Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly:

Coach Dan looks to the heavens and asks, "Why me?"

The Good: Coach Dan's wife can finally pick out those Steeler's towels she's been eyeing, because 'da Coach is going to be here for a while. (at least that's the plan right now) They've finally let out the length of Bylsma's contract (what was the big deal about that?) and the agreement is for 3, count 'em, 3 years. (I know that's what they said to HCMT, but have a little faith) I know I'm not the only one to say that the Pens would offer Dan an invitation if he steered 'em to at least a 2nd round. But I said it, and now I get to say, "I told you so!" (and now I've said it, let's move on)

The Also Good: Marc Andre Fleury knows first hand one of the hazards of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And that is 17,000 reporters who only show up at whatever play-offs happen to be going on (regardless of the sport) and ask ill-considered, off the wall, or just plain repetitive questions. I mean, how many times can a guy answer the question 'What does (insert team here) have to do to win against (insert other team here)?'. I'm sure he's heard it all before, and he just smiles and chuckles, as if to say 'You guys just don't get how funny this is.'. And after answering he looks for the next amusing question and it goes on from there. Personally I think Hall Gill said it best (and with a completely straight face) 'I think if we score more goals than the other team we've got a good chance of winning the game.' Harold Priestly Gill III knows hockey.

Someone who looks less comfortable with the media is Evgeni Malkin. Frankly, the guy is looking like he's regretting learning English. He's trying really hard, but if you pay attention he's not actually answering the whole question. And if he gets any more nervous about being in a 'scrum' interview he's going to start knocking people down pacing back and forth. It's ok Geno, I've lived here all my life and sometimes I can't even tell what those guys are talking about.

The Bad: Due to the NHL's deep seated desire to obsequiously (is that really a word?) suck at the Network tit, the Pens won't play until Saturday when NBC can afford to carry the game. Check this: The Capitals finished their first round on Tuesday, any other team/year they'd have two days to face their next opponent and it would be just too bad if that team were good enough to finish their series 4 days earlier. But since the League and the Networks can make some major dollars off of a 'Big Star Rivalry Matchup' game, and everyone knows that the numbers (ie: money) is better on the weekend, the Pens will end up with a week off while the Caps get an undeserved 4 day rest. The 'Hawks and Vancouver play Thurs. and the 'Canes play Friday after a 7 game series. I'm not sure what, if any, effect this will have on the series, but one whole week cooling off can't be all good. Bending the rules to cash in on the hype is pretty crass from a League who's corporate front is 'It's all about the game' and 'It's all about the Fans'. C'mon guys, it's all about the Benjamins! Yours, that is. Revenue sharing? Riiiiiiight.

The Ugly: Alex O'retch-kin, because... well........ Look at him!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pound of Fan Flesh:

There are things you expect as a fan when your team is in the playoffs. Every Pens-addict knows that the post-season will test your blood pressure and anxiety meds, the total capacity of your bladder (can you hold it til intermission?) the tolerance of your non-hockey neighbors (poor, sad creatures) and possibly even your ability to score Prozac on the street. The highs and lows of each game, every series, win or lose, winds the tension clockwork in your body to ever tightening levels. Will the spring snap? Do I reach for the gun, the knife, or the rope? Every step of your team is another step toward or away from that ultimate shiny salad bowl topped stack of silver rings. One team a year gets the glory and our hockey lives are tied into the fortunes of those guys wearing the Fighting Flightless Fowl on their chests. As it should be.

Every fan (who's really a fan) is ready for that stuff. You stock up on Tums, MOM and Vodka and hunker down for the (hopefully) long haul. I want to talk about the hazard you might not expect. The hazard of the Hockey-mate. I used to think that there's nothing I'd want more in the world. A partner who can understand my incurable (not that I 'm looking for one) compulsion to watch mostly-grown men skate around and fling rubber biscuits at each other. What I hadn't counted on was the unexpected physical danger involved with sharing a couch with a fellow victim of this debilitating disease, this Pens-Addiction.

It started with a grab of the arm during a breakaway. Then a nudge with an elbow at an Orpik hit. The first goal scored, it was a bump with a knee as she was bouncing on the couch. Second goal? Two handed grab of the left arm and a squeeze. (not too tight) Third? A grab and a hug/shake. (pretty tight, but I can still breathe) Fourth goal: Double-handed grab/shake/hug, triple smack on the shoulder. (no bruises, but ouch!). Crosby's empty-netter?: Grab/shake/pummel some more, jump in the lap/bounce (accidental?) heel to the shin jumping off-hair grab/kiss. (ok, the kiss part was pretty cool)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. Much like the players the fans (I include myself, of course) are used to the bumps and bruises associated with the Play-Offs. You brush yourself off, pick yourself up, and play (or watch) through it. It's an expected part of the game, and, like I said, the kissing part is cool. What I wasn't prepared for was a round of nearly the same punishment when we watched the game replay several hours later on the NHL Channel. Then there was the three continuous replays of On the Fly with a minor variation on the same theme. Then somehow Sunday there was another replay with a similar result. Needless to say, by the end of the weekend I looked like I'd been tied in a bag and thrown down a hill. (but the kissing part was still cool) Once again, this is not a complaint. Merely a warning to all the unattached PensAddicts out there who might read this.

