Monday, November 30, 2009

Pens beat Rangers. Again.

This time it wasn't Sidney Crosby that would get a hat trick to help the Pens beat the Rangers in Madison Square Garden 5-2, it was Mike Rupp with his first. With his son Mason wanting a goal tonight for his birthday, Rupp instead gave him three, along with a puck. Not bad for a birthday gift. Crosby added two more goals to bring his season total up to 17.

- Crosby is having a nice hot streak lately with having a hat trick and a five point night on Saturday and another two goals today. He now has 17 goals which is only one behind Ovechkin, who was hurt tonight by his own doing (see below).

- Gogo didn't play as it appears he has aggravated a groin injury.

- Mike Rupp has now surpassed his career high six goals in a season already with eight. We're not even half way done with the season yet and Rupp has two more goals than his career high? Nuts. Pittsburgh seems to be good for him.

- That Crosby backhander goal sure was nice, wasn't it?

Alexander Ovechkin decided tonight that a knee-on-knee hit was a good idea and ended up on the wrong side of it. He was the one that was left down on the ice in pain. He was given a five minute major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct. More info about his injury should be known tomorrow. We have no sympathy for him whatsoever, he pulled that crap with Gonchar in the playoffs and has had many other questionable hits. Looks like karma might have finally caught up to him. He has 18 goals on the season. Crosby now has 17.

We want to apologize again for the lack of posts. We regret that we don't have anyone else to back us up when we can't post.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh What A Feeling, Pens Win

Wow. What a game. We're having a hard time saying anything other than that right now. Other than we wish we'd have been there, the atmosphere looked pretty amazing. The Pens may have been having a hard time scoring goals but they sure didn't last night when they beat Boston 6-5 and got scoring from some unlikely sources. Jay McKee started off that unlikely source list when he scored less than two minutes into the game with a nice back hander and in the third period Mark Eaton put the Pens ahead 4-3. The other Pens goals came from Sidney Crosby, Billy Guerin, and Pascal Dupuis who had two for his 100th career goal. Evgeni Malkin had three assists and now has 200 in his career.

No goal was bigger than Billy Guerin's with 0.4 seconds on the clock. Admit it, you thought the game was over when the Pens couldn't get it out of their own zone and the seconds were quickly ticking off the clock. Who would have thought with that little time left that Geno would pass the puck to Billy Guerin and he would actually get a shot off fast enough, let alone score? We admit it, we didn't think so either. We'll also admit that we never thought the goal scorer would be Billy Guerin either. We don't want to leave Malkin out of this talk either though, because with so little time on the clock who would have thought to pass it? We definitely would have just thrown in to the net in hopes of some kind of miracle. What a job by Geno too. These guys never say die and it sure pays off.

Another highlight of the night was Deryk Engelland's fight with Byron Bitz. Nice to see Engelland willing to drop the gloves.

We don't know if it was the return of Malkin to the lineup but the Pens looked good last night and sure did end their scoring drought. Hopefully things continue in this direction. The Pens still have injuries, including Chris Kunitz who has been added to the injury list for two weeks, but they look like they'll be able to overcome.

Couple of quick notes. Seth over at Empty Netters said that the new Talbot A&L Motor Sales commercial has been pulled at the request of the Pens because they used their logo with out permission. That was probably for the best because the ad was pretty bad. Although we are tired of the other one too. Eh.

Secondly, there will be some Penguins shows airing on FSN including our favorite, Inside Penguins Hockey which will debut on Saturday November 21st at 6:00 p.m. with Alex Goligoski and Chris Bourque as the first guests. The Geico Penguins Report and The Dan Bylsma Show will also be in the lineup, alternating Mondays starting with TGPR on November 16th at 6:00 p.m.

All for now, our eyes are killing us.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Yes, we're still alive

It's no secret we haven't been around for about a week. If you've read us long enough you know we have some health problems. Compound that with some eye issues that do not allow for staring at a computer screen and you've got some real fun. Unfortunately we don't have any backup or anyone to fill in for us so this blog gets a bit lonely. We're going to try to throw a few observations and thoughts out there but in all honesty, there isn't too much to say.

