Category Archives: Penguins

Playoffs! Playoffs! Playoffs!

It was a busy month in my world, so I apologize for not posting anything about that wonderful first round of playoffs.  It’s funny how I can be so sad about the Stars missing out (again), but then actual playoffs teams remind me how much I love this sport.

The first round saw me feeling warm and fuzzy toward the Flyers as they took down the Penguins for me.  Those feelings still linger, and I hate that fact.  I used to hate them all, and now I’m starting to think that Claude Giroux’s pretty awesome and that maybe Scott Hartnell isn’t so bad after all.  Max Talbot, however, is still a tool.  The Canucks were thankfully eliminated as well, but I’m not feeling good feelings toward the Kings.  It’s a Pacific thing.

Speaking of which, the last thing I want right now is a Pacific-themed conference final.  Neither the Kings or the Coyotes have ever won a Cup, and I’d like to keep it that way.  I like being one of only two teams in the Pacific to have a championship.  And I kind of hate the Kings.  The Coyotes are tolerable, but the Kings…no.

Out East, that Caps-Rangers game last night was pretty awesome.

Fun fact: it was the longest game since May 4, 2008, which was–you guessed it– Game 6 between the Stars and Sharks.  That epic 4 OT one.

Who knows what the playoffs will bring next, but they’ve been pretty fun.

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Chaos! At the AAC

Obviously the biggest story to come out of the Stars-Pens game is the Sidney Crosby-Matt Niskanen fight.  I’ll admit, it seriously freaked me out. When I saw that it was Crosby who was fighting Niskers, I was all, “OMFG I CAN’T EVEN. NISKERS? AND CROSBY? WHAT’S GOING ON?”

Let’s just say that if you went to the game intending to see Crosby do something crazy, well…you got your wish.  Personally, I thought it was gutless of Crosby to go after Matt Niskanen, a guy who has only ever been in one fight in his NHL career.  Hey, Sid, go with Mark Fistric next time. I guarantee you will not win that one.  This is why I don’t like Sidney Crosby.  Thank you, Sidney, for backing up my claims.

In addition to the Niskers-Crosby fight, there were three other throwdowns, two of which belonged to Jamie Benn, like this one with Chris Kunitz:

And then this one between Morrow and Kris Letang, which caused an outrage among Penguins fans:

I’m not really liking the whole, “BRENDEN MORROW WENT AFTER TANGER BECAUSE OF HIS HAND. OOOOH WHAT A TERRIBLE PERSON” bullshit.  It was some heated poking and prodding between the two, and it’s not like Morrow chose Letang specifically.  It was a spur of the moment thing. So, please, stop whining.

This was an especially satisfying win because it was against my least favorite team in the NHL.  What makes it even more amazing is the fact that the Pens got a load of free calls, including some that led to a lengthy 5-on-3, yet we still showed them what’s up.  One non-call that infuriated me was when Geno Malkin retaliated and put a blatant cross-check on Morrow, I think, and didn’t get a call.  I guarantee if a Stars player does that, he gets put in the box on a cross-check call. 

It was so sweet to beat the Pens at home for the first time in seven years. Some teams warrant a bit of a celebration after beating them, and Pittsburgh is one of those teams.  We played well and didn’t take any of the Penguins’ shit like most other teams do.

Loui Eriksson had highlight of the night:

Three words: sweet silky moves.  Jussi Jokinen would be proud of such a wonderful demonstration of his move.

Next up: Dave Tippett and the Yotes.

Make it happen.

Scary Good

Excuse the Halloween pun, even though it was totally intended.  Anyhoo, what a fantastic game! I only saw the second period on, but I liked what I saw. 

Special teams dominated, which is nice because they usually don’t.  The Stars started off the scoring with a 5-on-3 goal in the first, and ultimately went 2-for-6 on the PP.  Add a shortie to that, and you have a special-teams dominated score. 

Also surprising was the fact that Trevor Daley of all people scored a goal.  It was mildly crazy.  Of course, Daley would score on a night we didn’t really need the goal, but whatevs.  I’m not complaining; 4-0 is a nice score.

And how about Andrew Raycroft?  I’ll admit that I’ve been worried about our backup situation ever since Raycroft had a…uhm…sucky preseason start.  He sure didn’t show that last night.  Then again, the Sabres are a very troubled team, so that might have been an easy one to pull off.

