Friday, February 28, 2014

RECAP. Whatever. Pens LOSE


No desire to do a full recap for this game.  So you get a marginal one.  Sue us.  We are still in Olympic mode.  Montreal came to town for their 3rd and final time this season.  The last time Montreal was in Pittsburgh the Pens chased Carey Price and won the game 5-1.  This game the Habs punched and the Pens punched back.  The Pens threw and uppercut and the Habs threw one back.  It was back and forth all night.  The Pens took a 5-4 lead and you wanted to think the game was over.  Lol.  No.  Tanner Glass got called for a horrible hit to the head penalty that gave the Habs a 5 minute power play.  The cashed in.  Super villian Danny Briere tied it up.  The game dipped in to a shootout and the Habs were able to bury one.  Whatever.  Nothing to get worked up about.

Pens next game is Saturday night in Chicago for the Stadium Series.  It will be the first time that Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews will go head to head.  Gonna be fun.

Go Pens

Thursday, February 27, 2014

PREGAME: Pens vs. Habs

Consol Energy Center. 7:00. ROOT.

Finally, after what seems like forever...... IT'S A HOCKEY NIGHT IN PITTSBURGH! Our Pens (40-15-3) are back from the Olympic break and tonight they will take on the Montreal Canadiens (32-21-7). The last 10 games for these two teams are almost evenly matched, the Pens being 6-3-1 and the Habs being 5-3-2, but the break can typically have a way of turning things on their heads. Price will be out for the Habs, so Budaj will be in net. Hey, remember when MAF and Budaj tried to scrap?

Joe Vitale and Taylor Pyatt will both be back in the line-up tonight (fan girls, rejoice!). Despres has been recalled so he will be in the line-up as well. Plus, it seems that we have a pissed off, "dark place" Evgeni Malkin who apparently looks as though he's going to kill someone so... Yeah.

(Via Daily Faceoff)

Kunitz - Crosby - Gibbons
Jokinen - Malkin - Neal
Glass - Sutter - Kobasew
Pyatt - Vitale - Adams

Maatta - Niskanen
Scuderi - Bortuzzo
Orpik - Despres


Pacioretty - Desharnais - Gallagher
Briere - Plekanec - Gionta
Galchenyuk - Eller - Bourque
Moen - White - Weise

Gorges - Subban
Markov - Emelin
Tinordi - Murray


The Pens have posted two updates on their site. One update is for Kris Letang that you can read here, and the other is for Pascal Dupuis that can be read here.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

HF Boards: A Ton of Shitty Penguin Trades

We haven't done any of these in awhile but with the trade deadline next week and with us done marginally updating you on the Olympics, we felt it was time to do another one of these HF Boards posts. Some of these deals might make you want to throw your computer out a window so please, if you do that, don't send us the bill because I'm not paying for it. Sorry.

The first deal we're gonna discuss isn't really a deal, but more of a, what would it take to get so and so to such and such a team. The offer is, What would it take to get Olli Maatta to Montreal? We said it would take the entire franchise of the Canadiens (booing included), 23 of their 26 Cups, a First for the next 24 years and Subban and we would maybe consider it. I haven't figured out why other franchises fans think they can get Olli Maatta. No no no no no

The next one is a Flames/Brian Burke deal so we'll see how this goes...

Simon Despres

Lee Stempniak
2015 2nd or 3rd

We're all about moving Simon Despres for the right price, well, we were until Letang and Martin went down but Lee Stempniak isn't the price we would want to pay. But Brian Burke probably would give up Stempniak, Monahan, and Cammaleri and if the Cap somehow worked out, he would probably it. 

The next post we found with Penguins trades in there is a combined deal. One with the Oilers and one with the Kings. Let's see how these are.

Philip Samuelsson
2014 3rd Round Pick

Ales Hemsky

Brian Gibbons
2015 2nd Round Pick

Kyle Clifford

The first deal actually isn't a bad trade and depending where I rank Samuelsson in the Pens defensive prospect pool (which I don't rank him in the top 3 or 4) then he's probably expendable. The only real bad part on this deal is Hemsky makes $5 mil and is a UFA at the end of the year and if Vokoun and Letang comes back, this move puts the Pens over the cap. If Shero actually could make this move, I don't think he would have a really tough time getting Edmonton to retain some cap on him. As far as the second deal, get the hell out of here. In no way do I want any part of Kyle Clifford, especially for Brian Gibbons. LA would have to send this to make this work.

Either one of those two, or both would maybe work.

Heres a stupid Leafs deal that doesn't include Nikolai Kulemin (shocked I know)

Evgeni Malkin

James van Riemsdyk
Nazem Kadri
Morgan Reilly
James Reimer

Throw in Phil Kessel and the Hockey Mecca title and I'll consider it.

