Friday, January 30, 2009

Snoopy Happy Dance:

Brooksie's back in town! (sort of) FPL tough guy Brooks Orpik returns to the line-up tonight after missing 10 days with an 'undisclosed' injury. (why didn't they listen to me and get their 'undisclosed' shots before the season started?) He'll take Hal Gill's place in the defensive ranks against the Debbles tonight. Other than that, the lines don't seem to have changed since last game (or maybe I was just excited about Brooks and didn't really look at the line up). One other minor bit of news.... Sergei (Sarge) Gonchar is making the trip with the team. That makes the first time this year that Sarge has been able to travel anywhere with the team except to the locker room after practice.

Evgeni Malkin needs just one more goal to reach the 100 mark. No one seems to be making any noise about this, but I think it's a very cool thing.

Couple of Things: If you haven't been able to block out the exsistence of Mike 'Doc' Emery, tonight won't help you at all. The Devils are honoring the broadcaster (that's what they called him) tonight before the game. Personally, I don't know why someone hasn't squashed him like the annoyingly cheery little skinny bug that he is, but he has been around for a long time and that should count for something. Ok, that was my tribute, back to the Shop. (forgot what the other thing was...)

Game Stuff: The Devils are on a streak, winning 7 in a row, including beating the Brunes in overtime last night. Langenbrunner is also on a streak, sending biscuits past goalies faster than the Pillsbury Dough-boy. (Paging Mr. Orpik. Paging Brooks Orpik) And 40 birthdays doesn't seem to have affected Brendan Shannahan much, he's playing well and deserves some attention. We've all seen Devil/Pengin games in the past. It's either going to be a complete blow-out, or a blood pressure check 2-1 or 1-0 game. (where did I put my nitro pills?) I'll see you after the blood-bath with some game updates and stuff. (mostly stuff) New Jersey may have the Devils, but we have Satan and her>>>>

and she's waaaay scarier than any Debbil could be.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Don't Go Near There:

Here's the only documentation I could find for the WWE move Marc Andre Fleury put on Drury. You see, the Flower was a bit cross at Dudley there for spending a little too much time in his crease without an invitation. MAF tried to tell him it was a 'Goalies Only' zone but old Duds wouldn't listen. So about the 3rd time he trespassed Flower spanked him in the back of the legs and then shoved at his melon with his catcher and sent the Ragger's Capitain to the ice. The Tower of Flower Power is very particular about who he invites into the Blue Paint Club. Chris Drury is not among those so honored. Sorry Chrissy, guess you'll have to go back to MSG where they're not so choosy about who they let in.

First Ever TFS Award Show: Ok, this isn't the first time I've given out awards, but it is the first time I've actually had an award (picture) to give out. I've seen others do this, and it kind of tickled me, and I've never seen an idea so good that I couldn't steal... uh, improve it. So, here we go:
The Bobby Orr Scoring Award: Goes to.... Who else? Kris Le-Tank for his two goal performance. Le-tank has scored on Lundqvist more than a guy with a drunk prom date. Tanger scored his first NHL goal on Lundqvist and evidently liked the feeling.
The Not Unless You Buy Me Dinner Award: Goes to Maxime Talbot for getting hosed by the refs 2ce in five minutes. The first penalty was, if I'm not mistaken, the 'Getting pushed into the goalie penalty' which will always get you a trip to the box.
The award thing is very new, so it may take a while to get moving. Still haven't decided which way to take it, serious or silly. (knowing me I'm pretty sure which way it's going) So we'll see over the next couple of games. Who knows? I may just melt it down for scrap....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Back to School, Back to Work:

If there was one thing that might make you want to go back to grade school, that one thing might be Marc Andre Fleury. I think the Flower might have lost a bet, or something because today after practice he went to the Franklin Regional Middle School in Murrysville Pa. Actually, the kids teacher Dr. James Zeliff (who my girlfriend now hates forever) won a 'take your goalie to school' day at the Penguins Charity Gala. (and that's why she hates him, he won it, she didn't. doesn't matter that she wasn't there, she didn't win) I'm not suggesting that everyone need fear winning stuff from the Penguins. Just the meeting MAF stuff.
El Capitan, Sidney Crosby will play in tonight's game against the Raggers. Evidently, the time off did his knee some good. Matt Cooke will not be playing tonight, or Friday against the Debbles. Cookie has been given a two game suspension for a love-tap he gave Scott (the Whiner) Walker during the Carolina game. Walker ducked into a check by Cookie and caught Cookes shoulder with some part of his cranium, so the League decided that the Cookie Monster was a bad boy and spanked him two games for it. Go Figure.. Chris Minard has been called up for at least a couple of games to cover for Cooke. Paul B-nasty was also called up to add some coverage for the 4th line Bill-me-later Thomas will be centering the line with Eric God-ly taking the right wing . Super Duper is going to be on the first line with the Croz and Geno with Minard doing the 2nd line thing with Staal and Syko. Or at least that's the way that is guessing it'll happen. is also guessing that Go-Go, Brooksie and Sarge all skated together, and maybe with the team, that part's kind of fuzzy. Brooks looks to be back 'sometime this weekend', maybe. He is skating with the team and says that 'it's a little tight at night, but it's much better in the morning'. Whatever 'it' is. (Having a dirty mind, I refuse to speculate further. At least at TFS. My private speculations are another matter entirely) Brooks had an interview after practice and really looks like.... a serial killer in a Penguins hat. And not one of those kind where you can say 'he looked so normal' or 'such a quiet guy, kept to himself'. One of those Serial Killers that scare the crap out of you in a dark alley somewhere and make you have to change your pants afterwards, (if you get away alive, that is). Uh.... maybe I've taken this a bit far....
Post Game Update-ish: Chris Le-tank cannoned in 2 goals tonight for his first 2 goal game ever and first star of the game for his 2 goals. (can I say 2 goals again? it just sounds so good) Syko scored two Staalsy scored once and El Sid made another of his sick, pattented spin-backhand goals (and no one knocked him on his butt this time) as the Pens clobbered the Raggers 6-2. The Tower of Flower Power was pretty damn good tonight stopping 32 of 34 and flinging Rangers out of the crease like it was WWE. (headlock, twist, throw!! repeat) Very good game (translation: any game the Penguins win is a VERY GOOD GAME)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

All Star Breakage:

Not much Flower news this weekend (Yawn city) and while I'm not a huge fan of the actual All Star Game, the skills competition is always interesting to watch. Evgeni Malkin won the accuracy competition with an impressive 4-4 in the first round and 3-4 in the shoot-off. Dany Heatley went 2-4 in the SO, and Geno, much to his surprise, won. With typical modesty (or it's a cunning way to get out of long answers in English) he attributed his victory to 'luck, all luck', and when asked afterwords if he still thought he wasn't any good, he said with his big Jethro grin, "I think I'm not good." Well Geno, there are a lot of people around here that would disagree with you..... loudly, and forcefully, and sometimes drunkenly, so just accept it. You're good.... very good.

