Archive for September, 2008

Cutting It Up

September 28, 2008
Oh he's making the opening day roster...

Oh he's making the opening day roster

The Pens trimmed down their roster again yesterday as they only have one more player to cut before they go to Sweden. Notable players that were cut were Connor James and Danny Richmond.

Sort of disappointed to see Richmond being cut. Really wanted him to stay a little bit more but hey, we’ll definitely see him this year when a player goes down.

Same with Connor James in the light that you’ll see James at least once this year. He had a good year in WBS last year and I feel like he’ll keep improving.

Though I gotta say, it’s awesome to see that Pez is still on the roster. Now it’s a definite possibility that he’ll on the roster that travels to Sweden for the opening games. He’s been solid in camp anyways so don’t be surprised to see Janne make it.

Anyways my prediction for the next cut: Bill Thomas

LETS GO PENS!

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TK RE-SIGNED

September 27, 2008
He's an odd looking character isn't he folks?

He's an odd looking character isn't he folks?

A totally unexpected signing that took place yesterday was TK (Tyler Kennedy) re-signing to a two-year extension.

Sometimes I don’t like these signings at unexpected moments and times like these but I gotta say I LOVE this signing. The Pens need to lock up more of their role players and Kennedy is a good one. Other than Crosby, he’s the only one that goes 100% at all times. He even has the ability to chip in a goal here and there and is a great set up guy. Pretty much the perfect 3rd line player who can play 1st or 2nd line when needed. It’s awesome to see him in fights because he’ll just viciously attack the player (talking to YOU Scottie Upshall). How bout some more of that this year Mr. Kennedy? I’d like some.

I expect more of the same from TK this year. As he gains more experience, I feel his point and goal total should rise a bit. Remember this will only be his second full year in the NHL, just think of how good he’ll be in a few years. I think it’s obvious that I’m anxious to see his improvement in the coming years.

Also, gotta give some kudos to Ray Shero for getting this done. Along with the ‘core’ players, I think he realizes that his role guys are also as equally important. Every Stanley Cup winner always has solid role players and right now that’s what the Pens are trying to establish. Hopefully either during the season or the offseason, Shero will continue signing more role players like Talbot.

One signing we don’t have to worry about next offseason…

LETS GO PENS!

Happy Belated Birthday to CANDY MAN!

September 27, 2008
Dishing out some free candy...

Dishing out some free candy...

Could not BELIEVE I forgot about Orpik’s birthday today. I mean how could forget about Candyman’s birthday?

Anyways, Orpik turned 28 yesterday. Happy effin birthday to him.

Very, very happy that Brooksie will be in a Penguins uniform for a many more seasons. He had a solid year this past year and is in his prime now. Hopefully he can keep dishing out the hits (and some candY) and hey, maybe chip in a goal or two every once in a while? I know, I know…too much to ask but hey, it COULD happen.

In honor of ‘Candyman’s’ birthday…

Oh man, what an EPIC video. Gotta love it!

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY BROOKSIE!

LETS GO PENS!

Preseason Game #4 Recap: Penguins vs. Maple Leafs

September 27, 2008

vs.

I guess you can still call them the ‘Cardiac Kids’ in the preseason. The Pens rallied to beat the Leafs 5-4 in Toronto tonight.

Sid was back for those that didn’t know. Thought that was pretty awesome, I didn’t expect him to play at all. Fleury was in goal tonight which I was really happy about. I wanted him to start at least one more preseason game. Unfortunately he let in 4 goals which makes me concerened.

Anyways, the goals for the Pens were Sidney Crosby, Janne Pesonen, Mark Eaton, Kris Letang and Matt Cooke. While listening to it, I was VERY pleased to see Eaton score. I’m really rooting for this kid this year and hope he actually plays a FULL SEASON HEALTHY for once. Nice to see Pez score as well, I’m starting to get the feeling he’ll make the next cut and go over to Sweden.

Probably the most staggering stat was that Toronto had 40 shots while the Pens only had 25 but still won. Pretty much shows you how great of an offense the Pens have. Have 15 more shots than the other team and STILL lose…EPIC FAILURE for the Leafs. That team could be BAD this year.

