As you learned from our excellent gameday post, it was time for the Pens to quit ducking around and turn their season long four-game losing streak into a minor blip in an otherwise remarkable season, and for so many reasons.
And if you’ve been reading for a while (as you damn well should be), you’re aware that positivity is the theme, from now until the end, regardless of the outcome. If you find it hard to be positive, do what I do and pour some bourbon out and bottle up those feelings in that empty bottle and give your nuts a tug and count yourself lucky to be a fan of the greatest hockey team in
the NHL the world the universe.
Following his theory of ‘every other’, Matt Murray would get the net. McCann back in. And the injured dudes still weren’t ready.
I guess Riikola kicked Sully’s dog again.
Before we drop that puck, let’s check in with Grover and get us some nuggs of knowledge.
Yes. Yes it does. *pours bourbon*
So… we’re due. Cool.
+/- is stupid, but trends are trends… woof
Even Grover likes him some advanced stats
Milestones are always fun to play for.
Sticks down, puck down, and away we go.
A nice first shift with a couple of good looks. There was some back and forth, but the Pens definitely had the better of the play, with lots of great opportunities and Letang catching the post six minutes in.
Then the Ducks remembered that they have lots of ex Penguins and started tilting the ice the wrong way. So much so that noob Evan Rodrigues tripped a dude. Well, he made it LOOK like he tripped a dude. Ya-kub Silverdouche pulled a Greg Louganis but the ref apparently doesn’t remember those Olympics, so to the PK we went.
It was pointed out during that PK that the Ducks had the worst PP in the leage, and despite that attempt at a jinx, the PK prevailed. Or the PP failed. Either way, nothing happened.
A few minutes later, however, the Ducks remembered that they had to shoot AND get it to the net to score. After one failed attempt at this novel concept, they were able to break the ice.
A comedy of errors, yet somehow the Ruhwedel and Trotman pairing ended up in the right spots… but didn’t get the right results. Murray makes the first save but he couldn’t stop the rebound off Trotman.
Much of the rest of the period was more of what we’ve seen the last two games. Lots of good work and good opportunities against a crappy team that looked out of place out there. Also, no goals for, only goals against. You DID pour that bourbon, right?
Towards the end of the first, Ryan Jerkzoff decided to follow-up what looked like an even-up hooking call with enough jarring at the ref to get another two for general douchbagery. Pens to the extra long PP. Your girlfriend loves those, but tries to convince you that the normal length ones ‘are also perfectly fine.’
Pens continued the Globetrotters impression, but nothing happened and the period would end with the Pens down one.
Pens started on the PP with 3 minutes, actually, which was nice because they needed PP2 and suddenly… GADZOOKS!!!
Zucker (18), from Pettersson (19), Schultz (7) – 1:16 – PPG
Just a textbook shot from out high to redirect. Nice to see Zooks get back on the board. And Schultz got a point for the first time since the 6th grade picnic.
At this point, shit got crazy. Sid started a scrum because he tried to poke a puck in the pads of the goalie. Apparently playing to the whistle isn’t anything the Ducks are used to and got mad. Punches were thrown and lots was said and likely none of it was suitable for a kids show, even though the Ducks were being clowns.
The bad guys took another for some sort of fuckery, but Geno got the even up with a hook…. And an extra two for debating with the ref about his mother’s borscht or something because Geno was HOT and NOBODY disrespects Mama Malkin!!! Or maybe it was something else, I can’t lip read Russian.
Unlike the Ducks, the Penguins know how to kill penalties, and were feeling pretty pretty pretty good about killing off that double to Geno. So good that they let the Ducks get the better of play and drive the net for some great looks. This caused another scrum, during which Murray barely stopped a loose puck from going in and Schultz definitely didn’t stop his stick from slamming Gandlaf in the lip. Apparently pretty hard, too, because it ended up being yet another gawddamn double douche minor.
You know that saying about if at first you succeed, do it again and maybe you’ll f**k it up properly this time? Of course you don’t, because it’s stupid, but that didn’t stop the Pens from doing it.
Of course it was Getzlaugh. And of course the puck had a perfectly lucky bounce to him. PDO demon, if you could stop it that would be great. If I believed in this sort of thing, I’d even blame it on Mercury Retrograde.
Whatever, down 2-1, still plenty of time… to REALLY light this baby on fire.
And I don’t know what says ‘on fire’ more than a goal from an AHL callup named GHULE, assisted by…. Agozzino… and Rowney. Though they took those assists away later, it was perfect.
Now down 3-1, the Pens decided to go full 2012 playoff Penguins and just lose their minds. Arguing with anyone around them. Yelling at the refs. Just generally having zero composure and not playing like they did in the first period when they held this inferior team to 2 SOG.
In the first minute, Sheary, Crosby and Zucker were phenomenal on the puck, only to see Sid just miss. Talk about a microcosm. No thanks, I don’t want to talk about a microcosm. That’s a weird word… microcosm… tiny… cosm?
Anyway, I ruminate because it was funner than watching that dog of a 3rd period. Most teams in today’s NHL are pretty good at clogging up the neutral zone and neutralizing (hey, that makes sense!) the other team’s offense. So even though the Penguins regained their composure and were pushing pretty hard, there wasn’t much going on.
Murray was pulled with 3 minutes left and you have to like the Pens desire to score and prevent the ENG.
With 1:20 left, Zucker did a pretty passable Kessel impression with a sick wrister to beat WHITEHALL NATIVE JOHN GIBSON, AND WHITEHALL IS IN PITTSBURGH, DID YOU KNOW THAT??? far side.
The final time was furiously fraught with fiery fun… but fruitless.
- Regression to the mean is a bitch.
- The blueline needs help, now. And I think it’s coming.
- The lines are out of sorts and games like these don’t help them settle down. But they WILL settle down
Finally, it’s important to remember that a five game losing streak is not the end of the world. You know who else has lost five games this season (besides Detroit LOL)? Washington, Boston, St. Louis and Colorado. Those teams are all currently in the top 5 in the league standings. Pens are 7th.
Do Not Panic.
Gameday 64: Sharkfishin’
Pens zoomed from Anaheim to San Jose last night, which may have taken 20 minutes or 8 hours, I don’t know how time works on California roads but it’s probably not good.
Look, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what the lineups are, or who’s in net. It doesn’t matter if PDO regression is real or is something the ‘stat geeks’ made up to anger Brian Burke. It doesn’t matter who’s back from injury or who has an ouchie.
All that matters is course correction. This team is too good to collapse and fall down the stretch. Sid won’t let that happen. Geno won’t let that happen. Murray won’t let that happen. Mike Sullivan will not let that happen.
It’s the second of a back-to-back out West, in a place the Penguins love to play. Like REALLY love to play.
It’s Saturday. The game is late, but you have lots of time to nap, and it’s freaking cold where you are so napping is easy. Go shopping for
beer bourbon, have a nice hearty dinner, and then plop down in that Barcalounger and prepare yourselves to, once again, watch the greatest team in the universe.