Sunday, November 30, 2008

More from Max About O'Byrne, Sabou's Mask, Boucher, and the Economy

You may recall that Friend of The Show DayWalk3r sent in this video of Montreal Canadien Ryan O'Byrne shooting the puck towards his goalie - after the netminder had been pulled in favor of an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. The puck of course went into the net to tie the game, and the New York Islanders were able to win the game in a shootout. Watch it one more time:

Mad Max Talbot addressed the incident in a post he wrote on Thanksgiving day. (Just a heads up - I tried my own hand at translating this one, so if any of the French speaking Friends visit the original French entry and notice that I'm wrong anywhere, feel free to let me know either in an e-mail or in The Friends' Zone.)

If you don't love this guy already, you will after you read his thoughts on O'Byrne's blunder in this edition of...

Be lenient towards Ryan O' Byrne

While most Americans are gathered to celebrate family time on Thanksgiving watching football and eating turkey, I am resting in my hotel room in Buffalo, an issue to be well rested for the first a small series of two games in two nights starting Friday against the Sabers.

Thanksgiving is a big business in the United States compared to Quebec, but for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was merely to emphasize a small team in quiet dinner at the hotel restaurant. First, our schedule the next day does not allow us to do anything really crazy ... and secondly it is in Buffalo! Well, this is not a city where there are a thousand and one things to do, then it remains wise.

If all goes well, I should be in uniform to face the Sabres even if I could not finish the game against the Islanders on Wednesday. For those who have not seen the bad luck that struck me, I was hit by a slap shot from Radek Martinek in the middle of the neutral zone. I'm not supposed to reveal the exact nature of the injury, then my official version is that I am wounded in the upper body ... I let you draw your own conclusions if you've seen the game on TV!

The wound is a little frustrating because it occurred in a game a little weird. In fact, I do not really know what Martinek was trying to do because when he used all his strength to clear the puck, it was a good three meters before the red line, so if his shotgun does not hit me in passing, his release was denied [snoop: In other words, it would have been icing]. In any case ...

You know, I know the risks of my job and I am not afraid to take blows. For example, last year, I was injured blocking a shot during our series against the New York Rangers. I can say it is a little more acceptable to be injured in these circumstances than to be hit by a slapshot in the neutral zone!

Let us talk about this game against the Islanders ... The last time you've read my blog, it was after a completely crazy victory against the Detroit Red Wings. On Long Island, we lost 3-1 after two periods, but came back with four goals in the third to save the victory. You may find that a sense of the show, but believe me, we do not intend to make it so exciting.

I think we played a good second half of the game, but there is no doubt that we must work on our consistency. If we could play all full periods, we would be even more dangerous. It's odd: it seems that when we draw from the back, we start to apply more pressure and our defenders are involved more in offensive. I cannot explain that in a scientific way, but what I can say is that we are a team with great character.

I do not agree with those who say they were less well prepared or that the Islanders took it lightly because of their position in the standings. They had won five of their last six games and we knew they played well lately. We were ready, we knew we had a good challenge before us, but it took us time to answer the call.

I think we saw one of the best matches from Evgeni Malkin in the National League. As he does often when you have to climb a slope, Michel Therrien has placed him on the same line as Sidney Crosby and those who listened to the match will agree with me, it was beautiful to see. It still speaks of two of the best players in the world and I can tell you that when they were on the ice Wednesday, the Islanders had their arms full.

From my side, it was beautiful to see, but when you do not have the same uniform they do, you should be a little scared! I consider myself lucky because for the last two or three weeks, I was placed on the same trio [line] that Sidney was on and when we needed a goal, the coach will add Geno often. At that time, my role really does not change. I'm not going to start trying to make passes without looking and and of the impossible kind. I will seek the puck, I am the first in failure before, I make space while keeping it simple. The finish, I leave it in their [Sid and Geno] hands!

[I saw] the blunder while in Pittsburgh

I will return to what occurs to Penguins a little later, but I cannot prevent myself from commenting on the subject of the hour at present in Montreal: the blunder of Ryan O' Byrne.

If you are a regular in my columns, you know already that I equipped my house with a satellite antenna which enables me to collect some chains of television of Quebec, one of which is the Sports Network. I thus saw and re-examined the defender of the Canadiens to send the puck in his own goal and my initial reaction was: "Poor guy!"

