Sunday, November 30, 2008

Flowers, Stats and Golden Helmets:

I've tried and I've tried, but I can't find any further footage of Marc Andre Fleury working out. All I have to go by is the brief glimpse I got Saturday night when FSN showed Flower in a conditioning drill. By that token I'd say that he moved well through the drill, but the Authorities still insist that he hasn't made it through an entire practice. All I know is I couldn't make it through that one drill and I haven't had an 'undisclosed lower body injury' in years.

Sidney Crosby may be the single beastliest player in the League this last week. Second in the League in points (34) Third in goals (13) and third in assists (21). He's scored 5 goals in the last two games including his second career hat trick in Saturday's game against the New Jersey Debbils. The guy even manages to make an empty net goal look exciting.

In a purely unofficial stat he also leads the League in goals scored while sliding on body parts other than the skates. Is there any way that we could get someone to trip him for every shot? That could boost his totals right through the roof. A player like El Capitan is something that every hockey team wants one of. He's ultra-talented, he's personable, even tempered and actually seems to like the fans he's playing for. Any team that had just one of those would consider itself lucky. Picksburgh has more than one, the Flightless Wonders also have Evgeni Malkin. Geno is first in the League in scoring (39) first in the League in assists (29) and while his 10 goals make him 28th in the League he's only 3 behind his teammate for third place and has also scored a HT last week. He's a big, Russian hockey playing version of Jethro Bodine ( no insult to Geno, but imagine him in bibs and a straw hat.)and a player who likes da Burgh. It doesn't stop there. The Pens back-up goaltender is leading the League in goals against average (1.84) and is fourth in save percentage (.930). On the FPL side of the ledger there's Brooks Orpik who is second in the League in hits (87) and Rob Scuderi, who's 6th in the League in blocked shots (60) add this all up and what do you get? Let's go to the map. My big schedule on the wall is marked with Wins in orange ink (random choice, no color significance) and Losses and OTL in purple and it's saying I'm going to need a new orange Sharpie before long.(I'll buy a whole box, I don't care) The Pens went 9-2-1 for the month of November, making them 14-6-3 for the year. They're 5 points behind the Division/Conference leading Rangers with 4 less games, and they're missing their two best defensemen. I don't normally like stats, but once you get into them they're harder than quicksand to get out of. Someone throw me a rope so I can get out of here.
Non Stat Stuff: Ryan Whitney has completed his first full week of practices, but doesn't seem to want to promote wild speculation on his condition. (yeah, that whole 'undisclosed' thing doesn't invite speculation, does it?) He says his status "Doesn't change on a day-to-day basis. It's more week-to-week. Once you get a day off, usually it feels better the next day." And what about full-contact drills? "Hopefully, at the end of the road trip this week I'll be doing everything in practice." Speaking of 'undisclosed', Phillipe Boucher is day-to-day (seeing a pattern here?) with whatever injury he sustained in Friday's game.
Janne Pesonen has been sent back to the Baby Pens. (sorry Vince) I know some will disagree, but I think this is exactly the correct way to handle Janne with the current situation. His inexperience in the NHL needs to be balanced with the needs of the team. Sticking him in when they can gives him some familiarity with the League and the Team. If the situation ever comes up where they need him for an extended period of time it'll make his transition that much easier.
Further Finnish News: The Trib put out an article this morning about JP and his desire to remain in the Big League. Coach T likes what Golden Helmet is doing in the AHL, but hasn't' yet had the ice-time time to assess him in the NHL (but doesn't he assign ice-time?). Janne seems to have a hungry attitude about his chances. "I want to be here, and I want to get a place on the team." Pesonen said before the Devil game. "Playing in the NHL has been my dream since I was a kid. I definitely want to be a better player. I'm not happy with the way I am right now. This is the biggest challenge, and I'm looking forward to it." Molinari, over at answers a Janne question over at Pens Q&A, and seems to think they ought to play JP or trade him. Easy there, Dave, it's his first season.

Also, because I think the thankfulness should never end, and I like swiping stuff from other sites... I have this from The Penguins Experience:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Debbils, Brothers, Barenaked Ladies, and Hat Tricks:

Sidney Crosby (now tied for second in points with 30) did his best to give Marc Andre Fleury a win for a birthday present with two goals last night in Buffaslugville, including one sick goal where he contributed his own redirection. But such was not to be. Pens lose 4-3 after giving up two goals in the third. John Curry made 28 saves and looked fantastic at times with several quick-reaction saves in the third period to keep the game even and then close, but the Pens couldn't keep the puck in the offensive zone or control their own zone with the 'Slugs buzzing around. (I didn't know slugs could do that are they slugs or mosquitoes?) Pesonen didn't get much ice time, but was solid while still needing more familiarity with the speed and style of the big League to show more of his offensive capabilities, if he has any, (sorry Vince) Phillipe Boucher left the game early with the dreaded 'undisclosed' (I still hate that) and did not return, mixing up the FPL and causing some problems with the power play which ended up a dismal 0-7 on the night.

