Monday, November 30, 2009


It seems like we're simply not playing the Flyers enough. That would really get the good, healthy feelings of hockey rage flowing.
At any rate, Daniel Briere's long-suffering corpse is at it again.

Briere, interestingly, was also just suspended for a hit to the head. I think most Penguins fans agree that Matt Cooke's hit was dirty, and that he was basically suspended for being Matt Cooke as opposed to a marquee forward. However, Briere's corpse isn't really playing dirty when it isn't leaking embalming fluid and stuffing, and he's basically known for being whiny as opposed to dishing late hits. He was suspended like once, back in 2006, and no one even remembers what it was for.

I mean, YouTube "Briere hit" and you'll get this, the James Wisniewski incident, and then the time that Ovechkin himself went after The Corpse.

So, basically, the League's being stupid either way.
Gotta love that double standard.

Also, how exactly does one tweak their groin over fucking Thanksgiving?
Briere's not even American. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October.
We at PH call fracas.

Rangers tonight. MSG. Going to be a nasty one.
We're all over it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

like you needed us to tell you.

This win was the sort of win you just needed to soak in as you lounged about the house eating leftover turkey, laughing to yourself about the misfortunes of other, less talented hockey clubs.
Yeah, we know that we let you marinate in it a little bit too long, but you try being stuck on a Philadelphia runway for three hours and then come talk to me about duties to those fortunate enough to be chilling in the City of Champions. Yinz can suck it.

Let's just talk about this goal by goal.
Only Pens goals.
I think that provides enough material for, oh, a short novella.

Cappycakes and Malks are both on the ice, they boys are down one, and we are maybe not the most assured fans in all of the NHL. The puck is everywhere. Behind the net. Sid grabs it, tosses it to Malkin. It's almost a garbage goal but garbage doesn't look that good.

Gogo just keeps the puck in as Sid trails off the bench. Those in attendance say that the Rags defense seemed to be distracted by large, floating, green objects, "Like a fuckin' huge green pepper" says one witness. We have no part in this. Cappy picks the puck up at the blue line in his van, drops it off at school just in time for morning announcements.
And we've got a tied game.

Cappy plays matchmaker and sees some srs chemistry between Max Talbot and the puck. They haven't spoken in a while, but quickly realized what they had seen in one another before. They consummate their reunion, Eric Godard stands nearby to watch.

Starting the second period 3-1 isn't unheard of. It could still be a normal game. The Rags bring it up 3-2, and you know, things have been known to stagnate at points like this.
That is, until Orpik gets a shot and Adams almost picks up the trash. Then things are different.
And then, in if in some sort of fairytale land Mark Eaton takes it and slams it home from three zip codes away? You might be looking at a fuckin' special hockey game.

The Rags celebrate the beginning of the third period by scoring again, because that has really been working for them.
Valiquette, who has been a work of art as a goaltender for this game, we're talking some serious Mona Lisa shit, somehow ends up all out of sorts with Malkin and Crosby circling the net like hungry sharks. They smell the blood. Malkin attacks, doesn't quite finish, Cappy comes in and finishes the job.
Two goals, eh?
We'll see.

Dupes, what the fuck? How are you going to become an entirely different hockey player at this age? I mean, I guess we aren't complaining, but really, it's kind of conflicting now that the Pascal-right-into-the-logo-Dupuis is a serious danger around the net. We like it, we just have to deal with the change.
What a fucking man.

I don't know where you were when Sidney Crosby got his 4th career hat trick, but I was in a fuckin' bar outside of Pittsburgh. The only thing I could say as I stared at the screen, witnessing what seemed to be an unusually large celebratory display of hat throw-age, was "Musta been hat giveaway night."
It must be pretty satisfying to get a hattie on hat night. That was some serious lid action on the ice. You think maybe he had this all planned out? Nooooo....

The President, of course, always has the final say in matters. Steve Valiquette's liquor license goes the way of Cam Ward's.

Are you fucking kidding us?
Pens...obliterate the Rags?

Let's just go with the classic Pens Win.

Go Pens.

