Tuesday, September 30, 2014

In a few days...

Here we are once again. A weeks worth of countdown posts. If you've been following along, you know the deal by now. Work, homework, beer, winning Banners, food, fantasy football, etc. We promise we'll do better next time. Regardless, here is yet another countdown mega post.

14

The Penguins players who wore the number 14 jersey for the Penguins were Billy Dea, Rick Kessel, Ron Snell, Lowell MacDonald, Rene Robert, Wayne Binachin, Nick Libett, Doug Shedden, Dan Quinn, Chris Kontos, Bryan Erickson, Jock Callander, Gordie Roberts, Dave Tippett, Brad Lauer, Stu Barnes, Pat Falloon, Milan Kraft, Shane Endicott, Christopher Minard, and Chris Kunitz. We could've talked about current Penguin Chris Kunitz but it seemed like it would be much more fun to write about X-Generation hero....

Milan Kraft



Which Kraft is better?

Milan Kraft was the Penguin 1st round (23rd overall) pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Kraft spent 4 seasons in the Penguins organization. During those 4 seasons, he played in 207 games scoring 41 goals and 41 assists. He was rung up for 52 penalty minutes and was a (brace yourselves Matt Niskanen and +/- loving Penguins fans) -45 during those games. Kraft also played in 8 playoff games for the Penguins. He did nothing during those 8 games, no goals, no assists. He did receive a 2 minute penalty so there's that I guess. 

There isn't to much to say about Milan Kraft. He played in Pittsburgh during the darkest days the Penguins have ever seen. I tried searching YouTube to find a video of some goal Kraft scored or anything Kraft did really, the results show just how irrelevant Kraft really was. If there is anything that can show you how relevant a professional athlete was/is, IMO, it is YouTube.

The first video is a goal Kraft scored against the Florida Panthers. The name of the video is "Dan LaCouture assists of Milan Kraft goal". Kraft can't even get his own YouTube video when he scores a goal. It looks like the video was uploaded by Rammer and the boys at EA Canada, brutal quality.


Still better quality that NHL 15

The second video is a goal someone scored on ESPN NHL 2K5. I can't put the video in the post for some reason so here is the link to the video. When one of the first and only things someone can find on your NHL career is a video of some goal your video game character scored, well, that should give you an idea of how that career went. One more thought on that video before we finish up with 14, of course, it still looks better than NHL 15 (#FireRammer).

13

Only a handful of players have worn the number 13 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Those players are Jim Hamilton, Charlie Simmer, Assistant GM Bill Guerin, and Alex Goligoski. Goligoski sucked as a Penguin and we wouldn't be doing this right if we didn't talk about the legend of Billy G.

Billy G had a hell of an NHL career, but we're only going to talk about is year and a half with the Penguins. Guerin came to Pittsburgh in what may have been one of the best trades GMRS ever made. He sent a 3rd round pick to Garth Snow (LOL) for Guerin. Guerin was inserted on Sidney Crosby's line late in the 2008-9 season, and scored 5 goals and 7 assists in 17 games down the stretch. Guerin is most notably known for his role in the Stanley Cup playoffs. He played in 24 games scoring 7 goals and 8 assists while adding a veteran presence that the Penguins have lacked since he retired in 2010. Guerin also scored some big goals.
 




Chills.


Guerin also played in the 2009-2010 season with the Penguins scoring 21 goals and 24 assists in 78 games, not bad for a 39 year old. After the 2010 season, he couldn't catch on anywhere and decided to retire as a Penguin.


What a human.

Billy G was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame. We cannot express how perfect Billy Guerin was as a Penguin and how big his role was on the 2009 Cup team. Without Guerin, the Penguins probably don't win the Cup. We're also glad that he has a large role within the organization currently.


12

Ken Schinkel, Blaine Stoughton, Kelly Pratt, Greg Malone, Mitch Lamoreux, Dean DeFazio, Tom O'Regan, Tom Toulston, Bob Errey, Larry Deplama, Troy Murray, Chris Wells, Richard Park, Sean Pronger, Martin Sonnenberg, Billy Tibbetts, Michal Sivek, Ryan Malone, Chris Bourque, Brett Sterling, Richard Park, Jarome Iglina, and Chuck Kobasew were the players to wear the number 12 for the Penguins. 

