The awesomeness of this game can be summed up in the following VRY SRS PHOTOJOURNALISM SPECIMAN.
Let me say, that photo is more about how it feels to win, get a deserved shutout for MAF, and be in bed by ten.
The game itself felt sort of more like this...
I DON'T MEAN TO SAY WATCHING THIS GAME WASN'T AN AMAZING EVENT, AS PENGUINS GAMES ALWAYS ARE.
Just...next time a game is going to be this perfect someone let us know, so we can throw on a Kate Middleton-esque dress and a giant hat and find our place under the luxury tent.
There isn't too much to say here. When things go wrong there's stuff to say, but when it's smooth sailing and beautiful and works perfectly...what to do?
MAF tied Barrasso's franchise record, as you know, and that's exciting.
We're all on the edge of our seats for the next one.
This photo was taken, and thus the world is a better place:
The casual face...that's what does it. Well. And the guys on the bench covering their eyes.
Also, why is it starting to seem like all of our goal photos look like freeze frames out of a charming hockey movie where the underdogs overcome Adversity? We are the most cinematic team in hockey.
How are we so good looking?
What the hell.
If you missed the game, here's the recap:
The game was perfect, we won with a shut out, end information.
Next time things will be Harder. Maybe.
The awesomeness of this game can be summed up in the following VRY SRS PHOTOJOURNALISM SPECIMAN.
It is "Hockey Day in America" which, as far as I can tell, is an excuse for NBC Sports to come up with soft-focus features about the awesomeness of hockey.
Now we all know that hockey is great; that's why we read blogs like this and park ourselves on the couch at 12:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon. We don't need a TV network to tell us this.
Big ups to James Neal, who we already love beyond reason or complrehension, but who also got a 6-year contract extension today. Well done, sir. Well done.
Also: dear shop.nhl.com, stop pushing fans to make their very own Jersey Fouls. I think we've got that category handled all on our own without you pushing it on us.
MOMENT WHEN YOU GIRDED YOUR LOINS
Jason Pominville scores on Beej less than a minute into the game. "Oh no," you thought. "Not another one of these. Why does it have to be like this?"
Steve Sullivan's face conveys what we're all thinking
Derek Roy joins the party by proving that anyone can score on Beej at the moment. I'm not hating on Beej or anything, because I really love him and I want him to succeed, but he is having Issues.
FIRST "OH HONEY NO" MOMENT
Matt Niskanen demonstrates poor decision-making skills by not only flailing and letting the defense down, but also taking the game's first penalty. Not that it matters too much, because we don't entirely suck when we're short-handed, but still.
MOMENT OF MIXED EMOTIONS
Buffalo scores again early in the second period to chase Beej from the net.
I don't have a witty caption for this photo, because it is too depressing
Allthough I love MAF, I want to see Johnson do better - I'm not sure how this will be accomplished, though.
MOST WINGS EATEN
Deryk Engelland eats all of Buffalo's wings by coming back and scoring to make this slightly less embarrassing.
I think Engo might have shared the wings with the rest of the team, as they are starting to look slightly better. It's like the guys said, "You know what goes great with wings? Awesome hockey skills!"
MOMENT THAT MADE YOU GO "WTF"
However, Nathan Gerbe comes back as part of a two-on-one, forces MAF to commit to one side, then throws the puck at a wide-open net...and it goes straight off the goalpost.
SECOND "WTF" MOMENT
Kunitz apparently threw his stick at Patrick Kaleta, resulting in a penalty shot? I don't even know how that is a Thing. And I am not looking it up.
It doesn't matter anyway, no one is as good as MAF in shootout-type situations.
Get used to seeing this, everyone else in the NHL
MOMENT OF CRUSHING DESPAIR
JStaal tries to bring things back by scoring on Ryan Miller, but Drew Stafford, from behind the net, banks the puck off of MAF's head. Ugh.
CONTINUING MOMENT OF CRUSHING DESPAIR
Oh, the humanity
ALT THREE STARS
1. The goalpost
2. Engo, for scoring and for eating all the wings
3. Awesome reader and sometime guest-poster K, who finally got to meet Jaromir Jagr today and realized one of her life-long dreams
Up next: the Rangers. Save us, Curry, you're our only hope.
