candidates.
- Only some players are truly good, most of them are kind of just humps, and that's okay, but an elite roster only has room for truly good players. (This is obviously the misanthropic view.)
And honestly the reality is probably a bit in between. You don't have to be talentless to play like an asshole not worthy of your country. Some people are just bad. Some start big and fall hard. Some guys look great on paper but you don't necessarily want them on your team because of things that don't show up on paper. Think of how many goal scorers make you nervous on the backcheck, for example.
Personally, the Ryan snub seems downright odd to us, and Brian Burke seems to actually hate the guy. But we obviously don't play the game so we're just assholes. We would have envisioned Ryan on the second or third line of team USA. No reason why he shouldn't be there. We're still pretty excited about van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel. We're still surprised every year that Patrick Kane is American.
The defense gives us pause. If they come together, they could be great. If they don't, they're going to get run the fuck over by every other country's forwards. Waiting for this is going to be scary as fuck.
Goaltending situation is as murky as it gets. Pretty much every American goaltender ever has been injured for significant stretches this year. Jonathan Quick may soon be on conditioning assignment in the AHL. We are hoping and praying that he is in game shape by February or that Ryan Miller can find a new purpose in life as an American. Jimmy Howard is a shaky option. We would have taken Ben Bishop. The guy's stats speak for themselves this year, and there's no rule that says he would have to play if you want to give your trusted sidearms the first look. JESUS
No word yet on whether Burnside's piece is actually a David Lynch miniseries. Nightmares will kill you.
Go Pens and America.
P.s. USA lost to Russia in the WJC quarters this morning and no we cannot discuss it
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We have MSG (fucking Chico) and are trying to doublefist the WJC and this game. Turning up the USA and turning down the NHL. We love the irrational patriotism we get during international hockey tournaments. We hate that this Pens game is at 1:00. Can’t win right now. Mess city. Almost overslept. Need coffee.
USA starts the tied third on a power play. The American goal is from Riley Barber, a southwest PA son. Our hearts bled.
Interference penalty on McCoshen immediately after USA PP as the puck drops for the Devils game. Shorthanded chance omg. Watching both games at the same time is too hard. Christmas Ham is in net for the Devils. Oh and Maatta is scratched. Finnish Husband needs a break we understand.
Connor McDavid for Canada on the PP. Fuck. And Henrique scored for the Devils. Fuck.
Can I make coffee now?
The Canadians score again and Elias might be dead. Wow.
USA thought they buried one. But they didn’t. Seriously kids?
They finally do get a fluky goal. But they can’t get the equalizer at the end. We will meet again assholes.
god damn it connor mcdavid
oh right there's a game on. switched to ROOT sports because we don't deserve Chico after watching that WJC game.
Michael Ryder buries one early in the third and someone in the crowd has a sign that says MY MOM SAYS HI. ROOT shows it for like a couple seconds. No idea why.
blah blah blah coffee
Nisky blast from the point beats Marty. GO TO HELL CANADA
Score won't change. Welp.
Pens get stuck running around though and take a lot of penalties. We all thought James Neal was super hurt but it looks like just a bloody nose/cheek as opposed to something more serious.
Conner almost got a breakaway and Brodeur came out and shot it into the Penguins bench. Not a penalty.
third period was just an exercise in pure Devils hockey. Do we even have to discuss it?
Pens couldn't get one.
2013 was a weird fucking year.
We'll see you on the other side.no comments
Hello from Back in Reality. We have Fox Sports Ohio on Gamecenter, which is what we imagine ROOT Sports would still be like if the Penguins hadn't become such a big deal. The Penguins' overall record is 28-11-1 somehow. Christ, that ain't bad. The Blue Jackets haven't beaten the Penguins since 2011. Jeff Rimer reminds us that Joe Vitale is on Crosby's wing. Excuse us while we bless the room and try to get past that fact.
MOST FLASHES OF WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN
God, we still think about Brandon Dubinsky as a Ranger. He hasn't washed the look off yet.