To us, there was only one choice for number 12. Before we get to that, we need to give a few honorable mentions for number 12. We could never forget Chris "HGLP" Bourque or Jarome "The Left Winger" Iginla. Don't think we forgot about you either, Ryan "Gimme dat Coke" Malone or Bob "Between the Benches" Errey. All of those heros would've been fantastic choices, but they all stood no chance against this guy....

Billy Tibbetts


Billy Tibbetts was an undrafted player who got his first chance at NHL hockey with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins gave him a chance despite some pretty legit legal issues (We'll get into that in a little bit). Tibbetts ended up spending the 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 seasons in Pittsburgh. He played in 62 games, scoring 2 goals, 7 assists, and registering an incredible 188 PIMs (!!!!!!). What a player.

As stated earlier, Billy Tibbetts was brought into the NHL despite all the legal issues in his past. Tibbets plead guilty to statutory rape of a 15 year old girl in 1994 (the incident happened in 1992, Tibbets was 17). Somehow Tibbetts was only on probation for the rape case as the judge gave him a "suspended sentence". I'm not a legal person so I have no clue what that is (I'm guessing it has something to do with serving time while the rest of the case was being settled?). Regardless, during his time on probation, he was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct, and witness intimidation. Don't know exactly what happened but apparently Tibbetts thought it would be a good idea to shoot someone with a BB gun. Obviously, those charges violated his probation, and because of that and the rape incident, Tibbetts spent 39 months in prison. Tibbet's also became a registered sex offender and therefore his playing career in Canada came to an end since he was no longer permitted into the country. According to a few articles I checked out, Tibbets was arrested 6 times between 1992 and 1995, who the hell knows what else he did. Looking back on all that now, how in the world did the Penguins sign him? People are jammed at NFL and the Ray Rice and AP stuff... could you imagine a guy with that history getting signed now? Goodnight Moon.

I somehow have never heard about piece of gold of this until just today, no clue if it true or not, but I saw the story on several other sites as well. 


Unreal story if true

We all love 66 as much as anyone, but Tibbett's might need his jersey retired if this really did happen. The other sites I saw the story on stated that Tibbets was sitting in one of the front seats (I guess the front seats are the seats the veteran players usually take. Tibbetts obviously, was not a veteran player. That's where the issue began). Tibbett's Penguins career didn't last longer after this if it did happen. I saw people saying he was sent down to the AHL the next day and that he was cut completely not long after this apparently took place. Such a bizarre story... What kind of cheeseburger are we talking? Highly doubt there was bacon on it, no way anyone wastes a bacon cheeseburger. Where did the cheeseburger come from? You would think a professional hockey player would want to eat something better than a cheeseburger after a game. What did 66 do/say right after in happened? Could you imagine Tibbetts scoring a goal in a Penguins uniform during a Big Mac Attack? If Beau Bennett was in 66's shoes at the time, how much time does he miss due to the cheeseburger hitting him? So many questions so few answers. 

Tibbets also scored a goal that was, IMO, the greatest goal in hockey history the greatest goal in sports history. The goal came when he was playing in the SPHL for the Huntsville Havoc. When I found this on YouTube for the first time, it was like hitting the lottery. 


dfdskjskjsflkdsjfslkdlkjdslkfsjflk

Absolutely unreal. The goal starts off with one of the most ungodly toe drags of all time. Backhand city. Tucked It.


100% chance that defencemen retired after that shift

What really sets this goal above everything else is what Tibbetts did after he scored. No clue why he had an issue with the backup goalie, but he went straight the the opposing teams bench and gave him a stare down that would scare Gary Roberts.


My god

He wasn't done yet, what came next was probably the greatest moment of Billy Tibbet's career. He lines up for the faceoff and gave one final wave to the goalie. 


Greatest player of all time

The backup goalie was never the same.


What an unreal sequence

Tibbetts also spent time in Philly and New York (Rangers) in addition to play for a large list of minor league teams. In 2007, Tibbetts got in trouble with the law again when he decided to go all GTA, as he led police on not one but two high speed police chases that year. No clue where Billy Tibbetts is now, other than in that goalies nightmares, but the Pens need to find him and make him Crosby's winger.... What a player. 

11

Gene Ubriaco, Tracy Pratt, Nick Harbaruk, Bernie Lukowich, Vic Hadfield, John Flesch, George Ferguson (no relation to the police riots in Ferguson, MO), Anders Hakansson, Tim Tookey, Rocky Saganiuk, Troy Loney, Alain Lemieux, Lee Giffin, Dwight Mathiasen, Warren Young, John Cullen, Legend Darius Kasparaitis, Shawn Antoski, Alexandre Daigle, Lasse Pirjeta, Guillame Lefebvre, and Jordan Staal all have worn the number 11 for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Quick honorable mention to Darius Kasparaitis for being the 2nd greatest Penguin to don the #11. 

