Friday, October 12, 2007

This is getting ridiculous.

Two more controversial hits have been getting some attention in the hockey world. I'll start with Jordin Tootoo of the Nashville Predators, since there seem to be a lot of people out there who have never heard of charging. For the unfamiliar:

Charging is a penalty in ice hockey. It occurs when a player take more than three steps before checking an opposing player. It can vary in severity from a two minute minor penalty, a double-minor of four minutes, a major penalty of five minutes, a match penalty, or even a suspension if the opposing player becomes injured as a result of the charge.

The other involves the Flyers, who are apparently Hellbent on returning to the Broad Street Bullies reputation they've held in the past. Jesse Boulerice is going to get 25 games from rearranging the Canucks' Ryan Kessler's face.

What is going through the minds of some of these players? If this is what's going on in October, what's going to be happening later in the season when teams have started playing other teams in their divisions 5 or 6 times?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pens fall to 1 - 2

The Pens lost to the Montreal Canadiens last night, 3 - 2.

Overall, I think this has been the most solid the Pens have looked so far. Carey Price did a great job in his NHL debut, and the Habs defense did their part by clearing loose pucks in front for most of the night. (When they weren't throwing the Pens forwards into the net, anyway. What was Roman Hamrlik thinking?)

The Pens got another solid showing from Eaton and Scuderi, and another shaky game from Sydor. I'm hoping he's just off to a slow start, - you don't win two Stanley Cups for nothing, - but so far I've been unimpressed with Sydor's performance. I wouldn't say he's been a bust, - it's only been 3 games, far too early to tell - but he's definitely got to step it up.

I'm also not a member of the "Trade Fleury while we can still get something for him" camp, but he's got to get better at controlling his rebounds. The slot is not an appropriate place for a loose puck. You're just asking for trouble.

Hopefully we'll get this thing turned around on Saturday when we face off against the Leafs.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Jason Blake press conference

I know it's old news by now, but Toronto Maple Leafs winger Jason Blake has recently been diagnosed with a rare, but thankfully treatable, form of leukemia. During the press conference announcing his condition in Toronto, a reporter had the gall to ask if this puts his "mini-slump" in perspective. This man is 34 years old and will be on medication to fight cancer the rest of his life, and you're asking him why he hasn't scored a goal in his first three games?! Are you out of your mind?!

Best wishes to Jason Blake and his family. May the medication do his job and allow him to live his life as normally as possible.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Pens win home opener

The Penguins beat the Ducks 5 - 4 last night. It was an exciting game. The goals were coming in bunches. They definitely looked better than they did against the Canes, but not quite in mid-season form yet.

A few observations:
  • Hate to talk trash on the refs, but the officiating was not good last night.
  • Georges Laraque has really shown up so far. Working hard, flashing some skill. We approve.
  • Darryl Sydor has been less than impressive so far.
  • Mark Eaton was unstoppable.
  • MAF: 4 goals on 23 shots? Isn't someone trying to earn a big contract this season?
  • That said, he was hung out to dry by Gonchar on the Ducks shorthanded goal.
  • Colby Armstrong's goal was awesome.
3 Stars
  1. Petr Sykora
  2. Colby Armstrong
  3. Chris Kunitz

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Pens fall to Canes in season opener

Eric Staal scored two first period goals in the Carolina Hurricanes' 4 - 1 decision over then Pens. Mark Recchi scored the only goal for the Pens on a power play late in the third.

The Pens didn't look great out there last night, but that's not to take away from Carolina's defense and Cam Ward's unbelievable play. They were all over the loose pucks the Pens were leaving all over the ice, creating turnovers on our multitude of bad passes, blocking shots and smothering Crosby and Malkin every time they went over the boards.

The Ducks fell to 1 - 3 last night with a 4 - 0 shellacking by the Columbus Blue Jackets (you know, the "We're the only team in the NHL to never make the playoffs" Columbus Blue Jackets). Something tells me they won't be happy when they roll in to the Igloo tonight. Let's hope for a better showing from the Pens for the home opener.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Darryl Sydor gets no respect

From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

Only three players, Sykora, Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts, have ever been part of a Stanley Cup championship team. Sykora won with New Jersey in 2000, Recchi with the Hurricanes in 2006 and the Penguins in 1991 and Roberts way back in 1989 when he was with Calgary.

Darryl Sydor was cleaning his Stanley Cup rings earned with Dallas and Tampa Bay and could not be reached for comment.

It's a Hockey Night in Pittsburgh!

Puck drops on the 2007-08 Penguins season tonight at 7. Get ready.