Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Recap of the Weekend Preseason Games

The preseason ended with yet another loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Friday's game saw our man Sid playing some truly inspired hockey. Seriously, if he continues to play with that intensity throughout the regular season, you're already looking at the 2008 MVP! The low point of the pair of games played against Buffalo this weekend came when Saint Sid got boarded due to a can-opener* move courtesy of Jaroslav Spacek. Sid discussed the incident with Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"He 'can-opened' me, so I couldn't stop myself from going into the boards," Crosby said. "I don't think he meant to do anything [malicious], but he puts a player in a pretty vulnerable position when he puts his stick in between his legs with his back toward him, going toward the boards."

Spacek was assessed a boarding minor.

Crosby, who got what he described as "a little bruise," said he was "fine" and skated in practice yesterday. He also traveled here with the team despite being given the night off.
If you watched the game via NHL Center Ice online (like I did), your heart probably stopped for a minute when Crosby went down in a heap (as mine did) following the hit. He staggered off to the bench doubled over in pain. I can tell you that, at least for me, it was quite a relief when he finally came back to the ice.

Sid in action on Friday

The Penguins lost the game with a final score of 5-6, despite a valiant last second effort to tie the game from Evgeni Malkin. He got the puck in the net at 0.00, which unfortunately resulted in a "no goal" call from the officials, which meant no tie game.

Sid watches Buffalo's Brian Campbell score on Pittsburgh's new goalie Dany Sabourin on Friday

Saturday's game was not available online nor was it on XM radio, so I had to rely on the new BallHype score widget that I recently added to TSCS's home page. (It keeps a live score - all you have to do is refresh the page so it will update the data.) Since I didn't personally see or hear anything about the on-ice action, I'll let Molinari recap the game for you (from the same article as linked above):
The Penguins nearly came up with a memorable ending to an otherwise forgettable preseason.

They rallied from a 2-0 deficit with three unanswered goals, but could not hold off a late Buffalo surge and lost to the Sabres, 4-3, at HSBC Arena in their exhibition finale last night.

The Penguins, who will open the regular season Friday at Carolina, completed preseason play with a 1-3-2 record.

They will have today [Sunday] off and are expected to pare their 27-man roster to the league-mandated limit of 23 by tomorrow [Monday].
Don't sweat these losses. Remember that it's only the preseason, and these exhibition games don't count for points. The real show starts on October 5 in Carolina country!

And lastly today, the Penguins may open next season on a different continent. The NHL approached the Tampa Bay Lightning about opening the 2008-09 season by playing the Penguins in a pair of games in Prague, Czech Republic. Lightning President Ron Campbell confirmed that his team was in talks with the NHL and that he is "flattered" by the offer. However, as with most of these rumors, officials at the Penguins declined to comment. It seems like EVERYONE wants an opportunity to see Sidney Crosby play live, and European NHL fans may have the opportunity - sooner than you think! :)


*can-opener - (definition from the Northern Ontario Hockey Association: can-opener/corkscrew - a player putting the stick between the legs of an opponent and twisting)

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