One of the biggest goals in Penguins history.

But this wouldn't seem right if we didn't write about Jordan Staal.


Jordan Staal was drafted 2nd overall by the Penguins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft (yes over Jonathan Toews). Staal made his NHL Debut as an 18 year old in 2007 and came on to the scene fast. Staal scored his first NHL goal, which was shorthanded against the Rangers.


As a rookie, Staal scored 7 shorthanded goals, which is still a record by a rookie in the NHL. Over his first 4 seasons, Staal was the most durable Penguin missing only 1 regular season game from 2007-2010.

Fast forward to the playoffs because that's what we do here, he scored 3 goals in the 2006-07 playoffs as a rookie and 6 on the Cup finals run in 2007-08. But we're gonna remember what Jordan Staal did in 2009.

It was Game 4, 2009 Stanley Cup Finals. Detroit was leading the series 2-1 and the Game 2-1 about half way through the 2nd period. The Penguins had just taken a penalty when this happened...

To this day, Brian Rafalski still has no idea where Jordan Staal is/was/or came from. That goal tied it and then lead to a Malkin to Crosby One T to make it 3-2 just 1:59 later. After the Crosby goal, this happened....



Without Jordan Staal, the Penguins may not win 4-2. Brian Rafalski still doesn't know where Jordan Staal is.

Fast forward to Game 6. Penguins down in the series 3-2 after an embarassing loss in Detroit in Game 5. Game is tied 0-0, beginning of the second period. Jordan Staal makes this happen....


Then in the 3rd period of that game, Tyler Kennedy did this....


Whenever the game was on the line or the Penguins needed a momentum shift, they always turned to Jordan Staal, and Jordan Staal delivered. People question Shero drafting Staal over Toews, but my guess is, if you take Toews over Staal, you don't get this...

Ray Shero traded Jordan Staal on Draft Day 2012 (Also Staal's wedding day) due to the two sides unable to come to an agreement on a contract and Jordan wanting to play with his brother in Carolina. Shero received Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin, and a 1st Round Pick (Derrick Pouliot) for Staal. Staal finished his Penguin career (to this point) playing in 431 games scoring 120 goals (13 shorthanded) and 128 assists. Staal was the perfect third line player for the Penguins during his tenure here.

Sidenote: Staal broke his leg in the Preseason recently in Carolina and we wish him nothing but the best.

10

Earl Ingarfield, George Swarbrick, Keith McCreary, Robin Burns, Ted Snell, Pierre LaRouche, Peter Lee, Gary Rissling, THE Bob Errey, Wayne Babych, Ron Duguay, Dan Quinn, Barry Pederson, Ron Francis, X-Generation hero Ville Nieminen, John LeClair, GARY ROBERTS, Mark Lestestu, Tanner Glass, Branden Morrow, and German superstar defenseman who despised Buffalo (can't blame him), Christian Erhoff. There's some solid names in this group of players to wear the 10 sweater including LaRouche, Rissling, Francis, Errey and obviously Mark Lestestu. However, no one is worth mentioning more so than WWGD (What would Gary Roberts Do). What a hero.

Gary Roberts. WWGD. Legend. Has a song about him. Has many memes and mentions including his name. What exactly made Gary the Pittsburgh legend he is? We could go on and give you the long narrative of how Roberts was drafted in the 1st round (12th overall) during the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, but that's boring. Let's start here. Roberts was acquired by the Penguins on February 27, 2007 in exchange for prize possession X-Generation defenseman Noah Welch (lololololo). Lemieux and Shero (#sHERO) had to convince Roberts to sign after having a 40 point season with Florida the year before. Luckily, like most logical hockey players and fans he realized Florida sucked and was going down faster than Penn State after the scandal. 

Roberts was a locker room presence that provided leadership in a time where the Penguins struggled to find it. Roberts finished the 06-07 season with the Penguins recording 7 goals and 6 assists for 13 points (dooooo math). Roberts helped the Penguins reach the playoffs for the first time in six years, even though they were eliminated in the first round because Penguins. Although it was pre-Bylsma so they probably tried to make adjustments and #GetToOurGameBetter.  


