Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Beast Of Burden. PENS LOSE.


This is the time of year.
The sun is still shining during the opening faceoff.
These aren't the kind of games you're going to sleep through.

You see stuff like this driving home from work:

It can't be ignored that the Pens haven't played their best hockey in MSG this season.

What also can't be ignored is that David Copperfield says the Pens still haven't clinched a playoff spot.

After Tampa Basement on Thursday, we play each divisional foe twice to end the season.
We have two games against the Devils within the next 7 days.




[Nick, James, Thom, & Shelly]



This time of year, the phrase "Weather the Storm" becomes your best friend.
Tonight was the perfect example.

Rangers coming off two losses, needing a win.
They are gonna come out harder than some old guy on Viagra.

Whistles were hard to come by in the early going.
Both Conks and King Henrik were making solid saves.
Great hockey.

Conkblock even spiced things up by misplaying the puck behind his net, but he gets the lumber down and stops an easy goal.
Sean Avery would have scored, but he tans too much.

Finally, a whistle came when Hossa and Dupuis started changing the world.
Pedro Gomez jobs one of them, and the Pens get the first PP of the game.

[Pat J.]

You would've been wise during those next two minutes to take a crap in your neighbor's mailbox.
What turned out to be the Pens' only PP of the night was fruitless.

Sometime in the next few minutes, your ears gets blasted when the microphones in the boards pick up a slapshot.

And Double J takes over.

You can say whatever the hell you want.
When Jaromir Jagr turns it on, no one has a chance.

He glides down the right wing.
Drops it to Mr. Tan. Sean Avery gets the puck near the high slot.
What a shot. 1-0.

Nice celebration, homo.

Then the wheels start falling off.
40 seconds later, Conkblock gives up the biggest rebound of his career possibly, and Tommy Callahan continues his presence in Penguin games.

"Shut up, Richard"

The rest of the first was a waiting game; waiting for the Pens to get called for a penalty.
But it didn't happen.



Being behind in games hasn't been a problem for the Pens these last couple years.
The next goal of this game was gonna tell everyone where it was headed.

Luckily, the Rangers make a horrible line change, sparking Ruutu on a lazy breakaway.
You could actually see fumes of charisma streaking behind him as he does the Ruutu Move™ 2-1.

On the Pens next shift, they strike again.
Dupuis takes advantage of a Ranger mishap and gets it to the net.
Staal gets two whacks at it, and it was tied that fast. 2-2.

The two quick strikes by the Pens hit the Rangers harder than James Hariston hits his...

Everything was going fine.
Then it happened...

The Pens were in their own zone. Sydor to Whitney.
Whitney makes by far the most egregious mistake of the season.

He blindly throws the puck into his own slot.
That sentence is great.

Irwin R. Schyster of the Rangers gets an abbreviated breakaway all alone.
Conk is stunned.



What a mistake.

After you pick your balls/ovaries off the floor,
Sean Avery and Ryan Malone start jobbing.

Both gets penalties. Malone goes to the box, Avery goes to a tanning booth.
Just as those penalties were expiring, Dupuis went to the box for dominating.

The Pens survive a scare early on that PP, when a puck flirted with going in, but the Pens kept it out.
Kerry Fraser texts the War Room, and it is settled rather easily.

A big kill for the Pens.

The second period was hitting the homestretch, the Pens stole the puck from Avery, and they were off to the races.
Somehow, Malkin was onside, but Malone was stopped by Henrik.

Jordan Staal got called for some weak-ass penalty, but the Rangers couldn't do anything with it.
The Pens ended up getting the best chance during those two minutes, but Malkin's shot was blocked.

Sadly, this was still when the Pens had a chance.




All you need to know:


Games like this force us to call upon the services of an old friend.

  • Your mom

  • Staal loves MSG.
  • Your girlfriend loves Staal.
  • Marty Straka. Still a big deal after all these years.
  • You should never hit a woman.
  • Hossa is still sick.
  • Scoods?
  • USS Hall Gill's dive for a loose puck was money in the bank.



IndianaJohns04 said...

Let's hope Scuds is back soon so Whitney can be sent to the press box. That was probably his worst game of the year and that's saying something.

Nick Saia (usa) said...

i actually DID fall asleep to this game.

J.S. said...

nick, that's two people that fell asleep to this game

PittHockey said...

I nodded off listening to the radio, so make that 3

Zarley Zalapski Blues Explosion said...

You should never hit women.

Unless the woman is Sean Avery, then it's ok.

stokes said...

I read on PSI that James Harrison was looking for "Pensblog Staff," and that he was coming after them with an open hand.

The great thing about Hal Gill is that even when laying down, he still takes up 7 feet of ice. More if you count his wingspan.

onesizedrummer said...

lazy defense last night all i gots to say.


blackngold66 said...

(Sung to the tune of "Mandy" by Barry Manilow)

Well you came and you played without taking (stupid penalties)
but I sent you away, Scuderi
please bench Whitney and stop me from shaking
I need you today, Scuderi

Nathan said...

I'm a big Whitney fan, but if he doesn't pull his head out of his ass quick, he'd better be the odd man out on defense when Scuderi gets back. I'd be willing to live with his defensive shortcomings if he was producing offensively the way he's capable of doing, but since he came back from that groin injury last month his offense has been nonexistent.

Unfortunately Whit's still a better option at this point than Goligoski or Nasreddine, so we're going to have to tough it out until Scuderi gets back. And who knows, maybe Therrien will kick some sense back into him between now and then.

Hip said...

BNG - I'm awestruck.

