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.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Geno out 2 to 3 weeks

As if the Penguins needed any more injured players, Evgeni Malkin will be out of lineup for two to three weeks with a shoulder strain. Geno would have preferred to play, and has been playing with the strain for some time, but Dan Bylsma and Ray Shero had a meeting with Geno and decided to have him take some time off and rest the shoulder. The decision is purely precautionary. Malkin will be traveling with the team to Columbus as well as their West Coast trip next week. Malkin says he feels good and is fine but does not feel comfortable.

We think they made the right choice in this situation. Why risk his shoulder further this early in the season? We like the decisions that have been made as of late.

Speaking of decisions... The Pens have decided to call up Chris Conner from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. We like this decision as well. He's small at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds but he has a lot of speed. He also knows how to score. He impressed us when we saw him in training camp both with his speed and his scoring. With no Tyler Kennedy, Conner should be able to add a little spark to the lineup. We look forward to seeing what he will contribute to the team.

The Pens will play the Columbus Blue Jackets in Columbus tonight at 7:00. Preview.

Go Pens!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three is a Magic Number

Three was a magic number for Sidney Crosby and the Pens last night as they beat the Habs 6-1. Sid had his third career hat trick three years to the day of his first ever. Number three Alex Goligoski remains hot as he had his fourth goal of the season after hitting a couple of posts early. Chris Kunitz had three assists and his first goal of the season after a slump that had fans calling for his removal from the top line. Is that enough threes for you?

- Shouldn't someone tell Sidney Crosby he's not a goal scorer? That's Ovie's job! Watch out NHL, Sidney Crosby is becoming quite the goal scorer. His spin-o-rama back hander last night was especially nice.

- Is it finally time to stop talking about how Chris Kunitz hasn't scored a goal in 5,000 games? He wasn't supposed to be a goal machine and sure has earned his keep in other ways. Kunitz had a nice steal last night that he passed to Billy Guerin who then passed it to Sid who got rid of it so fast Halak probably never saw it. Those seemingly little things mean a lot.

- The Pens are the first team to 10 wins.

- Tyler Kennedy was out and we said recently he's a guy the Pens don't want to be without because of his energy and goal scoring touch so far this year and we still believe that but the Pens did well last night in his absence although Staal and Cooke weren't as noticeable last night without him, coincidence or not.

- Gogo continues to impress us with his play both defensively and offensively. He hit a couple of posts early on in the game but he kept letting those shots go and in the third period he let a wrist shot go from the point that beat Price for his fourth goal of the season. He also has a six game scoring streak going.

- Geno had an assist last night which gave him 199. Billy Guerin will soon be playing in his 1,200th career game. He played his 1,197th last night.

- After this week the Pens will take a trip to the west coast the first week of November. They will visit Anaheim, LA, and San Jose on the third, fifth, and seventh. That means late games, the first two being at 10 and the third at 10:30.

- If you have Dish Network there is a preview of Versus going on right now until November 30th.

Just another day at the office

Care to take a trip down memory lane with us?

Go Pens!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maybe it just means he likes to wear tights

Quick post this morning to give you a new episode of Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers, some links, and the quote of the month.

Sidney Crosby will be one of 12,000 people to carry the Olympic torch before the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

If you were to think of what some of the Pens would dress up as for Halloween, we doubt you'd come up with a Care Bear and Kermit the Frog. Eric Goddard wore his Care Bear head to practice on Monday and Marc-Andre Fleury decided to play goalie with his Kermit the Frog mask on. It didn't work out too well though because he said he couldn't see. You can see pictures if you click on the link above.

More on Halloween from the Trib here.

Quote of the month courtesy of Sidney Crosby:

"I am not surprised he did that. He talks about that a lot. I think he was pretty happy to be a frog. For some reason he is always wearing tights with his costumes. I don't know why that is. He was Cat Woman before and now he was a frog with leggings so maybe it just means he likes to wear tights. I don't know."

