The Pens staggered out of bed this morning and sent out a mass text reminiscent to the one I sent the morning after my 21st birthday: "Whose apartment are we in, whose blood is this, and what the fuck happened last night?"
They fumbled through the halls and, finding no one, grabbed a beer from the fridge, stole a hoodie from the closet, and started on the long walk to Toronto. Maatta's blade was broken clean off his skate. Sid puked in a city trashcan. Tanger had tinsel inexplicably dangling from his hair. MAF could be heard whispering "never again. never again."
We did not go to Toronto fresh of a Stride of Pride, bitches and gents. But maybe we can make better decisions for ourselves in the future. Maybe next time we wake up in an unfamiliar place, it'll be next to something we can be proud of. Let's find out.
We're making okay decisions in the beginning. Jokinen tries on a nifty little wrister but Reimer is trying to make better decisions tonight as well. Ashton tries a wraparound but MAF has been pretty strict on his "water between every beer" rule right outta the gate. It pays off again when Bodie (ugh) tries a slapper from halfwall. Deeeee-nied.
When Paul Ranger goes into the box for interference you are kinda like eye roll but really guys are you going to finally do something with this or. But Tanger is determined to make his second night out more memorable than his first and puts together a tight play with Malkin, ending in a puck behind Reimer. Press dropped their iPhone in their jungle juice so no instagrams can be found to commemorate the moment.
Maybe tonight is different, you guys.
PLAYER THAT MAKES YOU FEEL ALL THE THINGS
Kris Letang is like the friend that you never know if you want to take out with you. Some nights he is the life of the party and covers the cab fare when you are too drunk to remember your pin number. Other nights he is the drunk bitch crying in the bathroom. Is it worth the role of the die?
Is he going to try out a big one-timer on Reimer? Yeah. Is he going to pass directly into traffic? You betcha. Are you going to find him at the end of the first period, covered in vomit and causing the turnover that evens it up?
Where is Scuds? No one knows. No one will tell us. Did he get a cab home? Did he smell something on the wind? Idk. We're keeping our ears to the ground.
MOMENT YOU STARTED SOBBING BECAUSE YOU WERE PRETTY SURE WE TURNED OUR LIVES AROUND FOR REAL THIS TIME
Kaderi tries to get one in but Maatta blocks in. Van Riemsdyk tries to pick up the trash, but it turns out that MAF is turning down jagerbombs left and right and makes a glove save that changes your life and reminds you that maybe there is a benevolent beardy man in the sky looking after you, lovingly.
PERSONA NON GRATA
Root and Clarkson show up to the bar in the same dress. Root starts spreading bitchy-but-super-true rumors about Clarkson getting away with a litany of penalties. There's a finger snap in there somewhere, and trust me, Bobby always locks the elbow.
PERIOD IT ALL WENT TO SHIT
As it often went in college, heading into an evening saying "This won't be like last night" is almost a prayer to the patron saint of finding your ID in the toilet and your iPhone screen shattered into a billion pieces.
Someone poured the Snake Juice. And we don't mean Cobra Scorpion Whiskey. It's just a mess. It's not that the Leafs look good, it's just that the Pens look so super out of it.
With everyone so drunk, Kadri is the first to cash in, navigating a poke check from MAF. We fall around for the rest of the period until Kessel makes it 3-1.
The empty net puts an unnecessary additional nail into coffin.
Earlier today I saw a buncha little kids put on a 20 minute rendition of Hamlet. They all showed a lot more attention to detail than we did for the whole of this hockey game. They get the award.
ALT THREE STARS
Reimer - Really earned it.
Tanger - We're confused, but sometimes it was good, so we'll blindly throw you one until we can sort it out.
The bartender - to get him over here faster i mean really
Well at least we're never losing again, ya know?
The Pens staggered out of bed this morning and sent out a mass text reminiscent to the one I sent the morning after my 21st birthday: "Whose apartment are we in, whose blood is this, and what the fuck happened last night?"
It's like if you drink enough and squint at the Pens app on your preferred smartphone OS and think "maybe we won this one"? *squint squint* maybe I can transpose the 4 and the 3? Maybe if you squint REALLY FUCKING HARD.
MOST DECEPTIVE OFFENSE
After quite a bit of back and forth, the Coward, Matt Moulson, he who thought the line brawl Pens-Isles game in 2011 was "entertaining" and "a great win" (no I'm never going to let that tweet go) manages to get one past Zatkoff after a good shift by his line. Scuds was powerless to stop this, so Orpik attacked Moulson as a parting gift.
oh honey that is just rough
and so the defense begins its secret mission, which is to look like they didn't know there was a test today and try to get excused to the nurse's office because of a "stomachache"
Still, we think there is hope, because after a failure of a PP a few minutes later Jussi taps home a rebound and this still has a chance to be regular.
Yeah. . .regular. Like a good bowel day in a personal care home.
Still, for now, the danger is not too deep. We can outscore these guys for sure.
The story of the game is that the Pens had 80 power plays and couldn't do anything with them. We saw the beginnings of this in the first period. We saw the monster. John Tavares probably thinks he is the monster now. Frans Nielsen is pure and good, we blame him for none of this. However, you'll note that the Isles literally were GOING AFTER FACES at the end of the first, got penalized for roughing. . .the Pens did nothing about it.