The only other warning I have is, sometimes when you Google 'Penguin with a gun' you get this:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Party Penguins:

Phlyer fan after the final buzzer

There's something about the Pens and an afternoon game that makes me nervous. The guys just take some time to warm up when playing during their regularly scheduled nap-time.

The first period was exciting.... the way falling down a really long hill full of boulders is exciting. Three goals by Philthy in the first period did not look good. They were taking advantage with numbers for the most part, drawing the Flower out of position and then planting it in the empty net. I'm here to tell ya, I was all ready for a game 7 and the ensuing ulcer when Marc Andre Fleury and the Pens got a severe case of comeback-itis.

So... the second period starts, and it's not looking much better. Until Maximus puts on his duking mitts and goes after the recently suspended Carcillo. It seemed like Mad Max lost the fight, but something about his willingness to drop the gloves and go after the Philthy bad-boy lit some kind of fire under Geno's butt, or maybe it was the 'Shhhh' that Max gave the crowd on the way to the box, I don't know, and I don't care. Malkin starts beating on the goal-door, and Feds is there to bang in the left-overs. More 'scrumming' (translation: tag-team wrestling) and more people get to sit in the box of shame.You could feel the change but weren't quite ready to put away the hara-kiri knives just yet. Then 2 minutes later Eats, of all people, scores on a 3 on 1 breakaway. 10 minutes after that Crosby whacks one out of the air at the goal mouth and it was a brand new game at the beginning of the third.

In the third, Sarge didn't wait too long to put in the game-winning goal and then it was REALLY Tums-time. Let's face it, the guys have had trouble sometimes holding a lead, and Flower had already been bitten for three. But The Tower of Flower Power really turned up the intensity a big notch in the third, making several great saves and one 'Oh my God how the hell can a human move/bend like that?' save on Lupul with just 5:39 left to go in the game.

That one will go into the scrap book.

For the cap-off goal El Capitan refused to give up on an empty netter that first bounced off the side of the cage. He corralled it back in, whipped around the net, and with Cookie making room, buried it (and the Phlyers) into the back of the net. Then there was the strange, almost speed-ball type of calm/hyper-tense waiting period until the final buzzer sounded and everyone could slump back into their couches and freak out their neighbors by screaming 'YES!!!!!!' Then there was the sweet picture of rubbing the Phlyer's fans faces in it by making their team walk the 'handshake line' right in front of them. Sure it'd be sweet to have that at home, but there's an evil thrill in having it done to them, in front of them. We wouldn't be human if we didn't feel it. For a brief second I almost felt sorry for the fans, but then I slapped myself. 'This is Philthy! Screw 'em!' We wouldn't be Yinzers if we didn't feel that.... By the way guys, you can keep the sign.

Get Ziggy With It: Even with the phenomenal face-off upswing of El Sid (63.5% and 99 FO wins, leading the Play-Offs) the Penguins miss the presence of Mike Zigomanis at the dots. Leading the League at the time of his injury Ziggy was a point of confidence for the Pens when facing a draw in the defensive zone. But now, instead of sitting at home on his injured butt, Mike visited the Children's Hospital's Oncology and Adolescent wing with the team around Christmas and was hooked. He's been back several time to visit with the kids, have his picture taken, sign autographs, and talk about both his own, and the kid's experiences in hospitals. No one knows what next season will bring. Free agency and salary-cap aside, I don't know if Ziggy is the kind of player the Pens can use next year, but I do know that he's the kind of man they can use on the team.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lighning Strikes... In More Ways than One:

Marc Andre Fleury made a hat-full of highlight saves, but got little offensive help after the first period in a 0-3 shutout loss Thursday in the igloo. The guys played a good game, but seemingly without the intensity of game 4. Combine that with a tit for tat(where do I get more tat?) game 4 for game 5 performance from Biron and you have a recipe for disaster... or at least a return trip to Philthydelphia. Well have to hope for better tomorrow despite the wonderful Wachovia crowd and the almost sickening Philthy-fellatio from the NBC announcers

Lightning struck the technical operations facility for FSN in Atlanta during the second period of Thursday's game knocking out the broadcast for most of the period. It was soon to be recognized as the omen it was. If that wasn't enough of a sign, Bob Error was actually witty and pertinent during the first period making a quip about the lack of a graphic that Stogie was trying to verbally cue up(THAT should have tipped us off). While scrambling madly to find a pirated VS feed online (found it!!) I was listening to the Venerable Mike Lange on the radio and I realized something. No matter how annoying Stogie and Error get, it's sooooo much better to be able to see what's going on. Mike Lange is a broadcasting God, never doubt it, but with nothing but his words to get a sense of the game there's nothing to distract you from the playoff anxiety running rampant through your body. You can't make your own calls, laugh at the screwy people in the stands, threaten a Phlyer's life for coming to close to the Flower, or scream at the refs for missing something (or calling something badly). Geno's almost-goal is a prime example. you have nothing but the descriptions of Lange (wonderful as they are) to form a picture of what happened. You can't argue that 'The Other 2-Niner' is out of his mind (no argument there) thinking that Malk kicked in the puck, or even groan about the astigmatism of the entire crew in Toronto (or fantasize about small thermo-nuclear devices dropped on Canadian cities) or even speculate about the medications they've been passing around to have screwed up the replay call so badly. In case anyone's counting (besides me) that's twice in recent memory that Atlanta has screwed up our Pens-fix in recent memory. I'm all for driving down to Georgia, finding the little man who's job it is to flip the switch to go to the back-up tower and drown him in caterpillars. In a perfect world we could listen to Mike Lange telling us to 'Go out and buy yourself a new pair of shoes' while we watched the action on the screen and Stogie could go announce baseball, or one of those other 'sports' that no one really cares about...Not sure what to do about Error, he's annoying, but has flashes of entertainment value. Maybe he and Bourque could duke it out for the Mike's side-seat in some major Pay-Per-View event.

