Friday, July 31, 2009

end your fasting, 'cause it's easter friday.

Have you heard the good news?
And no, we don't mean the kind the bicycle Mormons bring to your front door every summer. We're of course talking about the return of JC.
Err...John Curry.
2 years, 2 way, 1 million.
While the signing of Brent Johnson was a little upsetting for us at first, we understand that Curry is being groomed as a full time backup. It's not like the people behind the scenes are Curryless heathens. If our time in his light has taught us anything, it is that he has a plan for us all.

We also signed Wade Brookbank and Wyatt Smith on for a year each. They're the type of players that extend our depth chart into the AHL, the kind of talent that the Penguins have been stockpiling for ages. We're kind of horrifying. As Eric Staal would happily warn others; we are a monster.

Just in case you don't live in the comments and haven't seen this twenty-some minute long tribute to our win by Cabbie, here ya go:


For now, that's what we've got.
Can you smell preseason yet?
We can, just faintly.

Go Pens.

Edit:
Mattie Cooke and Ziggy had their day with the Cup, you can check it out over at HHOF.
And thanks once again to the official PH French Connection Gendoyon for hooking us up with an amazing Max Talbot video featuring his day with the Cup.
Go here. In the menu on the far right, click "La Coupe pour Maxime Talbot." It's in french...but really, it's still perfection. Especially the song that was obviously written about him. Amazing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

some things we found in the crawl space

How we make it through summer without hard drugs is a mystery for the ages.
Hockey and the news surrounding it paces itself like old men in hats driving Buicks.

Luckily, this time, we have excellent news.
Which is that Our Hero Daniel LaCosta has been re-signed by the Blue Jackets. It's only for a year. He'll probably get so many shutouts next season that Martin Brodeur will start worrying about his job.
50% of games that Dan LaCosta has started in the NHL have ended as shutouts. There are only two, but still.
It's a totally true statistic.
Plus, there's a picture somewhere of him looking snazzy in a puka shell necklace.
If you have this photo, you should e-mail it to us. We've been looking for it for weeks.

Jordy's day with the Cup went public at HHoF today.
It's a beautiful if selfish love affair.
We hope Sid doesn't pull the whole abusive husband thing when he gets his turn. We get the feeling that Cappy doesn't tolerate cheating particularly well.

Also, in case you didn't know, Max and his bff Bruno have a really special website for their golf tournaments.
There are some really winning pictures of Max that deserve to be displayed prominently to the American public.
He sure likes umbrellas.

Sometimes he has a man come around to hold his for him. You know, when he's busy.

He also often carries a small picture of his own face in case he forgets what he looks like.
Not that that happens often. He's just worried.

Major thx to gendoyon for tipping us off to this beauty.

As a result of these photographs and the circuitous discussion that ensued, we've decided that if Max were a boat he'd be a tugboat.
This tugboat, in fact.

Also, we're sure you all know about Hossa's shoulder surgery. It's old news that we didn't dignify with a post at the time.
What a downer. *insert lols*

Really everything is harder to hate once you've won the Cup.
Not that we have to tell you that.
We just continue to bask in it.
It's not an easy thing to defend but it's fucking July.

WOOOOOOOOOO.
A lonely month, but still.
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Go Pens!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

remember us?

We know we haven't been around in an unusually long amount of time. Don't lose faith, we're still alive, and a regular blogging schedule will resume not too long from now.

We'll do something real either tomorrow or the day after, but for now we just wanted to throw up a sign of life.

As you know, training camp happened. Rather than telling you actual, valid information about it, we'll just post this video of the kittens working out. As the seasons roll by, ogling the prospects gets more and more unacceptable. We're still in the clear, though. If you aren't, please avert your eyes. If you're a dude...uhh...good workout tips ahoy?

We're not even sure why Pens TV is posting these things. Is it a possibility that this is their answer to Scarlet Caps? Either way, we're game.

