Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pens v Bruins (L 1-2)

Ooooh, boy. This wasn't exactly a great game. We did get updates on both Sidney and Marc-Andre Fleury (← click their names to go directly to their respective condition updates), but the Pens didn't bring their A game to the Mellon tonight. I'm not going to expend too much effort on the first period because, frankly, neither did the Pens. (ZING!!!) Despite some solid hockey from Evgeni Malkin, Ryan Malone, Petr Sykora, Mad Max Talbot, Jordan Staal, Jeff Taffe, and Erik Christensen, the Penguins managed to fire a paltry 4 shots on goal in the entire first period.The Bruins, however, had 13 shots on goal. Two of them went into the twine. Sergei Gonchar took the night's first penalty. Malone stole the puck on the penalty kill and went 2-on-1 with Geno, but Geno's shot went wide of the goal. The Bruins didn't score on this power play.

Geno controls the puck.

FSN Pittsburgh showed Sid in Mario's box again. (Mario, we were told, is in Quebec with his son, Austin.) Sid was sitting with Senior Director of Team Services and Media Relations Frank Buonomo and chomping away on his gum. He was shown at practice again this morning. Today he was out of the yellow and back in the black practice jersey, though he's "definitely not ready for physical contact." Although the Pens' organization is quick to point out that the timetable for Sid's return has not changed, it was revealed that he will be traveling with his team to Carolina tomorrow to get some extra ice time. That definitely is a very good sign! :)

The Bruins took a penalty when Marc Savard tripped Geno, but the Pens couldn't capitalize on their advantage. Then, Glen Metropolit took a shot that Ty Conklin was able to block but not cover. Petteri Nokelainen scored on the rebound. [Pens 0, Bruins 1] Only 2 minutes later, Vladimir Sobotka earned his first NHL goal by chipping the puck up and over Conklin's shoulder as Conks was trying to poke the puck away from him. [Pens 0, Bruins 2] The first period ended with this score.

Sykora battles the Giant for the puck.

The second period began with Zdeno Chara getting a penalty for holding. A mere 5 seconds later, Staal was called for boarding. Neither team would score on the 4-on-4 (or their 5 second power plays). As you have undoubtedly heard, earlier this week Florida Panther Richard Zednik suffered a devastating injury when his throat was cut by teammate Olli Jokinen's skate. Tonight's game had a less dramatic but no less frightening incident: Gonchar was bracing for a big hit from Aaron Ward. In doing so, he threw up his arms and caught Ward in the throat. Ward went down to the ice on all fours. He seemed to be having difficulty breathing, and it looked like he was heaving or maybe even in the throes of a seizure. He was helped (more like dragged) down the runway by the Pens' medical staff and one of his own teammates. We later learned that he sustained an injury to his throat and that he would not return to the game, but no further details were given.

Staal works against Glen Murray (Crusher is in the background).

Crusher took a penalty for slashing, but the Bruins did't score on their power play. Geno made a nice pass to Crusher later, but Crusher's shot was blocked by Chara's giant foot. Savard was called again, this time for holding, but the Pens didn't score on this power play. Colby Armstrong was able to knock down the tree (Chara) with a hit. Then Staal drew a delayed hooking penalty on Dennis Wideman. Conks went to leave the ice in favor of the extra attacker, but Geno jumped onto the ice too quickly. The play was whistled down and the faceoff was moved to center ice. The Pens didn't score on this power play, either. The Pens drew yet another penalty on David Krejci for hooking. On the ensuing power play, Gonch mishandled the puck and turned it over to the Bruins. They took it down the ice 2-on-1 for a shorthanded chance, but the shot was wide of the goal. The Pens didn't score on this power play (again). With just under 1 minute left in the period, Crusher took a penalty for hooking. The Bruins didn't score on the abbreviated power play. The second period ended with the same score as the first period.

Whit and Conks defend the net against Marco Sturm.

The third period began with Crusher in the box for 1:07. The Bruins didn't score on this power play. Later, Staal passed the puck to Taffe, who set up the wide open Crusher, but his shot was wide of the goal. Then Staal was called for tripping. Max had a good shorthanded chance, but he was denied by Tim Thomas. The Bruins didn't score on their advantage. The Pens got a gift when Wideman was called for kneeing Geno following a clean hip check that sent Geno flying, but they squandered it by not scoring on the ill-gotten power play. (On this power play, there was an incident where Geno passed the puck to Crusher but Crusher did not shoot the puck despite the fact that he had an open shot on Thomas. Instead, Crusher elected to attempt to pass it to Ryan Whitney, who was bringing up the rear, but Whit missed the pass. Should Crusher have shot the puck? Maybe. But he has a split second to make a decision, and if Whit had connected with that pass, we are likely talking about a shootout ending right now.)

Chara put a hit on Crusher that sent him down to the ice and back to the locker room. It looked as though, because of his Yeti-like size, Chara's elbow connected with Crusher's chin. It didn't appear to be an intentional elbow, and Chara was not given a penalty (to Crusher's chagrin). Later, Savard went to the box for the third time for holding. Taffe's shot on a pass from Geno was the best shot they had all night, but Thomas answered the call and blocked the shot. FINALLY the Pens would capitalize on the 8th Bruins penalty of the night. With 6:58 left in the third, Wideman was called for interference on Geno, and Geno made him pay by blasting a sniper style shot past Thomas, who was screened by his own supersized defenseman captain. [Pens 1, Bruins 2]

Geno goes up against Wideman.

Conks kept the Pens in the game with two huge saves. The first came when Milan Lucic and Metropolit had a 2-on-0 chance. Conks confidently stood his ground on the initial shot and the rebound. The second time, Philip Kessel had a breakaway, but Conks coolly blocked his shot. Then, with just under a minute left in the game, Conks was pulled in favor of the extra attacker to try to tie the game. But just off the faceoff, the Pens took a crappy penalty (karmic payback for the Wideman kneeing penalty?) when Malone was called for tripping, except that he himself had been tripped first. As a result, the Pens had 5-on-5 but no goaltender. A Bruin (I didn't see who) got the puck and headed down towards the empty net, but his shot hit the side of the net. Geno was trying to force overtime right down to the last second - literally - as his last shot went right to the logo on Thomas's chest as the clock hit :00. The Pens lost the game because they didn't want the win nearly as much as the Bruins did.

Conks gives the Pens a chance to tie it, but they don't come through for him.

Some good news: Marc-Andre Fleury was the starting goaltender for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins tonight. He was sent down for a conditioning assignment. He helped the team win the game by stopping 30 shots on goal! [Baby Pens 3, Norfolk Admirals 1] :)

The Flower is baaaaaack... :)

Tomorrow the Pens take their healing captain south to face the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:00pm Eastern. GO PENS!!!!!!!!


Creative Commons License
The Sidney Crosby Show
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
(Based on all work at