Monday, December 28, 2009

Shit Happens!

For all of you Leafs fans running your big mouths last night, just a thought..........the last time your team in the hotbed of hockey central won the Stanley Cup, I was TWO years old!! I will be 45 in have a big tall glass of shut the f##k up, and enjoy a late December win, we know that there wont be in any May! As far as the Pens go, kind of a lackluster performance, giving up a lot of good chances to an inferior team coming off a game last nite, should have been 2 points in the bank, but again, shit happens..................Fleury had the best of times, making incredible saves to keep the game in reach in the third period, and the worst of times letting in several soft goals, including one I would have stopped in as well. I loved Rupp tying it late, but ala the Steelers, we lost one late........with a tough schedule coming up, I would have liked to have seen us bank two points here, but if we beat Buffalo and New Jersey next week, all will have been forgotten! My last comment, is that despite the explosive win v Ottawa, the last three games have shown some glaring defensive lapses.....lets not forget that the Sens put up 24 shots in the first period, andFleury kept us in the game until an offensive eruption killed the Senators.......but in the last 3 games we got smoked by the Devils, gave up 47 shots v the Senators and LOST to an inferior Leafs team on the second game of a back to back at home..........Time to bear down and make a move as we play 4 on the road, with some tough opponents, two at home including one against Philly, and then a 5 game west coast road trip with some very tough games, before coming home and hitting several Atlantic division foes..........GO PENS

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crosby Sucks??? LOL!

Tremendous creativity from Wachovia Center! Too intimidating for us!

Good Jim Shearer Video

And the band played on

Another glorious evening torturing about 18,000 fools who think chanting Crosby sucks has an effect on him.....It does, he averages 1.75 points per game v the FlyHers more than any other team......and Geno, he just gets 1.52 points per game against them, his highest point total. Hey, surgeons, PLEASE keep it up, not only it is an embarrassment to you, your franchise and your city, it seems to motivate the Pens, and Geno and Sid especially. Typical night at the office against the Flyers at Wachovia, they jump out on top, Carcillo cannot help himself and takes a dumb penalty, the Pens tie it. The FlyHers go ahead again, and Fartsmell takes a penalty and he they cannot name buries one to tie it up......amusingly it looked like Pronger was trying to assist him....on cue, the ritards chant Crosby sux!!.........Finally, this guy who sucks so bad beats them in the shootout. I fukn love it...............The change that was made on the power play again, makes a different as the Pens get two power play goals tonite...........With the top line talent in place in Philly, thank god they are not smart enough to build on that instead of trying to be tougher (read dumber)................By the way Jordan Staal is really becoming a BEAST in this league........One of best faceoff guys, one of the best penalty killers and a knack for big goals........Great game by Fleury also!........Props again to Rupp for taking on AssHam again, it is great to have that kind of size and toughness on the ice from a guy who can play the game well and with intelligence. The Pens have another tough test coming up Friday night as they travel to Buffalo to take on the red hot Sabres. This stretch over the next couple of weeks match the Pens against many rivals in the Eastern Conference. A successful stretch now would be huge for future playoff positioning.

Carcillo Moments

With the FlyHers ahead 3-0 in Game 6 and looking like they were going to force a Game 7 and steal the series, our favorite moron engages Talbot in a fight......yes the ritard won the fight, but his team lost the war as the Pens storm back to score 5 unanswered goals to finish the FlyHers season!

Carcillo Moments

Another great Carcildo moment.........after a clean check, this mental patient sucker punches Matt Bradley leaving his "team" short handed for 9 minutes! Somewhere John Stevens is laughing!

Carcillo Moments!

Thanks Carcildo! You sent a message allright........We are too dumb to knock the Pens out with hockey, so lets try stupidity!

Put another torpedo in this ship!