He makes a great individual play and smokes the Pens after bringing the puck off the boards. Early goal. Cannon city. Seriously any channel that just shows a still frame of a cannon after a goal is a good channel. Ugh. Brandon though. We have a small prayer circle to try to remember to like Brandon at least a little before the Olympics. AMERICA
James waltzes between the circles on a Penguins PP and just snipes that shit past McElhinney. FS Ohio accidentally refers to him as Chris Neil which is really upsetting for everyone involved.
but we're tied.
LEAST DISCIPLINED FORMER HUSBAND
Mark Letestu gets jealous of James Neal and hooks him as he keeps motoring on through the neutral zone. Pens PP.
Jackets get all business on the PK and force Jeff Zatkoff to make two back to back spectacular toe saves that had us breathing heavily and muttering curses.
He was not to be outdone, competing heavily for the "hugest balls" award that we occasionally give.
The rest of the period feels whatever.
At least we got something done.
Intermission is characterized solely by Steelers fans on the Internet following the KC Chiefs game so hard that they actually self-immolate. The Chiefs need to win for the Steelers to make the playoffs.
MOST LIKE A GOD
The Pens start the second period like I did, i.e. with a cat in their laps and a glass of malbec. Not even trying. Zatkoff is clearly the exception to this award. Pens are forced to use their timeout. Jeff Zatkoff is fucking ridiculous beautiful. We'd be mad but it's the Jackets.
MOST IMPORTANT FACT
We learned tonight that James and Jared Boll, Our Leader are good friends. Hold us. That explains so much. Especially the nealeatsalone Twitter and possibly how much weed James can smoke without dying.
another Neal snipejob, btw. After the Jackets totally owned the second period for almost 10 minutes. James is so over this. 2-1 Pens.
Boone Jenner has been the best Jackets player tonight. He set up Tropp for a goal that had the Jackets announcers literally pooping themselves. Maatta got burned.
Jackets get a late PP in the second. Twitter can't figure out whether the Chiefs are winning or not. Then it becomes evident that they've lost. Steelers will not make the playoffs. The world can focus again.
This third period will either be really interesting, or really boring, or really painful.
Neal, who is basically a part of every play in this game for the Penguins apparently, takes a penalty early in the 3rd. The Jackets can't even hit the net as James sends them toaster-waffle energy telepathically from the box.
The Pens get a PP of their own but no dice. Anisimov had a semi-breakaway but Niskanen and Jussi made sure that didn't happen.
WHEN GOD CAME TO VISIT
McElhinney got knocked into the net by his own defenseman as Crosby came bearing down on a give and go. Crosby was like "hahahahahahhaa" and then it goes under official review--though it was called a goal on the ice.
Feels like we can't count how many times something like this happened to MAF and it was a goal.
Do NHL referee's mics work ever? He pointed to center. It's a goal.
MOST VISCERAL PROOF THAT A STORM WAS WEATHERED
Finally the Pens go to work on a power play, not long after Crosby's go ahead goal. Kunitz takes a nasty pass from Sid and rips it into the net. Man. Sergei Bobrovsky, Boy Wonder is much missed. 4-2 Pens
Things almost got interesting REALLY when the Pens seemed to have another goal, but apparently it just hit the post and bounced back out. Had to wait a few tense seconds for a stoppage to confirm.
Pens get another PP too and Pens fans can be heard heckling the refs for calls.
Neal went to the net on the PP and got a fucking hat trick. Pens fans throw hats. Woo birds audible in Nationwide, their plague spreading like smallpox. Ah, the road hat on the ice. . .sir, we salute you.
Jackets get a goal from the point from Nikita Nikitin whose name isn't real. 5-3 Pens now.
Neal takes a penalty at the end to fill his quota of Appearing On The Game Summary. Is he literally involved in every thing?
game's gonna end. Shut up. Go home. Stay warm. It's cold.
Jackets didn't quit towards the end. But that doesn't mean they win.
PENS WIN WOOOOOO
MOST BEAUTIFUL MERMAID
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. uhhh obviously Mr. Jeff Zatkoff
2. Deryk Engelland - led the Pens in TOI and rated even on a night when the Pens allowed 3 goals, so. He also had an assist. And 4 shots?! Jesus Deryk. Jesus.
