Friday, May 15, 2009

Canes vs. Pens in Eastern Conference Finals

It's official. The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins last night in OT to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game one will be Monday 5/18. Here is the complete schedule:

Game 1 at Pittsburgh 5/18 7:30pm Versus
Game 2 at Pittsburgh 5/21 7:30pm Versus
Game 3 at Carolina 5/23 7:30pm Versus
Game 4 at Carolina 5/26 7:30pm Versus
Game 5 at Pittsburgh 5/29 7:30pm Versus*
Game 6 at Carolina 5/31 7:30pm Versus*
Game 7 at Pittsburgh 6/2 7:30pm Versus*

*if necessary

Check back later today for a series preview.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pens Dominate Caps, Win Game 7, Series

In the end it came down to, as it always does, the team that wins is the team that wants to win the most. In a stunning turnaround from the rest of the series the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals 6-2 at the Verizon Center last night. Game and series over.

I have not blogged much during this series, and I do apologize to my loyal readers for that - both of them! But with the way the series began - Pens down 2 zip - then the stunning turnaroud the team made taking the next 3, I decided not to test fate and simply observed, collected my thoughts, and awaited the end of the series before putting fingers on keyboard again.

Now that the games have all been played, the Pens are awaiting their next opponent in one of the two game 7's that will be played tonight. I don't think it matters either way, Boston or Carolina, but I am hoping that the Hurricanes prevail tonight for no other reason than to see two of the Staal brothers mixing it up on the same sheet of ice for a seven game series.

Why the Penguins Won:

Many NHL fans were expecting this was one of the best NHL Playoff series in history. The storyline throughout was Crosby vs. Ovechkin. And as they both knew that all eyes were upon them, each led his team each shift of each game. The points earned after all was over were nearly identical (Crosby 7 goals, 6 assists - Ovechkin 7 goals, 7 assists) and both players proved that they were the best players on the ice. Ovechkin with sizzling, stunning slapshots, jaw jarring hits and lightning fast breakouts in the offensive zone. Crosby was the consummate leader, on and off the ice. He had the fortitude to occupy space in front of Varlamov, pounced on any rebounds and single-handedly produced all of the Pens offense in the first two games of the series. Reason #1 the Pens won - Crosby was a leader and an offensive juggernaut.

The games were as evenly matched as they could be for the first six. Varlamov was, at times, a Russian wall. Nothing could get past him. He was square to the shooters, cut down the angles and patrolled his crease with authority. Game seven is a different story. He was shelled by the Penguins in the early going and conceeded 4 goals on 18 shots before being replaced early in the second period by Jose Theodore. Reason #2 the Pens won - Varlamov folded under the intense pressure of game one.

Ovechkin scored 7 of Washington's 22 goals (32%). The offensive production drops off dramatically after that. Conspicuously missing from the goal tallys were Semin, Green, Laich and Backstrom. No other Capital produced more than 3 goals in the seven game series. Pittsburgh got goals from unlikely sources such as Eaton, Adams, Kennedy, Letang and Fedotenko at opportune times. Reason #3 the Pens won - scoring was spread around the entire line-up.

Marc Andre Fleury was shaky at times but stood up for game seven when Ovechkin threatened to score on a break-away 3 minutes into the first. Fleury deftly intercepted the shot with his catching glove thereby throwing down the gauntlet to the Capitals and showing his team that he is ready to stand tall and win the game. Many in the media have stated that this set the tone for the game and put the message in the minds of the Capitals that they would not get many pucks past Fleury the rest of the game. Reason #4 the Pens won - Fleury stood tall when it was absolutely the right time to do so.

The Capitals have faced the Penguins in the playoffs 7 times before this series. The Pens have won 6 of the 7 series. Coming back from being down 2-0 or 3-1 three of the series'. This had to be in the back of the players minds throughout the series. Granted, none of the current roster were members of any of those teams that were thoroughly pummeled in the past by the Pens, but just knowing that history puts the message in their minds that they have all of those past series to overcome. Reason #5 the Pens won - The Caps are their Bitches!