(Just watch this because there are no words that accurately describe Gary Roberts)


Here's a career montage of Gary Roberts ending people's careers. 




Can't find the real version of the Gary Roberts song but this one is actually funny too WWGRD


   During the 2007-2008 season, Roberts basically had ebola and was Goodnight Moon most of the season.  He had a viral infection then broke his fibula during the Sabres and played in 38 games throughout the season. However, Roberts showed up in the playoffs as he set a record as he was the oldest player (41 years 322 days) in NHL history to record more than one goal in a post-season game, like what a warrior. During the 07-08 playoffs, Roberts appeared in 11 games recording 2 goals and 2 assists. This does not relate to the playoffs but Roberts has a career 910 PIMs in 1,224 games. Which is pretty cool tbh. Roberts was not known for his goal scoring despite his 40 point season in Florida. Roberts was known for crucifying other players, being a locker room guy and standing up for the team. Under Bylsma, Roberts would have been benched indefinitely and Craig Adams would have talked mad shit on him while having #CoffeeWithTheCoaches. It didn't really matter what you thought of Gary Roberts as a player, because if you're a Sidney Crosby fan, just know Roberts was protecting him. Roberts went to the Lightning for a draft pick on June 28, 2008. Basically he was hurt again and yea... But honestly, what a warrior. He originally retired from Calgary once due to a neck injury but then he was like F That and came back. So, what you've learned is that Gary Roberts is a hero to us all.  I wish I could say stay tuned tomorrow to see who number 9 is, but lately we can't guarantee that. So honestly, just keep your head up (HAHAHA Marc Savard joke) for posts in the coming day or week. 







  



Monday, September 29, 2014

The Penguins need to do right for Sidney Crosby

Ever since Sidney Crosby played his first games in the NHL one common phrase has been repeated over and over and over and over.  "Crosby needs a winger".  You would think buy now the Penguins would have figured it out right?  I mean.  Crosby has been in the league since 2005.  But nope.  Here we are getting ready to start the 2014-2015 season and Sidney Crosby still doesn't have the World Class Winger he deserves.  Since coming into the league in 2005, Sidney Crosby has played with a world class winger and grand total of 1 time.  That was in 2008 when the Pens acquired Marian Hossa from the Atlanta Thrashers.  Now.  Before we go any further we want to say this is not a knock on Chris Kunitz at all.  Kunitz is a damn good hickey player and has played well with Sid.  But.  Lets just name some people Sid has had as wingers with.  Shall we?  Nils Ekman.  Colby Armstrong.  Tyler Kennedy. Andy Hilbert.  An over the hill John Leclair.  The artist formally known as Ziggy Palffy who retired part way through the season.  Pretty sure he had to play with Erik Christiansen once.  Probably Rico Fata too.  And Pascal Dupuis.  Again.  Not knocking Pascal Dupuis at all.  We like him as much as we like Kunitz.  He's just a glorified 3rd liner with inflated numbers from playing with Crosby.  What we are ultimately trying to say here is that the Pens need to go out and find a really good winger to put on the line with Crosby and Kunitz.  2 things here.  1.  They may have solved that problem with Kasperi Kapanen but he could be a couple years away from cracking an NHL line up.  Beau Bennett might also be able to fill that role in the future.  But.  Sidney Crosby is in the prime of his career.  He isn't going to get younger. The Pens need to finally find the right winger for Sid.  Not for the future but for right now.  Which leads me to my 2nd point about finding a winger for the Crosby-Kunitz line.  Trade for one early this season.  Don't wait til the trade deadline.  Bring them in so they have the majority of the season to work with 87 and 14.  I can hear what you guys are saying as you read that.  "But who would the Penguins trade though!!1!!!!1111@!!!"  That answer is simple.  It's also one that most people won't like.
Paul Martin

Again.  I know what you're all saying.  "You can't trade Paul Martin!!!!!!11!!11111!!  He was one of the best D Men!11!!!!11!!!".  Yes.  We know.  But.  Martin is 33, and isn't going to resign here next summer.  So.  Why not get something for him and not lose him for free.  The Penguins have plenty of D Men that they could afford to lose Paul Martin.  The Penguins are currently only a few thousand dollars under the cap so moving Martin and his 5 million dollar salary makes the most sense.  Especially since we all know that no one will take Scuderi's ridiculous contract.  So who would we lick to see come to Pittsburgh?  We are about to tell you.

