Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ilya Kovalchuk.
You may know him as the captain of the Atlanta Thrashers currently dying alive in Georgia. He made some joke comments and jumped on the Crosby hate train recently, but we really don't give a damn anymore. Whatever.
This evening, Kovalchuk accumulated five points (2G, 3A) to rally his team to a 5-3 regulation victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, a game in which his team entered the third period down 3-1.
We'll say it time and time again: the Pens cannot rely on others' misfortunes to make the playoffs.
But Kovalchuk took over the world tonight.
His efforts have made it possible:
If the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Dallas Stars tomorrow afternoon, they officially flirt with the eighth spot, knocking Buffalo into 9th and Carolina into 10th.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ilya Kovalchuk.
Take your pants off, because it's time to make sweet, sweet love to him.
You might have to stand behind me and Travis (the Goon Blogger), but we promise. . .you'll get your turn.
Come to us.
Oh, and in case you missed it: our contribution to Cycle Like the Sedins' All-Decade Draft again. You should check out all their posts. Solid stuff.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
We probably shouldn't do that, though, seeing as the Stars have a fuckton of injuries as is. Their IR list is longer than a Kostitsyn's rap sheet, and it includes some of their better players. At this moment they're riding a three game losing streak, but currently playing the Ducks. They could break it or lengthen it. We're not worried either way.
First game in March.
Let's do it.
Clare has two charts.
Comeback City and a Blackhawks point tracker.
There were points for everyone last night.
Loser Domi went to town on the MAF coloring page.
...after dropping acid?
We're actually, dare we say it, doing well.
If we keep this up for another couple weeks or so all of the Penguins fans that left in a huff before February saying they couldn't take it anymore are all going to be crawling back on their knees, begging to be taken back.
Attention all you fans that stay put through the shit: Take these losers back. The franchise needs their money just like it needs yours. Just...don't take them back without some shameless mockery.
Never losing again.
Let's go Pens.
EDIT: We participated in the "All-Decade Draft" over at Cycle Like the Sedins. Check it out!
Friday, February 27, 2009
The Blackhawks had our boys dead to rights for twenty straight minutes.
The way they looked combined with how horrific Pittsburgh's special teams were, the Penguins had absolutely no right to come out of this with two points.
United Center knows this. They gave two of their three stars to Blackhawks. Malkin got the #2 despite being invisible for nearly the entire game, except for those three or so shifts where he was taking over the world, but Malkin could have those if you to blindfolded him and put him on a line with Rico Fata.
You'll notice that our Bylsma radar has been "business" for awhile.
It'll be like that until the Pens settle into a playoff position.
Tonight, while a roller coaster of love, is no cause for celebration.
Letting yourself get ruined by Jonathan Toews like that is unacceptable.
Where's Herb Brooks when you need him to make you skate suicides?
What a rollicking awards show we have for you. What a way to start a road trip.
WORST PERFORMANCE BY QUICKTIME
The good people at Yahoo were running a feed of this game.
As far as we understand, the good people at ATDHE were bogarting it.
We learn the starting line is Kunitz-Staalsy-President TK.
Blahblahblah no idea what's going on everyone looks like a smudge and I keep losing my audio.
I am greeted by a frozen image on my screen:
WELL HELLO THERE JSTAAL
The replay lets us know what really happens. Long shot by Gonchar and Huet has never seen a hockey puck before in his life. He drops it to Jordan Staal on the doorstep. WHOOPS.
Thanks Quicktime. I didn't even get to see it for real.
THE LONELIEST LITTLE PENALTY KILL
Fedotenko gets a penalty for shooting the puck out of play.
The Hawks power play is clearly not a joke despite its recent struggles, but the Pens are everywhere.
Hal Gill is singlehandedly preventing their unit from carrying the puck past the blueline.
JStaal gets it deep, feeds Dupes from the goal line, and Huet remembers that he's a goaltender in time to make the save.
Only shot on the Hawks PP was by the Penguins.
We could get used to this.
Unfortunately, no one thought to ask this killer PK out on a second date.
