Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Pens vs Flames, December 21, 2013

The Penguins entered Saturday's game against Calgary with a few streaks going.
They had won six in a row, nine straight at home.
Sid had a nine game point streak.
Knitting Lady and I had our own 18-game regular season winning streak on the line.

Luckily the Pens played well enough to get the win and keep the streaks alive (though Ottawa would ruin that a few days later).

This one presented a great chance for us to see all the new guys who are getting their shot due to injuries and suspensions.  
This would be our first chance to see guys like Dumoulin, Sill and Samuelsson at the NHL level. 
And it would be our first look at Zolnierczyk and Conner since they joined (or returned to) the team.

It would also provide a good 1-game tryout for the Canon SL1 that KL got me for Christmas.

So there was plenty to be excited about.  Check out our photos after the jump.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pens @ Blue Jackets, November 2, 2013

It was the second of back-to-back nights between these two teams.
Zatkoff got the start for the Pens.
For Columbus it was their backup McElhinney, who had played most of the game the night before after Bobrovsky defecated in his crease.
Probably the most excitement in this one came pregame when the security guard told us they don't allow fans to have signs larger than 8x10".  I'm guessing this was some kind of response to the Pens last visit when Pensblog Charlie signs filled Nationwide Arena.

Check out the pics after the jump.

Pens vs Blue Jackets, November 1, 2013

Replay may have shown that Geno's third period power play shot didn't cross the goal line, keeping him off the board and extending his goalless streak to seven games, but that didn't keep him from racking up two assists and earning first star of the game honors in the Pens 4-2 win over Columbus at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh Friday night.

Check out our photos from the game after the jump.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

New season sock pics.

Knitting Lady and I made a late decision to attend the game against Buffalo Saturday night and it paid off as the Pens posted a solid 4-1 win over the Sabres. We also got a fresh batch of sock pics with some of the new guys, including assistant coach Jacques Martin.  Joining him above are Maatta, Kobasew and Zatkoff.

Game photos are still to come.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pens agree to terms with Letang. Woooo!

The Pens agreed to terms on a contract extension for Kris Letang.
Eight years, $58 million.

Everybody's happy.  Except for all the Letang haters.  They'll get over it.

Any money left for this guy?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Meloche reportedly stepping down.

Penguins goaltending coach is planning to step down, according to a report in the Trib, possibly to pursue another role with the team that would allow him to spend more time in his native Montreal.  Meloche has spent 27 seasons with the Pens, and is a sock holder.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

How Matt Cooke was blindsided.

I think we can all agree that Matt Cooke deserved to go to the box for his hit into the boards on Bruins' defenseman Adam McQuaid, but the refs once again blew the call when they sent him to the locker room with a five minute major and game misconduct.

Cookie was called for "checking from behind", a penalty covered under rule 43 in the NHL Rulebook.  So what does rule 43 state?

Rule 43 – Checking from Behind
43.1 Checking from Behind – A check from behind is a check delivered
on a player who is not aware of the impending hit, therefore unable to
protect or defend himself, and contact is made on the back part of the
body. When a player intentionally turns his body to create contact with
his back, no penalty shall be assessed.

Most everyone has probably seen the replay, NHL Network highlighted it beautifully, that shows McQuaid clearing look back to see Cooke coming in for the hit.  He of course turns his back to play the puck on the boards rather than do anything to protect himself from the hit, and Cooke finished his check.  The mere fact that he knew the hit was coming means the wrong call was made.

So what, you say, the refs could just have easily called him for boarding.  It appears that would have been the correct call in this case.  While McQuaid knowingly put himself in a vulnerable position, rule 41.1 pretty clearly states that "the onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact."  

But if the correct call had been made, then the refs would have had the leeway to hand out the more appropriate two minute minor variety, an option that is not available on the checking from behind call, which is an automatic five minutes and a game misconduct.  Granted, it's #24, so they probably would have slapped him with a major anyway, but at least they'd have been closer to making the right call.  Also, the game misconduct wouldn't have been automatic with the boarding call as it is with checking from behind, and in fact would only be assessed if the ref determined there was an injury to the face or head, which there wasn't.

