Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pens v Sens (L 1-3) in Stockholm, Sweden

This game was certainly not a good birthday present for the big man, Mario Lemieux. Oy. We'll get to that in a second but first, I just want to mention that FSN Pittsburgh has a series of commercials for the Penguins that involve real live penguins that are actually really cute. For instance, in one of them, the real penguins are "talking" to FSN Pittsburgh reporter Dan Potash. (We need to find them on YouTube!)

Pittsburgh native Bill Thomas takes the ice for his first game as a Penguin.


Right out of the gate, Geno Malkin was a machine. He kept at it during one shift until he inadvertently collided with yesterday's hero, Tyler Kennedy. Then, Siddo nearly got the goal of a lifetime when he backhanded a puck out of midair, but the puck just didn't make it past Ottawa goaltender Alex Auld. Ruslan Fedotenko was the first to go to the sin bin when he was called for holding. The Sens managed to hit the crossbar on their ensuing power play, but fortunately they didn't score.

FSN Pittsburgh = EPIC FAIL. The quarter-screen graphics in the lower left corner of the screen HAVE. GOT. TO. GO. Especially the ones (like the ad for the new Max Payne movie) that come with sound effects. Isn't that what commercial breaks are for?! Anyhoo, they showed one for Sid's In My Own Words program just seconds before Sid made a beautiful spinning backhand move out of the corner that Fedotenko got his stick on, but it didn't turn into a goal. We were told that TK's goal was the quickest start to a season. TK and Jordan Staal work together beautifully. They do everything but score as Auld makes a great save on Staal in front.

Okay, remember how much you liked it when Jarrko Ruutu got all those sneaky moves in on players and got away with breaking the rules so many times? Yeah, well, it doesn't feel so good now that he's doing those things to us. Proving that there truly are no friends on the ice, Ruutu hit Paul Bissonnette (← who looks eerily like my sister's ex-boyfriend) from behind and then threw himself on top of the Saint, who was down on the ice following a hit from thug Chris Neil. Ruutu went to the box for charging. On the Pens' power play, Auld stopped TK's shot as Chris Kelly ran over Geno, leaving our Russian superstar writhing in pain on the ice. Even though Antoine Vermette's stick broke, the Pens still could not score with the advantage. (I hesitate to say the Pens' power play is mud right now because it's hard to tell if it's the Pens struggling or the Pens struggling with the bad ice...)

Geno was back on the ice after a quick check up on the bench. He managed to get around FOUR Senators to make a sweet shot, but Auld was like a brick wall. Just a bit later, Pascal Dupuis swooped in for a sneaky shot, but again Auld said no. Then Siddo whizzed past everyone for a chance, but still Auld held his ground. That play did get the Pens a power play when Christoph Schubert crosschecked R-Fed (← UGH! I just can't do it) Fedotenko. Once again, the Pens didn't capitalize on their power play. Mad Max Talbot played like a beast again today. During one shift, he took the water bottle off Auld's net and took a ref down while maintaining possession in the Sens' zone. Brooks Orpik showed us why he got his contract when he leveled Ruutu, who tried unsuccessfully to embellish it and draw a penalty. Seconds later, though, Fedotenko was called for hooking with less than 2 minutes left in the period. The Sens didn't score on their abbreviated power play, but at the buzzer, Brooksie lined Daniel Alfredsson up for a clean hit. Alfie, taking a cue from Ruutu, turned slightly in an effort to buy a penalty, but the refs didn't bite.


Fedotenko still had 34 seconds to serve in the penalty box. Marc-Andre Fleury failed to clear the puck but managed to get back in time to make a stunning save on Alfie. (Rob Scuderi provided a little help, too.) The Sens didn't score on their power play. Brooksie must have been in a mood because he leveled Neil (not that he didn't deserve it). Then Shean Donovan held onto Mark Eaton blatantly in full view of the camera. On the ensuing Pens power play, Kris Letang fumbled the puck. It was recovered by Vermette, whose shorthanded shot was stopped by Flower. That stupid Max Payne ad appeared. GRRRRRRRRR!! The Pens didn't score on their power play - again. A closeup of Geno's face after an offsides call shows him shouting the first English word he learned. (You know which one I mean!)

Eric Godard and Jason Smith had words after Smith bothered Siddo one too many times. It turned into a melee and, after the dust settled, Neil and Godard found themselves in the box for roughing penalties, though Godard was slapped with 2 roughing minors. Dany Heatley didn't take long to score the power play goal after staying with the puck and giving it a second whack. [Pens 0, Sens 1]

The Pens got another power play chance when Vermette was called for holding. With the Sens down a man, Ruutu tripped as he ran over Sid and as he fell, he brought his elbow down on the back of Siddo's head. He got away with it, and Sid picked up his helmet and went back to the bench to regain his senses. Auld made a big save, so the Pens didn't score on their advantage. There was a frenzy of action until the buzzer.


What can be said about the third period? Well, for starters, there was NO DOUBT the Pens' power play looked awful in this period. For another thing, Heatley has a wicked shot. Anyhoo, Sid fired a shot on Auld, who made the save. Only seconds later, Sid was shown on the bench gasping and wincing. Insanity erupted in front of Auld as Heatley were called for a delayed penalty. Finally, Heatley went to the box. Geno passed up on a great shot for whatever reason, and the Pens looked shaky at best on their scoreless power play.

A little while later, Nick Foligno was called for holding, and the Pens looked absolutely terrible on this power play. There's no way the bad ice could be blamed for how badly they played during their "advantage." To make matters worse, FSN felt the need to show that stupid Max Payne ad - again. The Sens showed the Pens how to make a power play work when Heatley scored on a one timer with only seconds left in a holding penalty to Eaton. [Pens 0, Sens 2]

Later, Geno dribbled the puck on the end of his stick causing Bob Errey to exclaim that he'd NEVER seen that before. Just as my pencil furiously writes "WTF?!" in my notes, Steigy reminded Errey that Sid has done it several times, most famously in the Winter Classic.

Then this happened: Vermette's stick broke. Usually that's a good thing for the other team, but NOT TODAY! He went to get a new one from the bench, which put him all the way behind the action as the Pens were on the offense. Jesse Winchester saw this and, after he got control of the puck in his own zone, sent a lead pass to Vermette. Letang couldn't catch up to him, and despite the fact that Vermette actually fanned on the shot, the puck glided right under the pads of MAF. [Pens 0, Sens 3]

Recall that there is no love lost between these two teams. They've faced each other in the first round of the playoffs with completely opposite outcomes for the past 2 years in a row. They're not rivals (because really, how could you hate any team more than the Flyers, right? :P), but they're DEFINITELY not friends. (You see where this is going, right?) Alfie plowed into Mad Max, who had his head down to collect the puck. This didn't sit well with Matt Cooke, who then devastated Alfie with a huge, CLEAN hit.

Chris Phillips didn't like that and retaliated on Cooke, earning a roughing penalty with less than 1 minute in the period for his efforts. As the clock ticked down, I was literally in the process of writing the words "No Score" in my notes as Sid ran over Vermette and Geno worked the corner to help get the puck to Alex Goligoski, who scored his first NHL goal with 1.1 seconds left in the game to end Auld's chance for a shutout. :) [Pens 1, Sens 3] (It just sucks that they waited until the last 2 seconds of the game to figure out how to score on the power play, right?)

We've got almost a week to wait until the next game. The Pens will host the New Jersey Devils at 7:30pm next Saturday. Don't worry - I'll help you pass the time with more of your stuff and some more Roaming Penguins entries! :)

Happy 43rd, Super Mario!!! GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Labels: ,

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