Today the Penguins are going to another one of our favorite cities, Nashville.
We have taken this occasion to update our hair league spreadsheet, but the leaderboard has yet to change in any meaningful way, so we're too lazy to update the page at present, but it's coming. Ben Lovejoy earned some points. It's all good.
We realized that we don't know shit about the Preds other than the fact that we love them, in some vague way, so this will be a new experience for us all.
We did some brief research to figure out when the last time was that we cared about the Preds, and it was February 14th of this year, which coincidentally was the middle of the Coldest Winter and we were probably dying alive. Coincidentally, the recap for this game is steeped in Americana. It was a Sunday, on Valentine's day, before the Olympics. The Preds won in SO. Last season was one of those seasons where you don't remember shit, but one thing we DEFINITELY remember is that it's been a long time since the Penguins beat the Predators.
Actually it was on February 6, 2007. Even then, half of the people clogging up the concourses and booing the Pens power play at CEC probably thought hockey was for pussies and that the Stillers were Pittsburgh.
We don't actually know.
The important thing is that it's fall in Nashville, the air will be crisp, and the
Nashville Arena Gaylord Entertainment Center Sommet Center Bridgestone Arena will be rocking with some asses in those $14 seats.
They just lost 0-1 to Calgary. Which should have them pretty pissed off. Like so:
Again, we have misplaced sympathies for teams that we need to crush. Except really, every time the Pens lost to the Preds, it was just some slightly violent, slightly sad failure on the part of our boys. Like trying to shit in a bucket and missing.
bucket in question.
Anyway, here's the latest on our end:
- Tomorrow we will be doing something earth-shattering. Not even kidding.
- We will be adopting MouthGuard's suggestion for having a family-feud style occasional feature in which Certain People will try to answer Certain Questions about Certain Things and see how well their answers match up with the PH Survey, which may or may not actually be conducted.
- We're trying to get people to send us reaction tapes to the Sidney Crosby bread commercial, just like 2 girls 1 cup. If you haven't seen it yet, turn on your webcam, load the video, and send us the file of your genuine reaction.
is where it's at
BUT WHERE WAS THE STRUGGLE???
We're not going to say that this was a clean win. But the general feeling of ceaseless grind was absent. The mountain was tall, but climbable. There was no thousand-yard-stare in anyone's eyes, no "because it is there" attitude of desperation.
We just beat the fuckin' Sens.
We didn't even get too much jizz in our eyes.
MOST OVERWHELMING FEELING OF EMPTINESS, UNTIL. . .
Understandably, everyone is all blahblahblah Gonch blahblahblah power play blahblahblah balls blahblahblah Gonchar Gonchar Gonchar.
Interestingly, no photos of Gonchar were taken during this game for the benefit of history and society.
Pens bench stood up for this, according to the Twitter universe.
We are pure class. We are heroes. However, Gonchar was not the story of the game, neither was the ever-present OMG THEY HAVE THE SAME BIRTHDAY AND THEY ARE LIKE TWELVE comment regarding Bylsma and Clouston. The story of the game, for the first couple minutes, was absolutely nothing. Everyone had run out of things to talk about. Pens end up on the PP because Peter Regin, the small child who peed on our faces in the playoffs last spring, took some really ill-advised interference penalty.
PP hangs out a bit. You're like whatevs.
Suddenly Mark Letestu is like, center point in the high slot, winding up to smoke defenseless Brian Elliott forever and ever.
Who doesn't want to make love to this guy? Seriously. Sweet, dirty love. All night.
WHAT NOW BITCHES
You can't deny that sometimes there are yinzers and doubters who think that Sidney Crosby is just going to up and not produce one year, almost for funsies.
But then for some reason the Pens PP starts getting pucks to the net. Again. Sid is in the right place at the right time. Goligoski gets it to the net. It bounces around. Okay, take it to the side of the net. We didn't see that one coming at all. . .
It's 2-0. We'll take it.
MOST PIMP STRUTTING
Comrie, Malkin, and Letestu are busy making things really difficult for everyone. Something tells you that they're pissed. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Brian Elliott is reading his favorite book:
Malkin's busy diving to push the puck into the cage though. Man.
New trifecta of bromance?
3-0. Well hello.
