Monday, March 24, 2008

GameDay (76) -- Pens @ Islanders

Nassau Coliseum




Crosby's not playing yet. Take your effin time dude.

Dupuis has flown down to Atlanta to be with his wife for the birth of their third child.

Scuderi is back, to play in the arena where he got hurt.
HCMT is running 7 D-men tonight.

And Conks is getting the start in the arena where he stopped like 80 shots a couple weeks ago.


But honestly, all of that is moot.

Two years ago at this time, Crosby had yet to score his 100th point in the NHL
and the Pens were nowhere near the playoffs for the 4th consecutive season.

"Yeah, boohoo, the Pens haven't made it into the playoffs 4 times in the last 18 years,"
says a Blue Jackets fan.

We made it though the dark ages of the early '00s, and the Penguins will be in the playoffs for the second consecutive year if they get a win tonight.

Raise an extra drink into the sky if the Pens are ahead when that final horn sounds.


Ooh, the nerve of the Penguins front office:

Announcing that tickets for home games 1 and 2 of the playoffs go on sale
this Friday at 10:00 a.m. [ Penguins Website ]

D-Copp refuses to put money aside for tickets until that number is round.



By the way,'s Game 76.
Where'd the season go?


JYo said...

FIRST things first, clinch the playoff birth tonight. Then, once we clinch the playoff birth, its time to update flashblog. In with MAF and LeGame, out with Conk and Whitney.

fierst78 said...

i agree sir, but i believe whitney should have been eliminated a while ago

Eric K said...

first and hopefully only time i will ever have to utter these three words in my life.......... Go Sens Go

You can bet your bottom dollar Pascal picked up an assist on the delivery of his baby.

Hopefully Ruutu will go all Hiroshima on Richard Park at some point tonight....ouch

Go Pens

stokes said...

Where did the season go? It seems like only yesterday that i was hammered drunk watching the Pens stumble out of the gate while getting railroaded by the 'Canes. What a difference 7 months makes, eh?

I like the Conk Start. He needs to get a good game under his belt.

BlacknGold66 said...

Stokes you're always hammered so the point is moot.

I keed I keed.

Speaking of which, the only place in town that carries the Vs. network up here is a bar.

One effing bar. Otherwise it's internet-radioblog.

Hmmm... radio is probably better than Vs.

But chicken wings and beer beat out radio any day.

Let's Go Pens!!!

wilsmith said...

Future segment:
Playoff Beards: The Men of C-Blog

Nate said...

wow i really like that pensblog logo at the top of the page there... any considerations on using that as the title permanently?

stokes said...

BNG66: the truth hurts man. no need to kid.

Wilsmith: great idea. i hope mine is better than staal's...

and playoff tailgate will be in the works soonly.

M. Vanderlasser said...

Love this quote from our favorite Finn:

""My back is sore from carrying the team so much the last three games," Ruutu said, smiling."

Note to self: this summer at the pool, we're definitely playing "Jark-o Ruu-tu" instead of "Marc-o Pol-o".

Can't wait 'til the Steel City S&M RPM M&Ms Line takes the ice tonight...

Sad that we won't get to see Bob E. clock anyone with the mic, tho.

Brando said...


coffeytalk said...

If I could grow a play-off beard, I would. Play-off leg hair just doesn't sound like a good idea...

Stoosh said...

COFFEYTALK - That's just awesome!

A playoff beard will look all sorts of goofy because it grows in a bit unevenly in terms of color, so it looks a bit splotchy. I couldn't care less, though, because I am the consummate team player. Playoff beard it is.

The only question is...when to start? When we clinch the playoff berth or when the playoffs start?

Stoosh said...

STOKES - Thankfully, hockey has one of pro sports's shortest offseasons. Unfortunately, I have to sit through another Pirates season and all the crap that comes with Steeler camp to get to hockey season again.

RobbieBrown44 said...

Agreed on Pens coming out too early with Playoff ticket announcement. Shouldn't (keyword) matter as our JV team beat them last time.

Fastest season I can remember. Seems like yesterday Recchi was slugging down the right side.

Flyer Hater said...

"Where'd the season go?" is absolutely right.

