Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Broke Down Break Down:


Some of you may have noticed (some of you may not have) that I didn't do my usual post-game antics after the Raggers left town. The reason for this is simple (and so am I) other than the 3 or so hours I spent satisfying my Pens-jones Saturday, I've been working like a Mad Scientist (see inclosed photo) to revive my ailing vehicle. (not wanting to buy my mechanic another yacht). So, some of this will be catch-up (not to be confused with 57 Varieties) and some of it will be my ignoring the fact that I have catching-up to do. So strap yourselves in (or down), here we go:

Fleury Facts: One fact I dug up probably won't win that game of NHL Trivial Pursuit you've got planned for this weekend, but interesting nonetheless. According to Bob Grove (and who am I to dispute Bob?) The Tower of Flower Power is undefeatable (is that a word?) on the 25th day of the third month of the year. For the last three years in a row MAF is 3-0 (hey that rhymes!). Not only is the month of Ceasar's Ghost good to the Flower, he has one day that he evidently gets all to himself because all three games were shut-outs. 3/25/07, 3-0 against the Broons. 3/25/08, 2-0 against the Debbles, and 3/25/09, 2-0 against the Flamers. I don't know about you, but I'm planning next 3/25 to have Marc-Andre buy me a MEGA-MILLIONS ticket..... BTW, the Pens went 10-1-2 in March, I know I've said it before, but it still blows me away.

When We Were Pens: Dany Sabourin was given 1st place at NHL.com's version of the Top 5 shootout saves, and I thought you might like to see it. Amazing save:
We miss ya, Dany.

Well, more to come when I get my stuff back to gether..(or when I can get to gether back together) or when I can find TK's fight vid. You never know.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Putting Out the Fire:

Ok, it's a Pittsburgh area Township, and it's a fire truck, (and it says Kennedy on it) Kinda lame, but I'm going with it.
Marc Andre Fleury and the Pens will face Jarome Arthur-Leigh Adekunle Tig Junior Elvis Iginla (I'm not kidding, that's his name) and the Calgary Flames tonight. I really didn't need to say that, it's just cool to write out the longest name in hockey. The Flames are a series of contradictions, 3rd in the League in scoring, but they're last in Goals allowed. Kipprosof is the winningest goalie in the League, but the Flames are allowing over 3 goals a game. They've had some struggles recently, but they beat Detroit 5-3. So the theory is, score early, score often, keep scoring, score some more and then when you're done with that, score again.
Flower Stuff: PP.com has a fairly decent article about the Tower of Flower Power. You know, once you get past all the Spring alliterations and the goofy floral references ( it's different when I do it) Flower it seems is one of the Best in the League when it gets down to 'crunch time' (which is a good thing) with a March/April record of 29-9-5 and a goals against average of 2.06. He's not really sure why he 'blooms' in the Spring (couldn't help myself) but we're all glad he does.
Game Stuff: The Tower of Flower Power faced 31 shots and made 31 saves. Getting a little bit of help from his two favorite red-painted friends, but doing most of the work himself, Marc Andre Fleury notched his 4th shut-out of the year, and the 15th in his career.
Flower and the FPL pretty much let the offense distract the Flames and said, 'That's OK guys, we got this one.' Kris Le-tank made the first goal on a sweet pass by El Capitan on the Power Play, Brooks Orpik was doing his Smokey the Bear imitation and squashing anything with flames on it. And Gill, the Mighty Oak, the Human Sequoia became something of an offensive power-house. Hal Gill joining the rush... these words you do not expect to hear during a hockey game. But the Sequoia was doing it all tonight, clearing the front of the cage, hitting, blocking shots, poke checking, standing up at the blue line, hitting some more, and yes, joining the rush behind Geno, taking that beautiful drop-pass and going high stick side on Kiprusoff for his second goal of the year.
Cooking With Geno: I saw this on the site, and it was pretty good, with Geno acting his big, goofy self, and Kris Le-tank breaking in to the show just in time to wolf down the perogies Evgeni and Alyonka made. She almost can't get rid of Kris at the end, he just keeps eating! With English subtitles... Take it away Pens-chef!

In other food/Pens related news, Maximus, TK, Staal and Dupuis made a special Pizza Delivery to the guys constructing the Consol Energy Center. Duper was given a chance to drive one of the excavators (backhoe) and nearly brought the place down. Ok, he just went backwards when he wanted to go forward, but I'm sure it scared the crap out of him. Here's the vid if you can stand the annoying announcer, and want to check it out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Streaks and Confused Monkeys:

The Streak has ended

The 12 game point streak has ended for Marc Andre Fleury and the Pens. And the Ratt has entered a period of meditation to once again center himself with the Hockey Universe. Actually the guys didn't play badly, and the Phlyers didn't play better than the Pens, they just got an unbelievable game out of Marty Biron, (and how often does that actually happen against the Pens?) Most of the time Biron is a Central European Dairy Product (Swiss Cheese) to the Pens snipers, but not Sunday. Kris Le-tank scored the only goal for the Flightless ones, but the rubber was flying (28 shots) and the energy was up we just needed to crack Biron with a pipe or something. But we can't bitch (doesn't mean we won't) out of the 34 possible points available to the Pens since Coach Dan took the reins the guys have managed to lasso 27 of them, go from a distant 10th to a semi-solid 5th with a decent chance for 4th place before the last 8 games have been played. (Philly has 11 games left) We were bound to lose one or two, I just hate that it was Philthy we lost to, but it just gives me more to hate them for. (hey, that kinda rhymed!)