- Sidney Crosby on Marc-Andre Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury gets our real man of the week award. Why? All we have to say is real men wear tights. Seriously. What do most guys say about things like that? "That's gay." (We don't condone the use of that word in that context). If you're comfortable with your sexuality you're not concerned with "looking gay" like so many other men are. So Marc-Andre Fleury, continue to wear your tights and leggings because, you Sir, are a real man.

Pens play the Montreal Canadiens tonight at 7:30. Preview.

We haven't gotten through our pictures yet but we will soon.

Go Pens!

Monday, October 26, 2009


This post was originally meant for Thursday night but blogger was down. A little late but some of the information is still pertinent. We'll try to have some photos of the Pens game soon.

Last post we talked about the Versus commercial featuring Geno that we'd seen that night similar to the one with Sidney Crosby we posted. Seth over at Empty Netters found the Geno Versus commercial and we had to post it for your enjoyment.

And for those who didn't see or don't remember the one featuring Crosby, here it is:

Brent Johnson will be starting in goal tonight for the Pens against the Florida Panthers. This will be just his second start, his first coming against the Coyotes in the Pens only loss this season. Saturday night the Pens will play the Devils.

We will not have recaps of tonight's game or Saturday's game. We will be attending Saturday's game and hopefully have a lot of pictures to share.

Go Pens!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pens dominate Blues

The Pens made it look mighty easy last night in their 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. The Blues didn't really look like they cared whether they won or lost, mistakes and turnovers were everywhere and their discipline left something to be desired.

- Gonchar is hurt and it is believed it is upper body but that's all that's been said. Pensblog has mentioned that some people hear it was a broken wrist. We won't know until later this morning more than likely. Let's just hope it's nothing serious.

- Tyler Kennedy just keeps scoring. He had his fifth goal tonight on a nice slap shot that went high glove side. All that energy and speed plus his goal scoring as of late make him someone the Pens don't want to lose. The Pens third line is the best third line in the NHL. Did we mention he leads the league in game winning goals (three)?

- We saw over at the Post-Gazette that Geno was trying out new skates tonight, some kind of prototype that Gonchar wore last year. Geno believes he is the only other player to have worn these skates. He said if he scored last night he would continue wearing the skates. Well guess what, he scored, so those skates should become permanent. Also, if you have Versus we hoped you enjoyed Geno in the Versus commercial like Sid's we posted earlier. We looked for it on YouTube and didn't see it, we'll look again later at some point. He produced a fine performance.

- Fleury still looks good. 8-0 looks even better. We're anxious to see if he plays in both upcoming games considering they have another back-to-back. We're just hoping he plays Saturday when we're at the game.

That's all for now, we can't even see straight. More to come.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Steelers beat Browns

The Steelers may have beaten the Browns 27-14 today but it's not what most fans are used to. Okay so the Browns are still pretty horrible but the Steelers didn't exactly put this game away early like you would have thought. And then when you let Josh Cribbs take a kickoff back for a touchdown know. The defense is hard to get. At one moment they look stellar and the next not so great. And how was the run game not so great today against the Browns? We don't know what to say anymore. This is about the worst collection of thoughts ever. On one hand the Steelers won this game and the Browns still suck pretty bad, but at the same time it just didn't seem like the ass kickin' we're used to. Maybe those five turnovers (three by the Steelers) in just under four minutes had something to do with it. The Steelers just aren't clicking quite like they should be but we don't think there's any need to panic with Big Ben as the QB and guys like Hines and Heath catching those passes. But someone please help the defense be consistent.

- Hines Ward is having a phenomenal year so far. And at 33 years old, some may consider that "old" but Ward looks as good as he ever has and still hasn't lost that toughness. Eight more catches for 159 yards and touchdown today make us look good in getting him on our fantasy team.

- Heath Miller is in our opinion the best all-around tight end in the league. Probably the most underrated too. He has great hands and is pretty much guaranteed to break at least the first tackle and get a few yards after the catch. And how many times is the running back following a tackle by Heath?

- Santonio Holmes had a quiet day. Sort of. He caught five passes for 104 yards which is not to shabby by any means but he did so quietly. Although his big catch and run in the second half was pretty impressive.