The rooks even did some paintball. Mostly for our own entertainment, we think. What has gotten into the Penguins? We appreciate the increased video coverage of meaningless events, especially in the hockey wasteland that is the summer.

By this time you've heard the news on the Lightning wanting some of that Petr Fever they've heard so much about. The rumor is that it's working. The deal would be 2 or 3 years (the most common rumor is 2) at $2.75 per. We aren't saying this is anything but a rumor. However, often times when numbers start getting thrown around the validity increases...but once again, it's still nothing but a rumor.

We'd comment more on the idea of Petr the Bolt, but we don't like to depress ourselves unduly. Let's wait for the solid word, shall we?

Other than that, we'll be here for real things soon. Sorry for the absence and lack of substance. We're in the depths of July, you can't be too disappointed. If you get upset about it, go to your local hockey apparel retailer and buy some discounted shirtseys. Hal Gill's an easy $8 at Hometown Sports.

Speaking of Hal, his new number with the Habs is 75.
Who is he? Walt Poddubny?
Yann Danis??
Colton Orr?!?!
Thoughts?

Go Pens...
Come on preseason.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

religious fervor

According to Allison, we're the last people to find out about this. Usually we have to tell other people things because we have no lives and refresh the Internet looking for good news.

Anyway, it still might not be Our Lord Curry's year to break the NHL, as the Pens have signed Brent Johnson. Someone actually took a picture of him making a cool save:
Not bad for a career backup and ex-Capital.

Now, Johnson had hip surgery in February. The timeline on him being out was basically "two months to indefinitely." All in all, it doesn't look like he's a shoe-in to make the #2 spot out of camp. So. . .we expect a competitive camp and Curry will show up wearing his big number one in the NHL at some point, we're sure. It's something to hope for. And all we do is hope.

Say your prayers.
Go Pens.
Curry Bless.

EDIT
Nulpher in the comments:
Well... from what they were speculating on the X, BJ is probably going to assume a role similiar to Ty Conklin. Basically he'll be in the AHL unless Fleury ends up on IR again. If Fleury should end up injured, Johnson would be called up and assume the starter role or at least compete with Curry for it. That way they can allow Curry to play whenever Fleury needs a night off (Fleury's going to start at least 60-65 games provided he stays healthy) and allow him to get adjusted to playing in the NHL. Johnson being in the AHL will keep him playing for if it is necessary to bring him up on short notice to start.

We would totes support this.

Wooooo!

Got some good news, got some redundant bad news.

Bad news: Petey still isn't coming back.
Good news: It's got nothing to do with Dan Bylsma.

Thank God.
What are we, Montreal?
Dramadramadrama and for nothing.

We'd still defend the man to our teeth if we were called to do so. Unless he killed kittens or called Cappy "nothing special" or said that Pittsburgh sucked or something. And then we'd have an aboutface so fast we'd get whiplash.

More on this later.
Thanks to Allison for the word.
It's late.
Blahblahblah.

In case you need to feel good about something:
Eric Godard approves of this message.
Well, not really. But we can't specifically say he doesn't approve of it at this juncture in time, either.

Go Pens.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

quick, get tyra on the horn

Why Tyra?

Because.
Shit's about to get fierce in here.

First off, we care a lot about the quality of websites in the NHL.
We just do.
They have a lot to represent in a short amount of time. They are meant to grab the attention of the fan and provide a snapshot of the essence of the team for all to see.
If the website doesn't look fierce and confident, how can we have any faith in the team? However, there is often an irony in who is doing the best job at being fierce, and who is falling flat. Thus it comes as no surprise that we visited the Tampa Bay Lightning website this morning and were greeted by this splash page (note: all images can be clicked for full size):
If you have any sense of good taste whatsoever, your eyes are immediately drawn to Brother Steven there on the left, his eyes seemingly looking into your soul, communicating to you an air of bravery, chivalry, and overall success. Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis are mere footnotes to the brilliance of this shot. Often, the sign of a good model is the ability to draw attention to themselves in a busy photo.
Steven Stamkos does just that.
And let's not even get into their new season slogan.
Together we will?
Together we will. . .what, exactly?
Get to set early for hair and makeup?
Surely they don't mean "make the playoffs."
Overall, this splash page is a fine representation of the Lightning as a team. By which we mean: coherence and beauty.