Apparently the league agrees the wrong call was made, since there is to be no supplementary discipline for the hit, which it seems would have been a no-brainer based on his history alone.

In the end, it was another case of Matt Cooke being penalized for being Matt Cooke.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"I said NEAL!": Pens vs Sens Game 5, May 24, 2013

Pens fans got what they wanted most, which was a handshake line at the end of game five and the knowledge that Pittsburgh has advanced and now awaits the winner of the Boston-New York series.
The way it came about just made it that much sweeter.
A dominating performance resulting in a 6-2 win and a combined two game score of 13-5 after suffering an "emotionally shattering" 2-1 game three loss in double overtime.
A hat trick from a guy who a few days ago was being questioned about his lack of offensive production but now has five goals and seven points in his last two games.
Not to mention a mini-meltdown in the penalty box by the most hated guy on the other team.

Not a bad way to close out the series.

Check out the photos after the jump.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bonus Hockey: Pens vs Sens Game 3, May 19, 2013.

The Senators won in double overtime Sunday night to remain competitive in the series, now trailing the Penguins two games to one.
Game four is not until Wednesday.
Then hopefully an elimination game Friday.
We'll see.

Check out the photos from the game after the jump.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Sid Trip: Pens vs Sens Game 2, May 17, 2013

The towels we were given on our way into the arena for game 2 Friday night read "Buckle Up Baby!"
The Ol' 29er Phil Bourque usually follows that up with "Are You Kidding Me?"
Sid was not kidding.
As far as the CEC crowd was concerned, those towels may as well have been soaked in LSD because Sid took us all on a really good trip.
Unless you were Craig Anderson, in which case it was a very bad trip,
and that led to an early trip
to the dressing room.

It's late (much like this post) so let's get to the photos after the jump.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pens vs Isles Game 6, May 11, 2013. Elimination Island.

The Penguins and Islanders met at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for game 6 of their first round series Saturday night.  Not to give away too many spoilers for those of you seeing the game for the first time through this post, but.... 

Yeah, the Pens won.

The Pens won and spared their fans 20 hours or so of gut wrenching times waiting for a game 7 that would have been played Sunday night back in Pittsburgh.

More personally for Knitting Lady and me, the Pens won to extend our own "winning streak" to 10 games, and saved us from making the long drive back to Pittsburgh for that aforementioned game 7 that, thankfully, will never be.

Instead we get to drive home and start working on our game plan for round 2 and the Pens' next opponent, the Ottawa Senators (it's an eight and a half hour drive for us to Ottawa...hmmmm), just as Bylsma and Co. will be working on theirs.

Until then, we get to relax.
Just a little.
For now, we savor this victory.

Check out the photos after the jump.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pens vs Isles Game 5, May 9, 2013

"Did you ever know that you're my hero?"

Yes, Tyler Kennedy, you are our hero.  TK's sixth career playoff game-winning goal started a second period of scoring that turned a close game into another blowout and led to the Pens taking a 3-2 series lead in their first round match-up against the Islanders.

Check out more photos from the game after the jump.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pens vs Canes & Shirts Off Our Backs Night, 4/27/2013

For a "meaningless" regular season finale, this one had some pretty decent storylines.

James Neal had a pretty good game after missing eight straight recovering from a concussion.  We finally had a chance to throw those giveaway Pirates hats we've been carrying around for a while.

Tanger entered the game just two points behind PK Subban for the scoring lead among defensemen.  Pretty impressive feat by itself, not even taking into consideration that he was doing it in seven fewer games or that his even strength point production is at levels normally unheard of for a D-man.

There were more Staal brothers than you could shake a hockey stick at, and I think one of them used to play for us or something.

Oh yeah, and our starting goalie became a new dad yesterday.

Oh man, almost forgot Paul Martin.  He returned after a 12-game absence, but that's kind of the story of Paul Martin this season.  He's just there making solid plays, getting the job done without really standing out.  Or something like that.  I don't know, but I didn't get any good pics of him tonight.  I'll just toss this one up from earlier in the year because hey, he deserves to be here.

