Friday, June 26, 2009

Pure Laziness:

As I wait for the 2009 NHL draft and the 30th pick therein, I was watching the NHL Channel, and caught one of their 'special' programs. (no, not 'The Day That Changed Hockey for the 7,436th time) You know the one where they follow the 4 or 5 guys, the ones that they think will go 1-4 in the draft and that one 'human interest' guy who either could be a possible draft sleeper or some one's son, or whatever. Well, anyway, they were following Stamos around prior to his being picked first by the Lightning Bugs (yeah, I like watching mysteries I already know the solution to) and when he talked about 'getting his nap in before the 7:00 start of the draft', it struck me.... Hockey players are lazy bastards. Think about it.... they work 3 hours a night, 2, maybe 3 nights a week for 8-9 months a year. (try making the rent on those hours with your job) What they call 'practice' basically amounts to skating with their buddies for 2-3 hours on days they don't 'work'. (and since most of them are Canadian they'd be doing that anyway) Then they go home and, even if they don't have to 'work' that night, they go to sleep for their afternoon nap! If they're any good at their 'job' they'll retire in their early 30's (except for Chelios who's trying to be the Dick Clark of hockey) then they'll either open a bar/restaurant, a skating rink, or get a 'job' watching younger guys do the same thing they just 'retired' from! I think I'll go slap my mother for insisting that going to school was going to 'be better for you in the long run' than 'playing games with your friends'. I know hockey is physically demanding, but the hours are fantastic (and I'm thinking really hard about those naps!)
Well in their quest to add more young people to this Fraternity of Laziness the Penguins have picks in every round of the Draft, which is a new and exciting thing. Of course their first pick is number 30 overall and then jumps into the 60's then goes to the 120's, and so on. Which makes it sound like the only ones who'll be left will be the hockey version of the (insert derogatory slang word here) left-over geeks when picking for schoolyard basketball, but the Pens have done some mighty things with lower-end draft picks (Mad Max was picked 234th, and we all know how good that turned out) but unlike the NFL draft we're unlikely to see anyone after the first 5-6 picks for a few years. So, be patient, and remember..... they're only accepting the job because of the naps! (I wonder if my boss would go for.... nah!)
Of course this is all prelude to next Wed. when free-agency opens up. I've been hearing serious rumor-rumblings about Syko (say it ain't so!) and The Ever Dangerous Rob Scuderi (please say it ain't so!), possibly searching greener (Benjamin green that is) pastures, but nothing definitive yet. The rumor lines are mysteriously silent on the subject of Bill Guerin, however. (Listen to Geno. TWO MORE YEARS!!) You get to like these guys so much, it's tough to think about any of them leaving, but then again, if everybody stays how will we get a peek at the Younger Afternoon-Nappers? Ben Lovejoy, Paul Biz-nasty, Luca 'You'll sleep with the fishes' Caputi, or (calm down Vince) Janne Pesonen? I'll tell ya one thing, no matter how it turns out, it's great to be excited about hockey this time of year. Too many 'What's the current crop of losers?' years not to enjoy this now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We're No. 1:

All others are #2 or lower.

I spent a well rounded Saturday watching all 7 games of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals (ok, I skipped game 5, sue me) and it occurred to me.... The Penguins are the Stanley Cup Champs. That thought's been popping into my head at odd times. The whole idea is just to awesome for the brain to hold all at once so it just dribbles in a bit at a time. So in a completely random fashion here are some.... well, random thoughts and things I didn't have room to say in other blogs.

Turning Point of the Finals: Quite a few people would say that the turning point for the team was Staalsie's break-away shortie in game 4, and that may be true. Some would argue that it was Flower's save on Cleary's break-away in game 6. I'm sure everyone has their favorite moment, but for me the defining moment was the save that wasn't even a save. 2:00 left to go in the second period of game 6, Zetterbug (strange little insect) works around the Sequoia and flips a little nothing shot that bounces off the post and heads straight for Flower's ass, there was a collective gasp as nearly everyone who wasn't blind drunk had a flashback of game 6 last year when the same guy rang a shot off the opposite post that MAF promptly sat on and squirted in the net. But not this year, The Tower of Flower Power calmly looked behind him, gauged the trajectory and sat on that little black biscuit,(3:55 in) stopping it cold. But that wasn't the moment, only the prelude. The moment was a short close-up right after the save, when I could see Fleury's relieved grin and knew that the dopey-goal monkey was not only off his back, but dead and buried. That was the moment when, in his own mind,(and mine) he broke the Red-rag's mojo and believed....