- Obviously the Pens have been ravaged by injuries the last couple weeks and as much as the team, or even us, doesn't want to blame it on that, how could you not? It's not just losing some of your best players, it's finding someone capable of taking their place as well as chemistry. The lines have obviously been switched around and unfortunately not all players can just find chemistry right away. Think about playing with Sidney Crosby. You can't be lazy, and you have to be able to keep up with him. Not an easy task. You also have to be alert at all times, you never know when Crosby can create something out of nothing, not to mention those ridiculous between the legs drop passes you better be ready for. Yeah, so Crosby is one of those players that are supposed to make the people around him better, and he does. But not everyone will gel with him right away, or any other linemate for that matter. There appeared to be some confusion in some of their recent games and unfortunately that's bound to happen. So for the fans that are freaking out, calm down. Oh and on to point two...

- Those bashing Crosby should calm down too. For one thing he's only human, in case you forgot, and he can't do everything by himself. People tend to forget anything he does that doesn't involve scoring. The Pens lost to the Sharks 5-0 last week but in our notes we noted Crosby's skills. Most Crosby haters will look past it and so will the ones who bash him one night and love him the next. He's still the hard worker he always was and still has those unbelievable, defense-splitting moves. He's working with new linemates on some nights and generally dealing with the other team's top defenders. Not excuses, and he'll agree, but let's not pretend it's easy.

- Tyler Kennedy has really shown this year how valuable he can be. He brings a lot of energy and hard work to the team and without it, they just aren't as good. In the Ducks game he proved how valuable he can be. Kennedy had assists on three out of the four goals the Pens scored that night including his diving "poke check pass" to Goligoski who then buried a slap shot. We're not completely surprised but we're sure there were plenty who were and wouldn't have thought that one of the most missed players would be Kennedy.

- We have to say Jordan Staal has flashes of brilliance where he looks unstoppable, and then most of the time he's just kind of good. We're not suggesting the Pens get rid of him or even that he's bad, but especially with Geno out, this was his chance to shine and unfortunately he hasn't impressed us. He's just not consistent enough. His penalty killing is invaluable though.

- Billy Guerin. We love the guy but he seems a bit slow out there. His play hasn't been very good from our point of view. We don't really have any suggestions or really anything else to say other than that. *shrug*

- All that being said, we felt that the Bruins game was entertaining and last night's game against the Devils wasn't what it was the last time they met. The first was pretty boring (we should know, we were there) and this game wasn't quite that. Things will look up, they already have in our book, and the Pens will be back to their winning ways. Although lets hope everyone gets healthy and there are no more injuries.

- Bob and Steigy said more than once that they hope Geno will be in the lineup Saturday. That in itself should help tremendously. Geno will be healthy and defenses won't be able to concentrate just on Crosby.

- Max Talbot's new A&L Motor Sales commercial was a big let down. Just sayin'.

New Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Penguins beat Ducks

The Pens are off on a West Coast trip this week where the weather is warm and the beach is near. Their first stop was in Anaheim to play the Ducks and visit old teammate Ryan Whitney. The Pens obviously didn't take in too much sun because they were able to pull out a victory, beating the Ducks 4-3.

The Ducks got on the board early with a goal from Corey Perry only four minutes into the game but the Ducks would put themselves up against the wall for almost the rest of the first period. The Ducks committed four penalties in a row and gave the Pens four chances to even the score at one but the Pens failed on all four chances. Things weren't exactly looking great for the Pens after not being able to score on four power plays but the lack of scoring wouldn't last for long.