Go Pens. Reboundblog on Thursday.

sonofatruckload said...

anyone else notice the officiating to be pretty bad last night? a few questionable penalties on us and at least 2 on the rangers that weren't called. i was waiting the entire 3rd period for an even up call after the staal "trip" in the 2nd, but it never came. guess that's because our offense couldnt generate jack squat.

Jonny V said...

After working 12 hours yesterday, I totally forgot this game was on. I think I lost some respect for myself.

And when some people were yipin' about our acquisition of Hal Gill and how slow he was, I noticed him from the first game laying down to block shots. Funny thing was, he was on that one show on foxsports (the one with Steigerwald and Potash at some mall with an audience). Paul mentioned that Gill was a high school quarterback, and proceeds to ask him if he was a traditional pocket passer or if he was a mobile quarterback. The look on Gill's face was priceless, as if to say "Dude, are you friggin' serious?"

My photoshop skills are severely lacking, but Avery and George Hamilton would look spiffy.

Kristen PB said...

Sean Avery nauseates me. He reminds me of every jerk I've ever known.

But Avery's first goal last night was truly a gorgeous shot.

There, I hope I have appeased the hockey gods with this sacrifice. After all, we play the Devils soon. A little karma insurance never hurts...

Stoosh said...

I was still in a bad mood about last night's game until I read BNG66's song. Couldn't help but laugh after that.

lis said...

"But the Rangers got five even-strength goals tonight, and Whit and Sydor were on for 60% of them. They were each a -3. They deserve whatever criticism they get for the way they played tonight."

Actually I believe Whitney and Sydor were on the ice for 4 of the goals making that number 80% (They were out there for Ruutu's goal making them only a -3).

I don't usually try to pick on defensive pairings and watch them like a hawk when they are out there but EVERY time the Rangers had any extended time down in our zone it was Whitney and Sydor out there unable to get the puck up the boards or clear it out.

As a side note, Bissonette had fallen out of favor with the organization with his attitude in the past, however, he has been a true professional this year and seems to have put that all behind him. The reason he had been playing forward in Wilkes-Barre was due to the fact that Pittsburgh has needed to call up Kennedy, Taffe, James, Stone, Filewich, Minard, and Smith at some point or another in the season.

Dave said...

Our Gary, who art currently on the sidelines,
hallowed be thy Name.
When playoffs come,
thy will be done,
on the ice as it is in the locker room.
Give us this day the Subway Sandwich of the Game,
and forgive us for our jobbing,
as we forgive those who job against us.
And lead us not into a penalty kill,
but deliver us from the other team's goons,
For thine is the powerplay, the playoffs, and the Cup,
forever and ever,

Jersey Bill said...

I have never seen or heard a bigger douche, in all of sports, than Sean Avery. He has the look and attitude of one of those rich beach kids from the shitty MTV reality shows. I could not think of someone more un-Ranger than him, but everyone loves him.

He was being interviewed by Al Trautwig on MSG. Trautwig was breathless about the goal that froze Conk. It was like he was the ugly 15 year old asking his best friend, the cool high school jock, to describe what the handjob he got from the cheerleader last night was like. Anyway, Avery is in some get-up, slouched in a chair with that asinine smirk. He says that Gill just wanted to check Jags (who was in the middle of the zone) so bad and he's so big and slow, he wasn't going to be able to get back to him in front of the net. I hope Hal hits him with the clothesline from hell when they meet again.

Stoosh said...

LIS - I checked the game summary on's website, and you're right - Whitney and Sydor were on for four of the five Ranger goals last night (Avery's first, Callahan, Sjostrom and Straka). They were on for Ruutu's goal, so that took their -4 down to a -3.

Whitney's defensive zone coverage concerns me, but not nearly as much as his decision-making with the puck does. Whitney is never going to be anything better than an average defenseman in his own zone. But they're paying him good money - money that could easily have gone to other pieces of the puzzle - to contribute offensively and, more importantly, make good, smart decisions moving the puck. When Whitney fails to do that, there are problems.

Whitney's decision-making with the puck this year has really caused me to question his overall hockey IQ. I see a player with much, much less pro experience and much less pedigree - Kris Letang - being asked to make the same sorts of decisions with the puck, and he doesn't seem to be making mistakes with the same frequency. I watch Letang play and I can tell he reads the ice and the overall play better than Whitney does.

There's a good discussion thread about Whitney over at the message boards here...

Go to Page 11 of that thread and read the very first post on that page. Mikey287 - a longtime Whitney advocate like myself - makes a very interesting (and convincing) argument there about Whit's longterm future with the club.

The Seeker said...

World Wrestling Entertainment has contacted the Penguins about the possibility of having pro wrestler Ken Kennedy meet rookie forward Tyler Kennedy.

There is a chance Ken Kennedy - "Mr. Kennedy" as he is known to wrestling fans - will tape a video to be shown on the Mellon Arena scoreboard after Tyler Kennedy scores.

"It'd be great," Tyler Kennedy said. "I'd like to meet him. I'd even stand in his corner the next time he wrestles in Pittsburgh."

Ken Kennedy's popular catchphrase, which involves him shouting his moniker and pausing before shouting it again, was blared through the Mellon Arena speakers after Tyler Kennedy scored Sunday against Philadelphia.

Fred Jones said...

Is it me or did Sydor go to "Big Ben's School of Turnover's"?

It seems like he is the one who can't clear the puck, can't keep it in the zone, makes horrific passes on the power play along the blue line to turn it over, and can't catch the other team's players once he gives it away. He really reminds me of Recchi.

