Monday, March 31, 2008




7:00
Versus




So, that NY Daily News blog from Sunday's game ended up turning into a comments bloodbath. [ Feces ]

The author, John Dellapina, responded with another post on Monday.
[ "Let's just clarify some things." ]

As expected, he calmed down the masses
and reiterated what were his main points in the previous post.

The blog wars during the playoffs is why we are alive.
Just good times.

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It is actually hard to imagine a fanbase crying more than the Rangers fans have been.
But Anti-Penguinism has been running wild.

We expect Washington fans to cry.
But the Rangers fans are embarrassing.
They have added to the Hudson River with their tears.

Was the game even filled with that much controversy?

First we had that clown from the NYDailyNews.

Now we have this from [ Some Like ItBlue ]

"...it must be really nice to have the refs and the NHL kissing your ass every time you play because you have Crosby on your team and they desperately want you to succeed because of that fact...."

And also they give us a wonderful breakdown of how each penalty on the Rangers was shady.
No mention of the blown icing call on Crosby, which was obviously the NHL covering their tracks in this league-wide conspiracy.

2. Tyutin for hooking. LOL. Okay.




WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

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TONIGHT

It looks like Letang will be getting scratched for tonight's game.

Whitney is back to defense. [PG]

Now it wouldn't make a lot of sense that Letang is scratched in favor of Whitney.

Common sense says HCMT wants to give Letang a rest or maybe Letang is banged up.

Letang has been solid, Therrien knows that, everyone watching the Penguins all year knows that.

So it maybe a mere coincidence.

If it isn't, Therrien is fixed.


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Repeatedly going after people with whom you disagree will get you in trouble.
It's just an unhealthy way to live.

So we'll give Ken Campbell of [ The Hockey News ] a pass when he ranks Ray Shero
13th overall in his recent GM rankings.

Opinions among hockey people vary wildly on whether or not Shero overpaid at the trade deadline for Marian Hossa, a player he has almost no chance of signing long-term if he wants to keep the rest of his current roster intact. It says here he did not overpay, but even if he did, you have to admire the gumption he showed in committing so much to a rental player. Unless, of course, you believe ownership or other outside forces were driving the bus on this deal. Shero obviously inherited a very good situation, but GMs with bigger egos would have been determined to put their stamp on the team and risk ruining a good thing. Shero has not done that, all the while tweaking things for the better.

The shocking part is that Brett Hull's regime in Dallas and Paul Holmgren in Philadelphia ranked higher.

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:: [ Kukla's Korner ] grabbed some of the transcript from the SportsBusiness Journal about something the NHL will be experimenting with this playoff season.

You know how networks superimpose graphics on the wall behind home plate and crap?
Well, they're gonna be superimposing virtual ads on the glass above the boards during the playoffs as a test.

The NHL is trying to get some revenue dollars.
Let's at least see what it looks like first.

:: Gary Bettman did a Q&A with Blue Jackets fans, answering a question about the relationship between the NHL and ESPN. [ Columbus Dispatch ]

:: Putting broadcasters between the benches is good for the game. [ Toronto Star ]

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Alan Ryder from [ The Globe and Mail ] offers us a lot of era-adjusting statistics to prove that Alex Ovechkin is deserved of the Hart Trophy.

Amongst all the jibbera-joo in that column, the conclusion is somehow met that Ovechkin's current season is better than Gretzky's 92-goal season in 1981-82.

The names Iginla, Lecavalier, and Thornton are thrown around in that column, too,
when talking about potential Hart Trophy candidates among the league's top scorers.

Apparently, rather than having to legitimize that Evgeni Malkin is worthy of at least consideration, it's better just to not mention him at all.

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The Pirates kick off their season tonight.

We wanted to wish our good friend [Where Have You Gone , Andy Van Slyke] good luck on blogging the season, as well as all of the other Pirate bloggers good luck.

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Pens can clinch the division tonight with a victory.

And guess what...
The Rangers aren't even in the playoffs yet.

They almost HAVE TO win this game.

We debated whether or not he was needed.

The Pens haven't been very good at MSG over the last few years.

So you know...



HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


GO PENS

[<span class=[1.<span class=


10 years ago, if someone would have told you that you would be booing Jaromir Jagr in a Ranger uniform...in Mellon Arena....

First of all, you would say, Mellon What?
Then you would have vomit in your mouth.

