Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moose's Favorite Pens Moments of 2009

As a sort of follow-up to my husband The Blueline Bandit's top moments of the decade, I am going to share with you my favorite Pens moments of 2009. Being that I am not technologically advanced, I am going to copy in links of YouTube clips of my favorite moments...I am not sure exactly how to add them so you can view them on this page. Read and enjoy, and share your thoughts!

#10 Mike Rupp's First Career Hat Trick

When a fourth liner is racking up the goals in a game, you know you are in pretty good shape. He came back from what we thought was an injury to get his first career hat trick on his son's birthday. They were pretty goals too.

#9 Marian Hossa's Face After Detroit Loses in SCF

This isn't really a Pens moment, but it was a noteworthy moment nonetheless. I couldn't find the picture that I wanted here, but I'm sure you all remember it. We were all looking for it at some point. Ah retribution.

#8 Bing's Hat Trick Against Rangers 11/28/09

Needless to say, this was a great moment. It just so happened that he scored a hat trick on a free hat giveaway night. The sight of all those hats flying like snow was just epic. Bing knows how to wow us fans, and he did not disappoint that night.

#7 Billy G. Scores With 0.4 Seconds Left Against Boston

Down 5-4 against Boston. Empty net. We were on the edge of our seats. Malkin and Guerin head down the ice. Malkin delivers a pretty pass to Guerin, who buries it. Tim Thomas is PISSED. Dups wins it in overtime. If you were at that game, I am jealous of you.

#6 Talbot Ssshhhhhssss the Crowd

Flyers are up 3-0 in Game 6 of the series. Carcillo and Talbot go at it. No reason for Carcillo to engage Talbot in a fight. Talbot loved it. Gave us all the momentum we needed. Pens ended up winning 5-3. Unreal.

#5 Fleury Robs Ovechkin in Game 7 of Series

This was a back and forth hard fought series, and we went into Game 7 expecting a challenge. Fleury makes an unreal glove save on Ovechkin, and we got all the momentum after that. Pens win the game 6-2.

#4 The Save. Fleury stops Lidstrom in final seconds of Game 7 of SCF.

This game just ended lives. We were seconds away from a win, and Detroit was piling it on. Lidstrom takes a shot on net with less than a second, and Fleury makes a save we will never forget. It will play in our minds for years to come.

#3 Malkin HT Against Carolina in Game 2 ECF

We owned Carolina in this series, and Malkin owned Cam Ward in this game. One of the best goals we have ever seen. No look backhander over the shoulder of Ward. Stunned City.

#2 Raising the Stanley Cup Banner in the Igloo

If this didn't give you chills, you might not be alive. Seeing the banner raised again was a proud moment for us Pens fans. I could watch this again and again and again.

#1 Well Of Course, Winning the Cup.

We were in tenth place in February. Morale was down. Then Dan Bylsma comes in and everything turns around. We played with heart and determination. We took down the Flyers in 6, Caps in 7, and swept Carolina. We faced a foe that broke our hearts the year before, who took the Cup in our house. This year was our turn. We took the Cup in THEIR house, and it was beautiful. Seeing our boys raise the Cup, seeing Lemieux raise the Cup again....I will never forget it. I cried. It will be a moment I'm sure we will remember forever.

Share your thoughts on your favorite moments! I hope this season brings us all the excitement that this past year has.

Happy New Year to you all!

Moose Out.

Looking Back On An Unreal Decade

We started off the 00's with a super high, Buries It returning to the ice after a 3 and a half year retirement. We endured some hard times (2003, woof) and we end the decade on another high as Stanley Cup Champs. I've been reading a lot about this last decade and decided to share some of my top players and games.

MY Top Ten Players Of The Last Decade:

10: Jaromir Jagr
-Yea, he was kind of a dick for some of the things he said, but he is a pretty sweet player and one of the Pens all time greats. Technically had only one full season here in the decade, but it was a 52 goal, 121 point season. That gets him on the list.

9: Ryan Malone
-He had a pretty solid rookie season in 03-04 with 22 goals and 43 points. A highlight in an otherwise forgettable season. He put up another 22 goals after the lockout, had a down year in 06-07 and was always in trade rumors. But he broke through as a legit power forward with 27 goals and 51 points in 07-08. He was a Burgh guy, a team guy. We all remember him sitting in the locker room after the Game 6 loss in 2008, head in his arms, the last guy to undress, his last game as a Penguin. He left for Tampa Bay in free agency and the money. But I don't blame him, no way the Pens could pay him a lot and good for him to make some money. I still love Bugsy and appreciate his time as a Pen.