Instead of showing some of the spectacular saves from last night's game (if there actually was a game 5) I found this nice Tower of Flower Power tribute vid, it even has the unbelievable toe save in it from several angles.... and who wouldn't want to see that again?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nobody Move, This is a Stickup:

I'm taking this series, don't try to stop me, or someone is going to get hurt..

Marc Andre Fleury and the rest of the Gang will try to send the Phlyers back across the state to start their summer golfing adventures. Game 5 of the SCPO starts at 7 tonight (you already knew that, didn't you?). It's tough to guess what kind of game to expect from Phylthy tonight. Last season we were all set for a really scrappy (dirty) game 5 and it just didn't happen. It was a clean, no-nonsense game, and the Pens walked off the ice with a big shiny thing that everyone refused to touch. (no, not Staals jock, the trophy thing) We'll have to wait (I hate waiting) and count on the guys to weather whatever the Phylthies come up with. And we're pretty sure they can.

The Pens will have the power of the Lord of the Infernal Realm on wing tonight. Miro Satan will be taking Syko's place somewhere in the line-up. Coach Dan made the decision (or announced it, anyway) this morning. Syko was a bit stunned, but it may be a case of CD trying to light a scoring fire under Petr's butt, combined with giving Satan some playoff ice time. Kris Le-tank got some kind of 'undisclosed' (here we go again) boo-boo in game 4 and will be a game-time decision as to whether or not he'll play. If Kris and his unruly mop sit out tonight, Boucher will step in.
The Pens are calling for a 'white out' for tonight's game and Charlie's Tuna will be giving white shirts out to anyone that walks into the Igloo tonight. I never did see what a big deal this was last year, but I've got to admit, it made a very cool look 20 seconds into this:
I still love this vid......
More to come as the mood strikes me.....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Battle Penguins, Battle Update:

Update to the Update: Marc Andre Fleury has the #1 save of the first week of the playoffs with that stunner of a save in game 2. Here's the link if you want to see all 10, or here if you're too lazy to scroll down two posts to see the save itself.... Chris Kunitz had the #1 hit for the first week so two out of three (Crosby's goal was this week, so maybe.....) of the tops are Pens.... good deal.

It's time for all good Penguins to prepare for battle. Game 4 of the First round of the SCPO begins at 7:00 pm (and if you already don't know that..... I'm sorry, I can't help you). After Sunday's loss the Pens are going to have to prepare to kick some major Phylthy butt to win tonight. No word on any line changes, but I doubt if there's any plan to transplant the Tower of Flower Power, despite his being victimized for 6 goals in game 3. Malkin was the beastliest Penguin on the ice Sunday, scoring 2 goals and 1 assist to remain the Play-off Leader in goals (4) and points (7). We can but hope that the remainder of the Penguin Pack can catch some scoring fire from Geno and throw some extra shovelfuls of dirt in the attempt to bury the Phlyers.

I will be posting more after the game.... and if I don't it's because my keyboard shorted out from the tears.... But I remain calm...... sorta.


Marc Andre Fleury is officially Super Penguin! Stopping 45 of 46 shots and getting First Star of the night honors, helping the Pens drop the Phlyers 3-1. The Flower was awesome (I hate that word, but nothing else fits) in goal tonight, the only goal he allowed was after he was pushed into the net by the Philthy that Brooks knocked into him. Fleury made some spectacular saves, earning his cape and big 'S'.

El Capitan scored the first goal from his butt again (he leads the League in that), the Cookie Monster got assists on both of the first two goals, TK is throwing everything except the ref at the net and scored another goal, and Mad Maximus topped the night off with the Empty Net goal with a little help from Craig Adams, who didn't seem to know later that the net was still empty and didn't shoot. Either that or he was looking for another assist. The PK all earned FPL (Flower Protection League, hey, we've got new people) honors but most especially The Ever Dangerous Rob Scuderi, (our secret second goalie) who was, once again, blocking shots,banging the boards and has added a fairly dangerous hip-check to his arsenal.

The nominies for the NHL awards (the ones that are voted on) are going to be dribbled out over about 12 days starting Wed. We won't know the 3 finalists for the Hart Trophy until next Wednesday, but I'm pretty sure we'll recognize at least one of the finalists.

Ok, it's time to fire up the Zamboni and head on back to da 'Burgh. Highlights and such tomorrow, and game 5 Thursday!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

'Nuff Said:

'Nuff Said.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cover This: Update Included:

We pre-empt this anti-Nazi Blowhard Corp. rant to bring you the save of the night... maybe the save of the series... Playoff..... Let's face it, THIS IS THE SAVE OF THE CENTURY!!!!! Maybe not that, but it's a pretty damn good save by the Tower of Flower Power.