Better Hockey Stuff: Call him Evgeni, Geno, The Incredible Malk, or the Beast From the East(-ern Conference) Malkin is 10 points ahead and has 5 assists more than El Capitan and has been picked the League's Second Star for his 3 goal 5 assist, 8 point run last week. That Cam Ward dude was First Star, and Shane Doan (All Star Shoot-Out winner) caught the Third Star honors. Guess those Blogger-verse guys were wrong about the suspension too, huh?

Kinda Not so Good News: The Buffaslugs have kind of been struggling without the services of Amp Energy Drink commercial star Ryan (yo mama) Miller. Well, Miller started skating with the team today, he doesn't give any timetable for his return, but you've got to know he'll be pushing it with the 'Slug's play-off chances floating out into Erie with the rest of the Buffalo sewage. They're a much better team with him in, and there are enough teams knotted up in this play-off race, I don't need another one to keep track of.

What the....?: Speaking of teams we forgot to watch, the Ottawa Senators have somehow managed to claw their way out of the basement and now hold 11th place in the East. Just 2 points behind the aforementioned Buffaslugs. They've won 5 games in a row, including one against the NY Rags (thank you very much). Of all the weird things that have happened in the standings this year, this might be the weirdest.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Snipers and Savers:

The man's so good he doesn't need a glove. In some kind of Schoolyard 'Even-Steven' guesture, Marc Andre Fleury played for several minutes in the first period without a glove. He still didn't allow the Kinks to score. The Tower of Flower Power stopped 24 of 25 in the game and later used that glove to wipe the face of Stoll in the Second Period when Stoll got too close to the Flower Patch, which started a scrum that caused Le-Tank to lose his hat. What isn't much noticed is The Croz tackling some hapless Kink to the left of the net and putting him on his ass. New FPL member (4th liners can apply) Craig Adams, who we don't hear too much about, gave up his stick to Scuds and then laid his body on the line 2 or 3 shots in a row on the 5 on 3 earning him provisional FPL status, even though the Kinks eventually scored. Speaking of FPL members we haven't hear from in a while Philippe Boucher has been taken off the IR list and was actually a scratch from last night's game. Booch has been out since Jan 30, with a foot injury.

Taking Care of 'Bidness':
PensChick asked that I throw something at Error the next time he jinxes the Flower, and I put one of my top 'people' on it. (As you can see by the picture on the left). Although we won't know his effectiveness until Wednesday when the Pens play the Flame-outs, since the Phlyers game is NBC (the Hockey Gods are so cruel sometimes). Just a reminder: the Sunday game is at 12:30 not the 3:00 start as per the schedule.

News to Make You Reach for a Weapon: Evgenin Malkin evidently had a phone hearing with the Czar of Hockey Discipline sometime today. (Geno's Russian, he can deal with Czars) No details are available, although the League doesn't seem to be giving it the play the Blog-iverse is giving it. People seem to be screaming one way or the other about the hit, but they're all using the same annoying Vid with post-game comment by some LA Nazi who would seem to want Geno to go to some Concentration Camp with all the other good players who remind him why he's an announcer and not a player. I've seen the vid, I've put up with the WC (west coast) Nazi, and I've got to tell you: Yes, he leaned in when he struck Simmons (isn't that a mattress?), but it looks like Geno was bracing for a hit from Simmons when for some unknown reason, Simmons decided to strike Geno with his face. Malkin did not vary his line or raise his elbow to initiate a hit. If he's suspended I've got some footage on cheap shots given to El Sid that I'd like the League to review.
Ratt-thoughts:Malkin has been a Hockey Beast the last few games, even more than usual. Geno and El Capitan seem to be playing a different game than even the rest of the team. It's almost like they've time warped their game into play-off mode. If I were on the team facing the Pens in the SCPO (should they make it in) I would be in fear, because these guys aren't playing Play-off hockey yet. They'll be really-really-really scary to face once they start.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Time Changes and Changing Times:

No, I'm not talking about Daylight Savings Time. In case you haven't heard, the Philthy Phlyers game Sunday has been moved to 12:30 EDT (if you're still in the DST mood). I couldn't find any reason for the move other than the fact that we'll all have to put up with NBC's coverage 2 1/2 hours earlier than predicted at the beginning of the season. Last time we got away without having Doc and Edzone in the booth, but I'm not sure we can expect that kind of luck 2 games in a row.... Yes Ed, we know you're still bitter about the Pens firing you. There are plenty of bridges around, why don't you just go deal with your pain that way? Instead of making all the rest of us suffer. We didn't fire you, we just agreed with it.... Sheesh.

