Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Update on Mark Eaton

Last Saturday, Colton Orr hit Mark Eaton into the boards which forced him to hit face first. Up until now, there really weren't any specifics on the injury (everything from a broken nose to a bloodied eye). Eaton received stitches under the left side of his jaw and inside his nose, but participated in practice yesterday without any shield and it appears that Philippe Boucher will not replace Eaton in the lineup for tomorrow's game against the NJ Devils.

“It’s not healed but it’s not an issue,” Eaton said. “The stitches are still in there. It’s just a nuisance to have dry blood and stitches inside your nose.”
“I don’t believe that Eaton was that good looking before,” Bylsma joked. “I don’t think a couple stitches in his nose is a reason for him to come out of the lineup.”

Also newsworthy is that the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) nominated Eaton as the Penguins nominee for the 2009 Bill Masterson Memorial Trophy which is awarded to the player who demonstrates perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

The upcoming Masterton announcement schedule:
Tuesday, March 31: Northeast Division
Wednesday, April 1: Southeast Division
Thursday, April 2: Central Division
Friday, April 3: Northwest Division
Monday, April 6: Pacific Division

The trophy will be awarded at the 2009 NHL Awards show on June 18, 2009 (to be aired on CBC and VERSUS).

No More Powder Blue

According to Dave Molinari of the PPG, the Penguins will forego the final date to wear their alternate powder blue jerseys (April 1st) and "retire" them until next season. They will wear their regular uniforms for the remainder of this season and into the playoffs.

The best news of all is that the organization has no plans to replace the black and Vegas gold with the powder blue; however, they do not plan to get rid of the baby blue jerseys for alternate uniforms either. They have been too popular for them to give up entirely.

"... team officials believe they have the most popular third jerseys in the league. At the very least, they have been a major marketing success, so popular that the Penguins opened a second team store at Mellon Arena to deal with the demand."
I honestly can live with that as I'm sure most fans can. I just couldn't deal with their considering making it permanent -- Pittsburgh IS and forever will be black and gold!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Fights (61 Penalty Minutes), a Crosby GW Goal, and a WIN!!

Those are a few of the highlights during the AWESOME Pens game I was lucky enough to see at the Mellon Arena on Saturday with my fellow hockey-loving friend, Christine (whose personal highlights would also include the goal and assist from Talbot who is her FAV)!! So I'd say we both got our money's worth!!

  • Tyler Kennedy VS Sean Avery - it wasn't much of a fight and it didn't last very long, but it ignited the crowd AND the Pens players early in the game; it was a typical Avery fight complete with only a punch or two before immediately falling to the ice where he tried to get some sucker-punches in. Kennedy was smiling all the way to the box (and we got to hear audio of Mr. Kennedy's "Tyyyyyyllleerrrrrrrrr Keenneedddyyyyyy!" which ignited the crowd even more!!)!

  • Eric Godard VS Colton Orr - this was a really good fight and made up for the Kennedy-Avery fight. It was pretty even although I think I would give a slight advantage to Godard -- I'd also say it was probably one of the better fights he's had since the beginning of the season.

41 of those minutes were taken by the NY Rangers and probably the most detrimental to them was the 5-minute interference major and 10-minute game misconduct (ejection) given to Colton Orr for hitting Eaton into the boards. It was originally speculated by many including radio announcer Phil Bourque that Eaton had suffered a broken nose; however, it was later reported that Eaton went head-first into the boards and left him with a bloodied right eye for which he had to leave the game to get a few stitches (not to return).

“A few stitches never hurt anybody,” Eaton graciously said. “I knew it was coming so I tried to brace myself as much as I can, but I didn’t get there I guess. It got me on the nose and chin. I hit the dasher board on the way down. It wasn’t a stick or anything like that, I just got the boards on the way down.”
Crosby's Game-Winning Goal
It was a thing of beauty and there's nothing like seeing those kinds of goals in person!! From the moment Sid took the pass from Fedotenko and flew like lightning on a break-away to the net, you could just feel that the puck was going to find the back of the net - it was MAGIC!! This was the 15th straight game in which Crosby has a point which is "the longest active point streak in the NHL" (and to think people continue to talk about how he's lost it! GOOD GRIEF - give the Kid a break - he can't be perfect nor can a he be expected to score in every game!!)!!!!