Maybe some of it is Whit's fault, but I really think the blame should be on Sydor.

I'm not just talking about last night's game, but for the past couple of weeks I've noticed this. Maybe he should take a seat when Scuds comes back.

Avery is such a douche--he should be a flyer.

Stoosh said...

JERSEY BILL - The national hockey media's infatuation with Sean Avery - which really began when he was in LA - has always mystified me. This is a guy who was basically a poor man's Matthew Barnaby when he was with Detroit. He was at best a third-liner. He winds up in LA, starts dating Elisha Cuthbert, started acting like he was some sort of rock star, spouted off about French-Canadian hockey players and since then, he's been deified as if he's some sort of superstar.

If he had left Detroit and wound up in Phoenix or Atlanta or Nashville, he'd be just another energy player/pest. But for some reason, he believes people care what he thinks.

I seriously think it was the whole Elisha Cuthbert thing...that somehow made him relevant in LA where I guess that kind of crap makes a difference and somehow legitimizes an athlete.

And now that he's in New York, the MSG media monster has pretty much sewn its lips to his ass. Why? Because as I said, he's a polarizing character who believes that people think his opinion is relevant.

erica said...

whoever wrote Sean Avery's Wiki entry is awesome! I'm surprised the Wiki patrol hasnt taken it down yet...but I guess that page isnt frequently viewed.

Steve In Denver said...

Whitney should think about changing his # to 7.

And I guess I need to balance out my previous neg. comments with a good one. How about the WBS kids last night? They generated chances, finshed checks, brought energy. Staal had about 15 golden minutes where he was dominating as well.

Dave & BNG66 = solid interpretations.

Now back to neg. comments - Die Avery. Die now. I hope you have vd and it burns when you pee.

norojo said...

1) Conk stunk it up tonight. We would have stopped Tommy Calahan but he was busy checking the rotary gurner
2) Is it just me or has Whitney slowly gotten worse each game since signing his extension. That pass in front of his
3) If Mr. Kennedy and Tyler Kennedy meet the world may explode. Gary Roberts will have to single handedly repopulate the planet. He's done it before...
4) I think it's gonna take 8 out of 9 to take first place, looking like we're prob gonna have to get the Senator hatred going again

Dr. Turkleton said...


The national hockey media's infatuation with Sean Avery - which really began when he was in LA - has always mystified me.

It's because he's one of the few NHL'ers who gives more than the typical cliché answers that most other players give. If you were a member of the hockey press, who would you want a sound-byte from: someone who will give the same dry, mundane answer that you've heard countless times before or someone who has the likelihood to spout off that has the potential to make headlines. [a poor-man's Brett Hull]
He might be persona non grata in many NHL locker rooms, but there is a place for him in today's NHL & esp. a place in the ears of the media.

4) I think it's gonna take 8 out of 9 to take first place, looking like we're prob gonna have to get the Senator hatred going again

That might be a stretch, but the 4 points up for grabs v. the Devils might be the difference between seeded 1st,2nd or 4th,5th

Dr. Turkleton said...

hahaha Coach Fraudriguez

Pryor = a Buckeye

J.S. said...

Avery's modification has been changed, but not to worry, I added something else.


Eric K said...

@ dave

that is great

was it just me or did Malkin look uninterested last night?

the douches on VERSUS were debating the question- if the Craps dont make the playoffs should Ovechkin still win the Hart? good question. i would say no, simply because the Hart is given to the player most vauluable to his TEAM. so, if your TEAM doesn't make the playoffs, obviously that player could have done something more to help the TEAM, regardless of what he did for himself.

Raybin said...

-Conks has definitely come down from the mountain (those first two goals were all on him). Still, for the last three, he got no help.

-Whitney and Sydor are becoming outright liabilties. (Who said this weeks ago? That would be me) Conks brings a lot of great things to his team, but the one thing he sucks at is one-on-ones. His defense has to help prevent those. Especially such egregious ones.

-The last two goals Conks probably stops when he's on his game. That being said, both those goals were scored by Rangers standing all by their lonesome in front of the net. I believe Whitney was the closest defenseman on one fo them and other was USS Hal Gill. God love him (I know I do anyway), but there was an opposing player standing stark naked in front of the goalie and he was approximately 300 yards off. And he was the closest.

-At least Fleury is cemented as the starter now.

-Ever notice in these discouraging games (down early, comeback, then go right down again) you have to put out an APB to find Malkin? I know he can't play out of his mind all the time, but still. Yeesh.

-Finally, I would like to assume full responsiblity for this loss. My ridiculously oversanguine prediction (my first specific one of the season) caused this defeat.

Look at my record this year:

I was at the Maple Leafs game in the fall that was pretty much responsible for getting Mark Recchi bounched from town.

I was at the game when Gary Roberts went down.

Who was at the Ottawa game in February when they came back from three goals down and which appears in retrospect to be the game that starting dragging Conklin back down to earth? Me again.

In future, I intend to keep my trap shut and never attend another game. We'll go undefeated!

Nathan said...

On another note, welcome back to the complications of figuring a magic number in hockey: the Caps actually passed Buffalo last night to move into 9th place in the East, but because Buffalo has a game in hand on Washington, the Sabres would end up with a higher point total than Washington if both teams won all their remaining games (97 to 96). Buffalo's in 10th, but they're still the team to track (unless they lose in regulation tonight, then it does revert to Washington) for magic number purposes.

Jonny V said...

Was perusing the Gore for images of Avery, and came upon this.

A pretty apt interpretation of his skills.

