Monday, March 31, 2014

RECAP. Getting Back on Track? Pens WIN

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Over the past few weeks the Pens have looked like cat piss (minus 3 or 4 guys) and that has caused them to go on a tiny losing streak.  This game saw the Pens look like they were getting their game back on track but it also had moments of "what the fuck are you doing?"  The Pens came out in the 1st period like a house of fire.  Minus Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen forgetting how to play defense for 10 seconds the Pens played their best 1st period in a long time.  Robert Bortuzzo made another solid defensive play in his own zone and got the puck ahead to James Neal.  Neal and Beau Bennett went in 2 on 1.  James Neal sniped it to make it 1-nil Pens.  Maybe 30 seconds later Lee Stempniak put on in Corey Crawford mouth to make it 2-nil Pens.  The Pens were flying in the 1st.  Could have scored unlimited goals but Corey Crawford bailed the Hawks out.  2nd period was pretty meh until Brooks Orpik tried to end Jonathan Toews.

gifs via our friends at The Pensblog of course

Toews left the game after that hit and wouldn't return.  Mike Milbury cried about the hit:

We would put Joe Haggerty's weak sauce tweet in here but anyone who uses "weak sauce" in a serious form on the internet should probably deactivate forever.

The Hawks were able to cut the Pens lead in half when Sheldon Brookbank scored from about 57 feet out.  MAF never saw the shot.  He was screened by 2 Hawks and Brooks Orpik.  2-1 heading to the 3rd.  The Hawks were coming on hard after the goal.  They controlled much of the play in the 3rd period.  That was until Best In The World turned out the lights.  

Filthy.

He would end up netting the empty netter too giving the Pens a 4-1 win.

Stunned Blackhawks fans from out buddy Nate @bobbles412 on twitter dot com



We would post 3 stars and stuff but we are too pumped for Opening Day for Baseball.

Pens next game is Tuesday vs Carolina.

Go Bucs and Go Pens



Sunday, March 30, 2014

PREGAME. Pens vs Blackhawks

Corporate Entitlement Country Club. 
7:30.  NBCSN.  The X

The defending Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks make their only visit to Corporate Entitlement Country Club this season.  The last time these 2 teams played was in Soldier Field for the Stadium Series game that the Blackhawks won 5-1.  Had it not been for injuries you would be seeing unlimited talent on the ice tonight.  There will still be a lot though including Tevou Teravainen, Chicago's stellar Finnish rookie who just recently joined the team.

LINES
Lines via The Pensblog

Chris Kunitz-Best In The World-Lee Stempniak
Beau Bennett-Jussi Jokinen-James Neal
Taylor Pyatt-Brandon Sutter-Brian Gibbons
Tanner Glass-Craig Adams-Jayson Megna

Brooks Orpik-Robert Bortuzzo
Olli Maatta-Matt Niskanen
Rob Scuderi-Deryk Engelland

Marc Andre Fleury

Kris Versteeg-Jonathan Toews-Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp-Michael Handzus-Andrew Shaw
Brandon Saad-Peter Regin-Matt Carey
Brandon Bollig-Marcus Kruger-Ben Smith

*Tevou Teravainen is going to be in there somewhere.

Duncan Keith-Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya-Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy-Sheldon Brookbank

Corey Crawford

Can't wait to watch Toews embarrass Brooks Orpik again tonight.

Go Pens

Saturday, March 29, 2014

RECAP. BEAUNED. Pens WIN; Heading to Playoffs


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It wasn't pretty by any means but the Pens were able to head into Columbus and avoid losing more than 3 straight once again.  And with that win the Pens clinched a spot in the playoffs for the 8th straight season.  The score was 0-0 till the 3rd period when the Pens finally broke through.  Chris Kunitz got on the Pens on the board first followed shortly there after by Beau Bennett, who was playing in his first game since November, made it 2-0.  The Jackets would pull one back but they couldn't tie it.  MAF was in the Jackets mouth all game.  The Pens are still in rough spot right now but winning a playoff type game should help.  This is the type of game you will be playing in the playoffs.  Huge stick taps to Beau Bennett, Robert Bortuzzo, and Marc Andre Fleury for their performances last night.  Beau stepped in after almost 4 months on the shelf and played really well.  He looked like he hasn't missed a beat which could be huge for the Pens.  Robert Bortuzzo.  What else is there to really say about this guy?  He turned in another stellar performance and even made an absolutely unreal play to set up the Bennett goal.  Don't believe us?  Just watch:
Unreal.  What a play.