Friday, November 27, 2009

neither rhyme nor reason

We remember when a game against the Islanders meant that we were playing the worst team in the League and therefore any difficulties could be chalked up to lack of effort, lack of finish, goaltending heroics, or some fluke perpetuated by the hockey gods.

Fun fact: the Islanders aren't a completely awful team anymore. And seeing as we haven't been having a lot of our usual Atlantic Division shit-kicking lately, we probably should have been competitive, nasty, ready to take some division points and show them that we still mean business.

But, no. It wasn't meant to be. Blame injuries or the early start time or team mentality, but whatevs. We lost this one. And that's a shame, because our favorite thing about Nassau Coliseum is the copious-ass press photography. So, gather 'round everyone, it's picture time and awards night rolled into one.

First thing that happens is that Jackman and Engelland decide to fight. Engelland looks pumped to be there for a little while but Jackman is landing more punches and eventually it just has to end before something shitty happens. We've gotta say that Engelland's hair looks pretty good in this picture. He's got a very striking profile when he's being punched in the head.

Then: Bill McCreary makes some bizarre diving call on Malkin.
Isles don't do much, and out of the box Malkin is a playmaking machine, but no dice.
Eventually McCreary sends Brooks to the box for eating one too many souls.
We like to imagine Bill McCreary alone at home trimming his mustache and thinking about his next move.

Josh Bailey
This blue unis on the road thing is really bizarre, by the way. If another team were doing this we'd probably make fun of them or call them divas. So can we stop being divas? Please?
We blame the fact that we are divas for the goal.

John Tavares commits some egregious turnover to JStaal, who understands the meaning of teamwork and draws a penalty.
Nothing really happens but the Isles do get a shorthanded shot away, thank fucking goodness.
(See? Games at Nassau, you remember an event sequence, and can actually find a photo of that exact event sequence to fit into your recap/event description. We don't know why there are so many photos coming out of Nassau Coliseum, though we might speculate that the good folks from Getty and the Associated Press did it over the past several years to stave off feelings of suicide.)
The overwhelming amount of nothing causes Mike Lange and Phil Bourque to start telling anecdotes about the Oakland Seals or some shit.
Malkin has had enough.
1-1 bitches.
Perfectly placed shot. Crazy-ass backhand. Godard's first point of the season (what a beast). Oh, things feel good right about now.

During intermission Mike Lange recounts some unfuckingreal story about Malkin comforting a sobbing 6-year-old girl. So we like him even more.

Early in the second, Brent Johnson has to save the team for awhile. Ugh.
McCreary's mustache hands out another bizarre penalty, this time on Craig Adams for unsportsmanlike conduct, and then evens it up once McCreary himself gets involved in an internal monologue about life and fairness. God, these two need their own psychological thriller.
Nassau Coliseum then has the gumption and gauche to play Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."
Penguins emerge from this stoppage and score a goal. No, we don't understand it, either.
Matt Cooke, you quality human, you. 2-1

First, Hillen interferes with Crosby. Okay.
Then, Malkin gets high-sticked, and is not pleased.
Photographic evidence of displeasure.
Which means we have this really glittery and delicious man-advantage situation that we should take advantage of.

But maybe they thought it was a good idea to let Brent strut his stuff some more. Huge poke-check on Hillen, and then, in this epic moment of war photography, Frans Nielsen fires it wide of an open cage.
In McCreary's psychological thriller, this is the moment when his worldview becomes overwhelmed with darkness, and his only choice is to kill again.

But we still have a PP.
Chris Bourque is out there, really?

Not much going on to start the third. Fedotenko tries to wraparound, but Roloson says no. Roloson then has skate problems to lure us all into a false sense of security.
Sean Bergenheim scores and it is the only picture of this game that we can't find. Annoying at best.
You're on notice, Nassau Coliseum.

This is a very unhappy JStaal. He didn't want Nate Thompson thinking he could mess around with Skoula. Okay, so, don't fuck with Skoula. But what about the rest of the team?

The whole deal is frankly confusing.
We then take a too many men. Just for shits and giggles.