I can remember in the midst of that horrid Atlantic division stretch back in November, losing to the Flyers like 4-1 and clicking on the site and seeing that the title had been changed to BOOBS and there was a picture of a man contemplating suicide. That doesn't even seem like it was that long ago. I guess the fun seasons fly by, eh?

Eric K said...


thats a good question about when to start the beard-age. ive always started after the last game of the reg. season, well not ALWAYS because before last season i could barely grow pubic hair when the pens last made the playoffs let alone facial hair.....


Eric P. said...

"wow i really like that pensblog logo at the top of the page there... any considerations on using that as the title permanently?"

Second that.

homesprout said...

Wow...does the Nassau Coliseum really look like that!? haha

Go Pens!!

stokes said...

@robbiebrown44: i was trolling around the Caps website today-i dont know why- and i had to click off immediately because some lady starting talking at me about buying playoff tickets. In washington. talk about putting the cart before the horse.

Stoosh: Playoff tailgate doesnt mean one is going to the game. obviously it would be better if one was going to the game, but i think that a Cblog meeting before a playoff game, drinking a few brews, and celebrating the playoffs would be rad. what one does once the game starts is up to oneself.

i always thought that playoff beards start once the regular season is over.

Mike Costa said...

Hopefully At About 9:30 I Can Scream I'm Growing A Playoff Beard. After Last Year's One Week Run, Dear God My Playoff Beard Has Potential.

Go Pens!

Andy26 said...

Does anyone know if there are any sites streaming the game video online tonight? I haven't missed a game all year and I don't want this to be my first! Thanks.

Christina said...

that pensblog logo is solid - how about adding that to storeblog??

GO PENS!!!!!!


Christina said...

oh wait - forgot about copyright issues. never mind.

Johnny Wrath said...

I know a few guys who start their beards when we clinch, but I start mine officially right as our last reg. season game ends. We'll all look like Chris Dingman should we get to the finals, so just do what feels natural.

If you happen to be a lady, feel free to fashion a beard of construction paper and lengthy marker streaks. Make it small at first, then gradually larger. It may seem like a real pain in the ass to keep making fake paper beards, but in my experience they don't last very long due to their poor beer absorbency.

Nassau has looked like that since they correctly assumed nobody would notice. Go Pens.

Flyer Hater said...

Gotta love this,

Our leading scorer=Evgeni Malkin, 102 points

NYI leading scorer=Mike Comrie, 49 points


Stoosh said...

STOKES - I would be all for a C-blog playoff tailgate. The $10-12 to park and set up in the Mellon back lot would be well worth it. I would happily foot the bill for the parking to get to the lot and get it started. Everyone else who attends can park wherever they want and meet up in the parking lot.

We wouldn't necessarily HAVE to do it at the Mellon lots, but it's a nice central location that would put us right in the middle of everything. Afterwards, for those who wouldn't have tickets to the game, I say we take over either The Souper Bowl or the Steelhead or something, then head back up to tailgate after the game.

I'm getting pumped for might be time to break out the kilt and invest in some bagpipes.

wilsmith said...

stoosh and stokes: I own an RV.

I get the playoff beard going as soon as they clinch. I like to have it as large as possible as soon as possible.

chris e said...

Let's do this shit!

Flyer Hater said...

chris e=money

fierst78 said...

now stoosh, im no regular here, but a c blog tailgate is a great idea

coffeytalk said...

stoosh, stokes, all yinz-

i am down for a tailgate. I will bring chairs, food, and beer. not sure what my ticket situation will be like but i'd be happy to wander down to a bar for gametime.

ALright, almost gametime.



Flyer Hater said...


bluzdude said...

Anyone notice Lord Therrien dropping a couple F bombs from the bench? Looks like he had someone in particular in mind...

KJ said...

and steel city trio gets mentioned

Stoosh said...

FIERST78 - I can't take credit for the playoff tailgate idea...that, I believe was Stokes, Wilsmith and possibly a few others.

It'd be a blast, either way, though.

Whistler said...

Doesn't it seem like we're just letting the play with us. .

The passing is SICK!

Stoosh said...

COFFEYTALK - That'd be sweet!

We have a small propane grill that works pretty well, but it's not that big...enough space to do a few hamburgers and hotdogs at a time. I think we got it for like $25 at Wal-Mart or something. Depending on how many other people we get to do this, if some others could bring their grills as well, that'd be cool.