Flower made some pretty fine saves (38 of them) and kept the guys going until and into overtime until the Pens version of Father Time, Billy Guerin decided he'd been playing long enough and snuck a very sneaky shot past a barely leaning Biron for his second goal of the night to win the game and was then promptly mugged by the rest of the team and nearly crushed against the boards (they're right, hockey is a tough game) And give Geno 3 points tonight and evidently Mamma and Pappa Geno were a little pleased about it. And once again the fans around them were offering Perogies and IC for 'afters'.
Biron had a much better game tonight than last night (damnit) and the Phlyers had been playing a pretty disciplined brand of hockey (for them) until the overtime just seemed to drive them mad and after a dumb cross checking penalty by Knuble on their PP, Girox was evidently jealous of Kunitz's 'big stick' and so he broke it, taking an even dumber-er penalty. And that's all the guys needed. Series 2-0, advantage Good Guys. I wonder if anyone told the Philthies that there's no points for tying in the Playoffs?.... And now back to your regularly scheduled Blog...

We here at the Penguins Liberation Front would like to protest the lack of love given by NBC to the outdoor screen watching Penguin fan. It seems that by a decision of the Nazi Broadcasting Corp. there will be no bigscreen watching at the Mellon arena this Sunday. (and I presume any other Sunday). It seems that the Natural Brain Cramp tv network has a policy against allowing teams to broadcast games in their arenas. I'm not sure why this affects games broadcast by sponsors OUTSIDE arenas, or why they would care where you watch their crappy coverage and inane commercials, but sometimes people stick to rules that make no sense because it's easier than thinking about the situation and coming to a reasonable decision. So all you drunken Hockey Yinzers will have to go to a bar or home to watch the game like everybody else.

Secret Stuff: is being very silent about the possible lines tonight. Meaning I couldn't even find out what the projected lines are. They aren't even giving us a guess at who'll be on the ice. That's how secret the lines are! I imagine the Pens are trying to keep Phylthy guessing about whether or not the Hand of Godard will be on the ice tonight. Either that or they just brain-farted and forgot to do it.... oh well, only a couple more hours until I find out anyway....

One person we won't be seeing is Dan Carcillo who's serving his one game suspension tonight. (you've almost got to be found standing over the body to be suspended in the Playoffs) He'll be replaced on the wing by Rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa. He's played wing for them a couple of times during the season, and at 19 he'll be the youngest guy in the Playoffs so far.

More to come depending on my mood, the alignment of the stars, Edgar Cayce's horoscope, and how many french fries I find in my Primanti sammich...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

One Down, ? to go:

UPDATED: The NHL has suspended Carcillo for his asinine hit on Maximus during the last minute of Wed. game 1. It seems that having the Commish in the stands during a mugging might be a good thing after all. It's clearly a statement to the Phlyers not to pull this kind of crap at the end of a game just because they're losing. Long live Dur HockeyFuhrer!... .

Marc Andre Fleury and the Penguins can do the Happy Dance of the First Game after defeating the Phlyers 4-1. The Flower stopped 26-27 and he and his well trained posts made some spectacular saves. The Phylthy's came out to try to establish their game and ran straight into Chris Kunitz.... several times..... hard. In the battle of imposing wills the Pens won hands down. Not even the notorious 'if you're winning we'll just try to beat you up' strategy did them any good. Unless Hartnell and Lupul just needed some alone time and so rushed out to get a penalty. The end of the third period was ridiculous with the Phlyers taking 5 penalties in the last two minutes including one game misconduct (Hartnell) and one fighting major( Coburn). If this were any other team there would be talk of suspensions, but 'It's just the way the Flyers play' is used as a get out of trouble free card. And they're pulling this crap in front of Herr Betman, Hockey Fuhrer. Someone needs to take Hartnell aside and calmly explain to him that's not the way hockey is played around here. I nominate Eric Godard as our professor of hockey etiquette. Don't be too surprised to see God-ly in Friday's line-up, and if that happens Mrs. Hartnell's baby boy had best be absent from class that day. I know that was spiteful and vindictive, but I'm ok with that.

Think about this: You watch Evgeni Malkin do something spectacular, the camera pans into the stands and there are Mamma and Pappa Geno up there having a blast. The folks all around them all know who they are and treat them so nicely. As if to thank them for combining their DNA to form a hockey hero. Here they are, 10,000 miles away from home, and they're treated like hometown folks. Every time you see them in the stands it looks like the people around them have already invited them into their homes for some after-game perogies and an Iron City. When I moved here I had some trouble convincing people that Mario Lemieux wasn't actually born in Pittsburgh, so he couldn't technically be called a 'Pittsburgh's own'. I foresee the same difficulty in a few years with Geno. He and his family have been adopted by the town and that is so cool. 4 years ago no one in da'Burgh could even pronounce Magnitogorsk, and now quite a few of them even know where it is.
Mort to come as vids are updated and it occurs to me to do something with them....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Can I Get Extra Cheese?:

First things first, this is the post until after the game tomorrow. If I have anything more to say, I'll just update. You have been warned...

Do I get a Pan Pizza with that?: In case you've forgotten 'the other guy' that the Pens picked up with Kunitz, his name is Eric Tangradi and he's a tough scoring center who plays currently for the Belleville Bulls in the OHL. He also shares the lead in playoff points and the Canadians seem to have forgiven him for sticking DiDomenico from the bench at the World Juniors, because he's been named Boston Pizza's Player of the Week. Mostly due to his 5 point game against the Ice Dogs in the OHL playoffs Tuesday. I had to look up Boston Pizza and as far as I can tell it doesn't have anything to do with Boston, but the pizza looks pretty good.

