Monday, September 22, 2014

In 17 Days....

WE DID IT. After a week of ignoring the countdown we did actually did a post on time. Today, we are 17 days away from the Penguins opening up their regular season against the Anaheim Ducks. The players who have worn the number 17 for Penguins are Billy Speer, Bill LeCaine, Ron Schock, Rick Kehoe, Lee Griffin, Brad Aitken, Tomas Sandstrom, Peter Ferraro, Brian Bonin, Tom Chorske, Toby Peterson, Matt Murley, Karl Stewart, Petr Sykora, Mike Rupp, Zach Boychuk, Dustin Jeffrey, and Taylor Pyatt. There's a few players who were countdown worthy today, such as X-Generation superstar Toby Peterson, but one choice was obviously the best for number 17.

Petr Sykora

Petr Sykora came into the NHL when he was drafted by the New Jersey Devils 18th overall in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Sykora spent 7 seasons in a Devils uniform. Since this is a Penguins blog, I'm not gonna say too much about his time not in a Penguin uniform. Sykora spent time in New Jersey, Anaheim,  New York (Rangers), and Edmonton before coming to Pittsburgh. Sykora won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2000.

Sykora joined the Penguins in July of 2007 when he signed a 2 year deal. Through 2 seasons in Pittsburgh Sykora played 157 games, scoring 53 goals and 56 assists. For all you +/- lovers out there, he was a +4. As for the playoffs, he played in 27 games, scoring 6 goals, and 4 assists. Sykora only spent 2 season in Pittsburgh, but still managed to be create some great memories for Penguins fans.

Hat Trick

The date was December 11, 2008.  The Penguins were playing the New York Islanders. To that point, Petr Sykora had scored 2 goals in a game 38 times without recording a hat trick. For those of you wondering, that is an NHL all time record. On that night in Mellon Arena, that all changed. For the first time in his career, as the Penguins were taking a dump in the Islanders mouths (they won that game 9-2), Sykora was finally about to net 3 goals in a game. I remember being at that game, what a moment it was as the hats rained down on the ice. Sykora scored his second goal at about the halfway point in the game. Pens fans knew about Sykora's hat trick curse. So when the Penguins got a power play a few minutes later in the 2nd period with the Penguins leading 6-1, there was only one thing on everyone's mind. Sykora planted himself in front of the net. When Crosby had the puck along the boards, there was only one pass he was looking for.

Unreal pass from Sid

Game 5

Game 5 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins were trailing 3-2 and the Red Wings were only seconds away from hoisting the Stanley Cup on their home ice. Max Talbot would have none of that, as he tied the game with only seconds remaining. Little did we know at the time, that we were about to embark on a journey that would take us through 2 1/2  of the longest overtime periods of hockey of our lives. 

At some point during those overtime periods (I believe in was during the second OT) Pierre McGuire says that Sykora had just leaned over to him and said he was going to score. Once again, little did we know what was going to happen later in the game. With 10:39 remaining in the 3rd overtime period the Red Wings Jiri Hudler high sticked Rob Scuderi, cutting him, and getting a 4 minute double minor penalty. This was the Penguins chance, and it didn't take long. As the powerplay began, Sergei Gonchar, who earlier in the game almost died on the ice when he viciously crashed into the boards as he was back checking, stepped back onto the ice (Go to the 1:26 mark of the highlight video to see that...... ungodly save by Fleury on that play too). As Pierre said, it was perfect theater and it was about to get even better. Less than a minute into the power play, Malkin gets the puck and passes it to Sykora who one times it.... Hero.

"That is unbelievable!! He called his shot!!" 

Mike Lange feed 

Sadly, we all know how Game 6 went. The Pens come up just short as they were inches away from tying the game. The Sykora and the Talbot goals are still absolutely massive, but can you imagine if the Pens ended up completing the comeback and winning the series? Sadly, that's only for our imagination, but my god. Same goes for the Hossa shot as time expired in Game 6. Can you imagine if that final shot goes in the net? I was at that game as well, and if that goes in I'm probably rushing onto the ice naked. Once again, were talking history and sadly that can't be changed. 