The Pens were down the whole game. 1-0, 3-1, and 4-3 but they never gave up and won. Hey I know it’s preseason but I LOVE IT. Was about to turn it off at the end but I knew these kids had a fight in them…they always do.

That’s when Letang tied the game up at 4 with less than 5 minutes to go and then Cookie took the lead with less than 3 minutes to go. Once again, I know it’s just a preseason game but oh yeah, I was flipping out like it was a playoff game.

Remember that I’m not putting much effort into these preseason games. For regular season games, it’ll be a full recap. So stay tuned for some awesome recaps.

ONE WEEK TILL SWEDEN FOLKS!

LETS GO PENS!

Preseason Game #3 Recap: Maple Leafs vs. Penguins

September 25, 2008

   

VS.

No Crosby? Ehh no problem. Since the hockey news now is STILL a bit slow (thank you ESPN), Sidney Crosby sat out tonight’s game with a sore groin. Now before everyone starts to freak out, this was a precautionary scratch. Not a big deal at all but just that the Pens didn’t want this to be a big problem.

Anyways, the Pens ended up defeating the Leafs 3-2 tonight at Mellon Arena. Another decent crowd for a preseason game was on hand tonight.

So with Crosby out, Jeff Taffe centered the first line with Dupuis and Satan. Malkin centered the second line with Feds and Sykora. Talbot then centered the third line with James and Kennedy. Sabo started again tonight surprisingly and surprisingly he did well. Hopefully MAF plays Friday night, I really want one more preseason game out of him.

Sykora lit up the lamp with with his third goal in the preseason making the score 1-0 early in the first. Really excited to see him play this year with Malkin. Methinks they’ll have great chemistry together. 1-0 ‘Guins.

Then an odd play occurred when Feds meant to pass it to Letang but it actually deflected off a defenseman (don’t know who) and went in. 2-0 ‘Guins.

A couple fights occurred in the first period but it remained 2-0 Pens at the end of the first…happy times!

To start out the second period, the Leafs went on a powerplay when Malkin scored a B-E-AUTIFUL goal off of a turnover to make the deficit even worse. 3-0 ‘Guins.

End of the second period…3-0 Pens.

Nothing much happened in the third other than the Leafs scored twice to make it 3-2 as Alexei Ponikarovsky and Mikhail Grabovski were the goal scorers. Grabovski scored with about 11 seconds to go.

Pens rake the Leafs 3-2 and a “BIG-BIG WIN FOR THE PENGUINS”…will NEVER give that up.

Not going to lie, I didn’t listen or watch the game tonight as I was not home all night. I just took this off of what LGP posters said in the game-thread topic. Of course I had to miss tonight to as their was a live feed on the Pens website (sigh).

LETS GO PENS!

Life Is Definitely A Beech…

September 23, 2008
AHL Lifer

Kris Beech: AHL Lifer

The second wave of cuts from the Pittsburgh roster down to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton roster were made earlier today.

Some noticeable players that WERE NOT cut are Janne Pesonen (yay), Bill Thomas (possible sleeper?), and Danny Richmond (he could make the trip to Sweden since Gonch is out for a little while). I think either Pez or Thomas will make the trip over to Sweden as well.

However, the ones that were cut were Ryan Stone and Kris Beech.

It’s a shame that Stone never panned out. He was suppose to be pretty good and some expected him to make the opening night roster. Hopefully he can progess more in the AHL and make a few appearances this year when players go down with injuries.

Don’t have to worry about Kris Beech being on the roster. I never really liked the idea of signing him in the first place. He’s been a career dissapointment and will continue to be one. Not a surprise at all that he got cut and probably will play the majority of his season down in WBS.

LETS GO PENS!

What The “A”?

September 23, 2008
In Soviet Russia...ahh screw it...that joke's old

In Soviet Russia...ahh screw it...that joke's old

In early August, I predicted who I thought should get the second alternate and the possible candidates. I had the expected Max Talbot, Petr Sykora, Brooks Orpik and Ryan Whitney. But I also included Evgeni Malkin, not expecting him to get it at all but to throw it out there because some thought he would get it.