Oh yeah, and when did we call up Tim Wallace?
I had no fucking idea.
ALASKAN STORM COME HOME.
THE "WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH" AWARD
JStaal shoots it wide. Bounces off the boards to. . .
#14 Chris Kunitz
Kunitz actually goes to the fucking net and knows how to finish.
What an acquisition.
The period isn't even half over and Staalsy and Kunitz have a goal and an assist each. With each other.
Sometimes, chemistry happens when you least expect it.
LEAST WORRYING MOMENTUM SHIFT
Fleury actually starts having to make some real saves.
Malkin gets about a year and a half to walk in on Huet, but you can't expect a French whore to give it up every time.
President Kennedy hooks someone up.
Instant shot from the center point by Cam Barker. Toews gets the deflection.
Bay of Pigs: maybe it wasn't Ryan Whitney's fault?
The Pens need the period end so they can regroup, because Chicago is looking like a machine. Time ticks down. Get it back, boys.
BEST JSTAAL FACE OF THE EVENING
Just when I thought the still frame given to me by Quicktime was the best performance by Thunder Bay's finest, I catch Jordan doing this:
CUTEST FLUFFY INTERVIEW ON THE BLOCK
I apparently saved this as "poor kitten.jpg."
Because Kunitz filmed a Potash segment and was fucking endearing.
He was traded on his wife's birthday.
His wife is pregnant and he doesn't get to go home.
The fact that he is being such a good sport about this is pretty incredible.
We can't imagine what he's going through.
Thank you, Chris Kunitz.
THE CHANCES YOU SHOULD HAVE CAPITALIZED ON
Satan takes his sweet time setting up a shot wide open in front of Huet.
Fleury made an unreal pass up-ice to Sykora, who could have had a goal if he wasn't trying to feed Talbot. Fleury would have had the primary assist. Beast. Unfortunately nothing happened.
Talbot makes up for Sykie's mistake by drawing an interference penalty, but we're more likely to score without it.
Gonchar with the holding penalty.
Toews shows up.
The Pens get a power play and are going crazy, but Huet says no.
Letang drew the hooking penalty and was being fucking absurdly amazing on that power play.
It would have been a poetic justice if he'd buried it.
We're just going to throw this picture in here because we have no idea when this happened or what was going on.
BEST ROUGHING EVER
We're pretty sure every time Godard gets on the ice he takes a penalty.
Again, this time he managed to sit in the box without fighting.
We'd say he's a liability but this was just too hilarious.
Dustin Byfuglien fell down as he was skating with the puck.
Godard hit him anyway.
He is such a thugmonster.
Pens actually kill it.
FAKEST HATTIE (SORRY)
Fedo shoots it over the glass. Again.
Toews is a deflection machine. High sticks aren't allowed, though.
War room says "sorry, Jonny, you're gonna have to get it some other way."
If we were Chicago fans, we would have been like "WHATEVER BITCHES WE'RE STILL WINNING."
The people in the red jerseys in the stands do not seem so confident.
Just wait til the third, everyone!
We thought Tenk's penalty would never end, but somehow it does.
Matt Cooke and someone else go off for roughing.
Then Pens get another power play, but you know they're not scoring.
Just as the clock runs out on the PP, Fedo forces a turnover, passes to Satan, who shovels it into a wide open net.
Talbot needs less than thirty seconds to pass it to Cam Barker's skate and give Cristobal the clap.
Most arenas don't give #1 stars to defensemen who deflect the puck into their own goalie's five hole. . .believe us, we know.
Are you there, God? It's me, Max, and I'm scoring garbage goals again like I'm in the best shape of my life.
Why does Talbot always have to make these faces?
How demoralizing for Toews.
THE PERIOD THE PENS SHOULD HAVE LOST IN REGULATION
Hawks put in some Finnish kid to start the third because Huet is obviously a sieve.
He's Finnish and he's a goalie, so we probably like him.
Incidentally, there is also a Finnish footballer named Antti Niemi who plays goal. But he's not the one we're looking for. Finally, a Google search for "Antti Niemi hockey" gives up the goods:
Niemi and his hair only have to make four saves the entire period.