Full Highlights for Game 5 (1:26 mark to see the Gonchar injury)

Sykora won the Stanley Cup as apart of the Penguins team that won it all the following year. He was a healthy scratch through most of the Penguins run that year playing in only 7 of 24 playoff games. Still, Sykora was a big part of the Penguins success that season, registering 46 points in 76 game during the regular season and more than earning his name to be forever etched on Lord Stanley's Cup.

Sykora would leave for free agency the following season. He would end up signed a tryout deal with the Wild. After making the team, a concussion and on ice struggles would make his run with the Wild a short one as he would end up becoming a free agent when he cleared waivers. He played in Europe for 2 season before making a return to the NHL for one final season in New Jersey scoring 44 points in 82 games and being apart of their run to the Stanley Cup Finals where they came up short against the LA Kings.

As most players from the Penguins teams who made the run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and won the Cup in 2009, Sykora will always have a place in the hearts of Penguins fans. After years of terrible hockey, those teams reminded Pittsburgh what hockey was all about. Sykora will without a doubt be remembered for his part in what is probably one of the greatest games in Penguins history, Game 5 of the 2008 Finals. Not much else to say about Petr Gun, see you tomorrow for 16 (hopefully). 

One of the best photoshops of all time from The Pens Blog

Go Pens


Preseason Gameday. Game 1: Red Wings @ Penguins

Consol Energy Center 
7:00 PM
WPCW / 105.9 The X

Lines and lineups from Empty-Netters


39 - Josh Archibald
19 - Beau Bennet
17 - Blake Comeau
50 - Jean-Sebastien Dea
34 - Bobby Farmham
72 - Patric Hornqvist
59- Jayson Megna
13 - Nick Spaling
49 - Oskar Sundqvist 
16 - Brandon Sutter
43 - Scott Wilson
48 - Anton Zlobin


41- Robert Bortuzzo
44 - Taylor Chorney
47 - Simon Despres
7 - Paul Martin
33 - Reid McNeill
4 - Rob Scuderi


29 - Marc-Andr Fleury
60 - Matt Murray

43 Darren Helm - 13 Datsyuk - 21 Tomas Tatar
26 Tomas Jurco - 21 Riley Sheahan - 17 Cleary
20 Drew Miller - 18 Joakim Andersson - 42 Martin Frk (what a last name)
81 Jeff Hoggan - 71 Andreas Athanasiou - 45 Colin Campbell

55 Niklas Kronwall - 52 Jonathan Ericsson
61 Xaiver Ouellet - 47 Alexey Marchenko
64 Mattias Backman - 48 Ryan Sproul

35 Jimmy Howard
34 Petr Mrazek

There isn't to much to say. It's the preseason, so there will probably be a couple fights, which I'm sure will jam people up. Either way, hockey is finally back. 

Go Pens

Sunday, September 21, 2014

In uhhhhh we forget how many days....

So at this point, you guys know how it goes. Between work, school, beer, eating, sleeping, and being the #BestInTheWorld, we just haven't had time to do posts. We could make you a promise that this won't happen again, but since we actually have lives, we can't make that promise. It's not like we missed much over the past week, 90% of the numbers were missed were a bunch of degenerates. Either way, we're going to make it up to you. We've thrown together a mega-post for you going over all the numbers we missed. So buckle up baby and stand up, make it loud, cause HERE WE GO.


Mel Pearson, George Swarbrick, Jean Guy Legace, Bob Woytowich, Doug Barrie, Rick Kessell, John Stewart, Bob Leher, Eddie Shack, Larry Bignell, Nelson Debenedet, Ed Gilbert, Jim Hamilton, Rod Schutt, Andy Brickley, Wally Weir, Randy Hillier, Kjell Samuelsson, Paul Stanton, Chris Joseph, Domenic Pittis, Fredick Olausson, Victor Ignatjev, Steve Leach, Dan Trebil, Steve McKenna, John Jakopin, Shane Endicott, Eric Boguniecki, Chris Conner, Alexie Ponikarovsky, Ryan Craig, and Trevor Smith are the Penguins who have worn the number 23.