UPDATE - as a bit of an afterthought here I realized I left out a huge! reason that the Pens won. Rob Scuderi proved that he is a top notch defensemen by effectively shutting down Ovechkin after game 2. Alex still got a few goals but half of them were scored before the series ever got to the Burgh!

Next Up:

The Pens will meet the winner of tonight's Boston/Carolina game in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pens will have home ice advantage if Carolina takes it but will have to travel to Boston if the Bruins win.

Regular Season match-up: Pretty even...against the Bruins the Penguins were 2-2, and against the Hurricanes it was 2-1-1. Not a whole lot there to look at but since Bylsma took over on 2/15 the Pens are 2-0 vs. Boston and Carolina. That may be the most telling stat of all since the team has been completly made over with the firing of Therrien and the trade deadline acquisitions.

Given the Pens ability to play a simpler, smarter game when away from the Igloo, not having home ice may not be such a good idea. But I can't look past the fact that it could be Staal vs. Staal if the Hurricanes prevail.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bring on the Capitals

In last night's pair of series deciding games the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers were put away by the Washington Capitals. This brings about a second round matchup of the Caps for Pittsburgh. Game 1 is on Saturday. Full series schedule is as follows:

Sat 5/2 @ Washington 1pm NBC
Mon 5/4 @ Washington 7pm Versus
Wed 5/6 @ Pittsburgh 7pm Versus
Fri 5/8 @ Pittsburgh 7pm FSN
Sun 5/10 @ Washington* 7pm FSN
Mon 5/11 @ Pittsburgh* TBD FSN
Wed 5/13 @ Washington* 7pm FSN
* - if necessary

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's Penguin's Links

Yahoo Sports

Dan the Man has a new title

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Starkey: Talbot 'wore the cape'


Game 6 will leave mark on Pens, Flyers


Our friends over at THEPensblog are having some squatter issues. Go lend them some support or encouraging words here

Latest thoughts:

Who's it going to be in round 2? Voice your predictions by leaving a comment below.

My thought is that Carolina will prevail and that the Rangers will outduel the Caps

Two game 7's in one that some great damn hockey or what?!?!?!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pens win game 6, series.

The Pens took the series out from under the Flyers Saturday in game 6 of the series, 5-3. Pittsburgh had a rough start, coming out an being down 3-0 by the time the the second period was 4 minutes underway. It looked at if there would be a game 7 in Pittsburgh Monday evening. But before the Flyers could wrap up the game, Philadelphia forward, Daniel Carcillo, decided to pick a fight with Pittsburgh's Max Talbot:

Well good old Max took a beating for his team and the team noticed. The Penguins scored 5 unanswered goals and took the series 4 games to 2.

Pens goals were scored by Crosby(2), Eaton, Fedotenko and Gonchar.

How stupid. Your team is up 3 zip in a playoff game, that could extend your season by one game or even an additional series, and one of your goon forwards goes out on the ice and picks a fight. This fires up your opposition and they come alive in a game that previously looked like they have little interest in, and score the next 5 goals to secure a win and take the series.

This all goes back to the fact that the Flyers organization never instills in their players any sense of discipline. They are permitted to go out on the ice, play the game with reckless abandon, and take pot shots at the opposition without consequence. Philadelphia has more players suspended by the league every year than any other team. And until these guys learn how to control themselves on the ice and keep their emotions in check, they will always be susceptible to break downs such as the one that caused their demise on Saturday.

Tell them goodbye Max:

Next up for the Pens is unknown. It could be Boston, New Jersey, Washington or Carolina depending on who wins their repsective game sevens tomorrow evening. Personally, I would love a Capitals/Penguins series so let's root for the Hurricanes to stick it to the Devils and for the Caps to beat the Rangers.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's Penguins Links

Mondesi's House

More on the Morons

Here is some examples of the true class that Philly fans show visiting teams fans.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Donnellon: Crosby goal still perplexing Flyers (from

Prisuta: Benchmark decision, Sykora replaced with Satan?