Finnish Fling: Janne Pesonen has ended this season with the highest point total in the whole history of the Baby Penguins. (82) As a matter of fact, he's the highest scoring Finnish player ever to play in the AHL, although someone had to go look that up because there just haven't been that many, I guess. Janne scored 2 goals and an assist in the third to hoist the Pens to a 5-3 win over the Hershey Bears in the season finale. Vince at Pesonen and the Pens will probably have to be restrained and sedated. No Vince, I don't think this means that they automatically have to call Janne to the Big League. Sorry man.

Say it Ain't so: Some Yo-Yo (there's a lot of them around) over at seems to think that none of us know that the Pens and the Phlyers just don't seem to get along.... C'mon! I have nothing against the Phylthies... Really! I'd like to invite them all over for a big BBQ. I hope they'll have the time, what with all the golfing they're going to be doing in a couple of weeks.... How is this news? You have two teams, in the same state, the same Conference, who entered the League in the same year from two towns that already had two other sports rivalries going. Not to mention I have yet to hear anyone in Pittsburgh say anything nice about Philthydelphia, and that includes people that moved here from there!.... How shocking is the fact that the teams don't get along? Drop the PUCK already! It's only been 3 days since the end of the Regular Season and I'm already tired of the silly ass names the reporters are coming up with for this match up. I'm just grateful there's not more time for them to come up with stuff.

I want you all to know that the Ratt is remaining calm waiting for the Play-Offs to start:

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I'd like to take this opportunity (one and only, I'm sure) to formally thank the New York Raggers for giving us home ice for the first round of the play-offs. They defeated the Phylthy Phlyers 4-3 this evening making the Pittsburgh Penguins the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The SCPO starts on April 15, but no word yet on scheduling... at least I don't think there is.... You'd think that someone would have spun their 'Wheel of Scheduling' and whipped something out by now... after all the season's been over for....... 2 whole hours! Don't they realize they're dealing with addicts here? C'mon Bettman! get your boys in gear! Sheesh...

Update-ish: It seems I have more pull with the NHL than previously suspected. At the un-godly hour of 6 am I was informed that the schedule for the Pens/Phlyers play-off series was out. (don't ask me what she was doing checking for schedules at 6am... I have no idea)

Wednesday, April 15 - PITTSBURGH. 7 p.m., FSN
Friday, April 17 - PITTSBURGH, 7 p.m., FSN
Sunday, April 19 - at Philadelphia, 3 p.m., NBC
Tuesday, April 21 - at Philadelphia, 7 p.m., FSN
*Thursday, April 23 - PITTSBURGH, 7 p.m., FSN
*Saturday, April 25 - at Philadelphia, 3 p.m., NBC
*Monday, April 27 - PITTSBURGH, TBD, FSN
* if necessary
The Big Screens will be set up outside the Igloo for the SCPO just like last year. Fans can watch both home and away games in front of the Gate 3 entrance on the 12x16 screen. I guess it was so popular last year Consol Energy and the Trib decided to sponsor it again. Way Cool.

Some Yo-Yo writer over at is calling it the 'Keystone Clash', only marginally less excremental than 'The Battle of Pennsylvania'. But here's the preview he wrote just in case his idiocy doesn't extend to the rest of his writing.

Miroslav Satan looked a bit upset during his off-day interview, not that I can blame him. I'm sure he didn't apreciate being sent to the minors, but he's a proffesional, and he's handled the whole situation a lot better than could have been expected. Oh, and if you're over at and see an off day interview with Marc Andre Fleury, and you ask yourself, "Why didn't the Ratt post this? He was here stealing stuff anyway." Well, I'll tell ya. It's a tease! There is no off day Flower interview. Don't be sucked in by their propaganda! It's some sick, twisted joke designed to make you stare at their player doing nothing. I'm not sure why this is funny, but it must be to some NHL puter geek somewhere..... sheesh.

I know I mentioned something about it the other night, but it still amazes me. Since the inception of the Art Ross Trophy for scoring in 1948 the Pens have won it a mind-wobbling 13 times..... They weren't even in the League for the first 20 years of the damned thing, and they've won it 4 more times than any other team in the League..... And that includes the 7 times Gretz won it for the Oilers... If you just go from '68 they've won it almost twice as much as anyone else, and in the last 21 years the Pens have won the Art Ross more than all the other teams combined.... Translation: We've been incredibly lucky to have some pretty good hockey players here in da 'Burgh. They ought to just carve the Fighting Penguin on the thing....

Wild Women: Team USA has repeated as world champs this year, defeating Canadia 4-1 in the Gold Medal round Sunday. This makes the second year in a row that the women have sent the Canadian women home with the silver. There will be 6 exhibition matches between the US and Canada this year and 2 possible tournaments that they could meet in. Making a psychotic Olympic rematch a distinct possibility. Finland took bronze in front of their home crowd defeating Sweden 4-1 (do I sense a scoring trend?).