Do Not Use as Floatation Device: Nearly everyone knows the story after watching the last two SCFs. Phil Bourque jumped into Mario's pool holding Lord Stanley's Shiny Candy Bowl and promptly sank it like the Titanic. Why is the Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux's Swimming Pool? is not just a question you ask the 'Ole Two-Niner, it's the title of a book written in 2001 by Kevin Allen. Written 9 years after its initial dunking and 8 years before the Cup made a return trip to Les Magnifique's house where the guys (fueled by many refills of the cup with Moet) decided the cup wasn't truly in Pittsburgh until it had taken a swim in Super-Mario's pool. By the looks of the pic, it floats a lot better now than it did 17 years ago. Most people know, or have heard some story with the SC, it's been kicked into a canal, left on the side of the road, been a baptismal font dunked in pools at least 4 times now, but somehow when it journeys to da'Burgh it takes a trip into the surreal. Phil Bourque is named twice on RCS's 'Top 10 Stanley Cup Stories'. Once for etching his name on the inside, and also for 'The Dive', and there are unconfirmed reports that it was left at the curb at the Marriot in '92 when whichever drunken Penguin was watching it jumped into a cab and tore off into the night. But along with this year's moistening of the Cup, it seems that it doesn't seem to know the difference between Oakland and Sewickly. On the way to the Cup's Micheal Phelps imitation in Mario's pool, the handlers ended up lost in Oakland (about 10 miles in the wrong direction) and had to ask directions from a cop. Remember, this all happened less than 24 hours after they'd won the cup.... now that they'll have it for the next 100 days or so, Ganesh only knows what trouble that innocent (?) silver tower is going to get into.

More to come. Be afraid, be very afraid... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Winners and Whiners:

The Save

With due respect to Frank Pietrangelo the one I'll remember as 'The Save' will always be with less than 3 seconds to go in game 7 of the 2009 SCF when the Tower of Flower Power dove to his right to block Lidstrom's rebound chance with whatever part of his body he could get in front of it. Then with all seconds gone Marc Andre Fleury hesitantly half-raised his hands, looked around to make sure, then flipped the gloves off just in time to catch

his entire team. Staal and Orpik first then a rush. Geno jumps in after the on-ice 5 gather around and Le-tank, jumping from the top of the turnbuckle, lands on top of the pile. (man can that guy fly through the air) Then the rest of the gang climb on, including Syko, who didn't play the game, but suited up to make the celebration, and Zigomanis, who hasn't played in months.

Pop that cork! Stanley's coming home!

Like most Pens-addicts I spent the 36 hours after the game looking for and at replays, running around trying to find the coolest SCF Champs stuff (I scored a non-locker room, champs shirt and a medallion puck so far) and scoping the NHL channel for a repeat broadcast of the game (watched it 2 more times). Also trying to figure out how sick I have to pretend to be to get Dahntahn by noon on Monday to watch the Parade. (haven't worked that one out yet) The Cup had a much more interesting night than I had, but that's as it should be.
There are all kinds of stats and figures out there to be bombarded with but Kim and Zoe (don't call them 'girls') over at Puck Huffers always have their own wonderfully skewed take on the game, and this time down at the bottom of the post they've got links to a six-part CBC broadcast of the Pens celebrating after the game. Much better than NBC or even the, (as K&Z would say) Curry-help-us, local coverage could be. Although I did like Dana Heinze saying 'They Fucking did it!' before Oxenreider could stop him.

Let the Whining Begin: Within moments of losing the SCF the excuses began and so did the whining. This guy was hurt. So and so had an operation, ran out of gas, guys didn't have a chance to play to their level, blah, blah blah. Losers say that a lot. What they'd like to gloss over is the fact that our guys were hurt too. Sarge played the last two series with a torn MCL in his knee from O'retchkin's hit in the second round. Everybody's hurt. Winners win and losers whine, and that's just the way it is. But the whining was turned up a notch by Chris Draper snivelling about El Capitan not shaking Lindstrom's hand after the game. He button-holes some starving reporter and cries about Sid not racing over and shaking Lind's hand...... Bullshit. I've seen the video. Less than 3 minutes after the line started Crosby joined in, but Draper and Lindstrom were already gone. And ya know something Nik? Those things on the bottom of your feet are called skates. If you wanted shake Sid's hand so bad, why didn't you slide on over and do it?Losing sucks, they split, and should have just STFU about it. Croz shouldn't even have to respond to this horseshit, but he did. You know they say that it's not how you win that shows how much class you have as a player, but how you lose. It's a sad state of affairs when a Nazi like Coach Baby-cock shows the most class of the team.