A Penguins Win!!
This was an important win since the Rangers were ahead of the Pens in the standings (the Pens not only earned 2 more points, but they also kept the Rangers from earning any points for this game - truly the best scenario possible - which allowed them to move ahead of the Rangers in the standings; they're currently in 6th place).

Pens - 4, Rangers - 3



Penguins beat the New York Rangers (03/28/2009)

The New York Times
Things Begin Equal, Difference Is Crosby (03/28/2009)

Albany Times Union
Rangers edged out (03/29/2009)

Blueshirt Banter blog
Rangers Recap: Penguins 4 Rangers 3 (03/28/2009)

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

March 30, 1994

Syl Apps is named to the Penguins Hall of Fame.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

(39-27-9, 87 points)
In net tonight: Henrik Lundqvist (projected)

New York Rangers webpage
PREVIEW: Win in Pittsburgh would lift Rangers in standings (03/27/2009)

Game On blog
Rangers: Can They Rebound in Crosbyland? (03/27/2009)

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

March 28, 1992

Penguins win their second consecutive Patrick Division title with a 4-1 victory at Washington.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Player Media "Appearances" Today

3:45 PM -- Sergei Gonchar on the Mark Madden show at 105.9 FM, "the X"
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM -- Hall Gill on the Ellis Cannon show at 104.7 FM

Autograph Signing at Tom Clark Chevrolet
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Brooks Orpik, Eric Godard, and Phil Bourque!!

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

According to Talbot last night on Savran on Sportsbeat, during yesterday's practice, Fleury stepped out of the net to clear the way when Matt Cooke shot the puck (since he missed the empty-netter last Wednesday against the Calgary Flames)!


OK -- there have been a few Billy Tibbetts fans who have posted comments here sharing the same sentiments: let bygones be bygones. Most recently there was a comment to the effect that Tibbetts hasn't changed and brings all of the bad press on himself.

But let's be fair - I really didn't feel that the post I wrote was leaning toward either side or that it warranted the backlash that it did, but it surely drew more attention than I was expecting.

Whatever the case may be, the reality is that Tibbetts is making a comeback with the Huntsville Havoc (SPHL) who are currently in the playoffs (the first round against Knoxville started yesterday). And it would seem that he's doing pretty well which was also pointed out by one of the commentors (15 points in 12 games; 8 goals, 7 assists)!

So - best wishes to Tibbetts (is that neutal enough for everyone?)!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pens - 2, Flames - 0
Fleury's 15th career shut-out
(with 31 / 31 saves)

Calgary Flames webpage
Coming on Strong (03/25/2009)

The Calgary Sun
Ice Cold at The Igloo (03/26/2009)
Flames Game Review (03/26/2009)
Frozen out (03/25/2009)
Scoop on Flames blog
Didn't want to run up the score? (03/25/2009)

The Globe and Sun
Flames suffer rare shutout (03/25/2009)

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

Fleury on his performance last night against the Calgary Flames (which happened to be the 15th shutout of his career):

“I just try to go for the puck and stop it,” Fleury said. “I felt good, and pretty relaxed. I have two posts on my side and as always, the guys did a good job.”

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

March 26, 1996

Mario Lemieux records 7 points (5 goals, 2 assists) during a game against Wayne Gretzky and the St. Louis Blues; his son Austin was born a few days earlier and was Lemieux's inspiration for that gam

March 26, 1991

Penguins win their first divisional crown when they capture the Patrick Division title with a 7-4 victory over Detroit.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(42-24-6, 90 points)
In net tonight: Miikka Kiprusoff
(projected - even though he played last night; backup Mcelhinney does not have good record & no experience against Pittsburgh)


Calgary Flames webpage
Flames-Penguins Preview (03/25/2009)

CBC Sports
Crosby, Malkin get closer to Flames (03/25/2009)

Calgary Flames webpage
Scouting the Flames (03/23/2009)
Injury Report / Transactions (last updated 03/23/2009)

Calgary Herald
Flames prep for Pens' precision (03/24/2009)
Game Day: Calgary at Pittsburgh (03/24/2009)
Boyd goes from nerd to 'sir' (03/24/2009)

Penguins Pizza Delivery!

