Ok, they've got a silly logo, a goofy name, they're in no way affiliated with Heath Ledger or Jack Nicholson, and they're basically the equivalent of whooping the Wheeling Nailers butts. But hey, a win is a win. The mighty Penguins have defeated the Helsinki Jokers (Jokerit) 4-1.
Sykora and Mad Max didn't suit today, Syko with a sore groin and Max with a bruised leg they really don't want to talk about yet. Malkin, and Fedotenko scored in the first, Malkin scored on a power play slap shot at 9:00 of the first, off feeds from Alex Goligoski and Crosby. Fedotenko then struck with nine seconds left in the period, as line mates Crosby and Miroslav Satan got the assists. Marc-Andre Fleury blanked the Jokerit attack, including one power play chance, and that's the way it would stay through Danny Sabourin taking over with just over 6 minutes left in the second until 5 minutes into the third when some Joker with an unpronounceable name ( Janne Lahti) scored on a penalty shot. Kennedy with help from Pesonen and Le-tank scored a few minutes later and with 9 seconds to go Dupuis scored on an empty net with help from Crosby (third assist) and Gill.
What does it mean? Virtually nothing stats-wise, but from what I was able to gather the crowd was decidedly pro-Penguin, pro-NHL, and one luxury section was entirely pro-Sid, as they were all wearing Crosby jerseys. (As a side note: Whoever is doing the reporting for PP.com is strangely obsessed with the song 'Cotton Eyed Joe' and feels the need to mention every time it was played.) What it means to me, is that in less than 48 hours the season starts and we can all actually see all the rest of the games, and I can get some relief from this Pens-jones. What some people don't see is that the whole NHL Europe excursion isn't for you, or me, or even for most of the people that are going to the games this week. It's to keep the ideal of the NHL burning in the brains of all those players, the ones that played and the ones that watched, so that for some of them the dream will continue. To grow up and be good enough to one day play in 'The Big League'. And hey, as long as it continues to bring the Janne Pesonens over to wear the Skating Penguin, it's a good thing.
Late info: Speaking of Janne, the Janblogger has some pics from the game that someone sent him. They're not great, there aren't too many, but hey, they're pics.