- Nice to see Troy Polamalu back. And getting interceptions.

- Where was Brady Quinn?

Game Center at including recap

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pens beat Lightning

The Pens took on old teammate Ryan Malone and the Tampa Bay Lightning last night at Mellon Arena and came out with a 4-1 victory. The Pens are now 7-1 with 14 points and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury sitting pretty with a perfect 7-0 record. The game looked about like it should have, the Pens dominating a lesser team, even giving the Lightning seven power plays in which they could only score once. The Pens cannot continue, however to give teams this many chances because all teams are not like the Lightning. We can't figure out exactly what it is with the lack of discipline or why but it is an aspect of their game they need to cut down on.

Speaking of things the Pens need to work on, the power play could use some help. The Pens were not bad in terms of puck possession, but were doing a heck of a lot of passing at times last night during the power play and not enough shooting and scoring. The Pens even had over a minute and a half on a 5-on -3 in which they couldn't capitalize. The Pens did have one power play goal courtesy of Billy Guerin early in the first period to put the Pens up 1-0. Assists coming from Evgeni Malkin and Alex Goligoski. Before the first period was over the Pens would make the score 2-0 on a Sergei Gonchar goal assisted by Brooks Orpik and Sidney Crosby.

In the second period Pascal Dupuis would take a tripping penalty to put the Lightning on the power play. With 13:42 left in the second, Steven Stamkos would score the Lightning's first and only goal of the night. But it wouldn't take long for the Pens to answer that goal with one of their own to take back their two goal lead. With 11:45 left in the second, Sergei Gonchar would appear to have another slap shot goal but it would later be awarded to Dupuis with assists from Ruslan Fedotenko and Gonch. Score now 3-1. The Lightning would take a ridiculous amount of penalties at the end of the second period, even giving the Pens a lot of time on a 5-on-3 but the Pens could not convert. The period would end with the Pens up 3-1.

The Pens would still have over a minute of power play time to start the third period but no goal once again. The Pens would get even more power play time during the first half of the period but there was still nothing going on there. But the scoring wasn't quite over for the Pens. With 8:39 left in the third, Mike Rupp would get his second goal from a nice Sidney Crosby backhand pass that would put the Pens up 4-1. The Lightning would get plenty of chances to score thanks to some penalties by the Pens but would fail to score another goal, even after pulling their goalie. Pens win 4-1.

- We weren't sure about the Jay McKee signing but once again it's another example of just trust Ray Shero. McKee had SEVEN blocked shots last night and leads the league with 28 of them. He's not afraid to sacrifice his body to help the team, exactly as he was advertised.

- We've mentioned it before and we'll say it again, Alex Goligoski looks great. We thought he was good in his time with the team last year with Gonchar out but he's remarkably better this year. He made several great plays last night and even had a few tricks up his sleeves like his nifty backhand pass at the blue line during a power play. Looks like losing Scuds and Gill wasn't as painful as we thought.

- Fleury continues to look great. Not that he hasn't always been a loose and laid back kind of guy but he looks amazingly relaxed all the time. He has even more reason to stand in his crease and smile with a perfect 7-0 record this year and seeing pretty much anything that comes his way.

- How good do the Pens look in general? They are definitely not playing perfect hockey and taking way too many penalties and the power play could use a little help getting going but they're winning games and looking good doing it. If they can fix those faults, continue to get scoring from all lines, and Fleury keeps playing the way he has in the last seven games and it's kind of scary how good they could be.

Next game is Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. on Versus against the St. Louis Blues.

FSN has been airing segments called My Day With Stanley that chronicle what the players did on their day with the Cup. Last night was Geno and here's the video.