Alexie Ponikarovsky

Alexie Ponikarovsky was drafted 87th overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. After spending several season in Toronto, he was traded to the Penguins on March 2nd, 2010 for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula. Ponikarovsky played 16 games for the Penguins scoring two goals and registering 7 assists. He was a -7 overall, so you know he sucked. As for the playoffs, he played in 11 games, scoring 1 goal and 4 assists. Ponikarovsky's Penguins career came to an end when he signed with the LA Kings after the Penguins were eliminated from the playoffs by Montreal that season. Ponikarovsky was irrelevant as Penguin. I have been more relevant in a Penguins jersey sitting on my couch watching a game than Ponikarovsky was actually playing on the ice. Poinkarovsky also spent time in Carolina, two separate stints in New Jersey including during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2012, and Winnipeg. He played in the KHL during the lockout (Bettman sucks) and did return to the NHL for the shortened season. However he returned to the KHL for good the following off season after everyone in the NHL realized how much he sucked and no one wanted to sign him. He still playing there with quitter former NHLer Ilya Kovalchuck.



Paul Andrea, Greg Polis, Bob Kelly, Brian Spencer, Kim Davis, Mike Bullard, Neil Belland, Dwight Mathiasen, Jim McGeough, Chris Joseph, Wayne Van Dorp, Steve Sykstra, Paul Stanton, Rick Tocchet, Norm Maciver, Jason Woodley, Sven Butenschon, Dan LaCouture, Randy Robitaille, Matt Murley, Ric Jackman, Chris Thorburn, Jeff Taffe, Tim Wallace, Matt D'Agostini, and Lee Stempniak are the Penguins who have put on the number 22 Penguins sweater. 

Rick Tocchet

Rick Tocchet was drafted by the Flilthadelphia Cryers Philadelphia Flyers in the 6th round (121st overall) in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers suck, so I'm not going to say much about his time in Philly other than that he spent 8 seasons there.

Tocchet came to Pittsburgh when he was traded to the Penguins in 1992 with Kjell Samuelsson and Ken Wregget in exchange for Mark Recchi. Over 3  seasons, Tocchet played in 150 regular season games in Pittsburgh. He scored 76 goals and registered 103 assists. While in Pittsburgh Tocchet recorded the best season of his NHL career, playing 80 games, scoring 48 goals and 61 assists for 109 points. 252 PIMs that season too, My god. 

As for the playoffs, Tocchet played in 32 games, scoring 15 goals and 22 assists. He scored 6 goals and 13 assists for 19 points during the 1992 Stanley Cup Playoffs as he helped the Penguins raise their 2nd consecutive Stanley Cup. 

After his 3 season in Pittsburgh, Tocchet played for the Kings, Bruins, Crapitals Capitals, Coyotes, and again with the Flyers, as he returned their for the final 3 seasons of his NHL career. 

Tocchet continued his career in hockey after hanging up the skates. He spent time both a coach and as an analyst. He was on Wayne Gretzky's coaching staff in Arizona Phoenix. He also was the associate coach under Barry Melrose in Tampa Bay. Since Barry Melrose is a joke, he was fired and Tocchet took over the head coaching responsibilities for the Lightning. Tocchet also spent time on the Flyers post game panel before ending up where he is today. 

Unless you were living under a rock all summer, you know that Rick Tocchet once again returned to the Penguins as he was named the assistant coach under Mike Johnston. Under Bylsma, it was all flowers, sunshine, and coffee breaks for the Penguins. Fortunately, Tocchet hates flowers, sunshine, coffee (sorry Craig Adams). Tocchet is an all around bad ass who will bring the #grit #toughness and #character to the Penguins. For real though, Tocchet gives zero shits and after the Bylsma reign, Tocchet is exactly what the Penguin need to get back to where they were a few seasons ago.

