I just want to thank Chris for giving me the keys to The Shop. There aren't enough words to express the gratitude. That being said in complete sincerity I can only add: It's MINE! Mine I Tell You!! Muahahahahaha!! (ok psychotic break over, back to work!)
At the top of every one's list today is Sean Avery's comments and 'indefinite' suspension, so let's deal with that and then move on. As you may have noticed by the pic to the left I'm something less than a fan of IFSA as Jodie puts it, (I F----n Hate Sean Avery. You can substitute your own favorite F word). He said some crude things about a couple of ex-girlfriends and their current relationships with hockey players, and in usual worm-like fashion he sought out a reporter in the locker room to make his comments. In swoops Gary Bettman who will ignore SA's bigoted and demeaning public comments about fellow players, but won't stand for him besmirching anyone with a publicity agent in their pocket. Final score? Say anything you want 'in house' but don't bite the hand that feeds the League. Public opinion means more to Bettman than disgruntled employees(or possibly even his left arm). Chalk another 'not too flipping smart' award to Avery, nuff said. Also translate 'indefinite suspension' to 'you'll play when I feel like letting you play' and it's not so much a punishment as a way to get SA (stupid a--) out of the way until Gary can see which way the PR wind is blowing.
Pens Stuff: Ok, on to things that actually matter. Marc Andre Fleury is only one of three Pens that practiced today, conditioning and he took some shots from Ryan Whitney. He's classifying his 'undisclosed' as back to 'day-to-day' rather than 'week-to-week'. Just out of my own head (after all what would want to stay in there?) it could be a Black, Gold and White Christmas this year as we all hope to get MAF and Whitney and now Boucher and Kennedy (who's undisclosed is also hurting) before the Big Guy with the reindeer gets here. (please, SC, don't check that list even once, just gimme!) Janne Pesonen and Chris Minard were called up because of Ziggy and TK getting 'undiscloseds' last night. Mike Zigomanis is listed as probable for the game though. Sabu is probable to start in net tonight.
Evgeni Malkin bought a house in Pittsburgh, but the guys at NHL.com think it's more wonderful that he's answering questions in English. (I gotta admit, that is pretty cool) It's gotta help communication on the ice, having Geno actually talking to his guys rather than Sarge translating for him when they get back to the bench. Of course he's still cursing in Russian, so Sarge probably still has some things to translate for the guys.
The PPG Q&A is asking some goalie type questions again. Basically the reader wanted to know why the Pens can't keep both Sabu and Flower. Molinari trotted out the bankbook logic stating that since Sabu is playing so well chances are that he'll get an offer that the Pens won't likely wish to match. This is true, Sabu is playing very well this year and it's quite likely there'll be a team that wants that kind of talent in front of their net and they'll offer him several large-ish bags of money to do so. The thing that Dave kinda missed was the fact that Dany wants to be a no.1 goalie, and with The Tower of Flower Power planted in front of the cage that's not likely to happen for him here.
Goofy Things You Never Thought You'd See: The latest in a series of slightly strange Jumbotron vids is this gem. Playing on Le-tank's name and stealing a 30 year old Tang commercial is kind of hokey, but it's harmless hokey I guess.
Tonight the Pens collide with the Hurricanes, and strangely enough I'm kind of hoping they're trailing going into the third period. Be prepared for 6798 Staal brother references. I know that's why there were only 258 last night, Stogie and Error were saving them up.
After Game Stuff: Syko went...... well, psycho tonight scoring two goals and coming within a whisker of the HT when Geno slipped him the puck on a 2 on 1 but Leighton put a stop to it. El Capitan had a 4 point night creeping ever closer (39) to Geno (41) On a further El Sid note, Sidney Crosby is now leading the Eastern Conference All Star Team voting. The Tower of Flower Power has taken a huge jump in the polls recently as well. The Pens actually scored 2 POWER PLAY GOALS. (somebody pinch me!) Satan scored, Fedotenko scored (now I know I'm hallucinating) I couldn't tell you how many times the Flightless Ones stole the puck in the 'Canes zone. Sabu looked very good in net making some amazing saves while making the other Staal look silly while doing it. Someone must have had words with Stogie and Error about the gratuitous Staal brother references because they're way down, although they did manage to work in Jared Staal in case it was just the Major Leaguers you were getting tired of hearing about.