A VERY TIMELY BLINGEE WAS SENT DOWN THE WIRE LAST NIGHT FROM REXY:
6 YEARS/$5 MILLION PER
All commentary is irrelevant because we are too busy picking out crowns. w/e
I mean no really there is a hockey business side to this but we're just not going to comment at the moment.
GO PENS ~~
and by country we mean Pittsburgh. Because if you can't call Pittsburgh your motherland, you probably don't grasp just how vaguely (not specifically) satisfying beating the Flyers in the regular season can be. It's like the last cookie in the package. Waking up in the morning and finding out that there was a water main break at your job or something, so you don't have to go in. That kind of satisfying.
MOMENT WHEN THE MOST HATERS WERE FORCED TO MOVE EVER SO SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT
Early on, Matt Cooke put a snipejob through Bryz. One of those moments from fever dreams. Or, so you thought, since it was still early in this game.
Sullivan made Talbot look useless shortly thereafter, and you were still busy comprehending the repercussions of your existence when the world collapsed in a heap of ember and ashes.
Jaromir scored two.
First even strength on a bizarre 4 on 4, then on the PP after some penalty stuff. At this point, you had written the NHL off as a "godless festival of cum." But you knew the Pens were the better team. No way in the Real NHL does Philly ride to victory on the sore groin of a middle-aged man. Even in all of your nightmare scenarios, this can only be temporary insanity. They could win the game, but down the stretch it's going to be all tears. You're telling yourself this. You feel you have to. It already feels like it's over. Your consolation prize is that Martin doesn't look like he's asleep yet.
The Pens will start the next period on a PP. But it really doesn't feel like that.
BIGGEST WINGSPAN IN THE AVIARY
Malkin came out flying to start the 2nd, but it looked like it was going to be more of the same. Paul Martin got a penalty for having testicles (we were surprised too). People started attacking each other after normal, freeze-the puck-situations. Vitale got penalized for having testicles as well (probably should have been a 10-minute misconduct for Sheer Size of Balls). Jordan Staal made a dangerous play on Braydon Coburn; thank god he didn't lose his brains. It went back and forth like this for awhile. But Braydon was okay. And Staal redeemed himself, shortly after the Flyers feed did their Taco Ball Value Play of the Game. Which we think is meaningful.
The big pterodactyl strikes again.
Kills your family and eats your young.
It's 2-2, finally. A mountain has been climbed.
BUT THE BIGGEST BALLS OF ALL AWARD GOES TO
Brooks Orpik took a penalty that didn't even make any sense and the Pens were on a 5-on-3. You were probably envisioning hats raining down on Jagr until Cooke managed to slip the Flyers defense and score on Bryz while he was being hooked. Bryz looked like he wasn't even trying.
Some kid named Eric Wellwood tied it up after an epic gaffe by Engelland who is usually doesn't make a single mistake.
He just fell down. Wellwood peed on him. Good for him on his first NHL goal being slightly less of a joke than Max Talbot's. Maybe he'll have crazy biddy fans one day too.
Probably already does.
Shooting gallery on Bobrovsky in the last minute, but he isn't terrible.
Also, his eyelashes were protecting him.
BEST FIVE MINUTES OF YOUR LIFE
Period opens, here comes Dustin Jeffrey.
Pascal Dupuis scored too but we can't find pictures. Everyone was probably trying to find clean pants.
What just happened?
JAMES NEAL ALL UP IN THIS SHIT TOO BRB
oh, you know, for posterity.
Wayne Simmonds made it 6-4 with 19 seoconds left but no one cared.
Geno point. James Neal has 30 goals.
Fleury has his 30th win of the season.
Hartnell got kicked out at the end with a 10 minute misconduct.
Bring it back, yinz.
INDIVIDUAL AWARD: CLASSIEST FRANCHISE IN THE NHL
ice chicks can't even skate, players don't care
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Brooks Orpik was a +4. Can't really argue with that in a game where your team did have 4 goals against.