8: Aleksey Morozov
-You gotta love a guy whose nickname was "The Devil Killer". He always seemed to have success against the Devils, and Martin Brodeur jokingly said that he had nightmares of Morozov before he would face the Pens. He never really got a chance to live up to his potential here, but we loved the flashes of brilliance he would show. He was off to a hot start in '02 before breaking his wrist and didn't have much success the following year due to a terrible team. The lockout gave him a chance to go back and play in Russia and he's been there ever since. We can only dream about him playing wing with Bing or Geno...

7: Alexei Kovalev
-Had the best years of his career here, 76 and 95 points. Who can forget the chemistry of the Kovalev/Straka/Lang line? He was a casualty of the Pens financial woes, traded in 2003. He was fast, exciting, and a great puckhandler.

6: Jordan Staal
-Burst onto the NHL scene in 06-07 with 29 goals and 42 points. Broke some NHL rookie records; youngest player to score two shorthanded goals in one game, youngest player to score on a penalty shot, youngest player to score a hat trick, and most short-handed goals by a rookie with seven. Had a bit of a slump in his second year, but was solid in the playoffs. Bounced back with a verey solid year in 2009. Becoming an elite third line center, shorthanded goal scorer, and penalty killer. It can be argued that his shorthanded goal in Game 4 of the 2009 SCF was the most important goal in the playoffs. Big things are in store for this young man.

5: Max Talbot
-They don't call him Superstar for nothing. He may just be your average third/fourth line checking center during the regular season, but he comes alive in the postseason when the spotlight in brightest. His intensity and energy may be unmatched. His amazing game-tying goal in the waning seconds of Game 5 of the '08 SCF, his "shhhh" in Game 6 vs. the hatred Flyers, and his 2 goals in Game 7 of the SCF to win the Cup. A team leader behind the scenes, a great locker room guy, and an Unreal human being.

4: Mario Lemieux
-The greatest player in Pens history, Buries It, retired in 97, but made a grand return late in 2000 and put up 76 points in only 43 games, Unreal. Unfortunetly, he continued to be plagued by injuries but had a very solid 91 points in 67 games in 2002. He finally had to retire for good in 2005 due to a heart condition, but he continued to contribute to the team. Helped negotiate the deal for the new arena. But his biggest act of the decade may have been a couple text messages. After a 5-0 loss to the Wings in the 2009 SCF, Buries It sent out Unreal text messages to inspire the team for Games 6 and 7. Seeing this man lift that Cup again was the most surreal moment of the decade.

3: Marc-Andre Fleury
-Taken number one overall in the NHL Draft in 2003, he has proven why. He started off slow in both 03-04 and 05-06, splitting time between the Pens and WBS. But this finally became his team in 06-07 with solid play and 40 wins. He started off slow the next year and suffered a high ankle sprain that limited him to only 35 games. But he caught fire after the injury and led the team to the playoffs. He tore through the East in the playoffs with a 12-2 record before falling in the SCF. But his first big moment came in Game 5 of that series with a 55 save performance as the Pens won in 3 OT. Last year, he was a major factor in every round, making incredible key saves at key moments. Carter, Lupol, Ovechkin, and Staal all learned this the hard way. But he saved his best for the SCF. After a terrible 5-0 loss, he rebounded with the best two games of his career, winning Game 6 and Game 7 and providing the "Secret Service" save in the last second to preserve the Cup.

2: Evgeni Malkin
-Taken 2nd overall in the NHL Draft. Fled his Russian team to come here for the 06-07 season. Won the Calder as best rookie. Scored a crazy goal against Marty B. In 07-08, he took over when Bing went down, scoring 44 points in the 28 games Crosby was out. Finished with 106 points and runner-up for the Hart. Put up 22 points in the 08 Cup Run. He expanded his domination last year. 113 points for the Art Ross. Exploded in the playoffs, especially against Carolina where he recorded an HT and an amazing backhand goal. Finished with 36 points to get the Conn Smythe along with that Cup. Suck on that Jokevechkin.