BY THE WAY, GOD CALLING, HOLD THE PHONES, CALL FROM GOD COMING THROUGH
The Pens didn't do anything on the power play, but Sid swooped in to make sure that we still had a chance to not look like fucking idiots. His shot is ridiculous. At the end of the world, we imagine there is Sidney Crosby, and Mount Doom. Other people, get in line. This pic is just some photographer remarking on Sid's beauty because as far as we can tell the press didn't photograph his goal.
MOST LIKELY TO TELL HER HE MISSES DAMIEN, ROBBY, AND THE BABY AND WANTS TO MOVE BACK IN WITH HIS BABYMAMA
Pens draw some more penalties but seem almost completely incapable of caring, as if paranormal forces are sucking their confidence and channeling it elsewhere in the city, like to some kid pumpin jams at the Sheetz parking lot and waiting for his ex-gf to show up for her evening Faygo.
Despite all of this the Pens exit the second period with a lead. Listen, it could be worse.
MOST FERVENT SEARCH FOR GOD AND ENLIGHTENMENT
We basically see Frans Nielsen as the bodhisattva of hockey. He's not achieving nirvana yet because everyone else isn't there, and he must wait.
While scoring baller goals in between. Nasty goal by him to tie the game. So it's 2-2.
MOST UNLIKELY TO
Deryk fucking Engelland at forward. Came like a bat out of hell into Nabby's kitchen and fooled him into giving up all the cookies.
Even if you told Zoë (she who actually owns an Engelland jersey) that the most important goal of the game for the Pens would be scored by Deryk Engelland she would have snorted into a beer.
so it's 3-2 with seven minutes left and all we have to do is play defense and hold this lead. Woo!
MOMENT YOU PUT YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS OUT TO PASTURE FOR THE NIGHT
Off a Niskanen turnover Bouchard buries it. Guy who looks kind of like K.C. from Degrassi there in the middle has a deep feeling.
Fun fact: I typically follow the game along with Seth Rorabaugh's liveblog at Empty Netters and refer back to my own notes and Seth's timestamps in order to finish a post. Rare moment of total confusion from Seth:
MOMENT YOU TOOK A SHOTGUN OUT TO YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS TO PUT THEM OUT OF THEIR MISERY BEFORE THE WINTER (except it's October so not really)
Letang makes a dumbassed play (slapper from the point when there isn't in fact a shot there?? ok) and the play goes the other way to lose the game for everyone.
Zatkoff played well but this guy is just not getting a break or giving himself any.
yeah we lost
Yours truly, because I had this fear that Letang coming back would make the defense suck and I know it's one game but my heart hurts
ONLY MAN WHO CAN SAVE US NOW
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Chris Kunitz - 9 shots
2. Nabokov - did what he had to do despite getting finally owned by Crosby in the regular season that one time
3. Maatta - this is your pity star for the fact that we're sorry that the season is really starting now and you're going to be facing a lot of new criticism and hardship and we're sorry they took Bort from you and we're sorry about Kris we'll try some positive talk therapy with the group and report back to you
as i sit here in my fuzzy bathrobe building a bunker
No offence to all the ballers that we love so much.
The Avs really aren't that great and on another night when Gigs wasn't standing on his head, we coulda done it. Especially with MAF holding up his end of the bargain down on the other end of the ice.
It was pretty much just goalie v. goalie and MAF unfortunately let up first in the second period.
We'd say more but really there's not much more to say. Everyone played okay. The Goalies did well. Giggy dominated.
We'll be back with awards next time.
The Canucks haven't been to Pittsburgh in like three years and let's be honest, we didn't miss them. Excuse us while we giggle derisively into our coffee because yes, it's still coffee territory at 1pm. Steiggy kept calling the Canucks one of the most successful franchises of recent years. If you mean that the way you mean it when you talk about the Capitals, yes.
Oddly, a 1pm game against the Canucks is pretty much our perfect speed for this afternoon. They're actually a real team!!! But we don't hate them, either. Not too much anyway. Kesler is a douche. It's a shame we root for America.
Speaking of America, the Canucks have traded Vigneault for Tortorella in only the third most hilarious coaching change in the last year (behind fucking Berube and Roy).
patriotism;;; in reverse;;;
This game could get very nasty. Or it could just be something to have in the background. Still, the Pens haven't played a lot of not-dog-shit teams lately. So, we'll see how it goes. Sedins are still creepy. Moving on.
Errey's first Feeling of the night comes from the repeated dump-ins off the rush by both teams. Pens are running a bit of a trap. Lots of back and forth. Malkin made a traffic cone out of somebody early but there was no one there to receive his sweet drop pass.
First offensive attempt all night is from Maatta who releases a slapper from the point like a stud. But it deflects off of Booth. God, when Maatta leaves we're going to light a candle and start wearing only black and tell everyone about how honorable our husband was.
Dump dump dump. But a little faster this time.
Oh and Engelland is still at RW. Dump. Shit. Poop. And Chris Conner is back? Man.
LEAST ACCURATE SCREAMING
Conner almost scored. He hit the post and I covered my mouth and shrieked and there was even the spotlight and the horn by CEC but it was no dice. Conner brutalized Alexander Edler, looking at the replay.