Seeing a well-executed splash page like this begs serious questions.
It's July. Are any of the League's other teams taking this prime opportunity to be at their fiercest? They have all the time in the world. And the splash page to a website is a fine vehicle for this concept.

First, we hunted down all the teams who are having splash pages in the middle of the summer. After seeing Tampa's, we expected greatness. We were taught a valuable lesson: if you're impressed by something the Lightning has done, don't expect greatness from anyone else.
Here are the Bruins, promoting their upcoming Winter Classic appearance with a nice shot of Timmybear. Okay, okay. We can deal with this. It's not anywhere near as fierce as Steven, but they tried.
The Winter Classic logo this year is pretty cute and it gives this design a much-needed dose of style. Even if that style kind of looks like it is for a girls' golf tourny. But. . .like we said. They tried.

The Buffalo Sabres = the antifierce.
What a terrible performance. A boring serif font is also good for a golf tournament, but not one that you expect anyone to actually be interested in.

This little girl is fierce as hell. But she's pulling it off all on her own. The Hurricanes made it to the conference finals this year, for Christ's sake. Shouldn't they be getting people pumped about shit already? Might we suggest players who are capable of being very, very fierce on film:
EStaal

CamCam (even looking fierce in a casual photograph--never turn your fierce off, boys)

Detroit has managed here to combine a very terrible play on words with. . .Johan Franzen? Is that Johan? We can't tell because someone made him redder than he was before (which we never thought possible) and saved the .jpeg at what appears to be a somewhat middling quality.
We all know the Red Wings are happy to show up and have fashion shoots together, especially when they get to be all Swedish and wear jeans together, so what gives?
You can't blame the economy for this failure.

They're just milking the designs for all they're worth because their centennial was a fucking disaster. When you pay someone to design a fancy number 100 for you, you might as well use it, instead of embarrassing yourself trying to make Carey Price look like a winner. Not fierce, but can you blame them?

Second only to the Sabres page in antifierceness. As Penguins fans, we should be glad that they didn't cart in Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for glamour shots, but if you want to be the Broad Street Bullies, do something. When the Flyers try to look tough they end up looking kind of homoerotic, but that serves these purposes very, very well! Can't they see the light? Bring on the gay. It's a damned splash page.

. . .Now, while this has all been very enlightening, we became even more curious.
If not with a fierce splash page, how are all of the other NHL teams drawing your eyes to all the important parts of their website?

Not that we expected a ton from Anaheim.
This is acceptable. Acceptable doesn't mean fierce, but that's okay.
The top banner is just flat. It's like it didn't even try. You can refresh the page to get a different player gracing your sidebar, which is always a fun feature. We chose Bobby Ryan because Bobby, of all players on the Ducks roster, knows how to behave in a way which is fierce. And, in his own words, how to "be glorious." What a beautiful person.

Atlanta chooses to medicate us with some intense Ilyaface. Colby and Kari are fierce as hell but that is a coincidence and not a consequence of their design skills. The background is just awful. Banner is okay, though. We're not going to get picky, but if the Lightning are going to be so fierce, why not Atlanta?

Jarome Iginla here approaches fierce, but at a speed of maybe 5 miles per hour. The flames and typeface in the banner look like something out of an action movie title sequence circa 2002. Frankly, it's not something we feel comfortable with. Calgary could do a lot better.

Chicago, we have to address in two separate parts, just because in term of their team's aesthetic they've always been pretty spot-on, non-PC team logo aside.
First, the banner is nice. The logo in the background is straight from their regular home jersey and you can see the stitching and the texture.
And second, their sidebar refreshes to a variety of players, all looking pretty fucking fierce, with a neat little inset to show their name, number, and signature. Here is Patrick Sharp. This photo says: "I am part of a young dynamic team. That just signed Marian Hossa for 12 years. Fuckkkkk. But I still look fine."