Let's Go Pens!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Steelers beat Lions

The Steelers beat the Detroit Lions yesterday 28-20. We're glad they won but are we going to have to worry whether the defense will give up the lead the offense has managed to get all year? We have no idea whatsover what's up with the defense and why it is letting big leads dwindle in the second half. We're not talking about a potent offense when we talk about the Lions (or the Bears or the Bungles) but yet the defense is letting them walk all over them at the end of games. The end of this game ended well - in a win of course, but also in the three sacks in a row and Ike Taylor's nice pass deflection in the end zone. But two other games did not end well and there should be no excuse for it. This is the defense that is supposed to carry the team when the offense, especially the running game, couldn't get going. Now the offense is carrying the team while the defense can't seem to handle much. Hopefully Dick Lebeau has a few tricks up his sleeve to save this defense.

- Big Ben looked pretty good. That's about all we have to say on that.

- Heath Miller was outstanding yesterday and we hope that they continue to use him as much as they have been so far. He has great hands and the ability to break a few tackles. He's also a great blocker. By far the most underrated tight end in the league in our opinion. Also liked the good HEEEEEEEEEEATH chant in Detroit. Nice.

- Limas Sweed continues to drop passes while Mike Wallace mostly shines. Wallace messed up by dropping a ball he should have caught and then was penalized with a delay of game after needlessly kicking the ball out of frustration. But the difference between Sweed and Wallace is that Wallace got to redeem himself by scoring a touchdown, Sweed wasn't so lucky.

- Hines Ward gets his first touchdown of the year, which seems surprising considering how well his season has started, but nonetheless gets that out of the way. He still continues to do what he does best. Still also the toughest receiver in the league.

- Where's Santonio Holmes?

- Rashard Mendenhall still looks good. Not quite the show he put on last week but great nonetheless. It's nice to see a bulkier back working hard for yards, unlike what we've been seeing from Willie Parker. Mendenhall should have had two touchdowns yesterday but one was called back on a penalty. Not bad at all.

- James Harrison is still a beast.

- We miss Troy Polamalu.

- How bad were those announcers?!

Cleveland is up next. If the defense gives up anything to them we're all in big trouble after their measly 6-3 win over the also horrible Bills.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pens beat Leafs 5-2

The Pens went into Toronto last night with a less than stellar record when playing at the Air Canada Centre. Their last win there came in 2007 and we all remember the loss on February 14th that was Michel Therrien's last game as the Penguins' head coach. For some reason the not-so-great Maple Leafs had had the Pens' number in the past, but not last night.

The Pens would score five goals, three on the power play, to beat the Leafs 5-2 in their house. The Leafs tried to play tough but it wasn't going to work on the Pens who can play physical but not fall into that trap. The Pens capitalized on their power play chances by scoring on three out of four, not counting a fifth at the very end of the game in which Eric Godard was on the ice. The Pens outworked the Leafs and did not take stupid penalties like they had done in games past. Sidney Crosby had two power play goals and Geno picked up three points to lead the Pens to victory.

- Matt Cooke had his 100th career goal last night that made the game 1-0. Congrats!

- Marc-Andre Fleury is now 4-0 to start the season.

- The Pens sure made the Leafs look bad. The Leafs aren't the best team in the league, we all know that, but they looked pretty horrible and that definitely includes Vesa Toskala.

- Sid and Geno look great to start the season. We also like the Cooke, Staal, Kennedy line. Geno and Staal also look like they could be good on a line together every so often.

- Alex Goligoski looks like he's been playing with the Pens for years. He's been strong in these first few games.

- What do people have against Kris Letang? He gets bit by Scott Hartnell and then Rosehill decides to spear him in this game. What did Letang do to deserve this treatment?

- The refs calling that spear on Letang a high stick was a horrible decision, especially since they were right there. Ridiculous. It was nice to see Billy Guerin come in and defend his teammate as well.

- The way the Pens were controlling the puck on the power play was pretty incredible. Again, the Leafs aren't exactly great, but many times last season the Pens couldn't get anything going on the power play against anyone. It looks promising.