All business


2 players have worn 21 for the Penguins.  Keith McCreary and Michel Briere.  One of those guys has their number in the rafters of Corporate Entitlement Center.  So we are gonna go with him.  Michel Briere. 
Michel Briere Penguins.jpg

Briere was drafted by the Penguins in the 3rd round, 26th overall in 1969.  In Briere's only season in the NHL and with the Penguins Briere tallied 12 goals and 32 assists.  He was a key component in helping the Pens go to the 2nd round of the playoffs that year. He scored 5 goals in the playoffs that season as the Pens were only 2 wins shy of making the Stanley Cup Final.  He was also being labeled as the NHL's next big star.  Briere's career was cut short in 1970.  He had returned to his home of Quebec to marry his childhood sweetheart Michele Beaudoin, who he also had a son with.  They were to be married on June 6th, 1970.  On May 15th, Briere was involved in a single car crash.  2 of Briere's friends were in the car as well.  Briere was ejected from the car in the crash.  Briere didn't die immediately.  He was hospitalized and had 4 brain surgeries to attempt to save his life.  But, after 11 months in a coma Briere passed away.


A number of people have worn number 20 for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  They are: Ab McDonald, Bob Woytowich, Dean Prentice, Steve Cardwell, John Stweart, Yvon Labre, Yves Bergeron, Pete Mahovlich, Jacques Cossette, Paul Marshall, Paul Gardiner, Jim Hamilton, Gary Rissling, Moe Mantha, Dave Hunter, Perry Ganchar, Jamie Leach, Jeff Daniels, Luc Robitalle, Bryan Smolinski, Roman Oksiuta, Robert Lang, Mathias Johansson, X Generation Superstar Mike Eastwood, Colby Armstrong and Janne Pesonen.  While there are some great choices in there that we could highlight, only one of them has the most epic highlight reel song of all time.  Janne Pesonen.  Pesonen's carrer in Pittsburgh was easily forgettable mostly because Therrien hated euros and would't play him.  Anyways like we stated earlier, Pesonen has the greatest highlight reel song of all tine.  If you don't know what we are talking you go.


Eighteen different players have worn the number 19 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those players include Bob Rivard, Jean Pronovost, Gregg Sheppard, Rick MacLeish, Grant Sasser, Arto Javanainen, Willy Lindstrom, Dave McIlwain, Randy Gilhen, Bryan Trottier, Vladimir Vujtek, Rico Fata, Ramzi Abid, Ryan Whitney, Colby Armstrong, Mike Comrie Duff, Jason Williams (not the basketball player), Beau Bennett.

Bryan Trottier has his name on the Stanley Cup 6 times (4 NYI and 2 PIT) so we could go with him but probably should go with Ryan Whitney.

The Whitney Play

Ryan Whitney was drafted by the Penguins 5th overall in 2002. He played 253 games as a Penguin scoring 34 goals and adding 116 assists. Since he was traded to the Ducks for Chris Kunitz and #BangBodies, Whitney has bounced around between the Oilers and he's with the Panthers currently (we think).

There's only so much you can say about Ryan Whitney


Twenty-four players have worn the number 18 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those players include George Konik, Wally Boyer, Lowell MacDonald, Ross Lonsberry, Kevin McClelland, Tom Roulston, Craig Simpson, Jimmy Mann, Richard Zemlak, Ken Priestlay, Jeff Daniels (seriously how many numbers did he wear?), Francois Leroux, Garry Valk (dick), Ryan Savoia, Patrick Lebeau, Josef Beranek, the great Shean Donovan, Steve Webb, Eric Boguniecki, Dominic Moore (insert joke where applicable), Marian Hossa (cry face), Chris Minard, vanilla midget Chris Conner, and model James Neal.

We could write about James Neal, but that probably leads us down a road of talking about stalkers that we probably shouldn't do. We are gonna talk about the only true winger Sidney Crosby has ever had, Marian Hossa.

Hossa was drafted by the Senators 12th overall in 1997. We really don't care what he did in Ottawa and Atlanta (yes there was an Atlanta NHL team), because those teams are irrelevant IMO. Hossa was probably the one really good trade that Ray Shero made. Shero got Hossa and Pascal Dupuis for ArmDog, Penalty Shot superstar Erik Christensen, Top Prospect (LULZ) Angelo Esposito, and 1st round pick (who was Daulton Leveille, currently in the ECHL). Hossa was acquired to play as Sidney Crosby's winger, but in his Penguins debut, he injured his MCL because #BostonStrong (seriously, screw them) and missed 6 games. He ended up playing 12 regular season games with the Penguins scoring 3 goals and adding 7 assists. Hossa played 20 playoff games that year scoring 12 goals and 14 assists.