2. James Neal - 7 shots
3. Probably Kris Letang. We have some great Blingee action on that front:
courtesy of Simran
WOOOOOOOO SUCK IT
ARE YOU KIDDING ME
I HAVE WORK IN THE MORNING AND YOU ARE MAKING ME WATCH SHIT LIKE THIS?!?!?!
I wanted nothing more than to provide you with tacky jokes about Disney franchises and bad photoshops that shows the lazy comedy that we consider our go-to here at PH. But no. No one wanted that from us. No one wanted you to see this:
No one WANTED us to be happy tonight.
Zoe says that our preformance tonight can be summed up in this photo:
That cat looks so serene.
And yet....where is it?
Is this some sort of family operation where a cat can hang out? There seems to be too much soup for that to be the answer.
Is it a store that someone snuck a cat into for a photo opp?
This cat looks too calm.
What happened here? How did we get to this place, where a cat sleeps with soup?
We ask the same of the Penguins.
How did we get to this place where we lost to the Ducks when it looked like MAF would be a brick wall forever and ever and we would never have to worry about the future?
That cat isn't worried about the future.
I wish we were more like soupcat.
This game was a ridiculous disaster. We really can't dignify it with any other title.
Also, I hate it when the jumbotron has the audacity to text me when I am g to remind me that we lost.
(The number for game alerts is the same as texting the Jumbotron....so my game alerts come up as messages beamed from the Jumbotron, as though it is my closest robot friend.)
Because the Pens didn't play too horribly, we can't be all that upset.
I googled ridiculous disaster to see what would happen, and everything that came up was worse than this game, including, but not limited to:
So while we refuse to dignify this game with a reward show, because handing out rewards for a game like this is as degrading as when the highlight of the game (the Aspen Dental Moment that made you Smile still seems better that the Miller Lite Taste Greatness moment) according to ROOT sports, is either our ONE goal or, worse yet, some great hit that we had, we will say that it wasn't AWFUL. I mean, watching it was, but in the long run, there have been much worse games.
So that's really all we're going to say, internet wasteland. We don't have to talk about games that we don't want to, and this is one of them.
WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, YOU KNOW.
We have feelings.
And this game hurt them.
Someone translate this photo for us, in the meantime.
I guess we could take it to our Resident-Russian Stan, but we'll see if we can spare bothering him to sober up for a few minutes first.
Tampa Bay have officially seen the wheels come off their system tonight. The Penguins are somehow on another level where their battle capability is just insane. Also, Winnipeg and Tampa Bay both suck balls forever and ever, so we were bound to do at least a little bit of damage if we had any self-respect whatsoever.
However, it was necessary, as part of the deeper machinations of the NHL, to put everyone on Steve Downie Hat Trick Watch™ .
Really, it was all part of the plan.
If we didn't do things like this, how else would we get the word out about the growing Stain, the insanity that is a pox upon this Earth?
Guy Boucher doesn't want our evil plans to get out. He explains to his team that they have to win this one fair and square. Stamkos and his hair weren't listening, however, and they took a penalty. Malkin goes onto the ice. After some throat-clearing, Kris Letang lands him with a perfect pass for a one-timer. Oops. Looks like we're still in this.
Early in the second, Malkin's raw animal magnetism distracted everyone from Kunitz, who just waltzed in and buried yet another on Garon.
There was some controversy about a Letang goal being disallowed because Garon was all tied up with a Penguin. We're fine with the call because a.) Garon clearly was unable to cover his net or engage in the play and b.) we'd be livid if that happened to Fleury or Beej. Too much gray area with these kinds of things, particularly in the way the game has been called lately.
BUT IT'S WHATEVER BECAUSE WE DEALT WITH THE ISSUE ANYWAY. Letang scored a sweet goal off of an unreal pass from Kunitz on the boards (and Gene kept the puck in the zone like a pro). We can safely forget about the disallowed goal, and move on to greener pastures. No one will notice.
God was resurrected from the ashes as Steve Downie missed at least three times on his chance for the hattie. Like that was going to happen. It's definitely your night when you manage to overcome giving up 2 goals to that cockmonster.
Malkin got a layup from Kunitz.
