Saturday, December 30, 2006
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of the smart break-out pass, it was the age of the bad penalty, it was the epoch of belief in Isle of Capri, it was the epoch of incredulity when it didn't happen, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the Autumn of hope with a winning streak, it was the winter of our despair with a losing streak, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to the top of the Atlantic, we were all going direct the other way--in short, each period was like every other period that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
- Charles Dickens
It was a fun year for us here at The Pensblog, too.
As always, thank you for visiting the site. We wish we could personally thank everyone.
It's time for the Season-in-Review.
We will re-live some memories while also letting our game recaps and posts speak for us.
We always miss something, so please help us all out in the comments.
Links labeled 'video' take you to highlights.
All other links take you to game recaps and posts.
Five Worst Moments of the Season
-- All season, the Pens have been highly competitive in every game. This one was the first time Pens fans really felt like "Well, maybe we aren't as good as we think."
Montreal went nuts, scoring 4 goals in the second period and dominating the Penguins in every aspect of the game.
No question that night we all felt like Tina Turner when Ike was around.
4. The Ranger (as Michel Therrien calls them) win with seconds left in overtime. [ 11.25 ]
-- You're most likely thinking that this game wasn't that bad. Well, it was. Especially if the Pens lose out on a playoff berth by one point. To make matters worse, former Penguin Marty Straka ended the game by redirecting a pass from former Penguin Michal Roszival.
3. Mark Eaton Gets Injured in a game at San Jose. [ 11.04 ]
But Jonathan Cheechoo nails Mark Eaton from behind. Eaton breaks his wrist, and the Pens defense goes into a free-fall.
Our Sum Of All Fears post captured the emotions of the moment (Derek's first post on The Pensblog).
--- VIDEO ---
1. Isle of Capri is Denied. [ 12.20 ]
-- I didn't realize this till just now, but this was 3 months to the day of Malkin's Injury.
Just an awful day, because this is something we had banked on for nearly a year.
It still hurts because the situation is still unresloved, but we can only hope and pray that it does get done. That day will be the only thing that can erase December 20, 2006.
-- It could definitely be higher than number 10, but this game was simply the Penguins beating up on a weak team. The fact that it was against the Flyers makes it that much more gratifying, though.
9. Evgeni Malkin scores in his first NHL game against New Jersey. [ 10.18 ]
-- Kind of sad that his first goal wasn't one of the normal variety.
For the rest of his career, Malkin has to remember his first NHL goal was cheap.
8. Nils Ekman hat trick against Tampa Bay. [ 11.08 ]-- The quickest three goals scored in Penguin history. After that game (and before it), Ekman hasn't made an impact other than being fast and not being able to finish. Koltzov, anyone?
7. Opening night. Fleury's shutout against Philadelphia. [ 10.05 ]
-- A highly-anticipated opening night was something that made us think we were dreaming. But the Flyers turned out to actually be that terrible.
6. Malkin goes on a six-game goal-scoring streak to start his NHL career.
-- The arrival of Malkin onto the scene made NHL statisticians delve into the history books.
5. Penguins shootout victory against Atlanta on December 9th.
-- A big match-up against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Pens played a consistent, hard-working game and were awarded when Colby Armstrong scored in overtime.
4. Penguins starting the season 7-3-0.
-- Not in our wildest dreams did we expect the Pens to start the season 7-3. Penguins fever was somewhat palpable in that first month of the season.
3. Sidney Crosby's 6-point night in a 8-4 win over the Flyers. [ 12.13 ]
-- Crosby goes nuts to attain first place in the points race.
--- VIDEO ---
2. Frantic comeback against Washington. [ 12.11 ]
-- This game quickly turned from one of the worst games of the season to one of the most memorable.
The Pensblog's "We Are All Witnesses" post is one of my personal favorites that we've ever done.
--- VIDEO ---
Five Biggest Goals of 2006-07
-- Malkin scored halfway through the third to tie it up. A big, overtime win like this really instilled some confidence in the players...and the fans, too.
-- In a game that I remember saying no one should have won, the Pens were given a gift power play in OT. A rebound lands on Malkin's stick and he buries it into an empty net.
-- The Pens have had four or five "must-win games" already this season. This was one of them.
-- The game tied at 2, late in the third. Malkin rises to the occasion with a wicked one-timer from the circle. Worthy of number one on your list?
Top 5 Jobber Goals
( Goals by jobbers )
5. Jarrko Ruutu scores on opening night
-- The Mellon Arena crowd falling in love with Jarrko Ruutu.
-- Easily one of the best jobbers the Pens have had in recent years. He found himself on Malkin and Crosby's line after a penalty and took advantage of it.
3. Alain Nasreddine scores in Montreal.
-- Using common sense at the end of a period, Nasreddine snuck in from the point and one-timed a Crosby pass into the net with 0.3 remaining.
-- Yes, all two of them
-- Future Norris Trophy winner Joey Melichar puts a puck in on a pretty decent shot.
Four Worst Games of the Season
( Devils games don't count )
-- This was easily one of the least entertaining games of the season. Pens managed 13 shots.
3. Ottawa shows up. Pens don't. [ 11.10 ]
-- A big Friday night brought the fans out to the Arena, only to watch Ottawa have their way with our Pens.
2. Armstrong's hit on Trevor Letowski sparks Carolina in another Saturday night loss for the Pens. [ 10.14 ]
-- A freaky game that we all hope is lost forever when talking about the 2006-07 season. Kris Letang scored a freaky goal for the Pens while Carolina poured it on.
1. The Blues suck. [ 12.19 ]
-- A simply frustrating game to watch. No comment.
Four Best Games of the Season
-- Against one of the top-tier teams of the NHL, the Penguins held their ground and made Anaheim work hard for a victory on their home ice.
3. Penguins crush Flyers. [ 10.28 ]
-- One of our best games and one of our best moments of the season. Seriously, it felt that good.
2. Penguins earn a hard-fought victory over Atlanta. [ 12.09 ]
-- Nothing much to say that our game recap didn't say for us. It still resonates as a huge win.
--- VIDEO ---
1. Penguins come from behind to beat Washington. [ 12.11 ]
-- For the rest of the season, we can always fall back on this game when we're down 4-0 halfway through the second period.
To be able to come back like that shows this team doesn't give up.
--- VIDEO ---
Five Things To Look Forward To
( In no particular order, except for number one )
5. The Playoff Push.
--The Pens, for the first time in a long time, have a chance to at least be in a position to make the playoffs.
4. The Trade Deadline.
-- Everyone loves talking about trades.
If the Pens can smell the playoffs, will Shero have the brass of a riverboat gambler?
-- Can Geno Malkin step up his game to that next level that everyone knows he can? He has been inconsitent at times, but his flashes of brilliance far outweigh any of that. It should be fun watching Malkin in '07.
2. The Crosby Show.
-- If '06 was a flash of what is to come, we are going to be in for a spectactular '07. Can Sid lead the NHL in points the rest of the season? Can he lead the Pens to the playoffs? If he does both, then you can send the Hart Memorial Trophy to where you've sent it many times before: Mario Lemieux's house.
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