Stanley Cup: Bummer

First off, congratulation to the Detroit Red Wings. After winning the Presidents Trophy enough times, they have certainly earned it. They fought hard, played well, and all that.

After that—–

Crap.

Look, I don’t care what the Red Wings fans think about my choice of teams, and I do not care what the classless fans have to say. There are some decent people who are Red Wings fans, and I welcome their input, but after that, I do not care. It’s the jerks that get all the airtime, and they should find a venue that let’s them be jerks as much as they feel like. Start a blog, I did.

I am finding out something about myself in this moment. It isn’t so much the players, and it isn’t even the uniform, that I hate to see win the Cup. They actually earned it. It’s the fans who act like jackasses I hate to see get to bask in it’s glory. They behave like they were on the ice, and they use the term “we” way too often. I don’t think that bad behavior should be rewarded, and too often, it is. Fans who waive their fingers in other fans faces deserve to have them bitten off.

I would remind the Red Wings fans that they hold a very classy individual, Steve Yzerman, in a very high regard, they should emulate him. Don’t act like a jerk. Parity means nothing is forever.

As for the game itself, the Penguins, as much as they own the victory of Game 5, they own the defeat of Game 6. They were owned much of the third period, Fleury knocked in the game winning goal with his own ass, and the chances the Pens had were never used.

For the wings. Osgood stole a goal from Gary Roberts, who played 7:14 and had one of the best scoring chances of the game.

That’s it, the season is over. The cup is handed out, and nothing is going to be the same starting tomorrow. The Wings team that won, the Penguins team that lost, none of the 30 teams are going to be the same. As of this moment, thirty teams are in the mix.

Go.

Oh, What a Night.

Game 5 just ended, and I am so tired. I have to be up at 5:15 AM, so I have little to say.

The Stanley Cup Finals are still on. That makes me happy.

Pens Crap the Bed: SCF Game 4

Man, what a crap ass game of hockey, FOR THE PENGUINS!!!!

I’m mired in the postgame coverage on ESPNews (seriously, they have hockey coverage, must mean there’s no NBA tonight), and these coach interviews remind me of why I don’t want to be a “professional” sportswriter. Actually, listening to the post game interviews by Crosby and Fleury after game 3 really drove it home. Crosby may be billed the most exciting player in the NHL (or at least shoved down our throats as the most exciting), but he could put you to sleep in the postgame. BORING!!!

Speaking of Fleury, he looked like ass all night. He could make initial saves, but even saves that were directly in his glove seemed to magically bounce out into danger zones. I really think he should have had both of the goals the Wings scored, and he had a one second delay every time he came out to play the puck. Mostly, he looked unfocused, and that affected the game greatly.

Not that he was the reason for the loss, but he certainly was one of the reasons. Let’s list the others, shall we?

Malkin can’t score. The only thing he put in the net was himself. I think he had a few good chances, but chances don’t win cups.

If you can’t score on a 5 on 3, that’s one thing. But the Penguins couldn’t even gain the zone, and the last minute was ridiculous.

Crosby was the only one with any energy in the third. He was the only one chasing the puck, and the only one trying to work outside his little bubble. I don’t give Sidney props much, but he deserves some credit.

In the third, the Penguins weren’t taking any chances on defense, and not only gave up one zone, they were giving the Wings the entire damn rink. I can’t think of a time in the third (or the rest of the game, come to think of it) that a defenseman pinched in the offensive zone. If you are down by one, take a chance once in a while.

Hossa was certainly the best player the Penguins had tonight, but he wasn’t enough, and shouldn’t have to be. There should be enough talent around him to make a difference. Remember earlier in the year when Hossa was the dog of the league? The man was doing everything tonight. In fact, he did the only thing.

You will notice that I am saying nothing of the Wings. That’s right. I’ll leave it at that.

I spent the night online at the live blog of Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski, It was a great time, with plenty of the funny. See you there for game 5.

Wake Up, Fleury

I took some crap for posting this before, but I think it holds true more than a year later.

The problem with Fleury

The only thing  Fleury diesn’t have to answer for is scoring goals.  I think his worst moment was when he gave hockey fans a reminder as to why a goalie doesn’t usually clear the puck, and certainly up the middle.  Talk about a move that could seriously bite you in the ass.