1: Sidney Crosby
-Do I even need to explain? Saved the franchise. 100 points in his rookie year. Art Ross, Hart, and Pearson the next. Won the Winter Classic in the shootout. Helped lead the team to the SCF in his third year. And last year...improved on all aspects of the game from faceoffs to goal scoring, went toe to toe with Jokevechkin in the playoffs, and captained the Pens to the Cup. Unreal.

Honorable Mention: Sergei Gonchar, Brooks Orpik, Mark Recchi.

Dishonorable Mention: Ziggy Palffy, Konstantin Koltsov, Kris Beech.

Best Coach: Disco Dan Bylsma
Worst Coach: Ed Olczyk (Bob Errey could have done better, blindfolded)

Best Year: 2008-09 (duh)
Worst Year: 2003-04 (23 wins, 58 points, dead last in NHL.)

My lovely wife, the Moose, will be following up with her favorite moments of the decade.

Can't wait to see what the next decade will hold.

As always,


-the Blueline Bandit

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pens Light It Up Better Than Clark Griswold. WIN 8-2.

Sure made up for the last game we played against Ottawa.

We begin the evening with Bob Errey in the Christmas spirit.
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We also saw some changes in the lineup, with Tenk and Dups on the top line with Bing and Guerin and Kunitz on the second line with Malkin.

Ottawa came out very strong and had Fleury working hard, who came up with some key saves early in the game. Pens soon got a power play and we were not disappointed. Bing dishes a cross ice pass to Geno, who buries one back door. Pens showed good puck control on that opening power play.

Ottawa gets a power play of their own soon after. Kovalev misses a wide open net. Whew.

Almost got to see Letang bury one. He's due.

Pens second power play did not result in any points, but once again they showed good puck control, and Cooke planted himself right in front of the net, just like Malone used to. It also didn't hurt that Volchenkov and Phillips, two of Ottawa's penalty killers, got the first two penalties of the game.

Ottawa scored their first goal of the game after a big faceoff win. After that it became Momentum City for the Senators. Fleury stood tall against a barrage of shots. Ottawa got another power play, and Alfredsson got destroyed by a hit from Adams, who ended up sandwiching Alfredsson between himself and Gonchar. Alfredsson goes off down the runway...not good for the Senators, who are already without Spezza.

Plenty of 4 on 4 action in the first period as well. I about jumped out of my seat when a Gogo and Geno 2 on 1 ensued, but they couldn't knock it in. Ottawa went right back down the ice and Kovalev got denied by Fleury. Bodies were flying.

Ottawa had 24 shots in the first period to the Pens 9 shots. Wow.

At the beginning of the second period Geno gets a stick to the face by Cheechoo. Apparently he drew blood, but a 2 minute penalty was called. It didn't take long for Billy G., who wasn't even being covered by a defenseman, knocked in his own rebound to make it 2-1. 5th power play goal of the season, 10th overall. Mike Yeo's job is safe once more.

We found out that Alfredsson would not be returning. Another kick to Ottawa.

Neil gets called for a charge, which probably should have been called as interference. On the way to the box Neil takes a shot at Geno's midsection with his stick, nothing called. Rupp takes offense to this and gets called for unsportsmanlike conduct. More 4 on 4 action.

Staal proved again that he is an unreal player. He hammers Kovalev and gets control of the puck, does a little give and go with Talbot, then dishes it off to Tenk, who punches it in to make it 3-1. Beautiful work by Staal.

Kunitz deflects a shot from Billy G. into the goal to make it 4-1. Wooooo. At that point, the Pens were outshot 35-18 and winning by three goals. How crazy is that?

Pens get ANOTHER power play goal to make it 5-1. Ottawa gets a shorthanded chance, then Pens get a 3 on 1 back down the ice. Kunitz to Bing to Guerin, who buries another one. Hot damn. Glad I made Billy G. my extra attacker tonight.

Neil takes a shot at Staal's face. Clown.

At the end of the 2nd Volchenkov and Geno battle in the corner...Geno gets himself up and in position to knock one in from a great pass from Kunitz. 6-1. Putting Geno and Kunitz on the same line sure has looked good. Kunitz had 4 points alone in the 2nd period. 4 points. 3 assists and 1 goal. Unreal.
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Ottawa had 39 shots on goal at the end of the second period, but only got 1 in. Fleury=beast.

We began the 3rd period with some much expected fights. Rupp and Neil went at it first. Then Adams, who had a big target on his back after the hit on Alfredsson, went at it with Carkner.