BEST EFFORT FOR YOUR HAIR LEAGUE ON THE EVENING
Deryk Engelland. He and Neil look like they are engaged in a furious man-hug of doom, which is what many fights in the NHL eventually devolve into. Bear-hugs, dancing, toe-tapping good times. They wrestle each other to death. Deryk gets a lucky few 10 points. And then disappears again into the generally-solid-defensive night.
This is followed by a Benny-Hill-Esque slapstick festival along the boards. Party for all.
PERIOD THAT FELT LIKE YOU SNORTED CAFFEINE
The second. Oh wow. So. First Daniel Alfredsson removes Spezza's dick from his face long enough to score a goal. Kovalev and Gonchar get the assists, like their microcosm of justice for the night.
No one photographed the goal or any ensuing celebrations, so on our authority, we're not sure it happened, other than a flash of a dream in a protein stain.
Then Dupuis gets a dirty one. It's 4-1. Someone starts passing out sheets of acid.
Immediately thereafter, Letang takes a shot which shatters some Senator's stick and goes in behind Elliott. Elliott proceeds to have an existential crisis and some Swedish child takes the net:
At intermission, we get some Dupuis hair:
aren't you high by now?
MOST FOREGONE CONCLUSIONS
By the time intermission was over you had probably forgotten that Brent Johnson had fucked up Jesse Winchester in the face. Winchester bleeds, goes off to film some bad porno. Hutchinson sits in the box for it. Sens kill it. Then Spezza and Campoli come on our faces. NEVER MIND YOU THAT THOUGH.
Most of the rest of the period is a Beej Sexfest. Here is an example from the first period to illustrate:
You knew this was happening, because this felt like the back of a club in the 80's and everything was gonna be just fine.
Sorry about the jobber recap but we're still trying to get the jizz out of our eyes.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Alexei Kovalev - because Kimberly misses him. Still. 1 assist for making all the Togliatti bitches in the house pregnant.
2. Ktang - he seemed rather lulzy last evening
3. Dupuis - working hard, getting goals.
really we wish we could just give all the stars to Letestu
until next time. . .
There have been some slight shakeups in the framework of the Hair League. So far the leading team belongs to those three lucky compatriots who have selected Max Talbot, Evgeni Malkin, and Pascal Dupuis. This is the leaderboard for the top three ranks:
1. Tied for first with 76 points: Strudels & Doodles, Alyssa T's Team, Anna H's Team.
2. Jon W's Team with 73 points
3. utterfrivolity with 72 points
The following table shows our hair points given to each player:
Clicking on that will open the large version in a new window/tab. Recommended if you can't read it.
Now, we've so far logged 59 hair instances. The table is huge; no idea how to keep you up-to-date with them unless you don't mind us pasting raw unformatted text from a spreadsheet into a post. You can click the "read more" if that appeals to you. Ready?
God that is just a three hour soak in the awkward mudbath.
THE MOST TOOTHLESS HAPPY ENDING
Mattie Cooke makes us go home satisfied by helping the puck find its home, short handed.
What a day for the People.
The press, on Deryk Engelland.
There's plenty more where those came from, too.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1) Letestu- Because he saves our asses all the time and we're not sure how we lived without them.
2) Engellend - For providing all of those glamour shots to your obvious stalker.
3) Rupp - We'd hit it. Twice.
So, here's where everything obviously changes and we go on a winning streak longer than any other in the history of the NHL, and we Never Lose Again.
Had you forgotten?
Hope. Believe. Never Losing Again.
Brilliant response by reader [Claire]
The world has sent us plagues, and the Pens have overcome another game out of 82. The first little flicker of hope inside the Consol Energy Center burned up through the ice, under Rick DiPietro as he prostrated himself wondering why he is in actuality made of styrofoam.
The NHL has consistently been mixing up the meanings of what is right and what is wrong. Confusion is just the way of hockey. In split seconds, worlds are created and destroyed. Empires crumble, dreams get just a little bit bigger or a little bit smaller. Euphoria and chaos. Philosophical conversations will be had in Escalades and custom BMWs leaving the players' lot this evening.
(Photoshop suggestion: Curry as Shiva? E-mail it to us.)
Is it in good philosophical taste to have an awards show at such an important moment of life evaluation?
. . .Well, fuck yeah.