And Marc Andre Fleury.  Hadn't won a game since shutting out Washington a couple weeks ago steps in a turns in one of his best performances of the season.  Definitely nice to see him get a win again.

Now it's time for the Pens to get their minds read and get ready for the Playoffs.  Yeah we know "They still have to win the Division!!11!!!1!1!!"  Cool.  Whatever.  We could care less about winning the Division especially one named Metropolitan.  What matters is that the Pens are in the playoffs.  10 years ago.  We weren't sure we would ever see the playoffs again.  But here we are 10 years later and playoffs have become a common thing.  The only thing that matters now is getting 16 extra wins in April-May-June.  The only thing that matters now is this:

Pens next game is Sunday against Chicago.

Go Pens

Friday, March 28, 2014

RECAP. Adversity. It's Staring Right At You. Pens LOSE

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When the best part about this game was Taylor Pyatt scoring his 2nd goal in as many games you know there wasn't much to talk about.  The Pens were undone by an atrocious goalie interference call that wiped out the Pens tying goal.  The Pens woke up for a bit after that and tried to tie it but no dice.  Maybe if they would have played the whole game with a fire under their ass that goalie interference call wouldn't have mattered.  

Pens play again in like 14 seconds in Columbus.

Go Pens

Thursday, March 27, 2014

PREGAME: Pens vs. Kings

Consol Energy Center. 7:00. ROOT.

The Penguins (46-21-5) face the L.A. Kings (42-25-6) tonight, and if they gain a point, they will clinch a playoff spot. The Kings have been on more of a hot streak than the Pens as of lately, with winning their last four games played. The two teams last faced off in L.A. on January 30th, where Pittsburgh won with a score of 4-1.



Both teams will be starting their back-up goaltenders tonight: Jeff Zatkoff for the Penguins with a 12-4-1 record, 2.55 GAA, .915 SV% and Martin Jones for the Kings with his 10-5-0 record, 1.90 GAA, .932 SV%.


LINES:
(Via Daily Faceoff)

Kunitz – Crosby – Stempniak
Jokinen – Sutter – Neal
Pyatt – Goc – Gibbons
Glass – Adams – Megna

Niskanen – Maatta
Orpik – Bortuzzo
Despres – Scuderi

Zatkoff

Gaborik – Kopitar – Williams
Pearson – Carter – Toffoli
Lewis – Stoll – Brown
Clifford – Richards – Nolan

Muzzin – Doughty
Voynov – Regehr
Mitchell – Martinez

Jones

UPDATES:
  • Watch out for Beau Bennett, he could be returning to the line-up very soon. Per @penguins: "Pens have recalled Beau Bennett from his conditioning assignment with WBS Penguins. Bennett played 3 games with WBS, collecting 1 assist."





LET'S GO PENS!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Little Bit Of Adversity Is Good For The Pens


Up until recently everything has been Unicorns, Rainbows, and a giant bag of all Red Starburst for the Penguins.  They have had to face little to no adversity all season.  I mean for crying out loud.  They have been in 1st place in the Metrosexual Division for all but 1 day.  They are 46-21-5. Good enough for 2nd place in the Eastern Conference and good enough for a 13 point lead in the Metrosexual Division.  But they are 5-4-1 in their last 10.  That's not horrible but that's not great either.  Its no secret that the Pens are in a rough patch right now.  They'll win a game here then lose 2 in a row.  Its becoming a trend.  Lets break down the Pens record month by month here.