I'm not expecting to be able to get playoff tickets, so any C-blog tailgates or get-togethers during the postseason would be most welcome.

Whistler said...

Once we are officially in the playoffs, I wil NOT trim my beard.

The team I work for (ECHL) is in the playoffs and I have yet to make that commitment.

I will commit to the aviary!

Stoosh said...


Ottawa 0
Montreal 3

End of the first

Thanks for sucking, Sens.

Stoosh said...

Sidenote: Madden said today on his show that Ottawa has the worst record of any team in the league since Jan. 1, 2008.

Stoosh said...

We better get our asses in gear.

KJ said...

you, me, and dupois gets mentioned now! are they spying?!

nu said...

How did we wind up in Bizarroblog?

For a team that's needing home ice so desperately, it's sure not seeming like it's going to be earned on the road.

Explain this disparity, please? Someone? Anyone? Bueller?

thegreenseas said...

Wow what the hell happened after the first period?...the pens looked like a completely different team. And yet again we see the negative effects of dressing 7 defensemen. Please never dress 7 d-men again...we lose every time. IT F*CKS UP ALL OF THE LINES AND DOES NOT WORK!

Dr. Turkleton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Seeker said...

Thanks for not breaking the season-long pattern of losing the next game after a huge emotional win.

Expect the Devils to be out for blood tomorrow's gonna be real ugly.

Dr. Turkleton said...

meh...can't win 'em all

what really concerns me though, is:

Consistently losing FACEOFFS....ran at a 36% clip tonight & come playoff time, if that percentage isn't on the plus side of 50% [improbable, but not impossible] then that's going to come back to bite 'em in the ass, big time. Esp. those important draws in the offensive & defensive zones during a PP or PK.

Bring on the Devils


Bring on the Devils


nu said...

C'mon, seeker, they beat Buffalo and Philly pretty good after Washington...and lets not forget the post-Thanskgiving tour, but seriously, what the hell?

Why would everyone say they knew what they had to do tonight and then not do it? (30+ consecutive nights of losing faceoffs shouldn't make that much of a difference in their performance, should it?)

Who is this team that goes on the road and why can't they get their heads out of their asses?

We're past the time of year where "Don't get too high after a win; don't get too low after a loss" is an option.

The guys said having all these divisional games was like having the playoffs come early...well, the same sense of wanting to find the freeway after being eviscerated by every oppositional goal has arrived right on time.

Sakic19 said...

Two different teams guys...this is the time of year to cement your more excuses, we have seen what is capable with and without Crosby, and tonight was a joke...I never thought I would see us slower than the Islanders...for all the talk of Hossa, I am sorry but I haven't seen much, yes he is a good skater, and yes he had 3 assists the other night, but he should be scoring goals...using not having Crosby as an excuse cannot work here because he didn't have Crosby in Atlanta and he could light the lamp there...Dr. Turk is right, do they not practice faceoffs? Once again, Hal Gill and Dupuis best parts of the trade deadline...

Jonny V said...

That game was poop.

I'm down with a tailgate, and I'm pretty sure my drill weekend is april 5th and 6th, so my playoff beard can officially start growing unimpeded after game 82 against the Flyers. Sweet baby carrots, this is gonna be awesome...

Flyer Hater said...

Well when we don't win the conference by one point, we know what game to look back upon. Ugly performance. You can't totally blame him, but Ty Conklin shouldn't get a start the rest of the season. All his mojo is gone.

Sakic19 said...

Your right Flyer Hater...the spectacular saves are gone...Conks was good for 1 or 2 a game, now he seems to be looking over his shoulder...I cannot beat him too bad though, he was one of the biggest reasons that we have gotten as far as we did...he not only plugged a leak, he was a dam when we needed one the most, but the dice has been cast...

Flyer Hater said...

Seriously, c-bloggers have to be the most level-headed fans anywhere. People will say their pissed and point out who they are pissed at, but they'll always keep things in perspective.

Go over to LGP and read the GDT. Some of the posters over there are insane. One dude said the Pens don't deserve to make the playoffs and another said the Pens will have no success in the postseason because their inconsistent. Unreal.