- Geno's English is pretty stellar these days:

Marc-Andre Fleury and Max Talbot had a little fun after the game:

Talbot was in town for the team dinner at the Hockey Hall of Fame and said he would be returning to Pittsburgh tomorrow.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"I don't mind a little action in there"

Scott Hartnell will not be suspended or fined for biting Kris Letang. He had a phone hearing with the NHL yesterday. We would love to know what was said in this so-called hearing. With no video evidence to back it up, Hartnell was obviously not going to say that he bit him. Personally, we think that bite marks would be enough evidence of what obviously happened in that scrum but does this stuff ever really get solved logically? Nah.

Letang is fine and will have no problems playing today in Toronto. The only thing he had to say about the lack of discipline on Hartnell was "what happened, happened...I don't have to worry about it." Nice to see he chose to take the high road in all of this.

You're probably wondering what is with our choice of title for this post. It's a quote from Marc-Andre Fleury. Please get your mind out of the gutter now. Especially the ladies who fall for that amazing French-Canadian accent. Fleury was referring to the action in his crease in Thursday's game when Flyers Captain Mike Richards barreled into him in the final seconds of the game. He also decided to take the high road and say it's hard to know whether players run into the goalie on purpose and even felt bad for kicking him in the face, but said "I don't mind a little action in there." We're sure it was said with a smile.

Ever since we saw this commercial on Versus, we'd been looking for it on YouTube. Finally found it and here it is for you. Enjoy Sid in a more comical moment.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Filthy in Philly

You didn't really think that the Pens could get out of Philly without something shady going down did you? We didn't think so. The Flyers proved once again how dirty they are with a few displays, none bigger than Scott Hartnell's biting of Kris Letang's finger. In our opinion there aren't too many things that are worse, or more disgusting, to do to someone on the ice (or field) than biting someone. Especially when you break the skin. Kris Letang should be due for a tetanus shot.

Biting someone is extremely juvenile, but not surprising coming from Hartnell. He denies biting Letang, but a Philly blog claims he chucked as he said it. Sounds like he's telling the truth. Or not. We don't know how the league handles situations like this when replays are inconclusive but if he bit Letang, we'd have to think that Letang's finger would have marks consistent with a human bite. (That was horrible to type.) If the league decides that Hartnell did in fact bite Letang, we're assuming a suspension and fine would be in order. Last year, Jarkko Ruutu was suspended two games without pay for biting an opponent and this should render the same.

We'll have to wait and see how all of this plays out but it's definitely something the league needs to look into because biting is beyond disgusting and should not be tolerated in any form. This should also add fuel to the rivalry. As if it needed any more.

The video of the scrum:

Letang's comments after the game:

Thoughts on the game:

- Physical as usual but then, what else would you expect?

- Still too many penalties. Why are Sid and Geno going to the box so much? Geno was in there three times last night. That has to change.

- Fleury looked great. Yes, Fleury let in four goals but none of them were soft. Not to mention two were power play goals and one was on a 5-on-3.

- How weird was that goal by Goligoski? It was nice of Braydon Coburn to put it into his own net off of Ray Emery. Gogo can just consider it payback for his non-goal the night before.

- Will Philly fans ever stop the Crosby sucks chant? Dumb question, we know. It's bad enough when he's on the ice but is it really necessary all game long? What did Crosby ever do to you? Play well and average 2 points a game against your team? Yeah, that's what we thought.

- We're going to assume that you saw the mother and son behind the Pens bench with Pens stuff on and then a "no" sign over it. Who in the world buys a Stanley Cup Champs t-shirt for a rival team and does that? And your kid a jersey?! That alone speaks volumes. Nice of them to contribute to the sales of more Pens stuff.

Go Pens!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Steelers win, Pens lose

Once again we are behind on just about everything. We're horrible for not posting a single thing about the Steelers win on Sunday over the Chargers. If you've read us for a while you know we lean towards the hockey side of things around here anyway, ironic considering we've been football fans since birth pretty much and hockey was a late addition to our sports obsession, but that shouldn't be an excuse for lack of acknowledgment. We've thought about trying to find another person that would like to cover the Steelers part of this blog since we don't do it any justice. We've also thought about only covering hockey and moving the blog. We're still considering both but the latter seems like the more probable of the two for a couple of reasons. One, we don't know how easy it would be to find someone who just wants to give their opinions on someone else's blog for the heck of it. And two, looking at the data we get like search results and links, most people are here for the Pens. We're brainstorming right now about that and what we want to do with this blog in general and the kind of direction we want to head in. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated and you can leave them in the comments or e-mail us. Thanks!