Not to mention the fact that the Pens entered this one on a two-game losing streak, and guaranteed first seed or not, I can't imagine any team wants to head into the playoffs dropping three in a row.

Check out the rest of the photos after the jump.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pens practice at Southpointe, 4/26/2013

The Pens practiced at Southpointe Friday and they were joined by team captain Sidney Crosby.  It was a welcome sight just days before the start of the most anticipated playoff run in four years.  

The poor lighting at Southpointe usually defeats my limited camera skills but I managed to get a few decent shots.  Check them out after the jump, including a couple of sweet sock pics involving some of the newer Penguins.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

50 Trades of Ray.

Okay, maybe not quite fifty.  
Still, with guys like Sid, Geno, Neal and Martin out and recent acquisitions like Iginla, Morrow, Sutter and Murray filling in the gaps, I thought it was time to pay tribute to the man behind the deals, GM Ray Shero.

Of course it's no surprise Ray gets what Ray wants.
Opposing GMs know if they don't play ball, they just might end up in the cornfield.

Even Dan knows that.

So keep making those deals, boss!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pens streak ends at 15.

Pittsburgh lost to Buffalo 4-1 Tuesday night, snapping their 15-game winning streak.
Some of the bridge jumping population of Pens fans took the opportunity to completely overreact and blame everyone in sight, not the least of whom was goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who entered the game coming off eight periods of shutout hockey.

Oh well.  Here's hoping they go 16-0 in the postseason because I don't even know how people will handle it if they lose a playoff game.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

You want the good news or the bad news?

What a crazy few days it has been.
Jarome Iginla is expected to make his debut today against the Islanders.

On the downside, Paul Martin is expected to miss 6 weeks.
See you in the playoffs, Paul*Mart.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pens vs Caps, March 19, 2013

The third period sequence that included the Penguins killing off four minutes of Matt Cooke penalties followed just nine seconds later by Matt Niskanen's go ahead goal will likely stay in fans' memories for quite some time, and could be one of those moments that help define a season.

The Pens held on for the 2-1 win, their 10th straight and fourth in a row against the Caps.
They're doing it without Evgeni Malkin.
And now without Kris Letang.
They're getting goals from guys not named Crosby, Kunitz or Neal.
And playing sound defense with solid goaltending.
In other words, the rest of the Eastern Conference could be in big trouble.

More photos from the game after the jump.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Geno held the sock.

Geno held the sock.
And I took a picture of it.
Did I mention that Geno held the sock?
Luckily, there are other "socks in progress" because I'm pretty sure this one gets retired after tonight.

Oh yeah, and he signed some stuff.
Check out more photos from the signing after the jump.

Pens vs Bruins, March 17, 2013

The Pens beat the Bruins 2-1 Sunday.
Crosby, Vitale and Vokoun played big parts but it took a total team effort to overcome the absence of Geno and Tanger, who went out late in the first causing the remaining five defensemen to really pick up the slack, including Paul Martin's 30+ minutes.

Check out photos from the game plus some postgame sock pics after the jump.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pens vs Rangers, March 16, 2013

A shutout for Fleury.
Lots of secondary scoring.
Another strong third period for the Pens.
Things couldn't have gone much better.
Quick turnaround with another game tomorrow at 12:30.

Photos from the game after the jump.

James Neal might be a Terminator.

Many have wondered how James Neal has been so good at terminating goaltenders these past two seasons. The above photo, taken Friday night, may provide some of the first evidence of what has long been suspected among fans.  The high-scoring Pens winger appears to be, in fact, part man, part machine.  Outside, living human tissue - flesh, skin, great hair.  Underneath, a hyperalloy combat chassis - micro processor-controlled, fully armored.  Very tough.

Anyway, PensKnittngLady was otherwise engaged Friday evening so I went with a buddy of mine to Century III Mall in West Mifflin to get some stuff signed by the cybernetic organism and teammates Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and Simon Despres.

Check out all of the photos from the signing after the jump:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Welcome to Kundyland

What a run these guys have been on, combining for 17 points against the Islanders Sunday night.
And how have I managed not to make a Tanger gif yet?
Been so long since our last game.  Can't wait to get back to Pittsburgh this weekend.