Every picture tells a story don't it? The FlyHers despite having a very talented team just cannot get it together because of the goon mentality that permeates the front office and even much of the fanbase. This team has some firepower in Richards, Carter, Hartnell, Timmonen, Briere, Giroux...........but instead of building on that, they carry so much brain dead, bad penalty taking, buffoons such as Carcillo, Cote, and Asham in addition to the aforementioned Hartnell, Pronger and Laperriere that they kill their own momentum taking dumb penalties in an effort to "intimidate" the opponents.........Note to FlyHers, this formula would seem to be somewhat flawed given the fact that you have not won the Cup in 35 years!

They have not built a bus SHORT enough for this Filthadelphia Punkinshirt! Not sure where you start here, the gap in the teeth just big enough for Richards' "leadership," the single digit IQ, the look I only saw when stole my autistic cousins cookies, the gay mustache that resembles the scum line in your toilet when you dont clean it for a month, the inability to actually fight another guy who fights, or the pure stench.............but trust me there is plenty of material for this mutt of a FlyHer. He gets very offended if it is suggested that he is more suited to be the bouncer at Chuck E. Cheese for some reason...........

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Took out the Trash

The Penguins looked dominant at time tonite in defeating the HATED FlyHers 6-2. It is always like a circus when this group of "men" come to town.........Three fights in a row to start the game? Wow, I guess these idiots think that they are intimidating...........note to are not the '74 Broad Street Bullies, I think you are just more like broads.........Is Carcillo the bouncer at Chuck E. Cheese in Norristown? The dude is a joke. Pronger? Looks like he cannot even skate......This team is loaded with top line talent, but plays a very undisciplined game all over the ice....I hope they stay that way............The Pens will not be intimidated by this group of clowns, and as long as that is the game that they TRY to play, they will never win a seven game series v the Pens...........Jordan Staal was a beast tonite, as was the Captain, Geno, Rupp, Adams.......the whole crew.....A nice two points for the Pens tonite. Finally, go back to rant about PP adjustments.......they DID move Malkin to the left side and put Cooke in front of the net......AND scored on their first PP opportunity!

Like looking inside a Petri Dish!!

Great video!

Thanks again Carcillo you ass monkey!

The leadership of the Flyers! How special!

They really do call Semin Jizz!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Good Win-Tough Games Ahead

Are the Santa Sacks something else Hartnell bites? I bet he gets something extra in his stocking!

John Stevens????

My Flyers fan alter ego! Wanna meet this guy.........I have better tats, he has better hair.......

Another great game to watch and two more points for the good guys. Pascal Dupuis must have been listening this summer when Bylsma told him he needed 15-20 goals this year from him. He nets another one, great job! Malkin had two great plays tonite, and his talent lifted the team to victory, yet he had so many plays tonite where he looked out of it.....I hope this gets him going.....same with Feds! Craig Adams and Jordan Staal were beasts, with Adams delivering some big checks, and Staal just dominating defensively and offensively..........the play that Adams skated right through a booming a check in the second period on the half boards in the offensive zone took place right in front of me and it was UNREAL.......same with the play that Staal shook of a hard check behind the net, came out on one knee and got a solid backhand shot on goal.
Anyway, one of the three biggest rivals comes to town for the start of a home and home series limping physically and in their play. If anybody thinks that the Flyers are done because of their current standing, just remember a certain team from the other side of the state that looked HORRIBLE for about three months in the winter last year, and the end result of that! It is an opportunity to put an extra 8 point bulge between the Pens and Flyers if we can take both games..............These two games should be the hockey equivalent of war, and will be a blast to watch........Let the ball busting begin!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Same Old Steelers this year

Thankfully I watched the Pens game, and only caught the second half of this game.....but from what I can see, it is the same old crap that has put them here.........dropped passes, poor line play, big returns against the special teams...and most assuredly HORRIBLE defense.....171 yards rushing, that is more than they get in a month...paper curtain...I just watched Ben take a STUPID sack to make what should be 2nd and ten, second and nineteen to probably seal the deal. That is fitting, as this team for the entire second half of the year, and frankly even for some of the first, has made poor decisions, and flat out just not made plays.........losing to another cupcake, hell even if they tie it and win in overtime, this team has officially made sad sack status for 2009. This Tomlin team makes Cowhers post Super Bowl XL team look like world beaters..........Weak, stupid, gutless...........Another bad throw.......Oh well, time for hockey season to heat up~! Hey Ben, the wait staff at Nakama said no more free drinks!

