Recap 7: The Torch Remains

After enjoying a day taking in the views of Banff the Penguins were ready to play their second game of this road trip. It feels a little odd complaining about the Pens 4 day break between games to start this trip, their second 4 day break of the month, after complaining about their hellacious schedule to start the year last year but complaining is kind of what we do as spoiled Pens fans. I mean, we could be back in 2009 starting our fourth year with Sidney Crosby and an embarrassment of other top picks and not be considered a Cup favorite like the current Oilers, but sure let’s complain about a 4 day break in October 😉


During practice this week Sullivan plugged Daniel Sprongs last on the team in nearly every offensive category with Grant, however at game time we saw zero changes to the lines:

The top top pairing remains the only one unchanged since the Schultz injury.

The game opened up and both teams had some good step until Bryan Rust took a penalty less than a minute in. The Oilers couldn’t get their faithful fans the opening goal they desired during that powerplay and we went back to some rather even 5 on 5 hockey for half a period. 10 minutes in Ryan Strome would interfere with Malkin to bring the Penguins powerplay out for the first time in the night, it wouldn’t be Strome’s worst memory of the game. The powerplay took less than half of their allotted time to drop the rock

SIDNEY CROSBY Assisted by LETANG (5) & KESSEL (5) @ 10:58 PPG

How about this pass from Phil Kessel? In pee-wee they tell you to never receive the puck while facing the boards because then you can’t see the ice, 5 year old Phil was apparently getting a hotdog when the coach mentioned that, unreal backhand from that position to the tape of Letang. The rest of this goal is what happens when two guys have been on the same powerplay for a long time, the play between Letang and Crosby was as easy as the handshake you and your best bud have.

Nothing else happened in the period. Or maybe it did, I got home at 1:15 in the morning and had to watch the DVR before waking up at 5 for a 9 am conference, after seeing what happened in the next two periods I may have taken some fast forward liberties for the first. Morning Train Edit: Oleksiak got in a fight, the Pens had a late powerplay chance, blah blah.


The Penguins were able to enjoy their lead for 66 seconds in the second before Jack Johnson slipped on a banana pancake and handed the puck to Leroy Drysoul who promptly tied things up.

—the Oilers, like every Canadian team do not use gifs on their Twitter, sorry—

Just over two minutes later the Penguins defense (read: Jack Johnson) continued looking like it belonged in Edmonton when Chiasson gave the Oil a 2-1 lead with this nifty shot

^- Literally the only gif on Edmonton’s Twitter feed

Just before the goal Chiasson did to Sprong what Sullivan has been wanting to do himself:

Come in to defend flat footed and this is what you get, for me with Sprong it’s no longer a “Sprong isn’t getting enough minutes” thing, it’s a “Sprong probably should be scratched” thing.

Finally Mike Sullivan was able to calm the troops down and they started looking a little more like a chicken with its head still attached. After 5 minutes of back and forth it was the second line doing the old three man weave up the ice. The breakout found Kessel at center ice with some steam, he hits Malkin right in the zone and Geno dishes to a streaking Hagleksiak…

JAMIE OLEKSIAK (2) Assisted by MALKIN (10) & KESSEL (6) @ 7:16

You have to absolutely love Oleksiak joining and staying in the rush with these two offensive beasts. You also have to love the look on Hagelins face when he arrives to the goal and looks over like “that was supposed to be me! :(“ The big rig with his 2nd makes me think the Mega Maatta Millions might return.

The Pens carried the momentum after the tying goal and we were treated to some solid hockey from both sides. About three minutes after the tying goal the third line looked to be  three and out in the offensive zone until Olli Maatta made an impressive pinch to keep a puck alive. That puck ended up going to Simon who didn’t completely spaz out for once and managed to get it on net, the rebound was there and so was the garbage man for his first:

PATRIC HORNQVIST Assisted by SIMON (2) @ 10:24

Just a great pinch by Maatta here, and the crazy thing is the forward dropped back to cover!!!! Holy shit it’s the fundamentals that results in a chance for, not against!