Stoosh said...

DR. T -

I suppose Avery's overly candid nature in his interviews could be a driving reason behind his popularity. Fans certainly do love to have players to hate, and Avery's made it a point to put himself in that category, so players like that will always generate more notariety than perhaps their talent would normally get them.

It just amazes me how much the media has built him up. He's a decent player, but I think a guy like Darcy Tucker - another candid loud-mouth - was a better overall player in his prime.

Colin said...

This is an interesting piece from about the Hossa deal and how it went down. Towards the end, it talks about the other deals that were on the table from the Senators and the Canadiens. The Senators offered (supposedly) Vermette, Schubert, and highly rated prospect Nick Folingo(sp?). If I am Waddell, I do that trade in a heart beat (as a qualifier, I am not sure of the contract status of these players). They all seem to be better NHL players.

Just my two cents though.

coffeytalk said...

Hey Steigy,

During all of your attempts to tell stories during play on the ice, you kept mentioning that Gary Roberts and his father were there. I need photographic evidence. Also, does his dad drink Fiji water? And did he remind you of a lightning bolt throwing Zeus? The father of Gary Roberts is truly a BIG DEAL. I want to meet this man.

love and slapshots,

Raybin said...

Also, does his dad drink Fiji water?

I'd be surprised if he drank that or any brand. Drinking water implies a mortal being, which I doubt is a condition the man who fathered Gary Roberts labors under.

Raybin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coffeytalk said...

Ah yes Raybin. Sorry. My mistake. I haven't studied Greek or Roman Mythology in years so I'm a bit rusty. Thanks for the correction.

Johnny Wrath said...

I would be satisfied if they simply redefined the parameters of The Hart Trophy as "the player who's manliness most inspires us fat, lethargic writers to get our cholesterol checked".

If it is supposed to be about who's the most valuable player to a given team and not simply a mancrush version of the Pearson Award, I don't understand how OV is in the conversation.

In an attempt to stop thinking about last night's time warp to 2004, I will now make a short case for my 3 Hart finalists, in order.

Third place - The asshole, Brodeur. NJ doesn't score, they're aging, and they're ugly. Brodeur needs to win most of their games by not letting in more than 2. If they score 4 goals in one game, its an amazing feat. Brylin totally looks like he's been exhumed from the grave.

Second place - Jarome Iginla. Iggy is sort of the same deal in Cow Town - he's expected to win games single-handedly because literally nobody else is consistent. This wouldn't be the case if Kipper looked mildly interested in competing, but he doesn't.

Winner - Joe Thornton. SJ is fucking brilliant, in large part to Nabby winning 40+ games, but look at the points leaders. If Joe missed time or had an average season, this would be a pretty average team. He's got 46 more points than Milan Michalek, the #2 scorer. Cheechoo is sucking and Marleau has a whopping 39 points and is -16.

Part of my criteria, of course, is teams who enjoy success; success which wouldn't be possible if these players weren't doing what they're doing. In my opinion, you can have better +/- and more points and look more like a Pearson winner than an MVP if your team isn't competitive. See: Lecavalier. It doesn't matter much if a player is the difference between overall last place or conference last place.


Jonny V said...

U gotta respect any Penguins fan who makes a valid arguement about Hart trophy candidates withoug mentioning any Penguins players.

I don't know about Iggy (45-42-87), I mean the Flames are at the precipice of not making it in (like the Capitals, so if you include him, you def. have to include Ovechkin (58-44-102). Datsyuk (28-56-84) and the Red Wings have had to overcome quite a few injuries this year to grab the best overall record (so far) and how can you ignore what Kovalev
(31-43-74) and the Canadiens have done this year?

One thing I think we agree on is neither of us see a Penguin winning it this year.

Dr. Turkleton said...

@johnny wrath

I totally agree with your top 3.

Why is OV considered?...your analysis of Thornton & Iginla kinda fits into OV's bio...if he went down or went on a major slump, the Caps would've been done weeks ago...
•he's 40+ points ahead of the 2nd place scorer on his team
•his next SOG will be #400 [if OV is 'out' of action for 1/2 those shots, who would the Caps lean on to score goals]
• has 1/3 of teams PPG [21] with the next closest guy having 8

I'd say though, that if the Caps find a way to get into the top 8...OV could knock off Joey T for the Hart...
If they don't get into the playoffs, he'll probably finish 2nd for the Hart [which, IMO, is B.S. based on how the voting Media has that unwritten rule]

Stoosh said...


Ryder-Lapierre-Grabovski would've been a potential disaster for the Thrashers, which is probably why they asked for a first-round pick (the "fourth element" to which Gainey referred). Ryder is a pending UFA and he's had a rough year. Lapierre is an energy player and a bit of a pest (he and Sid have a history that goes back to the Quebec League). Grabovski is a solid prospect who's kind of overachieved, but he could evolve into a decent second-line playmaker.

Vermette-Schubert-Foligno and a first-rounder is allegedly what Atlanta wanted, but it sounds like what Murray was actually offering was quite a bit different. He said Vermette wasn't part of his original offer and it didn't sound like the first-round pick was either. I'd be interested to see what the Ottawa offer really was.

dani said...

"Sean Avery would have scored, but he tans too much."

HAHAHHAHA! He is quite tanorexic for a NYer. He must have lived in LA for too long.

Johnny Wrath said...

Kovy is my all-time favourite athlete. I don't think his production is the whole reason Montreal is in a dogfight for #1, but I do think he's phenomenal. Something I left out was how North American fat beat writers don't vote Russian.