Time for the Bosses to BOSS

Posts have been fewer and further between this year, a lot going I sit watching an excellent 2-2 game after 2 between the Pens and the Habs, I have to do something I have not done often here, which is criticize the management/coaching of the Penguins..........they have a great record, so perhaps they think they can sweep it under the rug, but the Pens power play is such a joke they truly should consider declining the penalties when the come. And IF the management of this team thinks it is okay that they have the third worst PP in the league because they are still winning, ask the Steelers if they wish they would have looked into some of the trends that have really come home to roost in taking a 6-2 team to 6-6, losing to putrid teams like the Chiefs and Raiders. They ignored the troubling trend of horrid special teams, putrid fourth quarter defense, horrible short yardage offense, and look at them now. Struggling to put away the team from the mistake by the lake to remain above .500. I am not saying that the Pens are destined to suffer a similar fate, but why should we think that it is impossible? I have now heard three different analysts discuss the issues with the Pens power play.........a consistent major symptom seems to be having Malkin and Crosby both on the right side of the ice for most of the time and BOTH gravitating towards playing the half wall because both want to. According to an Eastern Conference scout, this makes defending the Penguins power play easy because the two main threats are on the same side of the ice, allowing the defense to collapse on them and effectively take away the advantage. Add to this the continued issue of too many passes, and too few shots and you have a horrible power play populated by premiere athletes. Despite the fact that one of these guys will not like it, Bylsma needs to dictate that these two players will be on opposite sides of the ice. The power play was very effective in the 2008 playoffs with Malkin on the point and Crosby on the half boards. Malkin was not thrilled with this, but who the F cares? It was effective, and the team won. This is the first time I have heard of issues that lead me to believe that our superstars are not as "team first" as I had always believed. If Bylsma and Yeo cannot get one of these two to "take one for the team," what does that say about this team? If the power play were even average, maybe you let it slide, but thus far the PP has been anemic, and a real drain on momentum. The special teams play in the NHL is akin to the turnover ratio in the NFL. If you lose the special teams battle in the NHL you usually the game, just like losing the turnover battle in the NFL. The Pens have defied that stat thus far, but it will not be forever. Finally, an ineffective power play will encourage some of the teams like the Flyers to take runs at our key players if there is little threat of it costing them goals......A deadly power play is as effective as the best enforcer in protecting your star players. Bylsma, it is way past time to exert your control, and not allow for a prima donna attitude to diminish the potential of this marvelously talented group of players. This team is primed to compete for the hardware for years to come, but the tail cannot wag the dog, or their chances at greatness are diminished. Address it sooner, rather than later, as Mike Tomlin will tell you, the road from the top of the mountain to the bottom is not nearly as long as the road up said mountain. If all else remains equal and the PP clicks at all, this team will be very tough to deal with.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cooke Monster

Not much to say today, but I had to post this photo! Matt Cooke looks like a serial killer in this photo and I love it!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Defending Super Bowl Champs?? Chumps maybe..........

Watching yet another horrible performance by the Steelers against a sub par team, another cornerback drop a sure interception, another game in which the offense cannot get a yard when it needs it, super Ben Roethlesberger has great stats but throws a killer pick in the end zone, and another game when the supposedly great Steelers D cannot put away a shitty team has me very happy that it is hockey season.......Ike Taylor just made another stupid play allowing the Raiders to get our 20 yard line with 27 seconds left..............the team that was supposed to repeat has suddenly become an absolute joke. Mike Tomlin and the entire staff and team should be embarrassed, I know I am embarrassed FOR them. The Raiders have beaten their season high point total and more than doubled their season average. The Raiders had 10 touchdowns all year, and scored a touchdown oneach of their last 3 drives, led by a quarterback that would be third string on ANY team in the league. They had five TD passes all year, and three in one quarter against the Paper Curtain!! A microcosm of a joke of a season from a team that has become the joke of the league in its own rite. Anybody else want to circle another game on the schedule as an easy win when they have given up 4th quarter leads in 5 of their six losses?? I am not sure you could circle a college game as a win with this team! At least we can laugh knowing that Wines Hard is about to have a stroke! And fittingly, Sweed has his hands on the ball in the end zone and cannot catch it! Wow Tomlin, way to unleash hell!!! Congrats to Bruce Gradkowski and Go PENS!!!!