Meanwhile, Fleury manages to stop 18 of 20.
20 shots allowed in a single period?
Tazer right off the bat with his first career hattie after Satan takes a retarded penalty.
Let's be honest, the boy has earned it.
Fucking ice sluts.
No one likes an ice slut.
People should really start telling their daughters that.
Errey wonders aloud if "the new rules under Obama" will allow Chris Kunitz to claim his fetus on tax day.
We're not kidding.
We have to start wondering about an anti-American plot emerging from the seedy underbelly of Chicago.
Tyler Kennedy is "sick" and will not be seen for the rest of the game.
Is this a poisoning? Some old-school Roman attempt at an assassination? Will they start making Kris Letang taste all of his food?
Rob Scuderi shoots the puck over the glass and that's delay of game.
We somehow kill it.
Oh wait, Bolland.
Havlat tries to put it home but gets tag-teamed by Gonchar and Eaton in a back alley.
Havlat and Gonchar go off for roughing at some point.
During the 4-on-4 Versteeg decides to go straight trippin'.
Period ends. Overtime power play.
THE "WE TOTALLY SAW IT COMING. . .NO, REALLY" AWARD
Antti Niemi makes his shocking fifth save of the night on Kunitz.
After the manpower-strength-how-many-fuckers-are-supposed-to-be-on-this-ice-surface?! situation gets sorted out with the penalties expiring and Versteeg still dropping acid in the box, Pens set up shop for a 4-on-3 power play. Gonchar's presence is felt.
Somehow the Pens maintain possession in their own zone without looking like the fucking ECHL. Gonchar gets the puck, and oh boy does he wait.
His patience is like a blanket over the city of Chicago. He tucks it in and kisses it goodnight.
Feeds Malkin. Slapshot. Niemi decided it was a great time to go butterfly.
Oh Mother Russia. How good you've been to us.
WHY AREN'T YOU DEAD
We really like Yeo as a person.
But if he's going to keep running this same PP and expecting Gonchar to take minute-long shifts and save the team every single fucking night, I think it's pretty obvious that he needs to die.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Jordan Staal
Probably his most complete game in a long, long time. Perhaps the most complete of his career.
2 points, +3, over 21 minutes of ice time, and 4 shots.
2. Marc-André Fleury - Can't knock 91%. GAA reflects more on the team in front of a goalie than the goalie himself when he's above .900. Fleury was unfuckingreal in the third period. Don't you forget it.
3. Harold Priestley Gill, III
Because Troy Brouwer will never recover from this moment.
Honorable mention to the press photography at United Center.
If the new Pens arena can get photography angles like this, we might miss Mellon about 1/10 less.
So. Many. Pictures.
btw, we think Adam Burish played about as much as Sidney Crosby tonight.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
New feature time is finally upon us. But we're going to have to stop running our mouths here for a second. We have decided to open our arms even more than they already are, and welcome some very special people into our home.
This feature is Kim's baby, so I'll let her take the reins here for a moment:
We've decided it's new feature time. The Face of the Enemy will be produced at random and will feature video bloggers who are fans of teams other than our beloved Penguins. We will give them a list of questions, some standards about the NHL, the Penguins, their own teams, and hockey in general, and some personal questions. Only questions about things we care about here at Puck Huffers, like pancakes and facial hair.
That's right. We decided that it was time to get more in touch with how the rest of the league's fans are feeling. They have opinions, and we have invited their opinions freely, so politeness towards them is appreciated. However, while we are huge fans of making unholy alliances, we are not unopposed to disagreements and even some good-natured mockery. You just can't go off about how much cock everyone sucks because, well, that's not nice. This is a learning experience and we intend to make friends with some interesting, funny, smart people. It's called diversifying.
Without further adieu: This is Kevin. We like Kevin.
He is going to provide us with the insight that only a Philadelphia Flyers fan can provide.
He posts on Youtube as FlyersFan17.
Awww. Now didn't Kevin do a great job? Wasn't he just such a good sport?