Lazy Blogger Update: The 5 days of rest were just what the doctor ordered (I mean that literally) El Sid, may or may not play Wed. against the Raggers, but Mad Maximus and Super Dupuis are back to 'line-up' status. And Brooksie is getting ever closer, being listed as 'day to day' for his 'undisclosed' no real word on Scuds, he didn't practice today because of some undisclosed (naturally) illness. But he was healthy enough for the last game, and I haven't heard anything about any other 'undisclosed' to worry about so, hopefully, this will be some sort of plague he can get over quickly and then back in the line up. (mercenary, aren't I?)

Alex O'retchkin and Evgeni Malkin have put some of the rumors to rest about their 'feud'. During the break-away competition Geno helped Ovie with his props during his 'Canadian flag on the ugly hat with the sunglasses and two sticks' attempt. 'Retchkin signed and tossed the hat up into the stands while waiting for the call in vote to come back that gave him the win. I'm starting to think that ol-Retchkin is a bit smarter than I previously thought. It could be that he knows that Geno will be confused when T'eed up on by a friend, and that confusion will throw Geno off his game. If that's the case, I think Geno needs to crack Ovie one during the game, and get him to back off. Or, he could just let Godard or Cookie do it for him and ignore the Retchkin.

The one other interesting thing about the Skills Part of the weekend was when Tim Thomas let team-mate Marc Savard score during the Elimination Shoot-Out that ended the day. Savard and eventual winner Shane Doan were the last two left and Thomas 'fluffed' a save attempt in a blatant helper for the fellow Bruin. Savard was miked up for the whole thing and it was vaguely entertaining.

Former Penguin Alexei Kovalev scored the game winner during the All Star Game shoot-out with Alex Ovechkin scoring the clincher right behind him. Eastern Conference wins (does it really matter?) 12-11. Kovy won the car as the MVP of the game (I sense some home-town pressure on the judges). So, although the overtime portion was a bit like an actual hockey game, another Yawn-fest is over for yet another year.... now on to the real hockey portion for our viewing pleasure.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Penguin and Migration:

Marc Andre Fleury and most of the rest of the pens are taking a few days off during the All Star Break. Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will all be making a trip to Montreal. That is, if El Sid wouldn't rather take the time to rest his knee/hip/ankle/undisclosed. Le-tank is playing in the Junior Stars game, well, mostly because he couldn't get an invite to the adult table I guess. I've taken some time between posts as well. (did you notice? I thought I noticed you noticing) but the Penguins have not been idle... wait a minute, yes they have, that's the whole point.... sheesh.

For those of you that haven't heard Ray Shero signed Jason Anderson to a one day deal the day of the 'Canes game. I'm going to throw a vid atcha, but I've got to warn you, keep the tissues handy, because you'll be welling up by the end.

Jason had most of the day with the Pens, and a big part of that was spent being toted around by the guy he replaced on the first line, Matt Cooke. (Jason was posted on the board on the line with Geno and Sid) He got to take a couple of shots at Flower and went 1-4. MAF said, "I gave it my all. I did not want him to get much on me and to show him who is king out there on the ice. I think I did well. He still scored, so I think we're even, he did a good job." Jason spent the pre-game in the penalty box and the game in seats behind the player bench with his sister and parents. After the game all the players signed his official jersey. This was the 10,000th wish granted by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation, the most of any single chapter in the country. Which kind of shows you that the sports teams around here (quite a few wishes of the total) are a bunch of soft touches when it comes to kids, and I heartily approve. (I have my official seal of approval around here somewhere)

Migrating Penguins: The Pens have shifted so many players down to WBS that they should have just gotten a bus to get a group rate. Jeffery, B-nasty, Minard, Thomas and Pesonen within the last week or so have all been re-assigned to the Baby Pens. How do these guys handle living it two different cities across the state? I'll bet they've seen more groundhogs while driving across the state, than the people in Punxsutawney (damn that's tough to spell). (Thankfully, I'm not Bill Murray, so I won't have to do that again tomorrow.) Maybe they should just get a house in State College, or Dubois, you know, halfway in between.

Big Hits: Evgeni Malkin has done his best to enhance the reputation of the tough Russian hockey player recently, pasting people into the boards at random intervals. Well, the NHL has decided that his hit on Zherdev during the Raggers game was worthy of the #3 spot this week.(just the hit) (the whole top 10) I'm curious to see what Malkin and O'retchkin will do playing on the same team this weekend. You know there's not supposed to by any hitting, right guys?

Give us a Break: Somehow I figured when the Pens started winning a couple of games we'd be in more of a relaxed mode, media and fan-wise. In my incredibly unofficial poll I see that the fans are ranging from 'Looking up' to 'I don't want to get my hopes up yet'. While the media seems stuck somewhere around, 'this could be just the third bob to the surface for a drowning team'. Seemingly because the Pens are 2-1 for the last three games instead of 3-0. Molinari, over at seems to think that the Pens need to 'regroup' after the 2-1 loss to the 'Canes, Tues. He also wonders if the power play, or something else 'betrayed' the Pens in that game. (Yeah, the PP is a traitor to the Cause) Shero, on the other hand, praises the team in one breath, and says that the Pens 'must be a playoff team' in the next.
Let's all take a bit of a trip to Lastweekland, shall we? Remember when all we wanted was for the Pens to win a game? Then we all made sacrifices to the Hockey Gods (the HG are not interested in virgins) to maybe, possibly, hopefully help the guys win TWO in a row. Let's gain a little perspective, ok? Even Stanley Cup winning teams lose the occasional game now and then. Let's not jump out of our collective windows yet, ok people? There's still a couple of games to go, and the guys are playing better hockey than last month. So let's enjoy what we've got, ok?

Late Late Late Edit: The NHL Network is showing a progam of Mike Lange on 'Voices'. It should be posted on their site sometime, and if I find it, I'll swipe it, in the fine tradition of TFS.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inside Flower Hockey:

Mad Maximus and Mark Andre Fleury had a recent stint on Inside Penguins Hockey. Other than the fact that it's one more time you have to put up with Stogie, and they left the commercials in, it's pretty cool. There's a bit of depressing slump-hockey footage, then some commercials, then like 2 questions, and then some more commercials.... you get the idea. Really it's worth the look. Any time those two crazy Canadians get together you know it's going to be entertaining. About 1430 in Max and Flower re-enact their pre-game ritual of beating the crap out of each other.
Other things we learn: Flower follows the pattern of his goalie-idol Patrick Roy by talking to his goalposts in French, thanking them for saves and stuff. MAF also thinks that one-on-one dinners with Potash are kind of 'creepy'. Kris Le-Tank is Maxim's favorite abuse target, and from what I've heard he's everyone's favorite abuse pinata. Stogie does not have a future in Vaudeville, but Fleury might: When Stogie makes a lame crack about the duo's English, Flower plants his mike in the chair and pretends to storm off the set.