Great Game at the Barn

The antidote to viagra!! Can somebody give me something sharp for my eyes?? Our whole section seemed to be disturbed by this image, sorry folks!

Though the outcome was not what we would like, the game was everything we had expected. Two quality teams playing passionate, fast paced hockey with great goaltending at both ends of the rink. You can not draw any conclusions from a game in early December, but what the hell else would I write about given the fact that many believe the Hawks will take the next step and represent the Western conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Hawks were playing the second night of a back to back while traveling from Chicago to Pittsburgh BUT they were playing the Stanley Cup Champs, and certainly looked to this game as a measuring stick for their development, so lets call it a wash...............and the Pens were missing SIGNIFICANT firepower, Crosby, Goligoski and Kunitz out of the lineup. My short conclusion is that first, there is no guarantee we come out of the East and make it to the Finals, but IF both teams arrive at that destination I saw nothing that leads to me believe that we would not handle the Hawks in a seven game series. That said, of course we would have to MAKE it there, as would they, both teams health would factor in, and we do not know what either team could do at the trading deadline, but I can tell you that leaving Hosebag one series short of the prize for the third year in a row would be REALLY great. On a personal note, Ben Eager is still sensitive about the ass whipping he took at the hands of Gary Roberts a couple of years ago. I happened to mention to him that Gary said hello as Ben was leaving the ice between periods and he offered to fornicate me or something along those lines......I was hurt and confused as that offer did not really seem sincere. So in an attempt to make up with him on his way out for the second period, I mentioned that it was ok, Gary was getting a NEW punching bag for Christmas, and he offered to fornicate me again, RIGHT there on the spot no less, and then to hurt me in some really torturous ways.............I am deeply saddened by our inability to see things eye to eye, Ben! Cant we all just get along? Heres to hoping the Pens and Hawks meet in June and Hosebag tastes bitter disappointment again, along with my new pal Ben! Go Pens!!

On a final note, two things:

First, Jonathan Toews, like Sid and Geno is worth the price of admission alone, and second, as a longtime fan of the Hawks, finding out they signed Hossa was like finding out my friend shit in my living room! Sad but True!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wines Hard-classless, selfish putz

Hey Ward, you classless douchebag, what good did you think would come of this commentary? Who are you to question this guy's courage or decision to play based on a medical issue? I am no Roethlisberger fan off the field, I can tell you that........But, on the field, the guy has been money, and he ALWAYS takes the blame for any loss, even when selfish egomaniacal fools like Ward have miscues, Ben ALWAYS take the blame. He has played through many severe injuries in the past, and if his headaches from exertion in practice this week rendered him unable to play, then so be it. To call him out publicly will hurt this time, as it will hurt the relationship between Ward and Ben, and it will divide the locker room as well. At a time when the team needs to come together, one of its veterans and supposed leaders makes a stupid remark questioning the toughness of one of the toughest guys on the team. I for one, do not care what Wards skills still may be, he is a cancer in the locker room and showed what many have suspected for a long time in the light of day.....he is a selfish player, and I have joined the ranks of many who PRAY some safety lights this guy up and he needs carried off the field............

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nice Win-An explosion was due

Great game by Sid tonite! 3 goals and 5 points total!