Then it was Sarge's turn. Cooke had a nice pass to Sarge, who had good positioning in front of the net. 7-1. Sarge's 3rd point of the night.

We've been waiting for it...a GENO HAT TRICK. Bing, being the classy leader he is, passed it off to Geno to make it 8-1. I don't think Bob Errey wanted to give up his Santa hat though. That 8th goal also tied the season high for most goals in one game.

Pens got a power play and started a "Let's Go Guerin" chant for him to get the HT. Unreal. Then he gets called for a penalty, and flashed us all a grin. You have to love it. He ended up with 9 shots on goal tonight and 4 points.

What a great Christmas present for us Pens fans. Fleury, Guerin, Geno, Kunitz, all unreal tonight. Fleury with 45 saves on 47 shots. It's saying something when your team wins 8-2 and the goaltender gets the number 1 star. Geno is back in action. The Kunitz-Geno-Guerin line had 11 points total tonight.
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I would like to wish all who read this a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holiday with your loved ones.

Moose Out.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Take That Record And Shove It Up Your Fat Ass.

Pens didn't really show up tonight. Devils and Marty B. did. It blows. But let the Devils enjoy their regular season spoils. Let Marty enjoy his big shutout record and regular season success. We all know the last couple years a Flower blooms and wins the big games in April while Marty chokes and throws epic hissy fits. Enjoy looking at records at home with your former mistress/wife while Flower is playing in SCF games.

You really think I'm gonna recap this? Just a few thoughts...

-Staal is an Unreal Human. We all felt a little queasy when blood poured from his face and he was kicking his legs in pain after taking a puck to the face. But he manned up, put on a Hannibal Lecter mask and was out there skating hard in the 3rd, despite being down 4-0. That's what I love about hockey.

-Don't blame Fleury. If you do, you're an idiot. Fact.

-I've kept mostly quiet about the troubles on the PP. I won't jump on the Fire that Guy bandwagon...but a team with Bing, Geno, and Gonch HAS to be do better than 30th in the league.

-Dear Moron fans, don't yell SHOOOOOOT on the PP when, clearly, there is no shooting lane. You make us all incredibly frustrated.

-I don't like Brodeur. He can hold all the records he wants, but there have been better goalies in history than him in my humble opinion. It's not all about numbers. But kudos to the classy Pens fans for applauding him at the end of the game. I would have too, reluctantly. It is a part of the history of this great game of hockey. And I respect the game.

-Speaking of numbers, the Caps dominated the Pens in the regular season last year. How did that work out for them in the playoffs?

-At least Bylsma didn't try an onside kick tonight.

-And Philly lost to the Panthers 4-1 tonight. Seeing those douches tumble makes nights like this hurt just a tiny bit less.

-Pens beat Ottawa Wednesday night. Bank.

-the Blueline Bandit

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Poke Check City. Pens Win in Shootout 2-1.

Another hard fought win after a shootout. I would just like to highlight some points about tonight's game.

Fleury was just UNREAL tonight. 31 saves...many of them great glove and pad saves. He's been playing a great game lately. How about that poke check in the shootout? Once again Fleury helped keep us in the game with the barrage of shots that Buffalo was getting on net. Lalime played a pretty respectable game as well.
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Power play went 0 for 5 tonight, but to be optimistic they did have some opportunities, namely in the second period when they got a good bit of shots on net. Once we get away from all those cross ice passes and try to get it on net when possible we can get some better chances. Penalty kill was good tonight. Pens killed a Buffalo 5 on 3, and Buffalo went 0 for 8 on their power play tonight. Staalsy had two shorthanded chances, but it didn't happen tonight.

Good to see Kunitz get a goal tonight, and a pretty shortside one at that. He was due for a goal.

Hope Eaton is ok...that was an awkward tumble he took tonight. We will anxiously await news on him.

Malkin has been taking a lot of penalties as of late. Tonight was his 7th straight game in which he had a penalty. When going to leave the box tonight he got his stick on the puck before his feet even touched the ice. Not too sure what he was thinking there. Let's hope he takes less penalties in the future.

TangBang with the shootout winner, and it was a beautious backhander.
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I believe tonight put him 3 for 6 in shootout attempts. Crosby wasn't able to bang it in tonight, but 5 for 6 in the shootouts for the year is nothing to sneeze at.