Sykora is scratched for tonight's game


Petr Sykora is apparently a healthy scratch for tonight's game 5 against the Flyers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today's Penguins Link - and a few Flyer's ones too.


'Smiling Assassin'? Hey, for Fleury, it fits

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Crosby's Game 4 goal disputed by Flyers

Penguins ruining 'rivalry' with Flyers

Flyers put themselves in tough spot

The 700 level

MAF Steals One for the Pens, Flyers Down 3-1... Plus: Further Review of the Crosby Goal

On Frozen Blog

A Modest Proposal: Best of One Hundred and Eleven Between the Flyers and Pens

Flyers Fans - stop the whining

I've heard and read enough. Philadelphia fans this is for you - and I invite all of you that I know are reading this blog to email me and tell me where I can put my opinion - it is time to stop complaining about the officiating or your percieved notion that the Penguins are the golden team in the NHL. It is all wrong!

So there is a controversy on whether or not Crosby's goal should have stood. It never would have happened if Timonen wouldn't have turned the puck over at the blue line.

How about the one that the Flyers are viewed as goons so the referees give more power plays to the opponenet? The Flyers had 8 power plays last night. Eight! and still zero power play goals.

And how about that Philadephia performance in game one. They really gave it their all, didn't they?

Hard to get a win against a hot goaltender? It is the playoffs. Every team has a hot goalie or they do not belong in the post-season.

Bad puck bounces? Please. If a player gives it his all to get to a loose puck then that player has a 50/50 shot just like any other player.

Is there something I'm missing?

Oh yeah, this one. The better team will always win in a 7 game series. So here is all the Flyers have to do. Win three in a row. Which might have been a much easier task if two of those were in Philly. Unfortunately the Flyers could not manage to gather a single point in either of the last two games of the regular season to earn home ice for round one. An overtime loss would have done it people. One point could have changed the entire first round for your team. Period. End of story.

White Out for Game 5

The Pens are calling for a white out for tomorrow nights game at Mellon Arena. Each fan entering the gate will recieve a white t-shirt courtesy of Starkist and a white "rally" towels from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Three Down, One to go

Marc Andre Fleury pushed the Flyer to the brink of elimination with his world class performance last night. Fleury stopped 45 of the 46 Philadelphia shots including a few breathtaking chances late in the game. Even if there still was any doubt that Fleury is a franchise goalie then it should now be removed. This man can carry the team as far as they are determined to go.

Pittsburgh won the game 3-1. Pens goals were scored by Crosby, Kennedy and Talbot chipped in an empty netter to close out the game.

The Pens couldn't manage to keep themselves out of the penalty box though. They racked up 16 penalty minutes throughout the game but were able to keep the Flyers lethal power play unit off the board with top notch penalty killing. This could be worrisome in any possible future matchups.

What's wrong with Petr Sykora? He is quite obviously injured in some way. He has been a non-factor for the entire series and during the game last night the camera isolated on him and it appeared as if he was favoring his right side. Perhaps a rib or shoulder injury?

Game 5 is Thursday night at the Igloo. Let's close this thing out and have a few days rest before the next series. Philadelphia will be as desperate as ever to put another win in their column. The best situation may be to keep the game close all the way to the end then finish it off. This will keep the goonishness out of the game and permit the Pens to play the game that they want while not having to worry about Philadelphia taking too many chances at getting the puck in the net.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Today's Penguins Links

AP courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Feisty Flyers are back in series against Pens

Flyers know momentum can be fickle

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Hartnell 'mane' agitator for Philadelphia

Flyers are still feeling the pressure

Still Halfway to Four - Flyers Win Game Three 6-3

The Pens got suckered into playing the chippy, physical game that Philadelphia wanted them to play and they spent 30 minutes in the penalty box. Much like in previous games against the Flyers, once this happens, Philly has the advantage. Pens lose 6-3.

The Pens got goals from Malkin(2) and Scuderi.