A lot of them.
But Brent has our backs.
The question remains: do we have his?

I mean really, it's not even this goal. The shot total for the period was 17-4, which is just embarrassing, no matter which team you play for.
It's just that much more special that it was Johnny T. I mean, he is saving the franchise after all. We know what all of this is like. We have to sigh and accept his existence.
But not the 17-4 shot total. Or the power play fails.


We have plenty of time to tie it, and even try a lot, but Roloson is up to the challenge.

We sort of tried.



Islanders Media gave Brent the #3 star which we think was really sweet of them and we're sure it makes Brent feel better and the rest of the team feel kind of shitty.

1. Eric Godard - Master of offense.
2. Deryk Engelland - 5 blocked shots; nice, and also fought at a moment that sort of made sense.
3. Rick DiPietro - For his sweet cap hit.

Rangers tomorrow.
Let's show them what's up.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

giving thanks

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who are American, and just a happy regular day for those of you who aren't, from PH Staff et al. We send love your way.

We at PH are thankful for:
- our beautiful intern, Ann, without whom none of this would be possible, and we'd probably be dead in a ditch right now having our corpses ravaged by wild beasts

- hockey in and of itself, without which we may have killed ourselves a long time ago

- the subtler things in life, like Sidney Crosby receiving hard cross-ice passes with his fucking skates and fine cigars and Curry and all of that stuff

- each and every one of you for being so supportive of us, because really, we know we're jokes and we're letting you down. We tend to care more about this website than we do most things, so when those things try to supersede PH we are like "WHOA THERE BACK THE FUCK UP" but alas, they're very insistent sometimes. So really, we appreciate the fact that you even still come here, because we're whores, and all we do is rut about in sin.
But you sick fuckers like that shit, so, you know, come on in!

We want you to be happy. (So do the boys--if you've checked the Pens site, GoGo and Cupcake McKee are skating.)
We're really pumped, actually, for tomorrow's matinee.
Due to the timing you'll get a legit recap that wasn't written at 6 in the morning while falling asleep or weaseled out of the very accommodating intern.
If you can still believe us when we say it,
Go Pens.

a real tough cookie with the long history

Oh, Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, delicious pie. My father telling me I haven't lived up to expectations, my grandmother forgetting which kid I am. You know, the basics. I was watching the game while baking pumpkin cheesecake and there was a major crisis with my crust, so at some point graham cracker consumed my attention and I momentarily stopped wanting Carey to fail. It was just for a second though, I promise.

My pre-game surfing led me to this:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the happiest dog in the entire world. That face is the face that I want all of you to have after pie today. I would wish Eaton on you, but unfortunately the dog has claimed him and who are we to argue with the little guy.

Kris is out of his no-contact red and will be back in a sec, so that's amazing. Not so amazing is that Hal Gill was out with a fractured foot, so no Harold Priestley. At least Price was in net. The man has obviously been drinking raw eggs, running 5 miles in the snow every morning, and giving up water in favor of plain scotch, because he is on fire lately. And look at this hair:

So much volume. I wonder where he gets it done.

Game time and massive Ryan O'Byrne, who is like 6' 5" immediately makes a hit on Talbot and I cringe. Sid steamrolls him in retaliation. Max is apparently not worried about going back on the IR and he's checking anything that moves.

Bob Grove: "Carey Price looks thin to me." The holidays are backhanded complement season. Learn to love it.

Maybe Bob saw him on his good side.

Carey makes about 12 saves in 30 seconds and then there's some hugging in front of the net. Crosby is locked in a duel with Price. Denied, denied and then:

Best "Slap me silly, Sidney"

Sid morphs from Scoreless-In-5-Games-Sidney into Stanley-Cup-Sidney as he comes in and uses Mara as a screen, Price drops into the butterfly too soon, and Sid shoots to kill. It's a beautiful thing.


Sid is back in like .5 seconds for another goal and is sooooo damn close. The stat tonight is: Sid's 10th point in 10 home games against the Habs. He probably just scored because of his OCD.