Next game against the Devils will be big. Devils won tonight against Atlanta. Getting a win against them is important, and we need that win in regulation to prevent them from getting a point. The boys will be at home, I have faith we can get this win. Let's Do It on Monday.

Moose Out.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hey, He Just Scored On Us, Let's Chant He Sucks!

Beating the Flyers never ever gets old. The Pens take 4 out 4 points in the home and home and are 3-0 against the Flyers this season and in the calendar year of 2009, the Pens are 10-3 against their cross state rivals.

I'm not going to do my usual game recap, instead I feel a rant coming against the team I have always and will always hate most.

-"Crosby Sucks" may just be the dumbest chant in all of sports. It started out as annoying, but now I love it. The more the morons chant it, the more Bing soaks it in and dominates. Take last night, Bing scores on the PP to tie it up and the fans go at it. The dude just scored his 22nd goal, 2nd in the league by the way, but apparently, he sucks. You don't think that was in his mind when he banged one home in the shootout to win the game? So, please Philly fans, keep it up!

-I'm convinced Carcillo is a distant inbred cousin of Hartnell. They both take dumb penalties, take runs at guys, cry when things don't go their way, and one looks like a circus clown and one looks like the greaseball that runs the Tilt-A-Whirl.

-Since June 27th, all I've heard from Philly fans is how Pronger is gonna shut down Bing and Geno and lead them back to the Cup. Watching Chris Pylon the last 2 games has me convinced otherwise. Not only were Bing and Geno abusing him, but Staal and Tenk were outskating him. Clearly not the Pronger of old. And he's only going to get slower as the season goes on. So was it worth Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa, TWO first round draft picks and a conditional third round draft pick? Have fun paying roadkill $7 mill for the next 4 years.

-Speaking of roadkill, did you see Briere's shootout attempt last night? Pathetic. What's even more pathetic is how much they are paying this over-rated little girl. Little Debbie is making $8 mill this year and $7 mill the next 3 seasons. Makes me SICK.

-Flyers fans were all over their goalie, Boucher, last night. I kept reading comment after comment about how much he sucks. I hate to defend a Flyers goalie, but the guy played a pretty solid game last night. If not for him, it's another Pens blowout. Fleury outplayed him FTW, but at least he got his team a point. But a measley point means nothing to Flyers fans. Way to stick up for your team.

-Whenever the Pens dominate the Flyers, which has been often the last few years, Philly fans can't handle it and start to abuse our fanbase. The inevitable comments about the bankruptcies, rumors of relocation, fairweather fans, and the early 2000's come down. Since their team can't compete with the Pens, they think assaulting our tough recent history will make their team better. Guess what, it doesn't. When will Flyers fans learn that the thug tactics will not you win a Cup? Thank God that Ray Shero knows how to build a complete team like the Pens rather than the one dimensional mentality like the Flyers.

-I suffered a lot of crap from Flyers fans over the years. I remember when the Pens absolutely could not win in Philadelphia. I remember losing to them in the playoffs. I remember the taunts during the bankruptcies. So I am loving the Pens domination right now and I'm evening up the score.

-But to get Back to the Point, the Pens are tearing it up right now. Four straight wins, and they've won 10 of the last 13. Battling for not only the division, but for the top spot in the East. And I believe they will be right there for the reats of the season. There is no reason not to think so. Bing is on acid right now. 10 goals and 7 assists in his last 8 games. 5 for 5 in shootouts. 22 goals, second in the NHL, how Unreal is that? He's also become a Faceoff Beast. His will and desire is even greater than last year. And just wait till Geno catches know it's coming. Fleury has been solid as well. Second in the league in wins with 20. 9-1-1 in his last 11 with a GAA around 2. Throw in a shutdown center like Staal and key role players like Guerin, Rupp, Talbot, Dupuis, TK, and Cooke. Absolutely Solid D with Sarge, Tanger, Goggles, Eaton, McKee, and Free Candy. This year has been a phenomenal ride. Can't wait to see what next year brings.


-the Blueline Bandit

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's Gonna Be a Long Ride Home to Philly. Pens Win 6-1

Seeing the Flyers destroyed 6-1 sure makes for a pretty solid Tuesday night.

We saw in the first period some changes made to the power play, namely Geno playing on the point. Something must have clicked, because we got to see Bing bury one into a wide open net, with Sarge and Tenk picking up the assists. That goal gave bing his 21st of the season, which at game time put him tied at 2nd place in the NHL with Heatley and Ovechkin. Woooo.

