When the Pens play the Debbils one of two things usually happens. It's either a blowout or a shut-out. Well this time, we didn't get either one, although it was a close run until Go-Go Gadget goal marked one up in the 3rd period (finally).
The first flukey goal of the game seemed to set the tone for the rest of the Penguin's night. Flower blocked the original shot, then miss played the rebound above his head and behind him knocking it into the net. Need I say more about the rest of the game? The only high note about the whole night was that Uncle-Daddy didn't tie Terry Sawchuck for most shut-outs against the Pens. Although we did hear an interesting (?) story about TS from Error about how Terry played the game since its invention and the fact that TV's were invented, but not popular for the beginning of his career. Actually my favorite part was Error's dig at Stogie about his age.
So U-D has to go somewhere else for his slice of Hockey Immortality pie and the Pens played a frustrating game against the trap. But that's enough said about that, so now it's on to Other Stuff.
Other Stuff: TSN is currently running a poll on who has the best mask in the NHL . (care to guess who I voted for?) They've also got a gallery that give some good views of all the current masks. The Poll runs until Wed. the 28th and they'll announce the results during the Stars/Laffs game. Of course I'll be watching the Pens/Habs game, so I'll probably remain completely ignorant of the results. Somewhere in the article they also mention that the goalie mask is 50 years old in the NHL, and then they give a rambling account of Andy Bathgate and his battle to get to wear one. It was almost like the guy was channelling Bob Error when he wrote it.
F-SPN: The Tower of Flower Power seems to have made a fan out of ESPN's John Buccigross. First he did a 'couch blog' during the Sens game, saying some nice things about the Flower. He also encouraged Shero to extend TK's contract for three more years, which I think is an excellent idea. Of course he also said that Stogie was 'knowledgeable and clearly in love with the Penguins' and Error was 'one of the best color analysts in the game' and 'has that Darren Pang enthusiasm for the game that I'm just a sucker for'. I like the 'Dingbat Duo' too, but don't gush over them, please.
And when I'm just about ready to throw Bucci to the side of the road I caught one of his 'mailbag' answer thingies and he suddenly started sounding like a genius again. As of the article he was picking Fleury, Luongo, and Ward as the three goalies for Team Canada in this Olympics and mentioned that MAF is sitting at #3 in ESPN's Player Power Rankings (fantasy hoopla), so he's once again risen in my estimation.
Speaking of Fantasy hoopla: Tim Kavanagh in ESPN's Fantasy Hoopla Department has Flower ranked #4 in the top 40 goalies and has some idea that Marc Andre might even manage to 'stay hot' for the rest of the season (and I thought ESPN didn't know anything about hockey). He also mentions that the Pens are 4th best in the League at limiting shots on goal (they're down 4 SOG per game from last year) and he finishes up by saying that MAF's stats might dip, but his wins should keep him in the top echelon of goaltenders (we already knew that). Could it be that the notoriously Hockey shy ESPN is finally learning a bit about hockey?
And yes, I'm pretty much ignoring the Florida Kitties game. As far as I'm concerned other than Johnson's stellar goaltending exhibition, the Pens didn't much show up for that game. Although his best save of the night didn't even count as a save. Despite being bowled over in the crease he dove across the net and flashed the glove to deny a Kitty goal. What is it about playing in front of Johnnie that makes the Pens fall asleep? Dude deserved better and is the only reason the Pens got even one point out of the game. I think El Capitan showed his agreement with a 'Special Teams Hat-Trick', scoring on the PP, short-handed, and in the Shoot-Out. Don't give up on them yet, Brent. One of these days the team will actually play an entire game in front of you.