A series may no be a series until it goes to the second city, but everyone in the Penguins organization has to be worried.  I’m worried.

Versus mentioned that the last time a goalie shut out the first two games of a SCF, it was Brodeur in 2003.  Well, the Ducks came back and made a series of it, and hopefully, the Penguins can find it in themselves to do the same thing.

Oh, and maybe with a few less cheap shots along the way.  But hey, I see cheap shots going both ways.  Whatever it takes.

Pens vs. Caps: What a Finish?

The game on NBC was exactly as billed, right until the end. Backstrom puts it in his own net? Like that? That was put in with purpose. Not just a small mistake, but a hard shot directly into his own net. A mistake like that is a learning experience, but more so when it absolutely costs you two points. The reactions of Huet and Ovechkin were the dead on for the situation, frustration after a hard period of hockey, a tough fought game, and then your own player ends it for you. There was no direct, on ice blame towards Backstrom, but there didn’t need to be.

Still, what a game.

Crosby vs. Ovechkin: Huge!!!!

JP at Japers Rink found this image, which puts Sidney Crosby squarely in the class of football hero when compared to Alex Ovechkin, size wise:

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I mean, he’s huge, right? Aside from a poorly done photoshop job, anything else strike you as odd?

Like the fact that the Penguins played the Capitals in the Winter Classic and no one noticed? Even the CBC thought it was the Sabres, but no. Silly us. I mean, that is a Winter Classic jersey, right? They haven’t worn it since, right? Ah, NHL.com. How you amuse me.

Mellon Arena: A Photo Retrospective

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Thanks to my job, I get to see hockey in all sorts of small barns and beautiful arenas. Six weeks spent in Pittsburgh allowed me to see a few Penguins games on my days off. Leaving Mellon Arena after the Pens – Flyers games, I was actually a little sad, since it was most likely my final time at the Igloo. Since the Pensblog did a nice job looking at the arenas around the league, past and present, I thought I would share some pictures of the worst, or most characteristic, arena in the NHL. It’s all about perspective.

Why do they call it the Igloo?
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Couldn’t tell you, sorry.
Most people know that the dome is meant to open up, but these days that would take some doing. Look at the next picture, and you will see why.
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Hanging from the ceiling are what they call points. Chain motors with steel cables attached, to hang all the trusses, speakers, lighting and everything you need to put on a rock show, or any other show, for that matter. Usually, these go up and come down for each show, at least in most arenas. But things are a little different here, and points are very hard to hang. So they just leave them up. In order for the dome to open, all of those points have to come down. And believe me, that is going to cost some money.

There are a ton of pictures in this post, and I’m not going make them all load up if you don’t want to see them. They are after the jump. Click that link, and enjoy.
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Pens vs. Caps: Final Thoughts

I had a great time at the game, even though I wasn’t in my favorite seat location at a game. I have some final thoughts on the game, most of which I’m sure other people have already thought of:

How bad must you be if you are the backup goalie for the Caps, and you aren’t being put in after Kolzig lets in four goals on eight shots, or even five on fifteen? Brent Johnson, backup to the stars.

I realize Brashear and Laraque are not going to fight every night, but come on, there was checking and bad blood, and neither one was close to the action.

Sidney Crosby was in a box seat with Mario Lemeiux. We saw him on the jumbotron.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Alexander Ovechkin is a completely one dimensional player. His lack of defense will cost the Caps in the end, and it makes him look lazy. I don’t expect the guy to be out there killing penalties or anything, but when the puck comes near him, and he doesn’t even reach for it, because it’s going the wrong direction, you have to wonder what is going through his mind. Sure, he forechecks a little, but he certainly doesn’t backcheck. I did see him skate backwards a few times tonight, but it must have felt as strange to him as it looked to me. And I’m not the only one. The players were chipping the puck around him with confidence, knowing he wasn’t going to do anything about it. No wonder Penguins fans feel like they were juked when AO won rookie of the year.

It was my last time, most likely, taking in a game at Mellon Arena. It was kind of sad to realize as we were leaving the game. Versus showed the artist sketches of the new arena, and it looks like just about every other arena out there. Boring.

So, that’s a game. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. But I kind of doubt it.

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Shootout



Shootout, originally uploaded by Tapeleg.

Free Hockey



Free Hockey, originally uploaded by Tapeleg.

We are going to overtime. Only the suckers have left the building.