Thursday, January 01, 2009

Pens v Bruins (L 2-4)

Rematch. Tonight. Do it.

Well, despite outshooting the Bruins, the Pens came up short against the best team in the Eastern Conference. The reason they lost is because they were unable to capitalize on any of their 5 power play chances. Still, it was a valiant effort, and the Boys can hold their heads up high.


Dany Sabourin was between the pipes, while Petr Sykora and Ryan Whitney were branded with the A on their sweaters for the first month of 2009. Siddo was paired up with Syko early on, and Kris Letang came back to play right wing. Letang, back after missing 13 games, was hit into the wall at the Bruins' door in the first minutes of the period. The door came open, but luckily Letang was not hurt. After a give and go with Alex Goligoski three minutes into the game, Dustin Jeffrey scored his first NHL goal. [Pens 1, Bruins 0]

The first shot fired at Sabou was a doozy. The puck stopped short of crossing the goal line as Sabou plopped down and sat on it. Shortly after that, the Bruins developed a 3-on-2 and played tic-tac-toe into the back of the net. [Pens 1, Bruins 1]

Siddo went hard to the net, and as he did, Dennis Wideman pushed him down before he ever even touched the puck. Wideman went to the box for hooking. On the ensuing power play, Manny Fernandez made a wild save on Sid while on his back, and Tanger hit the crossbar (with authority!). The Pens didn't score on their advantage. Matt Cooke was interfered with behind the net, but no call was made. (It kind of goes with the territory for agitators, though...) Gogo was nailed with a delay of game penalty for popping the puck up and over the glass. A bouncy puck hopped up and over Sabou's shoulder and rolled down his back and into the goal. [Pens 1, Bruins 2]

Superstar Max Talbot was busted for hooking, but the Bruins didn't add to their lead. Aaron Ward flattened Miro Satan with a big hit. Vladimir Sobotka was called for holding, but the Pens couldn't tie the game with the advantage. In the last 30 seconds of the period, the Pens drilled Fernandez with an onslaught of shots, but they couldn't get one past him before the clock hit 0:00.


Sabou made a sweet save on Chuck Kobasew early, and Mark Eaton made a beautiful play on Phil Kessel by preventing him from getting a shot on a w-i-d-e open net. Jordan Staal was hooked, but he would get no retribution as it seemed like the refs had put their whistles away. The Pens were applying a lot of offensive pressure, but they just couldn't buy a goal. (I don't know if it was just my perception of things, but it seemed like the Bruins took countless liberties with Gronk. I was starting to think he was going to have to get stabbed in the eye to draw a penalty on these guys.) Anyhoo, the Bruins got another goal after the puck came off Eaton and bounced to Milan Lucic, who scored as Eaton was interfered with by Stephane Yelle (no call). [Pens 1, Bruins 3]

Matt Hunwick was called for high sticking soon afterwards. The Bruins got away with a little more monkey business without getting caught on the Pens' power play, and the Pens didn't score. Then it got a little nutty. Talbot was called for interference following a late hit. With 1:14 left in Talbot's penalty, Pascal Dupuis was sent to the box for hooking. In the first few seconds of Boston's two man advantage, Rob Scuderi made a brilliant save with his skate on Sabou's short side. The Pens picked up a bit of momentum after killing the 5-on-3.

They didn't have to kill too much of the remainder of Duper's penalty because Lucic was caught slashing Whit. Lucic tried to challenge Whit to a fight in an attempt to negate the Pens' advantage, but Whit smartly did not bite. So there were 26 seconds of 4-on-4 (neither team scored), followed by an abbreviated power play for the Pens. Siddo fanned on a shot that would have assuredly been a goal had he lifted the puck, and he was so upset with himself that he smashed his stick on the ice as he returned to the bench. The Pens didn't score on their power play, and the period ended soon after Lucic returned to the ice.


Siddo, Duper, and Syko had a wickedly good shift at the start of the third, but much like the Fez on That 70's Show, they just couldn't score. A good chance for Geno to stuff one in was blocked by Fernandez. Ward interfered with Cooke, but somehow Cookie Monster was called for high sticking. Bob Errey summed it up the best when he compared it to "grabbing the guy's stick and putting it in your own face to get the two minute penalty." Awful. The Bruins, however, did not score on their ill-gotten advantage. Geno stripped Marc Savard of the puck in the Pens' zone and sent it to Satan, who sent a cross ice pass to Ruslan Fedotenko. Tank then fired an initial shot that was blocked but didn't give up and capitalized on the rebound. [Pens 2, Bruins 3]

Sobatka stood up on Staal, knocking him down like a tree. Ward (again) got away with a few things. He interfered with and crosschecked Tank right in front of the net, and yet somehow all the officials missed it. Later, all the officials missed it when in succession P.J. Axelsson hooked Cookie, then Mark Stuart interfered with him. They didn't miss calling Cookie for interference, however, when he just barely touched Fernandez's pads as he tried to shake free of Stuart. Geno managed to get a shorthanded chance, but he was stopped when the gargantuan Zdeno Chara backchecked him. Neither the Bruins nor the Pens scored while Cookie served his time. Kobasew drilled Geno with a big hit. Savard was called for hooking, and during the Pens' power play, Gronk was slashed (no call). The Pens didn't score, but if you read the intro to this recap, you already knew that. ;)

As Savard emerged from the box, the Bruins tried to send him the lead pass. Sabou made the smart play to come WAY out of the crease to send the puck back to the neutral zone. With about 32 seconds left, Sabou was pulled in favor of the extra attacker. Fernandez made the save of his life (okay, at least for this game) when he was able to stop a shot by Syko, who incidentally fanned on the initial try. Then with just 2.6 seconds left, Savard made a long, successful attempt at the empty netter. [Pens 2, Bruins 4]

The Pens looked much better than they have in some of their recent games. Two things are holding them back, though: Siddo still needs a winger he can count on and with whom he can develop that special "I know where you are without having to look" chemistry (Hossa! Why did you have to leave us?!), and - most urgently - the Pens simply must refine their power play. They just won't win games if they don't get goals on their power plays. Hopefully they'll come up with a solution in time for Saturday afternoon's game at the Mellon against the Panthers.

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