October:
9-4-0

November:
9-5-1

December:
11-3-0

January:
9-2-1

February:
2-1-2

March (as of 3-26-14)
6-6-1  *3 games remaining

Just look at those number for a minute.  Look especially at December and January.  20-4-1 in December and January.  Then you come to March and you get the current 6-6-1 record.  The point here being.  The Pens have faced no adversity all year long.  From October to February the Pens only had two 3 game losing streaks.  And even in March with their current record they haven't lost more than 2 games in a row.  The Penguins are going through a rough patch right now.  And in our opinion it will be good for this team in the long run.  Why?  Because this team has still yet to play its best hockey.  Lets rewind to last year.  The Pens went on that long winning streak where they played their best hockey then fizzled out in the ECF against Boston.  Minus a 7 game winning streak in December the Pens have only won more than 4 games in a row once this season.  The months of December and January saw the Pens play their best hockey so far this season but in no means was it the best hockey they are capable of playing if that makes sense.  We'll try to explain by looking at the 6 loses in December and January.  Those losses were: 3-2 in Boston, 5-0 in Ottawa, 2-1 in New Jersey, 4-3 in Overtime in Edmonton, 5-1 vs Florida, 3-0 in Dallas.  The Boston game.  Pens had a lead late and let it slip away.  The Ottawa game.  The score tells the story.  The New Jersey game.  The Pens were already partying for New Years.  The Edmonton game.  Pens again had a lead and let it slip away.  That was the game Evgeni Malkin took a penalty that helped Edmonton get back in it.  The Florida game.  Pretty sure the Pens were on Mars that game.  The Dallas game.  Kari Lehtonen city.  So despite playing good hockey in December and January they were't playing great hockey.  Great hockey wouldn't have let Boston or Edmonton come back and win.  Whatever.  It's in the past.  Those losses didn't hurt the Pens.  So lets come back to right now.  March 26th.  The Pens are finally facing some adversity.  And they can respond in 1 on 2 ways.  Way number one.  They start getting their act together and play better and find their stride going in to the playoffs.  Or, option number 2.  They continue to wilt and go in to the playoffs on a sour note then get smoked in the 1st round.  This isn't this teams 1st rodeo.  They know what they need to do which is why we think option 1 is the likely out come here.  Now we aren't in any way saying that if option 1 does occur the Pens are gonna run a train on the Eastern Conference and straight to a Stanley Cup.  What we are saying though is if option 1 occurs we could be in for some exciting hockey over the next few months.  And really.  It's better to face this adversity now so they know how to respond to it in the playoffs.  Plus.  It's better to hit this rough patch now than next month.

Go Pens

RECAP. Howling For A Win. Pens LOSE

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A desperate Coyotes team, fighting to stay in the playoffs rolled in to Pittsburgh last night and picked up a HUGE 2 points.  It was a really good game in our eyes.  Both teams played well.  But....Everyone on twitter acted like this loss is the end of the world.  I was gonna do a full recap for this game but I decided to go a different route.

TWITTER'S REACTION TO THIS GAME:

OUR REACTION TO THE GAME:

Our only complaint from last night...No Michalek Island tribute video.

The Pens held a players only meeting after the game.  Brooks Orpik apparently did most of the talking.  Oh the irony. 

Pens next game is Tomorrow vs The Kings

Go Pens

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PREGAME: Penguins vs. Coyotes

Consol Energy Center. 7:00. ROOT


It's a hockey night in Pittsburgh and the Penguins (46-20-5) are taking on the Phoenix Coyotes (34-26-12). Both Pittsburgh and Phoenix are coming into tonight's game off losses (PIT to STL in R, PHX to NYR in OT). With a win tonight, the Pens can clinch a spot in the playoffs. The last meeting between these two teams was on February 1st, the Coyotes triumphing in a 3-1 win.


Evgeni Malkin is out 2-3 weeks with a foot injury, ouch...


But the good news is that he will hopefully be healthy and ready by the time playoffs start. With Geno out, this could be Sutter's time to come up big and shine. He will be filling the empty spot on the second line tonight with Jokinen and Neal.


LINES:
(Via Daily Faceoff)

Kunitz - Crosby - Stempniak
Jokinen - Sutter - Neal
Pyatt - Goc - Gibbons
Glass - Adams - Megna

Niskanen - Maatta
Orpik - Bortuzzo
Despres - Scuderi

Fleury


Erat - Hanzal - Vrbata
Klinkhammer - Vermette - Boedker
McMillan - Ribeiro - Doan
Chipchura - Halpern - Moss

Ekman-Larsson - Michalek
Yandle - Morris
Summers - Stone

Greiss


UPDATES:

  • The Penguins are clearly cursed and the CEC was built on an Indian burial ground.
  • Sidney Crosby will be wrapped in bubble wrap for the remainder of the season.




LET'S GO PENS!