If Chris Conner can do that to you maybe you need to reevaluate whether you actually got out of bed in the morning. Still, the Pens got a PP after because everyone was all out of sorts and Higgins tried to grab some people.
Brad Richardson almost gets a shorty and in retaliation Kunitz tries to murder Edler with his body. This guy can't get a break.
PP is pretty meh though. Canucks behaving very aggressively. Vitale also tries to murder someone with his body. For all the murder going on, the game hasn't gotten too ugly yet. But a lot of posts and a lot of murder could add up.
Steiggy said "sometimes it seems like there are four Sedins on the ice."
Sedin line takes advantage of the Pens a bit. But Fleury is standing tall. Pretty sure there are still two of them. Can they divide like cells?
JESUS AND OLLI ALMOST SCORED HIS FIRST NHL GOAL ON A MINI TWO ON ONE BUT HIT THE FUCKING POST AGAIN DEAR JESUS CAN I GET A PROPHYLACTIC
Engo fights some guy.
WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK SHIT DICKS MOTHER FUCKERS
Edler shot a puck and it bounced off of Fleury and. . . . . .
well it like bounced off of him and then somehow bounced to the ground and into the net. This is the Canucks lolling at how the goal wasn't even real.
we don't even know. no one knows. Christ
You'd think that one of these days this boy would slow down. But he can't. He's not human. We'll say it time and time again, we didn't quite understand Sid all those years ago when he came into our lives. But man. He just. Is so amazing. Leading the NHL in scoring again. Normal.
so we're back to evensies and everyone can pretend that never happened right. right.
Pens get a PP after. Maatta the lone defenseman on the 5 man unit. God. Nothing happens though. Period ends. Wipe off that slate.
COMMEMORATIVE AWARD GIVEN FOR NOT BEING DOG SHIT
In case you forgot, the Canucks are not awful. They begin the second with a push. In the world that we are used to, this is where someone makes a horrible mistake and the Pens let up a weak goal. But that hasn't happened yet. Still, the Pens take a penalty. The world is tilting slightly.
Fleury hasn't mentally collapsed yet, much to Twitter's chagrin.
Sutter and Dupuis play the Canucks PP like the prettiest violin. Sutter has a couple of shorthanded chances.
Oh also? The Pens have 6 shots. 6. Dang.
Canucks get called for too many men, which we think of as a kind of Torts Special, like a stew or a dumpling.
Kunitz does what he does best on the ensuing PP:
The Canucks think they've tied it but one of their players dislodged the net. Not dog shit territory. This is just a hockey game, boys and girls.
Pens defense forgets to play for a minute. Richardson.
The ensuing sequences are mesmerizing. Vitale almost buries one towards the end of the period. Holding your breath.
Bortuzzo gets the LONGEST STICK award from ROOT for sweeping a puck out of danger on the goal line. So long.
PERIOD THAT WILL TAKE THE MOST YEARS OFF OF YOUR LIFE
oh that feeling, that feeling we missed. of uncertainty and doubt and joy and hope.
Pens get an early PP in the third but not much is going on with it. Canucks have shorthanded chances, bitches be trolling, every time Pens get a shot, the Canucks are taking space away.
Dupuis gets plastered on the boards in front of the benches by Kassian, which was frightening, but we think he is okay. Maatta busy being a Finnish stud. Still nine and a half minutes.
Canucks finally get the goal they earned by beating the Pens into the ground on a shift.
bouncing puck of doom and it's 3-2
NEVER MIND REDUX
Sid isn't having any of that bullshit and neither is Olli Maata, our honorable husband.
Sid creates a shitton of space for everyone else, passes cross ice, gets Luongo moving, and on the rebound, Maatta was right there in the middle to knock it home. OH DARLING WAS IT A HARD DAY AT THE OFFICE
gjskldfjdlksfjdsoiatjeklrfsmdlk perfect human
Sid somehow manages to knock the stick out of Luongo's hands with a shot. You can't make this shit up. Sid, by the way, now leads the NHL in scoring by six points.
MOST BREATH HELD
After some good up and down Sutter is hauled down on a breakaway. And that's a penalty shot.
Nope. Still 3-3. 1:24 to go. Didn't quite get it up for that but man that would have been cool.
Not much else after that. OT party.
to start OT a Sedin boards Orpik. No one cared.
As OT wears on, things just keep getting nastier. Lots of hitting. Lots of grabbing. Seems interminable. Sid has a chance on the backhand but the OT just welps into obscurity as the clock winds down.
Jokinen first. He doesn't score. Goes wide, but Luongo doesn't bite at all.
Santorelli. Didn't give much on that. Fleury saves. 0-0
Sid City. Stopped again.
Edler. Ugh. MAF says no to Edler. Edler ain't in his head, at least.
GENE BURIES IT:
Kesler goes in on Fleury real slow like it's going to scare him or something.
MOST LIKELY TO FLY TO THE MOON
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Olli Maatta. jesus
2. MAF, clearly he sucks and that first goal was PROOF GOD DAMN IT PROOF
3. Luongo. We're sorry bro. About your tears.
Back at it on Monday. Jeez.
go pensno comments
Facing the Flyers is always the opportunity to experience freely horrible sportsmanship. If you win, ahahaha, hilarious! The Flyers! What a buncha idiots! If you lose, whatever, shut up, thugs, you live in a dying city, go get mugged, and also as a side note, you are fat.