Colorado is doing an okay job. They're managing to put the fierce in the text. Somehow. Don't ask us how. Either way, it's working. What with Matt Duchene coming up, the Avs might be the team to baby next season. We're all for "The Avalanche Experience", whatever that is.

Okay, so, the Blue Jackets website could be a lot fiercer. It doesn't have anything on the right side of the page, just black void. Admittedly, the banner is pretty adorable. And that front page story about the "new law"? It's about making sure little boys and girls wear helmets. Which just says a lot about the organization. We love the Jackets. Do they have to be fierce? Not really. But it might help.

In refreshing the relatively fugz Dallas page in search of a fierce player, we realized that they had nothing fiercer than a man who plays with the consistency of an alcoholic.
Depressing showing.

The Oilers page is just weird.
What is with the bottom left?
What are they trying to convey about their team image?
That there are random facial features sticking out of the corners?

This had potential. The soft blue tint to the players in the sidebar could have been atmospheric, not that the Panthers are atmospheric. In retrospect, the fact that they just made it Nathan Horton's gremlinface is totally representative of their franchise.

No. . .no matter how many times you refresh it, it still kind of looks like the cover of a medieval-themed porno. Which, if shot by Nigel Barker (noted fashion photographer), could probably be fierce. We need to get Nigel out there behind the goal, putting his camera through one of those goofy little holes behind the glass, and making people beautiful. And less tacky. Or is it more tacky?

Now, on to the Minnesota Wild. First off, the banner is pretty cool. Christmas colors aside (and god, they are pretty hard to get past), they have an old-timey, joyful aesthetic that, while it doesn't suit the team, manages to be somewhat delightful and cute.
Nearby, however, is their little sidebar. It has a few things that you can refresh to see. But on my own first visit to the site, I got the fiercest thing ever. It even reappeared time and time again after multiple refreshes.
WORK ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT BOYYYYYYYYY

Welcome to nothingness.
Er, Nashville.
It's like a black hole with Shea Weber hanging out in it. Which is pretty much what the Preds are. So we applaud them for getting the team concept right.
We can improve upon this though. Just a little.
Much better.
We assume that the "it" in "IT STAYS WITH YOU" means Pepper.
Otherwise we'd have to assume other, much more painful things. You know, any memories you may have of genocide and war. Herpes. The pregnancy you didn't abort before it was too far along.

We understand the confusion experienced by the Devils organization in thinking they were selecting typeface for the cover of a young adult novel (perhaps about wizards and vampires and shit, as is the trend nowadays) rather than for a fucking Atlantic Division hockey team. At least they have a heartwarming commemorative brick offer to reel in the gay and take it home. . .or something.

They have Nickelback?
Fuck it. They've gotta be fierce.
Greasy Boy Canada will help them in that department too.
Plus, the Isles logo has a certain classic quality to it.

Okay so.
The ripped paper thing.
The background.
The New York Rangers have successfully conveyed a certain feel here. But that feel just says "WE RIP PAPER OH HERE'S HENRIK LUNDQVIST."
So much more could be done. We're not sure what, but they play in one of the world's most important, dynamic cities and their fanbase has a certain persona. That amounts to more than ripped paper and Swedes.

ATTENTION READERS
WE'D LIKE TO INTERRUPT THIS SYSTEMATIC ANALYSIS TO BRING YOU SOMETHING FAR MORE IMPORTANT

Apparently one other NHL team has a splash page that we didn't know about before.
AND IT IS UNDENIABLY THE FIERCEST THING YOU HAVE EVER FUCKING SEEN.
Yes, more so than Steven Stamkos.
It's a motherfucking Blingee.
This may all be a ploy to gain the affections of PH Staff after they robbed tolerable teams in the League of Alexei Kovalev.
It is a brilliant ploy if so.
Do you see the way the logo is also smiling with its eyes?
Do you see it as the embodiment of the Ottawa Senators franchise?
It brings the gay. In a delicate, gorgeous way.
FIERCEST SPLASH PAGE EVER AWARD
BACK TO HARSH CRITICISMS AND OUR REGULAR BROADCAST

Here's Phoenix.
We think that's Bryz but it's kind of hard to tell.
More Bryz would make this sufficiently fierce.
He could make a pile of dog shit fierce, let's be honest.