If you wanted to see a fight (who doesn't against the Cryers?), then you were not disappointed in the first period. Rupp and Asham squared off first. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it sure got everyone pumped up. Not too much longer afterward, the much expected Godard/Cote fight ensued. Not to be left out, Adams and Carcillo duked it out. It sure made for a crowded penalty box.
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After a hard fought effort to get to the net, Billy G. knocked in a loose puck to make it 2-0. You could see Philly crying from the sidelines. Waaa waaa...get over it. We thought it was gonna happen again when a Crosby-Guerin 2 on 1 ensued, but Philly broke it up nicely.

Carcillo scored on a Philly PP and whored himself off to the crowd. 2-1. Ugh.

Kennedy showed great effort tonight, working hard for the puck and trying to get some shots on net. I respect the effort he puts out on the ice. Staal also had one hell of a game. That shorthanded goal he scored to make it 3-1 was just beautiful. With the way he is playing at 21 years old, imagine what his game will keep progressing to in the upcoming years. What a great player.

Breaking news from the Versus's cold in Canada. Thanks for the groundbreaking news.

Some ticky-tacky calls in the second period. Tenk got called for interference, but I didn't see it. Rupp got called for roughing for what appeared to me to just be him finishing off a check. At least it didn't result in any goals for the Flyers.

Really wanted to see Godard get a goal...he was parking himself in front of the net trying, but it just didn't happen. He did get an assist though, so that's something.

Power play didn't get anymore goals, but it seems to be making progress. The first unit has been looking better.

Late in the second, Hartnell makes a "what the hell were you thinking?" play and doesn't take a shot on net with a prime opportunity. He was quickly made to regret that decision when Crosby got control of the puck, sent it to Letang, who made a sick setup to Staal. Staal knocks it in. 4-1 at the end of the second.

What appeared to be a Philly PP goal in the third was called off when joke Carcillo kicked it in. Have you seen his moustache? Did he lose a bet?

Tenk gets retribution for the two penalties called on him with a goal to make it 5-1. Malkin even got himself a shorthanded goal at the end to make it 6-1. Nothing like running up the score on Philly. As my husband said, there's no running up the score when you are playing a rival like Philly. You take the chances you get and keep on playing.

Let's hope we can do the same in their house on Thursday night. Let's Do It.

Moose Out.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wipe Your Nose, Score The Game Winner In OT.

Our Pens played the Florida Panthers, which could mean only two things. Vokoun would stand on his head and stop a lot of shots, but the Pens would win 3-2 in overtime. And that's exactly what happened for the third time this year. Oct. 23 = 3-2 win in shootout. Nov.23 = 3-2 win in OT on a PP goal. And now a 3-2 win in OT on a PP goal. Gotta love the little quirks in the game like this. Let's hit the recap.


-First off, Kunikaze returns to the lineup finally. Everyone is now back. Weird, we thought we would never see the Pens with their full lineup at their disposal.

-Johnsson and Vokoun both look solid early.

-Rupp gets sent to the sin bin for hooking.

-Panthers capitalize on the PP with a dirty goal from Reinprecht. 1-0 Panthers.

-Adams floats a pass to Dupuis who is screaming down the wing. A Panther poops his pants and falls over, Dups skates in on net and stuns Vokoun with a sweet wrister. 1-1. Nice goal. Adams and Goggles get the assists.

-As Johnson tries to freeze a puck, a douche named Mike Duco cross checks McKee into Johnson and Johnson cracks his head off something. Thankfully he's ok. But somehow Geno gets a 4 minute high stick penalty in the scrum and the Panthers get a PP.

-Pens PK mops up this time.

-Pens get a PP near the end of the period.


-Pens PP is killed.

-Kunitz gets called for hooking.

-Dvorak gets a big taste of Free Candy. Dvorak = stunned.

-Pens kill the Kunitz penalty.

-Rupp wins a battle in the corner for the puck against 2 Panthers and gets it to Geno. Geno quickly gets it in front of the Panthers net where Fed-Ex redirects it past Vokoun. The relieved look on Fedotenko's face is priceless. His first goal in 13 games. Rupp and Geno get the helpers. 2-1 Pens.

-McKee makes a big shot block. Growing accustomed to that.

-Pens get a PP. No dice.

-Adams destroys Kulikov with nice hit.