We win tomorrow, we have a 4 point lead over New Jersey and all is well again. This team always responds in the face of adversity and I expect no different tomorrow. LET'S RUN BRODEUR...AGAIN!

Flyer Hater said...

Exhibit A: Poster "SolidSnake" commenting about tonight's performance,

"This is a comical performance by us it really is. Ottawa killed us in the playoffs last year and are getting stomped by Montreal. Right now we're not even in the same league as Montreal.

To tell you the truth if we play like this in the playoffs I hope we get our butts kicked because we deserve too."

I Have Kasparaitis said...

Sorry if I repeat anything but what is with the face offs? It looked like we won 3 tops! (Possibly exaggerating because no one likes to show face offs)

Due to my superstitious activities, I was first really happy when I saw Scuds, next angry with Whit, then confused with Orpik. It took me a few minutes to realize my Dupuis disappeared. I hope he has a healthy baby. (Come back soon!)

I feel ashamed to admit this but I'd rather listen to Bob Errey go on about pickle stabbers than hear those idiots talk up Okposo. No one even cares ... and I love when they talked about Witt. I never considered Witt good at anything but annoying the hell out of me. I'm glad he's out ...

Malone's attempt at the end of the game was amazing. I love Bugsy more than Charlie loves men ... where has Charlie been any ways?

Sens sucked it up tonight. Bad break for us.

I'll work on the nickname for the top line, but I'm not gonna force anything stupid. The best thing I have come up with for a sign was
"Eaton's Park."

Guten Nacht!

DarkStar said...

RE: playoff beards. The Thanksgiving game against Ottawa turned this season around. In an unprecedented act of dedication (or is it laziness?), I decided to start my playoff that night. Four months later and it's still going strong. Grizzly Adams ain't got nothin' on me.

Malkin, Sykora, Malone line = Rochambeau line. They'll kick the other team in the balls, but we'll feel that pain on nights like this when they're not clicking. oh well. Biggest game of the year tomorrow. (until the next one)


Stoosh said...

FH - I don't know if you could pin losing the conference on just on this loss...we've given away some games to bad teams and I can't expect them to come out flying every night. And it seems for some reason that Nolan's team knows how to drain the energy from the Pens. Maybe it's playing in that godforsaken mausoleum of an arena.

This one is troubling because of what was at stake, but there's still time left to make that charge at the conference title. I'd love to see at least a division title because it gives this group a banner to raise to the rafters in October.

It could be a lot worse...we could be Ottawa.

Flyer Hater said...

Good point Stoosh. If Ottawa had not gotten off to one of the best starts in NHL history, they'd be nowhere near the postseason right now.

What team has screwed us over the years more than the Islanders?

Sakic19 said... are the voice of reason...the Don Vito Corleone of this blog...your perspective is a great and Gary Roberts like thing, but what many of us are frustrated with is the inconsistency of this team...a seven goal outing should not lead to a letdown, but with our team it does...lately it has been we goal balls-out, or nothing at all

Stoosh said...

FLYER HATER - I love LGP as much as anyone...most everyone over there is still great.

But those gameday threads can quickly become havens for overreaction and irrationality, and if you try to talk sense or maintain an even keel, you usually get shouted down. It's like dealing with a bar full of drunk and angry yinzers during a Steelers know, the ones who can't accept the fact that the team playing opposite the Steelers is also a professional football franchise and even makes NFL-worthy plays from time to time.

Stoosh said...

SAKIC19 - Trust me, I was as angry and frustrated as anyone tonight. I walked away during the last two minutes or so because I was so disgusted with the overall effort. And believe me, I hope this doesn't cost us significantly in the playoffs.

I can't figure this team out sometimes either. I'd like to think it's at least in part a product of a long season...that it's incredibly tough to get up for every game. But with everything that was on the line tonight, I just expected a better effort. I thought they'd come out and really try to bury this team tonight, and they did in spurts. It just seemed like they had another one of "those" games, where they get lulled into complacency midway through the game. Nolan's done that before to us this year. I hate seeing this team lose a game mostly because of effort.

And this isn't to take anything away from Dubliewicz. He was solid tonight and sometimes that happens. He kept NY in the game long enough for them to pull away.

The way some players performed tonight, it sometimes makes me wonder if certain players are willing to pay the price to succeed in the playoffs.