Yinz Luv 'Da Stillers Week 4

Pens lost to the Coyotes 3-0 last night. They just couldn't get anything going on offense, but that's kind of hard to do when you're in the box all night. Hopefully tonight against the Flyers will produce a win. We're going to go with a big night from Sidney Crosby.

See you soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pens spoil Tavares' debut

The Pens went to New York and spoiled the Islanders' home opener as well as last year's first round draft pick, John Tavares' first NHL game. The big story line was John Tavares' first game in the NHL and he didn't do half bad, scoring his first NHL goal and assist, but Sidney Crosby decided not to let him have a perfect night by scoring the game-winning shootout goal. It wasn't easy and the Pens didn't look nearly as sharp but they came back from two one-goal deficits to beat the Islanders 4-3 in a shootout.

After each team had had a failed power play, Sidney Crosby would score the first goal of the game with 11:10 left in the first period. Taking a nice off-the-wall pass from Ruslan Fedotenko, Crosby was off to the races on a breakaway in which the defense was no match as he snuck the puck past Roloson five-hole for his second goal in two games to make the score 1-0.

We would see our second fight of the season not long after Crosby's goal between Mike Rupp and Tim Jackman. Feel free to ignore the NY commentators.

Not long after that you would see another fight between Jay McKee and Brendan Witt after Witt had a big hit on Fedotenko.

After all the penalties were doled out, the Islanders ended up with a two-minute 5-on-3 that they would cash-in on. With 7:20 left in the first period, Mark Streit scored a power play goal to tie the game at one. The Pens would successfully kill the rest of that penalty and we would go into the second period still tied at one.

John Tavares would score his first goal in the NHL on a power play with 12:51 left in the second period to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead after they got Mark Eaton for hooking. The Pens would get a power play in the second period as well but could not cash in. With around ten minutes left in the period, John Tavares would get a chance at his second NHL goal on a breakaway, but Fleury said no and made a great save on him one-on-one. The Pens didn't really turn it on until the last five or so minutes of the second period but we would still go into the third with the Islanders winning 2-1.

The Pens would get a power play less than a minute into the third period but could not find a way to cash-in, although they did get their chances. Eventually Mark Eaton would score with 12:41 left in the third to tie the game at two. That lead wouldn't last long though as the Islanders would score less than twenty seconds later to take the lead again 3-2. The Pens were having some pretty good chances and they finally found the net when Feds was at the net with a lot of traffic and bounced the puck off of an Islanders skate and into the net. Talk about lucky bounces. Score tied 3-3. Despite a late penalty called on Billy Guerin for slashing with 2:39 left in the third period, the Pens would kill it off and send the game into overtime.

In overtime the Pens would have a few chances but could not cash-in. Letang also made a huge play to prevent the Islanders from setting up a potential goal on a 2-on-1 by diving to the ice and blocking the pass. Five minutes were up and it was time for a shootout.

The Islanders decided they would shoot first and sent out Jeff Tambellini who hit the crossbar. The Pens would send Kris Letang out first who got the puck past Roloson to give the Pens the lead. John Tavares was next but he couldn't get the puck past Fleury, Pens still up 1-0. Sidney Crosby was the Pens' second shooter with the chance to win the game. He decided to go five-hole again and it worked, Pens win 4-3.

- Overall we thought this wasn't the Pens' best effort but they still found a way to come from behind and win, something they were great at last season.

- Both teams appeared very sloppy at times we thought but overall it was still an entertaining game.