Thank you, Kevin, for being our guest.
If you know of any other video bloggers who would be interested in giving us a hand with this feature, please send them our way.
Diversity education is a main component of modern liberal arts colleges.
Are you at all surprised that we had to do this?
According to my own personal Comeback City, it's a nice, friendly, pink-highlighted "do it."
Here's an audio interview of Whits from the Anaheim website.
6 feet tall, 194 lbs. 29 years old.
Not as charitable as we would like him to be.
He averages around 20 goals and 50 points per season.
Currently at 16 goals, 35 points.
OH WAIT IS THAT HIM IN THIS PICTURE OF FATTIE NASH?
Okay. We'll accept him.
But he better step it up.
6'4", 221 lbs, 20 years old.
Plays for the Belleville Bulls of the OHL where he is reportedly tearing shit up.
52 games played, 38 goals, 87 points.
But this isn't the OHL.
All in all this trade is...well, it's okay.
For it to really pan out, this prospect is going to need to really be something special and not just a fluke. Otherwise, we were too deep in D, needed wingers, and this was basically the type of deal we expected. Kunitz isn't the best scoring winger, but he is a scoring winger, and we're not in any position to not give it a try.
Read into this trade whatever you want. It might have an effect on future trades, it might not. We have theories, but they're groundless, so we can't really post them here like we know what's what when it's all speculation.
Despite the fact that Whits was the cause of every goal against the Pens this season, caused global warming, the Cold War, and the Bay of Pigs, we'll still miss him. He was a total asshole, but he was ours. We'll always like him, because a player doesn't hang out on your team for that long without you developing some sort of attachment to him.
It's hockey, it's fast paced, and sometimes it hurts. Just because a player leaves doesn't mean you have to automatically hate them. That's just a sign that you never cared to begin with. Douches. We wish Whits the best.
Zoe will be doing our feature later.
I'll be sleeping.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
We'll take a moment to formally apologize.
Mike Green, we are so sorry.
You are our favorite defense men with the current record for most consecutive games with a goal. In fact, you are our favorite defense men. Of all of the defense men. In the world of defense men.
Also, yes, we would love to have him on our two man team. I'm actually surprised that Crosby was taken into consideration, though, seeing as he is complete trade bait right now. We appreciate the benefit of the doubt, though. Trade Whitney?
We're not sure about the dating aspect.
We'd clearly give our left legs for a spin at those goods.
Ladies? Gentlemen? Pathetic readers? Yourselves?
"Mike Green is awful looking and stereotypical. I love my men with stupid "tribal" tattoos. Maybe he can put some more hair gell in his stupid fauxhawk instead of just growing a pair and having a real one like the ENTIRE Calgary club does when they make the playoffs. It starts looking cooler as they progress further, because you know, unlike Mike Green, most of the Calgary Flames know what the second round of the playoffs look like."
"I, Allison, a regular [pathetic] reader of PuckHuffers, have no desire to date Mike Green. I have no interest whatsoever in 'having an opportunity" with him. Mike Green is not the secret fantasy of my life. I would never even consider this."
Tasteless, really. For shame, readers. For shame.
Oh my god, when we weren't looking there was apparently a hockey game.
Sorry. We were discussing what exactly the difference between hooking and slashing is.
If anyone can clarify icing for us, that would be aces.
This game was imaginary.
It's upgrade/downgrade time.
STEIGGY AND ERREY
In the first period everyone in displaced Pens territory was flipping shit. Word is that the NHL forwarded an official cease and desist to all of our favorite feed locations. If you're worried about this meaning that you aren't going to be able to catch NHL games online, you've never met the internet.
We partied with our old friend Mike Lange almost completely through the first period before someone tipped us off to a feed. We spread the joy around and then got the privilege of realizing that our fantastic host is a dual fan of sorts.
Yeah, you figure it out. Get back to us.
While intently watching special teams do their thing on the ice, we sometimes expect to hear some inane bullshit about raspberry pie or German show dogs or Finnish hairstyles of 1943. It's just what you get used to when you tune into the THC induced FSN broadcast daily. But this time? No. We had MSG with epileptic fits of Notre Dame versus Rutgers.