Other Goalie Type Stuff: has the first interview with Mathieu Giron, he's kind of quiet and I feel for the guy when he says that he was on the road when the trade happened and he didn't even have time to go home before he had to report to 'da 'Burgh'. I was surprised to find out that Giron (working on a nickname) has been coached by Michel Therrien twice before. Once in the minors and then again in Montreal. He seems to know what a back-ups role is with a team, but it can't be all good to be one and then be shuffled off to another team to play second fiddle again. We'll see how he does down the stretch, but this could be the focusing agent that the Tower of Flower Power needs and a solid wing man for the Flower in net.
As always... more to come as soon as I lose control of my babble-reflex.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Terrible Towels and Flower Power:



Rangers and Good Luck Steelers:

Put a bunch of hockey players, who barely know what football is together in a good luck Steelers video, and what do you have? Pretty much what you'd expect seeing Mad Maximus, Eric God-ly, Marc Andre Fleury, and Paul B-nasty in goofy football gear in the opening scene (Godard can't keep time while clapping). I love the 'Old Tyme Football' helmet that Flower is wearing. El Sid barely manages not to injure himself while swinging his Terrible Towel around his head. The Cookie Monster just reads the line, he knows football, but is not a fanatic. Bill Thomas seems to know what a rivalry the Stillers/Ravings thing is at least, and the Human Sequoia, (that's Harold Priestly Gill III to you and I) at least seems to know what football is, but looks like he wants to ask, "Why so serious?"

Game Day Stuff: In case you hadn't heard, the Pens/Raggers game is at 12:30 on CBS,(Blogger Busted: That's what you get for not checking, the game was on NBC. Bad Blogger! No Doughnut!) so if you partied too much Sat night you've probably already missed the first period. doesn't seem to be hip to the fact that some of the wounded birds may be back in the line-up Sunday, and is still running the lines from Friday's game, I think. El Capitan, Scuds and Le-tank will all be game-time decisions on whether or not they play, but they all skated in Saturday's practice. Scuds looks like... well, like he took a puck to the face. But he says his vision wasn't ever affected, he just swelled up until he couldn't see out of that eye. He also says he'll be wearing a partial face shield, even though he's not a big fan of them, to guard against the 'minor contact' a defenseman might have to endure defending the crease. 'Minor contact', kind of like the minor contact one might be subjected to while riding inside an industrial washing machine set on 'puree'. (please get me my suit of armour, and a boatload of ibuprofen) Tank used Saturday's practice to see if he could play with the pain, so he's not 100%, but he's willing to play if the trainers and docs will let him.
Number Please?: Mathieu Garon has to have some kind of discussion with someone about what number he'll play with in Picksburgh. Chris Minard currently has his old number (32) but I haven't heard anything about what's being done. Could be a big thing, could be nothing, but goalies are about the most weirdly superstitious people in the world and it could be a problem if Garon can't play with his old number. Don't worry Mat, according to the Flower the posts already speak French, so go ahead and talk to them if you want. Ali informed me that Chris Minard has changed his number to 14 (and scored the game winner) leaving the number 32 open for Giron. Phil Bourque, Lange's side-kick, is all for the trade for the same reasons I am (maybe there's a job in this for me) Give The Tower of Flower Power a little competitive kick in the butt. He knows that Giron has been #1 before, and he'd better get his mind right if he wants the ice-time. It might be working, too. Flower kept out 33 of 33 shots for his 13th shut out. We shall see.
More to come as the random numbers rattle around in my skull...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let's Take a Trip Out West:

STOP THE PRESSES: The Pittsburgh Penguins have just traded Dany Sabourin to the Edmonton Oil Cans, with Ryan Stone and a fourth round pick in the '11 draft for Mathieu Garon. Garon has played for a rash of teams since he was drafted in '96 and has a career save% of 90.04. He won one of the three stars for the Oil Cans last year, and his numbers this year haven't been that great. He's 6-8-0 with a GA of 3.17 and a S% of 8.95. These aren't too far off Sabu's 6-8-2, 2.85 GA and .898 S%. Stone was a disappointing non-factor in the games he played for the Pens, never reaching his projected potential. This is either going to be a 'Shero is a Genius' move, or a non-factor. Although Marc Andre Fleury did seem to play better with a Veteran Back-up last year. (Conklin). If you're kind of curious to see Garon in action (I was, I went looking for stuff) here's a highlight save from his 3-2 win last night in Colorado:
That must suck, win a game against a tough team and then be told the next day, "Pack your shit, you're moving to Pittsburgh." Well, the Pittsburgh thing wouldn't suck, but you get my meaning. If you actually want to see what Garon looks/sounds like check about :40 into this clip.
I don't know how this is going to work into Sabu's plan to become a #1 goalie, because the Oils have 3 with him there. But I wish him the best of luck... as long as it isn't against us.

And now on to our regularly scheduled program:
I have something of a confession to make. No, I don't know where Jimmy Hoffa is, I didn't kill the Lindbergh baby, I wasn't on the Grassy Knoll,(all waaaay before my time) and I don't know the cause of Global Warming. (although I do have a theory, and a book coming out... just like everyone else) I was born and raised just north of Kansas City Missouri/Kansas. (this is called background, you've just got to work your way through it) Hockey is sometimes tough to get in the Mo-Kan area as there are no major teams closer than St. Louis, and they mostly suck. So if you want hockey (and who doesn't?) you've got to get the dribs and drabbles online or buy some pretty expensive Center Ice package like thing, since there hasn't been NHL hockey in KC since 74-76 when the Scouts ( who became the Col. Rockies, then the NJ Devils) played in the Kemper Arena. (you know, the one that the roof fell in after the KISS concert)

A few years ago, the Hockey Gods looked down, and saw that this was bad, so they caused the City Council of KCMO (Kansas City Missouri) to build a brand new arena that looks like a UFO. Kind of a 'if you build it, they will come' sort of thing. But this is how screwed up Midwestern Hockey is. The guy they sold the hockey rights to (William 'Boots' Del Baggio) actually bought into a team (Nashville Predators) when he couldn't buy it outright and bring it to KC, but then went broke in a big scandal leaving KC without a team and the Prey (who, let's face it, have enough problems) without a minority owner, and in an ever worsening financial death spiral. Somewhere in the middle of this steps Le Manifique', Mario Lemieux, who uses the brand new Sprint Center arena and a sweet deal from the hockey hungry hicks as a ploy to get Pennsylvania politicians of their graft-ridden butts and build him a new Igloo like they promised so many times. (I'm not blaming Mario, it was a good tactic and it worked. But if they'd actually left, I'd have moved back to the Homeland in a stolen semi-truck and been unpacked before the team was)

Now (ok, the background is over) there's another team that can't seem to get a new arena built. The NY Islanders are going to be playing in a pre-season game at the Sprint Center next September against the LA Kinks. So, since they can't think up anything for themselves they seem to be encouraging Mario-like rumors that a move to KC could be in order for the team. Since the Isles have sucked for a number of years, and everyone in New Yack is bitching about them anyway why not let people think they're going to move? It's been months since I've heard any real bitching coming from north of the border about how Americans don't really appreciate hockey and how inappropriate it is to have the game in places where you don't actually freeze a testicle off to play it. Ahh those were the days.