- Sidney Crosby looks great in these first two games, scoring two goals and winning the shootout. That stick also seems to look pretty good as well. We're sure most of you know by now, but in case you don't, Crosby used to use two-piece sticks. The blade being wood and the shaft of the stick being composite but getting those blades made was starting to get difficult. This summer Crosby decided to try a one-piece composite stick on his own at home and in training camp. He obviously liked what he saw because he has stuck with it. The stick has a slightly bigger curve than his wood stick but not by much. It was also noted tonight that Sid weighted his stick down with sand in the shaft of the stick to make it heavier and work on his shot. You probably won't find too many stars with a work ethic like his.

- Sidney Crosby also recorded his 400th career point tonight with his goal and assist. He is the sixth fastest player to reach 400 points, taking him 292 games.

- We think Tyler Kennedy looks good this season. He's the fastest one to the puck a majority of the time. He's willing to get in the corners and grind it out with anyone. He'll chip-in a puck and blow by the defense to get it first. He's made more than one person look bad so far. Jordan Staal also looks good to us.

- Marc-Andre Fleury looks pretty spot on, making some more great saves again last night.

- Kris Letang and Alex Goligoski look good as well.

Pens' next game is Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:30 p.m.

Go Pens!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pens open the season with a win

The Pens took one last look back at their Stanley Cup Championship and then it was time to drop the puck on a brand new season with the same goal in mind. Dan Bylsma told his team that when they watched the banner being raised that they needed to remember that the banner symbolizes how they play and what they needed to continue to do. It was time to stop looking back on last season and drop the puck on the new season. The Pens didn't seem to have any trouble doing just that when they beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in the last opening night at Mellon Arena.

Not taking too long to score their first goal, with 12:12 left to go in the first period the Pens were on a power play when Gonchar let a shot go from the point that Malkin tipped in to make the game 1-0 Pens. Alex Goligoski and Gonchar had the assists.

It wouldn't take too long for us to see the first fight of the season either when Eric Godard and Donald Brashear would go at it with 8:05 left in the first. They didn't let the crowd down by putting on a good show. You can watch it here:

With 3:59 left in the period the Rangers would tie the score at one with a goal from Chris Drury. Sidney Crosby would take a slashing penalty with almost three minutes left but the Pens' penalty kill would be up to the task to keep the score tied at one.

Not long into the second period Marc-Andre Fleury would make a huge glove save on Vaclav Prospal. You know the type, think similar to his save in game 7 of the Capitals series on Alexander Ovechkin. What a way to start out the season for Fleury.

The Pens paid him back by scoring two goals in the second, one from Crosby and one from Tyler Kennedy. With 7:35 left in the second period Crosby would be parked in front of the net to take a feed from Kris Letang who gathered up a rebound from a Bill Guerin shot to make the score 2-1. But Goligoski and TK didn't think that was enough. Shortly after, with 6:27 left in the second period Gogo would take a shot at the net that Kennedy would tip in for another Pens goal and make the game 3-1. Staal would get the other assist. The Pens would also kill two more penalties that period.

The third period would see a goal from new Ranger Marian Gaborik to cut the Pens lead 3-2 but that's all the Pens would allow for the rest of the period, killing another penalty and beating the Rangers 3-2 to start out the season 1-0.

Part 1 of the Pens' banner raising ceremony:

Part 2:

Game recap

Overall the Pens looked pretty good. The penalty killing unit did not allow a power play goal, Marc-Andre Fleury looked great after a somewhat questionable preseason, Sid and Geno each scored, Alex Goligoski looks like he has all the confidence in the world, the power play scored a goal, Jordan Staal had some great chances, Tyler Kennedy is starting the season out great, Godard is in fighting shape, and Dan Bylsma looks like he's ready to defend the Cup.

The Pens get the chance to go 2-0 tonight against the New York Islanders in NY. The Pens can welcome first round draft pick John Tavares to the NHL. Maybe some Free Candy? What a way to enter the league, playing against the Stanley Cup Champions. Should be a memorable one. The game starts at 7:00 p.m.

Let's Go Pens!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hockey Season is Here!

Hockey season has officially kicked off today and will continue tomorrow with the Pens facing the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. on FSN Pittsburgh and NHL Network. The Pens will raise their Stanley Cup Champs banner as well.