At the end of the first Montreal is trying so hard to score they just stuff Fleury in and hope the puck goes, too. Awkward.

The man puts up with sooo much.

Longest Shift EVER

Sir Bill goes on a two and a half minute shift, determined to make it happen. Geno passes to Guerin who is hooked by O'Byrne as he puts it through Carey's feet. The press is amazing tonight, so:

Part One:

Part Two:


Godard had scoring chances everywhere this period.

This was not one of them.

Sweetest Holiday Sentiments

Brooks sent out a special thanks to all the troops this Thanksgiving.

He also wanted to send Sergei a special ticket back to Hamilton.

Practicing for the Nutcracker

Sid has been looking for hobbies that involve ice and being awesome, because he doesn't get enough at his day job. His skills were on full display as he came down the left side and did a beautiful 360 pirouette, sugarplum style, while passing to Gonch without even looking. Price's legs parted like the waters.

Just another day at the office.


The third rolls and Godard is back at it. I am dazzled.

"I'm Not Even Mad. I'm Impressed."

Pacioretty kind of fucks up the night, but the result is so artful it's hard to be upset.


Nothing else major happens, except that my cheesecake looks like the cover of Bon Appetit magazine. Win.

Alternate Three Stars:

3. Godard: Don't stop, believin'...

2. Rupp: Hits, hits, and more hits. And what a game face.

1. Remote Camera Guy:

Dear Whoever-Installed-This-Camera,

I love you. Happy Holidays.


P.S. That goes for all of you, too.

Islanders Friday.
Go Pens.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

answered prayers

Cal is a beautiful animal.

No idea if there will be a recap tonight or not. Sorry, crisis mode still persists. We'll be out of the woods by the weekend. We'll smoke signal for snacks, vodka, and jerseys if we get cold.

We could probably do with a copy of this book. According to The New York Times Max Talbot credits it for his positive outlook on life.

Everything that's coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it's attracted to you by virtue of the images you're holding in your mind. It's what you're thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you.

What the fuck?
Can we attract sanity?



PH is currently in crisis mode.
Give us roughly 15 hours to sort everything out.
We love you, you are our favorites.
Sadly, our lives are in chaotic disorder right now.
Bare with us.
Everything will be okay in the morning.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This week altogether hasn't been terrible.
Aside from Thursday's little suicide-watch-festival, honestly, we can say that with the team we've got we put on a good show.
But here are five little things to keep in mind:

1.) Our franchise considers this to be front-page news. I mean really, regardless of the standings, don't you just fucking love this team?

2.) Time heals all wounds. The troops are returning. Notably, Gonchar and Orpik are back in business.
Our defensive corps will eventually mend.
We have Max back. Say what you will about Max--he did win us a Stanley Cup and is at the very least a center/winger you can move around wherever you need him. Depth, kids. DEPTH.

3.) We're tops in the Atlantic again. Next mission, prevent the Caps from winning the East. Shouldn't be hard.

4.) Anze Kopitar still leading the league in points. And while we'd rather it be someone from Pittsburgh, at least you're not going to read any pseudojournalism about whether or not he's the best player in the league. He's doing it the way it's meant to be done.

5.) The President is back at practice, and according to an anonymous source, the locker room is preparing for his return by listening to a collection of Foreigner's greatest hits. No, not even kidding.

We want to know what love is.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

oh baby you, you got what I neeeeed

So, I flip the game on and the first words I hear are "Look at all the Russians in this game!" Instantly pumped.

Factoid of the night: Thrashers goalie Hedberg, our former backup goalie, was traded to Vancouver for a draft pick. Our pick was Gogo.


The game starts and I really am mesmerized by the all of the russian on my screen. It's apparently sold out, but that means different things in the deep south than in the Mellon. All I see is a sea of empty blue chairs.

They're cycling, passing and then I hear Steigerwald say three little words:
"…passes to Talbot."
Chills shoot down my spine. A lone tear rolls slowly down my cheek. This will never get old.