Monday, March 24, 2014

RECAP. A Good Loss. Pens LOSE

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Throughout the course of an NHL season you rarely lose a game that you can categorize as a good loss.  Yesterday afternoon was on of the time that you could say that the Pens loss was a good loss.  The Pens played well.  The Blues played well.  This wasn't some game where the Pens looked like cat piss.  They went toe to toe with probably the best team in the West right now and probably the best defensive team in the NHL.  Marc Andre Fleury was spectacular.  The only goal he let in was off of a David Backes deflection while Backes was in Fleury's mouth.  This isn't a game to get bent out of shape over.  

Pens next game is Tuesday against the Coyotes.

Go Pens

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Recap: Guest Recap. PengWIN.

So since Brandon and I aren't "real" fans and didn't drop everything we had for today for a Penguins game and Haylie is out burning down doors or something with her family. We asked friend of the blog Zack Morris to write a recap for us today and if you follow him on twitter, you would know that this would be hilarious. We hope you enjoy.
NO, not that Zack Morris either.

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In front of the 3454th sellout crowd at Consol, the Lightning gave the Pens a very good game.  However one mistake, a too many men on the ice penalty, which is probably the dumbest thing you can do in overtime although the Lightning lead the league in these sort of penalties made them go night night. James Neal put a little elbow grease (Neal dirty player reference) into a wicked one timer from Geno to make it 4-3 Pens in overtime.


Even better, due to it being a Saturday afternoon, overtime game there was no need for Yinzer Nation to #BeatTheTraffic.


            To me what was more important was the fact that Evgeni Malkin decided to continue his dominance over the Bolts, picking up 2 goals and 2 assists in just under 20 minutes of ice time. Does this mean the Sochi butthurt is over? Malkin had a wicked backhander today that would have made Vladimir Putin crack a smile. //vine.co/v/MM6jjPm3Q97

Malkin also picked up two goals in the Rob Scuderi game on Thursday giving him 6 points in the last two games. To me it’s a step in the right direction and one the Pens will need to make that final push towards the playoffs.
           
          One thing is definitely certain though, and that is Zatkoff is a mini version of the Great Wall of China. Even the Mongolians would find it hard to tear down the Zatkoff wall now. Zatkoff allowed three goals, however Steven Stamkos factored in on two of them and him on a powerplay is borderline unfair, so there’s that. Stamkos’s fake shot pass to Valtteri Filppula on the Bolts first powerplay was as godly as they came. It’s hard to image just 8 weeks ago Stamkos was recovering from a broken leg, which leads me closer to thinking no matter what religion you follow, there may be a reincarnation of Jesus wearing #91 for the Bolts.


Part of me wants to talk about Sidney Crosby and what he’s doing right now, but the other part of me doesn’t want to waste type. Sid is outta this world; making even his worst games look pretty decent. Sid is destroying the point’s race up 94 points to the Duck’s Ryan Geztlaf at a cool 76, and then there’s like 34 other players with 70+ points, but an 18 point lead?? Sid had a beauty from Geno on the powerplay with a beautiful one-finish that one could only wish to do on NHL 14.

            Other news in notes from the game was that Olli Maatta looked somewhat human, especially on the tying goal from Tampa’s Ondrej Palat with just under two to play as he suffered from disconnected controller syndrome, as Palat was able to just wander around him. However, this one time, I saw Taylor Pyatt use his body, so I was impressed. In addition, I sat next to this kid who couldn’t have been older than five, who legit chanted “LETS GO PENS” for 59.5 of the 60-minute regulation. Needless to say, he’ll sleep well tonight and he did Pens nation proud. Lastly, I just want to say, anyone who wanted Ryan Malone at the deadline, I think I contributed to the Bolts effort more than Ryan Malone did. I know he’s part of Pittsburgh Nation, but no. He wasn’t good and I don’t think he ever will be again. By the way, after reading this post, Ryan Malone will be out for three weeks with what doctors are calling “hurt feelings.” Well time to go watch Frozen and go to Red Robin! #PengWIN. Hope y’all enjoyed my guest appearance. 





Zack Morris




Next game in like 5 minutes.

Go Pens.

Friday, March 21, 2014

RECAP. Speechless. Pens LOSE

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The Pens were in Detroit last night and we really have no clue how to recap this game.  Probably one of the most bizarre games you'll see all season.  The Detroit scored 3 goals that hit off of Penguins players.  Pretty much sums this game up.