Lost somewhere in the midst of these rumors is the curious fact that the Kinks have played in the Sprint Center at least once a year for at least the last three years. Where are the rumors that LA is coming to KC in some strange sort of letter trade deal? (ok that was a stretch)

As sacrilegious as it sounds, the Pens would have been a perfect fit for KC, a popular young team on the rise with no real financial woes, but a lack of political support. The Predators would have been a good second choice, a team with a lot of potential, and a cool logo who were merely suffering from a lack of area support. The Isles would be a tougher fit. (I think they're blackmailing, not moving, btw) They've been in the cellar for a number of years, their young team doesn't have the same potential, and their 'stars' are either injured frequently (DePietro) or are getting a bit long in the tooth to continue much longer. The one thing that KC fans have going for them is patience. They've waited 40 years since the last Super Bowl win, 24 since a World Series, and they've been waiting 32 years for Hockey to come back, so any new team probably wouldn't be asked to win the SCF the first year. Even more than Pittsburgh fans, KC fans are used to being on 'The outside looking in', maybe someday they'll be doing it with an actual NHL team in their UFO arena.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cookie Monsters and Flower Power:

Other than the fact that the Penguins should skate with 'Fragile' signs on them, tonight's game against he formerly 'Mighty' Ducks of Anaheim was good theater. Marc Andre Fleury stopped 21 of 22 shots as the Flightless Ones defeated the Quackers 3-1. The Tower of Flower Power looked pretty good in the net. I'm sure he was a lot more comfortable facing almost half as many shots as in the last couple of games. Biz-nasty and Orpik disappeared during the game, Nasty returned, Orpik didn't. The dreaded 'undisclosed' strikes again. I was about to explode on Error and Stogie for babbling during the game and missing what happened. Then they showed the replay when they finally realized that Brooks was gone, (about 20 minutes later) and I couldn't see what happened either. I don't know what happened to B-nasty either, except him putting McIver on is butt with about 4 sneaky shots with the hand he was holding the jersey with, but he returned and I let it slide. One thing I did see, and that was two things... Two goals by Matt Cooke. The Cookie monster was one Whitney brain fart or one bouncing puck away from a hat trick. Cooke scored with 21 left in the first and 22 into the second to notch his 7th two goal game in his career. Geno assisted with two goals and tried twice to get Cookie the puck for the empty net hat trick, one of which just bounced over Cookes stick. The Human Sequoia Hal Gill sniped his 1st goal of the year. He also knocked JS Jiggy's water bottle off the top of the net. If he continues he's on pace to get 2 goals this year. (I told you I was bad at math, it's game 46 already) Geno went psycho at the end of the game and attacked Corey Perry and then Gill galloped to the rescue and refused to let go of Perry as he was pinning Malkin to the ice. Naturally we didn't see the start of the fight and Error and Stogie were babbling about anything except the game (again and continuously throughout the game) We got to hear about some guy from Washington County's moustache, Error's moustache, a roasted pig, drinking out of the Stanley Cup, losing the SC in a parking lot, breaking the SC (C'mon guys, I'm trying to watch a game here!) and something about three other players legs but Sidney Crosby has huge legs and a big butt, (Thanks for the info Bob) But almost nothing about Brooks injury, where B-nasty was, and they almost missed Cookie's second goal. Here's something they Dynamic Duo didn't miss, and neither did Flower:

But we still have to hear about some guy on the ice 'looking good'. That's why Potash is the only FSN guy allowed in the locker rooms after the game, these two would be suspect around a half-naked team of young guys.

The Penguins have enough players on the injury roster to start their own wing at a small hospital. I'm not sure what can be done about this, but I think my original idea about packing the guys in foam between games should be extended to during games as well.
More to come on Saturday when I've got highlights of Geno's wrestling match with Perry and other goodies.

Update-ish: So far the only coverage of Malkin mugging Perry I can find is 2:30 into the highlight vid from I'll keep searching though.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Alex'es Galore:

More Flexible than Gumby:

I love the smell of Flowers in the morning, smells like..... Victory. Or something like that. Well we've all had about 20 hours to bask in the glow of a win. Not only a win, but a win over the Philthy Phlyers. Now it's time to move on and catch up with how our least favorite Russians are doing.

Russian Roulette: It's no secret that the two Alex's, Ovechkin and Semin (isn't that a reproductive fluid?) are not the most popular people in the western edge of Pennsylvania. Ovie seems to take a strange delight in lining up Geno for a little cheap shot action. It could be 'Vechkin is threatened by the prowess, or manly-ness of The Incredible Malk, perhaps he's jealous because Oksana likes Geno better, or it could be that Malkin left him with the room check when they roomed together at the Junior Worlds a couple of years ago, I don't know. And I really don't care. Things have got to change. One difference in tonight's game from the last game the Craps played the Pens is we've added a monster to the first line.... a Cookie Monster. Look for Cooke to get in Ovie's face right off the bat and to 'T' up on him if he so much as says the word 'borscht' in Geno's general direction. How do you say, 'Is that my lung on the ice?' in Russian, O'Retchkin?

The other Alex is a bit of a... well.... wussie. (I'm trying to tame my language here) he had some weaselly remarks about El Sid back in October when it was going to be a long time until he had to back them up. Now it's January and let's go to the map to see where they stand.... Sindy Crosby is 2nd in points in the League even though the Pens have been slumping for about a month (my crying towel is soaked), Alexander the not-so-Great, who said he couldn't understand the big deal about El Capitan ranks a yawn inducing 37th. Hmmm maybe there is something to this Crosby kid after all. (I know, he's not a kid, he's 21 now)

I think I'll have to activate my furry hitsquad for this one.

Kittysniper for O'retchkin:

and Semin is a bit more of a rodent, so we'll send Killer Coyote after him:

More Serious Type Stuff: Alex Go-Go Gadget Goal (is it me, or are there a lot of Alex's in this post?) has been chosen by some yabbo over at as one of the Rookie of half the season, and I didn't even know there was an award for that...

Outdoor News: It seems that this Outdoor Classic thing might catch on. Yankee Stadium, Pen State Stadium, Washington DC, and Boston all have thrown their hats in the ring to be the next host. Art Rhendell is proposing that the Phlyers and Pens battle it out in Pen State stadium, because the fans get along so well, I guess. That would be an interesting 48,000 person snowball fight in the making. NHL CO, John Collins is thinking of putting it up to bids similar to the way that the Super Bowl site is decided. It's good to have a guy in charge get behind something good, but I think Collins wanting to play 'every game' outside is going to adversely affect the game in Florida, Cali and Arizona just a tad.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Line Ups and Wins:

Another injured Penguin:

I know you've all been wondering how sets the line-ups for the night's action. Well, they all gather around a Ouija board and ask the Spirits for guidance. Then someone who may or may not have been at the morning skate wanders over, makes a guess, throws darts at a list of the available players, rolls some dice, asks his dog, and then types random names on his keyboard. (a very scientific system) and that's how they come up with the line-up, because asking Therrien is like asking your mother for condoms.... ya just don't do it. (and you wouldn't get any if you did) Now that that's all cleared up, we muddle on.