Coach Dan will be coaching against the team that gave him his playing start tonight when the Pens meet up with the LA Kinks tonight at 7:30. (Different morons in the booth. But hey, they're OUR morons) Coach Dan played for LA from '95-00 in 220 games, but is not going to let sentimentality to get in the way of gaining two points for the Pens. The Pens didn't skate in line combos so they're taking an even wilder than usual guess about who's skating with whom, but predictions are that The Tower of Flower Power will be protecting the twine tonight.

As usual, more to come as the clouds in my mind dissipate.....
For the 'Short Attention Span Contingent' Sunday 12:30 for the Phylthy Phlyers game

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Luck of the Irish... Sort of:

Happy St. Patrick's Day to One and All.... And the Luck 'O the Irish (or French Canadian) to the Pens tonight against the Thrashers.

Part of that 'Irish' luck has already struck a bit, as Evgeni Malkin skated with the team this morning, and will play tonight after taking a day off because of 'illness'. (undisclosed, of course). So the lines will be the same as the last couple of games, anyway. Along with that luck is the fact that Thrasher's (what is a thrasher, btw? some sort of 6 year old with a fit?) leading scorer Ilya Kovelchuck won't be playing tonight, not that they needed him to paste the Craps with a 5-1 loss last night. Oh well, can't have everything.

The Moose is Loose: After 6 years Johan Hedberg (Mooooooooooose!) will be playing in the Mellon arena. He's been back before, but this will be the first time he's started here since being traded. And if that wasn't 'old home week' enough for you 'Army' Armstrong will be back again with that hand breaking beak of his. (Feds.. keep the hands in the gloves if you whack him again) In honor of the 'Arm-ster' returning I think it's only appropriate to link (won't let me embed) that silly-ass car commercial (Just call me Superstar) It's hard to root for the Ex-Pens you like, but still wish them to be crushed in humiliating defeat.... have to work on that one.

Philippe Boucher started skating with the team this week, and is listed as 'Day-to-day' but still hasn't been taken off of Injured Reserve. But he really, really, really, wants to be back for the Play-offs if the Pens make it in.

I'll get update-itis after the game, so until then have a Pot O' Gold on me:

Update-ish: Evgeni Malkin was a monster on the ice. A 5 point night 2g-3a to help lift the Pens past the Thrashed 6-2. (technically the Pens scored all the goals in the first period and a half, Sorry Scuds) Gonch (1g-3a), Kunitz (1g) Staal (1g) and, of all people Eaton (1g, 2 penalties) rounded out the scoring for the Pens. The FPL turned into the Flower Scoring League when Sarge and Eats broke for a 2 on 1 on Geno's pass and put it past the Moose. Crosby and Le-tank each had 2 assists and Bill Guerin managed to sneak a point in there somewhere. People were shouting MVP! MVP! and then The Tower of Flower Power was caught behind the net with one of the FPL pushed into him, flew across the ice, dove like a maniac and he and Eaton combined to keep the puck out of the net. Then the chant was FLEURY! FLEURY!. I even once heard MOOOOSE!, (it's easy to be magnanimous when you're ahead by 4 goals.) And the Power Play actually had POWER... which is good. I think they've found a configuration that might start working for them. Once again, more tomorrow when the vids are posted... until then, be cool as a Penguin:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

As Promised:

In the heat of my Phillips Screwdriver (MOM and Stoli) hangover, I almost (not quite, but almost) forgot to check and see if they'd posted the entire Inside Penguins Hockey: Kids Edition. So, without further ado (whatever ado is) here's the entire episode for your viewing pleasure: It's a good thing he's such a good goalie. 'Cause he's a complete goofball off the ice.... lol I decided to give this its own post to make it easier to find later. The regular post is down there V

Bears, Backups and Old Tyme Hockey:

Second intermission there's a knock on the Bruin's locker room door....

I turn my back for 1:00 at the beginning of the third period and what happens? I'm still not sure!
The score went from 2-3 to 4-3 in the blink of an eye. (what a time to need a soda) I come back to the game and they're all hanging out around the benches, I'm thinking 'Must not have started the third yet'... Oh no laughing-boy, look at the score! They were sweeping hats up off the ice for Chris Kunitz' second goal in less than half a minute. Nitz says he didn't touch the first one 0:43 in, and later it was credited to Gonchar in the Box Score and the Highlights. But he definitely touched the second goal to put the Pens up 4-3 1:01 into the third period. Man, all those people are going to want their hats back..... Syko finally scored again from his second-favorite spot on the ice. (same distance, the other side of the slot is his favorite) Staal flipped in a very smart empty net goal , (waited to cross the red-line before shooting) to round things off, and bury the Bears 6-4. I know the B's have struggled a bit here and there, but this was 5 goals against the current best goalie in the League and that's no bush-league team he's playing behind either. Since the beginning of Feb. the Pens are 13-4-3, that's a good run at any time during the season, and fantastic at this time of the year. And no, I don't care if the Recking Ball scored on us today, I don't want him back....how many time did we fire that guy? 2? 3?