Kunitz is really picking up steam where it matters. We used to be like "oh so that contract that the Ducks gave him is a little weird and long and expensive. . ."
Nope. underrated player.
The press is BEYOND LIGHT on Penguins goal celebration photos at the moment.
From now on, when you see this picture, read it as "Well, that's just the way the world works when you're Evgeni Malkin right now."
After this goal, still in the 2nd, Joe Vitale gently touched Steve Downie on an icing call.
We fully believe that this was some religious act, cleansing the Penguins of all of Steve Downie's ills.
We believe this because Joe Vitale is obviously a perfect human being with connections in Heaven.
Tampa Bay also performed one of the greatest Empty Net defenses in the history of the NHL.
Gene almost had his hatty, but they stopped him, much as we stopped Steve Downie. It was a karmic correction.
Beej shot down the ice for th EN but it was kept in.
You will also note that he had an assist in this game and also sprang James Neal up-ice for what would have been a pretty intense 1-on-1 battle if it hadn't been offside.
Brent Johnson: his balls are back, ladies and gentlemen.
Staring is allowed.
Gene was pretty tuckered out there at the end and Letang needed to comfort him and congratulate him on being a beast.
But when you are the Champion of All, even abject exhaustion feels pretty good.
May we all live by this example, amen.
Oh yeah, and BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEJ
Ahhhhhhhh the Jets.
Something has to make us care about these games. Luckily the universe knows that and tries to make it easier for us.
An 8-5 game on a Saturday afternoon?
Thank you, oh generous Hockey Gods.
It doesn't even matter if we rock out all night and wake up at noon tomorrow.
And so we shall.
WORST PARTY PLANNER
The Pens geared up for this game by eating low-cal multigrain tortilla chips with an organic corn salsa and playing Guitar Hero (Rocks the 80s edition, of course.) They were pumped up, not to mention the most wholesome nerdz on the block for the afternoon.
The Jets, however, were choosing to go the other direction. We don't judge them - the Pens have had pre-game preparations that involved moonshine, peace pipes, and some of the healthest call girls this side of the Allegheny. Sometimes it's worked, sometimes it's backfired, but almost every time it was, in Jordan Staal's misguided attempt at using a 'retro' cultural descriptor, "tubular."
But then again, we're good at pretty much everything we put our minds to.
We're not saying the Jets are bad at EVERYTHING...
Bryan Little, however, was put in charge of booze.
Miettinen was on drug duty.
Mister Andrew forgot to put someone on call girl duty in his momentary haze of trying to figure out if prostitutes would like his hat-backwards or hat-forwards look.
Come on. A Finn on drug duty?
Google imagine "Finnish people on drugs." Some of the first results are Jesus, a family of penguins, and a Super Mario Brothers Nintendo cartridge.
Where it went wrong was when Miettinen showed up in the locker room and asked Bryan Little what was going on with the booze situation.
"Dude, two words - Jello Shots"
"Awesome! Where are they?"
"I just put them in the fridge!"
"...you know those take like, two hours to set, right?"
Kyle Wellwood shows up. He looks around. Sees no alcohol. Sees Miettinen with twelve bottles of asprin and a cigarette. Throws a chair. This isn't going to go well.
ANGRIEST SOBER MAN IN THE ROOM
Kyle storms out onto the ice. It's bad enough that he was in Pittsburgh - everyone knows being in the city proper of Pittsburgh is depressing when you can't actually live there. Bad enough that people still think people wearing Jets gear are being "nostalgic." But then his teammates go and ruin any hope of having a great pregame? At least bring Guitar Hero and some multigrain chips, guys.
Before he can stew in his own anger any longer, he runs into a puck Tobias last touched.
His only thought as it hits his blade and redirects past MAF is "Goddamn it, if I were drunk by now I'd be laughing about the fact that his name is Tobias."
"Tobias...Fünke...GOD IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY RIGHT NOW."
THE FASTEST SPREADING DISCONTENTMENT
Alex Burmistrov thinks he can make things better for his team. The guys on the bench are kind of sad. They were expecting bitches, hoes, making it rain, all of those fun things. Kyle Wellwood is crying. The score is 1-0 and somehow everyone looks like their little sister beat them at Kings. Unmanned.