Pens next game is Saturday at 1 vs Tampa.

Go Pens


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

RECAP. Crosby And Friends. Pens WIN:

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The last time these two teams met the Pens looked like absolute ass.  Tonight.  They were in the Stars mouth from start to finish.  The Pens came out like a house of fire and didn't look back.  Right from the opening faceoff Crosby looked like he was shot oot of a damn rocket.  Jeff Zatkoff got the start in goal last night and played what was in our opinion his best game of the season.  Remember that time we wanted Bryz or another veteran backup?  Lol.


Like we said, right from the opening faceoff Best In The World looked like he got shot oot of a damn rocket.  He was flying.  Chris Kunitz was back after missing a couple games and you could tell it helped the 1st line.  They were creating shit every time on the ice.  The Pens got a power play just under 2 minutes in.  The power play looked good but couldn't cash in.  Then Crosby got shifted with Gibbons and Adams.  Adams did some solid work down low and got the puck to Best In The World.  He embarrassed Gonch in the slot and waited out Lehtonen and back handed the puck into the net to make it 1-nil Pens.
Honestly forgot Gonch played for the Stars until warm ups started.  Oops.  The Stars got it back though.  The only time the decided to do anything productive all game.  Someone shot the puck from the point and Tyler Seguin got a stick on it and deflected it under Zatkoff to tie the game at 1.  The Pens were like "enough of that" and went back to work.  And once again it was the first line leading the way.  Stempniak hit a one timer in the slot that Lehtonen saved but the rebound went right to Chris Kunitz.  He buried it to make it 2-1 Pens.


The 2nd period started oot just like the 1st.  With the 1st line everywhere.  After a little bit of sloppiness the Pens found their stride they had in the 1st.  Corsby, Kunitz, Stempniak did whatever they wanted in the Stars zone.  They eventually cashed in again.  A sweet passing play that went Crosby to Kunitz to Stempniak and ended with Stempniak stealing the Stars defesnmen's girls then dropping a deuce in Lehtonen's eye.  What a goal by Stempniak.  Does he look comfortable on that line or what?  Honestly can't think of anything else that happened in the 2nd.  Pretty sure Zatkoff made some sick glove save.  Joe Vitale took a penalty late.  



2 goal lead.  3rd period.  Pens go to the Jaques Martin Scorpian Death Lock.  Except the Stars are completely uninterested so the Pens cash in again.  The Pens got a shot on goal and the rebound went right to Best In The World.  He had a wide open net.  He could have made the shot blind folded with a right handed mini stick.  4-1 Pens.  Then shit got chippy.  Cody Eakin showed the first signs of life for the Stars since the goal when he drove to the net and ran over Zatkoff.  A scrum ensued and Kunitz tried ending some dude's man hood.
gif via The Pensblog

The Pens were on a power play at the time.  2 Stars took a penalty and Kunitz took 4 minutes so nothing changed.  The Pens couldn't cash in.  Brian Gibbons went Tanner Glass Secret Service mode and blocked a shot.  He went down the runway but returned.  The Stars got a power play after Malkin knocked someone down.  The Stars had a few chances early but Zatfoff was all business.  Brian Gibbons got a chance to kill the penalty and he ended up setting up Brandon Sutter on a break away.  Sutter roofed it but hit the cross bar.  The puck hit Lehtonen and trickled across the line.  Brian Gibbons pushed it further in the net for good measure.  They reviewed it for whatever reason.  Game.



1. Best In The World
2. Lee Stempniak
3. Jeff Zatkoff

Stuff:
  • Pretty solid game for the Pens all around.
  • Jayson Megna was scratched for some reason.  He was the best Penguin on the ice Sunday against Philly.
  • What a game from the first line. Best In The World: 2g 1a.  Stempniak: 1g 2a.  Kunitz: 1g 1a.  
  • Jeff Zatkoff was solid.  Other than his first 2 games he has played some unreal hockey.
  • Even though he was held pointless Evgeni Malkin played real well.  It probably helped having James Neal back.  
  • The Stars were complaining aboot shit all game.  Seemed like after every whistle they were engaging the refs.
  • Pretty solid game from Despres and Bortuzzo as well.
  • Good bounce back game for the Pens.
The Pens next game is tomorrow in Detroit.

Go Pens