Backup the Back-up: Like most people I thought they were throwing Garon to the lions waiting for the Boston game to put him in the net. Mat's numbers against the B's were pretty good, but there's a difference playing the best team in the Conference this time of year. Allowing the first goal on the first shot didn't help my confidence either. (and probably didn't do wonders for his). It didn't much matter that the first two goals he allowed were not bad goals. They'd have gotten past almost any goalie. (except maybe.... TTFP?) I was already shifting the standings in my mind anticipating a Penguin loss. (hoping I was wrong... good thing I was) But Garon was too much a veteran to let things faze him. He stayed out there and did his job. Which, quite frankly, isn't to be a spectacular goalie. He's just supposed to be good enough to win games. And he did. I started believing just about here:

Second Period, 2-2 and Boston pressing after a power play. Could have gotten ugly real fast. The FPL and the forwards rallied around Garon and he hung on long enough for the Pens to come back again at the beginning of the third. Allowing 2 more goals, but making some very good saves on the way to the victory. You want your back up to be good enough to win, and today Mathieu Garon, was just that. Good enough to win.

Old Tyme Penguins Stuff: Eddie Johnston has been around hockey almost since it was invented. Ok well, 1962 anyway. He played goal for the Bruins during the era of the 'Suicide Goalie' ie: without a mask. He evidently started wearing one after team-mate Bobby Orr whacked him, with a puck, into a 7 week sleep then wouldn't kiss him to wake him up. And he's been a part of the Pens organization since 1980 before he picked Les Magnifique' in '84 after moving from Coach to GM. They had a pretty nice ceremony before the game where Mario handed EJ a crystal penguin to commemorate 25 years with the real Penguins. And here's the vid.

Other stuff: For those of you that haven't heard.... and Lord knows it's on every three seconds in Hockeyland. Uncle Daddy himself, has tied St. Patrick Roy's record of wins by a goaltender. In true Movie of the Week fashion he did it in his home town which also happened to be the same city where Roy piled up most of his wins. He also brought in the win in front of his 'idol' and gave St. Pat some really valuable PR time to say some insincere Uncle Daddy compliments, and generally make nice with the media to get them to forget the whole 'I told my son to go beat the crap out of the other goalie' thing. (Lawsuit and criminal charges still pending).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Two Games... Two Points:

Marc Andre Fleury can make saves from his butt

Once again Marc Andre Fleury was making tremendous saves (36-39) in a semi-losing effort. I could only watch part of the game (mechanical trouble, had to jump on my trusty steed and ride to the rescue) So, I got to see Flower take the 'penalty' for whacking that guy with his glove. (hey ref! he's just defending the Flower Patch, man!) And Le-tank rush to the rescue and get away with smacking some Sen around afterwards.

So I actually only saw the third period, but it seemed that the guys had already put this game behind them and were thinking about tomorrow. Never a good Idea when facing a team who only has one thing to prove. That they can beat your team. (Oh yeah? well my old man can beat the crap out of your old man!) Well, the only good thing about it is that the Pens are the only team in the play-off clinch to get a point today. (oh yeah, I'm not looking at the standings anymore, am I?) Small consolation, but at least it's something. What is it about playing Pittsburgh that brings out the best in every two-bit goalie that ever strapped on a set of pads? For anyone else Elliot and the other back-ups are basically cannon fodder, but once they see that 'Fighting Penguin' logo they suddenly become St. Patrick Roy in the SCF. I just have to say, that despite some very good play the Pens gave that game away to the Sens-amillias.

Good Game Stuff: There was some, including this mind blowing save by The Tower of Flower Power on Fisher in OT.

I'd also REALLY like to know what Flower said to Ruuuuuutuu after he blocked his SO attempt. After Rutes missed the shot, MAF skated after him to give him some fertilizer, I assume. But Ruuuutuu didn't say a word back and just skated off the ice. I guess he uses Vigo-grow or something.

I was amazed to see Eric Godard do his Evgeni Malkin imitation during a game. I mean, he shoots down the ice, brushes off the defender and powers it into the goal. Elliot still doesn't know why they had a face-off at Center Ice after that one.

So I guess we're left with a dilemma. Either this is the low part of the 'streak' or a prelude to Sunday's game against the 'Broons' (why do Canadians pronounce it that way?) Does the Penguin wake the sleeping bear, or run him off? These questions and many more will be answered (or raised) Sunday afternoon.