Marc Andre Fleury will (according to be guarding the net tonight in Philthy-delphia when the Pens take on the Phlyers. Pascal Dupuis is still suffering the woes of the 'undisclosed' and couldn't skate the skate, so he won't be playing. So that boosts the Cookie Monster up to the top line (at least to start) to 'muss-up' anyone that looks cross eyed at El Capitan (Hartnell) and Paul Biz-nasty will be slugging it out on the 4th line with Jeffery and God-ling. Biznasty was called back to the Big Show (translation: Team of Tears) today for the third time. Ok Paul, go out there and earn your nickname. Tim Wallace was sent back to the Land of the Little Penguins yesterday, so at least tonight we won't have to hear the 'Polar bear eating the baby moose' story from Error again tonight. (or at least less often)

Flower Related Material: The LA Kinks played the Lightning, and for one reason that has everyone mentioning MAF. It's the first time, since the last time, that the first two picks in a draft (08- Drew Doughty and Steve Stamkos) have played each other since the last time that the Pens Played Carolina. (Fleury was picked ahead of Eric Staal in the 03 draft) This is something that actually happens a bit more often than people pay attention to, so I'm not sure this is news, exactly, but it's a Flower related trivia item. (don't think it's on Trivial Pursuit yet)

Fire and Ice: What do you do if you live in Grimsha Alta. Canadia, and your town's rink burns down? You bulldoze the remains flat and pour some water on the ground and viola', instant rink. Also, without an arena there, why would you need a parking lot? Pour some water on that bad boy too and now you have two rinks. The only problem being, that at -25 degrees it's too cold to paint the lines so the kiddie-teams still have to trek to even more outlying areas to get ice-time. I'm thinking that if there's ever an Outdoor Classic in Alberta we're gonna need hot water heaters for the ice, not chillers.

Updated Babblings:

WOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!! That win deserves a Snoopy Dance!! The Penguins, on goals by Cookie Monster, Staalsy, TK and Geno beat the Philthy Phlyers 4-2. The Tower of Flower Power stopped 27 of 29 shots. Throw in a couple of fights by God-ly and Biz-nasty and we've got ourselves a party! I was reaching for the remote when Flower missplayed the puck and it bounced in front of the net and Knuble knocked it in. Luckily I was overruled(got my hand slapped) and watched the rest of the game. And what a game it was... The team that no lead has been safe with handily kept their lead and the win. The icing on the cake? Hartnell taking a penalty to ice the win for the Pens..... Gotta love it. Did you notice that the rink announcer 'misscalled' Hart-less's diving call in the second? He announced 'roughing' instead of 'diving'. Who was whining about El Sid 'diving' to get a penalty? Who's whining now, Bitch?
Remember, with every win you should:

Sunday, January 11, 2009


WARNING: This is a vent, and has nothing in its content about Marc Andre Fleury or the Penguins.

If you've ever heard Mark Madden's show on 105.9 the X (and I really hope you have better taste than that) or if you've caught one of his commercials (the downside of listening to the incomprable Mike Lang) he styles himself as a 'supergenius'. If he's talking about being a 'supergenius' the same way Wile E. Coyote is a supergenius, then I agree. At least twice in the last week or so MM has GUARANTEED that HC Therrien is on his way out. (I have someone who listens to MM for me) The latest firing was supposedly to take place after a Colorado loss. Well Mike, unfortunately the Pens lost to the Snowslides..... The result? HCMT still gets to wear his Penguin jammmies, and you're still a no-nothing, loud-mouthed moron. Don't get me wrong, I understand that predictions are just guesses, and everyone makes them. Some are right, some are... not so right. Wrong I can deal with, wrong and self-righteously obnoxious I have a bit of a problem with. There's something so .... Sean Avery about his whole act that I just can't keep from wishing this guy would just fall into a hole and go away. This is not just a 'persona' that Madden assumes for his public. I've played deck hockey in the Burgh for a few years now, and all I hear about him at his 'Madden Tournaments' is that he's the same obnoxious jerk in person that he is on the radio, and add to that he's a overbearing Nazi about the fact that you're playing at 'his tournament' and you have a portrait of a guy not even a hamster could love. (hamsters are notoriously lovable) The Penguins have enough going against them this season without self-styled Yabos like this beating their gums and stroking themselves verbally just to justify their inflated notions of themselves. I'd better leave this for a while, I just got my puter back and the keyboard is taking quite a beating. I'll just let my furry associate handle old Motor Mouth for me:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Depressed Road Penguins:

Qick Note; I wrestled my computer out of the clutches of Godzilla (reality translation: I fixed my 'puter) and now that I have all my links and pics back and no longer have to arm-wrestle for computer time, (she's stronger than she looks) I hope to bring you a much more psychotically varied form of posting than I've been able to for the last week or so.
Dejected Penguin on the Road:

Wake Up!: There's a show I watch called NCIS, (relax, it's pertinent) the lead character, Jethro Gibbs, is played by an actor named Mark Harmon. When any of his team get out of kilter, or unfocused, he swats them on the back of the head. Kind of a 'wake up, center, and get back into the game' kind of a thing. That's what the Penguins seem to need, a swat in the back of the skull to wake them up. They've got the talent to play with any team in the League, they just don't seem to remember that they do. There are only 4 actual rookies on the roster at any one time, but so very often it seems like 6 of them are on the ice. (I was never very good at math) Something good happens (goal, good save, player returning to the ice) and everyone just seems to relax like 'everything's cool now, this was what we needed' and then look befuddled when the other team puts the puck behind the goaltender. It's like watching the beginning of last season all over again. Waiting and waiting for the team to jell or wake the hell up..... and waiting and waiting... I'm not sure my nerves can take a landslide season like the second half of last year's season, but I'm willing to find out.

Kris Le-Tank has been chosen for the Young Stars Game which is a slightly speeder version of the All-Star game and played the same weekend. Kris will be amoung the other 'sophamores' to play against the rookies. Tanger will not be facing Alex Go-Go Gadget Goal, despite the fact that he leads all rookie defensemen in points.

When Colby Armstrong lets you hit him in the head, don't fall for it, it's a part of his Master Plan. Take a tip from Feds, just don't do it. Ruslan Fedotenko will miss 4-6 weeks after breaking his hand on Army's melon. Now I've been called hard-headed, but I've never broken anyones hand proving it. Watch out Army, or I'll get Flower to hide in your bag again. I suppose it could be worse... things could be so bad that Jagr would offer to come back and play.

Jaromir Jagr, former Star Penguin, has said that if Mario asked him, he would come back and play to help him out. Actually it seemed to be more of a tribute to his friend, as he said, "I owe Mario so much because he taught me how to play hockey. If he would want me to, I would come back for the minimum, and try to help him out. But he doesn't need me. He has good players there." Where was this kinder, gentler media approach when Jags was here? Or even with Washington or when he started in NY? With stuff like that, he'd still be playing here, or at least in the States. He did play in KHL's version of the Outdoor Classic/All-Star Game in Moscow's Red Square. He and the Foreign squad beat the Russian team 7-6. So he's got that going for him, I guess.

In the spirit of the NHL's new policy of 'Hire the Age'd' (Chelios, Sundin, C. Lemieux, Roberts, etc) Brendan Shanahan will rejoin the team that he started out with 20 years ago. Shanny has 'agreed in principle' to join the NJ Debbils at a date to be determined later..... how much more later does a 40 year old hockey player have?

The US Women's Under-18 team edged out Canadia 3-2 to win the gold in the women's hockey final in Germany, even though the Canadians out-shot the US team 40-32.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Update Substitute:

I was going to just update my last post when I realized there was enough here for another post (ok I was too lazy to re-write the other one), so I'll just update and continue in this one.