3. Brooksie: 5 blocked shots and doing okay after his head injury and AMERICCCAAAAAA
go pens. We've got a 1pm Devils game right after the first Canada/USA tilt of the WJC on Tuesday. hooooly fuck. Happy 2014 bitches. Might run a WJC liveblog that morning or something.
CANADIAN TIRE SENATORS HOCKEY ON SPORTSNET SPONSORED BY MOLSON BY SCOTIABANK YOU'RE RICHER THAN YOU THINK
Yeah we have the Sens stream for the night. sorry.
This is the most disgustingly Canadian thing ever, possibly. Just like we philosophize about the Swedes, there are good Swedes and bad Swedes, and there's good Canada and bad Canada. Sportsnet and The Senators as an Entity clearly qualify as Bad Canada. We're upping our Canadian hate as the Olympic season draws closer. We're sorry, Canada. A little. We love you but home/irrational patriotism is home/irrational patriotism.
WORST MOMENT WE'VE EVER BEEN THROUGH AS A FAMILY
Early on the game is a lot of dick touching Crosby gets hip-checked by Marc Methot and is sent FLYING into Dupuis who is basically down in a heap. He looks dazed as hell and is helped off the ice by Kunitz and Niskanen. Man down. Shots fired. SHOTS FIRED. Just as Dupes was finding his hands again (poor guy, loses them all the time). God damn it. Not even a family meeting will heal our grief at this point.
Crosby left the bench shortly thereafter and we didn't find out why. Niskanen also left but it was an equipment issue. Then referee Dean Morton took a puck to the back. The Sens announcers think he may have broken a rib. Then immediately after the Senators took a 1-0 lead. Just trying to keep up here.
Sid returns to the bench after the goal praise baby Jesus. So does the ref.
Ottawa gets a PP though. Good movement on it and a MAF glove save. It's over. We did it.
LEAST LIKELY TO
Harry Zolnierczyk has forced us to (we think? check us on that) learn how to spell his name because he drew a penalty on this shift. Pens didn't score on the power play though. Actual quote from Denis Potvin on the Senators PK: "I don't know what the defense is doing." Thanks, Denis.
OFFICIAL PH TRASH AWARD
You know we have to give this one to Chris Neil who decides it is his god-given right to manhandle Olli Maatta. That'll be a penalty. Go sit down. Pens don't make him pay though and Sens get a chance after the power play expires. Gross.
The Sens get a PP of their own. Brandon gets stoned on a shorty breakaway and then the Sens come back shortly after and score again. Bobby Ryan. Who we forget about now that he's stuck in fucking Ottawa. Poor guy. Still though. FUCK THE HELL OFF.
MOST SOLID MATTER
Pens get yet another PP because the Sens are trash, but Craig Anderson is dialed in. Something just seems off tonight, and yet the Sens are still playing like dicks, probably because Anderson is playing so well.
Oh and Neil takes another penalty. But the Pens won't be getting anything going on that one, either.
Can we not?
Might literally be the least interesting Pens game of the season at this point, and not just because we're losing.
The second ends with the Pens still down 2-0. Okay.
GO TO HELL
Karlsson roofs one early 3rd. Smokes Maatta. Pens were due to have a horrible awful shitty night against a team that we fucking hate. it was time
Nothing is ever going to happen in this game, probably ever.
Sens made it 4-0 after some more Nothingness.
Then Cory Conacher made it 5-0.
to speak in brief tumblr-ese "cna't even fuck"
Pens got a late PP and Crosby gets hauled down entering the zone. God, the Sens are literally the fucking worst. Then Kunitz slashes someone during the 5 on 3. 50 seconds of 4 on 3. Would be nice to break the shutout. Gotta love Ottawa fans booing Crosby when they'll be physically dependent on his success to survive come Olympic time. This is fucking stupid.
AWARD FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
Chris Neil, for existing
done for now.
I will make a holiday post tomorrow to help you chase your dreams.
tell Canada we're leaving him