So he starts looking for help, someone who can get the mood back up. Maybe not every Saturday game needs a pregame plan. Maybe they can just show up, warm up, and have an awesome game. It's possible!
No one has made themselves available for him, so he decides to do it himself. He can be the hero. He can do this.
He shoots and....
Cal O'Reilly is there. Puck deflects.
Cal is stunned.
MAF is stunned.
So are we.
Alex is just as depressed as everyone else, now.
Nothing feels right anymore.
"Just keep smiling....just keep smiling..."
THE MOMENT YOU REMEMBERED WHAT GOALS REALLY LOOK LIKE
Tanger: "Haaaaay there Staalsy!"
Staal: "Hey Kris."
Tanger: "You still sore about Police Truck? Come on man, I practiced before coming."
Staal: "Haha, yeah, I knowww. I'm not mad. I could never be mad at you."
Tanger: "Glad we're in The Best Friend's Gang. You want this puck?"
Staal: "Yeah, I know! And sure, I'll take it. I see Jeffery up there, I think he could us it. Thanks buddy!"
Tanger: "No problem, man!"
Jeffery: "Hey, what's up Staalsy? How's Kris?"
Staal: "Oh, he's good, still making fun of me for Police Truck."
Jeffery: "Aww, he's just kidding! Can I get that puck? I see a place right there behind Pavelec where I can put it."
Staal: "Right there? Man, that's gonna be sick! Here ya go!"
Jeffery: "Thanks, friend!"
"Really, I couldn't have done it without my friends."
Shortly after, Malkin and Neal are laughing loudly over a salsa stain on on Neal's jersey.
They try to consider if they want to stop by a bar after the game or if they should just bring the party back to one of their houses.
They know they're one down right now, but that's just because they've been having so much fun.
Oh, hell, they might as well just tie it up right now.
"Ahhh, really, life couldn't be any better than this. Could it? I can't imagine.
Look at my teeth. I am so happy."
Everyone heads into the home locker room giggling and humming 80s tunes.
The visitor side is bleak.
The Pens come out laughing some more. We're not privy to all information, but allegedly there was some intermission shredding to the tunes of "What I Like About You."
Geno and Kunitz had discussed something during the break - while everyone was having SUCH A GOOD TIME, they knew Flower had to stand by himself for large portions of the game. They didn't want him to feel left out, so they organized a little early Valentines Day surprise for him, like friends do.
"Awww, man, I think you got Flower the assist!! Come give me a big ol friend hug, buddy, that was the best."
Maf giggles. Tells his left post "Those are my friends down there." Tells the right one, "They did that for me", his chest swollen with pride. Butterflies are everywhere. In response, MAF makes a wicked save or five.
Ladd, in the mean time, starts considering swearing off hats forever.
A MOST UNFORTUNATE THING
Stapleton somehow manages one past the BFG (Best Friend's Gang.)
He sniffs the air.
He heads back to the bench.
"Guys, you know, by intermission those jello shots are going to be ready. Things might not suck all night."
WHAT FRIENDS DO
Malkin isn't going to stand for this!!!!!
Something that could potentially make his friends sad?
NOT AN OPTION.
"WE GOT A THING THAT'S CALLED RADAR LOVE
WE GOT A WAVE IN THE AIR
AN INTERMISSION FOR THE AGES
The Jets all run into the locker room. Kyle gets to the fridge first, throws open the door.
"Uhhh...Bryan...this fridge is full of Solo cups."
Pavelec is okay with this. "That's okay, you know, we just have to put our fingers around the edges first..."
"No, Pavey. Like, regular sized solo cups." Kyle takes one out and swishes the liquid around. It's gummy around the edges, and totally unappealing. He chugs the whole thing. "THIS IS NOT HOW A JELLO SHOT WORKS BRYAN." He throws the cup to the floor.
The other guys start grabbing them and drinking the unsettled jello matter.
Before too long, the sounds of the 80s are coming from both locker rooms. However, the 80s sounds from the visitors are more of vomiting and misplaced rage.