Updating the Update: This time I'm just going to shoe-horn this stuff into the middle.... Jordan Staal will play the left wing with El Capitan and TK on the first line tonight in Music City. He'll also be playing in Pittsburgh for the next 4 years at the bargain price of $4 mil a year. (I pretty much figured I was the last one in the Burgh to hear about this) The materialistic pig in me wonders if Staalzy will go out tonight and try to earn some of that money, but I'm just glad the uncertainty is over and can't wait to find out what Pensaddicts will find to stress out over next. (The Cotton Candy Guy is being traded? Oh God! the world is ending!)

Ryan Whitney is doing better than Therrien thought he would at this point in his recovery. (uh....he's been playing for two weeks) Whits is still learning what he can do with his foot that was probably really painful before. (you know, like walk, stand, skate.. the little things) Syko seems to think it's a good thing to have a heads-up defenseman that can make a quick outlet pass. "If that first pass can beat a couple of guys on their forecheck, or in their trap, that's how we creat scoring chances. It's not the forwards who create those chances, it's the defensemen."

Take a Bite out of Crime: Or at least a bite out of Ruuuuuutuuuuu's paycheck. (I still can't help myself) In responce to Yarkko Ruutu biting Buffaslug's Andrew Peters during a recent game the NHL decided to chomp two games out of Yaarko's paycheck($37,707, NHL's got big dentures). Peters, who is still whining like a baby and wearing a bandage, thinks that 'justice has been done'. All the while saying nothing about how his thumb ended up in Ruuuuutuuuuu's mouth (do you think there's a 12 step for that?), I've seen footage and it's not like Yarks grabbed the guy's hand and mistook his thumb for some strange Finnish desert. Peters repeatedly face-washed Ruuuuuutuu (I'm still doing it!) and he had a flashback to his Mike Tyson summer camp experience and.... the rest, as they say is history (burp).

Not right? Re-write!: Joe Starkey of the Trib, obviously had to do a hasty re-write of his story after the win Tues. It's got to be a bitch when you write a story admonishing everyone not to blame Therrien for the poor play of the team, and then the night before you publish the team wins its first game in 6 tries. He seemed to be ready to spread the blame around and then had to backtrack with a lot of 'even thoughs' and 'despite the wins'. The list includes, but is not limited to, Ray Shero, Marc Andre Fleury, Satan, Geno, El Sid, and possibly even the Cotton Candy dude. Yeah Joe, we know it's a team effort, and a team loss, but lay off the CC dude, would ya? He's just trying to make a living.

Tony F. over at KuklasKorner is reporting that obnoxious know it all and all around big mouth Mark Madden has finally lost his mind (what little he had). Ok, really he's reporting that Madden said on his radio show that Michel Therrien is slated to be replaced 'at any moment' with the 'motivational' Pat Quinn. He goes on to say that if the Pens hadn't beat the Thrashers it would already be a done deal. He doesn't site any sources, just the voices in his head, I guess. Every time Madden opens his mouth he proves that his foot isn't big enough to keep the noise from coming out. If you're right once loudly enough, everyone will forget how often you've been wrong, eh Mark?

Natural Flowers: The Tower of Flower Power was more his half-naked, cheery self in the post-game interview after the win. (a lot of people were more their cheery selves after the game, including me, the half-naked part I'll leave to your imagination)

Aw dad, Just another half hour?: The Pens start a special road trip in Nashville, Thursday night. I suppose this means Error and Stogie will get to talk about Country Music while mentioning each Player's father that the camera people pick out of the stands. Because it's that time of year again, the Dad's road trip. This is a tradition started a couple of years ago by Ray Shero where 23 parents of the players and some of the Team Staff get to travel with the team while they're on a short road trip. I suppose it's a cool thing in kind of a hokey way (nothing wrong with hokey) I just hope for Therrien's sake that the dads don't start acting like Little League parents and harangue HCMT about why their kids aren't playing, or yelling at the refs to 'not let that big bully hurt my boy'. That sort of thing could be a bit embarrassing. Oh, and the Dads bunk with their sons, so no sneaking out for brewskies or sneaking girls into the rooms, unless you bring one of each for dad... (ok, that was bad, sorry) No word yet, if they'll be taking the Zombie Voodoo Witch Doctor along(she's on the staff now), just in case there's more need for curse-breaking.

More Schedule News: The Trib is reporting that the Jan 18 game against the Raggers will be at 12:30 on NBC. Its part of their flex-scheduling thing, and it's marked TBA on most schedules. So, I guess it's announced.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Party Penguins:

The Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury, was just that tonight, making 27 saves on 28 shots as the Penguins (finally) win against the Thrashed tonight at the Igloo 3-1. On the face of it, you might think it was a 'gimme' game. Atlanta has the worst defense in the League and the Pens are loaded with offensive talent. Until you consider this, the Pens have lost the last 5 games, haven't won in the Igloo in a month (Dec 11th was the last win at home) haven't had a PP goal in some ungodly number of chances, they'd only scored one goal in the last two games and they're in the middle of a slump that has seen them slide from 4th to 9th in the Conference. There was nothing 'gimme' about this game. The Pens finally saw some reward for all their hard work and the Flower was making some awesome saves, denying every rebound chance that Atlanta could come up with. Every time you caught your breath, Fleury caught the puck. A solid performance from a team that had little expectation of a win at the beginning of the game.

Good Stuff: Two Power Play goals, including a re-direct by El Capitan, Sidney Crosby. Malkin gets a bit back on track with 3 points and Syko with another 2 goal game. (I hope it's not another 42 before he gets another hat-trick) TK and Crosby had a couple of flashes at what is possible if they actually click, Ruslan Fedotenko decking Colby, and Geno absolutely leveling Army in front of the Penguin net (sorry Raine, but it was a good play)

Bad Stuff: Pascal Dupuis disappeared mysteriously from the Igloo ( I suspect aliens). The mysterious part is not only did I not notice him leaving, but no footage exists of what happened to cause him to leave (you know aliens control the media, right?) even with the multitude of cameras at the event. Plenty of footage exists of what caused Feds to leave the ice. A one-punch drop of semi-tough Colby Armstrong in the first period. Ryan Whitney suspects that Feds cut his hand on Colby's sharpened schnoz, "That nose could hurt a hand."

The Zombie Voodoo Witch Doctor was stopped at the airport for some reason (go figure) and couldn't make it to New York. But did make it to the Igloo and performed some sort of anti-curse ceremony, I don't know the details, and I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. I'm certain the security guards will recover sometime soon. Modesty forbids me from taking any credit for the win, but doesn't relieve me of the responsibility of bailing my Zombie Witch Doctor out of jail (it was in the contract. Damn small print!). Oh well, it's the results that matter, I guess.

More to follow, when interviews and such are posted.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

No MSG, Please:

Would you buy a used car from this woman?