Speaking of Champions, the company who made the Pens' rings has a photo of both sides of the rings that were hard to see in the other pictures. The left side includes the players' name as well as the results of each playoff series including the logos of each (the Caps' is altered). We thought this was a pretty unique idea in terms of using the logos with the record. We like it a lot.

- The NHL Network will be airing a show called Off the Ice with interviews from a lot of NHL stars. Monday October 5th will feature Sidney Crosby as well as Alexander Ovechkin. Evgeni Malkin was also one of those shown that will be on an upcoming episode. The show airs at 7:30 p.m.

- For those of you who have Direct TV, you know that they are in a dispute with Versus which carries NHL games. We found a thread on a deals site message board that says that some people have been successful in calling Direct TV and getting NHL Center Ice for FREE because of the Versus dispute and not being able to watch those games. It is definitely a case by case basis as some people have gotten it free no problem, while others have gotten other offers such as half-off. You can read the thread here. It might be worth your time to try and call and tell them you are a huge hockey fan and you are missing games because of this dispute. Feel free to let us know your experience.

- Penguins' Talbot a true 'superstar' Great read from Ron Cook on Max Talbot, Superstar!

- Penguins' Guerin not ready to quit How can you not love this guy?

"It's hardware but it's not hard to wear"

We've got a lot to catch up on but we've got to start with the rings. The Pens received their Stanley Cup Championship rings yesterday and reverting to some annoying early 2000s slang, talk about some bling bling! At around 4.5 karats and 167 diamonds with a custom cut black onyx for the Penguins' logo, that is some serious bling. We think it looks really great. We have to say we think it's better than the Steelers' Super Bowl rings this year, although we expected the Pens' rings to be smaller and not compete with the huge rings the Steelers got. Shows what we know. What do you think?

Enough of us talking, here's the pictures:

(All photos Peter Diana/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


The rings were given out at a private ceremony Tuesday night. They were given out by number so Captain Sidney Crosby had to wait quite a while for his but didn't sneak a peak of others' before he had his own in his hands. Billy Guerin was eager to share his thoughts with the media which is where our title comes from. Guerin joked about his ring saying, "it's hardware but it's not hard to wear." We're sure it's not.

Something else arrived in Pittsburgh yesterday that has some value. The Stanley Cup was back from the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto with Penguins' names inscribed. The Penguins' site provided the above picture of the newly engraved names.

- If you're in the Pittsburgh area you have a chance to see the Stanley Cup as well as the Lombardi Trophy at the City-County Building Portico from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday October 1st (today).

- You can watch the Pens raise their new Stanley Cup Champs banner as well as the game Friday night outside on the big screen. It is up and running now, showing highlights and the Penguins Stanley Cup Champs DVD. The Penguins also decided to add post-game fireworks to the festivities as long as the weather permits.

- The Penguins gained a player and lost a player Wednesday on waivers. The Pens claimed forward Chris Bourque off of waivers from the Washington Capitals. He is 23 years-old, 5'8" and 180 pounds and was drafted in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2004 NHL entry draft. He played four seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL and appeared in 12 NHL games. The Pens also lost Paul Bissonnette on waivers when the Phoenix Coyotes claimed him. He will be missed by a lot of people and it's a shame to see him go.

- The other players that were not kept on the roster all cleared waivers and will report to Wilkes-Barre. They are defensemen Nate Guenin and Deryk Engelland, as well as forwards Ryan Bayda and Chris Conner.

- Seth has some good stuff on new Penguin Martin Skoula.

- Sidney Crosby has practiced and feels optimistic about playing in the home opener Friday night.

- The Pens will play Friday night at 7:30 p.m. and it will be shown on NHL Network as well as FSN Pittsburgh. NHL Network should be blacked out to those in the Pittsburgh viewing area. The Pens will also play Saturday at 7:00 p.m. against the Islanders. All 30 NHL teams will be in action Saturday. The season begins today with four games on the schedule.