The biggest Ass Clown in the NHL! The Penguins disposed of Avery the pooh crumb and his band of merry men tonite..........Finally, an offensive explosion with the talents of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the young defensive corps shining through! Finally, the play of Pascal Dupuis has been tremendous this have to love his speed, energy and penalty kill prowess even when you are frustrated with his lack of "finish." With 7 goals already this season, he is pacing for 18-20 goals this season........with Dupers other skills any season with 15 or more goals from him is a real bonus. Finally, the depth of young talent on the blue line is amazing. Despite hating the loss of so many defensemen this season, the long term by product is the knowledge that Lovejoy and Engelland can play at the NHL level if necessary NOW, and the organization is high on first pick Simon Despres, believing he could make the club next year. Given the number of UFAs on the Pens blue line next year(Letang, Gonchar, McKee, Easton, and Skoula), this depth will be a big factor for this club. It is also significant that Martin Skoula has fit in so well, as he should be the most cost effective signing out of the group above. In my opinion, Letang is the must sign of this group for next year...................Get ready for a rough rematch Monday night!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The NHL is a JOKE

I hate the Wings and their fans........ A LOT! That said, how can you take a league seriously that allows this kind of travesty at all, much less a game tying goal? The puck is clearly in the net, the idiots in Toronto clearly can see it, and the puck is in the net prior to the whistle blowing..........joke.............Buttman is lucky the fans love the GAME, and their TEAMS, because his LEAGUE is the worst officiated league by far in all of pro sports. I was able to get post game photos of last nights referees for future reference.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This is a Big One

The Penguins got a star back, but lost yet another key player for a few weeks in Kunitz. But this Pens game is the type of game that COULD spark a team to another great streak. The Pens battled all night, took a lead in the third period twice, lost the lead after a weak call to give the Bruins a long 5 on 3, then fell behind very late in the game.........with about 5 seconds left in the game, Crosby steals the puck after a broken stick play by the Bruins, passes to Malkin who finds Guerin flying down the wing..........Guerin buries it with .4 seconds left to tie the game!!!! Dupuis ends it for the Pens early in OT off of a nice behind the net play by Jordan Staal. This was taking 2 pts when it seemed as if that could never happen, and highlighted the energy and attitude we had seen in this team since Bylsma took over last February, minus the past 3 games. I liked it for several reasons:

Lovejoy and Engelland did not look out of place on the blue line, nor did Letestu at forward;
Several players who NEEDED to step up did including Crosby with 3 pts, Staal chipping in, Guerin getting a big goal, defensemen like McKee and Eaton scoring, and DUPER putting in 2 big goals........If we get to late March and the Pens are 2 pts ahead for the final home ice slot in the playoffs, remember this game..................And again, the Goose was Loose!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Again? Are you kidding me???

Okay, Okay, enough with the rough patch now! The loss of Orpik on top of Letang and Gonchar to the defensive corps for any length of time will be UGLY. We need some bodies to get healthy, and some of the healthy bodies to play better.............I love Sid the Kid, but I keep expecting to see some semblance of what Geno did while Sid was on the shelf two years ago, and so far in the past several games, nothing of the sort. Five games without a point......we need the Captain to contribute more offensively. Same for Staal, Guerin, and Kunitz for sure. I realize we are the walking wounded, but come on, we have now been outscored 12-1 in the last seven periods of hockey...............OUCH! Nobody said it would be easy, but man, what a difference a week makes in the NHL! Lets go Pens, time to wake up from your pre Thanksgiving slumber! Thursday would work for me!!

Steelers Defense and 28-10 over the Broncos

The Steelers are now 6-2. They are tied with the Bengals in the AFC North, but due to their early season loss, they are technically in second place. How big is this Sundays game v the Bengals? HUGE! These last two wins make the games against Cleveland and Detroit where we struggled to beat perennial cellar dwellers seem like a long time ago. The running game has been revived by Rashard Mendenhall and an offensive line that is suddenly very physical. Teh defenese is back to creating turnovers and general havoc, and the emergence of Mike Wallace gives Big Ben more weapons to choose from than ever before. Lets see what happens Sunday! Oh, and click on the heading above for a great tribute to the Steelers' defense.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What can you say.........Worse game

Well, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water............this game was even worse than the last one. This team is depleted physically and mentally right now. The injuries keep mounting, the team appears to be and plays as if it is worn down. The Pens have been outscored in the last 4 periods 9-1, and Marc Andre Fleury has given up 4 goals in his last 27 shots faced. There is no use in tallying all of the issues right now, we know every team will have droughts like this during an NHL season, and we should be thankful that the Pens banked enough points in the early season to give them some cushion. Getting Malkin, Gonch, TK, and Talbot back on the ice for the Pens will go a long way towards curing what ails them. As far as the image, it was too good to pass up, despite the whipping we took!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What can you say? Bad game.......