I giggled at the thought of ‘Geno ever getting the second ‘A’ because the dude can barely speak English. So if he can’t speak English, he can’t communicate with other teammates as well. I thought that was a big deal right?

Not so fast my friend…

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently wrote an article suspecting that #71 would get the second ‘A’. Talk about a TOTAL SHOCK. I would have to think that Malkin would be the one of the more least likely players to receive that honor. Usually a great teammate/role player like Talbot gets it or an old, veteran guy like Sykora would get it. But to give it to someone who can barely speak English, is only 22 years old is surprising and only been in the league for two years is surprising.

However, I like it but at the same time I don’t like it.

Why I like it…’Geno will be here for 6 more seasons since he just signed a 5 year contract with the Pens. What a great way to tell him he’s a big piece in this organization by putting an ‘A’ above the skating Penguins logo. Since Crosby gets most of the media attention, it wouldn’t surprise me if Malkin sort of feels neglected because he’s on the same level as him but doesn’t get any where close to Crosby’s star level. Like I said before, it’d be a great message to ‘Geno that the Pens organization is committed to him as much as they are to Crosby.

Add that it could give him confidence. It could give him the mindset that he’s one of the team leaders and make him work harder. Sometimes a boost in a player makes them play unreal (which is a scary thought since we’re talking about Evgeni freakin’ Malkin).

Why I don’t like it…he can’t speak English. Yes I’ve said it a couple times now but it’s important. If Malkin can’t speak English, he won’t be able to technically ‘lead’ this team. Yes I know that some players lead by example but when you’ve got to order someone to step up, you can’t do it when you’re speaking Russian. When it’s less than two minutes to go in the third period and you need a goal to tie it up, you can’t be motivating them in Russian. In order for Malkin to get the second alternate, he should speak the English language a bit more fluently.

When pressure is put on some athlete’s shoulders they thrive while others die. I’m afraid ‘Geno could be one of the fragile ones which will make his play worse. That’s definitely not something I nor any other Pens fans want.

My overall thoughts…I think Malkin should get the second ‘A’ NEXT YEAR. Learn some more English, then come into the 09/10 season with that brand-spanking shiny new ‘A’ patched onto your jersey ready to prove people like me wrong. It’ll only be a matter of time when ‘Geno will collect the second alternate…

LETS GO PENS!

He Said WHAT?!

September 23, 2008
It was fun Bugsy...

It was fun Bugsy...

So after the 07/08 season, everyone assumed that Ryan Malone was going bye-bye’s forever from the Penguins organization. It was his pay-day after his best year yet and he deserved to get the money he got from the ‘Bolts. It was a business decision for Malone to go, both on his part and the Ray Shero’s part.

However, in the PIttsburgh Tribune-Review, Malone has stated ‘A deal could have been done a long time ago’ with the Pens.

Sort of interesting how he says that yet he’s the one who wanted the money in the first place. Not only that but Shero wasn’t going to give him the big bucks he wanted and with all the contracts the Pens needed to extend, there was no way Bugsy was coming back. It’s unfortunate, yes, but it’s what he had to do. I wish we could have Bugsy back for this year but I expect Staal to fill in that role nicely in the coming years.

Not only that but Ryan’s been a inconsistent player throughout his career. He turned it on halfway through the year last year and that was it. I still remember the cries over at LGP for the Pens to get rid of him.

GET WELL SOON SARGE!

GET WELL SOON SARGE!

Sergei Gonchar’s injury apparently seems worse than once thought. He was supposed to have an MRI today earlier this afternoon and results to come in later. Many are saying it could be a separated shoulder which could really suck because he’ll be out for 4-8 weeks possibly. Though we’ll need him more in April than October, it is a bummer to have your two top defensemen out for a while.
The Pens D really can’t afford another injury. ..ugh.
Crosby > Zetterberg

Crosby > Zetterberg

Before I say what I’m about to say, let me just say I think Henrik Zetterberg is an elite hockey player. Got that? You did? Good.

Wes Goldstein of CBS, posted his top 50 player rankings last week and it struck some controversy with me. First off, why is CBS writing about hockey? They don’t even have hockey on their station so why care about it on your website? Laff.

