Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pens v Devils (W 4-1)

Tonight we witnessed The (real-life) Sidney Crosby Show.

Friend of The Show Sooska took this screenshot from the Pens' website. Check out that headline. Um, excuse me??? LOL


Sid absolutely pwned the game tonight. He scored his second career hat trick, and assisted in the other Pens goal. And it all started about two minutes into the game with this:

You can see that Siddo took a bouncing puck off the wall, broke free ahead of the Devils' defenders, and drove the net. As he approached the goal, Scott Clemmensen was able to just barely poke the puck off Sid's stick. The puck slid wide of the goal with Sidney right behind it. He made a spec-freaking-tacular spin-o-rama move and backhanded the puck into the twine. [Pens 1, Devils 0]

Dainius Zubrus took the first penalty of the night when he went to the box for holding the stick. The Pens didn't score on their power play. Petr Sykora went to the box soon after for high sticking. With 21 seconds left on his penalty, Travis Zajac was called for high sticking (even though the Devils had an extended period of puck possession in the Pens' zone). On the ensuing 4-on-4, Sid busted through everyone again and fired a quick shot that Clemmensen blocked. It was apparent that Sid was more than ready to play tonight! When the Pens went on the advantage, Miroslav Satan missed a shot on a wide open cage. The penalties ended and neither team added to its tally.

If you missed this game, shame on you because Sid was in tip-top shape. It was one of the best shows he has put on in a long time. He kept coming up with these amazing moves time and time again. Sid = BEAST. He batted the puck out of midair with his stick in the neutral zone, made another spin-o-rama (which, by now, was dubbed the "Sid-o-rama" by Paul Steigerwald) to get around three Devils for a shot on goal, but Clemmensen blocked it.

Jordan Staal had to go to the bench after being slashed on his wrist (no call), but fortunately he was not taken out of commission. (BTW, we never did get to see exactly what happened there because FSN PGH didn't think it was important enough to show the replay of it.) I know I complain a lot about Steigy's play-by-play, but tonight he had an extra helping of crazy before the game. As FSN went to commercial, he and Bob Errey were talking about Siddo and Steigy said, "Here he comes, NHL!" Um, I don't claim to be a hockey expert or anything, but I'm pretty sure he has already arrived. A long time ago. With a bang. O_o Anyhoo, with just under 90 seconds left in the period, Mark Eaton was called for holding. The Devils didn't score on their abbreviated power play.


The Devils still had 32 seconds left with a man advantage, but they didn't score. Then Steigy, who often mixes up players on the same team (ex. Sykora often becomes Sid and vice versa because Steigy only sees the 7 in their numbers), made a really awful mix up when he said, "Here's a chance for Jay Pandolfo." The problem? Pandolfo was in his own zone and passing the puck to his defensive partner. ???

Things got a little ugly when Alex Goligoski lost an edge and went crashing into the boards. Sheldon Brookbank was right behind him and ended up running into him. Then he made a decision to play the puck by kicking the puck right in front of the downed Gogo's face. The Pens rightfully took exception to the disrespectful move and a scrum ensued.

Zach Parise went to the box for interference on Janne Pesonen. It took a mere 12 seconds for the most glorious power play goal all season to go into the net. It was so good because it came from a series of moves from 4 players that each individually could have been on the highlight reel. First, Geno bounced the puck off a Devil at the blue line but somehow managed to keep the puck in with one hand. Then Geno sent the puck to Tyler Kennedy, who made a beautiful pass between his own legs over to Sid. The Captain then found the keyhole sized path the sent the puck up and over Clemmensen's big pad but under the criss-crossed sticks of two Devils defenders right to the stick of Syko. He was then easily able to bang the puck home into a wide open net. [Pens 2, Devils 0]