This next one makes no sense, whether you like the guy or not.

Kris Letang

Ryan O'Reilly

(At the draft)

Get the hell out of here and stop smoking your legal marijuana Denver.

Now here's your weekly Kulemin to the Pens trade....

Jussi Jokinen
Scott Harrington

Nikolai Kulemin
Mason Raymond

Go away. Forever. My God

This next one might break your computer.

Chris Kunitz

PK Subban
2014 2nd Round Pick

As much as I'm on board the PK Subban to Pittsburgh train. No way. And the logic of this deal is "Subban is a RFA at the end of this season and the Habs will be hard pressed to meet his demands. Pens need a d-man to replace Letang and will have the money if Letang doesn't return.

Kunitz is playing a regular shift for Canada (Subban is 8th d-man). The 2nd rounder evens it out. "

What a stupid logic.

Here's one from our car flipping buddies in Vancouver.

Olli Maatta
Beau Bennet
2014 1st

Alexander Edler
Raphael Diaz (50% retained)

First off, why the hell would the Pens need two defensemen. Second of all, Maatta > Edler and Diaz combined. Third, how the hell does the 1st round pick even this out? Fourth, go back to sticking to what you're good at Vancouver..

This next trade is interesting and kind of a tossup.

Beau Bennet
Simon Despres

Bobby Ryan

I honestly have no idea if this is a good or bad deal. I probably do it because it's Bobby Ryan and the fact that Despres is likely halfway out the door anyways. Bennett makes this deal tough because he is really the only good F prospect the Penguins have, but Ryan is only 26 so he's entering his prime and he has already proven he can play with stars. This is probably the 2nd best trade (and last good trade) that will be in this post.

This next one might be the worst trade I've ever seen.

Kris Letang

Rick Nash

Rick Nash is the worst. Next

We'll leave you with what we pretty much started with.

Olli Maatta
Simon Despres
2014 1st

Max Pacioretty
Lars Eller
2014 3rd

I do like Pacioretty and think he would do well with the Pens and Bylsma, but there's no way in a million years do I even consider trading Olli Maatta right now. Never. Pens need more Finns anyways.

Anyways, I'll try to have atleast one more of these before the deadline plus we'll do our best to keep you updated with any moves that the Penguins make between now and March 5th at Noon.

Welcome back to NHL hockey

Go Pens.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Final Olympic Post

First off we would like to congratulate the Canadian Men's and Women's Hockey teams on winning the Gold Medals in Sochi.  Both were well deserved.  The medals are as follows:

Gold: Canada
Silver: Sweden
Bronze: Finland

Gold: Canada
Silver: United States
Bronze: Switzerland

Whenever this tournament started other than our Gold Medal picks we really didn't have a rooting interest.  And yes that meant none of us thought Team USA would Medal.  Sue us.  The only thing we absolutely wanted to see was some good Hockey.  And boy did the Olympics deliver.  Some people will say the lack of scoring takes away from the game but in this Olympics the lack of scoring made for some incredible games.  This Olympics gave us some of the best Hockey we've seen in a long time.  We almost saw Latvia pull off one of the biggest upsets of all time.  The hung with Canada all game long and only to lose on a late power play.  We saw Team USA dominate the group stage of the Men's tournament only to flame out in the medal round losing 1-0 to Canada and then 5-0 to Finland in the Bronze medal game.

Probably our favorite thing of the Olympics was watching the greatness of Teemu Selanne.  He didn't get the Gold like we wanted but he at least went out with a win.  The way it should be.  What an incredible player and an even more incredible human.  It's a shame this is his last Olympics and last season in the NHL.  What a player and it was an honor getting to watch him play.  We also got to watch the greatness of Double J.  The Czech's didn't medal but Double J was great.We saw Canada only give up 3 goals all tournament.  Yes we love to bash Carey Price but he was incredible this tournament.  And last but most certainly not least we saw one of the best hockey games of all time.  The Women's Gold Medal game between The United State and Canada was one of the best Hockey games Men or Women we've ever seen.  I could watch those two teams play any day of the week.  It was better than watching some NHL games.

So thank you Olympics for giving us some of the best Hockey we've ever watched.  We wanted a great tournament and you delivered and then some.  You also proved that Hockey is in fact everyone's game.

Farewell Olympics.  See you in Rio De Janeiro in 2016 and in South Korea in 2018.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mens Semi Finals Set

So the Men's Hockey Semi Final is set.

Sweden beat Slovenia 5-0.  Finland beat Russia 3-1.  United States beat Czech Republic 5-2.  And Latvia fought hard but fell 2-1 to Canada.