We don't make it a secret that we don't actually despise the Flyers. There are more worthy villains out there, and I have a soft spot for Philly because I lived there for an extended period of time.
But really, feeling less-than-vehement-hatred for them makes the bad sportsmanship more fun. Because we can't get mad when they do it back at us.
What we're saying is: YO PHILLY, FUCK YOUR MOTHER. aaaahahaha.
*ahem* awards now.
WORST HOSTAGE SITUATION
Chances are if you've been around the block a few times with us, you know we adore Mr. Mason. And Max...well...it's complicated. But this picture burns us like Steve Mason does a prostitute...or some other lazy joke. We are too busy crying to be clever.
MOST AUDIBLE IN-HEAD ENTRANCE SONG
Malks draws an early call on Giroux for hooking. Of course he does. Sorry, every time we see this:
we hear this?
Mostly Malkin is singing the Nicki Minaj part under his breath as he is endlessly wonderful. Maybe it is just us, but that's okay.
The Monster part remains unquestioned.
The Flyers kill it, and follow it up by killing the next penalty they get for being petulant little children as well. We get one to prove we can do it too. Killed.
MOMENT YOU HAD TO BLAME THE DOG FOR PEEING ON YOU
That's super gross, actually, but when Fleury does this shit what the hell are you SUPPOSED to blame? He makes two saves back-to-back that make you re-question your life philosophy and his fucking groin flexibility I mean srsly what is MAF even.
No pics of the split have surfaced yet, so let's just pick a random moment with MAF in it. This'll do:
The score is even heading into the second with a snakebit PP.
THE MOMENT SCORING FINALLY HAPPENED AND THEN TOO MUCH HAPPENED BUT IT'S ALL GOOD NO SRSLY KEEP GOING
We get way far into the second and get way too many chances before Jussi finally gets one home.
Some really good faces there guys.
OH WAIT OH MY GOD AND NOW before you can even re-situate yourself Kunitz makes it 2-0 with a sweet rebound. Insert joke about cheesesteaks seriously we can't.
The shots are 17-3 in this period which is too much of a joke itself. But MAF takes a penalty because, you know, that happens all the goddamn time. Just. Daily.
Flyers finally capitalize.
That puts us in the third 2-1. Whatevs. The Flyers have looked like a joke all game.
NEXT TIME SOMETHING OF ANY ACTUAL VALUE OCCURED
lol honestly this picture tells the story of this whole stupid game. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE FLYERS I MEAN WHERE ARE THEY CAN SOMEONE GET THEM ON THE PHONE AND LET THEM KNOW IT ISN'T AUGUST AND THEY CAN WIPE THE MUSTARD OFF THEIR STUPID FAT FACES AND GET BACK HERE ALREADY.
Malkin's empty netter stitches it up.
Has anyone noticed that T.Glass is like novelty tights with images from childhood cartoons? Which is girl for saying "fucking awesome, gimme gimme."
ALT THREE STARS
MAF- Deserves the double star
Max Talbot - lololololol
Steve. Not Mason, just Steve the cat. He won't leave me alone so I am giving him a star.
He's handsome he can stay.
WOOOOOO THE FLYERS SUCK
WOOOO PHUCK PHILLY
Let's get real here for a quick sec and admit that the Oilers are useless. They are storied enough that we have to pretend to care but boring and far away enough that we just don't. It's a good night for getting drunk and screaming like a lunatic at the ice. Cheers.
While we're being real: Jeff Jimmerson is lookin;' rough tonight.
What's happening with that hair?
Oh Jeff. We'll forgive you, but please stop taking style tips from Tanger.
Let's try to concern ourselves with the game.
OLDEST YOU FELT
You were still casually waiting for this game to be A Thing when Dupes helps you out by putting one in the Oilers net not 4 minutes into the game.
Now this was exciting and wonderful of course, but looking around at all the fresh faces on the ice...
Oh shit. We're not the young'uns anymore. We remember when the Pens were just a baby team. What an exciting and scary time that was. Now we've grown up and become fierce...the Oilers are still cutting their teeth. We're glad to help them.
MAF makes a GIANT save against shultz, just narrowly denying him his first goal of the season. It one of those sprawling, flippy, crazy MAF saves that put you close to tears.
Jussi comes close to putting one behind LaBarbera, who almost knocks the puck into his own net. He barely makes the save, with the help of tone of his defensemen.They review it for funsies, but it clearly didn't go over.
Due to Events there is a 4-on-4 for the last couple minutes of gameplay. The Oilers get their best chances yet, but the crossbar and MAF stand strong. Shenanigans make it a 4-on-3 (and for a few seconds 5-on-3) and the Oilers ave a real shot at tying it up. Will they? Will the babies do the Thing?
No. Maybe next period (but probably not.)
It's like the Oilers don't want me to enjoy my beer in peace and have to go and FUCKING RUN OUT THEIR 5-ON-3 AND SCORE WHEN IT'S EVEN STRENGTH.
Like, wtf. I refuse. I literally refuse. The score, in my heart, remains 1-0. ANd I just drank maple syrup from the bottle so maybe we should all stop listening to me.