Game 4 is coming up Tuesday night and the players are vowing that this will be a much different situation since they know what they neet to do. Now if they go out on the ice and do so it should be a better game.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Half Way to Four - Pens win 3-2 in OT

It was one of the most intense 15 minutes I had ever witnessed in a hockey game. The first period of last nights game was filled with crushing hits, blazing speed and superb finesse by the Pens. Unfortunately the Flyers scored the opening goal to take the lead, otherwise this may have been an entirely game that it actually was. As it is the Penguins did not give up and they eventually came out on top at 18:29 of the first period by trade deadline pick-up Billy Guerin. Guerin also scored the Pens first goal in the second and Malkin added the game tying goal in the third with 4:37 remaining in regulation.

The idiocy of Flyers right wing Claude Giroux slashing penalty gave the Pens a 5-3 power play advantage which led to the game winning goal by Guerin.

All in all a very nice effort by the Pens. They now have a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Philadelphia. Game 3 has now become an absolute must win for the Flyers and the Pens are saying all the right things about going to Philly in hopes of splitting when every person listening to the media reports knows that what they really mean is they intend to win both games and end this series a week early!

Game 3 is Sunday afternoon at 3 pm on NBC.

The Idiot of the Week award goes whomever the executive is at NBC that made the call that the Penguins were not allowed to broadcast tomorrow's game on the outdoor big screen. The fact that the Pens do this is a tremendous idea for both fans and the team. Not only does it give fans a place to gather for away games and those that are unable to get tickets to home games, but it also gives the players a sense of how much they are appreciated by the large groups that come down to the arena just to watch the game on the outdoor screen. I would call for a boycott of all NBC programs but they kind of have us all by the balls since games 3 and 6 are scheduled to be broadcast. Some the bast I can say is don't watch anything on NBC besides the Penguins games.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Game One Goes to the Good Guys 4-1

Even as the game was near ending and the Flyers returned to their Broad Street Bully ways, there was never a doubt, from the opening face-off, that the Pittsburgh Penguins would emerge as the victor of game one. Philadelphia did their best to insure that the Pens would remember the last few minutes of the game by throwing as many punches and cheap shots as they could.

One win down! Three to go!

Pens goals by Crosby, Kennedy, Malkin and Eaton.

Here's my take - Pittsburgh was quick, offensive minded, they crashed the net, they finished their checks and played a nearly flawless game in front of Marc Andre Fleury. The Pens took advantage of Philadelphia's 35 penalty minutes, scoring the opening goal of the game at 4:41 of the first and wearing down the Flyers forwards with their speed and relentless offensive attack. The Flyers were very good at allowing all of the above to happen at the will of the Pens.

Biron looked rattled. The goals the Pens scored were all solid goals but Marty seemed nervous and even, at times, lackadaisical. I've no doubt that, despite if he turns in a solid performance in game 2, he will sit down for the rest of the series thereby seriously reducing his value on the open market this summer. Which is why I think that we will see Biron at the top of his game Friday night at the Igloo.

Game 2 will most likely be very different. Philly now knows what to expect - why they didn't after 6 regular season games I have no clue - and will be an entirely different game. The Flyers will be more aggressive, make better decisions to keep away from the sin bin and go to the net often and with purpose. It will be a much closer game this time as it should be since Philadephia needs to be more desperate.

But when the final seconds tick away Friday night, Pittsburgh will emerge with a win in game 2 and a 2-0 series lead to take to Philadelphia on Sunday.

Today's Penguins Links

Have the Flyers called it quits?

Daniel Carcillo gets a time-out (or should Carcillo really have suckered Talbot with NHL Commish Bettman in attandance):

Yahoo Sports

Should the Flyers just give up?

Puck Daddy

Pens speed burying Flyers:

Yahoo Sports

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pens Streaking Under Bylsma

Since Dan Bylsma took over as head coach on February 15 the Penguins have compiled an outstanding record of 7-1-1 and have been able to move into playoff contention because of this. They have won 4 of 4 on the road - a huge win last night against the Florida Panthers, whom the Pens are battling for a playoff spot - and the last 5consecutive. They have not put this many wins together since a streak of 6 back in November. Bylsma has instituted his system, which encompasses aggressive playmaking by both forwards and defensemen, rugged stand-up defense at the blue line and the team has bought into it. Quickly and whole-heartedly.