Dynasty?: Les Magnifique was quoted extensively in an article in the Trib saying essentially 'They'll (the young Pens) will be around for the next 10-15 years if they want to. They have a chance to do something special here in Pittsburgh if they want to stick together.' Wouldn't that just be just so nice? Well, a couple of months with that big shiny thing, and we'll see about next year.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


The Pittsburgh Penguins have won that big shiny thing!!!! Absolutely tremendous game and The Tower of Flower Power made the game saving.... well save with just seconds to go, diving to his right to block a shot. Like Mike says, 'If you missed this one, shame on you for six weeks'... or even longer. The Detroit fans for the most part responded in a predictable manner. With a nearly complete lack of class. If they want to know how Class Fans act when their team loses the SCF then they can just dial back to last year. Did you hear any boos? Any jeering of the opposing team? No you did not. And that's just another reason that win or lose Pittsburgh Fans and the Team they follow are a step above them. And always will be.

One final note.... I don't care what they say on TV I know at least some of the players and most of the fans had an extra reason to win the Cup this year. And that was to say 'Stick THAT up your ass Hose-a!! Now alcohol and the lateness of the hour compel me to end this post. But before I go I just have to say... Thanks guys. It's been a blast watching you, and being a small part of the experience. GO PENS!!! AND THE TOWER OF FLOWER POWER!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Saluting Detroit:

Saluting Detroy-it

It's time for war.
It's been a good run and I don't want it to end. The Tower of Flower Power is not ready to play golf yet. So Max, set that tournament date back another couple of days 'cause we're gonna take this thing back to Detroit Rag City.


The Ever Dangerous Rob Scuderi (secret second goalie) certainly earned his Goalie hat tonight. Blocking shots, stealing pucks and clearing the crease on Franzen's shot, with hoards of screaming Red-Rags bearing down on the puck. And then on the 6-5 during the final minute of the game Scuds made 3, count 'em 3 fantastic saves in a row, in front of an open net, helping out his Flower-buddy without whom none of that would have been possible. Earlier Cleary got a breakaway at about 1:35 left in the third and Flower played him strong and got the save to keep the 2-1 lead. But for me the Tower of Flower Power moment was on Zetterburg's shot that rang off the post, an eerie mirror-image to the one in Game 6 last year that MAF put in with his butt, this time Flower looked back, timed his butt-drop and trapped the puck between his legs for the whistle. The camera zoomed in for a close-up and there's Flower, with that smile on his face, and I was thinking 'That's a good omen'.

So, now it's stock up on the MOM and Stoli and get ready for Game 7 in Detroy-it Friday.... I'm still not sure I can survive the wait, or the game.... Time will tell.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nuff Said- Reposte':

This was too long to just put in the 'comments' section, so Ali and Penschick this is in response to what you said, but something I wanted everyone to hear.

Don't get me wrong. I haven't lost the faith. I'm still diligently working to become a beacon of Flower Power to the world. I remain an unrepentant Pens-Addict of the first degree (just don't give me the third degree about ) Any time Flower has to leave the net it sucks. Watching him stalk dispiritedly down the runway REALLY sucked. Every time the Pens get skunked in a game it sucks. (sounding more and more like a born and bred Pittsburgh fan every day) A 12-3 penalty differential sucks. What doesn't suck is that the guys worked hard to get the chance to show the world what we already know. That they're the best damn hockey team in the NHL. But win or lose they're my favorite hockey team anywhere. I still wear my Pens-gear proudly and will continue to no matter the outcome of any game, series or season. They've got a Ratt in the Penguin pack now and they'll never get rid of me. Like MAF said in an interview posted Sunday on, "He (Crosby) just told me to forget about it, and I will. I'll put it in the back of my mind and get ready for the next one. Really, that's all you can do." That's pretty good advice.
So let's dust ourselves off, shower the smell of rotted cephelopod out of our skins and get ready to do battle yet again Tuesday at the Igloo. Let's go Tower of Flower Power!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Two crappy shots of a really cool shirt.

There's something about Pittsburgh fans... ya gotta love 'em. First there was 'Blitzburgh' then 'Sixburgh' and now 'Stixburgh' shirts are starting to show their colors around town. All Pro Embroidery has set up the machines to crank out more of these bad-boys. I've seen them at a local J'iggle (that's Giant Eagle grocery store to non-'Burghers) and they're pretty slick. The Title guy in the foreground snapping a quick glove save and the skyline in the background (it really looks better than the pictures) and 'It's our Time' printed on the bottom. All for about 20 bucks. If I hadn't lost my wallet on my last expedition to Lower Burma I'd have snatched one up. (ok, I left it on the dresser) I don't even want to talk about the T-shirt razzing they're giving Bill Cower for running the siren for the Hurricanes. I'm pretty sure it burned my retnas. The only thing I can remember is the word 'Cower-ed' (coward) Bill, man, your girls even told you that one would be a bad idea. Ya should have talked to Bradshaw. It was 30 years before he could come back to town.

