Friday, May 08, 2009

Round 2 Game 4: Pens v Caps (W 5-3)

Using the word murder as a metaphor for how big the margin of victory will be = perfectly fine. Using the word murder to threaten to, well, actually murder someone - even someone as irritating as A-hOle™ = UNBELIEVABLY STUPID.

Evidently, some 17-year-old moron from Chambersburg, Pa, made a threat against the Caps' sniper on a Pens' message board. This tool a disgrace to Pens fans. I hate the guy, too, but seriously, how can we see the sweet tears of defeat staining his cheeks as we advance to Round 3 if he's dead? ;) Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin was seen at the Capitals' home arena sometime yesterday...

Heh heh heh... That was WAY too easy. :P (Many thanks to good Friend of The Show DayWalk3r for sending the clip my way.)

If Alexander Ovechkin doesn't get suspended for kneeing Sergei Gonchar, then I don't know why the NHL even has a disciplinary system. It was deliberate and absolutely ABHORRENT. Imagine, if you will, what the penalty would have been if Gonch had been the one to deliver that blow to A-hOle's™ knee. We're going to have to wait to see what the NHL does about it. But don't hold your breath. Gary Bettman's NHL is more about the money than the game, so I don't expect them to do the right thing and suspend him. I'll be surprised if he even gets fined. It's disgusting. If you didn't hate A-hOle™ before, I don't know how you can't hate him now.

First Period
Honestly, I'll tell you right off the bat that the officials were HORRIFIC at making penalty calls tonight - against both teams. By the end of the game, one was left to wonder why there were even zebras on the ice at all, so I'm not going to spend any time talking about missed calls (because it would take up the entire post!). About 30 seconds in, Flower let an awful soft goal go into the net. [Pens 0, Caps 1] Clark was penalized for a late hit on Superstar. On the ensuing power play, Gonch pwned Varlamov to tie the game. [Pens 1, Caps 1]

Federov hit the post off a feed from A-hOle™. Flower robbed Federov a bit later with an unreal post-to-post glove save. Guerin made a great move to keep the puck in the offensive zone and got the puck to Siddo, who created a great scoring chance for himself. Varlamov, however, made a dazzling save to prevent the Captain from scoring. Enter (or rather, re-enter): Bill Guerin. He crashed the net and banged the leftovers home. [Pens 2, Caps 1]

Brooksie was called for holding the stick. It was on this penalty kill that something so vile happened that it literally made me sick to my stomach. Gonch was near the corner, coming out from behind the net. As he did, A-hOle™ lined him up for a shoulder hit. Gonch, smartly, deked slightly to his left. And rather than miss hitting him and end up looking foolish, A-hOle™ decided to quickly kick his leg out and initiate knee-on-knee contact. Sarge's knee went (unnaturally) to the side as he dropped like a stone to the ice in obvious agony. Now, if it had been anyone other than A-hOle™ who had dealt Gonch that devastating blow, it would have been at the very least called a 5 minute major penalty for kneeing - maybe even an intent to injure penalty. But because he is Alexander Ovechkin, he was assessed a mere 2 minute minor for "tripping."

Tripping?! WHAT. A. JOKE. "Ugly, ugly looking hit" is an understatement.

As if to avenge his fallen teammate, it took only a few seconds for Tank to fire a loooong shot over the glove hand of Varlamov. [Pens 3, Caps 1] Since it was a 4-on-4 situation, the Pens still enjoyed a power play opportunity. Geno was evidently fired up about the incident involving his fellow countrymen - he turned into a one man wrecking crew. He was hitting guys all over the place. The Pens didn't add to their lead on their advantage, and Geno may have let his emotions get the best of him because on his next shift, he went a little overboard and brought his elbow up a bit on Jurcina. The period ended during the Caps' power play.