Anyways, he has Henrik Zetterberg #1 over Alex Ovechkin and our very own Sidney Crosby. Ovechkin’s second and Crosby’s third. Interesting, I’d like to see a poll conducted by all NHL GM’s to see who they would take for their first pick – Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, or Henrik Zetterberg?

I’ll tell you the answer to that question….it’s zero, the answer is zero.

LETS GO PENS!

Preseason Game #2 Recap: Penguins vs. Lightning

September 23, 2008

VS.

After the Penguins lost to the Lightning 5-4 in the shootout in Pittsburgh, they go down to Tampa Bay and defeat the ‘Bolts 3-2.

Last night’s roster was a lot different than the first preseason game. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Petr Sykora, Jordan Staal, Miroslav Satan and Marc-Andre Fleury did not play last night. Tampa’s lineup looked a lot different as well as their best players such as Vincent Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis were both out. Obviously this game was for the players that are battling to be here to open the season and not in WBS.

The ‘Bolts scored the first goal like that when Jussi Jokinen put the puck in the back of the net within the first minute. Of course my first thought was “Wonderful, we DO have a sucky back-up…just great”.

But then POOTIE TANG (Kris Letang for you newbies to the blog) tied it up at 1 with a little over 5 minutes into the first period on a powerplay. With Gonch possibly out for a while, POOTIE TANG should make be making a big impact and should collect a lot of minutes early in the season. Could be huge for him.

Then Max the ‘superstar’ Talbot scores to put the Pens up 2-1. There’s nothing more I’d love to see than for Talbot to have a big scoring year. I feel he can do it but he’s going to have to prove some other people wrong.

To open the second period, the past Penguins demons haunt them as Michel freakin’ Oullet scores to tie the game up. I swear it’s annoying how many times past Pens players hurt us…I don’t even care if it’s preseason.

Tyler Kennedy would then score what would be the game-winning goal as the Pens top the Lightning 3-2.

A VERY physical game with a couple fights. Sabo actually had a really, really good game. Was very impressed with him. After LISTENING (and not watching…damn you FSN Pittsburgh) these two past games, I feel there could be a couple of great games between the ‘Guins and the ‘Bolts in 08/09.

Oh and in the words of David Mishkin…”BIG-BIG WIN FOR THE PENGUINS!” Yeah right…

LETS GO PENS!

Preseason Game #1 Recap: Lightning vs. Penguins

September 21, 2008

VS.

My game threads will usually be a lot more comprehensive and detailed for the regular season games. I couldn’t watch it and listened to most of it.

Sounded like the Pens were going to get blown out when they went down 3-1. However, they came back and tied it up at 3 but ended up losing 5-4 in a shootout with goals by Stakmos and Jokinen.

Staal had the first goal of the game. Crosby later then followed and Siiiicckkkora (Petr Sykora for the people that don’t get that stuff because they’re not smart) chipped in two goals. Sounded like Staal was comfortable on the left wing with Malkin, had two points. REALLY happy to see and hear that.

Of course you can expect the Pens to be a little flat. I mean they ARE getting a feel for each other and trying to get used to each other. You’ll probably see a lot more of this to start out in not only preseason games but in the early games of the seasons as well. Then the “THE SKY IS FALLING” crowd will come out of the woodwork and pleasure us all…they’re real delightful and make us all giggle.

Gonch got hurt. He was hit by David Koci and only played for like 3 minutes or so. Though you always should be cautious with stuff like that, he should be OK. Supposedly it’s a shoulder injury from what the Pens official site says. If he goes down though, our nice depth that we had is shot. I don’t think it’s serious though.

If any of you listened to the game, you would’ve known that the Lightning’s radio guy, David Mishkin is a complete bafoon. Every time the ‘Bolts scored he’d act like they just won the Stanley Cup. Every time their goalie made a save, he’d act like Jesus Christ just appeared on the face of the earth.

Then the greatest line EVER by an announcer made after a preseason game…”A BIG-BIG WIN FOR THE LIGHTNING!!” Okay buddy…

Not much to take from this game. What else happened? Oh, Satan hit the post a lot. He’ll need to capitalize on that during the season or it could cost us.

LETS GO PENS!