Unexpected Reinforcement: I've taken this opportunity during the break in the action to ask for a little divine intervention. I'm not normally a religious person but I thought two things 1) It couldn't actually hurt anything, and B) At this point of the season we'll take all the help we can get. In response to my inquiry of possibly deity sponsorship for the Flightless Ones I got this response:

Of course after the amount of bourbon I poured into them they'd have promised sponsorship to a brothel.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Other than a Staal and a few Eastern European players (Geno, Sarge, and Feds) the home-town boys held the day. Luckily for us those 'homies' were Mad Maximus, Super Duper, Le-tank and the Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury. The Pen's 'French Connection' all grew up somewhere around Montreal, but we don't hold that against them. Btw, Carey Price has been sentenced 5-10 years for the goals he robbed the Pens of during the game. MAF was really sharp for the most part during the game stopping 29 of 30 and made some jaw-dropping saves on the ever sneaky Alexei Kovalev. But he did his best work in the third period when the guys seemed a bit sluggish and had some trouble getting the puck out of their own end. Flower stopped about 15 shots in 2.3 seconds and kept the tie going so his buddies could score two amazing shorties a few minutes later. Here's the TFP showing everyone just how good a pointy-lipped Frenchman can play the game:
The only goal for the Great White North's actually bounced of the Sequoia and went in, so we won't count that one against him. Flower's got a good run going into the Play-offs and that only says good things about the Pens chances to advance into the later rounds. (We won't talk about that last round yet... superstitious? Moi? Not a chance!) Also I'd like to already nominate Jordan Staal for Tough Guy of the Play-Offs for taking a puck in the face and returning later in the period with his new stitching. I just hope his face doesn't end up as screwed up as Bugsy did last year. Wow! Did that guy end up 'Uglied Up' or what?

Really Good Stuff: How amazing is two short-handed goals for the Pens during the same PK? How often does that happen? The only thing better than that was the fact that our eyes weren't assaulted by the third jerseys the Habs obviously stole from some gay penitentiary somewhere. I mean, c'mon! The team's been around for 100 years and that's the best 'Old Tyme' jersey they could come up with? They look like some sort of strange 4th of July hockey candy.

Mrs. Malkin is going to have one more thing to dust when she visits her son's new house. The Art Ross Trophy Geno won tonight. Malkin scored a goal and that was too much ground for O'retchkin to make up. The Ugly One had a goal and an assist to climb to 110 but couldn't touch the 113 mark set by Geno. Evgeni joined Le Magnifique (6) Jammer Jags (5) and El Sid (1) to boost the Pens Scoring Title number to 13. That's just a sick number of ART'S in the last 20 years. As a side note, for 21 years (80-'01) if your name wasn't Lemieux, Jagr or Gretzky you just didn't get your name on the thing. That hardware's got to give him an inside track for the MVP for the Leage to go along with his Team MVP. Not to take anything away from O'retch, who scored an amazing 56 goals this season, but can you pass over a guy who leads the League in Points, Assists, and Take-aways? I think not. In my humble, yet all knowing opinion Mamma Geno should have another piece of bric-a-brac to dust off next year and that would be the hardware named after Dr. David Hart.

Play Off Preview, Sort of: Ok, show of hands... how many of you thought 2 months ago that we would be sitting here talking about who we were going to face in the Play-Offs? I gotta admit, my hand would not be among the elevated. HCMT had just been fired after a nightmare inducing loss to the Laffs, causing jaws to drop all over Pensland, and they bring in this guy with a name that sounds like a gastric disease, Bylsma. Now just about 2 full moons later and the talk isn't who do we want to face in the SCPO's it's how most teams don't want to face the Pens. Coach Dan comes in, does a little tweaking, and then the Easter Bunny brings them 2, 100+ point players, an Art Ross trophy, an 18-3-4 record, and at least a 5th place in the Play-Offs. (if the Phlyers lose in regulation the Pens will be in 4th and get home-ice for the first round) So Coach Dan gets the First Annual Kick-Ass Coach of the Year Award. I know he'll treasure it forever. I'm already casting my vote for Coach Dan to return next season to see what he can do with 82 games in his pocket. Also, I'd like to have every kid in Pensburgh go to Coach Dan's hockey camp. It's obvious this guy knows something about the game.

We of the Pensaddict persuasion would also like to take this opprotunity to thank Uncle Daddy and the Debbils for beating the Hurricanes and taking them completely out of contention for the 4/5th spot in the Eastern Conference. Even if the only reason you guys showed up to that game at all was because you didn't want to face the Pens in the Play Offs.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Penguin Invasion:

Ok, this was supposed to post late last night and, computer whiz that I am, I hit 'save' instead of 'post' and then never checked that it posted (the one time you don't check... sheesh) so here it is in all its late glory.

The Penguin invasion of the Stanley Cup Play-Offs will begin this weekend with the final placement of the 8 teams in the Eastern Division. The Pens are tied with Philthy and Carol-in-a for 4-6. The Canes have more wins, the Phlyers have fewer games, and the Pens have... the current scoring leader of the NHL, and some other hockey guys you might have heard of (Flower, Croz, Tank..., maybe you've heard of some of those guys).