Hossa ended up leaving the Penguins in 2009 and signed with the Red Wings, we all know how that turned out for him. He ended up finally getting his first Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Blackhawks and his second in 2013 again with the Hawks.

Well thats it for the longest post you may ever see on this blog. We promise* you that we'll post every one on the correct day during the rest of the countdown.

*Doubtful but we'll try.

Preseason starts tomorrow

Go Pens

Monday, September 15, 2014

In 24 Days...


    In 24 days the Penguins will begin their quest for their 4th cup in franchise history at 7:08PM at Corporate Exclusive Center because the "fans" are mostly just rich business people that are able to get tickets but that's another story. Either way, we're at 24 in countdown. We've been fairly inconsistent lately because of school, drinking, wings, work and just lack of time management skills. Either way the number 24 sweater was worn but a lot of classic old Penguins, some pre X-Generation superstars, and the one and only... However, we're gonna lead you into our countdown by telling you every single player to wear the number 24 whether they were relevant or not. These players include Gary Swain, Rod Zaine, the delicious Donut maker Tim Horton, Eddie Shack, Jean Guy Legace, Larry Bignell, Mario Faubert, Don Awrry, Bob Paradise (that's sweet), Pat Hughes, Marc Chorney, Pat Graham, Rob Garner, Ted Bulley, Kevin McCarthy, Roger Belanger, Dwight Mathiasen, Stanley Cup champion Troy Loney, Doug Brown, Ian Moran (lol), Lyle Odelein, top prospect and future Kris Beech, and elbows up for your hometown favorite Matt Cooke.

Matt Cooke was drafted in the sixth round 144th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. However that's all irrelevant. What matters is that Matt Cooke was a pest, a pain in your ass, the anti-christ, Boston's most hated player of all time, a guy that promised when his playing career was over he'd return to live in Pittsburgh because that's what kind of guy he is. Before Pittsburgh, Cooke played nine seasons with Vancouver (that must have really sucked ass) but right before his last contract expired, Cooke was sent to Vancouver for Matt Pettinger. On July 5, 2008 Cooke signed what would be his first of five years with our beloved Pittsburgh Penguins. Now, honestly there's a lot Matt Cooke did for the Penguins and Sidney Crosby (#BestInTheWorld) was partly responsible for much of Matt Cooke's success (point wise) the last couple years. Cooke scored 67 goals (holy shit) and recorded 83 assists for a total of 150 points. In addition, Cooke recorded 416 PIMs as a Penguin and 1,122 career (as of last season). But it was not Cooke's job to score, it was his job to agitate and protect. 

But let's talk about March 7, 2010. Matt Cooke basically ended Marc Savard's career with an extreme elbow to the face. Now in fairness, hits up high were not targeted by the NHL and head shots were not at the point they were today. Not saying it was the greatest hit but Cooke definitely followed through on his check. In all honesty, whatever degenerate doctor cleared Marc 'Mush for Brains' Savard to play again too soon was the one that ultimately ended his career. The guy had issues with concussions and was brought back way too soon, but either way Boston fans hate Matt Cooke, same with probably 29 other teams (because Minnesota fans don't like him either and he plays for them). Now to some videos. 

I mean these videos are what made us proud that Matt Cooke was a Penguins. Unfortunately after his last suspension in 2011, Dan Bylsma decided to ruin Cooke's career by changing his play from an agitator to a changed man borderline Jonas Brother. Cooke did knee someone and get suspended during the Minnesota / Colorado series last year, so part of old Matt Cooke returned obviously because Bylsma wasn't his coach. On July 5, 2013 Matt Cooke signed a 3 year $7.5 million dollar contract with the Minnesota Wild. Although Matt Cooke was a goon and an agitator he will always be remembered for his contributions hits (whether dirty or clean), fights and just overall being a pain in the ass. Either way you slice it, Matt Cooke was on the 2009 Stanley Cup team so lets go pens. stay tuned tomorrow to see who number 23 will be.