Whatever, though.  I’ll take it.  A win is a win, no matter what the circumstances surrounding it are.

Next up: Wednesday against the (BLECH) Penguins.

Make it happen

These Playoffs Are Getting Insane

So last night around 6 pm, I was super nervous.  The Game 7 between The Habs and Pens was about to start and I REALLY didn’t want the Pens to prevail.  My hatred of the Pens is kind of irrational, but it’s very strong.  I hate the Pens so much that the next best thing to a Stars Stanley Cup is a Pens loss.  That’s how deep my loathing goes.

Anyway, I was just a ball of nerves.  My palms were sweating and I lost my appetite out of those nerves.  I found it hilarious when Sidney Crosbiyatch took that dumb boarding penalty not even a minute in.  That made me feel a little better.  Then, Brian Gionta scored and I was even more relieved.

Well, it got up to 4-0 and the Pens started pushing back.  That really kind of scared me when it got to be 4-2.  The last ten minutes of the third, the Penguins were really laying it on the Habs and I got worried that the midget Habbies weren’t going to hold on.  Needless to say, I as wrong.

This Canadiens team is the real deal.  The Caps’ loss to them is easier to comprehend because of the Pens’ loss.  If the two most skilled teams in the East can’t get past the midgets, then it’s okay.  These Habs are like 2006’s Edmonton Oilers.  You know, the eighth seed who had upset after upset en route to the Stanley Cup final?

With Montreal’s win, I think that the road is paved for a West champion.  Yes, Halak’s been fantastic, but you don’t know what real playoffs are like until you’ve played the West.   All of the East teams left have a weakness, a bad weakness at that.  Montreal’s been a cinderella story, but it’s unlikely they’ll keep it up.  Boston can’t score to save their lives.  Philly is the epitome of goalie problems.  Chicago and San Jose can snuff any of them out.

The best part about the Habs’ win is that I’m fine with whoever ultimately wins the Cup.  The two teams in the playoffs that I loathed (Vancouver and Pittsburgh) are out now.  I’ll be contet with whoever wins.  Although, I will admit this: please don’t let it be the Sharks.  It’s a Pacific thing.

And finally, I always love some good hockey irony.  With the Pens’ semifinal loss, that means that they finished in the same round as the Detroit Red Wings did.  Now there’s two teams who are destined to be forever parallel.

Over on the Boston-Philly series, the Flyers have forced a Game 7.  What’s special about this is that they came back from a 3-0 deficit.  That’s crazy.  It’s also something you don’t see everyday.  If they win tomorrow night, they’ll be only the third team ever to do so, and the first team in 35 years.

You gotta love the playoffs.

What A Joke

Why does the NHL have to epically fail every time they must take disciplinary action on someone? 

Cases in point:

Alex Ovechkin- I’m a huge fan of Ovie and I’ll try to be as impartial as I can, but there’s no guarantees here.  The league suspended Ovie for two games for breaking Brian Campbell.  I personally don’t believe that he was trying to injure Campbell, but it happened and Ovie’s paying the price for it.

To me, it wasn’t dirty.  Ovechkin is a reckless rebel.  He sometimes gets carried away and too forcefully passionate.  While watching the game, I saw the hit and just had a horrible feeling that Ovie would get suspended.

Verdict: reckless and dangerous and definitely not dirty, but the league made the right call.

Steve Downie- To put it bluntly, I hate Sidney Crosby.  However, this was a dirty, dirty hit.  Downie is a repeat offender and a dirtbag.  Guess what his punishment was?  A fine.  What bemuses me about this one is that this was Bettman’s boy who was the victim…I’m just surprised Downie didn’t get, like, a lifetime ban.  Seriously, though, I didn’t like the way Crosby fell.  He’s lucky he’s alright.

Verdict:  dirty all the way…Sid didn’t even have to dive on that one, it was so dirty.  The NHL got this one wrong

Matt Cooke- This is the one that really makes me angry.  Cooke is a repeat offender who deliberately tried to injure Boston’s star player.  It was obviously dirty and yet the league didn’t suspend him.  Oh sure, it’s not technically illegal, but that shouldn’t matter when the intent to injure was there.