OV and Iggy are similar in a lot of ways. OV has one more GWG with 10, and of course leads the NHL in scoring. In my opinion, the difference is the incredible stalemate in the NW division, and the relative uselessness of the SE. Every team in the SE would be the 5th place team in the NW. It isn't hard to score a lot playing Atl, TB, and ATL, three of the leagues' worst defensive teams. Iggy's 9 GWG have that team 9 of the 10 games over .500, right in the chase.

That being said, the talk is going to be about Joe, Marty, and OV if DC gets into the post-season. They are, after all, on a 7-3 run since the deadline, and OV may score 65 goals and 115 points. Its going to be hard to ignore, but so will San Jose winning that division despite having one truly effective forward.

Fred Jones said...

As much as I hate him, I see Marty B winning the Hart

Dr. Turkleton said...

can't remember if this NHL commercial ran during Sundays Pens NBC game or I've seen it on NHL-Net...but EJ Hradek was talking about it today on his XM radio show....
One Play
Kind of a cool 'singular play' that enbodies the NHL's past,present & future....

Sakic19 said...

Is it possible that Gary Roberts fathered not only himself, but also The USS Hal Gill as well?...something for you all to ponder.

Once again, the regular season is slipping away and things look a bit unsettled...when Crosby comes back, will he have enough time to truly get into a rhythm with Hossa? Will Malkin continue to step up and out of Crosby's shadow? Will there continue to be nightly line shake-ups with a healthy lineup? Will Therrien grow even a fraction of the balls that The Dark Lord Rey Shero has and bench Sydor/limit Whitney's minutes?...tick tock tick tock...less than a month left

Andrew said...

Well, I'm super pumped that a Tommy Boy reference was made...because when he scored that goal, all I could think about was "I hope the Pensblog makes a Tommy Callahan reference."

Flyer Hater said...

Fleury in net tomorrow, YAY!!

Pensgirl said...

Sakic, as to your question about the origin of Gary Roberts...

Back during the Roman Empire days there was a (sanctioned) myth/religion centered around a deity born out of a rock.

Quingo77 said...

Is it just me or are the Rangers the absolute most boring team to watch? I had the AWESOME pleasure to watch the game on MSG last night and you could only hear the crowd when they scored a goal. I think they were asleep like the rest of the us. Bar far on the worst games the Pens have played all year (reminded me of the game against Florida a few days ago).

Oh, surprised no one brought this up. However, NY's goal chant has to be the douche equivalent of a Sean Avery. Worst thing I've heard in hockey in a long time.

That goal Avery scored I think is more on the defense than Conk. Conk got beat but the whole defense dropped off and 2 guys went after Double J. It was a 2 on 3, not a 3 on 2. That shit should rarely happen in hockey, and only from snipers. Sean Avery only snipes when he touches little boys rubbing tanning lotion on him.

Flyer Hater said...

The Rangers are starting to play very much like their division neighbors to the East and i'm not talking about the Islanders.

Michael said...

You guys can say whatever you want about Sean Avery, truth be told he's a valuable piece of a hockey team. He was worse of a scumbag with the Kings. I won't deny that he remains one on the ice, but he's moved away from the diving and spearing nastiness of his younger years.

He plays at a ridiculously high level of intensity each and every night. He unnerves opponents with a lot of lip service, hard, finished checks and the occasional shenanigans in post-whistle scrums. And what pisses everyone off is that the man has skills. He's fast, can pass and can blow shots past goalies. See last night's 1st goal.

Of course you hate him, but if he was riding shotgun with Geno, or Sid or Staalsy you'd love him to death cause he'd score and shove it right in the other team's face. You'd love him as you love Ruutu. They're both superpests, but the one from New York happens to get choicer pieces of tail and doesn't have so many silly U's in his name. Who likes U's?

Though the tan, yeah, uhh, I'm put off by that too. That's certainly questionable. Maybe if he wasn't a hockey player I'd just think he's a douche, but he's my kind of guy in Rangers blue.

Michael said...

And who are you talking about Flyer Hater? The only team not the Islanders or Bruins east of the Rangers plays in Belfast or somewhere else across the pond. Are you going for Philly?

Flyer Hater said...


I was talking about NJ

Dave said...

Those two teams are practically right on top of each other. If you sent Gary Roberts to one arena, the other one would likely be destroyed as well from the aftershock.

Stoosh said...

MICHAEL - I'll be honest, I can't say I'd cheer much for Avery if he was sporting the skating Penguin on his sweater as opposed to the diagonal RANGERS. I just don't care for him.

I couldn't stand Petr Nedved when he was a Penguin despite the fact that he was damn near a 100-point player. He played well, but I was indifferent to him because I just didn't like the guy.

Avery has toned down his act a bit (Steve Downie, take notes) and it's probably made him a better player. He's got some skills - terrific speed and a decent shot, but I'd still be wary of his temper.

Superpests like Avery are great when they have a clearly-defined role on the team and they're able to play under control. When they become unhappy or confused about their role or upset about their playing time, it can start to hurt the team because they take ill-advised penalties.

This is what happened with Barnaby during his Pens career. When he first got here, he played his role very well. He tried to remake himself as a scoring winger in 2000-01. That was a disaster which saw him relegated back to the third line. He was pushed even further down the chart when Lemieux came back, the lines were reshuffled, and he completely lost his role on the team. He became a sideshow act, taking bad penalties and doing a poor job picking and choosing his spots. He was dealt not long after Lemieux came back.