In the meantime, I did not see it as an opponent making a blunder; he is something of a colleague and it is clear that there is a kind of solidarity that exists between NHL players when something like this happens. I often say the National League is like a big family. I talked with my good friend Bruno Gervais, who was well positioned to attend the scene, and he saw it the same way.

The second thing I said was that the Canadiens fans were pretty harsh. Already the guy just made a mistake, he feels badly and he wants to disappear under the ice, so he does not need to hear hootings and and people chanting his name.

I do not want a big deal of it, but also listening to comments from various analysts during the post-game and found that one exaggerated a bit. The analyst almost said the incident could jeopardize the rest of O'Byrne's career ... Come on!

The guy made a mistake. He scored in his own net in a regular season game, a game after which the Canadian has still earned a point. He has not lost the Stanley Cup! I can understand that he has not necessarily played like Bobby Orr since the beginning of the season, but still, this is no reason for him to fall on a tomato like that. [snoop: I'm totally stealing that expression!]

We must forget it and move on. If I had advice for Canadiens fans it would be to encourage O'Byrne rather than diminish, because if that player loses his confidence, it will affect his entire team.

If such a thing happen to teammates, one of my friends, I would go see him and I would tell him to laugh, to turn the page. [snoop: Max freaking ROCKS!!!!]

The mask of Sabourin

Dany Sabourin tried a new mask against the Islanders. It was during just half a game, but it looks like it has not gone unnoticed.

Why talk about this mask? Because he painted a frog on each side, a little wink to the fact that Quebecers are sometimes given the nickname of frogs by Anglophones. In fact, everything started from a kind of joke between us. Marc-Andre Fleury often carries a cap with the logo of a frog, but it is only for laughs, it's humor. That has shocked people in our midst but this is not why Dany did that.

I know there will always be people who see the negative everywhere, but please, do not shout for the scandal here! There is no racist connotation here. Furthermore, on his mask, there are also three flags, the flags of Quebec, Canada, and the United States.

I think the result is fairly successful, it is a beautiful mask, but unfortunately I think it will stay in the locker room for awhile. Dany gave up three goals on 14 shots in his first game wearing it and I believe he will return with his former in his next match. You know, the goalies are often very superstitious!

The acquisition of Philippe Boucher

There has been much talk since the beginning of the absence of Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney, two guys without whom our power play is not what it was. To settle part of the problem, the management team decided to look to Philippe Boucher in Dallas and I can tell you it was a very nice addition for us.

In return of a guy who almost did not play any more, Darryl Sydor, we obtained a smart defender who coaches give a lot of ice time since his arrival. His experience and cannonball [shot] are welcome here, was welcomed with open arms. I was acquainted with Philippe before his arrival, and I can say that we got our hands on a damned good guy.

Moreover, and I do not want to speak for him, but I think he is very excited to be with us in Pittsburgh. He told me that people in his entourage called to congratulate him when they learned of his trade. It says a lot about the situation he was living in Dallas and the one in which he finds himself today.

The crisis is not felt

A major economic crisis currently plaguing the United States and the world of sport is already suffering the consequences. Some athletes have lost sponsors and ticket offices have lost sales, some teams are beginning to realize that times are hard for Americans.

In Pittsburgh, on the other hand, the negative effects of the crisis are still not felt. We have played to sold out crowds for about two and a half years here, the Mellon Arena is always full since the beginning of the season and I do not think it is about to slow down. The souvenir shops seem to make excellent bargains, it is really a frenzy. [snoop: He's not kidding. I saw this first hand when we visited PensStation on 11-15-08. We, as we usually do, waited until the end of the game to venture into the shop. I mean it very literally when I say that it was wall to wall packed with people. My husband and I got separated because it was every man for himself if there was something that caught your eye. I've seen it packed before, but that was pure chaos. I picked out a t-shirt to get with my birthday money and waited more than 15 minutes in line to pay for it.]

In other cities such as Detroit, it seems that a lot less true. Without wishing to criticize Detroit, on the other hand, I remember having played even before the crisis began and there were still a number of good tickets available. Even at the last finals of the Stanley Cup, we could see Hockeytown benches empty ...

You are now officially caught up on the Musings of Mad Max Talbot. I will do my best to keep as up-to-date with these translations as I possibly can. I love Max's RDS blog because he is uninhibited with the truth. He's a straight shooter and his honesty is refreshing. I've got a few game day photos and some Roaming Penguins in the works for tomorrow's post.

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