I was getting ready to post today (sleeping on the couch) when it occurred to me, that sending my Zombie Witch Doctor (Certified Professional) to the Igloo wouldn't help take off the curse that's been plaguing the Pens in Madison Square Garden (House of Hate) this year. The Pens are 0-2 there this season and, other than the play-offs last year, they haven't won there in two years. I tried to contact my Zombie Witch Doctor, and was promptly told to go do something to myself that I'd always considered anatomically impossible. (I'm just not that flexible) After further negotiation, (begging and pleading) and the purchase of one of the Voodoo Dolls (looks just like Jagr), at her roadside stand she agreed to 'do what she could'. Actually if I'd been thinking I'd have remembered how many Zombies already live in New York, and just made a phone call. (they're in the Yellow Pages) If that doesn't help I'll have to give her a talking-to (She scares me)

Stuff Not Zombie Related: Mike Zigomanis (Ziggy) has been placed on Injured reserve according to I don't pretend to understand all the strange, other-worldly intricacies of the CBA, or the aliens that wrote it, but putting Ziggy on IR must have something to do with Salary Cap, because all it seems to mean to us is he definitely won't play for the next week. After 15 games what's one more week? The Pens could really use his face-off win percentage. (duh)
TK also mentions in the article that he's 'Feeling sore, but good', and despite his 13 minutes of ice-time it'll still take a while to get his 'legs under him'. (who are they under now?)
Update-ish: Tyler Kennedy will evidently be boosted up to the first line. This could be a good thing, but might take a while to develop. TK's speed and lack of concern for his bodily parts could open up some chances for El Capitan and Super-Duper. Also it's going to cause someone fits to have the three fastest skaters on the team on the same line. Having someone willing to crash the boards (and anything else) will keep Sid from having to hesitate about getting caught low and not be able to get back on defense. He can cruise high in the zone and cut off the pass or defend the rush. No one has to tell TK to go to the puck, because he'll already be there. I don't often make predictions, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a multiple point game out of that line. If not tonight, then soon.
Therrien is not saying who he's going to send in tonight out of the 8 (count them, 8) defensemen he now has at his disposal. With Boucher now healthy enough to join the line-up HCMT almost has enough defensemen (for a while) to start a new team. (I hear angelic music in the background) Right now has Eaton and Boucher as scratched, but that's just someone's guess.
Some Time for Sergeants: When I saw this article about how the Pens are missing Sergei Gonchar, I thought, 'Well, Duh. But it actually had more to do with how they're missing the presence of the Veteran Defenseman, more than his goals or play on the ice. (though they're missing that too) I forgot to remember what I already knew (huh?) Sarge is more than a force on the ice, he's a stabilizing influence on some admittedly young players. He's the ultimate 'Been there, done that, calm down it'll get better' guy in the locker room. Frankly, the guys might need that more than his ice-time (which they need a lot). The frustration these young guys are going through isn't going to make the come-back trail any easier, or quicker.(PPG's similar article) There's still no time table for Sarge's return, but he'll see the doctor next week and take it from there. Gonchar and his wife are expecting the arrival of their second daughter sometime in March, leaving Sarge and the Cat (Why name it? They never come when you call) as the only males in the house. (4 sisters growing up, I feel your pain Sarge)
Staying the Course: Ray (you gotta love him, he looks like a Smurf) Shero has no plans to make any major deals.... well, let me rephrase that, what he actually said was, "I would not make a trade now, that I wouldn't have made in the first 20 games.". That still leaves the possibility that someone already at the ticket counter may still be on the way out. There's not much in the way of 'blockbuster trades' going on right now anyway. But Ray doesn't think that a trade is what the team needs to get better. I agree. Won't keep me from being as frustrated as a married sailor watching the ever tightening spiral of flush-water that is the season at the moment. But I agree with him, freaking out at this time of the season and bailing on the guys isn't going to solve anything. Stay the course, Ray, and try to ignore all the cursing I'll be doing, it's just a Pensaddict venting.
Younger Hockey: I haven't been watching much since the US team was torpedoed by Canadia and some Former-Russian Country team in successive nights, but Team Canadia and Team Sweden will meet tomorrow night in the gold medal game. The Coach most well known for his motivational speeches, Pat Quinn, thinks that Sweden looks like the better team 'on paper'. Much more of his brand of motivation and the Canadian team will concede with a 5 goal lead.
Ramble on, Ramble on: Rob Rossi over at the Trib seemed to have some problem filling out the space he needed in an article, so he called his Trib-pal Joe Starkey in to give him a hand. They both proceeded to keep babbling about in circles about everything from hardest places to play, best places to play and so on and so forth, until I couldn't remember that the article started out talking about how MSG is a tough place to play, but some of the Pens (Crosby, Geno, Whitney) actually like playing there. (yep, they're crazy) Oddly some of the current and former Rags don't like the 'attention' from the fans at MSG. (don't they put that in Chinese food?) Then, evidently because the article hasn't covered two pages yet, he calls in John Bombulie (hell of a name) to cover the prospects coming up through WBS. (spoiler: Lovejoy is a good defenseman) (what insight, what knowledge). Then, all the way at the bottom of the article they mention that Monday's game against the Rangers will be on VS at 7pm. (Good thing I've got a schedule.... uh... never mind).
I'll probably post more on this Monday evening, (hey, I did that) but don't look for any more interviews until the Pens stop acting like someone killed their collective Kittens.... If I wanted to look at someone who looked like that, I'd look in the mirror, ya know?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Voodoo Curses and Pulled Flowers:

Desperate Penguin:

Through a strange mix-up in schedule (ie: not looking at mine) I missed the game this afternoon. By all accounts, I didn't miss much but another humiliating loss to a pitiful team. Marc Andre Fleury was pulled in the first period after allowing 2 goals on 5 shots.... Sabu allows 3 goals on 12 shots in the second and Flower comes back in the third and allows 1 goal on 7 shots. That just ain't gonna cut it. Many times early in the season the Pens could pull a win out of their butts, but that just ain't happening recently. I'm not going to be one of those 'Fire or trade (insert player or coach here), and that'll fix everything' guys. The Pens are slumping, no one needs to tell you this, but there's no one thing that's going to fix everything. The Flightless ones are going to have to start winning games, and they're probably not going to win games until they believe they can. Either that, or we need to get a Witch Doctor in here to break the curse that someone has evidently put on the team. I think I can help with that:
Don't worry, she's certified, I've seen her badge.

I'm sending her right over to the Igloo, and she'll break the curse, I'm sure of it. But if anyone happens to be missing a chicken between here and the Igloo I had nothing to do with it. Now that that's taken care of, we can move on to other things.

Other Things: Sid the Battling Crosby and Geno have been named starters at the All Star Game Jan 2o-something in some Canadian city that I've never been to, but I understand they play hockey there. I turned my back on the standings for 5 minutes (I thought the voting was over) and Carey Price beat out The Tower of Flower Power for the starting goalie job. I'm sure the voting governing body (Florida State Voting Commission) had their eyes on the standings the whole time, and no hanky-panky was allowed. (I REALLY thought the voting was already over with Flower 5000 votes in the lead) I would demand a recount, but that would be just silly.

Sergei Gonchar (Sarge) started skating with the conditioning coach. There's a long way to go yet before he'll skate with the team, let alone return to the line-up, but it's a start. And let's admit it, we're looking for all the good news we can get right now. HCMT says that Sarge's return won't be for at least another month, which means next week Bob and Stogie will be speculating every game about his return for 'the next game'. Sheesh. TK did return to the line-up, but as I didn't see the game (Bad Blogger! No Doughnut!) I couldn't tell you how he did.