I also get wary of these guys when the skills start to erode. The Rangers used to employ one of those at the end of his career...his name was Theo Fleury, and I can remember some absolutely epic on-ice meltdowns that he had toward the end of his career here.

I'm also not sure how Avery would handle the dynamic here. Is he a good teammate? I've heard differing opinions on that. Could he handle deferring to the leadership of Crosby? Could he handle occassionally being called out by Therrien? Just some thoughts...

I Have Kasparaitis said...

Did anyone hear Bob make fun of Steiggy? They were talking about Staal's first goal, and Steiggy said it was on the sod farm. Bob makes him sound stupid by saying "Did they bury it on the farm or something?" Steiggy chuckled but it sounded like he wanted to kick Errey in the back of the head. I was laughing so hard afterward.

I love how Steiggy said Avery got his tan from going to Florida. Really ... it looks like Avery met up with Charlie and his BFFs, and stopped at this wonderful little hair salon that happened to have a tanning bed. I hate Avery so much! I can't believe anything that comes out of his smug mouth! I hope that he didn't say what people thought he did about Blake. If he said stuff about Blake and his cancer, I would have done something if I was Tucker. I would not compare Ruutu and Avery. You just insulted Ruutu. Ruutu is a real man and plays like one; Avery is an ass who thinks he's tough. Sure if Ruutu wasn't on our team, I'm sure most of us wouldn't like him, but if Avery was on my team, I think I would kill him and then myself.

Dude, I like Whit, too, but Goligoski and Nasserdine when they played looked a million times better than he has. Sydor wasn't looking too good, either. Conklin can only do so much when the a defensive pairing looks like shit. I hope Orpik doesn't end up with one of them or MT and Co. will blame it on him.

Best goal of the night was Ruutu's. (I love Staal, but when Ruutu scores I'm happy for him.)

Sorry for my longtalkingblog.

In Malkin (And Malone) I Still Trust!

Raybin said...


I haven't thought about mythology in 800,000 years or so either, but it only stands to reason that the man who seeded the field from which sprang Gary Roberts could not be afflicted with our poor, weak mortal deficiencies, such as the necessity of drinking water! :)

@johnny wrath

Excellent post and this:

NJ doesn't score, they're aging, and they're ugly

will cause me wake up in the middle of the night laughing for weeks to come.

Hip said...

a few thoughts:

@eric k - as mentioned, the Hart is for most valuable player to the team. You take issue with a players value if he can't get his team to the playoffs, but even Mario couldn't do that alone. If you follow the Caps to the degree I do, you'd realize they'd be nothing more than an average AHL team without Ovechkin. That is why he is in the conversation. Honestly I could care less who wins the thing - I'm worried about the Cup. I can't name my lifetime Hart winners, but I sure as shit know who raised Lord Stanley.

@dave - well played.

@stoosh - thanks for the LGP linky dink. Good analysis. It's kinda too bad because I think back to the STH meet and greet and how clearly pumped Whit was/is to be a Pen. Still a bit of time to get his shit together. Hopefully he can.

Flyer Hater said...

Crosby's not playing on Saturday against New Jersey


Ashley said...

For those who don't like Sean Avery and enjoy laughing at other people's misery, I have this little Avery fact:

"In 1999, Avery was signed by the Detroit Red Wings and broke into the NHL, playing 36 games with the Red Wings during the 2001-02 season. The Red Wings went on to win the Stanley Cup that season though Avery did not partake in the playoffs. Avery did not play the required 40 games, so his name was left off the cup." - The Wiki Page

Poor guy, if only the coach had played him in four more games, then he could call himself a Stanley Cup winner. But I guess he will always be seen as a loser.

I Have Kasparaitis said...

Malone isn't talking about his contract until the end of the season. I hope all goes well ... he's my fav. player and if he goes, it would be worse than it was for everyone with Crusher and Army. Frankly, I can't see him anywhere else.

bluzdude said...

I thought the loss was MY fault because I missed the opening 15 minutes because I thought the game was on at 7. "D'oh!"

Scuderi song... well done.

Dr. Turkleton said...

Whitney on the radio on location with Mark Madden...

MM: So, when was the turning point of last nights game?
RW: Right after I made that bad pass from the corner after we had tied up the game [chuckle,chuckle]

He's losing points with me...even on an OFF DAY !!!!!

C'mon Whit - quit worrying about your NCAA brackets & start worrying about playing some D

[Hossa: after losing to the Rags, tonight rooting for the Rags]

JYo said...

@ Stoosh: I think Theo Fleury was a much better player than Avery. Granted he played through some more wide open years in the NHL, but he was a point per game player over his career. Avery isn't even a 0.5 point per game producer. He was also a 7 time All-Star. Avery is a pest with a touch of skill. Avery in his prime = Fleury in his crazy years at the end. Maybe that is what you were getting at...

@kasper: I agree that Malone would be a bigger loss than Crusher and Army. He is a fan favorite like they were/are, but he also contributes a lot more on the ice than those two did.

Eric K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fakepaulsteigerwald said...

Yes, Robert Errey did humilate and belittle me on national television...
HOWEVER, I was still in Sudden Death. Try that on for size Errey!

Get back between the benches where you belong and stay out of my booth.

Rollin' 1 deep in the P-I-T
Steig Dizzle

dappie99 said...

@ flyer hater

crosby is gonna be out even longer? how long? source?

undercrowns said...

let's just hope that the rangers play as well as they did last night so we have a chance at taking first over the devils.

Flyer Hater said...

One thing you can't accuse Whitney of, being an unentertaining personality on the radio. If he played as well as he communicated, he'd win the Norris.