The Flightless Ones will be facing long time nemesis New Jersey tonight without the services, once again of the Flower, whose still 'undisclosed' injury is now classed as week-to-week instead of day to day. (... and there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth) According to Dany Sabourin is slated to play in net tonight and Janne Pesonen will remain with the Big Club and play on Malkin's left wing. They go on to say that the Pens have struggled a bit with teams that play the trap (Debbils, Red Rags, Minnesota Tame to name a few) Frank, at (who has been cleared of all collaboration charges) lists the bookload of injuries that the Debbils have suffered recently including center and all around bad guy, John Madden, who injured his foot and did not make the trip to the Igloo today. John Mattau will return from his latest two game suspension for tonight's game and Scott Clemmenson who's been hot will probably sit in net. The Hockey News notes that the 4 of the teams that NJ has beaten in their 5 game winning streak all.... well... suck.
Game Stuff Update: The Penguins do not suck, therefore the Debbils could not beat them. Finally we see an entire 60 minutes of hockey. Sidney Crosby has woken up from whatever goal scoring coma he's been in for the first quarter of the season. Scoring the Hat Trick(I got so excited I threw my Harley Davidson hat at the TV) tonight to score his fifth goal in two games. El Capitan is now solidly in second place in scoring with 34 points with 3 goals and an assist tonight. He even makes empty net goals look exciting. Geno stretches his lead on everyone but the Kid to 37 points with his two assists. Syko scored the other goal off a nifty saucer pass from El Sid right in front of the net. And no further disrespect to Stogie, but I don't care how 'not fair' it is that the Pens have Sidney. Sabu looked very solid in net, steering everything that he didn't glove off to the corner. Other than a rash of Penguins landing on their butts for no apparent reason the Flightless Crew looked pretty damn good.
Flower Sighting: FSN showed a brief glimpse of the Tower of Flower Power working with the conditioning coach and to my untrained eye he looked pretty good. He seemed pretty sharp in the movement drill they showed and it just took me to an even higher happy place than the game alone could have.

Other Stuff: Did you know that Brooks 'the Hammer' Orpik has a brother? And that Andrew (the bro's name) plays forward for Brook's Alma Mater, Boston College? Well, if you knew all that, then the news that he's equalled his big bro's season goal total (2) in one game against Harvard won't come as much of a surprise. Nobody tell Stogie or Error about this, they've got enough hockey brothers to babble about.

The Barenaked Ladies (no comment) have re-tooled the Hockey Theme for TSN, but it won't be released for another month. Tyler Stewart, the 'Ladies' drummer said it was also a thrill for the band because, "It means so much to so many people across the country" I assume this country is Canadia, because I couldn't tell you what the 'Theme' sounds like and I've been watching hockey for a while now.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Birthday Flowers:

Everyone else gets flowers for their birthday. But Flowers get Balloons! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Tower of Flower Power.

Undisclosed Buffaslugs:

I was doing research for today's blog (translation: wandering the Internet aimlessly) when I stumbled onto an old post at Ingmar Bergman Shoots! ( I have no idea what a Swedish filmmaker has to do with hockey, even in Canadia, so don't ask) and ran onto this amusing little pic where the ubiquitous Buffaslug was done to death by every logo in the League including the Fighting Penguin. After clearing the tears of laughter from my eyes I swiped part of it and brought it here. The Online Urban Dictionary defines the Buffaslug as: The new logo of the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres, so called for its slug like appearance. The Sabre's Buffaslug is one of the most poorly designed logos ever concieved by a major professional sports team.
We (I think I speak for Chris as well) at the Shop do not consider the logo to tell the whole tale of the team, but let's face it, silly is silly.
Game-ish Stuff: Mad Maximus joins his friend and fellow French Canadian Marc Andre Fleury in the 'Day-to-day undisclosed injury' club. The only difference being that there's footage (bad pun alert!) of what happened to Maxime and none on Flower. Max was seen walking around on his own feet so speculation (which is all we have) is that he hasn't broken anything in his left foot. The other notable thing about this is that 'Golden Helmet' Janne Pesonen has been called up from WBS to fill the hole in the lines left by Talbot's tender tootsies. Vince, over at Pesonen and the Pens is already drooling over his Turkey leftovers in anticipation.
D.O. over at Die By the Blade has done a Pens scouting report with a bit of help from Frank at Pensburgh who returned the favor by doing a Sabres scouting report. (I sense collaboration with the enemy Captain, set phasers on, 'WTF?') D.O. seems to think the Pens are some scary third period Flightless Birds, but the defense and goaltending situation has him puzzled. (Hey, join the club!) Frank thinks that with Vanek out with the dreaded 'undisclosed' the Pens have an edge in offense and the 'Slugs are too inconsistent in every other category to tell what kind of team is going to show up for the game. (I hear a lot of 'your guess is as good as mine in there)
Things to be Thankful for: Brooks 'The Hammer' Orpik can be thankful that the Pens are going to play in Buffalo, as he is from the area and will get to spend the Holiday with his family. But then again, I don't know his family, so I can only assume he'll be thankful for that.
All the Pensaddicts can be thankful that El Capitan, Sidney Crosby likes to play in the 'Burgh of the Three Rivers. "I live a pretty simple life," Crosby said, "I want to play somewhere people are interested in the sport, and for an organization that cares. I've got a lot of that in Pittsburgh. I feel pretty fortunate to be there. It's not the biggest city, but it's a city I really like" Aw Sid, we're kinda fond of you too.
And finally, Tower of Flower Power fans can be thankful for Youtube, as it's the only place for the last two weeks we've been able to watch the Flower.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Very Penguin Thanksgiving:

Giant Flying Penguin Crushes Onlookers at Local Parade on Long Island!
Seriously (sort of) in the next 24 hours or so tens of thousands of people will go from watching the Pens against the Isles to a triptophane induced coma watching the Detroit Lions get their butts handed to them for the 14th Thanksgiving in a row. Translation: Hockey good, Football...... ok. So here's my contribution to the Holiday festivities. When someone in your house zonks out on the couch, face to the ceiling, snoring away, take one of those leftover brown and serve rolls that turn into rocks 20 minutes after they cool down, and place it ever so gently on their forehead and take a picture. (blackmail is such an ugly word, we prefer 'extortion') OK, on to hockey stuff!

Ray Shero, Gilles Meloche (goaltender coach) and Asst. General Manager Chuck Fletcher, all agree on one thing: Back-up to the back-up goaltender, John Curry is a 'Battler'. I think they mean that he never gives up on a game and he'll fight all the way through it. But it also might mean that if you get on his bad side he'll pop you in the schnoz. I had a chance to watch him during pre-season practice and I've said before that I like what I saw. He's a bit small at 5'11'', but he manages to cover the entire net if only through sheer stubbornness. Shero stated, "Curry wouldn't be with us if we didn't think he could handle the situation. You don't hand that kind of responsibility to a guy if you don't think he can handle it". Nuff said.
After game note: If you didn't believe me before, then perhaps this will convince you. John Curry making a timely save in his shut-out two period effort tonight on the Island.

What can you say about Evgeni Malkin? He's a beast, just a Russian hockey playing beast. I was glad to see him take the empty net shot he's passed up so many times recently to get the hat-trick. Also stealing a page from El Capitan's book to score his second goal sliding on his butt. 4pts for Geno, 3 for El Sid and a goal for Brooksie for a 5-3 comeback win. The Penguins lead the league in comeback wins with 10 now, but I'm pretty sure I could do without the whole 'Cardiac Kids' routine. I'll take any win we can get, but if I had my 'druthers' I'd like to see more blow-out wins and less 'blood pressure checks'. FSN will be showing the Winter Classic and Game 5 of the SCF on Turkey Day 2ce each, so you can avoid that whole 'Oh my God is that football game over yet?' thing if you want.

If you look at the third question on PPG's Pens Q&A you'll find an interesting speculation on what would happen if all the players on the team participated in the OT shootout and the teams were still tied. Would the goalies be able to have a go at it? Molinari says that the rules don't specifically forbid it, and while it might be cool to see Flower in full gear trying to deke out Ludnqvist it probably won't happen. But it sounds soooo cool.
More stuff later, but I just had to steal something from Snoop over at The Sidney Crosby Show. It's the guys, Including Marc Andre Fleury, The Tower of Flower Power, wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving. Once again, I saw it, and just had to have it, I've given her stuff too, so I don't think she'll come after me, or anything.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is there a Flower Doctor in the house?