"That penalty will be going to Godard for-"
That sound will haunt our dreams.
Maybe it was not having Errey talk about it for three hours.
Maybe it was mad skillz.
Maybe it was that we were playing the Isles.
All of the above? We think so.
Shutout for the UPGRADE.
We've gotten used to seeing partial defensive breakdowns in the least convenient times in the games we've been playing. It's cost us a couple of two point leads, and a lot of goals in general. There are no signs that it's coming, just a sudden lack of giving a shit on the part of our usually diligent defensemen. It's Ryan Whitney's fault, just like global warming.
Kris Letang was back and on a mission. He had a huge hit within the first 22 seconds just in case anyone forgot about him. We didn't, but we appreciate the effort.
Brooks had more hits than any other player on either team at six. Streit would have had the most blocked shots at three if Orpik hadn't shown up looking ten times better in the same dress on prom night. Five blocked shots. What a man.
MIKE YEO'S IMPORTANCE AS A LIVING HUMAN BEING
The Caps game we went one for nine.
This game we went zero for three.
We've been saying it since November.
...directly to the bottom of the Mon.
Pepper says serious UPGRADE. And we trust that guy. Evgeni ain't afraid to catch the Fevr. He seeks it out.
We'd also like to use those same examples to call a serious press UPGRADE. They're really on our side recently.
We really wish the NHL wouldn't get us psyched without reason. We had Pelimies all broken out, we were throwing around all of our favorite Finnish Stud references. We were getting prepared.
WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN HE ISN'T EVEN PLAYING?
And hey, where the fresh hell is Bill Thomas?
Total downgrade sandwich.
We are women and you can't just abuse our emotions like that. We have a special set of needs and desires. Just ask the Caps organization. They know all about it.
They aren't cursed.
Get over it.
Winning in blue is sweet.
PENS 1 ISLES 0
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Gonchar- Keepin' the point streak alive with an assist to the spread of our favorite incurable disease.
2. Godard- Added to his team-leading penalty minutes total without a fighting major.
3. Rutgers- Lost 70-65. How can that even be a real fucking score in a sport? We hate basketball so hard.
The Pens are getting better at not letting us down.
We're cool with that.
WBS lost tonight to the WolfPack. Two losses straight?
Come on boys, you're supposed to be our getaway.
We have our new feature tomorrow. As if we haven't been metablogging enough about it enough. Sorry about that, we've been busy and distracted. We love you all.
Vesa Toskala blocked all three shots in the shootout tonight.
They are talking off-season surgery for him. Even if you hate the Leafs, you can't wish that upon a player.
It's probably Ryan Whitney's fault.
If only we could trade him for Mike Green.
Sid is out tonight due to a groin injury and is listed as day-to-day.
Whits is out, supposedly gone home due to a family emergency/issue. Normally I just make fun of him for being from Boston, but I'm sure you can join me in wishing him and his family the best for whatever's going on.
Coach Danny says the plan is for Ryan to meet them in Chi-town.
We have Tanger.
Bylsma has gone the un-Therrien route and has immediately called upon Janne Pesonen.
As Evgeni Malkin would say, it's time to save the fucking motherland already.
Anyway, some of you requested desktop backgrounds during the Columbus Blue Jackets Desktop Background Expo. I was totally paying attention.
Just like before, images are 1280x800.
Click to get the full size.
Our incumbent president, as requested by Molly
Dapper Kris at the ASG for Allison
Epic Gonchar background as requested by agood_badhabit
Godard ruining someone as promised to Travis (you may know him as The Goon Blogger)
Krzysztof Oliwa as requested by Hand of Godard. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a good picture of Krzysztof Oliwa? I wish I had his mugshot. This wasn't too hard though.
Feel free to leave further comments.
Kim will be here after the game to recap for everyone.
Thursday is slated for New Feature Debut Day.
Get excited now.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
We know it's bad when even Jerk City won't let us forget that hockey isn't on.