My mouse, wtf, this is awful. Jesus Christ.
Hall gets thisfuckingclose to getting one past MAF, but is ROBBED. BLIND. Because MAF is just in the zone this season. My neighbors probably think I'm slaughtering a lineup of prom queens over here with all the shrieking. Let's all not get arrested.
MOST STARTLING REALIZATION
Holy shit you guys the Oilers are just 2007 us. I kind of like them. This game is loads of fun, and the Oilers could end up being super scary in the coming years. Turns out they aren't as useless as I want them to be.
This realization took place during a commercial break, and as if to remind me who I should be paying attention to, Sid Crosby storms down the ice directly after the faceoff and organizes something so confusingly pretty with Kunitz that no one even knows which one of them got it in. Even Steiggy and Bobby are in disagreement. Needless to say, beautiful work from them both.
So listen. The Oilers score and tie it up. Whatever. Dan Potash talks about something much more important - the frequency with which Bobby goes to the vending machines.
That is fucking hysterical to think about. Dull the pain of the tied score by imagining Bobby nervously chewing handfuls of skittles.
oMG it's me because I am too drunk to correctly tell you about the third period.
Long story short:
-Malkin buries one right when you need him to because you are losing faith in human kind. It's his first goal against the Oilers ever, so you know, that's cool.
It's a long season, ya'all. I'll make it up to you. Maybe with some coloring sheets. (Definitely with some coloring sheets.)
Meet us back here Thursday for something a little less shitty than this.
We're never sure if we're in Florida to play the Bolts or to take a gander at brother Steven's watch collection, but tonight we were pretty sure it's for hockey. Still, if Stamkos starts whispering to you just tell him No I Am Not Interested unless you want to spend your evening listening to him lament about the fall of Italian craftsmanship. That's time you can't get back, boys and girls.
Also keep an eye on Bugsy - we hear he muscled Marcel Goc into buying a timeshare in Clearwater.
Craigsy by nature gives off an air of masculine whimsy - maybe he longs for the enticing and unknowable force of nature that is the sea. Malone understands that this may be his chance and wastes no time.
"Have you heard of Caladesi Island, just off the coassssst of Clearwater?" he hisses. "It's a sea angler'ssss dream."
Craigsy spits blood as he tries to ignore the seemingly impossible low price of one week a year.
MOST GAG-INDUCED CRYING
We figure that we don't need to play 5 on 5 hockey because reasons. So we spend time with the Lightning so far down our throats we choke up all our daddy issues, but as always, we manage to suppress the pain and kill 'em. It doesn't help too much when Filppula's not-distinct-enough kick lands the puck in the net.
OBVIOUSLY MOST IMPORTANT
Bobby and Steiggy spend too much time wondering if it's called dressing or stuffing and Bobby tries to talk his way into getting two Thanksgivings. The munchies have set in pretty hard. They muse about Canadian pilgrims. Bobby isn't sure. Bonghit, bonghit, bonghit. It's fucking October, you guys, omfg.
Jussi gets a fat chance but it's narrowly saved by "the 6'6 giant" which is I guess a thing we are saying in professional sportscasting now. The rest of the first is drown out by the sound of twin bubblers being fired up in the press box.
Bugsy gets a misconduct for more sleezy salesmanship, leading to some absolute undressing (not unstuffing) happens in the Bolt's zone and Sid assists himself by kicking the puck to his stick because when you are royalty/a deity you can do shit like that. From there, he goes five hole and ties it up.
Unfortunately Brother Steven decides to return the favor and does some really fuckin' pretty work in our end that lands them in the lead again. Whisper your fears into the night sky and hope they are heard by the secret police that patrol this area on nights such as these.
MOMENT YOU DIED AND WERE ENVELOPED IN THE WARM BOSOM OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF
BROOKS:KLFJDFFLKDSkkkkksdsssfnvnjmdkj I mean okay props to Kunitz for also being a total part of this but OMGAKJDFS BROOKS.
MOST DANGEROUS JOURNEY
We exchange penalties all day erryday because Tampa. Just in case you forgot what playing the Lightning is like, Salo finally cashes in and it becomes clear that it is one of those games. We don't know why it ends up like this every time we play them but we're putting all our chips on "drugs".
Knowing which kind of drugs they are on a given night could probably help us avoid about a billion penalties and back-and-forth goals, but we don't have that information. A blind oracle on top of a mountain somewhere probably has that information if you're looking for it. Remember to bring some Tostitos Lime, it's a long journey littered with the bones of those who tried to find him before (mostly Max Talbot). Or just trade MAF a juicebox for the answer, probably. He's a dad now.
Somehow not awarded to the oracle on the mountain top, this one goes to Brooks during his intermission interview:
If you were The Mentalist, you would know that this is the exact expression that means "You think I'm awesome, watch what Sid does when we get back out there."
Well played, Brooks. Well played.
MOST SINCERE PROMISE
If the Isles score next, I will kill everyone and myself.
OH HEY THANKS FOR THE HATTIE SID YA KNOW I DIDN'T REALLY FEEL LIKE GOING THROUGH THE EFFORT OF KILLING EVERYONE.
As a side note, the easiest way to kill everyone would just be suggesting taking a shot every time you heard the measurement "6'6" in this game.