Aside from the obvious issue that the color of Nabby's uni awkwardly fails to match the color of the overall page, there just isn't a lot of fierce here.
Promoting your state as the current holders of the President's Trophy shows a lot of sass. It's like saying "Yeah. . .we choked in the first round. . .but we at least set ourselves up for a better fate."
It's a "fuck alls ya'll", if you will.
But we could stand to see Joe Thornton creeping out from the top right corner and asking us if we want a rum and Coke.
That'd be fierce.

At first glance, St. Louis looks like it's par for the course.
But then you have to realize: the logo up in the banner is actually like, half of someone's torso melting off into a gradient. It's awkward. It nags at the soul.
We have to give them credit for generally picking good facial expressions for their players. Not fierce necessarily. . .but they're not bad.
Except this one.
This is mere inches away from being a face a dude makes when strenuously fucking someone from behind.
And that isn't appropriate for the frontpage of your hockey site.
Wrong kind of gay. You know?

Nothing about the Toronto page is important except for the total "wtf" moment you get from looking at the right side of the page.
Like. . .whose bright idea was this?
What does it have to do with Toronto? We see no relation to the city, the team, its fans, or really anything real whatsoever. It's just mind-bogglingly unfierce. We all know that Vesa and Luke are fully capable of being sexily fierce when called upon, so where the hell are they?

Now, the Canucks page is a little something we like to call fierce without the tack.
Note the straight lines of the design, the cleanness of their typeface, and the overall "I'm motherfucking fierce" look of Roberto Luongo in his gear.
This is not the giddy crescendo of fierce achieved by the likes of Tampa Bay and Ottawa, but it gets its name called first at least one week and has its shot displayed as digital artwork in the house.

How to address the problem of the Washington Capitals?
They picked a really awesome, fierce photo of Ovechkin. In terms of Ovechkin photos, this is a fucking stellar image where he looks totally virtuous.
But you can't accomplish the impossible and make the Capitals fierce with a slogan like "RED IS CAPS HOCKEY." It would be understandable if they had a long tradition of red. But they don't. Home uniforms were primarily white forever and we of course all remember when they were doing that weird sea green/eagle thing:
So what gives, Washington?
Red is, like, Red Wings hockey.
Caps hockey isn't really analogous to a color at this stage of its life.
Get over it.

Oh, and you've probably noticed the obvious omission by now.
It's pretty much as fierce as it gets over on the Pens site.
The Penguins actually won the Stanley Cup this year.
No shit.
It's the only fashion accessory we'll ever need.
Malks owns the picture in the sidebar. Max owns that goal celebration. TK just owns.

We hope you've enjoyed the day's education in Fierceness.

I mean, it's the middle of July.
Relax.
But in the fierce way.

GO PENS.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

some good news, some bad news.

Good News You Already Know

-Mister President is 23 whole years old. We missed the celebration because we were doing other things. And thus, we missed the opportunity to post a video that obviously needed posting, but let's all close our eyes and pretend that it is the 15th once again.


-Benny Lovejoy is back for another year, and the Alaskan Storm is here to stay for two. This means we are guaranteed grade-A defensive adorableness through 09/10 and safety from bears through the 09/10 and 10/11 seasons. Thank Curry.

-Sid and Malkin are being used for a Myspace scam. This is good news because we thought Myspace was dead, and we're glad there is still a place for 15-year-olds to hang out after school.

