Monday, January 05, 2009

Pens v Rangers (L 0-4)

During the offseason, we had a series TSCS Quotes of the Day. I think this one can be TSCS's Quote of the Month:
As for the "fight"....get over it complainers. He asked the guy, he went for it and then Sid paid the price in penalty minutes. It's done and it won't be the last time. This is hockey, not a tea party.

MC (a Friend of The Show)
January 5, 2009 5:16 PM
Prior to the start of the game, Versus reporter Christine Simpson got Siddo to admit that the team's morale is "somewhat" (← his word) "fragile" (← her word). That's significant because he is usually quite stoic in interviews, barely showing much emotion either positive or negative. His standard responses are deliberately neutral, so this admission was a bit of a surprise.

In another telling moment, Versus commentator Bill Patrick referred to the opponent as "the hated Rangers." It's nice to know it's not just us, haha! ;)


Just 31 seconds into the game, Superstar Max Talbot took out Ryan Callahan and then got in a scrap with another Ranger. Max was assessed a boarding penalty for the hit on Callahan. It took a mere 29 seconds for Nigel Dawes to bank one off Rob Scuderi's skate and into the twine behind Marc-Andre Fleury. [Pens 0, Rangers 1]

Brooks Orpik took one for the team by getting a stick in his face courtesy of Petr Prucha. There was blood, so the Pens were given 4:00 with a man advantage. Sid had an unreal shift on the ensuing power play. In less than 90 seconds, he had a great chance that Henrik Lundqvist stopped with a nice pad, then he hit the post, and finally he drew a holding penalty on Dmitri Kalinin. The resulting 5-on-3 - two full minutes with a 2 man advantage - was delayed because for whatever reason, Sid's goal post shot went to the War Room for review. It was ultimately ruled NO GOAL (no freaking kidding!), and the Pens got to work on their 5-on-3. The fans began booing Siddo whenever he touched the puck from this point until the end of the game. (Haha, they wouldn't "hate" him so much if they weren't so jealous that he's ours!) Geno Malkin fired a one-timer that struck the outside of the post as we were told that Geno has never scored at MSG in the regular season in his entire career. :O

The Pens didn't capitalize on their 2 man advantage, and with 2 seconds left on the penalty to Kalinin, Jordan Staal was called for interfering with his brother, Marc. Because Prucha was still in the box, we had a 4-on-4 during which neither team scored. The Rangers then had an abbreviated power play. Markus Naslund had Flower dead to rights but somehow didn't score. Paul Mara was shown spouting off to Eric Godard, who was conveniently safely on the Pens' bench. A scrum shortly thereafter resulted in coincidental roughing penalties for Matt Cooke and Brandon Dubinsky. During the 4-on-4, Geno and Gronk developed a quick 2-on-1, but Gronk shot the puck w-i-d-e. Neither team scored on the 4-on-4.

Later, Colton Orr was called for hooking. Siddo set up Tyler Kennedy, who was alone in front of Lundqvist, but the goalie poke checked TK to prevent the shot. The Pens didn't score on their advantage. As Orr was released from the box, the Rangers developed a 4-on-2, but mercifully the shot went high and wide. Flower went to play the puck but sent it right to Aaron Voros, though he quickly scrambled back to the crease to make the save. Voros was then called for a delayed penalty, and when the Rangers touched the puck, it was done with a shot that made it into the goal. As expected, as soon as the player touched the puck the refs blew the whistle, nonetheless, Rangers fans were inexplicably incredulous when the goal was immediately waved off. On the resulting Penguins power play, the Rangers nearly got a shorthanded chance, but Flower cut them off by coming WAY out for the poke check.


The Pens still had a bit of time on their power play, but it didn't matter. They didn't score. Green-eyed monsters were booing Siddo - mightily. The Rangers dominated puck possession in the Pens' zone, but the Pens were able to keep them up against the boards for most of the time. Gronk later got a nice centering pass at the other end of the ice, but his stick broke as he tried to take a shot. Then Sid was called for hooking to wild cheers from the Rangers fans. On the ensuing penalty kill, there was one loud collective shout "CROSBY SUCKS!" (Sure, that's why he's the all time top vote getter for the All Star Games.) The Rangers didn't score while Sid was in the box.

Later, Prucha tried to line Siddo up for what he intended to be a devastating hit, only The Kid was able to use his tree trunk legs to stand his ground, thus repelling the momentum and turning it around on Prucha, who ended up flatly on his keister. Geno, who was playing in his 200th NHL game, drew a hooking penalty on Michal Rozsival. The Pens had only 2 seconds with the man advantage before Siddo was called for interference, again to loud cheers. Neither team scored while down a man. Kalinin later hit the crossbar. Cooke was called for interference. This time, the Rangers were able to score in 2 seconds. Scott Gomez won the faceoff to Mara, who shot and scored. [Pens 0, Rangers 2]

Sid got a good look at the net, but Lundqvist made another nice save on him. Siddo pounded the glass out of frustration. Chris Drury earned another late-in-the-period Rangers penalty for delay of game. Then the Rangers got a shorthanded chance that Flower was able to deny. The Pens didn't score on their advantage, making it the 30th consecutive scoreless power play for our struggling team.


TK was called for tripping, but the Rangers didn't score. Brooksie put a big, clean hit on Orr. Kris Letang lost an edge, fell, and Drury scored. [Pens 0, Rangers 3] The "CROSBY SUCKS!!!" chant was deafening. Later Orr tried to get even with Orpik by drilling him then hitting Ryan Whitney only to be given a roughing penalty for his efforts. (More "CROSBY SUCKS!!!" nonsense - despite the fact that he had no part in this penalty.) There was just 3:49 left on the clock, and Head Coach Michel Therrien decided to roll the dice and pull MAF in favor of the extra attacker to make it 6-on-4. Unfortunately, MT would lose that bet. A failed dump into the corner saw the puck got right to Drury, who fired a long, arced pass above everyone's heads over center ice that went to the corner in the Pens' unguarded zone. Gomez beat all the Boys to the puck and easily swept it into the empty net. [Pens 0, Rangers 4] It was scored with 3:11 left in the game, making it the earliest EN goal this season.

The classy Rangers fans rained down on our captain with more boos, "CROSBY SUCKS!!!", and "CROS-by, CROS-by, CROS-by!!!!" chants. Godard and Orr had a fight. Miro Satan showed up in all the wrong ways when he was called for boarding with only 38 seconds left in the game, which all but assured the shutout for Lundqvist.

There's not much to say. We've got to shake it off and move on. Contrary to the story the score tells, the Pens actually did play well. They hit a lot of posts, there were a lot of great chances, and they managed to hold the Rangers at one goal for nearly 38 minutes. Something is just a fraction of a second off, and they (and we!) have got to soldier through until they make it click again.

Buck up, folks! Tomorrow, we face the Thrashers. The Pens - OUR Penguins - need our support.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!


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