-Talbot get destroyed by Ballard. At least Ballard remembers to hit the other team's guys.

-Pens get a PP. Again, nothing...

-As McCabe comes out the box, he gets sprung on a breakaway. Johnson denies him, but dishes a big juicy rebound. Weiss pounces on it as Johnson flails about to try to poke check it away. Weiss calmly drags it around Johnson and puts it into the empty cage. Ugly. 2-2.

-Another Pens PP gets killed.

-Jeff "since when did he play for Florida" Taffe gets loose on a breakaway and Johnson makes a huge save.

-Pens get another PP, but it's snuffed out by a weak makeup call.

-Job, job, overtime.


-30 seconds in, Staal get hauled down. PP city.

-7 seconds after the penalty is called, Bing wins a faceoff back to Geno. Geno to Gonch. Malkin takes a second to wipe his nose before Gonch dishes the puck back to him and he unleashes a wicked one-timer past Voukoun. Game. Bing and Gonch get the assists. 3-2 Pens.


-The PP can look bad at times, but it's when it comes through that matters. And a game winning PP goal in overtime is big. (though it would have been nice to put the game away in regulation)

-Johnson is a very solid backup for Fleury.

-Kunitz was quiet tonight, but it's his first game back in awhile.

-Free Candy was everywhere last night. Rupp, Cooke, and Adams were crunching as well. I love this stat, Pens are first in the NHL in hits.

-Vokoun is up all night crying after playing the Pens. 1-1-4 in his past 6 games against the Pens. I almost feel bad. Almost.

-I'm gonna say it. Sign Pascal Dupuis.

-Pens are 22-10-1. And near the top of the East. Let's not complain too much. Remember where the Pens were last December? And it's not like they lost to the Browns or anything...

-Home and home series against the Cryers this week. Gonna be nasty. Love it.


-the Blueline Bandit

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sometimes the Bounces Just Don't Go Your Way. Pens Lose in OT 2-1.

What can you say about last night's game? It was long and hard fought, but ultimately Chicago came out on top. We had a big downer before the game with the news that Bing was out. We sure did miss him on the faceoffs last night.

The boo birds were in full force for Nossa. Of course he would score the first Chicago goal, off of a "fortuitous" bounce, as Bob Errey would call it. Kane helped to set up the play by going hard down the wall and beating a tired Malkin.
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There were no shots on goal for about the first four minutes of the game, but after that both goaltenders were pummeled and had to really be on their game.

The hit on Matt Cooke to the head was a dirty hit. If Keith isn't suspended for that then I don't know. Lots of scrums and hits in the first period...the Pens were frustrated.

Basically you can recap the second period by saying there were a lot of shots on net and many almost goals. Niemi just wasn't going to be beat. Even Godard had a good blast on net, it was just no go. I do have to comment on how well Letestu played last night. He helped set up plays, got a shot on goal, and skated hard. He certainly gave us some help when we needed it. He did more in one game than Bourque did his whole run here. Yeah, I said it.

The third period opened with another almost goal by Nossa...luckily it didn't happen. The Pens had a great chance with a Malkin and Talbot 2 on 1, but the pass went off Geno's stick. I'm sure frustrated words were thrown by fans everywhere.

Then it finally happened. You could see in Staal's eyes that he was hellbent on making it happen. I'm sure lots of people questioned why Staal was out by himself, but we soon found out it was a set play. Letestu gets a big faceoff win, Malkin cranks one, and Staal punches in the rebound. Overtime City.

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However, as it was the theme of the game, it just didn't go our way. The Pens ended up with their first overtime loss of the season. However the Pens gave a good effort, they just missed some opportunities and were up against a tough Chicago team. Can't win them all. Let's hope for better tomorrow against Carolina, who has just divebombed this season.

New Jersey ended up with a shootout win against Detroit, and the Caps humiliated the Cryers 8-2. I just have to laugh at the 9 minute power play that Washington ended up getting.

Moose Out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Superstar Treatment For Me And The Wife

Max Talbot was down at Century III Mall doing an autograph signing from 6-8 tonight. Naturally, the Blueline Bandit and the Moose were super stoked and down there waiting in line at 5. Clueless old people and Twilight Tweens would occassionally stroll past the line and curiously ask, "What's the line for?", not realizing a sea of people wearing Talbot jerseys and shirts and everyone clutching a Talbot pic. And we laughed heartily at some of these hapless folks who were unaware of who Max Talbot even was. LOSERS.