Four weeks ago, if someone would have told you Marc-Andre Fleury would be in net and playing out of his mind, you'd be stunned. [Except Loser Chris]

Bottom line:
Things changed.
Things always change.

The Pens are a win away from winning the Atlantic.
Winning out clinches the top seed.
The playoffs begin in 9 days.

God help us all.

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PREGAME

WPXI's pregame made you wish you were emo.
Rich Walsh comes in, wishing it was a Steeler game.

Actual quote while talking with Pierre McGuire:
"Yeah, I'm in the locker room all the time with these guys, and they talk about home-ice advantage. How important is it, Pierre?"

That is the ultimate case of someone trying to act bigger than the sport.
Why not just ask "How important is home-ice advantage?"


Dumbass.

You don't hear Dan Potash saying stuff like that.

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ANTHEM

[Alison]-----------------[Tristian B]


[Dustin]---------------[Greg N]


[Double B]


[No name]--------------------[Matt J]


[Julia]

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FIRST PERIOD

The best thing about games on NBC, and it's something we will be used to in the coming weeks, is the plethora of microphones near ice level.
Someone pulls up on an offensive rush, and the screeching from the skates makes your cat run into a wall.

You yourself wanted to run into a wall when the Rangers capitalized on an early powerplay.
The dreaded shot from the point resulted in a rebound scramble, and Dubinsky banged it home. 1-0.

Dick

The Penguins have still not boxed Dubinsky out.

On the next shift, Hossa made a move in the neutral zone that should be a proper noun.
Crosby and Dupuis almost hooked up for a goal, but no dice.

Finally, after a couple of weeks of the Nation waiting, a semblance of playoff physical play appeared when the Pens forwards started checking everything that moved.

There were so many hits, Casey Kasem stopped by to make a top 40 list.


Creepy

What teams will have to realize is that the bottom two lines will muck it up, and out of nowhere, the pace will change when Crosby or Malkin jump on.
And that's what happened for the Pens first goal.

Instead of dumping it in, Orpik calmly carries it through the neutral zone and gets it to Hossa, who jobs it Sid.
Sid does his business, gets it to Dupuis.
It hits his skate and lands on Hossa's stick. No questions asked.
1-0.

[Jschiff, Esq.]

We're used to Erik Christensen getting that shot and breaking a pane of glass behind the net.

Things got better when Petr Prucha went to the box for roughing.
A new wrinkle in the NHL is that you have to explain every penalty to Brendan Shanahan.


What a baby

The Harlem Globetrotters come on for the power play.

It was just a mud power play.
They don't want to be cute, so they just blast it from the point when there's four Rangers below the dots. It was cleared every time.

Everyone's heart stopped when Crosby went Mach 8 into the Rangers zone to beat out an icing call.
He gets down to the puck and has a hamburger before Rozsival can get there, but it's still an icing.
Sid shows his dismay with a bellowing, WHAT!!!!????!?!? MYEYEARRGGGHHH!!

Bing jamming on the brakes like that means the high-ankle sprain is long gone.

NBC eventually showed the icing.
Maybe one of the worst calls in sports history.

P.S. -- Let the head referee that's right there call it.
His head isn't moving and his vision isn't distorted, as compared to the linesman who's frantically trying to get back there.

Whatev.
Gonchar hit Malone with a great headman pass later, and it resulted in a penalty.


Crosby tried flying into the zone and gets slashed.
That's been a penalty for about 200 years.

No one can hear the whistle blow from all the whining from Brendan Shanajoke.

A delectable 5-on-3 PP ensued.
And once you saw Malkin cocking his stick at the right point, you knew it was just a matter of time.

After Bing almost put one home on the doorstep, it was Malkin Time again.
Unreal laser from the point.

2-1.
[Ryan C]

Don't slash Sidney Crosby.

Bing may have played the final 7 minutes of that first period.
MAF made some key saves to end the first.

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SECOND PERIOD

The Phantom of the Mellon made an appearance early in the second when Hossa got sent off for hooking.
That penalty was killed with relative ease.
Did Sean Avery even play in this game?


The stars aligned after the kill, literally, when Malkin, Bing, and Hossa found themselves on the ice at the same time.

Kennedy took a jobber penalty, and the Pens had to go on the kill again.
This was just karma evening things up from that two-man advantage in the first.
The PK unit gets ready.


A scare or two later, Kennedy was out of the box.
Big saves by MAF there.

Even after two Penguin penalty kills, the Rangers still had the momentum.
But that momentum dissipates when you can't beat a goaltender who is red hot.