OH BUT WAIT,
look at that the Lightning score again and tie it up what a surprise. Interestingly enough, Brother Steven broke a skate and an official actually helped him off of the ice - potentially a large factor in the goal being scored. We could bitch all day about it, but really, knowing the type of game this is, they probably would have scored eventually anyway because if god is alive, he hates -
MOST FOOT INSERTED INTO MOUTH
(Right here there should be a picture of the Nisky goal that saved us in the final seconds of the game, but the media is taking forever and Zoe suggested I give you this instead.)
Sorry guys, god may actually be alive and sort of in love with us.
Please pass the Visine to Steiggy and Bobby.
ALT THREE STARS
Bugsy - Great sales pitch, bro.
Craigsy - Way to keep your head above water and avoid that contract.
The ref that helped brother Steven - lol
Can we please just never go back to Tampa?
We made it out alive and with all of our limbs this time, but who knows what will happen if we risk it again?
We'll win the game, sure. But at what cost? At. What. Cost.
It's a Staal night. Canes games might be the worst games, other than Sabres games, which is odd because there's so much circus theater to love. We blame Chad LaRose. I basically made dinner in like 10 minutes before the game so let's dive right in because I'm on 3 hours of sleep and Cam is trying to get at my bacon and butternut squash risotto recipe and I don't have time for his shit.
It takes a hell of a long time before Root mentions anything Staal or Sutter-trade related. Could the magic be fading? Could the myth be delicately collapsing?
Pens look legit to begin the game. The most dangerous moment so far happens when Steiggy says that Brett and Brandon Sutter are cousins. Please chug something quickly. Anything.
Not much is going on for the majority of the first period other than Joey V drawing a penalty with his sick flow. Pens PP has yet to score this year. Eek. The most exciting moment comes with about seven and a half left when Cammycakes actually has to make a real save on Beau Bennett after an egregious turnover by Uncle Jordy.
PRETTIEST GOD DAMNED PRINCESS
Tanner Glass draws a penalty so we guess he's good for something other than being a qt in glasses.
Jokinen goes to the fucking net and makes some ridiculous goal look like an effortless deflection. We want .gifs of it tattooed on our faces.
MOST BIZARRE PHYSICS
In a net crashing sex-fest the puck gets deflected in off of Dupuis and Cam and everyone.
We disagree that there was a distinct kicking motion. Explain that. Mario was shown looking pissed. Dupes was shown looking gorgeously incredulous.
Tanner Glass then got in a fight with someone.
The game does get more exciting as all this is happening. No more tomfoolery. Lil' bit of actual hockey on our hands.
MOST INTENSE SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP OF YOUR LIFETIME
So there was some bizarre bounce in front of Cam Ward and Paul Martin was just somehow there to fall on his knees and unexpectedly snipe it in in possibly the most sexual way of all time. Like we can't. That's pornographic.
MOST VICIOUS ASSAULT ON YOUR ORGANSso basically Paul Steigerwald is literally trying to kill you. Pens are playing a good game and getting quality shots on Cam Ward, moving up-ice quickly, so there isn't much to talk about. We descend into madness that, if you're playing by original or revised rules, could get you sent to the hospital.
After showing these two insane Sutter graphics, he even went so far as to invoke Henry and Linda Staal and just tenuously connect the fact that both the Staals and the Sutters have a lot of family members who are involved in hockey. He talked about the sod farm. Again. This Staal obsession will not stand.
that's a lot of games
waiting for the accompanying Staal stat in 2040 or whatever
On a Canes PP Fleury gets some deserved Fleury chants from the crowd. Sutter almost scores on a shorthanded break and the game is suddenly exciting and yet we don't feel as though we are in danger.
Eric Staal deflects a big nasty Faulk shot though and that's way behind MAF.
Really no chance on that one. Brush it off brush it off
not even worried
MOMENT OUR CAVALIER ATTITUDES EMBARRASSED US AT THE PARTY
Gerbe gets a rebound. Vomit.
They're not all going to be cake walks.
MOMENT GENE STEPPED INTO THE VFW AND ACTUALLY HAD A CAKE WALK Malkin displayed his preternatural genius by deftly skating around some people and making a perfect pass to Jussi who sniped the hell out of it past Cammycakes. The picnic is going to be really fun this year.
Gene made a really nontraditional play look easy as hell. Also, Maatta assist. Yum. First NHL point.
MOMENT TANNER GLASS HAD A SIMILAR FUCKING CAKE WALK WHAT THE FUCK
The Pens have unreal shifts and exhaust the hell out of Cam Ward. Cam stood on his head and was perfect and worked his ass off and then Joe Vitale won a little assist and Tanner Glass basically attacked the puck like scoring the goal would save the lives of all the children and cure cancer and he knocked it behind an exhausted Cam Ward who will have a place of honor at the derby picnic this year. 4-3 Wish we had a pic of Tanner's goal but we don't and like I said 3 hours of sleep so you're going to have to look that one up for homework.
Here's a kitten instead
Canes try to channel all of that energy into their own magic next shift but Jeff Skinner just isn't Tanner Glass.
Tanner is trying to make us like him again after skating like plywood all last year and having dumb fights. It's working.