In 25 Days...

25 days from today, the Pittsburgh Penguins will open up their season and raise a Metrosexual Division Champs banner into the rafters in Consol (probably). As you may have noticed since we posted 26 right before this, we are about as efficient in doing this countdown as Dan Bylsma was adjusting in the playoffs or the NFL is when dishing out punishments for anything other than drugs.

With that, there have been 17 players to wear the #25 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those players are Darryl Edestrand, Robin Burns, Nick Beverley, Dennis Owchar, Greg Redquest, Tom Price, Current Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle, Kevin McCarthy, Norm Schmidt, the legend Kevin Stevens, Alex Stojanov, Dan Kesa (deer god), Jeff Norton, X Generation and Current Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin, Stanley Cup Hero Max Talbot, Eric Tangradi (again, Piece of shit..) and vanilla midget Andrew Ebbett.

This one was tougher than most to decide, but we decide to go with none other than the Superstar....
Max Talbot

Maxime Talbot was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 8th Round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. After he was drafted, he stayed in the QMJHL for two years with the Hull Olympiques and Gatineau Olympiques. He also participated for Canada in the 2004 WJC. After leaving Juniors, Max played the 2004-05 season in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and then split time in the 2005-06 season with the Baby Pens after making his NHL debut to start the season. Talbot scored 5 goals and 3 assists in 48 games that year. Some of you may remember his first NHL goal but here it is in case you forgot.

Mike Lange on TV. Miss that. What a goal though.

Talbot then scored 13 goals along with 11 assists the next year in a more regular role playing in 75 games. He was recalled 5 games into the season and stuck in Pittsburgh permantly and 4 of his 13 goals that season were shorthanded. Not much of Max Talbot prior to the 2007-08 season really sticks so here comes the fun part.

Talbot began the 2007-08 season scoring 4 goals in the first 5 games. We also remember Talbot for being the team prankster and he wore Crosby's jersey to an optional practice in Toronto and as dumb as some Canadians are, they actually believed it was Sid...

Talbot's heroics weren't recognized until the 2008 Cup Finals run.

He scored 3 goals and had 6 assists in 17 playoff games that season while he missed 4 games between the Ottawa and Philadelphia series' with a broken foot. Seriously what a playoff warrior.

Since the Penguins kind of destroyed everyone in the first 3 rounds that year, you may not remember a lot of that run but in the Stanley Cup Final, he scored one of the biggest goals in Penguins history during Game 5 in Detroit. In case you forgot, the Red Wings were up 3-2 with less than 2 minutes to go and up 3-1 in the Series. The fans were going nuts because the Wings were about to win the Cup, and then this happened..

What confidence by Michel Therrien to put Talbot on the ice at that moment. What a huge goal.

In case you forgot what happened later in that game.


Unfortunately, the Penguins would go on to lose Game 6 by a pube hair on a shot by Hossa.

Talbot ended up re-signing with the Penguins mid way during the 2008-09 season. Talbot played 75 games that year and scored 12 goals and 10 assists. He won't be remembered for what he did during the season as much as he did during the 2009 Cup Run.

Game 6. Round 1. Penguins at Flyers.

The Penguins lost Game 5 and were down 3-0 during Game 6 vs the Flyers and the Flyers had all of the momentum and it started to look like this was going to go 7, until Max Talbot stepped in.

Talbot suckered Carcillo into a stupid fight, got his dick beat in like Janay Rice in an elevator, and told the Flyers crowd to shut up. Edzo basically called what would happen after that. (Warning: First few minutes are tough and the guy who made the video is a degenerate)

Then you might remember this from the Stanley Cup Finals...


Talbot finished the playoffs with 8 goals and 5 assists and was one of the most important players the Penguins had during that cup run. Had Malkin not put Cam Ward on Pornhub's Brutal Tube page, Talbot probably wins Conn Smythe trophy.