Friday, March 13, 2009

And Furthermore...:

Ok.... now I'm ready to go. I've taken almost enough sedatives to calm down about the Referee suckage, (well... mostly) and I think I'm ready to do this.... I don't think I much need to recap the game... There's a reason Mason leads the League in shut-outs (9) and we pretty much saw it. Of course, then again, there's a reason that Geno leads the League in points (97) and assists,(67) and I think we saw some of that within the span of 3:25. I don't want to jinx anything so I'm not going to talk about three digit scoring... or any trophy things, or team scoring streaks just yet. Maybe later. (I'm not superstitious or anything... really!)
On to some pretty good stuff...
Pretty Good Stuff: Almost everyone in Pensland, and Columbutts, including Stogie, was ready to credit RJ Humburger with a goal. Everyone that is, except for The Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury. Flower flat-out robbed RJ for betraying his 'Burgh roots and playing for the competitors. I've watched this 4 times and STILL can't believe it.
Check out Humble-burger's shocked face as he glides up the boards. He had a better view than anyone, and HE thought it was a goal. Sorry HB, you suck and Flower rules.
And in the Continuing YouTube saga of MAF and the Flower Children, here's another view, taken at the scene of the crime. It's a homemade shot someone posted on the Tube, it's short and amounts to another tease, but a couple more days and I'll post the whole thing.
Game Stuff:Gonchar is so far still credited with a goal I could swear Kunitz scored,(you can hear it hit Nitz's stick) but a goal is a goal, I'm not bitching. Super Duper scored his first goal in forever, or something, and I'm sure Maximus wasn't expecting the big man-clinch on the ice when he scored his goal..... c'mon guys... get a room, or something... lol.

Back to back games this weekend, and 8 games in a row at home mean I'm going to be posting like a madman! Of course there are some that call me that already, but what do they know? (but I AM Napoleon! put that white jacket away!) So, until next time... Vive La Fleur!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Work in Progress, Please Stand By:

I'm working on a suitable post (trying to cut out all the swear words... it ain't easy) for the game in Colum-butts. (check the pic top-right and you'll get a notion). Posting vids is going to take until Fri. anyway, because the FSN Googans were using the 'Jackets feed. The Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury made a TREMENDOUS save against RJ Umberger and I really want to post it. So, Until tomorrow, Satan has been sent to WBS, and he's actually going to show up unlike what's-his-name at the beginning of the season. Miro says he wants to be ready for the opportunity to play for the Pens when and if they need him. Classy guy for being the Lord of the Infernal Realm. Quick congrats to Maximus for scoring the tying goal!

More to come, but the Pens are still on a scoring streak and that's a very good thing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Punters and Lucky 7's:

Your FSN announcers Error on the left and Stogie on the right

Marc Andre Fleury faced one less shot than the stats say he did. I don't care who holds the gun on me, the third Panter's goal was kicked in! I saw it, you saw it, somehow the footage was sabotaged between Pittsburgh and Toronto, 'cause the guys in the War Room couldn't have seen the replay that I saw. Ballard looked like he had a Soccer flashback and put it behind MAF. Officially the Flower stopped 18-21, helping the Pens rally to beat the (insert feline innuendo here) 4-3 in a Shoot Out. When the Flower, who had a solid, but not spectacular night, stoned all the Kitties and sent them home. That ties The Tower of Flower Power with Kenny Wregget for 2nd on the all time wins list, and ties his career high wins in a row. What can we say? FLOWER POWER!!
Update-itis: It's just a tease that someone posted of the commercial for Inside Penguins Hockey, but I found it, it's the Flower and I'm posting it, damnit! lol. So without further ado: Marc Andre Fleury, Rock Star!

The Incredible Malk started the scoring with an impossible backhand and then absolutely undressed Vokoun for the second SO goal and the win. After all that good goaltending, Geno made the guy look like a moron. Le-tank scored the other SO goal and nearly killed Vokoun's water bottle in the process. Cookie plastered Booth into the boards for the Sammich of the Game. Crosby went 1g 1a but was blocked in the SO.
Update-inski: For those of you that didn't see it, (or just don't believe me, and who could blame you?) here's the entire shoot out for your viewing pleasure:

I was ready to start pitching things at the TV after the second period, (bad idea...I'm waaaaaaaay too lazy to walk up stairs to watch hockey then back down to the fridge for Sodas. I'd die of thirst!) but the guys never stopped fighting. If nothing else you gotta love that. Down 3-1 at the beginning of the third and they never slowed down, never gave up, kept attacking and it finally paid off. And I'll tell you another thing for nothing. Without Thomas Vokoun in net the Panters don't even get a sniff. The score would be 20-something to 1. The Pens shot the puck 50 TIMES! That's the most ever (this season). Vokoun absolutely robbed Jordan Staal on that one rebound. Someone get me the number for 911, cause I'm calling that one in. As usual, more to come as the random thoughts bounce around my skull. For now I'll leave you with this:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Second Stars and Flower Children:

Marc Andre Fleury grabbed the 2nd star of the week with a 3-0-0 record 92 out of 97 saves, 1.63 goals against, and a .948 save percentage. What all those numbers mean is that The Flower kicked some serious enemy ass this week to keep the Pens in the Play-Off race. Some Carolina dude named Staal (did you know he has brothers?) took the first star, and some other guy in Columbus named Nash rounded out the top three. I know

Flower's the important one, but they insisted on adding those other two guys for some reason.