MOST EXPENSIVE HAT TRICK IN CAROLINA HURRICANES HISTORY The Canes organization basically paid for their former employee to break their starting goalie. Very quick snipejob off the rush on the PP. Cam freaked out. Come on honey we'll get you a drink hush no stop shouting there are children come over to the nice oak tree
The real star of this photo is the sad weather themed sign with Bennett's number on it.
what a mess
WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TROPHY
Olli Maatta is a young Finnish boy and we want to keep him.
It's going to be the easiest thing to send him back to London but the kid is obviously NHL ready. Not only is he not making mistakes but he's actually kind of a fucking beast with the excellent passing and the shot blocking and the jesus christ how are you such a babby
If this is the year we climb out of the darkness, it'll be because we have a multiple Finn roster for the first time in who knows how long
please keep Olli
also Letang's contract is still a ridiculous overvalue for how composite our defense is. The Pens "top player" in the position is out and I'm LITERALLY KIND OF WORRIED THAT IS RETURN FROM INJURY WILL MAKE THE PENS D WORSE
Basically elevating Maatta to Curry-level heights
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Joey V - wins every faceoff or at least 11 of them and gets an assist
2. Cammycakes - we're sorry boo
3. Bob Scuds - god we missed you
this start is pretty legit, yeah?no comments
Like going to the Uniontown Mall on Friday night and accidentally parking by the entrance with the Beanery, the Sabres are kind of the actual worst ever.
They've scored one goal so far this season. They're basically mall goths. I kind of dare you to go to their roster page and not get unreasonably depressed and need a strong drink. Ryan Miller is the most talented person on the team and he wants out. Everyone else is just kind of languishing.
We have to give awards but really this awards show is, tonight, being held in the basement of a funeral home as a sign of solidarity with the Buffalo Sabres organization. Even the mediocre can apparently fall harder.
With Ryan Miller day to day, the #1 in Buffalo is at least briefly going to be Jhonas Enroth. The skeleton crew takes their positions around him. In the opening minutes, Sidney Crosby absolutely stuns Myers and McBain by charging the net to give birth to his own rebound in Enroth's face.
Once that happens, either the Sabres get it together, or the long slow march begins. In the Sabres' case, they decide to take a penalty when they realize they might be incapable on a personnel level of defending Crosby.
When the Pens get a power play, they fail to score because Enroth is doing the equivalent work of carrying a dying infant in his jacket through a snowstorm to the only hospital within 100 miles. But after the PP expires, a Kobasew deflection makes poetic justice of the first period.
Sutter's shot. Niskanen's assist. Niskanen has been involved in almost all of the Penguins goals somehow. It's 2-0 going into that first intermission.
MOST MISSING PEOPLE
No idea who the Sabres even are or where they are.
Pens go searching. They look in caves. They look under the ice. They look to the stars. Sutter sends the puck to look for them in the stands and takes a penalty. Crosby briefly discovers Kevin Porter living in a small bunker. But that about does it for the second period.
this pic is apparently from the first period but we think it truly captures the emotional truth of the second period so shut up
No one was found. We're not even sure who we lost. The milk cartons are strangely lacking in descriptions.
MOMENT YOU GRABBED YOUR SAC
Brooks shows up to remind you that nothing is ever over. According to Potash the Pens were disappointed in themselves for playing a poor second period in the season opener--but tonight they were slightly more okay. They must not have been taking too many chances, because sending out Brooks for an intermission interview is like the soberest of sober moves. You can imagine him resigning to do it when no one else will. Normally, we'd say "THIS CAN GO UP LIKE TINDER AT ANY MINUTE. NO ONE IS SAFE. WE'RE WINNING BUT IT'S NOT OVER" however it's fucking October 5th and the Sabres are pooling their resources outside the Spencer Gifts trying to buy one of those lightning balls
MOMENT YOU REALIZED CONSEQUENCES WERE MINIMAL FOR YOUR ACTIONS
Not that that's a good thing, boys and girls.
There was some drama with Kaleta and everyone started crying like it was a real problem. It wasn't. The penalty that didn't get called in this moment of shenanigans got called when Cock Cozy Vanek went off for hooking. Again, the Pens look like a real team and it's weird. The Sabres kill it. Enroth is the only thing standing between them and certain doom. Steigerwald has to change his pants after Tanner Glass blocks a shot.
Chris Kunitz, our most beloved adopted son, is interfered with by Weber while on a semi-kind-of-breakaway and a penalty shot is awarded. The referees are handing out penalty shots to everyone this season like mall cops trying to dish out lifetime bans for smoking in a non-designated-smoking-area.
Kunitz, of course, buries it using a head and shoulders fake that we would like to describe to our grandchildren as "sicknasty." Poor Jhonas. Putting up with this shit. Putting up with his stupid team. Putting up with Steve Ott being valued as a leader and all poor Jhonas is doing is absorbing rubber for no reward.
We can do nothing wrong. There is a godless terror creeping above us, but we have not been marked for the curse.
LEAST IMPORTANT BUT MOST IMPORTANT IN RETROSPECT
MAF needed to get that first goal behind him.
Thomas Vanek deflected a puck in. You blinked though and there were under five minutes left. Buffalo pulled Enroth, thinking they could really make a run for it, but Craig Adams gave us the empty netter insurance goal we needed to win 4-1, just because that single goal behind MAF reminds us like a small, shitty tattoo from youth that we are not perfect.