THE PALACE YOU BUILT IN YOUR SOUL, SLOWLY ERODING AWAY
The first period left you with little faith. Almost none could be discovered. Godard drops the gloves, tries to get the boys energized, and it works, but then the Isles discover what happens when you put the Pens on the power play. Six minutes nearly back-to-back in the first period are spent with the Pens wafting shots around, making ill-advised cross-ice passes, generally being pussies.
We're not even sure the press showed up to take pictures of this game.
These may have been snapped by a self-sufficient strand of Blake Comeau's dignity that escaped from the locker room:
Really pivotal moment of the game, Associated Press.
Kunitz and DiPietro begin a sloppy love affair. DiPietro will later try desperately to touch Kunitz's balls.
Some wraparound. No one remembers it.
Somewhere in there Cooke got 2 minutes for being beautiful.
THE INTERMISSION YOU DREADED
Another intermission, another 20 minutes gone where you didn't know who was who or what was what or if anything good would ever happen to you ever again.
You sacrificed a small pack animal and ate a Funfetti cupcake at intermission, and if you didn't, you damn well should have.
Somewhere in the ether, the blood that has been spilled to get to this point starts awakening all kinds of complicated energy.
Where is the kick in the ass we all need?
BEST PREMATURE GOOD FEELINGS
Fun fact: Talbot's line started every period today. The second was no exception.
The Pens start out looking anemic, leaking all over the place like the embalming fluid out of Daniel Briere.
Someone hits a post on what could have been a textbook redirect into a wide-open net. You hate everything.
Mike Rupp hates it more than you do, though, and makes a conscious decision to go out there and fix things.
GOAL THAT MADE YOU NOT ONLY PREGNANT, BUT PROUD TO BE ALIVE
Mark Letestu beats two Islanders to a puck behind the net and chips it to Tangradi, who brings it out in front and takes a look at the net.
A little known fact is that Eric Tangradi is trying to breed his own half-human, half-baby-ox army of awesome.
He finally decided it was time to spread his seed.
Ladies, give birth. Watch the horns.
THE AWARD WE CAN'T COME UP WITH A TITLE FOR BECAUSE WE HATE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT SO MUCH THAT IT IS BEYOND THE ABILITIES OF ALL WORLD LANGUAGES
Everyone knows this was not a hit to the head.
In the replay, note that Comeau is able to keep his head from hitting the ice when he falls and appears to be looking up and alert. He even is on his knees briefly before lowering himself to his stomach. Yeah. You were probably wondering holy fuck, is that guy okay? Replay clearly shows that it was a shoulder check. Tang is immediately ejected for an illegal hit to the head, which carries a 5 minute major and game misconduct. K.
Everyone plays some 4-on-4 while Josh Bailey sits 2 minutes for roughing after attacking Kris Letang following the hit.
He comes onto the ice after the penalty, stays out for the first PP unit. Comeau is apparently well enough to assist on the goal.
Talbot is killing the rest of the major penalty when he gets hauled down at the Islanders' blueline. No call. Isles come back and score another:
Oh look it's 2-2. Blake Comeau has another assist. He must be really hurt.
MOST COMPLEX EMOTIONS FELT TOWARDS A TEENAGE SWISS MAN
One of the better efforts for the Pens power play this evening. No clue. Pens get some 5-on-3 while he's in the box and completely fail to do anything meaningful with it. Or any of the penalties this kid took all night. Maybe if we sacrifice the small pack animal in Graubünden, the power play will be more effective. Someone get on that.
Well there was the time that Sid kept missing the net and the time that Cooke thought he and DiPietro were playing bumper cars DiPietro was a really bitchy date to the amusement park and the time that the power play failed a bunch more times.
Brent Johnson stood tall.
Here is a photo from some indeterminate point in the game to illustrate this:
Stoned Comeau in the slot. Comeau scores there, we personally kill his family and suicide at center ice in CEC following the murder. Only sort of kidding.
Engelland takes some penalty with just over two minutes left. Survivormode kicks in. It is the most beautiful PK since the beginning of time. But then the clock is almost out. It wasn't meant to happen in regulation. A commercial break scrambles its way across your screen. Oh god.
Early in the OT period Jurcina goes off for some random penalty that somebody else actually committed and there is a lot of yelling, and doom.