The trade deadline moves that GM Ray Shero put together could prove to be the difference maker. Shero traded for the New York Islanders veteran Bill Guerin on Wednesday and earlier traded Ryan Whitney to the Ducks for forward Chris Kunitz. Both Kunitz and Guerin played on the first line with Sidney Crosby last night. This line combination looks to be formidable and immediately made a difference in the game. Guerin assisted on the Pens first goal by Crosby and Kunitz has made a difference with his ability to play in front of the net as well as being an aggressive playmaker on the boards. Guerin should prove to be able to play with Sid as very few others are capable of once the two play a few more games with each other.

Whether or not the Penguins will make the playoffs remains to be seen. If they can continue performing at the high level they have in the past nine games it could be inevitable.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fedotenko vs. Armstrong

This one is from last week but it's a keeper!

The best thing about this fight was Armstrong broke Fedotenko's hand...WITH HIS FACE!

Too rich.

Thanks to our friends at for this one.

Time to start Blogging again...

After nearly a two month absence, and about as much inspiration to write about the Pens as their on ice performance has merited, I have decided it's time to put the fingers back on the keyboard and spew some garbage that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Pittsburgh has lost something like 15 of the last 18 or so games (I'm not much of a stickler for stats but if it's not correct it's pretty damn close). There are plenty of reasons, all of which have been thoroughly dissected in the press and on various blogs and sports sites, so if you want to go there and read them then go ahead. But I think the real reason the Penguins are losing is....

(dramatic pause)

The team players have all stopped eating their ritualistic game-day meal of SAUER KRAUT!

That's right. Sauer Kraut.

Some of you may remember back to the mid nineties. Marty Straka played for the Pens at the time and was in a terrible scoring slump. Straka went to one of the teams veterans (perhaps Rob Brown or Robert Lang...not really sure since the memory gets a bit foggy) and asked how to break the slump. Straka was told to eat Sauer Kraut. Plain and simple. So here I am calling for a team bonding, of the greatest of German delicasies. Save the season now! EAT MORE SAUER KRAUT!

Here's some suggestions:

Dogs and Kraut.
Roast of Marian Hossa with braised Sauer Kraut.
Jaromir Jagr on a stick. (no kraut needed since he is a sour, sour man)

And another thing. Didn't the start of this losing skid coincide with Mark Madden returning to the air on the X? I don't know but that seems a bit coincidental...

Or quite possibly I have decided to put my words into the realms of immortality today because tonight is simply the best possible night for this team to turn around their losing ways and get this season back on track.

Or maybe part of my malaise about blogging has come about due to the fact that I was pretty sick and tired of regurgitating the same spew that could be read on any dozen web sites or blogs. So, as they say, Enuff Z'Nuff. In the next few days I will be unveiling a new format that will concentrate less on the day-to-day hockey news and more on the lighter side of the sport. If you've liked this previw then remember to check back around the end of the week to see if you like it....Hello? Anyone out there?? Is this thing on?

One last thing. I would like to lament the passing of one of my favorite hockey sites... has gone the way of the dodo. At least I think so since the dreadful 505 error always displays on my browser.

The site provided a weeks worth of humor each and every day and finally enabled to world to see, and vote for, the beauty of the NHL's Ice Girls!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All Star Voting

Make sure you vote for your Pittsburgh Penguins during the open balloting period. Got to to vote.

On a side note: Puck Daddy Blog at Yahoo Sports (click here)is reporting that the NHL has invalidted thousands upon thousands of All Star votes made by Montreal fans due to the votes being improperly registered using electronic means. Hmmmmm, so that's how Obama did it...

Anyway it seems as if Canadiens fans are spamming to get their guys in the game. Doesn't quite seem fair until the fact comes up that Pittsburgh fans can do the same thing. LET'S GO GET 'EM!!!!!