The Pens seemed to be following the script..........somehow or other despite being badly outplayed, the Pens take a 2-1 lead into the third period..........and then, the wheels fell off. The putrid power play, a horrible performance by Fleury, and a swarming Kings team that beat the Pens to the puck, and kept play in their zone added up to an embarrassing 4-1 third period, and a 5-2 loss. They cant win them all, but I would have felt better if they did not look like a deer in the headlights.........put it aside and take 2 points from the Sharks......4 out of 6 points on a West Coast trip is not a bad take.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take a win on the road

The power play was horrendous.......Fleury, not very good..........but they take two points due to another strong performance from the youngsters.............another goal by Alex Goligoski, and one by Letang along with the energy of Tyler Kennedy and you wind up with another Penguins win. Mike Rupp and Dupuis also cash in for the Pens. Despite not scoring tonite, Staal and Crosby were big parts of the victory, each with a save to help out a struggling Marc Andre Fleury. What do you make of Crosby's play. I have seen him make some of the lamest passes, including a few tonite and at times look NOTHING like the best player in the world........and yet, when it matters, the guy one way or the other finds ways to help this team win. His play in the third period of the Panthers game, his game winning SO goals (he is 4 for 4), his game saving SAVE last nite. He even attempted to get some energy dropping his gloves against the Wild. Is this NOT the definition of leader? I think that it is. When the game is on the line, "the Kid" has been money, even if he has been somewhat up and down during the game(by his standards). As far as Fleury goes I expect Fleury to be much stronger v the Kings on Thursday, but in the meantime this team keeps stockpiling points. With 24 points, they are atop the NHL, and I will take every 2 pts you can with Malkin and Gonchar both on the shelf. An interesting statistic that bodes well for the Penguins. Under Dan Bylsma, they have never gone two games in a row without collecting at least a point. The mark of a consistent hockey team.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sometimes you get the Bear......and sometimes the Bear gets you

I am not sure what to say about this..........funny and frightening at the same time
Is this Hacksaw Jim? If we repeat, this will be me next year!!

Great game at the igloo tonite.....the Pens could not pull it out despite outshooting the Wild 35-15. The effort was there, the hits were there, Backstrom was just a beast! Very entertaining game, and again Goose was one of the most visible players on the ice. The move Craig Adams made at the end of the game in front of the net was classic. If we would have put that home, the house would have come down. The Penguins played very well five on five for all sixty minutes of this game. The bear got us tonite.....Let it go and get some points on the west coast this week! Time for a west coast road trip.

The Steelers

I wrote a couple of weeks ago as I watched the Steelers struggle to finish off a horrible Browns team, AFTER struggling to finish off a horrible Lions team that I could not envision a scenario in which the Steelers won a playoff game. At that time they had not beaten a winning team, and looked less than strong in beating two very weak teams. The defense had blown 4th quarter leads that led to two consecutive losses, and could have led to a third against San Diego. This same defense almost let Detroit do the same thing! They had very few turnovers, very few sacks and my favorite player, Lamarr Woodley had largely been a no show. With Aaron Smith shelved for the year, and Polamalu hobbled, that statement felt like reality at the time. I am still not sure about this team. We did beat a very good Vikings team, and our defense made big plays like the defense of the prior year. Ben is playing like a SB champ, and our offense has a lot of weapons. I love the development of Mike Wallace, and the hard running of Mendenhall. I love that we finally seem to be taking advantage of the best TE in football, getting him the ball often. I worry about a special teams that gave up touchdowns against San Diego, Cleveland and Minnesota, and would like to see the defense follow up with a couple of performances like the one in Minnesota. With games against Cincinnati, Denver and Baltimore coming up in the next month, we will know what kind of team our defending champs really are.