Verdict: dirty, dirty, dirty, dirty, DIRTY.  Completely wrong call by the league.

Shut Up, Crosby, No One Likes You

I’m sorry, I had to say that.  When someone proves a point, I say “Shut up.   No one likes you.”

Anyway, there’s mot much to say.  What else can I say other than, This team is done?  They’re finished.  The Stars are not making the playoffs and that is the sad reality.

And I hate Crosby even more than before if that’s even possible.

More later.  Because right now, I have nothing to say.

Guys, it could be much worse.  We could still have this-

I laughed at this and it sickened me.  Avery, why oh why do you do this to me?  I’m determined to hate you, but I just can’t completely hate you.  At least you’re doing this with another team…

The Aftermath

They might want to call the Vancouver Games the “Upset Games.”  At least that ‘s what they are in terms of the hockey tournament going on.  Slovakia over Russia.  America over Canada.  Czech Republic over Sweden.  WHAT IS GOING ON?  This is crazy, just crazy.  

I’m upset right now because of some of these upsets.  I wanted the gold medal final to be between a combination of Russia, Finland, Sweden, and America.  Now two huge hockey powerhouses- Russia and Sweden- are out.  How the heck does that happen?  Thirty years after the biggest upset ever (that’s the Miracle on Ice, if you didn’t feel like figuring it out), there are upsets aplenty at these Olympics.

Now, I have some words to say to some certain individuals, some good others bad:

To the Russian GM…

Dear Vladislav Tretiak, 

How does Sergei Zubov sound now that Russia’s out of the tournament?  You could have really used a defenseman like him to calm your team down and actually make them look put together.  Russia looked frantic and like they had no plan whatsoever.   It didn’t help that your coach, Vyacheslav “Slava” Bykov, didn’t look like an adequate coach.  And Mr. Tretiak, I just wanted to say that I was right.

To Alex Ovechkin…

Dear Ovie, 

Once again your team didn’t show up when it mattered most.  I’m sorry for that.  You’re awesome, you’re perfect, don’t change a thing.  Just keep being yourself and someday you will be rewarded.  Ovie, you’re one of my favorite players in the NHL.  To me, you are the epitome of my ideal hockey player- exciting, skilled, and has a personality.

When some call you a jerk, I call you a bad-ass.  When they call you dirty, I call you forcefully passionate.  When they call you non-traditional and cocky, I call you a rebel.  More than anything, Alex, just keep doing what you’re doing.

To Team USA…

Dear Americans,

What.  A.  Game.  Way to relive the Miracle on Ice and stage a miracle of your own.  I’ll admit that I was uncertain how such a young team could possible medal.  Thankfully, I was wrong.  I cheered the way I only cheer during the Olympics, if that makes sense.  When Ryan Kesler scored that empty-netter, he was no longer a dirty Canuck.  I didn’t care that Bobby Ryan was a Suck and a Mike Modano-wannabe.  I didn’t care that Brooks Orpik was a teammate of Sidney Crosby.  They were all Americans.  And that is what the Olympics does to a person.

To Sidney Crosby…

Dear Sid,

I don’t like you even more if that’s even possible.

To Brenden Morrow…

Dear Brenden,

I am not about to compliment you on your superb play for Canada.  Rather, I’m about to chew you out for it.  

Brenden, why is it that you look like you care more about Team Canada than the Dallas Stars?  Why is it that all year long you’ve wanted to make Canada’s Olympic team than you wanted the Stars to make the playoffs?  Why can’t you play for the Stars the way  you play for Canada?  Do we not give you good enough linemates on the Stars?  It’s funny, because Jamie Benn, Steve Ott, and Mike Ribeiro aren’t exactly Mike Richards and Jonathan Toews, but they still get the job done.

We want Brenden Morrow, circa 2006-2008.  Where’d he go?  Do we need to find him for you?  Where did our heart and soul of the team Morrow go?

Brenden, make itlook like you care, even if you don’t.  Please do that much for me…

In Other News:

Alex Auld has been waived.  Looks like we’re keeping Turco, huh? Of course you never know with GM Joe…

Finally, I just wanted to share this amazing gif that some wonderful perosn over at the Caps’ blog, Japer’s Rink, made.

No offense to Jaromir Jagr, but he was Ovechkin’d.