The Big K said...

Screw it. Win tomorrow and we will forget this.
Whitney and Kennedy just have to go.

Steve In Denver said...

I hope you guys have a firmly established tailgating routine in place so that I can roll in, meet & greet and partake around Memorial Day weekend when I'm in town visiting the family.

Tonight just sucked. Everyone skated like BGL. The Isles bring our worst out.

Coffeytalk - what about armpit hair? It's bohemian. Or stinky, unbathed hippy. Speaking of, what's the inspiration for the name "darkstar", Darkstar?

Last, instead of dropping conks and whitney from flashblog, how about adding another line or two of 3? Dupuis, Hossa, Gill, MAF, LeGame, and Mr. Kennedy?

Sakic19 said...

I agree totally Stoosh...the playoffs are a totally different season...the playoffs are where legends are born, not the regular season...I noticed something tonight, the physical play in the first period didn't carry over, and it was said by someone that Yeo wanted them to stop playing that way...that is foolish, because after the first we went into a shell...there is a reason why The Dark Lord Rey Shero brought someone like Gary Roberts on board, and it's because this team has been a weak team for years and if you can out-physical your opponent that gives you such an edge...if it was Yeo that told them to back down then we have a major problem on the coaching staff and they could be a part of what Stoosh said...some members of this team don't understand the price of success in the playoffs...

Sakic19 said...

Kennedy? Have you ever seen him play? Energy baby, energy...

Stoosh said...

Dear ESPN,

I know at your core you are a business and your purpose is to make money. And as part of the ABC family of networks and with the backing of Disney, no doubt, you have more money than most third-world nations.

And I know you didn't become the Worldwide Leader without making smart business decisions (other than hiring Stuart Scott, but that's OK). But in the interests of the sanity of fans of this little niche sport we call hockey, we want to know if you'll take a chance.

Namely, we want to know what it will take for you to bring the NHL back to your networks?

We have a game that is non-stop action...even better than Arena Football (trust us). We have a superstar who says and does all the right things. We have a couple other world-class superstars who will put more plays on your Sportscenter Top 10 than you can shake a stick at. And we have a team full of young talent like you wouldn't believe here in Pittsburgh. You made the Cleveland Cavs into a household name; just wait until you see what you can do with this Sidney Crosby kid. Get these kids and these teams behind your hype machine. You think the 1994 Rangers were huge? Again, just trust me.

I used to love listening to Gary Thorne, Bill Clement and the Panger. Give Bucci his old NHL2Night studio back. Just please...please...PLEASE do SOMETHING to bring this Versus coverage to an end. I can't sit through another game with Joe Beninati. I can't stomach another studio segment with Keith Jones. I'd rather listen to Dick Vitale and Stephen A. Smith. Yes, it's really that bad.

If we get every hockey fan across the States who's been subjected to Versus's coverage to send your company five bucks so you can buy Versus out of its deal, will that do it?

Please help. You are, after all, the Worldwide Leader of SPORTS, and hockey is a SPORT.


Steve In Denver said...

I'll throw $5 in for each of my family members, pets, and for each time my wife flatuates. That should be a solid $100. c'mon, ESPN! Do It!

The Big K said...

Stoosh for friggin president!

Honestly, Versus just sucks.

At the very least could we get Emrick and Edzo?

Who the hell were those stiffs?

Sakic19 said...

Versus stinks worse than the sweat of Ben Eager's balls...Gary Thorne and Bill Clement were a huge part of our lives growing up, now we have this shit...what is the world coming to?

Eric K said...

Richard Park recorded his 10th goal of the season tonight, and 11th goal of the season against the Pens. He's fast as hell, but whatever.

2nd period- you realized how much you missed Rob Scuderi when he got his stick around on whoever the Isle was that had the gaping net to shoot at.
D + Scuds - Whitney = solid(er)

Something about Malkin and Hossa playing together just isn't clicking. I was shocked to see MT break up the Syko-Malkin combination, tho maybe he was trying to spread the scoring over 2 lines since Syko had tallied the only goal of the game.

Doobie's voice is higher pitched than my sister's.

Maaarrtty, Maaarrttyy, Maaarrttyy

Jonny V said...

Stoosh shows why to commit...