Dont plan the parade route, but................................................

HitchCOCK choking away..........Like the Jackets, hate HitchCOCK
Back atcha pal. Go play with your "buckeye"


Okay, you are missing your defensive leader and Power Play QB, you are missing last years scoring champion and playoff MVP, you are missing two of your best role players, one of whom is blossoming into a real scoring threat, and you fall behind 2-0 on the over right? Not for this team, trailing 3-1 with less than 3 and a half minutes remaining, missing more firepower from the lineup than some teams HAVE, playing their backup goaltender, the Pens strike quickly with Kunitz and Goose scoring two goals in under a minute to tie it to earn at least one point. After trading good chances in the OT, the Pens win their third of three SO efforts. The heart and depth of this team continues to impress me. They are now 11-1, after two straight LONG playoff runs and the expected Stanley Cup Hangover. Malkin has been playing hurt, Talbot has not played yet, Gonchar is out, as is Tyler Kennedy. The other NHL teams have to really hope that the Pens are not healthy as the playoffs come around this year, as I am not sure how you can bet against the will and skill of this team with all of the marbles on the line. I keep reminding myself how long the season is, how many things can happen, how EVERY team has bad patches, and all of that is true. This team just carries itself in a manner that says champion, and it if fun to watch. If they manage to get another decent top six winger for Malkins line, how do you defend this team? Any line centered by Malkin or Crosby is a threat........Crosbys line has the perfect mix of dynamo who can make plays and score, a physical high energy puck retriever, and a big tough veteran finisher. Malkins line has Malkin, that is enough of a threat, but Fedotenko showed he can finish, and the other wing has been a bit of a revolving door, but when Talbot comes back, ou have your puck retrieval guy. The Penguins third line? Staal is at least a second line center on every other team, and on some a first liner. Cooke provides energy, toughness, puck retrieval as does Kennedy, but Kennedy is now emerging as a real scoring threat. All three have a knack for BIG goals, and they never stop working. This is the matchup that creates huge headaches for anyone we play. Finally, we have so many options on the fourth line, but putting Adams, Rupp, and Godard out there for a physical prescence and energy can never hurt this team......Adams and Rupp in particular are talented lunch pail guys that make this team to tough to play against. Godard is a very good enforcer who does a great job of looking out for his teammates, and he fills his role very well. Add to that the fact the Brookbank and Bayda are both in WBS, both having NHL level experience and both providing grit and toughness and you can see the depth this team has.

On defense, watching Skoula fit right into this unit and not miss a beat makes me feel like we have as good of a 7 man D unit as there is in the NHL. I worry about depth after that, but how many teams can boast three offensive, puck moving D men like Gonchar, Letang, and Goligoski. All three are pretty responsible in their own end as well. The Pens have two hammers in McKee and Orpik. Eaton plays a steady game, and he along with McKee and Orpik block shots like crazy! Skoula has shown he provides more than adequate play if anybody here goes down or needs a rest. Mckee either leads the league in blocked shots or is second, while Eaton and Orpik are up there as well. Goligoski leads the NHL in plus/minus and is up there in scoring for a defenseman.

Goaltending is STRONG-Fleury seems to be playing with the confidence of a Stanley Cup champion, and despite giving up the occasional softie, seems to make the big saves that alter a game more often than not. I think MAF is finally a top 5 goalie in the NHL. With Johnson as a backup, the Pens (unlike last year) can rest MAF for a game in EVERY back to back situation this season if they choose and feel good about their chances to win.

In the era of the salary cap there is not a team in the league that doesnt have an area or two that could use work, but the Pens top to bottom have all of the ingredients of a repeat champion. The emergence of either Tangredi or Caputi during the course of the year OR a moderate deal for a decent top 6 winger will make this team nearly impossible to stop. A minor deal or waiver pick up of a an addtional NHL caliber D man or the emergence late of Lovejoy, Guenin or Engellend who are all borderline ready gives this team DEPTH on the blueline that is tough to match.