Malkin had a rush towards the end of his shift, but he had just worked a 20-hour shift tarring the roof of the license-plate factory and was dead tired.

And then the lightning we missed so much for the past two months appeared when Crosby absolutely flew through the neutral zone, with Dupuis KEEPING PACE.
No dice though.

Things were going swimmingly after that.
And then Malkin got jobbed behind the Rangers net.
Dubinsky got his skate up in Malkin's face.
Malkin knew something was wrong immediately.

He had gotten cut in the face, but he stayed behind in the Rangers zone while play went on.
It wasn't pretty.
The refs don't blow the whistle because they are mad at Malkin for missing the awards ceremony last summer.

Bing's line came on and wreaked havoc.
Sydor eventually drew a penalty.

Sickeningly, and it was done with humor, NBC had to remind you when they came back from commercial to change your Gillette razor blades.
100% classless.

Next thing you know, NBC will broadcast a game where the Capitals are fighting for their playoff lives, and it will be sponsored by AIDS research.

At the tail end of the period, Jordan Staal gets the job done and draws a penalty.

Most of the power play disappears with no sign of offense.
Everyone is stunned about Malkin and can't get anything going.
Things get a little feisty, so the Pens have to bring in the van.



Side-note blog

[Donnie S.] sent this in.

Apparently this is a van on the campus of CMU:



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THIRD PERIOD

As the third period is about to start,
We get a live update on the "Zurich Open," so that some A-hole in a country club somewhere can watch Lee Trevino sink a putt.

At the start of the third, we see Malkin smiling back on the ice.
Dubinsky came over and expressed his concern.
But then the puck dropped.

The Pens survived an early-period scare when Rozsival feathered it through the crease, but it ended up doing nothing.

Sidney Crosby got high sticked by Pedro Gomez.
He threw his head back, but that is what most people do when they get hit in the face.

We guess some people didn't think so...

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If you want to get really mad,
meet our new enemy.


[Thanks to Josh R for finding this]

John writes for the Blueshirts Blog.
In his latest blog, titled Jagr Failed Pens Acting Class...

He blast Sidney Crosby.
Okay whatev.

But then he says this:

But even more mystifying is how Jaromir Jagr could have begun his career in Pittsburgh, developed into a superstar here and never learned the diving and face-clutching and horrified equipment shedding that has been part and parcel of Pens hockey ever since Mario Lemieux decided to shame the league into enforcing its obstruction penalties by embarrassing all officials who didn’t do so.

WOW

Rather than have a rebuttal for this Ranger fanboy,
we'll just say this:

He has a comments section.
Go have a fun time.



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Anyways...
The powerplay didn't result in anything.

After some jobbing, Father Time was trying to find his car keys.
Around that same time, Marty Straka heads to the penalty box.
A weight machine falls on him and he doesn't return for the rest of the game.

A potentially game-changing power play was on the way.

The story of the power play was the Pens finally getting a shot.
A second later, that was upstaged by a surreal save by Lundqvist.
The power play was gone again.

With 6:30 left, it was still tense times because the Rangers were one sick pass and shot away from tying this game up.

And a test of mettle came when Kris Letang takes his first penalty since the 8th-grade picnic.

It was here among 17,000 screaming Mellon Arena fanatics that the Pittsburgh Penguins found out who they were.

The power play was here and gone.
And there was 3:00 left.

After some scares, there was one minute left.
Why the Rangers didn't take a time-out there, no one knows.

But it was moot.
A demoralizing final nail into the coffin makes it 3-1.


Hossa worked down deep and got it back to the point, which was open all game.
Scuderi does his job, gets it to the net.
Lundqvist wanted to move the puck along, but he couldn't grasp the puck.
No one froze it, and Talbot snuck in to put it home.

Ranger fans =Stunned


The Rangers take a penalty right after that.


Game.


STATS
  • Malkin: 1G
  • Hossa: 1G
  • Bing: 2A
  • MAF: 26 saves

MISCELLANEOUS
  • Really give it up for Ryan Whitney. Most people would purposely not try at the forward position to show it's not their forte. Whitney is doing the job.
  • The USS Hal Gill was solid, despite HCMT breaking up the Gill/Letang pairing.
  • The Rangers are annoying.
  • Pierre McGuire needs to get hit by a puck.
  • Pens can win the divsion Monday night.
  • First place in East.
  • Pens are undefeated in the Mellon in March.
  • NBC's audio is unreal.
  • Hossa.