Shelly Anderson, over at PPG, (who's never done anything to me) is starting to get on my short list of Quick Karma victims. I know she's only reporting what she knows and it's information that I lack, but she's also setting herself up as the identity for my frustrations. Once again she's reporting that Marc Andre Fleury has not been able to complete an entire work-out and that his 'undisclosed' is evidently still hurting him. She goes on to say that past and future FPL member Ryan Whitney not only completed an entire practice, but his tender tootsies withstood a conditioning workout as well. (It's this kind of good news that keeps her off my list)
Evgeni Malkin still leads the league in scoring, Mike Zigomanis is tops in face-off wins, and Alex Go-Go is leading the league in Rookie Defensman scoring.
Dave Molinari, also at PPG, thinks it's possible that Sabu will be tendered a longer term deal in light of his recent excellent efforts. Sabu leads the league in Goals against and is third in Save Percentage after getting enough ice time to qualify. I think this makes Dany just too tempting for a struggling team with a melt-down goaltender. I'd love to see Sabourin stay a Pen, but I've got to admit I'd much rather see him get his shot to lead a team. (not too far, and definitely not against us) It pains me to say it, but I think this is the last year for Sabu-tage in a Penguins uniform.
HC Michel Therrien is shuffling the Power Play lines again. I'm not sure new combinations are what are needed. Rather, a different approach to the PP, working harder, not fancier. But then again, I'm not the coach of a SCF hockey team, so what do I know?
Other Stuff: If any of you remember Claude Lemieux listen to this. And for those of you who don't, think of a Canadian Yaarko Ruutu with less funny and more nasty. Claude at the age of 43 has persuaded long time friend and General Manager of the Sharks, Doug Wilson to give him a shot with their AHL Worchester affiliate. A try-out contract for a guy that's won 4 Stanley Cups with 3 different teams, but hasn't played since '03.
Ryan O'Byrne has joined the happy crowd of players to score goals in their own net. I'm looking for postable vids, but from what I've seen it was a complete brain-fart. He was passing of the wall to Carey Price who had left the net for a delayed penalty. Ya gotta feel for the guy. More to come as it occurs to me....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reviews and Perspectives:

Shelly Anderson, over at the Post-Gazette doesn't think there's much of a chance that Marc Andre Fleury, the Tower of Flower Power, will play Wed. against the Islanders in her Penschat transcript. Speculation (which is all we have) is now that he's suffering from some sort of leg injury.

With 0.25 (that's 1/4 for the mathematically impaired) of the season in the past, it seems to be time to do a review of some type. Aw hell, everyone else already thought of that! So, being the lazy sub-human that I am I'll just direct you to a couple. Rob Rossi over at the Trib seems to think that we can cut and paste this years start with last years finish and add a cup. Nice idea, but let's not forget the 62 games yet to play. has stolen an article by Phil Coffey, Senior Editor of, so I'll jump on that bandwagon and steal it from them. (Recieving stolen news articles isn't a felony, is it?) Basically he says that the Pens are doing a good job, Flower is winning, El Sid and Geno are leading the way, and you'd hardly even notice that Gonch and Whitney aren't on the blue-line. ( I notice, I really do). Also, at the end of the article there's a mini-tribute to St. Patrick Roy, patron saint of goaltenders and my and Flower's favorite retired goalie. It's only wild speculation that Roy is behind the injury plot to keep Uncle-Daddy from breaking all his records. The reports of the Vudu doll with the pins in the elbow at Patrick's house was greatly exaggerated.
The Pens are firmly ensconced in 4th place in the Conference (with more points than the 3rd place Crapitals. I have a problem with that, but I'll get into it later in the season) Their 27 points places them 3rd in the Division and that's much better than last year at this time.
FPL member Ryan Whitney began practicing with the team Friday, and hopes to be ready to play by Christmas. That could be something to ask Santa for, yes?
By all accounts HC Michel Therrien is less than pleased with the power-play. (16th in the League) Too much emphasis on 'style' and not enough on 'sweat'. Translation: When the crowd is screaming 'Shoot!' it's probably a good idea. Oh yeah, and sit someone in front of the net to bash in some 'garbage' and create some traffic might be a good idea.
Alex Go-Goligoski has his very own Pop-Up Video over at, and since I was over there stealing stuff I thought I'd swipe this too.

For some 'strange reason', The Cookie Monster, doesn't want to talk about his early game misconduct exit in the Vancouver game. Could it be, that he's not happy about it? Hmmmm... could be. BTW, that Player's Emergency Fund is getting lots of contributions this year from suspended players. I don't think Cooke needs to contribute.
Other Stuff: Roberto Luongo is going to be out 4-5 weeks according to his agent. Luongo pulled his groin (on national TV?, the sensors are going crazy!) on an odd double move during a save in the first period of Saturday's game. Sanford will be getting most of the Net-time, with Cory Schneider serving as his back-up. This is a guy the Canucks can ill afford to lose. He's been a beast in net, he's 11-2 with a .928 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against. That's two big-time goaltenders out and the season's only 1/4 the way through.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flowers, Staals and Army ants:

Marc Andre Fleury's 'undisclosed' (I still hate that) injury is both classified 'not serious and 'day to day' and now after three days of waiting, the speculation is 'lower body injury(that's comforting, the last time I had a 'lower body injury' was when I'd insulted my sister and she kicked.... uh ok, on with the show). Maybe he'll play Saturday, and maybe not. I understand the whole stragedy (willful misspelling) thing, but for those of us concerned with the players we love to watch it's very frustrating. The trainer's are suggesting mucho caution for the dreaded 'undisclosed' ailment. "Sometimes I think they're overly cautious," Fleury said, "but I think it's just tough to be sidelined. If it gets worse, it's going to come back inthe season and I don't want that. I want it to be done now, and not think about it the rest of the season."
John Curry has been called up to be Sabourin's back-up until the Flower returns.
Other News: For those of you biting your nails waiting for Jordan Staal's contract deal to come through, you'd better get some Lee Press-Ons or something, because nothing is going to happen until after the trade-deadline. Ray Shero (heroic music swells in the background) is putting things off until at least after the Great Trade Sweepstakes. Also the extension could be short-term, Shero says he's 'open to a lot of things'. Translation: He ain't telling us nuttin. ('undisclosed' injuries, 'undisclosed' contracts, am I seeing a pattern here?)
Thursday Colby Armstrong returns to the Igloo for the first time since his trade to Atlanta. While he was with the Pens Colby and El Capitan were pretty tight, but El Sid doesn't think that'll give Army any special advantage. "I haven't taken him seriously in three years, what makes you think I'm going to start now," Crosby joked, " He could say anything. It wouldn't even come close to working, I would be laughing on the inside."
Rat Note: Did you ever have one of those days when you got something completely backwards? Happened to me! It's not the first time Colby returns to the Igloo. It's the first time Crosby visits Atlanta since Colby's trade...... ok, super Duh here. Bad Blogger! No doughnut!
Not much else going on today, weird game yesterday. It's odd when you realize that the Pens were beaten by team that technically didn't score a goal during regulation. Ziggy's face-off win dribbling through Sabu's five-hole, and the Cookie Monster's nice put in 10 seconds later were the only two goals scored during reg. play.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Times, They is a Changin':

Darryl Sydor, part-time stalwart for the FPL (Flower Protection League) has been traded to the Dallas Stars for Philippe Boucher. Boucher's daughter, Vanessa seems to think the only important thing is that her dad will be playing with Sidney Crosby. I agree, that is the cool part.
It's no secret that Sydor has wanted a trade for a while, due to his lack of ice-time, and he waived his no-trade clause to work for the Stars for the third time in his career. Sydor, on Ray Shero and the move to his first choice, Dallas, " I have to say, 'thank you' to him, because it makes for a easier transition. He has been a total professional in all of this. I'm very fortunate. I'm also very excited."

Boucher injured one shoulder, and then the other last year, limiting his playing time, somewhat. But he's said to be completely recovered, and will add experience and a right handed shot that's normally good for 40 or so points a year to the blue line, and possibly the power-play. At 35 he'll be the oldest Penguin on the ice, replacing the oldest Penguin, Sydor (36). We'll see further down the season if we will come to Praise Shero or to Bury him. (classical reference, cool, huh?).
In other news-ish stuff, Paul Biz-Nasty (Bissonette) has been sent back to Wilkes Barre to get him some more playing-time than he can get with the Big Club, but it's likely we'll be seeing him again before the season is done. More to come as it occurs to me.
Flower news: The Tower of Flower Power is out with that 'undisclosed' injury that's so rampant in the League these days. says that he was out of practice today, and probably won't play in Tues. game against the Wild. Is it just me, or do the Wild uniforms look like Christmas Trees? I keep wanting to adjust my set, thinking no one would have uniforms that ugly, but I understand they made them that way on purpose..... strange.
Because Flower wasn't at practice today, the goalie/ assistant coach from Robert Morris stepped in to help. Joe Tuset, the aforementioned coach, said, "It's a great opprotunity to come out here and skate with the professionals, and strap on the pads again. I did better than I thought I would. Still not good enough, but it was fun

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Philthy-delphia Story:

It's good for the fans to have teams or players to hate. Having the Detroit Red-rags and the Philthy Phlyers in the same week may be too much of a good thing. But as much as you love to hate the team from the Violent Crime Capitol of the country, nothing can beat a good old-fashioned home-state feud. Tonight Marc Andre Fleury and the Pens bring the hate to the Igloo for the second time this season. It's the time for signs in the stands that the TV cameras have to avoid, and beered-up Yinzers shouting at Flyers in the penalty box. Ahhh the good times. is saying that Scuderi will be a game-time decision, but Biz-nasty has been taking his FPL position in practice. Bissonette, you may or may not remember has some experience at the blue line and seems to be ready to take up the Flower Protection League banner temporarily if needed: "I think it's all a part of keeping me here," Bissonette said, " Wednsday and Thursday I played on D to give Scuderi a rest. I like it, it keeps me diverse, and who knows? Maybe one day I'll go back to D. It's just nice to keep up."