The men and women who work hard everyday constructing the new Consol Energy Center got a special treat for lunch yesterday when four Penguins players made a special delivery of 65 Pizza Hut pizzas to the site.

“My son’s room is filled with all sorts of Penguins stuff and autographs so it was kind of nice that they could come out today,” Rupprecht said. “It’s great to realize that they appreciate what we’re doing. It’s nice that they take out some of their time to come down and meet with the workers. It’s a nice gesture.”
“It’s great to see those guys,” Kennedy said. “They’re all great guys and you can tell they are all hard workers. It’s great to go over there and show them that we are supporting them.”

Meet Orpik, Godard, and Phil Bourque!

WHEN: Thursday, March 26th (6 PM - 8 PM)
WHERE: Tom Clark Chevrolet in McKeesport

For more information, visit the Penguins webpage or Tom Clark Chevrolet Events page!!

The FIRST sports blogger conference of it's kind!!
Blogs With Balls is a series of regional social sports blogger and new media gatherings featuring speakers and panelists specifically focused on sports fans, writers, sites, teams, athletes and companies; and their ability to maximize new media outlets for promotion and advancement.
WHEN: Saturday, June 13, 2009; 10 AM - 8 PM
(registration opens at 9:30 AM and event runs from 11 AM - 6 PM)
WHERE: New York, NY
TICKETS: $49 - Gold Pass (presale; ends 05/15/2009); $79 - Gold Pass (MORE INFO)
ON THE WEB: Blogs with Balls; also on FACEBOOK and TWITTER as well as it's own WIKI page!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NHL's Second Star of the Week: Evgeni Malkin

Malkin led the League in scoring for the week with eight points (three goals, five assists) in three games. He tied a career high with five points (two goals, three assists) in a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers Mar. 17, recorded one goal and one assist in a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings Mar. 20 and finished the week by recording one assist in a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Mar. 22. Malkin leads the NHL in assists (72) and points (105) and needs two points to surpass his single-season high of 106 set in 2007-08. The 22-year-old Magnitogorsk, Russia native holds a 10-point lead over teammate Sidney Crosby in a bid for his first career Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champion.

Little Late with This News

Penguins defenseman Philipp Boucher was cleared by doctors last Friday and is now off injured reserve which will give the Penguins seven healthy d-men.
“He was possible for (Friday’s) game,” Bylsma said. “He went out for warm ups and if someone couldn’t go, he was going. He’s close.”

“I’m pretty close,” Boucher said. “Practices are not like training camp where you’re battling all the time. It’s hard to judge but we’re pushing it pretty good. We’ll see.”

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

What Fleury had to say after their loss to Philly last Sunday.
“They had a bounce that went their way and they won the game because of it,” Marc-Andre Fleury said. “I think we played better, we won more chances and they got a little bit lucky on the power play and they got the win because of it.”

“If we meet them in the playoffs I think the guys will be confident because of the way we played tonight.” Fleury said. “I think that we will be in good shape.”

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

March 24, 1992

Mario Lemieux records his 1,000th NHL point against Detroit in his 513th game becoming the second fastest player to record 1,000 point in NHL history.