Finally, this team has an owner and GM who have proven that they look at the season as an evaluation period for how playoff ready they are, and that they will pull the trigger at the trade deadline to address any percieved needs at that time. Hossa was brought in two years ago, Guerin, Kunitz, and Adams this year. The organization has the depth in the minors (Bayda, Brookbank, Tangredi, Caputi, Connor, Letestu, Lovejoy, Guenin, Engellend) and role players to make any reasonable move necessary to add to this team at the deadline. Do not plan the parade route that is for sure, but I cannot think of a team with a better shot at the ring than this one. Enjoy the ride.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Fond Playoff Memory

My angry little friend from the playoff run!


If you see this ugly dude wearing a new Hosebag jersey this year, it is GOOD News for us.......if I have to bust out a Hawks Hosebag, not this year either jersey, it will be the third trip to the Finals in a row....saw this in Detroit Free Press and it brought back fond memories of harassing the Detroit media the nite of Game 4..........

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Workman like win for the Pens

Two of the best of the young season, Tyler Kennedy and Alex Goligoski..........Alex Goligoski is certainly fitting in and contributing quite well. He has played responsibly in his own end, his speed has helped eliminate odd man rushes on multiple occasions AND Go Go is fourth on the team in total points with 7, including 2 goals, and carries the BEST plus/minus at plus 9. I know it is spilled milk, and I know we won the cup, but I still scratch my head at his December demotion last year in favor of that old French far as MR KENNEDY goes, he only LEADS a team with guys like Malkin and Crosby on it in GOALS with 5 after 9 games. He is fifth in total scoring with 6 pts, and is part of the BEST third line in the NHL. Add his constant energy level and forecheck, and you can see how the organization continues to thrive due to its home grown talent pool coming out of WBS. With the injury to Gonchar, we will now see even more responsibility and PP time given to Goligoski and Letang, and I believe they are ready.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pretty Cool Tats

Mine will be better!

A Tale of Two Teams

As I sit watching the Steelers game this afternoon, I cannot imagine a scenario in which they win a playoff game, much less repeat as Champions.........for the second week in a row, they look more like they are in the category with an NFL bottom feeder, unable on consecutive weekends to beat the Lions or Browns in a convincing manner. Special Teams gives up a 98 yard return, we give up sacks, we cannot run for a yard when we need it, we cannot even do a real kickoff, giving the Browns the ball at their own 43 every I sit and watch this game, the Browns are on their way to making it a one possession game AGAIN, and if not for dropped balls, might be winning this game. They cannot sack Anderson, and when give time he is finding huge holes in our vaunted defense. Win or lose today, I am utterly unimpressed with this team six games into the season. Well Ryan Clark just picked one off and HOPEFULLY this team can hold off the tremendous Brownies for the final 4 minutes or so..............As far as the Pens, that is a bird of a different feather! Despite Crosby and Malkin playing well, but not spectacular this team, other than the forgettable game v Phoenix turns in a workmanlike performance every night. They are atop the entire NHL with 14 of a possible 16 points, and they are getting contributions from EVERYBODY on the roster. Again, Ray Shero looks like a genius, with new additions such as Jay Mckee and Mike Rupp making valuable contributions at every turn. This team plays physical hockey, smart hockey, and responds to every challenge put in front of them. The season is long, and I am sure there will be stretches that are much tougher on this team than what we have seen thus far, but they have the heart of a champion. The one concern I have is depth on defense. The 6 guys they put on the ice right now are a PERFECT combination of tough, skilled, shot blocking, smart defenseman. One key injury here though leaves them with Martin Skoula as the sixth man, and either Ben Lovejoy or Derek Engelland coming up from WBS. Right now, this is poetry in motion and sure fun to watch. As the two minute warning hits, and the Steelers are sure to move their record to 4-2, there is something missing in my opinion from this years squad. I hope that I am wrong!