Evgeni Malkin leads the league in points as of yesterday(24), with El Sid in a tie for fourth with 19. They're both heavy on assists rather than goals, but it's a case of finding four quarters instead of a dollar bill, points is points. Both Geno and Sid would naturally like to score more goals, and I'm sure not too many Pensaddicts would disagree, but HCMT is confident they'll come around due to the work they've both been putting into the games.

The lines for tonight's Cross-State Rivalry (how many times do you think we'll hear that tonight?)

Caution: Venting Spleen Ahead!

Stagerat's note: As much as I rag on Bob Errey and Paul Steigerwald I have to give them props. It's much nicer to watch a game with the two of them announcing than the crew of Bandwagon Phallic Worshippers they have over at VS. They consistently pick a 'hero team' and then kneel down to nuzzle that team's collective generative member for the entire game. I've watched other games on VS and they do it consistently, it's sad that for out of market people in this country that consists of about 85% of their available hockey. It'd make me pony up the extortion fee for Center Ice, it really would.


Talbot-Crosby-Satan, Fedotenko-Malkin-Sykora, Kennedy-Staal-Cooke,Dupuis- Zigomanis-Godard


Orpik-Letang, Scuderi(?)-Gill, Sydor-Goligoski


Marc Andre Fleury, The Tower of Flower Power.

C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me!!

Our own Cookie Monster scored his first of the season tonight!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pop-Up Flower:

Ok, found this at and just had to have it!
The lines for tonight's game:
Marc Andre Fleury

Other Stuff: Malkin says his thumb, with the help of a couple of undisclosed pills, is feeling 'better' after it was hit with a slap shot during the first period of Saturday night's game. Also, in the same article Flower says "Slow is good. Smooth. Slow. One foot at a time." So there won't be a repeat of the bad JuJu 'Flower fall down and go Boom!' thing before game 1 of the SCF. He and Maximus thought it was funny, every Pensaddict thought it was a bad omen. Chickens (virgins were sought, but took too long to find) were sacrificed throughout the area but to no avail, as we all know.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shaving Cream, the Flu, and Hosers:

The Deadly Flu bug has laid me low for a couple of days, but as my health is rallying so is my tendency to babble.
Most of my fingernails have also grown back from nearly biting them off during the Islander game. Marc Andre Fleury had the night off so Dany Sabourin and the Pens survived (appropriate word) bad ice, fluke goals and mysterious disappearing pucks to beat the Isles 4-3 Saturday in a shootout. Tyler (Turbo) Kennedy scored two goals and was anointed with the shaving cream after the game in some obscure hockey ritual.
To get everyone ready to Boo at their TV's every time Hose-a gets the puck Tuesday night, I've been searching the Waste Spaces for snippets of news. It seems that unlike most of the rest of the Pens, Max Talbot is less than thrilled with the Hoser. "The way he left was kind of a blow to the heart," Talbot said, "but you have to live with that. You have to respect his decision, but for us, it's not the best thing that could have happened." Hossa, on the other hand, considers the whole thing a personal decision and doesn't understand why the Pensaddicts are so angry. "You can see the passion in that town. (Pittsburgh) But, on the other hand, when a person has a chance to make his own decision, I was looking for my own decision, and had to make a choice. There was nothing against the fans in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, they'll understand." (I'm thinking mostly they don't.)
Other Stuff: Mario Lemieux is an icon in Pittsburgh and a legend for a couple of generations of hockey players. He's an NHL team executive and owner, when he talks millionaires hang on his every word. But he gets no props from his daughter and her team when it comes to giving hockey advice. " They don't think I know anything." He said after coaching a tournament his daughter Stephanie was playing in. I know it'll come as no surprise, but that Mario is one heck of a guy, signing autographs, talking and giving pointers to the kids, and, even though he kept his name out of the program to keep a low profile, boosting attendance for the whole tournament. (he's kind of popular, I guess)
Pens executive Ken Sawyer loves the view in the arena so much he's having elements of it incorporated into the new Igloo. Seth, over at Empty Netters, thinks that Viking defensive end Jared Allen and Maxime Talbot are twins separated at birth. I have to admit there is a strong resemblance there. TSN has a small gallery of movie inspired Goalie Masks, that's pretty cool.
You've got to love Evgeni (Geno) Malkin. He may look like a Russian version of Jethro Bodine, but he's putting numbers up that bring speculations that he'll have his name on the Penguin's Scoring Champ banner soon. He's also a team guy who slipped Staal a pass for his first goal instead of filling the empty net himself. His scoring and responsibilities have increased every season, he's top of the League in scoring so far this year and he does it all with that engaging, goofy grin. He seems to genuinely enjoy the team and the town. How could you not like the guy?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hungry Penguins are Dangerous:

These guys are still pissed about that last Oiler spill
Marc Andre Fleury and the Pens will crank it back up tonight after a 4 day lay-off after a decent win in St. Louis. The only things the same about the line-ups tonight are the Crosby line, Flower in net, and the logos on the sweaters.
Goaltender: The Tower of Flower Power
You'll notice that Dupuis is back from that dreaded undisclosed injury, (I looked it up in a medical book, and I can't find an 'undisclosed' anywhere on the human body) and will play tonight, you'll also notice that Eaton is a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. He and the staff have had conversations. But Eaton, who acknowledges that he's not quite up to par, is keeping mum about the whole thing. Methinks someone is being spanked.
Flower Vid Alert: Post morning skate vid from today:
Contrary to popular pre-season belief, no one on the defensive squad is panicking. Other than a moderate lack of scoring, everyone thinks the defense is doing a (I can't help but say it) bang up job. Even though they're 25th in the League in shots allowed (32.4 per game) they're 7th in goals allowed (2.33) (hmmm might there be some stellar goaltending going on there?) "These guys are doing well at keeping the shots to long range shots. As a goalie, you like that." says Fleury.
Orpik thinks it has a lot to do with not feeling sorry for themselves about what they're missing. And the Human Sequoia that is Hal Gill? He says, "It doesn't surprise me. This is a proud group."
Michel Therrien finally responded to the disjointed ramblings of Alexander Semin made about El Sid today. He laughed when he answered, but he was giving the reporter Canadian Death Eyes while the dude was asking the question.

More to come as the random numbers in my head jell into semi-coherent thought.......

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flowers and Satan-ic Penguins

Marc Andre Fleury and the rest of the cast skipped practice to play soccer Monday. No, they didn't hold a mutiny, and no one tied M. Therrien down and taunted him by pelting him with soccer balls. Mike decided it was a 'good day to go to the gym' so while only 4 Pens went through skate drills, everyone played a little pick-up soccer and then hit the weights. Crosby and Cookie manned the goals and according to MAF, 'Satan made everyone else look bad'. Miroslav Satan may be making everyone look bad playing soccer, but The Lord of the Infernal Realm is looking pretty good on the score sheet. He leads the team in goals (6) and with his 4 assists he's third on the team in scoring.
Flower had his say after practice today about playing the Oilcans Thurs.

The Tower of Flower Power, feels that any team in the NHL is worthy of respect, and that a goalie 'always has to keep himself ready'.
Other Penguin Stuff: Brooks Orpik, Eric Goddard, Phil Borque, and Brian Trottier were all at Clark Cheverolet Mon. night signing autographs for an un-named charity. They were signing anything that you brought in, or bought there, and the proceeds were all going to charity. (I hope that Brian has learned to clean up his language since this vid was made) (warning NC17 content) Ultra Marathon man Phil Rosenstein is running across the country for the Mario Lemieux foundation, and will be honored at the game Thursday. He started out in Cali (Santa Monica) and ran Rt. 66 to Chicago then, via Picksburgh, to Atlantic City NJ (hey, fit guys got hit the tables too) in about two weeks. There would have to be a LOT of really big guys I owed money chasing me with objects of mayhem to make me run down the block, so I have nothing but respect and bewilderment for this guy.
Marc Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Gonchar, and Ryan Whitney have all been named to the All Star-Fan Ballot. Voting will begin Nov. 12, and fans can vote as often as they like. I'll post the link as soon as the voting starts. (hint, hint). I'm not sure what 2 players that are on the IR are going to do if they're voted in, but I'm willing to find out by shamelessly voting for them repeatedly.
Other Goalie News: Martin Broduer will have to wait 4-6 months to continue his quest to eclipse Patrick Roy and Terry Sawchuck's records. What was originally lied about (preliminary diagnosis) as an 'elbow bruise' turns out to be a torn biceps tendon in his left elbow. Uncle-Daddy is 7 wins shy of Roy's record 551 and 5 shut outs shy of Sawchuck's 108. He'll undergo surgery Thursday and the team 'will be making no further comment until after the surgery'. Big deal, most of what they've said so far you can't trust anyway. If you get the idea that I don't like 'non injury disclosure hockey' you wouldn't be far wrong.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Meet Me in St. Louie, Louie:

Marc Andre Fleury allowed 3 goals on 22 shots in the Gateway City to give the Blues the blues. The Tower of Flower Power had a solid, sometimes flashy excursion between the 'arches' in St Louis, despite allowing 2 goals on only 4 shots in the first, at which point many bridges in the Golden Triangle where crowded with despondent, soon to be damp, Pensaddicts. Flower and the FPL tightened up, and shut down the Blues and their #1 PP for most of the rest of the game. MAF will be at BC Sports in the Ross Park Mall from 12:00-1:30 Sunday to sign autographs (if you buy a little 50-60 buck autograph ticket), sorry, slipped up on this one and didn't get the news until late.