Sunday, March 30, 2008







12:30
NBC



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One of the few reasons we wake up before our usual 2:00 in the afternoon.


:: Hossa is all systems go. [ Trib ]

[Rob S.]


Curiously enough, this home-and-home series with the Rangers
didn't look like a big deal when the schedule came out this past summer.

For the duration of this season, it's been Devils, Devils, Devils.

Out of nowhere in the past month, the Rangers have stopped crapping on themselves and starting fulfilling expectations all the talking heads gave them in the preseason.

These next two games will go a long way in determining if we can cross off the Rangers on that list you're making of teams you don't want to play in the playoffs.

Come to think of it, we wouldn't even want to play Tampa in the playoffs,
so whatev.

If you're going to the game today,
you might want to make a last-minute sign.

Client 16?

Remember that hooker thing with the New York Governor last month?
No?
Well, Sean Avery remembers. [Deadspin] via [700 Level] via [Dailynews]

"Avery, 27, a trash-talking enforcer who has dated a string of models and actresses, is listed as a $500 client of brothel Maison de L'Amour."

There is justice in the world.

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Ummmm...

The biggest question of the week.
Does Malkin have pants on in this photo?

The smile on his face says no.
No one else being in his vicinity says no.

100 bucks that Tim Benz is the only other person in the room.

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The bigger story today is the Penguins' opportunity to sit alone
atop the Eastern Conference in first place.

Those beautiful Maple Leafs, out of the playoffs, jobbed the Habs [ 4-2 on Saturday night. ]
The Pens and Habs will have both played 79 games by Sunday night.

Even better, captain Saku Koviu is done for 4 weeks. [All Habs]

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And if you want to talk about insanity,
look at the race for, yes, the Southeast Division.



With both teams having three games remaining,
Carolina has 90 points and Washington has 88.

All eyes will be on Washington Tuesday night.
Carolina's coming to town.

Carolina will hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, no matter what.

Nicklas Backstrom = Stunned

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The West playoff race is out of its mind.

Three teams are now tied for the final spot, after the Oilers continued their magical mystery tour with a win over the Flames on Saturday night.



Nashville would be in if the season ended today.
The Oilers have two games left, the Canucks and Preds have four.

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Someone brought it up in CBlog that this could be JJ's last game in Mellon Arena.



Some people boo. Some people don't.
Some people put him in photoshops.
Some people thank him for those two Cups.



Mario Lemieux

Regular Season:
950 Games Played
690 Goals
1,033 Assists
1,723 Points

Playoffs:
107 Games Played
76 Goals
96 Assists
172 Points

Jaromir Jagr

Regular Season:
1,268 Games Played
641 Goals
950Assists
1,591 Points

Playoffs:
159 Games Played
72 Goals
94 Assists
166 Points

Jagr has about 300 games on Lemieux,
but it will still be a sad day if Jagr eclipses Lemieux's totals.

By the way, we don't know what the statute of limitations is,
but Lemieux still has a [ Yahoo player page ]

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Everyone was running wild on Saturday,
frantically trying to figure out why that Avalanche/Pens game on January 23, 1997 was a big deal.

Was it the game Joe Mullen scored his 500th career goal?
Was it the last meeting of Mario Lemieux and Patrick Roy?
No and no.

We found [ this article ] written by some clown at The Virginia Pilot on the day of the game.
It was a Thursday night.

The Avs came in with the best record in the NHL.
And they were the defending Cup champs.

There were also reports from e-mailers that Paul Devorski jobbed the Pens in overtime.

[ USA Today ] confirms the outcome:
Valeri Kamensky scored at 3:55 of overtime, giving the Colorado
Avalanche a 4-3 victory and ending the 14-game unbeaten streak
of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who played without injured superstar
Mario Lemieux.

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:: Voting for the Mike Lange Tournament of Quotes is up and running
at [ Going Five Hole]

Our horse is
"Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley Bring Me The Brandy."

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:: The [Faceoff Factor] group set the facts straight on MAF.


[Scott A]

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Someone asked for this:



CALL TO ARMS

We aren't into ourselves, but we are grasping at the chance
that someone out there downloads pics we put up top.

If you have done it, does anyone have the SHEROES photoshop
of all the Pens as the cast of Heroes?
If so, please send it in.

Our computers reach a certain level of gay-cruise pics before it starts deleting other ones.

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Go Pens


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