After 4 goals in the first half of the period the league called down and told both teams to take a break because people were having fun watching. After a 5 minute timeout Chiasson scored his 2nd of the night to even things up again thanks to Maatta and Johnson’s audition for the special olympics slowest speed skating duo. Here’s a look at the goal:


Having a batshit crazy period end with a tie isn’t the worst thing that could happen. It appeared it would go that way too but you know what they say about Horny, once he pops…

PATRIC HORNQVIST (2) Assisted by CULLEN & DUNOULIN (3) @ 19:05

Matt Cullen chimes in from the dead with Halloween around the corner and makes two nice plays here, the first with the initial deflection and the second by following the puck in air and getting it towards the net. I know it’s October and I don’t regret the second half of this sentence, this is the type of goal that wins you championships. Sheer determination by two players to make the goaltender make saves, to outwork the defense, to make your head coach wonder why the fourth line is beating the top pairing. Huge goal. It was reviewed for a kicking motion but nah.

somehow no other goals were scored in the final 55 seconds


The shots were in Edmonton’s favor but they also had 16 blocks, the Pens get those through and they are also in the 30s.

In the locker room Sullivan kept preaching “let’s not repeat that period,” so the Pens responded by committing multiple penalties. First Hagelin tripped whatever is left of Milan Lucic, Mr. McDavid cashed in on that powerplay:

This was probably the only goal Murray can catch some blame on but I’ve never been one to criticize goalies for letting up goals on the powerplay so I won’t start now considering who scored it. Following that goal Olli Maatta was in need of someone to love and got called for holding. During the kill the Pens took a shorthanded 2 on 1 rush  on goal, the only issue being one of the two was a defender. The Pens didn’t record a shot on the effort and the play went the other way quickly as a 3 on 2 with McDavid and Draisaitl part of the three and Johnson and Cullen the two… needless to say Drysidehole cashed in on this powerplay:


We witnessed an Edmonton lead for about three seconds before the fourth line was once again getting shit done by getting the puck to the net. This time Hornqvist charged down the wall and threw it in front, the puck bounced to the center where somehow Oleksiak beat the dude that was two inches away from the puck to it:

JAMIE OLEKSIAK (3) Assisted by HORNQVIST (2) & CULLEN (2) @ 6:51

Just an awful effort by the Oilers to clear this puck out of danger and major props to Oleksiak for giving no fucks and ripping this bitch. Cam Talbot a mediocre goalie? My Column:




With 6:09 left and a tied game McDavid got the puck on a  mini-breakaway ready to bring the roof down but Matt Murray just wasn’t having it. Crazy to say in a 5 goals against game but Murray was very good in this game for the most part and this save was the one players are talking about when they say “we need our goalie to make the save that keeps us in it.” With so many goals to cover I wasn’t able to really talk about Murray and the defense, Murray was excellent, the defense was anything but with some exceptions. Cheer up though, Jack Johnson has 3 years left.

People on Twitter were jobbing Murray, but the dude still turned in a .888 save percentage in regulation. Shame on everyone in the league for not making this game a nationally televised event. It should’ve been a god damned holiday. Anyways, to overtime we go.

Overtime was exactly what you expected with the names on these rosters. Somehow the Pens played better defensively with just one defender, the Oilers got one shot on goal in OT and it was stopped by Murray. Two minutes in Crosby picked up the puck along the half wall, Crosby starts behind the goal but pulls up… the rest of what followed was just disgusting.


Kids watching this highlight switched to porn when their parents walked in the room. There have been a lot of highlights in his career, and sometimes the “what would a statue of Sid be” question comes up, the answer is we need to create a gif statue. Just watch this fucking thing!

Its not just just the first move beating Strome, who isn’t ever going to win a Selke but he also isn’t Matt Hunwick, but then to get that many quick touches to prevent two others with better body positioning from taking the puck. This alone made the play great, but great isn’t good enough for Sidney Crosby.

I’ve watched the play 425 times. If there was a midget in front of me he would be blind. Jesus titty fucking Christ what a time to be alive.


– I’m waiting until ten games played to give my full thoughts on Jack Johnson. When the signing was made my report on this blog was that as long as he doesn’t become a liability the signing might pan out. So far it’s Scuderi 3.0

– I am way too excited that the Pens won this game 4 days after Kingerski wrote an article saying the Pens were no longer fast and couldn’t hang with fast teams

– Is there a bigger waste of potential scoring talent than RNH in Edmonton?

– Murray finishes with a .891 save percentage with a .923 save percentage at even strength. Don’t let the 5 goals allowed take away from his strong performance

– Sprong with 3:37 of icetime I believe is lower than even Reaves last year. Simon just a tick better at 4 minutes

– Points in October baby, put them in the bank


When You Come at the King... ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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