Later Matt Cooke finished a check on Parise by the benches while the Devils' door was open. Parise had to launch his body up and over the boards to avoid going into the open door. At first it seemed like a pretty disrespectful move from the Cookie Monster, but on a replay from a different angle, it seems very plausible that Cookie was unaware that the door was open. Whatever the case, another scrum erupted and Cooke and Jamie Langenbrunner were assessed coincidental roughing minors. Devils head coach Brent Sutter nearly had a coronary when he realized that Cookie wasn't getting anything extra tacked on for the hit on Parise. But immediately on the next faceoff, the Devils got away with high sticking Brooks Orpik. Errey said that the uncalled high stick was "the call that Sutter bought except it was a non-call." A few seconds later in the 4-on-4, Parise drilled Geno into the boards. Geno, however, recovered and rejoined the play. Sidney was about to leave the ice for a change, but he got the puck and fired a quick shot. The Devils regained possession of the rebound, but Geno dove and poked the puck off the Devil's stick on goal. Sid was right there to clean up the garbage and get the goal. [Pens 3, Devils 0]

David Clarkson, who had been hunting Cookie down for the better part of the period, earned an interference penalty for his efforts. Despite some grade A passing amongst the Pens, there were few shots taken and so the Pens did not score on their advantage. As FSN went to commercial showing some of Siddo's highlights, Steigy said, "It's just not fair what Crosby's doing!" (What?!) Ruslan Fedotenko took a penalty for high sticking, and while Patrick Elias rang one (hard) off the post, the Devils did not score on their advantage. During the penalty kill, Errey went on record to say that if the Devils didn't score before the buzzer, "the deuce can go in the books for the Pens."

After a crazy bounce, Geno whacked the puck out of midair towards the net. Clemmensen blocked the shot, but it would have been a spectacular goal. Well, it may or may not have been a goal because it could have been called as a goal with a high stick and it wouldn't have counted. He didn't get it in, so it didn't matter. Right before the period ended, Sid and Mad Max Talbot got a 2-on-1, but Johnny Oduya forced Sid to take the shot that Clemmensen blocked.


I swear - the FSN PGH staff was doing just about everything they could to jinx our Boys tonight. Case in point: Just before the start of the period, Stan Savran said, "Dany Sabourin and the Pens are throwing the shutout at the New Jersey Devils." And wouldn't you know that soon after that, the Pens failed to clear the puck out of their own zone and Mike Rupp made them pay. [Pens 3, Devils 1]

A little later, Rupp and Sid were battling for the puck against the boards. Sid took the much bigger Rupp down, but as he fell, Rupp put Siddo in a headlock and wouldn't let him up. He even stripped Sid of his helmet. This (of course) angered our title man, and as a result, both players went to the box for coincidental roughing minors. On the 4-on-4, Staal carried the puck down towards the net and drew a holding penalty on Paul Martin. On the ensuing 4-on-3, the Devils went 3-on-Geno. Inexplicably, the two defenders stopped cold at the blue line, thus abruptly ending their odd man rush. (Maybe they were afraid of what Sutter might do if Geno got the puck while they were all in deep?) Neither team scored during any of the penalties.

Rob Scuderi was the victim of a rather vicious high stick from Brian Gionta. It wasn't a high stick in the traditional sense; instead, Gionta brought his stick down on the back of Scudsie's head in a motion like he was splitting firewood. There was no call, and luckily Scuds was okay after taking a few moments on the bench to regain composure. Virtually at the same time all of this was happening, Kris Letang popped the puck up and over the glass and was assessed a delay of game penalty. The Devils didn't score on their advantage.

With a little over 2 minutes left in the game, the Devils pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker as the faceoff came to the Pens' zone. Mike Zigomanis (aka The Faceoff Beast) won the faceoff to Geno, who was able to get the puck to Siddo. With his a hat trick on his mind, Sid went hard to the empty net with a Devil in front of him. Sid dove out onto his stomach and with one arm holding his outstretched stick, he was able to swat the puck towards the empty net for the hat trick! Who else but Sidney Crosby could make scoring an empty net goal something for the highlight reel?! :)

A hat for the hat trick!

Here are all the highlights of the game, including Geno's batted out of midair near-miss (starts at the 2:18 mark) and Sid's stunning empty netter (at the very end):

What a game!!! :D Thanks go out to Sooska for sending in the screenshot. The Pens are off until Wednesday when they hit the MSG to face the New York Rangers.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!


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