Patrick Sharp or Marian Hossa
Either of these 2 would look great on Crosby's line.  Both are proven veterans and proven scorers.  We would love to see Hossa come back to Pittsburgh as well.  BUT.  Chicago needs to shed cap so sending either of these guys would work.  They just can't take on Paul Martin's contract and the Pens can't take on either of these guys contracts.  So.  Unfortunately.  These guys are out. :(

Evander Kane
Evander Kane on a line with Sidney Crosby could be magical.  He could put up great numbers with Crosby.  Having Kane on a line with Crosby would be basically be like having a better version of Pascal Dupuis.  Kane is fast and he can score.  He makes $5,250,000 so the Pens are barely able to afford him.  And the Jets are well under the cap so acquiring Paul Martin wouldn't be an issue there.

James Van Riemsdyk
This may be our favorite choice out of all of them.  JVR would look great in a Penguins uniform.  He goes to the net.  Isn't afraid to go to dirty areas.  Can score.  And deflection city all day.  He would be a great fit not only on the Crosby line but on the Penguins in general.  Again we run into salary cap issues.  JVR makes $4.25 million.  Which wouldn't be a problem for the Pens to take on.  However.  The Leafs have less cap room than the Pens so them taking on Martin's contract wouldn't be possible unless the Pens take on another contract, which probably isn't possible or retain a little bit of Paul Martin's salary.  

Matt Moulson
Matt Moulson is another player that would look great with Crosby and Kunitz.  He, like Kane is fast and can score.  It would again be like getting a better version of Pascal Dupuis.  We like the ideas of picking up a player like Moulson or Kane because they are kind of similar to Pascal Dupuis.  They are all very quick which is something you need to play on a line with Crosby and Kunitz.  It seems like that line plays better when the other winger is a guy who is fast.  Moulson makes $5 million in Buffalo so neither team would be in salary cap trouble.  Only thing working against this trade would be Buffalo just signed Moulson so they may not be willing to trade him right away.  

So.  After playing around on Capgeek we calculated the trades that would work.  
Martin for Evander Kane
Martin for Matt Moulson
Marin for James Van Riemsdyk (Pens would need to retain at least 10% of Martin's salary for this to work)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pens Players, Coaches, and Managment Get WWE Entrance Music

So one day during the summer we were really...really, really bored.  Nothing was happening with the Pens, minus a coaching search basically.  So, as many of you may, or may not, know Nate and I (Brandon) are into WWE.  So we were talking one night and asked "Which WWE Entrance Songs would fit the Penguins players?"  So here are our thoughts.

Starting off with the Best In The World.  Sidney Crosby = CM Punk.

The Intellectual Savior of the Masses Craig Adams = Damien Sandow.



Robert Bortuzzo = Ultimate Warrior


Kris Letang = Val Venis


Beau Bennett = Shawn Michaels



Paul Martin = Kurt Angle



Or Hulk Hogan

Marc-Andre Fleury, Jeff Zatkoff, and Thomas Griess  = The Shield


Evgeni Malkin = Rusev


Mike Johnston, Rick Tocchet and Jim Rutherford = nWo


Blake Comeau, Christian Ehrhoff, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling and Steve Downie = nWo Wolfpack


Mario Lemieux = Mr. McMahon



The Lunatic Fringe Dan Carcillo = The Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose


Ones we had no idea what music to give them:
Pascal Dupuis
Marcel Goc
Chris Kunitz
Brandon Sutter
Olli Maata
Rob Scuderi
Simon Despres 


He is not a Pittsburgh Penguin,  but we thought of this one night and it was too easy to pass up.
Claude Giroux = The "Bad Ass" Billy Gunn


Another post coming at you in like 12 seconds.

Go Pens




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In 15 Days....

Now that we have wrote about the wasteful career of Kris Beech, we are now caught up on our countdown. 15 days from today in about an hour, the Pittsburgh Penguins will play in their regular season opener against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Anaheim Ducks. Ryan Kesler will probably oppose Sidney Crosby on the opening draw right after we get christened by the beautiful voice that is one of Jeff Jimerson's.
What a legend.

There have been a few less people that have worn the number 15. Those players are Bob Dillabough, Billy Harris, George Swarbrick, Yvon Labre, Steve Cardwell, Brian McKenzie (no relation to TSN Bob, we think), Rick Kessell, Bob McManama, Stan Gilbertson, Gary Rissling, Pat Boutette, Randy Cunneyworth, Dave Capuano (no relation to Jack, we think), Doug Smith, Randy Gilhen, Shawn McEachern, Dimitry Mironov, Josef Beranek, Roman Simicek, Wayne Primeau (related to Keith, #Confirmed), Brian Holzinger, Niklas Nordgen, Faceoff warrior Mike Zigomanis, Dustin Jeffrey, and Tanner Glass.