About three minutes into the second period the Pens would get a goal from Mike Rupp, his FOURTH of the season, to tie the game at one. Tyler Kennedy and Jay McKee would get the assists. The Ducks would get a power play but the Pens successfully killed it. Jordan Staal also had Fleury's back when he made a fantastic save on a sure goal into an empty net and it wouldn't be the only time someone saved Fleury in this game. With a little less than ten minutes left in the second Kris Letang would score a goal on a Ducks delayed penalty in which the Pens had six on the ice. That put the them up 2-1. But then with under four minutes to go in the period, Corey Perry would strike again to tie the score at two. The game would remain tied going into the third.

Things were pretty back and fourth to start the third period until Alex Goligoski would score on a slap shot with just over twelve minutes left in the third period. Tyler Kennedy would show several times in this game what the Pens were missing without him in lineup but not more than on Gogo's goal. TK dove to keep the puck in the Duck's zone to get it Gogo who then let go on a slap shot that beat Jonas Hiller and put the Pens ahead 3-2. The lead wouldn't last long though as the Ducks quickly scored to tie it up. But that wouldn't last long either. Pascal Dupuis would score about a minute later on a slap shot to put the Pens up for good 4-3.

The rest of the third period was not easy though as the Ducks had their chances to tie it up again. Fleury would make a big glove save on Koivu, who thought for sure he had a goal. The second person to save a goal would be none other than Sidney Crosby. The Ducks were swarming a bit in the Pens' zone and we would see Sid break his stick, have Kunitz give him his and then giving it all he had playing without a stick. Fleury got caught out too far so Sid would lay down in front of the net and keep the shot out of it and keep the Pens' lead. Fleury owes Staal and Sid a drink for those remarkable saves.

The Pens would keep the Ducks from scoring in the last, frantic couple minutes of the game to win 4-3.

- Tyler Kennedy sure showed why the Pens don't want to be without him. He brings energy to any line he's on and isn't afraid to get gritty along the boards. He also plays hard and doesn't give up, as evidenced by his diving save to keep the puck in the zone and give it to Alex Goligoski for a slap shot that beat Hiller. How many people predicted Kennedy would be a player the Pens would miss that much?

- Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby would show they have some goalie skills when they prevented two sure goals from going into empty nets. Crosby sure showed some grit and dedication when he threw himself on the ice to block a shot.

- The Pens first line didn't score, which means more now without Geno and the second line intact, but they still won. This sure shows the depth of this team when a guy like Mike Rupp has his fourth goal of the season (one more than his total last year) and two defensemen are scoring goals, with Gogo making a habit of it. Scary to think how good they really are considering how well they've done when not playing to the best of their abilities.

- Overall a pretty good game for the Pens even though things weren't clicking 100%. And the power play needs some serious help but without Geno and Gonch we kind of doubt it'll get better.

Next game is Thursday at 10:30 against the L.A. Kings.

Go Pens!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Unfortunately we just couldn't resist this. IMG Worldwide, a big sports and entertainment marketing agency, seems to think that Alexander Ovechkin should be on the same level as sports stars such as Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter etc. when it comes to worldwide marketing. So basically someone out there wants to see Ovi in China. What?!

It's no secret that we dislike Ovi in pretty much every way. We give him credit in the form of his lethal shot but after that it all goes downhill for us. We're just not fans of the "I'm hot and I know it variety." One of the things we've always liked about hockey was just what was stated in the beginning of that article, it's all about the team. There are no Terrell Owens' in hockey. Even we won't go as far to say that Ovi is TO in terms of whining and all that but he doesn't exactly fit that down-to-earth mold either. Not exactly who we want to see marketing much of anything.

Sure, some people will love him and his lack of fear (or lack of thinking) when he willingly does those odd and crazy things he does. Example:

(Please, no one give him give him any vodka.)

He's not afraid to make fun of himself for a good laugh, much like many of us like Max Talbot and his A&L Motor Sales commercials. He's goofy, people like that. And people like to laugh, so maybe they will fall in love with him. Dirty hair, missing tooth and all. Polish him up a bit (no, not just physically) and maybe he's perfect. Or maybe people will just be confused. Guess we'll all have to wait and find out exactly what Ovi is going to be marketing and how the world perceives him, but we still can't get past this:

And If Ovi shows up in a Happy Meal in China we don't know what we'll do.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wild night as Wild beat Pens

The Pens upped their game on Halloween night but didn't come away with the win, losing to the Wild 2-1. The Pens badly out-shot the Wild 35-15 and on most nights that would transfer over to a win, but Halloween night produced a few out of the ordinary circumstances, including Sidney Crosby getting into the third fight of his career. Not bad. We like the haircut, it looks good. Yes, we're shallow like that.