Anyways, we finally made our way in to see Max. I shook his hand (nice firm handshake by the way) and forked over our two pics to be signed. His signature is pretty Unreal.

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After he signed our pics, I showed him the following picture of our ceremonial puck drop at our wedding reception and told him how we entered to the Pens music and even dropped the gloves for a mock fight.

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He started at the picture for a good minute or two examining every detail and said, "Wow guys, this is great." The people with him also got a kick out of it. It was a very cool little moment.

He wished us luck and told us "Don't fight too much!". We shook his hand again and wished him luck on the rest of the season. As we proceeded out he called out to the Moose, who was wearing a Talbot shirt, "That's a great shirt!" and gave her the thumbs up. Moose returned the Thumb and we left smilin' like a butcher's dog.

But I can't help but wonder, did the Superstar really like the shirt or was he just checking out my wife's ass?

Probably a little of both.


-the Blueline Bandit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mason Rupp's Best Birthday EVER. Dad gets HT, Pens win 5-2

We had some good news and bad news before the start of yesterday's game. We found out that Goggles would be out due to a groin injury (which caused me to throw some objects), but that McKee would be back in the lineup. Perhaps Goggles came back too early before he was completely healthy. Regardless, let's hope that him and Kunikaze are back soon.

Congrats to Orpik on his 400th NHL game.

The Rangers came out guns ablazing in the first knew they would. After bad losses to Tampa Bay and us, they had something to prove. However, the Pens turned their game on too. Eaton, who I thought had a good game all around, came up with a nice diving move to break up a scoring chance for the Rangers. It did take us about 7 minutes to get our first shot on net, courtesy of TK, but it was all systems go after that.

Fleury was on his game last night. Lundqvist stopped what he had to in the first. The Flower was clutch in the first period, coming up with a nice glove save on Higgins. The Rangers could have easily had 2 or 3 goals if not for the way Fleury was playing.
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Pens get a PP from a trip on Tenk and get a few chances, but no dice.

Eaton gets steamrolled by Boyle and we all cringe. Luckily he was alright.

Do your fists clench like mine every time Avery's name is mentioned? I even hate seeing his face.
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Vomit City.

At the end of the first period Brashear tries to prove his manhood by throwing TK around and gets a roughing penalty. Billy G. gets called soon after for interference, so the 2nd period starts with 4 on 4 hockey.

You had a feeling the Rangers were gonna score first. Gaborik was in the right place in front of the net and scored on his own rebound. Tanger didn't get to him in time. But never fear, Bing had something to say himself. Eleven seconds later Bing delivers a sick backhand over Lundqvist's shoulder to make it 1-1. Back in business.

About 5 minutes later we see a great backhand goal from Mr. Rupp. Staal set him up beautifully on that play. Pens up 2-1.

Another good game from Staalsy. Did you see his power move in the second period where he just left 3 guys in the dust? He also had a shorthanded chance late in the second, but Lundqvist said no. Did you know his brother Marc plays for the Rangers? They just had to comment on it. Gaborik scores again to make it 2-2 late in the second.

Fleury jabbing Avery in the face with his stick=priceless.

The third period brought a vomit-worthy moment when Rupp was thrown into the boards by Girardi. Rupp appeared to hurt his leg. His son's birthday appeared to be ruined.

But apparently we did not have to worry. He scores AGAIN. His son's birthday is saved. I don't even know where Rupp came from, but he rolled up the wing and put one over Lundqvist when he was down to make it 3-2.
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A blast from Eaton at the point and a deflection by Bing into the net makes it 4-2. Wooo

Rangers pull Lundqvist, Crosby dishes it to Rupp, who gets it down the ice into the empty net as he is knocked over. 5-2. Rupp HT. Unreal. First career hat trick and beating his season high in goals in the same night? Pretty good evening. Beating the Rangers twice in three days with a hat trick per game? Pretty sweet.

Across the NHL...

We all know about this...
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Karma Jokevechkin....karma. He gets destroyed by his own knee on knee hit. Awaiting word on the extent of his injury.

This one upset me a bit.
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Keith Ballard gets pissed and ends up accidentally hitting Vokoun in the head, who was taken off the ice on a stretcher. He was alert when taken into the ambulance and Florida's coach said that he is going to be fine.

Colorado on Thursday. Let's Do It.

Moose Out.