Johnny Wrath said...

Tonight's game will be another boring 4-3 OT affair, further frustrating our hopes of pulling away from these assholes.

I don't like the 3-point game. In fact, its a wedge between the league and I. Many of you know I love FIFA, and they have their shit together, but I don't want to see 3 point games in Hockey. It isn't Hockey, much the same way as Shayne Corson bouncing on the Leafs isn't Hockey.

We would still be in the same situation as NJ if there was no "loser point". That isn't going to change as long as Lou still draws breath and Marty minds the net; however, Dallas should be well out of reach for Anaheim. Philly shouldn't be in the playoff picture. Edmonton is simply disgusting. 15 shootout wins? The closest is Atlanta with 9, but they're lucky to find their dicks for a piss.

Bettman was instrumental in getting our Arena deal done, but was it not a no-brainer? We need to get this guy out of the League officials' office before it becomes more price inflated and more mediocre than it was in the late '90's. At the very least, you didn't see 15 year deals and truly ridiculous cap structures.

I'll still never forgive NJ for letting NY get to that '94 Cup™ final.

Christina said...

@ dappie99

tsn article

i'll believe sid's not playing when sid says it himself...but is super reliable, so read into it what you will.

Kristen PB said...

Speaking of Steiggy/Errey banter...

Anyway, I've said it before and I'll say it again: between Steiggy and Errey, if there's a questionable play or penalty, my money's on Errey to call it right. Not always, but most of the time. But there seems to be some underlying...resentment?...that Steiggy has toward Errey. And when Errey makes some goofy remark or takes a good-humored jab at Steiggy, that resentment sometimes surfaces. Or maybe it's just me psychoanalyzing the two of them.

Nevertheless, if you listen to the commentary during the 1992 Cup final (from the 10 Greatest Games DVDs), Mike Lange of course dominates. But who's that thin little voice trying to interject now and then? Why, it's Steiggy! For long stretches of the game, he is so quiet, you forget he's even there, then he pipes up with some timid observation, which Mike Lange sort of ignores as he continues calling the game. Which he has every right to do because Mike Lange is a legend.

But now, Steiggy sometimes seems to treat Errey in a similar off-hand way...just without the legendary status that Lange has. Is it poorly-sublimated gloating? Is it a personality issue? Is it just that Errey makes some off-the-wall comments because he's enjoying the hell out of the games, while Steiggy remains the staunch "professional"?

It's just odd to contrast meek and mild 1992 Steiggy with the man I hear now. I suppose confidence and experience have a lot to do with it, but still, there is just something in his tone that seems pompous...

Flyer Hater said...

Brodeur gave up a soft goal to Stephane Matteau in the 2nd OT of game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals and decided to make up for it by becoming the best goalie ever.

If the Debs win that game, Brodeur stocking groceries in Winnipeg.

Jonny V said...

kristenpb, wouldn't it be great if they started sniping at each other more and more, and it ultimately leads to them in a slap fight with Steigy giving an ultimatum of "Him or me, man!!, him or me!!!" Invariably he gets jettisoned out the door, with Mike Lange swooping in like Mighty Mouse to save the day, just in time to announce game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. Wish I had a genie with about three wishes...

Donald Faison M.D., sweet commercial you linked to. The NHL needs more marketing like that. Oodles of it. But when the hell did youtube start having advertisements? Where have I been? What year is this?

FijiH2O said...

Love the Gary Roberts prayer!

Like Coffeytalk, I wanted to see GR with his dad. How many times do we have to see Mr. Staal? The Pens web page has a group picture of the dads, but they son't say who is who. None of them were holding lightening bolts or bottles of Fiji water:)

I totally agree with Kristen pb's analysis of the Steigy/Errey dynamic. I've thought the same thing for a while.

Oh well, yesterday is over and there is more than enough blame to go around. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better - pray to Gary:)

The Seeker said...


Chicago took the Craps to the cleaners.....shutting them out 5-0.

I wonder if OV ordered starch with that ass-kicking?

Na poins fo you Missta!

wilsmith said...

I have nothing to contribute.


coffeytalk said...

Seeker, that's one of the best things I have heard all day.

I need to start daily going to Whole Foods in hopes of running into Gary Roberts. I did run into Jeff Jimerson the other day at Giant Eagle and Mike Lange keeps showing up at random dive bars I visit. Jimerson was kind to shake my hand and talk about the Pens for a bit. He has amazing highlighted hair. Lange is very approachable. Only downfall is he plays terrible music on the jukebox. Ah well...

Flyer Hater said...

Lange's one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. I met him one time at a Denny's and sat down at the counter with him and talked about the Pens for about 15 minutes.

coffeytalk said...

He is also ALWAYS at Denny's. The first time I eversaw him was after a Pens game last year at the North Park Lounge. They had a guest bartender night and Danny Potash was workin' the bar. Lange and Errey walked in together. Lange ordered a Miller Light with a glass of ice. Weird.

Steve In Denver said...

TSN's (and everyone else) is reporting that DiPietro's season is over due to a hip problem requiring surgery.

I wonder if his contract has a no pay clause if an injury is caused by Pensblog Charlie.

Johnny Wrath said...

This post has been sponsored by New Belgiun Brewer's "Mothership Wit" beer.

Ryan Whitney needs to check somebody. Anybody. Shit, even Gonch shifts his hips into some bastard trying to cycle the disc around the D-zone, and he hasn't got the natural size and weight Whit does.