March 24, 1976
Jean Pronovost becomes the first Penguins player to score 50 goals in a season and Pierre Larouche becomes the first Penguin to record 100 points in a season in a 5-5 tie vs. Boston.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pens - 1, Cryers - 3

Philadelphia Cryers

RECAP: Flyers 3, Penguins 1 (03/22/2009)

Philadelphia Inquirer
No mistake: Flyers dismantle Penguins (03/23/2009)
Crosby and Malkin are sut down (03/23/2009)
Gagne, Hartness score as Flyers beat Penguins 3-1 (03/22/2009)
Flyers flatten Pens in Pittsburgh (03/22/2009)
Flyers Report - Broad Street Bull
Flyers' win may be season's best (03/22/2009)

Philadelphia Daily News
Flyers diligent in 3-1 win over Penguins (03/23/2009)

Turnabout is Fair Play!

This post is especially for the dumbass who is taking my email address and signing me up for bullshit.

As the post says, "turnabout is fair play" jackass and I'm sure you're too stupid to realize what that means right now, but you'll find out soon enough (since I'm not as dumb of a broad as you seem to think I am!)!! I hope you've had you're fun (and I hope you didn't waste too much of you're entire evening last night) because it won't be lasting much longer!!

Don't mess with the bull - you'll get the horns asshole!!!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

March 22, 1992

Mario Lemieux scores his 1,000th career point at Detroit in only his 513th career game, thus becoming the second fastest player in NHL history to do so.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pens - 4, Kings - 1


RECAP: Penguins 4, Kings 1 (03/20/2009)

Los Angeles Times
Penguins slow down the Kings (03/21/2009)

LA Daily News
Pittsburgh strikes Quick against Kings (03/21/2009)
Inside the Kings (Rich Hammond blog)
Postgame notes (03/20)

Pasadena Star-News
Penguins knock off Kings, 4-1 (03/20/2009)

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

March 21, 1988

Ron Francis becomes the 7th player to record 1,000 career assists and the Pens become the 10th team to reach the 1,000 win mark in a 4-3 victory over the Flyers.

Friday, March 20, 2009

(30-30-10, 70 points)
In net tonight: Jonathan Quick
(projected; Ersberg played last night)

LA Kings webpage
Kings-Penguins Preview (03/20/2009)

LA Times
Kings play at Pittsburgh today (03/20/2009)

The Daily Breeze
Matchup (03/20/2009)
Preview (03/20/2009)

Inside the Kings (Rich Hammond blog)
Quick will start (03/20/2009)
Williams, Drewiske in (03/20/2009)
Gauthier injured (03/20/2009)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

Fleury's idol is goaltender for the NJ Devils, Martin Brodeur. Brodeur recently surpassed NHL's all-time wins set by Patrick Roy (551) with win #552 last Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Here's what Fleury had to say:

"Only one guy was going to do it in our day, and Marty was that guy," Fleury said. "They're both pretty amazing. Roy had the great technique and Brodeur was unpredictable, but for me the thing about both guys was ... they found ways to win. That's what made them great."
And in case you missed Inside Penguins Hockey - Episode 15, be sure to watch it!!! You won't want to miss Fleury rockin' with the TGIFriday's Kids Club (it's a funny one!)!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pens - 6, Thrashers - 2

Atlanta Thrashers webpage
RECAP: Penguins 6, Thrashers 2 (03/17/2009)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thrashers' win streak ends with loss to Pens (03/17/2009)

The Blueland Chronicle blog
What We Learned Last Night (03/18/2009)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Malkin Benchmark

Last night, Malkin reached another benchmark scoring his 100th point for this season (ending the night with a total of 5 points for the game 102 points for the season). I was hoping, as I'm sure alot of fans were, for a hat trick to top off the evening for him.


The Penguins webpage has a really great article about him posted today, "Malkin Playing with the "Hart of an MVP."

Malkin is one of those few selfless players who truly deserves everything he earns!!!

Pre-Game News

As expected, Malkin will be in tonight's lineup against the Atlanta Thrashers.

"Today he came in with a smile on his face so I think that means he feels better," interim head coach Dan Bylsma said. "He looked better on the ice and hopefully that will give him more jump in his game."
LINE COMBINATIONS (from this morning's skate)


Kovalchuk, the Thrashers leading scorer, will be out of the lineup tonight against the Penguins. He has missed the passed few games due to an upper-body injury. Hedberg will start in goal for the Thrasher tonight giving Lehtonen a well-deserved break.
(29-35-6, 64 points)
In net tonight: Johan Hedberg
THANKS for catching my mistake, Ed!!