- Not too much to say. The Pens played a pretty well rounded game unlike in Columbus the night before, but unfortunately the results were the opposite. You win some you lose some. The bounces go your way and they don't. Although how many times were you really frustrated over those loose pucks in the crease? It seemed like they had a ton of chances to get one past Backstrom and either he made a great save or the Pens just didn't get the bounce. But 11-3 to end the month of October is not half bad.

The Pens will get a couple days rest before playing Tuesday in Anaheim. Don't forget that this game, as well as Thursday and Saturday of next week, are late games and will not be on until 10:00 or 10:30.

Go Pens!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pens rally to beat Jackets

The Blue Jackets must not know that you should never count the Pens out of any game because they let up a bit in the third and that came back to bite them. The first two periods of hockey weren't exactly good ones for the Pens but the third was a different story. The Pens were down by two with less than three minutes left in the game when Ruslan Fedotenko scored a goal to get the Pens within one. The Pens weren't done yet though. They'd been swarming in the Jackets' zone and didn't let up. Thirty-nine seconds later Alex Goligoski would score the tying goal on a nice wrist shot set up by Sidney Crosby. The score was tied 3-3 and the game was going into overtime.

The Pens had some good chances in overtime, still swarming in the Jackets' zone. A penalty was called with a mere 20 some seconds left in the game. The Pens had a couple good chances but unfortunately were unable to capitalize. But next time Pens, please SHOOT THE PUCK!

Sidney Crosby was the only player to score in the shootout to win the game for the Pens 4-3. Crosby is now 4-for-4 in shootout situations. Although he got a little help on this one. See for yourself:

The Pens got a couple of lucky bounces but this win just further proves the character this team has from top to bottom. And doing it all without Geno, Gonch, TK, and Superstar. Who would have thought? Not the Blue Jackets.

- We still prefer Marc-Andre Fleury but Brent Johnson also knows how to make big saves. He even had a very Fleury-esque toe save. It's nice to know if Fleury needs to miss game or needs some rest that there is someone capable in goal.

- The Pens needed to be a bit more disciplined last night. It seemed like someone on the Pens was always getting called for a penalty and that can burn you badly. Although we will say that there was a call or two that were a bit questionable.

- The Pens looked a bit confused at times and it didn't seem like the new lines really clicked. That's probably to be expected and should get better.

- Kunitz is on fire and hopefully he stays that way. After a shorthanded breakaway in which he was tripped going to the goal, the Pens stayed with the play and Crosby got the puck back to Kunitz who then scored on a belly-flopped Mason. He also had an assist on the night.

- Alex Goligoski leads the Pens' defensemen in scoring and is third among all through yesterday with 12 points. He also has extended his points streak to seven games. He also leads the league in plus/minus rating with a plus-13. He has continued to be impressive and is a big part of the Pens' success so far this season.

- The Pens could top the list for the most wins in October tonight if they beat Minnesota at home. Several teams have had 11 wins, the Pens could reach 12 on Halloween night.

- Pens fans really invaded Columbus last night and other arenas across the country. Sporting News didn't name Pittsburgh the greatest sports town for nothing.

- You might have seen FSN mention an article in this week's Sports Illustrated on Wednesday night. When we got the magazine in the mail Thursday we made sure to read it and it is worth your time reading. Thanks to Jim Shearer for sending the link along, you can read it for yourself here.

- Speaking of Jim, last but not least, a new episode of Yinz Luv 'Da Guins for your viewing pleasure.

Happy Halloween Everyone! We hope you all get some free candy.