FINALLY hockey has returned! Does anyone else think it’s super rude of the NHL to not have games when people are often in a holiday lull and need some spirit lifting? I mean, bourbon can only do so much – it works much better with a solid dose of Geno, Guentzy and da bois. Thanks Obama.
But enough complaining. Hockey is back and we’re ready to GOOOOOOooooooo! Would the Pens be ready too? Let’s check in with the Grover and see, shall we?
Wow, that’s all pretty great news, Bob. Anything we should be worried about?
And finally, a nod to the true GOAT:
Well that was a lovely trip down memory lane. Here’s hoping we make a few more good ones. And if we don’t, here’s hoping we have enough bourbon to soften the blow. Hehe… *hic*
The moment I saw that the top D pairing still featured Johnson filling in for Dumo, I felt a twinge in my giggleberries. And not the good twinge. As it turns out, my giggleberries were onto something ’cause Tanger was looking rough from his first minute on the ice, with a brutal giveaway that almost turned into a great chance. It was called a takeaway on the official scoresheet, but we all know what really happened. Thankfully, nothing came from it aside from my mental note to pick up more bourbon and order an extra large case of b-hole cream in time for the playoffs.
Just over two minutes in, the Pens pushed the puck up ice with some pretty snazzy passing, particularly from Riikola, who made a great bank pass ahead to a speedy SeeMoan. The Preds skaters were playing it perfectly, but Pekka pickeda perfect point to practice puck problems…
Simon (3) from Riikola (2), Ruhwedel (3) – EV – 2:17
We rag on SeeMoan a good bit around here, and for good reason. He ‘has it’, insofar as playmaking ability and passing skills are concerned, but he couldn’t finish spelling cat if you spotted him the c and the a. So to see him do the right thing, get the puck down low for the possible rebound while driving the net, and then get a nice bounce… it was pretty nice. Good for him.
A couple minutes later, Letang notched Offical Frk-up #2 with a brutal giveaway after probably the only good play Jackinit Johnson made the entire night, and, as the fates decree, a bad play leads to a bad bounce leads to a bad goal. 1-1
After that, things were pretty quiet. ten guys skated around a bunch, the five wearing the PROPER color of
yellow gold somehow looking just a bit better, but not much coming from it.
With just under eight minutes left, ZAR was driving the O-zone and fully bald BoninoBoninoBonino decided he wanted to have a look in ZAR’s can to see what he was cookin’ and the Pens were ready to play with their PP for the first time tonight.
In honor of the Pens getting the extra dude for two minutes, and also coming up with a sweet new zone entry, Kristopher decided that a lazy cross-ice pass would be fun, and your author was drinking a 3rd time this period. OK, so it was more than three, but it was the 3rd time BECAUSE of … you know what, it doesn’t matter.
THIS time the Hockey Gods remembered that Jarry did nothing to deserve this and he really seems like a pretty Solid Dude, so the JoeHandSon shot caught the iron.
Given a reprieve, the Pens proceeded to squander the remainder of the powerplay with a new twist – removing about nine teeth and a unit of O-positive from the oldest dude on the ice with a puck to the chops (care of Galchenyuk), which basically killed the rest of the momentum with blood cleanup time. Rude.
Once play resumed, and once the first PPU had a chance to mangle the majority of the time remaining, the second PPU got another shot. Interestingly, the second PPU features Mr. Yuk which normally you’d file under things that make you go ‘meh’ but it was big tonight as he put his pickle stabber to good use and got yet another one past Pekka’s pecka.
Galchenyuk (3) from Pettersson (13), Marino (12) – EV – 14:16
The $4M man finally gets one. By playing the role of Horny tonight. I hope he learns a lesson from this but I won’t be holding my breath.
Neither was the 3rd line, as Tanev, Blue and ZAR figured it was time to bring the noise…
Blueger (5) from Aston-Reese (6), Tanev (11) – EV – 14:50
Just a nice simple play. Doing the right thing. Playing the right way. Blueger and Tanev and ZAR get it. Nice to see them rewarded for their efforts.