Atlanta Thrasher webpage
NEWS: Thrashers Recall Forward Spencer Machacek (03/16/2009)
Q&A with Colby Armstrong (03/12/2009)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thrashers win franchise-records 6th in a row (03/16/2009)
How did the Thrashers get hot? (03/16/2009)
Numbers behind Thrashers win streak (03/15/2009)
Atlanta Thrashers blog

Kovy listed as day to day (03/16/2009)
Slater doubtful for next 2 (03/15/2009)

Kunitz Stripped of Sunday's HT

Early in the third period of Sunday afternoon's game against the Boston Bruins, fans celebrated what appeared to be Chris Kunitz's first hat trick as a Pittsburgh Penguin typical fashion by showering the ice with various caps / hats; however, after the game, his "second goal was credited as a "tip-in" by Sergei Gonchar.
“I feel bad for all those hats on the ice but I’m sure they’re going to a good cause,” Kunitz joked after the team’s Monday practice.
So, now that the hat trick was taken away from Kunitz, do they give the hats back?
“I actually picked up a nice blue one and kept it after the game,” Bylsma joked. “So I don’t want to give them back.”

That's So MAF (the musings of a Penguins goalie)!

The fans weren’t the only ones getting swept up in the [Chris Kunitz's] hat trick drama.
“I threw my hat on the ice for the hat trick,” goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said.

Eddie Johnston - 25 Years of Service

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins paid tribute to Eddie Johnston for 25 years in the organization in some form. This is the tribute video they played prior to the game.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Malkin Misses Practice

According to the Penguins webpage, Malkin has been playing through an illness and was given the day to rest today.

The team had an afternoon practice.

Sorry for the Lack of Updates!

It's been quite a busy weekend, but I think everything is back to normal and I'll be back to updating the blog daily. I apologize for the lack of posts.

John and I went to the game on Saturday. It was quite a disappointing loss after a 2-point lead, but at least we got a point out of it. I enjoyed getting to see Ruutu back in action at the Mellon Arena even though he didn't get much ice time (he was on the ice to assist Campoli on the Senators first goal which was his 100th NHL career point - BTW). He was pretty quiet / low-key otherwise. OH - and we also got to finally see, first-hand, the Ken Kennedy video he made for TK after he scored in the second period which was pretty cool (John was pretty hyped about it and I guess I was too!).

"Goal scored by Tyyyyylleeeeerrrrr Kennedy ... Kennedy!!"

I have some pictures I took on Saturday at the game and of the progress on the Consol Energy Center that I'll post sometime later today or tomorrow.
Pens - 6, Bruins - 4

Boston Bruins

RECAP: Penguins 6, Bruins 4 (03/15/2009)

The Boston Globe

Blahs are getting to the Bruins (03/16/2009)
Kunitz's 2 goals lead Pens past Bruins 6-4 (03/15/2009)
Bruins Blog
Last words from the Igloo (03/15/2009)

The Bear Cave blog
Ugly Finish Ends Winning Streak in Pittsburgh (03/16/2009)

Stanley Cup of Chowder blog
B's Game Notes: Penguins 6 Bruins 4 (03/15/2009)

The Bruins Blog
Postgame: Pittsburgh 6, Bruins 4 (03/15/2009)
Pens - 3, Senators - 4 (SO)

Ottawa Senators webpage
Recap: Senators 4, Penguins 3, SO (03/14/2009)


Senators notch comeback win over Fleury, Penguins (03/14/2009)

Sens ice Pens in shootout (03/15/2009)

National Post
Senators rally from behind to beat Penguins in OT (03/14/2009)

Silver Seven blog
Win: Sens 4, Pens 3 (SO) (03/15/2009)

Afternoon Delight (03/14/2009)