Malks draws a penalty and they are allllll over it. Sid is firing off shots as his pack of Emergen-C kicks in. Skoula shoots from the blue line and the puck dodges and weaves through approximately every single person on the ice before making it in.


Army makes me gasp as he almost upsets MAF, Sid retaliates by making Evander Kane look completely out of place in the league, and the period comes to a close. Short and sweet, until...

Danny's Moment of Supreme Awkwardness

Who else? He interviews Skoula who has his second goal of the week. Danny tries to be funny, maybe tries to get Skoula to say "oh, pshaw" and his best effort is to call him "Mr. Red Hott." I'm editorializing the spelling, because clearly he is a man who deserves two t's. Skoula looks straight ahead and refuses to aknowledge this failed nickname. Good man, that Hott. Gotta get that dirt off your shoulder.

Steigy talks about his Tyler Kennedy sighting. TK was on the ice practicing earlier and then Errey makes it weird by calling him Tiger and saying that "all his body parts were moving". Moving on.

Second period, and Colby is everywhere. He's even stealing passes from Orpik... He is carrying this team on his shoulder.

Also, a ghetto blaster.

Matty Cooke passes to Skoula who puts it in the net. Again. Steigy is beyond amused by this Skoula situation and is giggling uncontrollably. He has a broad face and a little round belly, that shakes when he laughs, like a bowl full of jelly.



The giggles are still echoing in my head when Rupp goes pretty much into the net and Malkin puts it in with help from some Thrasher's ass that deflects it in. Apparently Hedberg is "beside himself." Literally? Because that might be more effective than whatever he is doing.


Danny continues to be a creeper and reports on a photo of Colby and his wife, who is expecting. Potash is the Liz Smith of the NHL, so he gives us a list of all the Penguins who attended the wedding. The bride wore white, Colbs continued to be pasty pale, and Siddo could not make it because he was busy doing Captain things.

What a natty dresser. That wing collar is sharp.

Max has a breakaway, but is taken down, so he gets a penalty shot. Colby is mic'ed and is sooo not feeling this "did not get a quality shot off" explanation. His sarcastic comeback to the zebra is about a 2 minute long "reaaaalllllllyyyy….."

Note to NHL brass: MaxTal would like you to use different wording, because everyone knows that MaxTal always gets his shot off and damn, if it isn't quality. Little wonder that Army was confused. But you can keep giving him penalty shots anyway.

A miss on the shot, but a win on the commentary. Errey: "Johan Hedberg, he came out antlers and all against Max Talbot." Poetry.

Way To Not Live Up To Your Name
Evander Kane is named after Evander Holyfield. Gets dropped by Engellend who is swinging from the ice. Evander's face fights more than his fists. End of the second.

Happiest Man of the Night

Cooke runs over Kovalchuk right off the bench. Ilya forgets who he is and who just mauled him and actually tries to fight. Matty gives him a little how do you do and sends him to the dressing room. Laughs proudly for the whole 5 minutes in the box. Adorable. Kovalchuk gets 4 minutes in addition to his 5 and 10 minute misconduct.

PP for days but Malks gets slashed, his stick breaks, there's no call, and the fuckers score shorthanded.

That's a goal in ATL.


Thrashers pull their goalie with 2 and a half minutes left. Goodbye antlers. 18 seconds left and suddenly Russians and almost Russians are everywhere behind MAF and they get one in.


17 Seconds You Could Have Held Your Breath, But Decided Not To Because It Is The Thrashers

…kinda self explanatory. Wasn’t worried for a minute. Or part of a minute. Whatevs.

Alternative Three Stars

3. Atlanta Coach John Anderson's Black Ops Mustache - Behold, an artistic facial hair arrangement so stealthy that it blends in while kicking ass and taking names. A little red, a little grey. Amazing.

He needs a nap.

2. Gonch - Second day back and he's on the ice for half the game. Shots everywhere. Thanks, man. Good to have you back.

1. Geno - For humoring Danny after his embarassing run-in with the man of the hour, Skoula. Thanks for only smirking at Potash and waiting until he's out of earshot to collapse on the floor with laughter.

Panthers Monday.
Go Pens.

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