THE SMALLEST GIFT
The Sabres pull Enroth which seems like a futile gesture. MAF was pitching a shutout all game but was overwhelmingly not tested. The third period flew by and even up until the goal we had no illusions that this was actually an NHL test of an NHL team. The Sabres are that bad, which is really hard for us to deal with.
Craig Adams tops our sundae with an empty netter, and it's 4-1.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Enroth - total dick move not giving him a real one. Dude was working his ass off.
2. Kobasew - He has scored 20+ goals a few times in his career. He is clearly psyched to be in Pittsburgh.
3. Paul Martin - carrying the load for the Pens by quietly skating 25 minutes and having a gentle assist.
Maatta was good too. People are wondering whether he should stay. probably tbh
No one wants to throw us a bone over here to help us get jazzed up for this season. If you're sick of hearing us whine about it, don't worry, so are we.
It may not be the most exciting season opener of all time but maybe something during this game - be it a standout performance from the boys on ice or the amount of alcohol we manage to funnel into our gullets - will light that fire inside. If not, at least we'll be drunk, hollaaaaa.
Let's get to the awards show.
MOST HILARIOUSLY UNIMPORTANT DISS
Jagr was removed from the Ring of Honor in the locker room today, to the not-so-surprising mumbles and grumbles of some butthurt jagoffs. Get over it, fools. He's an active opponent. It'd be like us putting a picture of your dad in our locker room. It's not gonna happen. (We're bangin' your mom. That's the joke. Get it? omfg get me out of here)
MYSTERIOUS BUTTERFLY AWARD
What is Chuck Kobasew even? We've been asking ourselves that question for a while. We haven't bonded with him yet. A cursory google search tells us this:
Not helpful. Many, many more questions.
Well, we have time to get to know the man, and he nailed home the desire to get to know him with a quick littler number assisted by Sutter and BeauBeau.
Hello there bb, can we buy you a scotch and talk about breakfast foods?
SCARIEST (and also THING YOU KINDA FORGOT ABOUT)
We almost hear Sidney Crosby scream "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?" from the ice.
We nervously whisper "well, it's weird, ya know, we are older and have to replace half our whiskey consumption with kale smoothies and we aren't sure what direction our lives are going in, and student loans man, don't get us sta-"
Sid absolutely undresses Harrold and Schneider in his typical fashion, which is to say TERRIFYING because Sid being Sid ain't like Miley being Miley. It's a hundred times as amazing, a billion times as terrifying, doesn't draw any slut-shaming from the audience (well, okay, unless Colby Armstrong is involved) and from what we understand, involves zero racism and cultural appropriation. But daddy issues all around.
It's 2-0 Pens.
tPB made this, so you could roll around on the floor while it plays on your computer in the background.
Evs heard about our trouble caring and decided to remind us of the good ol' days with a cute little high stick. NO THAT IS NOT WHAT WAS MISSING, EVGENI, ABORT, ABORT, ABORT. Sigh.
Wait a minute.
Are we invested?
We might be invested.
Clowe and Tanner get into it. The refs make it seem like they are going to step in, but decide they want to throw us the proverbial bone and hang back. Clowe goes away bleeding, so we'll take it.
We go into the second period wondering if we are the callous bitches we thought we were.
Zoe says she gets Kobasew. "He's real."
I'll take it.
THING I AM LEAST LIKELY TO DO
Even talk about this second period.
No, sorry, I am sucking wine out of a bag. If you can't care enough to be really super exciting, I can't care enough to type lazy jokes about you.
The third is largely uneventful itself until we get yet another rush goal compliments of Malks getting one over at just the right time and Craig motherfucking Adams cashing in beautifully.
THE MOMENT YOUR MAF-LOVE RUSHED BACK IN FULL
Zajac pretended to do a thing, but MAF absolutely SHUT HIM DOWN. A hush falls over your household. Well. The hush of others, as they stare blankly at you as you shriek. THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT YES OMG HOCKEY YES OKAY YES THANK YOU YES. Could MAF make us prouder?
BIGGEST SURPRISE: YES HE CAN
Henrique is somehow deemed deserving of a penalty shot for the biggest amount of bullshit since your parents last told you they were proud of you.
But you know what?
What the hell ever because when he gets up again MAF and tries to act clever, MAF doesn't fall for it and gets his right pad down just in time.
He follows that up about a minute later by making another handful of fucking IMPOSSIBLE save against solid Debs chances. The crowd is going insane. MAF is back. And so are we.
The Debs wind up with a handful of seconds on the PP after Tanner gets a little too excited. This is an important shutout to get for the team and for MAF. And he fucking gets it, because that's what MAF does.
BRINGING US BACK INTO THE FOLD
Sorry we ever doubted your legions, sir. *carefully places dead pig on alter and backs away slowly*
BRINGING US BACK INTO THE FOLD PART 2
MAF, MAF, MAF, MAF
ALT THREE STARS
1. TK - fastest man al-
I'm not ready for this, you guys. All three stars go to you, reader.
Well, there you have it.
We are back to loving hockey, albeit on tenuous terms.
We're basically just NHL trolls at best. But we adore our boys.
Another season sounds like just what we need at this point in our lives. We're happy to be here.