Well, shit. Did anyone really feel good going into this?
Had the Penguins had enough energy to play a team that wasn't shit lately? Well, nope.
Had anyone really cared? Well, nope.
Did the Penguins care tonight? That's an interesting question. We're gonna say yes, about 75% of the time.
Buffalo generally cared the whole time, but the Penguins were able to outplay them during those times, for the most part. Fleury got beat on mostly garbage. Miller was beat on actual shots.
We were also pretty lucky. Sabres had wide open nets that they either failed to shoot at, or were too out of position to notice.
It was between 5 and 10 degrees in my part of Pennsylvania tonight. We toiled in absolutely miserable cold to see this shit.
You know what? Penguins deserved it.
At any rate, it's an awards night in Buffalo.
BEST UNDERRATING OF A GOALTENDING PERFORMANCE
Gotta be the announcers at Versus.
Fleury stones someone, gets a lucky whistle when he can't quite get the rebound.
"The only thing quicker than Fleury was the whistle," they say. Ballsack.
WORST 1:00 MARK
Did you ever need help remembering how much you need to hate the Sabres sometimes?
Paille helps. He's a cunt. One minute in, he fires a completely useless slapshot that decides to go in off of Boucher's skate. At least three people I know say they stopped watching. Ooops.
BEST ALMOST COOKIE BREAK
However, after that, it's pretty much all Pens.
Sabres play pretend for awhile and end up icing a bunch of pucks.
Cooke with a great steal as the only man playing for the Penguins in general. He has the defensive instincts to intercept their breakout passes, but not the offensive instincts to bury it. You keep sighing as Miller commits highway robbery on a bunch of people. The man has three shutouts on the year. You're thinking about his fourth already. Crosby is playing like God, as usual.
BIGGEST LACK OF BROADCASTING FAITH
We learn that the resident Versus talking plastic head who knows nothing about hockey, Christine Simpson, will be talking to Lindy Ruff, resident furry. You're expecting it to be one of those annoying Versus interviews in the corner, in a box, while the game is going on and no one commenting on it. Maybe you lacked faith a little too much, as the interview is blessedly short and no one cares what he has to say.
Back at the ranch, MAF isn't having to handle much, except Afinogenov failing at life right before his eyes.
LEAST EFFECTIVE POWER PLAY AWARD
Orpik goes to the box for being a man, the first of Buffalo's nine million power plays.
They fail at shit.
Vanek is a cock cozy.
Staal walks in by himself, as patient as a Hindu cow, and gets a shot off with three slugs on top of him.
After some pathetic attempt at a fancy turnaround pass, Cooke is able to steal and clear. We're pretty sure HSBC Arena is actually booing the power play.
To end the period, Fleury stands tall.
Intermission report wants to talk about Crosby's goal drought. The more they talk about it, the more you realize it is foreshadowing.
Christine Simpson interviews Derek Roy, who is made of incomplete chromosomes. Luckily, it's the last Derek Roy interview you'll have to watch for the rest of the regular season, unless you like to pay attention to the Northeast Division, which you don't.
Roy leaves the interview for some genetic testing.
You don't want to say it out loud, but could it be?
Did the Penguins actually outplay a team for most of a period?
Versus won't talk about it.
They do, however, worship Boston unnecessarily. Like Boston needs anymore cheap sex from the NHL this season.
THE PERIOD FOR OVERCOMING ADVERSITY
With a little mountain to climb in the second, you're really not worried.
Satan trips someone, apparently.
Fleury says HI HOW ARE YOU to the entire Sabres team. With his body.
Our penalty kill is amazing at this point.
We turn it back on. Boucher with one of his heavy shots. A bright spot in what was probably the only noticeably negative performance by Boucher this season.
A play is blown dead offside while Taffe and Wallace are ruining lives.
Before you know it, Kotalik with some bullshit. He beat Fleury fair and square.
Two to nothin'.
MOST APPRECIATED COMEBACK
Each team is vomiting around for awhile.
Then, a huge series of passes turns shit to gold.
Orpik wheels it around the boards, away from Scuderi. Satan grabs it along the boards and pushes it ahead beautifully to Dupuis. Bam.
Miller's shutout is dead, at least.
We shall overcome.
The Sabres get another power play that the announcers don't comment on. It comes back to our offensive zone after they play it with a high stick, but we apparently can't do anything about that.
Fleury stands tall some more, and Orpik clears the shit.
Hecht gets jobbed in the face or something and is not seen for the rest of the night, not that you'd seen him in the first place.
BEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The Penguins are playing like they want it. Sykora is wide open and the Versus announcers invent a word for the ages, saying that he had a "Sykorridor." You're fucking kidding me. Shortly thereafter, Sykora tries to stuff one in on Miller again. He's having a great shift, clearly. The word will live on as a rare moment of Versus brilliance. They were channeling Bob Errey in a big way.
Not nearly enough pictures of Bob Errey on the Internet.
BEST EXCHANGE OF LUCK
The Sabres commit icing, and Miller loses his balance trying to make a save. Good luck for the Sabres that it didn't go in.
Oh wait, good luck for the Penguins because Goligoski's slapper finds its way in. Goligoski owns Miller. Tie game. Talbot is on the ice after the goal and his energy convinces the Sabres to give the Penguins the puck at every possible opportunity. When there isn't an opportunity, they settle for Fleury, who stands tall. Tim Wallace beats them to the puck to cancel icing we committed. He's really good at that. The AHL line has a great shift.
BIGGEST BEAR HUG
After a bad boarding penalty, Eric Godard decides to make it worth it by dropping the gloves with Peters. They embrace like old friends. Like old friends drunk in a parking lot after one realizes the other just put the moves on his wife. Eventually, Peters realizes he has no chance and decides to just fall down on top of Godard. BFFs forever.
The Sabres continue their bear hugging into their power play. They get some garbage goal. Letang, who had taken on the role of a shot-blocking Jesus, is seen in pain on the bench. Like we need any more injured defensemen.
In retaliation, our defensemen bear hug Afinogenov, who is rightly described by the Versus announcers as "a mess." This picture is from the first period, but it pretty much has the same sentiment.
Fleury robs some fuckers blind, so blind that they abandon positional hockey and can only prevent the raw energy of Max Talbot from getting a shot off by trying to have violent sex with him in the high slot.
It must be time for. . .
THE THIRD PERIOD CALDER TROPHY CAMPAIGN
Goligoski is pissed during his intermission interview. Foreshadowing? Call your 12th grade lit teacher and get a second opinion.
We have to kill another penalty to start the third, this one by Philippe Boucher. Fleury stands ridiculously fucking tall. Oh, lord. Killed.
Wallace proves his NHL caliber by taking a complete fucking beating trying to push the puck ahead.
The Alaskan Storm is not thwarted.
They try to kill Petr Fever, forgetting that there is no cure.
Paille is still a cunt. He catches such a fucking temperature that he has to take a roughing penalty. It's our power play. Goligoski manning the point, after someone tries to kill him. I wrote in my notes that he was "clearly saving the team."
His wrist shot impregnates every fertile woman in the state of New York. Until this point, Miller thought he was hot shit. He just got beat by the next great offensive defenseman in the NHL. Still leading all rookie d-men in points.
GOLIGOSKI FOR CALDER.
No photos of his goals exist. HSBC Arena was too shamed to think of it.
Sabres get another PP, Fleury says no a bunch, Versus thinks it's time for a Vanek highlight reel. DENIED. Crosby and Malkin both ruin lives before the buzzer, Miller saying no.
THE WAR ROOM AWARD
Overtime initially looks like vomit. We have three men back and the Sabres are pressuring, making the rush ahead look nigh-impossible. Finally, we get in a 4-on-4 formation. Miller robs Crosby. Yuck.
But Goligoski has it. To Malkin. Slap shot.
Crosby obviously tips it. But the question that they have in Toronto is whether or not it was a high stick.
It takes two minutes, but the win is imminent.
Malkin taking a page out of Tyler Kennedy's book on the goal celebration.
Man just got himself a fucking pony.
PENGUINS WIN THIS SHIT
MOST DECENT ACQUISITION
People criticize Dupuis and say he isn't worthy of top line minutes, that he sucks.
Really, he's been very decent this season. He scored and kept the pace for a very physical game.
He fits in and he fills his role.
He flattens people. He plays hard. And you don't see him in the box very often, either.
So stop bitching.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
The Buffalo homers gave two of the three stars to their own players. IN A LOSS.
1. Sidney Crosby - First goal in nine games, to snap Derek Roy's own nine-game scoring streak. Derek Roy wishes he had Crosby's Y chromosome.
2. Daniel Paille - Gave the Penguins their only power play of the night as a heartfelt apology for his bullshit goal. What an asshole.
3. Evgeni Malkin - Anyone notice his three-point night? Maybe Art Ross did. He's at the point where getting three assists instead of a goal and two assists is considered a subpar performance. HI-LARIOUS.
Early season form.
Kim and I will probably be MIA for that one, but Kim will preview it and with help from our good friend Travis we should be able to provide you with some solid information.
We are, after all, breaking news.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Well, shit. Did anyone really feel good going into this?