Unreal performance by Latvia.  Canada put 57 shots on goal compared to Latvia's 16.

So the Semi Finals look like this:

1. Sweden vs 4. Finland
2. United States vs 3. Canada

Go Hockey

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Men's Hockey Quarter Finals Set

So the Quarter Finals for the Olympic Men's Hockey Tournament is set.

Russia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia all qualified.

The Quarter Final match ups are as follows:

1. Sweden vs 8. Slovenia
2. United States vs 7. Czech Republic
3. Canada vs 11. Latvia
4. Finland vs 5. Russia <---- :(

All Quarter Final games take place tomorrow.

Potential for Finland/Sweden and United States/Canada in the semis

Go Hockey

Monday, February 17, 2014

Olympic Tournament Set

Another marginal update from your marginal Olympic blog.

The seeding for the Men's Hockey Tournament are set.  Your top 4 seeds are:

1. Sweden
2. United States
3. Canada
4. Finland

The qualification round games which take place tomorrow are as follows.

5. Russia vs 12. Norway.  Winner plays Finland
6. Switzerland vs 11. Latvia.  Winner plays Canada
7. Czech Republic vs 10. Slovakia.  Winner plays United States
8. Slovenia vs 9. Austria.  Winner plays Sweden.

A few notes:

  • With the way the bracket is set up we could potentially see the United States vs Canada and Finland vs Sweden in the Semi Finals.  US and Canada can not meet for Gold.
  • Potential Finland vs Russia Quarter Final game makes us want to cry.
  • Someone may die in the Czech Republic/Slovakia game.
  • Slovenia/Austria could be a good one.
Our predictions:
Russia beats Norway
Switzerland beats Latvia
Czech Republic beats Slovakia
Slovenia beats Austria <--- This game could go either way.  May be the best game to watch in the qualification round.

If that happens the Quarter Finals would look like this:
1 Sweden vs 8 Slovenia
2 United States vs 7 Czech Republic
3 Canada vs 6 Switzerland
4 Finland vs 5 Russia <---- :(

Obviously nothing is for certain yet.  Other than poor Norway everybody has a chance to beat anybody in the Qualification round.  We'll have results and updated brackets Tuesday afternoon/night.  Aka whenever we feel like getting around to making a post.

In the mean time:

Go Olympics
Go Hockey
And Go Jamaican Bobsled Team

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Marginal Update From The Marginal Olympic Blog

So here is a marginal update of the progress so for in Olympic Hockey Tournament.

USA:  1W  0L  1OTW  Goal Diff +7  5 pts
Russia: 1W 0L  1OTL  Goal Diff +2  4 pts
Slovenia: 1W 1L  Goal Diff -1  3 pts
Slovakia: 0W 2L Goal Diff -8  0 pts

Flinland: 2W 0L  Goal Diff +9  6 pts
Canada: 2W 0L  Goal Diff +8  6 pts
Norway: 0W 2L  Goal Diff -7  0 pts
Austria: 0W 2L  Goal Diff -10 0 pts

Sweden: 3W 0L Goal Diff +5  9 pts
Switzerland: 2W 1L Goal Diff +1  6 pts
Czech Republic: 1W 2L Goal Diff -1  3 pts
Latvia:  0W 3L Goal Diff -5  0 pts

A few notes

  • Finland 14 goals in 2 games
  • Switzerland has played 3 straight 1-0 games.  They won 2 of them.  Jonas Hiller: 2 shutouts.
  • Switzerland is going to knock off one of the big boys in the knockout round.
  • Congrats to Slovenia on its first ever Olympic win.

The round robin stage concludes tomorrow with: Finland/Canada.  Norway/Austria.  USA/Slovenia.  Russia/Slovakia.

Go Hockey

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recaps Galore: Olympic Hockey Day 2

We forgot to recap yesterday's games but Sweden beat the Czech's 4-2 and Switzerland beat Latvia 1-0 on a goal with 7.9 seconds left in the game.

Today the big guns made their debuts, so lets recap what happened since you may have missed the games.



One of our favorite teams, Finland got off to a decent start by beating Austria 8-4. Michael Grabner started the scoring for the Austrians 36 seconds in. The Finns answered about five minutes later on a goal by Mikael Granlund. Austria then scored to make it 2-1 until Sami Lepisto answered for the Finns. Our favorite player, Olli Maatta blasted a shot from the point at the end of the 1st to give the Finns their first lead and then 8 seconds later, Jarkko Immonen scored to give the Finns a 4-2 lead after 1. Jussi J scored less than two minutes into the 2nd to give them a 5-2 lead and then about 10 minutes into the second, the Finns jumped to a 6-2 lead going into the 3rd. In the 3rd, Grabner scored his second of the game to cut the lead in half. With about 9 minutes to go, Immonen scored his second of the game and then Michael Grabner scored his third goal for his first career Olympic hat trick. Granlund scored his second with 90 seconds left to give Finland an 8-4 win and allowed them to jump out to an early lead in Group B.