But if Burg fans love ya.... they love ya all the way. The Trib just published an interview with Mamma and Pappa Geno. Those two have been adopted by the entire town. And who can blame us? Let's face it folks, they're cute as all hell. One of the best things bout a Geno goal (other than the rise in the score for the Good-guys) is watching 'The Genos' get all hyped up about it. (btw you noticed that the blond that Pappa Geno kissed during the 'Canes series is no longer sitting there?) Watching Mamma Geno dance around waving her towel and swinging her hips with Pappa Geno standing there beaming like a 300 wat bulb. I think they're as much members of the team as any of the guys skating on the ice. Well... they don't score goals or anything, but Geno is sure a much better Play-Off player with the two of them here. With Mamma Geno cooking, how could he not be?

But the fan experience doesn't stop there. It seems that Louise Bella, a Penguins fan somewhere in Da'Burgh, recieved an 8 legged sea creature in the mail from a deranged Red-Rags fan. So what's a Pens-addict to do? Well, she and a couple of guys from the local Primanti shop have decided to do the octopi up right and send him back to Detroit Rag City topped with fries, slaw, and tomato between two pieces of the finest Italian bread. That's right, they're sending it back 'Burgh-style as a Primanti sammich. And as a topper she wrapped it in a Penguins towel. I'm not sure even that Zimmern guy from Strange Foods on the Travel Channel would touch that one. But that's what you've got to do, Folks. Don't answer them in their own language, hit 'em 'Burgh-Style' that'll baffle the hell out of them.

Flower Song: Now that the Tower of Flower Power has won a couple of SCF games news media 'experts' have suddenly started saying things like 'This Flower guy really IS a goaltender' and other enthusiastic stuff like that. I could glean you some of those but screw 'em. (not a bandwagonner) is still saying 'The Team has always had confidence in Flower' well..... yeah. But from the Detroit Free Press in the 'tradition' of Detroit 'fairness' is running a series of articles called 'From the Other Side' and they're gleaning PPG and Trib articles to 'spy on the enemy media' in my opinion. But they've got a nice one from Shelly Anderson about how the Flower is doing the right things at most of the right times. Of course they're also running a Flash-game called 'Smack a Penguin' which I found in very poor taste.

This was going to be longer, but hey... I've got to get ready for the game! Go Tower of Flower Power and GO PENS!!!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Penguins are Cool:

Penguins ARE cool. And one of the coolest is the Tower of Flower Power Marc Andre Fleury, who made some tremendous saves in the 4-2 win, was the Game's First Star of the Night. Flower Power saved 37 of 39 and showed some of his tremendous skills. The reaction save against Hose-a in the second was a thing of Flowery beauty (I know, sometimes I just can't help myself).
MAF was on his game tonight but the guy who turned the game around is Gronk himself. E-Staal is finally playing 'like a big guy' in this year's play-offs and finals and it's starting to pay off for him big time. The TK/Kunitz/Sid/TK goal was a thing of beauty. It was almost like they were telling the Red-rags what to do. 'Ok, everyone focus on Kunitz and Crosby and just ignore the Tyler behind the curtain. Various reporters asked 'what was said between periods 2 and 3 and I think the honest answer would have been. "Le-tank, take it easy on El Sid. We're probably going to need him for the next few games." Tank absolutely and accidentally knocked El Capitan directly on his ass after Geno's second effort pass left Sid with nothing to do but put it in the goal.

That's 2.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Penguins of Doom:

Here's the two guys who came up big in Game 3 Maximus: 2g The Tower of Flower Power who RULED the second period 27 saves. Not forgeting Geno's 3 point night, or Brooksie and TK smearing the ice with Hose-a's remains. But the two guys with the French-Canadian man-love thing going at the end of the game got the job done.

It's time to break out the Penguins of Doom..... or they'll be doomed. And we'lll all look like that->

I'm sure the guys know what needs to be done, and win or lose we're not going to be seeing the Pens stand around watching the game while they're at home. (unlike in Detroit) I could rah-rah and all that, but frankly thinking of the Red-rags winning the Cup from the Pens again makes me a little sick to my stomach. Nothin against the guys.... after all, who thought we'd even be talking about the SCF 6 months ago? Guys, it's been a good run, but it's time to CRUSH the Winged Whiners.

Malkin.... there's nothing I can say.... you're a beast. Flower.... couple of bad bounces, but it's almost like his head isn't in the game. Sid.... quit worrying so much about what's-his-name and you and the rest of the guys play your game. (Ok, I'm no psycho, I realize none of the Pens is actually going to read this... it's a venting process)

Don't look for any recaps (even the crappy ones I do) or much of anything else..... I'm planning either a drunken celebration, or a deep, abyssal depression depending on the outcome.