Bad News You Also Probably Already Know

-Petr is not coming back to the Penguins, via everyone in the universe who has ever spoken to us. The interview where it was stated was translated from Czech media by Tomas Jandik over at LGP. Here she blows.

The quotes are harsh.
This is the famous one that everyone is freaking out over:
"It’s never a good thing when you are coached by a former teammate. On top of that, he used to be a player who drifted around as a fourth-liner. I was younger than him, played on the top line, scored goals, was the little star. Now the roles got reversed, and from the first moment I had a feeling that he let me ‘eat it.’ I honestly say that I have not had liked him even as a teammate. Which does not happen to me often"

We'd also like to pull out this little number, though.
Q: Do you regret that there is no way back?
A: Incredibly. I think I had two excellent years there, scored 59 goals, and persuaded the previous coach Therrien about my qualities. But this is business, nobody cares about feelings. I’m pissed off; but on the other hand, it gives me more fuel to prove they had made a mistake.


The thing everyone has to remember is that Petr Sykora doesn't hate the Penguins. Or Pittsburgh. Or Yinzers. In fact, he made it clear that he'll miss that shit. He isn't dying alive, he isn't refusing to play unless his demands are met. Petr Sykora is just a dude who can't work for his boss.

Another thing we want to stop before it grows up all big and strong is this notion that Petr can't perform in the playoffs / was getting too old / lost his touch, et cetera. Sykora was obviously hurt. We've watched Petr Sykora play hockey for years just like a lot of people, and no one deteriorates that quickly. Maybe age was getting to him, but you can't judge how much one factor is affecting a player when there are other variables in play. All players get older, it's a progression. Petr Sykora still has a few years of great play left in him, and you can write that down.

We'll miss Petr, and you're all more than well aware of that. He's a childhood hero. Petr coming to the Penguins was like a dream come true. Unless Kovie comes back or Shanny decides to stop by, we're never going to feel something like that again. We're glad we had him. We love the man regardless of the jersey on his back, and we pray to Curry that he does in fact prove to everyone that we lost a valuable player.

Petr Fever is still out there.
The Penguins had better watch out.

Good luck, Petey.
Go Pens.

Monday, July 13, 2009

lord baron talbot is my homeboy

We like just realized that we haven't posted since Thursday. This makes us feel super guilty, especially since it's not like we have jobs or anything. Rest assured, we love each and every one of you.

We're preparing for our road trip in August.
We just calculated the price of gas and laughed at the universe for making it so much less expensive than we expected it to be.
We have very few actual attractions that we plan on visiting, but the main one is called Little Talbot Island near Jacksonville.
It has a really nice beach.

And in other parts it's basically Middle Earth.


The campground is on Little Talbot, but on Big Talbot Island there are many things to see and do as well. We plan to take full advantage of the Talbot Islands.
Kim says this is actually a picture of Max Talbot's soul.
She may be right.

The islands were named for a Lord Baron Talbot by the English general James Oglethorpe. Lord Baron Talbot is clearly just a thinly veiled alias invented by Florida State Parks. We can't find out which Lord Baron Talbot they're talking about. Also, the island was originally settled by French Huguenots, which is all the proof we'll ever need.

In honor of the islands and our affection for them we provide you with a brand spanking new coloring sheet:
Click for full size!
We suggest creating your own background for this one, as there is a lot of white space.
Perhaps you want to put the Lord Baron in his castle.
Or in a sylvan glade.
Maybe he's at Ed Hardy looking at new t-shirts.
Use this creative prompt to prepare yourselves, because we're gearing up to have a coloring contest later this month. We have specific prizes in mind. If you think coloring is too gay, leave another contest suggestion in the comments. (We're thinking of our male readers here, but that doesn't mean you guys can't break out the Crayola and still be men.)

Color away!
Send to puckhuffers@gmail.com and we'll post the best ones on the site as inspiration.

Lord Baron Talbot wills it.
Go Pens.

 
Creative Commons License
Puck Huffers by Kimberly Davidson and Zoƫ Hayden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.