I was going to put in some post-game videos or some highlights, but I couldn't find anything that wouldn't make my little cartoon Penguin touch off the gasoline. Maybe after my Zombie Voodoo Witch Doctor (certified professional) has done her work. We'll see. Then again, maybe not, the Stagepenguin has already been sent over the edge:

Friday, January 2, 2009

Mr Miyagi is Not Pleased:

No, Mr. Miyagi is not pleased. Not pleased with the total breakdown of officiating in the last several games. Blatant calls missed (translate: muggings) in front of either net, phantom calls on Penguin players. I've always considered blaming losses on referees to be a cop-out. I'm not blaming the loss on the refs. The Pens lost, and the way their PP is going 5 or 6 correct calls wouldn't have changed that. But when a team, or series of teams gets the idea that calls will be edged their way, a kind of 'level the playing surface' type of officiating, then bad things are eventually going to happen. When more teams get the idea that it's ok to deck Penguins in front of the net (Chara and Wade) or that you can take advantage of an already frustrated team by slashing, interfering, or cross-checking in retaliation, and not only not get called, but get a Power Play then players are going to get injured and possibly careers are going to get cut short. (I'm not trying to sound like a drama-king, it's just the facts) There are always going to be missed calls. That's a part of every game with rules and a referee. That's not the issue here, if there were ever a perfectly called game, then people wouldn't have anything to bitch about between games. But something's not right about penalties happening right in front of referees and no calls. It's like asking one team in a game to play play-off hockey for the entire season. I don't care how talented a team is, no one can play that kind of a season. You'd best be listening Bettman, your League's meal ticket is at stake here.
Enough ranting, on with the Awards.

Assistant Goalie of the Game Award: Goes to, you guessed it, Rob Scuderi. Scuds blocked three shots in one 5 on 3 PK along with his usual tough defensive style.

First Goal of, Well, Ever Award: Dustin Jeffery on a classic wrist/rebound/stuff shot in the first period. Just like the coaches drew it up in practice.

Hardest Working Man in Show Business Award: Is the sole property of Pascal Dupuis. Super Duper has been just that in the last three games. Working his ass off and whacking that impressive slap-shot at the hapless goalies at every opportunity.

Honorable Mentions for Hardest Worker: Tim Wallace for his desire to hit everything with a heartbeat not wearing a Penguin on his sweater. And Dustin Jeffery for being a willing participant with Tim in his campaign to embed his logo in the skin of the opposing team, and with the same feckless abandon.

The Maxwell Smart "Missed it by That Much' Award: Goes to the entire Penguin offense for scaring the crap out of goal posts every time they crank up a shot. Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal will accept the award for the Forwards.

Other Stuff: Rumors abound about the return of Tyler Kennedy, the spark plug for the third line (and the team). The FSN crew of Error and Stogie announced that Therrien mentioned that TK would be good to play sometime next week. That of course led to further speculation on their parts that it was possible that he could be seen as soon as Saturday's game against the Panthers. Tough guy Eric Godard has been mentioned about as many times in the last week as a mother's threat "The Boogie-man is going to get you' is used on an unruly child. (I have some experience there) Either could be one reason HCMT is dressing Defensemen in stead of calling up another forward from WBS.

Remember NHL refs... Mr. Miyagi will be watching you. Do not displease him.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Captain's Courageous:

Kung-Fu Penguin ready to kick Bruin butt tonight:

Dany Sabourin will be defending the net tonight, and Alex Go-Go is still shown as a 4th line winger, in what is calling a 'grudge match' at the Boston Garden. Let's check... whooped our butts in our own Igloo, phantom penalties, (which I was ready to blame Error and Stogie for missing, but I couldn't even see them on the replay), cheap shots with a lead and no time remaining in the third period. That should be enough for a totally demoralizing loss... you think there might be a bit of a grudge?
The Pens held a players-only meeting after the game Monday night. The main issue seemed to be player responsibility. By MAF: " We have a good team, and we know we can be better than we are right now. We have to find a way to win." By Brooks Orpik: "The coaches don't play. Coaches can't score goals or keep the puck out of the net. They can only give you so much." El Capitan refused much comment: "That will stay in there. That's our team and it's a closed-door thing. I don't think it's necessary to share." I just hope it wasn't just an excuse to bring dancing girls and pinatas into the dressing room for a 'Cheer Us Up' party.
Actal Hockey Stuff: The Pens announced that Ryan Whitney and Petr Syko-ra were named Revolving Alternate Captains for the month of January. Also, tucked in at the end of that article is a rather unimportant announcement that Kris Le-Tank will return to the line-up for tonight's game. I'm not sure how could get this news out before, but there it is. The line-ups don't match... I don't know who to believe... I'm pretty sure (sort of) that the Pens won't dress 8 defensemen, but stranger things have happened. If this is true, and someone sits, I'm still going with my last prediction and guessing they'll sit Eaton. Update: finally caught up to the media and announced that Kris Le-Tank will be starting in tonight's game, and that Pens-bully Eric Godard would be a game-time decision. No word so far on what this'll do to the lines.
Update: Dustin Jeffery scored his first NHL goal tonight! Of course the Bruised turned right around and scored the tie up 2 minutes later.. but Congrats DJ!
Flower Power and Pen-kids: I can't guarantee anything about the next 5 minutes, but as of 2pm EST The Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury was over 16,000 votes ahead of Carey Price in the All Star voting. I've seen this before... someone says MAF is in the lead, and by the time I check he's 4000 points down. So 'roll your dice and move your mice' (that's Rat-speak for 'who knows'). Voting is over tomorrow at some strange time of the day... (translation: didn't check) so get out there and Vote for Flower! (that's the most campaigning I'm gonna do)
The Trib seems to be sending out a plea to militant Pensaddicts to lay off the guys, they're just kids. They mention the fact that it's easy to forget that Jordan Staal isn't legal to buy beer in the US yet, and that expectations may be a bit large for a group of kids that averages somewhere around the same age as most colleges. Personally, I don't know what Rossi is talking about. Just because I want them to win every game I watch (ie: all of them). I don't think I'm expecting too much, am I? I only want the Pens to crush the hopes of their opponents and dominate the League in every standing. That's not unreasonable, is it? I didn't think so.
Evgeni Malkin is settling into Pittsburgh, the NHL, English and his new house. "Big house." Geno said. He likes having some hometown things with him in da Burgh, like his girlfriend, Oksana, who's staying with him and his parents, who are coming over for several extended visits. And who does the clean-up? "My girlfriend, not me. My Mom when she comes." (I know, men are men all over the world) Even though he'd still rather not do any on-camera interviews he's spending more time with the English speaking members of the team and relying less on the 2 Russian speakers in the group. (Syko and Feds). He still thinks that El Sid can have all the media attention, "Sid is good at talking English, and talking to the media. I just play hockey." I'm glad the big goof is continuing to find his comfort zone. It's already doing good things for his playing, and I'd just like to see Geno happy here. (cause that means he'll stay)
World Hockey Stuff: The Canadian Junior Hockey team trounced the US team last night, 7-4. Two empty-net goals ran up the score a bit, the game was looking like a rout the other way until Canadia stormed back in the second period. All this means so far is that Canadia gets a first-round bye and the US has to play Slovakia on Friday. But the stats are not good. I hate stats anyway.