Second Period
We still didn't have a definitive "not returning" status update on Gonch, although that was exactly what ended up happening. (And from the talk at the pressers following the game, it doesn't look good for tomorrow's game, either.) During the remainder of Geno's penalty, Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin, actor Nick Nolte, and Senator John Kerry and his wife were shown in attendance. And gracing the Lemieux's box was none other than former NHLer Tie Domi. The Caps didn't add to their tally. As he went to net, Geno made a great sneaky little play to knock the stick out of Federov's hands, which goaded Federov into taking a holding penalty. On the ensuing power play, Legame hit the post, but nothing went over the line. Remember that diving thing A-hOle™ did the other day? He tried it again when he fell like he'd been shot after Cookie brushed by him at center ice, but the refs didn't bite.

A big thank you goes out to good Friend CarlyCurlyQ for allowing us to take a look at the awesomeness that is Mario with a playoff beard. :) That's his lovely wife, Nathalie, in the passenger seat.

Siddo is a beast. I don't think I say it enough. Following an unreal shift, he drew a penalty on Backstrom for interference. The Pens didn't score on their advantage. FSN mentioned that the Heroes shirts that the Pens wore to honor Pittsburgh's slain officers at the regular season home closer are now for sale at Go buy one right now because the money is going to the heroes' surviving family members. Then Super Duper took a dumb penalty for slashing Koslov. But then Fleischman was busted for crosschecking our netminder. Neither team scored while their players were benched.

The Caps got one after Green fired a shot that hit the post. The rebound hovered on the goal line, and Clark came in to tap it over. [Pens 3, Caps 2] At this point in my notes, all it says is "Talbot is a beast" - though, I don't recall why I wrote that. It's not that I don't remember what he did; on the contrary, it was that he did SO MUCH that I can't recall the specific thing he did at that point to make me write those words. :) With less than 2 minutes in the period, Scuds was called for crosschecking. The Caps didn't tie the game before the period ended.

Third Period
The Caps didn't tie the game during the remaining 32 seconds of Scudsi's penalty, either. Remember how much we expected from Miro Satan? Remember how he didn't really live up to those expectations? Well, all is forgiven after he made the prettiest play of the night. He gloved down a pass and went 2-on-1 with Saint Siddo. Satan then made a sweet pass that went 5 hole on Erskine right to the tape on Sidney's stick. Varlamov robbed Siddo of an open netter once in this series - but he wouldn't be able to do it twice. [Pens 4, Caps 2]

Immediately following that, Erskine went to the penalty box. Then all hell broke loose. The refs lost control a while back, but it got really bad at this point in the game. During one shift, Laich crosschecked Sid off the faceoff, then Bradley took consecutive late runs at both Tanger and Brooksie, who went flying into Flower just as Jurcina was letting the puck rip. [Pens 4, Caps 3]

After that, it was every man for himself. Both teams were taking liberties with one another. It was no accident that A-hOle™ was conspicuously muted during all this chaos. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't avoiding physical contact; he was just extraordinarily restrained in as much as A-hOle™ can restrain himself. He's no dummy. He knows that knee-on-knee is going to be reviewed. He clearly didn't want to call anymore unnecessary negative attention to himself.

Superstar had an extremely close call with an open net, but Varlamov made another wicked stick save reminiscent of the one he made on Sid earlier in the series. But on his next shift, he would not be denied. He fired a long shot past Varly. Superstar = CLUTCH. [Pens 5, Caps 3] Kuni took A-hOle™ down. Staalsy and TK got a 2-on-0, but TK hit the crossbar. Things were very nasty. No matter which team you support, you can't deny the refs were a joke.

NOTE TO VERSUS: Please take a note from FSN. The Caps pulled Varlamov with 2:09 to go in the game, and FSN showed him on the Caps' bench. Just as he went to do a, *ahem*, "snot rocket," FSN cut away to a shot of the crowd. It definitely wouldn't make me mad if I never saw a player doing that ever again. EW. :P

Back at the ranch, the Pens struggled to get the puck into the empty net. It didn't matter - the game ended and with that, THE SERIES IS TIED!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

We got screwed with a rare back-to-back set of games in the playoffs, so we're doing this thing in D.C. tomorrow.

DO IT. Make them pay for Gonch.

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

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