Flower Power 1/2 Hour: For those of you that missed Saturday's showing, or Sunday's re-run of Inside Penguin's hockey, I'll post it, probably next Monday when it's put on PP.com. Flower was having a good time answering the kid's questions, and frankly I thought they were better than the usual run of questions they get from the adults. But the crowning event of the night was The Tower of Flower Power in blond fright-wig and cheap shades at the drums with 4 kids, calling themselves the 'Flower Children' (I didn't think he had any... ) playing Guitar Hero. Flower isn't going to challenge any of the Titans of the game, but it looked like he was having a blast. The kids looked like they were having fun too, except that one kid playing the bass, he was very serious about the game. I think it took away from his style points, but what do I know? (Oh yeah... STAGE-ratt, I do know something about it)

Time at the Tone Will Be...: Bill Guerin has played 1,170 games as of Sunday, but he thinks he might have a few more left in him. I think so too. After the last two games I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, anyway.

Don't Look Ethel!: Remember when I said I wasn't going to look at the standings anymore? Well.... I lied.(you didn't believe I really wouldn't, did you?) The NY Raggers and the Hurried-canes play tonight and I'm just baffled who to root for, ya know? If the Rags win, that puts them 2 points ahead of the Pens, but if Carolina wins they're ONE POINT AHEAD ! You see my dilemma. Of course that will take away the game-in-hand that the Rags have and keep the Pens in 8th place because we have more wins. And if Carolina loses in overtime, they'll be tied with Florida and the Pens, but the Cats will have 2 games-in-hand, and the Pens will have 1 game-in-hand so the standings won't change. Are you confused yet? I know I am.... sheesh.
Don't Unpack Quite Yet: In the ever-widening black hole that appears and disappears behind NHL benches and sucks down coaches, yet another 'winning' coach has been canned by his team. Guy Carbenneau of the 5th place (at least for the next couple of hours) Montreal Canadiens has been sacked by the guy that is replacing him behind the bench. GM Bob Gainey, who played his entire career for the Habs fired Carbonneau today and will host his first practice tomorrow morning. Guy, I tried to tell ya not to unpack, didn't I? Those HC contracts should read: "3 years, or until we need someone to blame a couple of crappy games on." They're dropping like flies, folks.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tale of the Tape and TFP:

Cookie's advice on his former team-mate's shoot out proclivities must have paid off at least a little bit. The Tower of Flower Power stoned all three of the Crapitals efforts in the SO. That meant that we didn't even have to find out who Coach Dan had in mind for the third Pen (in my humble, yet all knowing opinion: Geno). Marc Andre Fleury actually set up Sid's goal by re-directing the puck to Brooksie who then racked it down the boards. Flower made some excellent saves, but a bad pass by Le-tank led to the first goal by Semin (I still think that's a male body fluid) and a bad change later led to a break-away goal by Laich (how is that 'like'?) that tied the game. O'retchkin's goal was just a rocket shot that I still say bounced off Sarge's back to get behind MAF. But the Flower stopped 29-32 to get the SO win even though the Pen's shot total (22) was a bit down from the last few games.

We Win, You Lose, Pthththth: El Capitan, Sidney Crosby scored the first goal of the game, and had the only goal in the shoot out as the Penguins beat O'retchkin and the Capitals for the only time this year. Billy Guerin (my new favorite former Islander, sorry Satan) had a beautiful toe-drag goal and 2 assists and Sarge gave his new daughter a PP goal as a birthday present. Despite some shaky (shady?) officiating in the first period and a couple of mental errors the Pens played their own game for the most part and especially for the first two periods dictated the game to the Craps. BIG momentum shift in the third with Washington scoring 2 in the first 1:18, but the guys held on, weathered the storm, plugged the dyke,(uhh... nevermind) whatever you want to call it, and Flower blocked the other 10 shots to keep them going.

Tale of the Tape: Firstly, I believe this year that watching the standings day-to-day is going to drive me crazy. The Pens started out the day in 9th in the Conference and at the end of regulation tied the 'Canes for 8th but with the win jumped to 7th (or a 3-way tie for 5th depending on how you look at it), but if the Habs win they'll jump to 5th and drop the Pens to 8th. Right now, someone sneezing at the wrong time could decide who's in or out. The Incredible Malk is still tops in scoring (94) and in assists (65) and is always in the conversation when talking about League MVP. Croz is 2 points out of 2nd in scoring (92) and second in assists (57). These stats don't seem to move around as quickly as the Play-off race, so I'm going to start checking them instead.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Just Some Stuff:

Picture Stuff: This is one of two new Wallpapers from PP.com of Marc Andre Fleury. He and Geno have 2 each and Crosby, Syko and Staal each have one. I'm not sure what the swirly things in the other Flower Paper are, so don't ask.
Baby Suff: Sergei Gonchar has a new woman in his life. Well, she'll eventually be a woman. His new 7 pound 3 ounce, 21 inch long Victoria Gonchar added to the females in the Gonchar house that outrank Sarge. He once joked that now that Geno is no longer living there, his wife, daughter and two female cats kind of had him outnumbered. Now he is even more so.
Flower Stuff: FSN is showing (I think) a special 'kids' version of Inside Penguin's Hockey with the Tower of Flower Power dressed in outrageous shades and a blond wig playing the drums on Guitar Hero. For those of you that either didn't watch on FSN or were at the game (Penschick) and didn't see the promo. It airs at 5:00 pm on FSN and will be posted on TFS just as soon as they add it to the list.... probably next Saturday or so.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Baby Sarge and New Recruits:

Sergei Gonchar is expecting a new recruit. I've heard reports that his wife went into labor sometime today, but nothing so far about a little sarge. So Go-Go Gadget Goal was called up from WBS to fill the skates of the new Oteu (I think that's father in Russian) In other groin related news, Sidney Crosby is likely to play in Florida tonight (ok that was pretty bad... ) after missing the last 4 games. Games that the Pens have managed to win, by the way. No one is even guessing at the lines tonight, because of Gonch baby waiting, then there's Gueirin, Kunitz and Adams as the new additions no one can even guess what Coach Dan is going to do. There's speculation that Guerin will play with Croz, but then again, didn't they get Kunitz to be his winger? No one knows, I tell you. The Panters kept Bouwmeester, dealing with him, rather than just dealing him away. So it's quite likely that we'll see Jay and curse the Pant's GM for keeping him there.

The Eastern Conference race is tighter than a Weight Watcher's girdle during the holidays. 4 points separate 10th from 5th. Any slip of the stick can drop a team 2 places at least. A slump would be an EXTREMELY bad idea for any of those 5 teams. (hint, hint) We'll all see how the new guys work out tonight.... could be interesting.

Oh, and since Penschick didn't send me any tickets (raging jealousy, I know...) I'll be watching Error and Stogie on the FSN freak show. Seriously Chick, congrats and have a great time!

Quick Update: The Tower of Flower Power was awesome in net stopping 31 out of 32 shots tonight. Making some incredible saves. TK was the original Energizer Bunny. Everywhere the puck went, TK went after it, and scored two goals. On the final face-off, Malkin went to the bench when he realized TK had gone for a change, and must have told Tyler to get back in just in case he could get the HT. And Captain Sid scored the even-up goal to get the guys back on track. Guerin was fairly impressive for never skating with the guys before getting an assist on El Sid's goal and a +2 for the night. But Kris Le-tank impressed the hell out of me. Several shifts after getting blindsided in the defensive zone, he and Orpik team up for an All Defense goal on a sweet shot by the Tank. And Mark Eaton gets the TFS award for Best Impression of a Goalie by a Defenseman. Blocking several shots, and a pass across the crease that would have most certainly been a goal on the Panter's PP. Wow, two periods of frustration followed by the Blow out we had all been hoping for at the beginning of the game..... As Hawkeye would say, "Finestkind".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

You're Sure it's not Groundhog Day?

Did you ever have a Tuesday, and you weren't sure it wasn't still Monday? You went to the same job, or classes, did the same things, talked to the same people, maybe even had the same meals. All day you stumble through with the nagging feeling something's just out of kilter. Not wrong, exactly, just out of step.

Well it doesn't help if you're having one of those Mon-Tuesdays and you go to PP.com and they haven't changed anything from yesterday (I'm still not sure if that's Monday or Sunday yet). All the same articles, no preview of the upcoming (I think) game, all the Trib-links are identical to the day before, nothing about the Tampa game tonight (it is tonight, isn't it?). You might think to yourself (I did) that they're just running a little late, I'll slide on over to NHL.com and straighten this whole brain-fugue thing out. No dice. NHL.com is still running the same articles and features they had on at 1 am. (the last time I checked).. the only thing that saves your sanity (if you had any to begin with) is the fact that the schedule is showing that yes, the Penguins play the Lightning at 7:30 on VS. (oh God! Doc and Edzone again) the Capitols play the Hurricanes (tough to figure out who to root for there) and the Thrashers play the Panthers as well. But you're a bit disjointed, and becoming more than a bit paranoid about the whole Mon-Tuesday thing. Then Yahoo has the same 4 featured stories on its page as yesterday (You sure it was yesterday?) so you begin to think, 'Did I advance the schedule when I hit that page?....' Is someone Paging Rod Serling right now? .... Picture if you will a Pensaddict, who can't tell if it's Monday or Tuesday. He's locked in the ever present now of Hockey Hell. Where it's always 18 games until the play-offs. The Signpost up ahead, he's entered the Twilight Penalty Box Zone. And then that creepy, crashing music. I'll have more to say when I've figured this whole Mon-Tues thing out..... Rod! Man! What did I ever do to you? .... Sheesh.

Back to the Real World:

All right, I've decided that my computer was possessed by the Spirit of Monday... it just didn't want to let go I guess. Suddenly everything was updated, I found out that Satan, Lord of the Infernal Realm was placed on Waivers today (here's a link to explain waivers. It's simple, straightforward, and there's no way in hell anyone not a lawyer can understand it.) Satan will still play tonight against the Bolts (which I didn't even know was possible). There's two ways to look at this, either Shero has a trade in mind and wants to trade the guy that has 3 goals in the last 5 games, or he wants to dangle the possibility of clearing cap room to see what he's offered. But here's the thing. The Pens have 24 hours to remove him from waivers, no harm-no foul, or let him clear waivers and send him to the Baby Pens. Roll your dice and move your mice.