Marc-Andre Fleury wasn't in the net tonight, but he left his well trained goalposts to make 5 saves for his replacement, Matheiu Garon. Garon and the Pens looked a bit shaky during the first period but came on late in the first to tie on their way to defeating the Aisles 6-1 to clinch at least a 6th place berth in the play-offs. Philippe Boucher announced his return to the line-up with the tieing goal in the first and that opened the floodgates as the Pens never looked back. Pittsburgh was awesome in the PK, even though there were too many damn penalties. 2 long 3-5 kills (one without the help of the Ever Dangerous Rob Scuderi, the super-secret extra goalie) that were defended to perfection and gave Garon a chance to prove that The Flower isn't the only Gumby-goalie on the team. Other than the 7-2 penalty differential the guys played a pretty good game against a team of men trying to prove to their management that they deserve to be employed next season. Geno picked up 2 points on assists on Boucher's and Crosby's goals and finally acted like he was excited to be in the lead for the Hart trophy. "Yeah, I feel good." Malkin said, "One game left, it's OK, I think it's too much points (for Ovechkin to catch him)." and then he went on to promise that if O'retchkin scores 4 points he'll score two more Saturday. Kris Le-tank will receive a special TFS award point for crashing the net and nearly redirecting Dupuis' goal in.

Fan Appreciation, Appreciation: My favorite part of the season (other than the play-offs when the Pens are in) is the Fan apreciation night. I was blown away when I first moved here and started watching the Pens as a 'home-town' team when after the last game of the season the team gave their jerseys away and started throwing T-shirts up into the stands and generally making goofy fools out of themselves thanking the fans for all their support throughout the season. Watching Maximus sitting in the Penguins Polaris given away to some undiserving fan (ie: not me). Or The Tower of Flower Power pitching shirts at one of his team-mates on the ice (probably Max), Malkin making sure a kid got the game stick he handed over the glass, although it was somewhat disturbing to see the grin on Cookie's face when he was imprudently armed with a Tshirt cannon. Just about all of them were signing something thrown over the glass and whipping it back (hopefully to the person that threw it), and then each one of them giving a fan their jersey (Raine is ready to track down the blond 'bitch' that won MAF's jersey so she should be warned) and revealing the 'Fighting 5th' shirt worn under their gear (the Pens collected over 100 grand for the Fallen Heroes Fund at the game). Makes you feel like the guys think they're lucky to have a bunch of semi-crazy Pensaddicts screaming from the stands and we all know we're lucky to have them to root for, shout at or drool over as the case may be.... Thanks Guys.

Satan Sighting: Miroslav Satan has cleared re-entry waivers (uh....... nope, to complicated to explain) and will be back on the Pens roster in time for the Montreal game and throughout the play-offs (however far they go). We are pleased to see the Lord of the Infernal Realm back on the 'Big Squad' and hope that no one had to sign his soul away to get this to happen.

Winter Classic News: Reports are that next year's Winter Classic will take place in Fenway Park, possibly the Broons against either the Crapitals or the Phlyers. What does this mean to the fans? Well we should all look for a trade involving Ty Conklin to one of those three teams so he can keep his streak of playing in every NHL outdoor game alive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The March of the Syko 300:

Petr Sykora scored his 300th goal tonight in a wild finish against the Lightning. Watching the first period almost made me fall asleep, although once it got to the third I'm glad I didn't. Marc Andre Fleury was rolling a shut-out until 4:34 into the third and then it was like someone opened the gate. Pittsburgh South scored 3 goals in just over 5:00. One on what should have been a blatant interference penalty. But, if they'd have called that, they probably would have called Feds on the Syko goal, so we might let that one slide. Flower was patting his goaltending partner (the left post) in the first, but he really needed their help in the third when P-South had 21 shots on net. MAF stopped 33-37 and was making some wild saves.
El Sid scored 2 PP goals Geno had 2 assists to keep the scoring race interesting. But the title of Sneakiest Player of the game goes to Mad Maximus. Talbot was run over by Koci in the defensive zone, drawing a penalty, Ko-ko then followed Max up the ice trying to egg him into retaliating. Max said something over his shoulder to Kocci (probably wondering how his mother was doing) and then led him, smiling all the while to prove his friendly intent, into the waiting arms (and fists) of Eric God-like. Eric tried to persuade Koci that sort of ungentlemanly behavior would not be tolerated, and that he should remove his hat in the presence of his betters, and then proceeded to rip it off and punch him in the head. Koko-puffs refused to be instructed, however and was escorted off the ice to write an essay on good manners. Later Artyukhin, the Sasquatch that's shaved like a man, must have called Guerin an old man, or something. So Bill decided to teach the young lad some manners... temporarily forgetting that Arty is 14 feet taller than he is. So Billy decided to rough him up a bit, and then give him a hug to prove he wasn't rejecting him as a person. They both went to the meditation chamber for some quiet contemplation.
You know how everyone has that annoying relative that just won't shut up. You know the one, brother, sister, cousin... parent. The one that just goes on and on and on until you just can't hear them talking anymore, they're just an annoying drone of noise in the background. Well, Stogie is my hockey version of that person. Somewhere toward the final third of the game I think I heard him say something about someone getting a broken hand blocking a shot. Turns out it was Ryan (Bugsy) Malone who'll be out for the rest of the season (I know it's only 2 games, but this is a guy who played after getting hit in the broken nose with a puck.... yeah, he's tough). I'm sorry to hear that Bugs was hurt, but there's a certain part of me that just figures that's the price he pays for not playing in Pittsburgh (vindictive, ain't I?).
Other News: Oh yeah, did you hear that the Pens had clinched a play-off spot? Wild, huh?
GO PENS!!!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

When It Quacks Like a Duck:

I've been known to overlook the occasional faux pas (I know, it's another language, deal with it) delivered on the ice. I've even sugar-coated most of December (5-8-1) and I've been guilty of glossing over most of January (5-8-1) but I just can't make nice about what happened Sunday in the 'Where's the Sunshine State'. The Pens looked like they'd been replaced by time-warp doubles from Dec-Jan after El Capitan took on Ballard for upending Geno with a hip-check that sent him for a hockey version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. El Sid will never put fear in the hearts of apposing tough guys, but he did have a WWF take-down move. With Sid in the box the whole team just seemed to unravel a bit during the second period and didn't even look like themselves until just minutes left to go in the third. By then it was too late, as we all know by now. Marc Andre Fleury faced 26 shots and allowed 4 goals. Flower made some good saves, and the defense were doing their jobs for the most part (Scuds blocking that shot and clearing the rebound on the PK, Orpik riding what's-his-name right through the crease and into the boards) but the guys kept giving up the puck around the blue lines or in the neutral zone, or turning the puck over on the lead pass out of the zone. All the bad stuff they were doing for those two months when we were all wondering if they were playing for good draft picks, or something. I'm going to have to apologize for Sniper Kitty failing to make the trip to Florida and that should explain why niether Error or Stogie were taken out for their jinxing comments at the end of the first period. It's going to take some Major-League meditation for the Ratt to get calm for Tuesday's game in Tampa. But enough about the bad stuff, on to Other Things.

Other Things: Tyler Kennedy has been scoring goals, crashing the boards, and just about running over anyone who tries to get between him and the puck. One fine example of that was during the Raggers game when he jumped IFHSA and beat him to the ice.

TK has been called the 'Energizer Bunny'. Which is apt enough, I guess (he does bring energy to the game and the team) but it sounds wimpy and cutesy and doesn't fit at all on a guy that regularly takes runs at Zedano Charra who tops him by about 12 feet. (ok, it's only 2 feet, but still...) So I have decided to consider TK the Pens version of DareDevil. Because on the ice, he is The Man Without Fear.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Debbil, Debbil Toil and.... Trebbil?:

Ok, we are (or at least I am) going to pretend that I'm all caught up with everything from last weekend, and move on to tonight's contest with the Debbils from New Jersey. Lots of good things have come out of New Jersey... like.... uh.. I can't think of any at the moment, but I'm sure something will come to me.

Marc Andre Fleury will play in net tonight for the 6th straight game, and other than Craig Adams seeing some time on the 4th line tonight, no changes to the line-up are evidently contemplated. In a good news/bad news kind of a stat, the Pens are 2 points out of 4th place, but also only 2 points from 8th place (is that crazy, or what?). The Debbils have managed to lose the last 5 games they've played, but Bill Guerin and the rest of the guys are sure that it's only a matter of time before they snap that streak, they just don't want it to happen here. On a semi-interesting side note: According to the FSN Dynamic Duo (Error and Stogie) the Penguins have run the winningest goalie in NHL history (Brodeur) out of the net more times than any other team. Don't know if that means anything, but it's kinda cool when you think about it.

'Cause I Wanna:And just because this is my blog, and I can randomly stick things in here whenever I want, here's a Flower Power tribute I ran across on Youtube the other day... more to come after the game... probably:


I decided to can that vid (fickle, aren't I?) and substitute this one instead:
The Tower of Flower Power was very solid in net, making some tough saves and allowing only one freaky goal that I'm still not sure didn't pass into another dimension to get around MAF and into the goal. The Pens resoundingly crushed the Debbils 6-1 with just about everyone but the Cotton Candy Dude scoring for the Good Guys. Cooke, Guerin, Malkin, Staal, Crosby and Kunitz scored, and might I say 'nice try' to the Croz on that second Soccer Style Goal attempt. Uncle-Daddy must have heard something about how often he's fled the Flightless Attack before and wouldn't allow himself to be taken out of the game. (I'm sure he doesn't read TFS, so I'm not taking any credit). I almost felt sorry for that poor, hapless Dainius Zubrus who spent more time on his back than a coma patient. Someone invoked the spirit of Darius Kasparaitis tonight as the hip-checks were flying all around the ice. There was more butt being thrown around than a Spring Break thong contest. The best 'Unfriendly Ghost' imitation was thrown by the Ever Dangerous Rob Scuderi. Scuds threw a hipper that flipped, you guessed it, D. Zubrus ass over tea-cup (it's a Midwestern thing, don't try to figure it out) on the boards at the blue line. And then in some strange twist of fate, Zube was upended about a minute later by Brooks Orpik who somehow got a penalty for being the 15th person to put 'The Big Z' on his butt, but that wasn't enough for Dainius who then decided to get Brooksie another penalty for being attacked by an insane Lithuanian hockey player. Holik decided at the 2nd break that Sequoias really weren't all that tall and confronted Gill.... and I'm not really sure what happened between right before that, and just before Sutter told the ref to 'Go puck yourself'. Because FSN had a big Second Period Stat graphic up covering the entire screen. Sutter was given a team penalty for 'abuse of an official'. At least I assume that's the abuse they were talking about, we really don't know what happens in the locker rooms between periods. (I'm not sure I really want to, either) has screwed the highlights up so this isn't nearly as interesting as it could be. At least that's the excuse I'll be using, anyway. More to come when it occurs to me.