Talbot signed with the Flyers on July 1, 2011 and was traded to Colorado last year for current Penguin, Steve Downie.

Max Talbot played 388 regular season games as a Penguin. He scored 52 goals and 56 assists (108 points for those of you counting at home). Talbot was a -27 (he apparantly sucks) and registered 324 PIMs. Talbot also played in 66 playoff games as a Penguin scoring 14 goals and 19 assists. When Talbot left for Philly, the Penguins have never really replaced his locker room presence or what he brought to the team on the ice and it showed.

Max Talbot will always be a huge part of Penguins history.

Keep your head up tomorrow for #24.

Until then,

Go Pens

Sunday, September 14, 2014

In 26 days...

This is a day late because of work, The Black Keys, football, etc. so 26 days from yesterday or 2 days ago depending whenever you read this, the Penguins will play the Anaheim Ducks at Consol.

20 players have worn the number 26 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those players include Mike McMahon, Dunc McCallum (what the hell kind of name is Dunc?) Syl Apps, Gene Carr, Orest Kindrachuck (Orest?!?!) Paul Mulvey, Steve Gatzos, Wayne Babych, Mike Blaisdell, Mark Kachowski, Mike Stapelton, Richard Park (again), Dave McLlwain, Frantisek Kucera, Kent Manderville, Landon Wilson, Ronald Petrovicky, Stanley Cup Final hero Ruslan Fedotenko, Eric Tangradi (how many numbers did he wear?), and Steve Sullivan.

We're only half assing this so we choose Vanilla Midget Steve Sullivan

Steve Sullivan might have been the best midget to play for the Penguins until Brian Gibbons (we kid). Sullivan actually had a pretty good year with the Penguins in 2011-12 and of course Dan Bylsma loved him. Sullivan only played 1 year in Pittsburgh and scored 17 goals and 31 assists (48 points for those of you challenged in Math). Sullivan recorded 20 PIM's and for those of you degenerates who base +/- on everything, he was a -3. Sullivan was drafted by the Devils in the 9th round of the 1994 NHL Draft. Sullivan has played for 6 different teams over his 17 year NHL career (would be 18 if Bettman and Lockout never happened). Sullivan played for the Devils, Maple Leafs, Blackhawks, Predators, Penguins, and Coyotes. The best moment of Steve Sullivan's career happened in Chicago.

There's really not much else to say because I mean, its Steve Sullivan.

Tune in within like 30 minutes to read 25. It won't be half-assed like this.

Go Pens

Friday, September 12, 2014

In 27 Days...

  Here we are 27 days away from the Pens home opener against the Ducks on October 9, at 7:08PM. It is astonishing that we're doing the post on the same day as the countdown considering that we have been late lately due to college life and slacking because of #BannerNightLiveTweets and other business. But thanks to our good Facebook friend Jesse Foster who reminded us last night in our Fleury post that since it is two days old, it was "irrelevant." Well Jesse, I decided to make you something, something that might make you a tad more "relevant" in the world but probably not. Either way, here we continue our countdown. Numerous players have worn the 27 sweater for the Penguins including Jim Morrison, Joe Noris, Jim Shires, Hank Nowak, Yves Bergeron, Pat Leframboise, Mike Corrigan, Jacques Cossette, Rod Schutt, Todd Charlesworth, Gilles Meloche, Scott Bjugstad, Gilbert Delorme, Glen Murray, former Pens coach Eddie O now broadcaster for NBC (YAY NHL 15), THE Alexei Kovalev, Georges Laraque, and #CoffeeWithCoaches and locker room cancer Craig Adams. There were a lot of old-time Penguins in that list but we're going to focus on Russian superstar Alexei Kovalev. AK27.

Alexei Kovalev was drafted by the New York Rangers 15th overall during the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. Kovi was the first Russian player to ever be selected in the first round in NHL history. Kovalev won a cup with the Rangers during the 1993-1994 season and was one of the first Russians to have his name on the Cup along with former Penguin (yet to be Penguin) Sergei Zubov. Kovalev spent his first seven years with the Rangers until he was abruptly traded to the Pens just 14 games into the 1998-1999 season for Petr Nedved, Sean Pronger, and Chris Tamer.