I know Sydor was primarily responsible for the -4. He directed Kennedy to cover Jargir Jarogr while screening Conks allowing Avery a clean wrister. He ducked the check and threw a grenade ending in some nobody picking it off, etc, etc.

I just need Whit to not loose body position to guys like Straka. I need him to take a guy like Callahan to the boards hard. I mean, will it hurt his puck-lugging skills to angle off a third-line Ranger? If I had his skill, size, and was repping Beantown, I would occasionally board a guy named, say, Dubinsky.

To me, Whitney is the guy who needs to step up his game to make Pittsburgh the most feared squad in the east. Hammer the opponent, and hit the net. He'll never be Pierre Pilote, but damn it hit someone. Get ruthless, and get mean.

And tell Orpik to get that van a new paint job.

Stoosh said...

HIP - For the record, I don't think Whitney's going anywhere. They MIGHT shop him this summer if he continues to really struggle. But I don't think Shero would sign him to a long-term extension like that and deal him after just the first year.

There's a chance they might lose Orpik to free agency because someone will offer him more than the Pens think he's worth, so there's a chance they'll already have to replace one defenseman. If they deal Whitney, they have to make sure they're getting an NHL-caliber d-man back in the deal, or else they now have to replace two defensemen.

Unless they plan on keeping Orpik and then they really think Goligoski's ready to step in, I don't see Whitney going anywhere.

Stoosh said...

I HAVE KASPARAITIS - Malone is going to be a tricky thing for Shero to handle because when you look at Malone's career, he's had two terrible years (05-06 and 06-07) sandwiched around two great years (03-04 and 07-08). Which Malone are we getting after he gets paid? The one who's been a world-beater this year, or the one who played himself onto the trading block a few times over the last couple of seasons?

Bugsy turns 29 this December, so if he signs a three-year deal, he'll be 31 when it's time to renegotiate. That means he MIGHT get one more big payday, or he might not. This may be his best chance to cash in.

If I'm Shero, I'm offering Malone a three year deal for about $3.5 million to stick around and have a shot at a couple of Cups. If he gets four years, $4-4.5 million per from somewhere and decides to go elsewhere, I let him go. Malone is a solid player who's doing a lot of good things this year and I like the guy a lot. But I'm having a hard time determining if this is Malone reborn as a player or Malone in a contract year.

They've got guys in the system capable of taking over for him. Ryan Stone and Jon Filewich are in WB/S and haven't looked out of place here. Madden also brought up Luca Caputi, who had a tremendous year in juniors up in Niagara and apparently many people in the front office believe he's capable of jumping from amateurs to the NHL, just as Malone pretty much did (I think he played three games for WB/S in 02-03).

Stoosh said...


"Avery in his prime = Fleury in his crazy years at the end. Maybe that is what you were getting at..."

Yep, that's pretty much exactly what I was getting at, but even that might be a stretch, because Fleury still wasn't bad at the very end...he just couldn't control his temper at all.

Fleury's final eight seasons in the NHL coincided directly with the NHL's Trap Era (1995-96 through 2002-03). Over those eight seasons, Fleury posted seven seasons in which he finished with at least 63 points. He had five seasons with at least 25 goals over that time as well.

So even towards the end of his career, he was putting up considerably better numbers than Avery.

Avery is basically a slightly-better, more glorified version of Matt Barnaby.

Avery = 370 games, 65-101-166, 1049 PIMs, 0.45 ppg.

Barnaby = 834 games, 113-187-300, 2562 PIMs, 0.36 ppg.

Stoosh said...

COFFEYTALK - Lange, I believe, used to Slapshots, a bar on West Liberty Avenue about a mile or so from where I work and used to live (I work down at Matthews International near the entrance to the Liberty Tunnels, and I used to live on that back end of Mt. Washington).

I've never met Lange, but I've heard he's nicer than hell in person.

I've also got it on pretty good authority that both he and Steigerwald can't stand each other. Most of it is due to the way that the booth shakeup was handled a few years ago, and there's probably mutual blame to go around there (it's not Steigy's fault that FSN thought Lange was too pricey, but I heard Steigy could've also handled it much better than he did).

I'd rather here Lange on television...I'm really not a Steigerwald fan at all. But Lange has been lights-out since moving back to the radio, and he and Bourque play off each other fairly well, too.

Michael said...

Stoosh and others:

I'm as aware as anyone of Theo Fleury's colossal meltdowns toward the end of his Rangers career.

Flipping off the Islanders crowd. Storming off the ice after taking a penalty with around six or seven minutes still left in a game pounding on the zamboni doors till someone opened them up and he made his exit). Mixing it up with Sharkie the San Jose mascot.

All things completely off the Sean Avery topic we started with, but hilarious nonetheless.

The train completely came off the rails for Theo, but there were also substance abuse problems involved. The only substance Avery appears to abuse is spray-on tan.

In his tenure with the Rangers he has scored 0.66 points a game. He has played in control. No meltdowns. Nothing but pissing the other teams off to the best of his abilities with his mouth and sandpaper-like grit.

He had superstar Ilya Kovalchuk chasing him around the ice last year when the Thrasher season was on the line in the playoffs. He has decked Martin Brodeur in the chops. How much hate can you really have for someone who's done that?

Anyway, I'm rambling like some type of schmuck but I'm glad that you can see his skill and realize that he does have things to contribute outside of being a thorn in everyone else's balls (though that is largely part of the value he has). I can also understand how you can dislike a guy on your team regardless of his performance, but Avery is the real deal and I hope the Rangers can re-up him cause he'll keep getting under everyone's skin for years to come.


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