So you're reading this list thinking, how the hell do you pick a degenerate off of this list? And you're right. This might be the worst number to wear if you ever become a Pittsburgh Penguin. Note to current NHL players, if you ever become a Pittsburgh Penguin, don't wear the #15 or your career will go down faster than Paul Walker's.


Instead of giving you stats of one of these degenerates, we will just give you some videos of some of them.



Underrated aspect of this: Mike Lange talking about a Brooks Orpik PP goal.













That's really all these degenerates deserve.

Until 14.

Go Pens.

In 16 Days...

So we lied, we forgot to do a post yesterday for 16 days, so we'll do it today. We promise (probably not) that every post from now until October 9th will be on the correct day (doubtful). Anyways, in 16 days (from yesterday), the Penguins will drop the puck at 7:08 pm with the Anaheim Ducks.

The number 16 has been worn an awful lot during Penguins history and has been worn by the following players: Wayne Hicks, Ron Snell, dumbass Rangers GM Glen Sather, Sheldon Kannegiesser, Ron Lalonde, Lew Morrison, Derek Sanderson, Kim Davis, Gary McAdam, Mike Meeker, Marc Chorney, Mark Taylor, Jim McGeough, Kevin LaVallee, Charlie Simmer, Steve Gotaas, Stop it right here, no freeze it Jay Caufield, Mike Hudson, Joe Dziedzic, NBC Color Guy and the worst coach in Penguins history Ed Olczyk, Jeff Serowik, WBS Superstar Dennis Bonvie, Franchise Savior Kris Beech, Penalty Shot superstar Erik Christensen, The greatest NHL player in the world Paul Bissonnette, vanilla midget Chris Conner, Cal O'Reilly, and FlatStanley Brandon Sutter.

The last few posts have been about guys who have won Stanley Cups with the Penguins. We can promise you, today's player, is not one of them. We could've done Telestrator Jay Caufield or Edzo or even BranDong but how could you pass up the opportunity to write about the greatest prospect to ever come to Pittsburgh in Kris Beech.

What a degenerate

Kris Beech was drafted 7th overall by the Washington Crapitals Capitals (side note: How awful are their Winter Classic jerseys for next year?)
Whoever designed these probably should be fired or have to ride in a car with Paul Walker or something...

Anyways, Kris Beech was irrelevant to anyone, until the summer of 2001. After the 2000-2001 year, you may remember the saying by Penguin great and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr (yes, we still love him here) about how he was dying alive in Pittsburgh. It was also no joke that the Penguins were struggling financially (thanks Jerome Bettis you asshole even though this is a few years after this story). Anyways, Penguins GM Craig Patrick granted Jagr his wish by trading Jagr and Frantisek Kucera to the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech, Michel Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and future considerations. If this was not the most lopsided trade in NHL history, find me one better. 

Back to the degenerate Beech. He eventually joined the Penguins in 2001-02 and played in 79 games tallying a whopping 10 goals and 15 assists (probably was 5th in scoring on the team). Over the next two years, which were two of the worst years in Penguins history, Beech played a total of 16 games and had a whopping two assists in those games. In 2005 he was traded to Nashville and then at the trade deadline in 2006, he found his way back to Washington along with Nashville's first round pick for Brendan Witt. The Caps took Semyon Varlamov with that pick. In 2007, he signed with the Blue Jackets as a UFA and then was put on Waivers to Washington and then eventually, somehow found his way back to Pittsburgh in which he played in 5 games and didn't do shit.

Kris Beech last played Pro Hockey in Sweden in 2012 and we aren't really sure if he's still alive. He was a terrible player in Pittsburgh and will forever be remembered for being a part of the worst trade in Penguins history. I guess you could say that Beech did help win the Penguins a Stanley Cup because he was involved in a trade that got the Caps Varlamov so they could take a massive dump on him in Game 7 of 2009.

Whatever, that's all that Kris Beech is worth. On to 15.

Go Pens


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


Forwards

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

Defensemen

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

Goaltenders

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.

23

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.

  

22

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


21

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.

20

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 about...here you go.

19

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

18

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