Rochambeau line. Pretty obscure reference (from South Park i think), but it about sums them up nicely.

The Seeker said...

I'd blame not scoring more than one lousy goal (with loads of PPs to boot) for this loss way more than the goaltender.

Or maybe it's Conk's fault that guys get shorthanded breakaways and 3-on-1s...oh wait, Conk made GREAT save on that 3-on-1 didn't he. I must have be thinking about the defensive breakdown that allowed Hunter to get the wrap-around.

racheleyos said...

it wasn't conk's fault for the loss at all. we scored on one power play...and how many did we have??? we had a lot of chances and just gave up on the other end, we let them have too many scoring chances. bottom line.

Johnny Wrath said...

A few points;

•Gary Bettman should either resign or stop alienating NHL fans with this pseudo-rivalry Divisional nonsense. He keeps saying that Divisional play generates the highest attendance average, but that doesn’t change the fact that I won’t see the Pens in this State for another year or so, and Pittsburgh won’t see but a few Western teams. It really is as though there are 2 leagues. Remember the attention Sid got when we went to Western Canada? You don’t think it would be an incredible atmosphere when Montreal goes to play in Vancouver or Edmonton? What about Calgary visiting Tampa Bay for the first time in 5 years since that dramatic Game 7? Rivalries, as we know, aren’t based solely on geographic proximity. Rivalries in Hockey come from meeting in the playoffs. Just ask the fans in Detroit and Colorado which team they hate the most and consider their arch-rivals. Some guy in a Konstantinov jersey thinks that Claude Lemieux is the Devil.

•Our top two lines when Sid is out feature Malkin/Syko/Malone then Staal/Hossa/Dupuis. Yet, on the PP, Yeo switches wings so that Syko plays with the Staal pairing and Hossa with Geno. Speaking of Yeo, as Sakic19 mentioned, apparently he instructed the Penguins to stop playing “a chippy” game. What are the Isles? Chippy, scrappy, and hold-y. Basically, the game plan was “Ok, boys, we need to get out there and get hit”. What an asshole. If he made it a point to avoid standing our ground physically, what happens is that we all get out there and play like Sydor.

•Some completely anonymous defender named Johnson crushed Malkin after a shot on net from 78 feet. Laraque gently nudged him. I think that’s a good time in the game to flog Johnson in front of his bench, yes? I let Big Georges know that he’ll be watching the game from the press box until he realizes his duty is to annihilate scum when they try to intimidate all-stars. See: George Parros trying to kill Ben Eager after he slugged Chris Pronger in the then-broken jaw. Hell, I wouldn’t mind if Malone or Ruutu jumped onto the ice, made sure Nolan and his teammates saw Johnson bleed, and got a 3 game suspension. Laraque was already there and gave him an invitation to tea and some friendly political conversation. What a disgrace.

•Conks got outplayed by Wade Dublewicszcsz. The points I made in another thread were about the chemistry between Defense and Goalie, and there were times tonight where they weren’t sure what the other was going to do. Even if there is a second’s hesitation, it may create a scoring chance. We should have gotten 2 points tonight either way, but I’m still not happy about starting Conks. If you’re looking at three games in four nights like this, I play Conklin in the second game vs. NY on the 27th if MAF is looking like he needs a rest ahead of two home-and-home situations with NY and Philly.

•Lastly, I have great reservations about playing Philly twice to end the season. In my estimation, every Penguins’ weight-bearing tendons and joints will be in terrible danger. I wouldn’t dress any of our top players, citing phantom injuries and recall 9 players from WB/S. They’ll have the time of their life until the last thing they remember is an orange streak followed by a perfect black.

stokes said...

So i'm kinda drunk(can it BNG) and no one will read this comment due to it being 12:30, but wilsmith has an RV. that right there is money. Tailgateblog is in full effect. will have a more cohesive comment when i'm not so tired or drunk, i.e. tomorrow.

Didnt see a minute of the game because of the RMU roller hockey schedule, but, uh, apparently, they didnt show up. I love how they're talking about not looking past the Isles and from all accounts, they looked past the Isles.

So Conk has looked pretty terrible for, like, a month now. Should Sabu get another look because he's still a decent back up, right? anyone?

Shut up Stokes you're drunk.


Nick said...

@ stoosh.