We understand the mixup. Remember mid 2009-season? There was a game for which Brooks forgot that you aren't supposed to put any type of wine in the freezer. The whole team ended up slamming wine slushies in their water bottles. These things happen to the best and handsomest of us.
THE MOST MIXED OF BAGS
Remember when we said it's sometimes good, sometimes bad?
The Pens are still living it up being the happiest dudes in the 'burgh. Maybe it's the snow. Some talk of building snowmen in the park floated around. There were manly hugs.
"Dudessss, I knew it would work! Could we be friends too? Like them? You think we could do that?"
"I dunno, let's try it!"
Orpik and Park start telling one another their favorite jokes. They ask the press for their opinions. When they stop for just one second to score, the press is still too busy laughing and being filled with joy to capture it on film.
We understand it.
Feel the happiness.
That isn't even the end of the awesomeness.
"Look at my teeth!"
Bryan Little, in a drunken haze, is determined to prove that his party was a success.
We're glad he got this one.
We all make mistakes.
"Awww, remember friendship? Happiness? We got drunk in the end!"
"I'm going to throw up."
Remember how we said that the pregame party style could go either way?
South was the way it went for the Jets today.
We feel for them.
This is what you get when everyone tries to be the Penguins.
Really. We set impossible standards.
One last one seals the magnificent deal.
Finnish people on drugs.
ALT THREE STARS
1. Bryan Little, for trying.
2. Jello, for being the best.
3. Teeth. And Best Friends everywhere.
A point in Montreal is worth it.
Now, we know it's really irrational to be so pissed beyond all belief at a loss in a shootout, but Montreal did their best to prove, yet again, that they are whiny pieces of shit. And we will never think that they deserve to win any of the games, ever. Not even ones against Detroit. Remember that time they beat the fucking Caps? We didn't even really think they deserved that.
It seems like every Habs game in MTL of the last few seasons though has a distinct arc though, which we would like to examine in outline form.
I. Habs act like they're all hard.
No one will score for awhile, but there will be much gnashing of teeth by someone who should know better but doesn't. Like Subban trying to jaw at Malkin because, god forbid, Malkin tried to check him. Get real.
A. Habs will feed off the crowd and look like they deserve it for a minute.
Habs will score some goal or have a big shift, and act like it's the best day ever. The fans will get really into it and start terrifying everyone. A car fire will erupt in the suburbs unexpectedly.
B. Opposing team will work hard, but feel like they are being choked by stupidity. They will get bailed out by like 2 of their best players to keep things at bay.
II. Talent will reign. Someone will play hockey well (like Malkin or Joey V) and things will seem more even and calmed down for awhile. But, it is well-known that this is a temporary illusion.
A. We will proceed into a vast and godless ocean.
B. The outcome will make no sense and probably involve someone killing someone else.
Like Letang flying across the ice to deal with Subban attacking Gene for no good reason. Malkin had just apparently drawn an interference penalty on Darche? And then Subban was like gjskdlfjlskd. And then Letang was like GET THE JESUSFUCK OFF OF MY RUSSIAN. You can't make this up, folks. Yet this photo doesn't really do it justice.
This one is a bit closer.
Letang, in other words, gave zero fucks.
Shootout is ridic, it was won by Plekanec if that gives you a sense for how insane it was.
Malkin's goal will be talked about for at least ten more minutes, because it shows how much he really thinks of Carey Price to put that kind of move on him.
Fleury was reportedly "furious" after the loss. I mean he definitely didn't deserve to get scored on by Plekanec.
Everyone is upset that Jason Williams had the game on his stick. We were, too. But, sometimes the ultimate result of this formulaic existence in Bell Centre is death.
Whatever, we have the Jets on Saturday at home, that should be strange as all hell again.
Jets? Really? Oh Canada.
These Blingees come from rexy, in honor of our two injured centers:
rexy's caption: "Staal looks longingly at a kitten."
And here is one of Sid:
And here is a topical one, for tonight's matchup against the Habs, from Loyal Friend of PH Carla:
Good versus Evil indeed.
May we learn something from all of this.
We're over it.