Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pens v Wild (L 1-2)

Flower will be in net. Syko will be in the bad guys' uni. We will again be missing some key players... But we will still manage to get the job done. Bring it, Minnesota!

Oh, boy. Be careful what you wish for, eh? Minnesota (read: Backstrom) certainly brought it tonight.

  • "Count Steigula" welcomed us to the Mellon Arena. O_o
  • Gronk beautifully set Bourque up twice. On the second chance, Bourque was hooked by Belanger. The Pens didn't score on their advantage.
  • Following a shot from the point by Kobasew, the rebound went out in front for Brodziak. He promptly banged it into the net. [Pens 0, Wild 1]

  • Steelers star safety Troy Polamalu was shown wearing a Crosby jersey in Mario's box.
  • FSN PGH cut away to show the starting lineup introduce themselves when the Pens won a faceoff to the point to Super Duper for a 1-timer that tied the game. [Pens 1, Wild 1] Backstrom was completely frozen, so Duper basically had an empty net. He's worked so hard this season without reward, so it was nice to see him get one. :)

  • The Wild went at the Pens all the way to the end of the period. It paid off - with just 0.6 seconds left in the period, Belanger scored. [Pens 1, Wild 2]

  • A short clip from the warmup was shown: Syko gave a tap to Godard's shin guard to say hi as Siddo was gliding in and tapping Syko's guard for the same reason.
  • woodstock was irate as he noticed a woman seated in the row behind the glass behind assistant coach Mike Yeo was knitting.

  • Lots of offensive work by the Pens failed to pay off because Backstrom was stopping everything.
  • During one shift, Cooker lost his edge on a bad blade and fell then broke his stick.
  • Sid was called for slashing. On the ensuing penalty kill, Cooker got away with a trip. The Wild didn't add to their lead.
  • Gronk shot wide on a wide open net.
  • Then the highlight of the game (at least it was for me) happened. Zidlicky and Siddo got their skates tangled. Zidlicky ended up kicking Sid's left leg out from under him, which sent him hard into the boards. Predictably, Sid wasn't happy about that, so he responded by pushing him. They ended up whacking each other a few times before ultimately deciding to do the man dance. Advantage: Sid. Why? See for yourself.

  • Both players were assessed a slashing minor and a fighting major. Sid on the fight: "It's not something I want to make a habit of, but I was a little ticked off." Neither team scored as a result of these penalties.
  • With about 1:30 left in the period, Schultz slashed and broke Guerin's stick. The Pens didn't score on the abbreviated power play.

  • The Pens didn't score on the remainder of the power play, either.
  • Rupp destroyed Zanon with a big hit. He was slow to get up and even slower to get off the ice. So slow in fact that the Wild ended up taking a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty because of it. Syko served the penalty. On the ensuing power play, Siddo's stick was slashed and broken but the infraction was not called. To make matters worse, while Sid was talking to the ref about it, the puck was dropped for the next faceoff without him. The Pens failed to tie the game with a man advantage.

  • Syko and Letang had an incident. They deliberately hit each other. In doing so, Syko brought his stick up and over Letang's face. Shockingly, BOTH men were called for coincidental high sticks. I'm not trying to be biased - I really didn't see why Letang was called. Either way, no one scored on the 4 on 4.
  • The Pens threw everything but the kitchen sink at Backstrom, but he just wouldn't budge.

  • Rupp and Scott were shown having words with each other. No punches were thrown, but both men were thrown into their respective boxes for unsportsmanlike conduct. (I wonder what they were saying that was that bad???) Again, no one scored on the 4 on 4.
  • With less than 2 minutes to go in the game, Adams had an amazing chance. It didn't end with a goal. It created a series of great chances for the Pens that culminated in chaos in front of Backstrom. Unfortunately the puck never crossed the goal line. In the frenzy, Belanger took a stick to the face that left him pouring blood out on to the ice. He left immediately for treatment.

  • The Pens pulled Flower in favor of the extra attacker, and even though they put forth a valiant effort, the tying goal remained elusive. The Wild walked away with the win, despite having 20 less shots on goal.
  • The Pens fought hard and played well, but Backstrom was a brick wall.
  • How about the Captain throwing down to try to get his team back into it?! There is one thing that irked me though. Both the Wild announcers (in the video above) and Steigy and Errey said that Sid picked a non-fighter. But think about it - this is only Siddo's 3rd fight in 5 seasons in the NHL. He's not exactly a professional scrapper either, now is he?!
Next week the Pens go on tour out west. I'll be missing the Tuesday and Thursday game because I have to wake up early for a day job. But I'll make sure I have a post for you to comment on for those games.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!! :)

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

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