Recap-ish: The 'Saved by Zero' commercial must die the death. Ok, that being said, about halfway through the first, Wolverine (Jackman, get it?) scored off a sneaky boomerang shot that didn't stay in the goal for more than a second, I was hopefully waiting for the replay, but it betrayed me by showing that the shot actually went in. Later, on a bad call/hipcheck/trip on Brooksie, Malkin (who let's face it, doesn't count face-offs as one of his skills), won two or three in a row to help the PK hold the enemy shotless. That shotless PP thing lasted for the first two periods. Pessonen's gold helmet tangent in the FSN booth, and how Steggies nephew is a better researcher than Steggo. Just when I was about to throw something at the screen during a Pens PP, Le-Tank flips a pass to El Sid who slips it to Satan who picks up his own errant pass to show Chris Mason the power of the Lord of the Infernal Realm with a nice wrist-shot over his shoulder. This would have been much cooler if Oslie hadn't scored off a good McClement pass 25 seconds later. (Cue cheesy Hee-Haw song) Intermission Question: Do they just shuffle those penguin/Potash commercials, or does someone actually watching the game pick them? And why do Potash's penguins get more play than the Pittsburgh Penguins during the break?

Second Period start reads like an FPL report. Scuds made a nice diving play, Le-Tank gets slashed by the God of wine and song (Baccus), no call. Go-Go scores on a nice wrister from near the blue line. Blues try to quick-counter again but the apparent goal was waved off on a high stick pass. Tank comes back and Flower makes a glove save on a shot that I didn't even see on slow-mo replay. Bobbo and Steggo go off on yet another tangent talking about how Alex Pietrangelo pronounces his name different than Frank to cover Steggie's butt for mispronouncing Frank's name all these years until we almost miss Brewer's holding Sid. Just about when you think the PP is hopeless, Geno slaps one from the blue line, through McKee's legs and past a confused Mason to make the score 3-2. Then 30 seconds later TK smacks his own rebound off Mason's butt to make the game 4-2. A few minutes later, Golden Helmet revved up Spaceballs I and mashed some Bluenote into the boards. Kevin and Vince over at Pessonen and the Pens are probably doing back flips watching this. Mason almost brainfarts one into his own goal, Errey almost has an aneurism talking about it. Just before the end of the period, Syko goes psycho on a Blues defenseman who was taking stick-liberties with El Capitan. As exciting as the second was, Error and Stogie want to talk about how Alex Pietrangelo is his own grandpa or the strange, almost West Virginian way that Alex and Frank are related..... I listened for 10 minutes and still don't understand it.

The Third Period was much more relaxing to watch, even though I wasn't counting this one as a win until it was in the bag. Chris Holt, the Blues backup goalie made a spectacular save... from the bench. And then we learned that it takes 4 blues players to take on one Energizer Bunny (TK) and Zigomanis is more than a face-off specialist. Ziggy was working his butt off, blocking shots, stealing pucks and taking shots. Orpik became the defensive beast we all know him to be and put Kariya on his butt. Later, Berglin picks up his own rebound and flips one past the Flower and things are tense while everyone waits for yet another melt-down, until 40 seconds later when Maximus (keep the French-Manchu, it's working) makes a deal with Satan to score his second goal of the year off of a nice clear by Orpik. MAF with some nice work in the final minutes and an empty net gift for Staal from Geno sealed the deal. 6-3

Wrap-up, wrap-up: Got to give the Pens credit. Even though the PP seemed to be more lucky than good sometimes, the PK was simply awesome shutting down the Blues, who despite some problems have a stellar PP. They didn't go into a shell at all in the third, keeping up the offensive pressure and scoring goals. The Zebra patrol seemed to have a bit of a problem seeing some fairly blatant slashing penalties, and the FSN duo had a bit of a problem repeating the word 'jump' 654 times and I now feel like a member of the Pietrangelo clan due to the genealogy laid out by Steigerwald.

Moronic Russian Quote of the Day: Alexander Semin has decided that since Ovie is out of the country he should do what he can to keep the Craps/Pens rivalry going. Either that or he feels safer knowing that it'll be Jan. 14th until he'll have to pay for his remarks about El Sid. You see Sperm the Worm has decided that El Capitan is just your average player hyped to the max. "I think if you take any player, even if he is 'dead wood' and start promoting him, you'll get a star. Especially if he scores 1oo points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let's say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in , and he scored 50 goal: everyone will say 'wow' and then hand him 10 mil per year." Uh.... 'dead wood' and '100' points don't normally go together. And all apologies to him, but that sounds a lot more like Ryan Malone than Troy and Trina's little boy. Just another case of a guy saying something contrivercial to get a rise and that becomes more important than the relative stupidity of the player making the comment. My advice? When you pay your dues, Alex, you'll get your props. Until then, keep your mouth shut and play hockey.