Teemu Selanne left the game after the 1st and did not return, Finland coach said its a small upper-body injury and he will be good to go for their next game on Saturday.
Mikael Granlund led the way for the Finns with 3 points
Michael Grabner might be a hidden gem for this Austrian team.

Next games:
Finland - Friday vs Norway
Austria - Friday vs Canada



Team USA got out to a good start against the Slovaks and maybe made a name for themselves opening pool play. One of the biggest things to take away is that the Slovaks have a good goalie in Jaroslav Halak and Team USA put 5 goals on him. John Carlson scored 14 minutes into the 1st and gave USA a 1-0 lead that they took to intermission. 24 seconds into the 2nd, Tomas Tatar put the Slovaks on the board and made it 1-1 and it looked like it was going to be a game. Ryan Kesler and Paul Stastny both scored within a minute of each other to give USA a 3-1 lead. David Backes then scored to make it 4-1 and Paul Stastny scored his second of the game to give USA a 5-1 lead and chased Jaroslav Halak. Enter Peter Budaj. Budaj saw two shots in the second, one by Phil Kessel and one by Dustin Brown. Both of them went in and gave USA a 7-1 lead. The third period was sort of a lull.


Top line of Dustin Brown - Ryan Kesler - Patrick Kane may not be as bad as we thought.
Phil Kessel 3 point night
Jon Quick might be a good choice by Bylsma to be USA starter.

Next Game:
USA - Saturday vs Russia
Slovakia - Saturday vs Slovenia



Russia used their home crowd to fight off a scrappy Slovenian team. A minute and half in, the top line of Semin-Malkin-Ovechkin connected with Ovechkin getting his first in the tournament to give the Russians an early 1-0 lead. Malkin then scored 3 minutes later to give the Russians a 2-0 lead early and many thought the Russians would run away with this but Slovenia had other ideas and held the door throughout the period. Slovenia then scored less than two minutes into the 2nd to cut the lead to 2-1 but then Malkin set up Kovalchuk in the slot on a powerplay to give the Russians a 3-1 lead but a minute later, the Slovenians answered to make it 3-2. Four minutes into the 3rd, Valeri Nischuskin came through the zone with speed, flew around a Slovenian defender and tucked it in under the Slovenian goalie's pad to give Russia a 4-2 lead and then Anton Belov blasted a shot from the point to give Russia a 5-2 lead. Props to the Russian crowd as they were extremely loud down the stretch and didn't leave when it looked like their team was cruising to a victory.

Evgeni Malkin continued his hot streak with a goal and two assists
Ovechkin had two points
Varlamov made 12 saves on 14 shots

Next game:

Russia - Saturday vs USA
Slovenia - Saturday vs Slovakia



Canada got off to a slow start, but they flexed their muscles to start the 2nd period and took over the game. Pretty sure Norway didn't have a single shot on goal in the 2nd. When Mats Zuccarello is your best player, you might have problems. Jamie Benn drew a penalty in the 2nd and on the delayed penalty, the puck dropped back to Shea Weber and he blasted a shot from the point, the Norway goalie had no chance. 1-0 Canada. A few minutes later, Patrice Bergeron found a wide open Jamie Benn who buried the puck. The Norwegians had a power play when the 3rd started, and some guy scored to make it 2-1. A minute later, Drew Doughty dangled through Scandinavia and made it 3-1. Norway would stick around but thats all she wrote.

Game Notes:

Stick tap to Norway, impressive performance
Crosby-Kunitz-Carter showed some promise
Kunitz was everywhere

Next Games:

Canada - Friday vs Austria
Norway - Friday vs Finland


Group A

USA       1-0-0  3 points   +6 GD    
Russia    1-0-0  3 points   +3 GD
Slovenia 0-1-0  0 points   -3 GD
Slovakia 0-1-0  0 points   -6 GD

Group B

Finland  1-0-0   3 points  +4 GD
Canada  1-0-0   3 points   +2 GD
Norway  0-1-0  0 points   -2 GD
Austria   0-1-0  0 points   -4 GD

Group C

Sweden                 1-0-0   3 points  +2 GD
Switzerland          1-0-0   3 points  +1 GD
Latvia                   0-1-0   0 points  -1 GD
Czech Republic    0-1-0   0 points   -2 GD