Speaking of mice:

IFHSA has been claimed off re-entry waivers by, you guessed it, the NY Raggers. I personally wish this idiot would fade into the scenery, but he's like that annoying boy/girlfriend that keeps getting passed around your friends. Every time you think they're gone, someone else brings them to a party. Oh well, if changing a winning coach didn't kill their chances for the play-offs, this just might do the trick.

Crosby's Crotch Watch: El Capitan will miss his 4th game in a row. Still smarting from O'retchkin trying to preform some unnatural act with the Croz last Sunday.

UPDATE....uh... ER:

It's an interesting stat that the Pens are 5-0 with El Sid out of the line-up. It's also an interesting stat the the Pens are almost undefeated with Coach Dan behind the bench.(we're not counting any game played less than 24 hours after getting the job) Their record of 6-1-1 since Bylsma took the reins is nothing less than phenomenal. What is also nothing less than phenomenal is the play of Marc Andre Fleury tonight in net. Between a mostly sluggish team (who spiked Geno's borscht anyway?) and referies that didn't seem to understand the meaning of the term 'Goaltender interference' MAF stopped 32-33. Flower had more lightning thrown at him than the top of the Chrysler building in a hurricane. Wow. But then again, he had no problem taking Bugsy to the boards to prevent him from gaining the puck behind the net. Since Error and Stogie can't do it, we'll give Flower the Subway Sammich of the Game. Good job Marc Andre!

My new all time favorite former Disney player is Chris Kunitz. Nitz scored 2 goals tonight including the game winner, and was a general all around force on the ice playing with Gronk and TK. And getting a well-deserved 1st star of the game.

C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me. Cookie Monster scored the capper goal to round things out and managed to piss off more Bolts than rust. Drawing (I'm not saying 'former Penguin' with these guys, it's mostly redundant) Hall into a penalty by taunting him with the fact that Cooke is now a Penguin and Hall isn't.

Rob Scuderi once again gets the TFS award for best imitation of a goaltender for using his body to prevent a centering pass in the third period then kicking the loose puck out of the crease so it could be cleared.

Evgeni Malkin get's the WTF award for his imitation of a recently Rufied prom date. Geno for the most part seemed to be suffering from some sort of Mon-Tues disease, he just couldn't get anything going and played in low gear for most of the game.

And a special TFS Award to VS, for not subjecting us to yet another fellatio filled broadcast with Dot and Edzone. Although we weren't entirely free as they had Edzone commenting during one of the intermissions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Stars Are Bright in Texas:

Somehow I hit 'Save' instead of 'Publish' in my rush to get to a really good pot roast so this is a bit late.

Marc Andre Fleury racked up his 100th win this afternoon in a rare (second time this year) Sunday win for the Pens. To tell you how cool (or just out of it) this guy is, he didn't even know it was his hundredth until Potash told him after the game. Flower stopped 20 of 21 shots and kept the scoreboard clean until 14 minutes or so left in the third period when Erikson of the stars flipped in a power play goal during what seemed like a rash of Pittsburgh penalties. The Tower of Flower Power was making some quality saves, just needed to make fewer of them. Flower is Ok with facing so few shots (so am I) he thinks it just gives the team a better chance to win, and we all like that idea. So the Pens are now in 8th place in the Conference having, at least temporarily jumped over Carolina and the Buffaslugs.

Let's see, where to begin.... oh yeah. FSN has now been crossed off my Christmas card list.... I missed more than half of the first period and Le-tank's goal when their Atlanta 'Master Control' went off-line. (I suspect collusion by the Thrashed, Army's still pissed about being traded) But they got the game back by the second, so they just missed a visit by my Scary Witchdoctor Lady. Tank's goal was a thing of beauty set up by Scud's hit in the zone and Geno's pass, it ended up being the game winner. The Incredible Malk added another 3 points (1g, 2a) to continue to lead the League in points. And evidently Sydor still owes Geno 50 bucks and got traded to avoid paying it back. Geno squashed Syds against the glass in the second period, just after Error called him a 'bull' out on the ice. Staal has been playing like a madman at both ends of the ice, I think this is what they had in mind when they extended his contract. And Miro Satan flat stole the puck and mesmerized the Stars with his Infernal Stare and finessed the puck in behind Stephan.

The Pens had another brush with their 3rd period slump, but it was much shorter and they seemed to snap out of it when Eriksson scored the PP goal. I think Coach Dan is getting his system of playing into their heads. And since their heads mostly control their feet and hands, I guess that's a good thing. So it's on to the Sunshine-less state for Tampa Tuesday, and Sunrise (have fun Penschick!) Thursday. The Catnips won their game today, keeping just a fingertip ahead of the Pens. We'll see how this plays out by the end of the week, but both the Raggers and the Cats are 2 points ahead of the Pens, the Kitties have one game in hand (don't make me go through that again) but the Raggers do not, but they absolutely crushed the Av's this afternoon 6-1.