Kovi was slow to produce for the Pens recording just 46 points in 63 games for the Penguins. However his best years were yet to come. The following season Kovalev recorded 26 goals and 40 assists for (let's do the math) 66 points. Also equally impressive, it was the only season Kovalev played in all 82 games. The following season (2000-2001) he had his best year, recording 44 goals and 51 assists for 95 points. Kovalev also was a large reason as to how the Penguins got to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2001 against the Devils recording 10 points in 18 games. The 2001-2002 season Kovalev recorded 76 points and was still a dominant force for the Penguins. During the 2002-2003 season, the Penguins knew they were heading in a new direction us fans were told was the "X-Generation" so on February 10, 2003 Kovalev was involved in a trade that basically sent the Penguins to New York and New York to the Penguins. But seriously, Kovalev was traded with Dan LaCouture, Janne Laukkanen, and Mike Wilson for Mikael Samuelsson (future Fleury trade bait), the ever so elite Rico Fata, Joel Bouchard, Richard Lintner and cash. What a deal. Kovalev had a second stint with the Penguins and finished his career in 2010-2011 as he was a trade deadline acquisition. His totals a Penguins were the best of his career, 365 games played. He recorded 151 goals, 203 assists for a total of 354 points. He was even a +11 Pittsburgh fans!!!!!

In Kovalev's short visit back to the Rangers he recorded 13 goals, 29 assists for 42 points. Kovalev was then shipping to Montreal on March 13, 2004 for a second round pick and some degenerate. Kovalev was completely irrelevant that year until the playoffs when he decided to go goodnight moon and recorded 6 goals, 4 assists for 10 points in 11 games. This was also the playoff series in which Kovi faked a wrist injury after being slashed and Boston Bruins (piece of shit) player Glen Murray walks right in and scores. Dammit Kovalev.

The next few years of Kovalev's career were kinda merrrrrr as he went over to play for his Russian team during the lockout and upon returning signed a 4 year $18 million dollar deal with the Canadiens. During his post-lockout stint with Montreal he had a resurgence playing with future criminal Andrei Kostitsyn (I think him and his brother Sergei were in the mafia) and Tomas Plekanec. During the 2005 season, Kovalev recorded 23 goals, 42 assists for 65 points. Either way, Kovalev was able to have a few good years in Montreal. Kovalev finished his Montreal career playing 314 games scoring 103 goals and and 161 assists for 264 points. Kovalev also caused some controversy for calling out teammates or something like that. Either way, he was named a captain for the 2009 Eastern Conference all-stars and his teammates weren't so he won that battle.

Kovalev signed a two year deal with the Sens during the offseason. He had some OK seasons in Ottawa but it was more about the milestones he tallied. For example, on November 22nd Kovi collected his 1,000th NHL point when he collected his 6th goal of the season. In addition,  January 3, 2010 AK27 scored a career high 4 goals in a 7-3 win against the shitty ass Flyers. That's it for his Sens career as he was he agreed to waive his NTC to return to the Pens for a conditional 7th round pick. It was the year when Sid and Malkin were hurt so it's not like Kovi was in the playoffs playing with top-notch talent. So his last stint here was somewhat a waste. Basically after his career with the Pens he went unsigned and went back to Russia, said he could still play so Florida gave him a chance after the 2012-2013 lockout. Kovalev did absolutely nothing besides one three point game, his first as a Panther so in March he retired. He finished his NHL career with 1,316 games played, 430 goals, 599 assists for 1,029 career points. He was a career -31 so Pens "fans" would hate him.


Kovi's accolades include:

1992 Winter Olympics gold medal
2002 Winter Olympics bronze medal
IIHF World Championships  2005 - Best forward
(The Hockey News) Comeback player of the year award - 2008
NHL All-star - 2001, 2003, 2009
NHL All-star game MVP - 2009
Stanley Cup Champion - 2004 New York Rangers

Stay tuned tomorrow to see who number 26 will be! Jesse Foster, we'll even try to post it on time!!