You can't say that you have a good feeling. The Pens are controlling the puck but it amounts to wide shots and DiPietro stoning Crosby and you're just really upset. . .but. However. There is an ending to this madness. There is medicine for this fever.
Thank heavens for this.
Home is safe. For the first time this year, home is safe.
PERSON WHO WILL IN FACT WIN HIS NEXT GAME
Andrew Hutchinson or whatever his name is
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Mark Letestu - beast
2. everyone at CEC who didn't boo - you know, the six of you
3. Brent Johnson - thank you very much sir.
Quick tunraround to Philly tomorrow.
Hair League page will receive updates on Sunday.
Much fucking love.
There really isn't a wide variety of information that you need to know about last night.
The Pens came out swinging and managed to hang on for the first win of the season. It's still depressingly early. Philadelphia is leading the division. This is, in fact, our fault.
Some hyper-quick awards for yinz. They are from Jersey so try to wipe of the sludge so you can read the plaques:
BEST FIRST SHIFT THAT DIDN'T AMOUNT TO ANYTHING
Right out of the gate, Sid wins the faceoff forward to himself and tries to score on Brodeur. The puck is caught in a giant tidal pool of pig grease emanating off of Brodeur, which presents general problems for everyone. Neither Sid nor Evs had a point in this game. If they keep all of their awesome bottled up like this they are likely to explode and accidentally distribute it to people who can't handle it. Sid is setting people up from his ass, drawing penalties, being amazing, but we don't have the goal. Yet.
BEST WAY TO PISS OFF OUR DEFENSE
Devils keep booing Paul Martin for some reason.
Tangradi, Letestu, and Martin spend an entire shift riding the bacon fat express in Brodeur's mouth.
Goligoski ruins Kovalchuk's life ends up at the top of the left circle with some idiot between him and Fatass.
Beats him cleanly, or as cleanly as possible considering the circumstances.
WHEN THE GLYCOLIPIDS BECAME A PROBLEM
Early in the second on the PP, Tang shoots a puck. This puck has an amazing journey between Tang's stick blade and the back of the net. Through the general rendered filth around Uncle Dad it came to the conclusion that it needed to be near Mark Letestu before it decided to go in.
It's a love story. But not for Brodeur and his oil slick. 2-0
MOST NEED FOR CZECHS
Michalek got hurt.
We demand the hockey gods to return him.
That is all.
MOST SURPRISING DEFENSE
Somehow Kovalchuk thwarts major shorthanded chances by Talbot and Dupuis.
He was channeling someone.
We don't know who.
We wanna say the Stasi.
Light deprivation in prison.
We're already a little bit pregnant via the future from Talbot's shorthanded breakaway goal this season.
The sex we all ended up having with Brent Johnson.
These photos are from the second period, but they accurately reflect the journey we went on with Beej.
It was so good that even that stupid Elias goal didn't stop the jungle beats.
Something in the solemnity of this moment. . .
LEAST FAITH/MOST FEAR/MOST BRIDGE-JUMPING
After the Elias goal, Steigerwald is beside himself waiting for the Pens to give up the next one. Everyone recognizes this possibility, but if that possibility weren't there, why would we even play hockey?
It's the little moments that turn a game.
It's survivor mode.
Brent adjusts himself and digs in for round two.
Meanwhile, Paul Martin decides he doesn't want the game to go on for even a couple more seconds. He needs to go to the locker room and polish his pimp cane:
Hello there, babycakes.
Certain demons can't get across the river to Jersey.
MOST LIKELY TO NEED A GOOD DABBING OFF WITH A PAPER TOWEL
LOOK WHO GOT PAID A BAJILLION DOLLARS TO SUCK DICKS
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Paul Martin again. Again, beast.
2. Eric Tangradi - because his daddy was watching him
3. Alex Goligoski - getting his confidence back.
CALL TO ARMS
We need a little bit of help with the Hair League.
We have the Beej interview with Potash after the game. Anything else?
WHAT IS THAT SIGHT YONDER???
Recap will go up later/tomorrow. As will all Hair League updates. We promise we're not bailing out on you, especially not this early in the season, especially when the boys finally showed some resolve to win an important game.
We are proud of them and are giving each member of the Penguins approximately nine thousand ponies.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving or some shit.