The NHL does need ESPN back. The reason the NHL doesn't have ESPN and has Versus is because Versus was willing to dish out the CASH that the NHL was looking for. ESPN scoffed at the money the league was looking for, and rightly so. You had a league that was defined largely by its cult following in NHL in the USA fresh off of a lockout and without a real big time bonafide star (recognized in the US) anyways to promote.

Things have changed in the past few years, and ESPN has taken notice. Their hockey coverage on is basically unmatched by other big time sports websites in terms of big names, people who actually know the game and getting players in for interviews on a weekly basis. ESPN is in a feeling out process right now where they are trying to gauge if the NHL will play to their viewership. I know that we as hockey fans think yes, but if ESPN's going to take the NHL back, they need to be sure.

I understand your frustration at the personalities in the booth, but recognize that Joe Beninati called games on ESPN before the lockout. It's very likely that Keith Jones and Brian Engblom would be on ESPN as well. There just aren't that many tested and experienced national broadcasters for the NHL. Thorne and Clement would in all likelihood be ESPN's go to team, but guys like Edzo, Beninati, Jones and Engblom would all be on the team as well.

Why didn't Geno score any goals tonight? Where were his assists? Why was he getting pushed around in the corners tonight? What a joke. (SARCASM INCLUDED)

I understand that there is frustration at the way that Whitney, Sydor et others play at times, but come on people. We are 2nd in the conference and 1st in our division. Each and every single one of these players deserve credit for the season we're having right now. I love how when we win a game, it's because Malkin played so great, but when we lose it's Whitney's fault. I understand that Whitney and Sydor aren't having the best seasons possible, but I'm going to put my faith in Mario Lemieux and Ray Shero (assistant GM for Team USA Hockey in 2010) rather than some jobber posters over at and Commentorblog. Keep the faith, Pens fans.

Stoosh said...

NICK - I've heard the NHL on ESPN is no longer a matter of "if" but "when". I actually thought it might happen as early as next season, but we'll see. The rumor I heard is either an ESPN buyout of the Versus contract or an ESPN buyout of the Versus network.

Bettman took a calculated risk going to OLN/Versus in the hope that the Versus would find its way into enough homes to build up an audience, and then the NBC partnership would kick in and bring the game to a regular network on weekends. It would take a few seasons to get that kind of momentum worked up.

But in the long run, I don't think he ever intended on staying with Versus. I think he ultimately wanted to have enough interest generated in the game that a larger, more visible network would take notice and give them a shot.

Had he signed on with ESPN right out of the lockout, he was at their mercy when it came to broadcast scheduling, network placement, etc. Now that the NHL has returned and has begun to build up a bit of a following and presence (thanks also to the NHL Network hitting the States AND the success that was the Winter Classic), you're right...ESPN is starting to nose around again.

I don't remember Beninati from ESPN, but you could be right...he may have been on some of the ABC/ESPN Sunday telecasts. I'm just not a big fan...the less I have to listen to him call powerplays "man power advantages", the better. To me, it sounds like he's calling the game in that overzealous Top 40 DJ voice. Again, just my opinion...I could do without the guy.

I do remember Jones from ESPN and I figure he's a shoo-in to land back there because he's friends with Buccigross. Again, just not a big fan. Engblom, I'm perfectly fine with...I actually liked Engblom going back to his ESPN days. His hair hasn't changed at fact, he's starting to get the Bosworth thing going on the sides.

As far as my Whitney comments go, I'm trying to keep the big picture in mind here and not nitpick. But I start cringing when I see some of the plays he makes in his own zone, and for someone who's out there as often as he is, I can see opposing teams trying to exploit his weaknesses in the playoffs. I just don't have a lot of confidence in his play this year, but we'll see. He's been better the last couple of games, including tonight.

Stoosh said...

JOHNNY WRATH - Your points about Laraque are well-taken. I noticed the same thing.

Disagree just a bit about those two Philly games. It'll depend on where Philly is in relation to making the playoffs, and perhaps also where the Pens are in relation to winning the division and/or conference title. If Philly's out by that point, it could be bad. If not, I'd like to think not even Philly is that dumb to resort to tactics like that when the playoffs are at stake.

Then again, this is John Stevens we're talking about here.

sonofatruckload said...
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