We don't even understand this strip. But we do know it made us stare longingly into the night.
What do you do on off days when you are just lounging in your home, apartment or dorm room? Do you watch television shows and envision the lead characters speaking like Malkin? Do you try to create some sort of bastardized version of hockey that you can play with your dog? Do you sit at your computer longingly refreshing Puck Huffers in hopes we will post more coloring pages? That mullet is magical.
It's hard to avoid the call of school work and life duties when there isn't hockey around to distract you. You might end up doing something terrible like paying bills or doing homework. We seriously discourage you setting down this dark path. Don't do anything rash, people. We're here for you.
The Lenten Fast is upon us. We've come to realize that whether or not someone actually gives up something for Lent has nothing to do with their religious affiliation. It's time for all people of assorted beliefs to come together and celebrate a feat of self control.
Last year my roommate gave up sex and it lasted twenty-one hours.
What are the Penguins giving up? Certainly not sex.
We have some serious guesses.
THE SACRIFICE OF THE PENGUINS
Sidney Crosby - Obsessively refreshing TSN to see if Colby is coming home and no one told him.
Tyler Kennedy - One third of his ponies and all of the bitches he pimps, save maybe one. You can't expect the man to give up his livelihood.
Brooks Orpik - Blinking. Once and for all.
Max Talbot - Blueberry-flavored syrup and modernist architecture.
Kris Letang - Giving us any hope that we might avoid accidentally thinking he's attractive in our weakest moments.
Mr. Letang, if you run your hand through your hair one more time, I swear...
Evgeni Malkin- Strawberry jam. Teaching J.Staal dirty phrases in Russian under the assumption that he is saying "please", "thank you", and "This is some delicious borscht, Mrs. Gonchar."
Eric Godard - Steak between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
Petr Sykora- Chapters 7 and 12 in "The Quintessential Kama Sutra".
Ryan Whitney- Fleece sweaters and bad jeans. We hope.
Jordan Staal- His requisite yearly display of sex hair.
Marc-Andre Fleury- Temporarily relinquishing his position of leadership at the North American Soul Patch Conference.
Sergei Gonchar- His biweekly study at the Carnegie Museum of Art.
Rick Nash - 85% dark chocolate, heavy cream when not in baked goods, juices comprised of more than 50% artificial flavoring.
John Curry- Omnipresence for 20 seconds out of every day "Just to see what weird shit happens."
Vesa Toskala- Herbal Essences shampoo. He will temporarily be using Garnier Fructis.
Cal Clutterbuck- Ain't givin' up shit.
If you have any other theories or suggestions, let us know. Remember, it has to be something they love dearly or it isn't a sacrifice.
A few minutes ago we were sent an e-mail by Brandon about something on Puck Daddy.
(Give me a break, the Penguins browser theme was horrible)
Yes, this is what it looks like. It is the Caps organization reaching out to female fans. It's so offensive that we can't really even think about what to say. Apparently we've been looking at the male versions of NHL websites. Must be time to update my toolbar, because how on earth can I navigate the man's world of hockey without some help?
Included in the offensive materials on this site is the prominent "Hockey 101" feature, because if you have ovaries you obviously need to spoon fed the rules of the game. We are told: "Impress even the most hardcore hockey fans with your knowledge of the game. Go ahead, see if you can stump them with these fun and interesting factoids."
Also, we get amazing player profiles, complete with glamour shots of the Caps team. Why are so many players peering from under the collars of their jackets? Is that something we missed in "Being a Woman 101" while we were too busy watching hockey? Can we get a website with interesting facts like how we need to be more attracted to men because of high contrast and artistic lighting? We have so many questions for you, Capitals organization.
We're not going to comment. Well, actually, we will comment. As women and not as hockey fans. We don't understand the purpose of this website because the Caps don't even have any bangable players. Take that.
 Wraparoundcurl feels us. She does some amazing Tyra-esque photo commentary here. "C’mon NHL, treat your dames better." Praise Curry.
If you requested a desktop background, it's coming.
Hope your Mardi Gras was aces.
Tomorrow is a must win.