The other nice thing? Watching Pekka pick his pecka up off the ice and take the skate of shame to the backup position, having been chased by the Penguins for the *checks notes* 427th time in his career. Look it up – I double dog gawddammed dare you. *hic*
This would bring in sorry not Sauros and give birth to one of the scariest ‘shops I’ve seen in quite some time.
A couple minutes later, stupid lazy overpaid Malkin would show zero leaderships and take the first of *checks notes* many penalties on the night. For two minutes, there was more puke yellow than Pure Solid Frking Gold on the ice. For two minutes, it didn’t matter in the least. Pens would head into the intermission up two.
Stats after 1:
Despite not being able to win a damn faceoff, the Pens started carrying play again for the first part of the period. Eventually, about 5 mintues in, Malkin line worked some magic. Pushing the play into the o-zone, Geno, Snek and Rusty played the ol razzle dazzle, three on four. Perfect zone entry, patient work by Guentzel to pull multiple d-men out of position. All that remained was for Rust to hold his position against the bearded one who was probably left wishing his ancestors had never take the name of that damn island in New York.
Rust (14) from Guentzel (20), Malkin (23)
I’ve told yinz before – I’m not a real blogger, I’m just filling in for one on occasion. A real blogger would do some screen shots and pretty things up and show you how hockey is played and whatnot. I’m just going to tell you that if you pause that GIF right when the puck goes in the net you can see EVERY Predator on the ice… and only two Penguins. THAT is how good our first line is. Here’s hoping Geno pulls a ‘two years Super League’ on Sid when he comes back and keeps Trusty Rusty and Jake the Snek as his linemates. Yes, I know it won’t happen, but a man can dream, can’t he??? *hic*
For the rest of the period, both teams did stuff. My notes are a little sketchy, but I’m sure it happened.
Then with two minutes left and the Predators gasping for life, Jusso Riikola reminded us that he actually is pretty damned talented and that maybe the pressbox nachos were just helping him get acclimated to the North American game better than anything else.
Riikola (1) from Kahun (12), McCann (12) – EV – 18:04
Stats after two:
So it’s entirely possible the 3rd period didn’t really happen. I ate pizza. Got a phone call from an old buddy and we ‘remembered the times’ a bunch. Oh jeez, that was fun…
In the meantime, the Pens sat on a four goal lead for a while and looked fine doing it.
Then with 11 minutes left, everyone lost their shit and we were treated to Geno getting smashed helmet-less into the ice. Scary for a moment. But then ATTSN showed the beginning and it was Geno having e-fucking-nuff. Should he have kept his cool? Probably. Does it matter? Nope.
Halfway through the period, Vicki OddKidsSon would get a pretty sweet deflection past a helpless Jarry and it seemed interesting for a minute… until it wasn’t. The Pens kept playing right and got the
- Jarry is the starter.
- Geno is still fire. He used the whole zone every shift.
- 14 skaters had points, and none of them were named Johnson or Letang. Do we really need a new way to prove Johnson sucks? There. There’s a new way. SOMEONE GET THE FRKING CATAPULT PLEASE.
- Sully has these boys LOCKED IN.
- Time to do it all again…
BONUS: Looks like nobody gets The Collar for the Preds tonight…
Of course, this is the same team that brought you this…
Gameday 38: From Predators to Prey
Both teams flew to Pittsburgh after the game, losing an hour in the process. Both teams worked pretty hard last night, though our feathered flightless friends arguably worked harder.
The lineup is the same – I ain’t re-posting it. OK, the goalies may change. For Nashville, I’d be shocked if the Eye of Sauros doesn’t get the nod. For the Pens, it’s all about Murray.
Time for this guy to seize his chance. To bail out a tired team playing it’s second game in 22 hours (of their time).
Which team has the better depth? The team with 25 unique goal scorers on the year, or the team boasting a guy named Rocco?
Saturday. Still the holidaze. That time of year when you’re full of random leftovers from Christmas parties and WAYYY too much booze is in your system. When you’ve had so much cheese you burp milk. When you’re shifting from a bowl game to some SVU to another bowl game to hockey and wondering how life could possibly be any worse/better.
Hockey, boys and girls, is why we’re here. GAME ON!!!