Sometimes there are upsets in sports, when a a heavy underdog puts it all together and stuns a better team. But most of the time, the better team just toys with and beats the living shit out of a bad team.
That’s happened in this game. And in the process, this Penguins team became the fastest to 40 wins in franchise history. MAF is also the first goalie to reach 31 wins in the NHL this season.
Ryan Miller looked broken. It didn't help that his defense is completely gutless. It also didn't help that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin brought their games up to a different level. Crosby broke out of his mini-slump with a goal and an assist. Malkin added a goal and an assist, as well.
It just wasn't the scoring, though. The Penguins possessed the puck so much in the Sabres zone, it didn't seem fair.
To be truthful, the game was touch-and-go for a little while in the first. But Marc-Andre Fleury, again, made the saves he had to.
- NBC broadcast. YESSS. Makes it even better knowing how disappointed Paul Steigerwald is about it.
The one twin realizes it is her sister when she uses a "catchphrase." When you call a credit-card company, you have to give your personal info. You can’t get through the gates without telling the operator your life history. The entire premise of not realizing you are talking to your sister is terrible, too. If you own a Discover card, you should cut it up and throw it in the garbage.
Marc-Andre Fleury had to be really sharp in the first few minutes. He made two really good saves to keep the Sabres from getting an early goal. Harry Zolnierczyk had a busy first period. He kicked it off by drawing a penalty. Ryan Miller was in the firing line early and made some stops.
"No, Fleury" zone
After that kill, the puck went into the “No, Fleury” zone, a.k.a. behind the net.
He threw the puck right to a Sabre, and the fire drill started. Stafford eventually got it past him. 1-0.
Rob Scuderi was yikes on the whole play.
Fleury had to be really good right after that. He made an outstanding sprawling save in the next few moments. At the other end, Ryan Miller was swallowing everything the Pens threw at him.
Future Pen Steve Ott took a chunk out of Harry Z. Engelland challenged his honor because of it, and Ott declined. Unfortunately for Engo, the guy from 300 decided to drop the gloves with him later in the first.
Niskanen hit a post. Later, the WTF Line of Crosby-Adams-HarryZ got the Pens on the board. Nice pass by Crosby, then a nice one by Adams to Harry Z, who spun around and beat Miller. 1-1.
Great hustle by Crosby to keep the play alive in the first place.
The goal pretty much guaranteed Harry Z would be sent down during the first intermission, but we were wrong. He played the remainder of the game.
Niskanen got the stick up into Penis Omark. The Pens killed it then had a surge late that came up empty.
Brandon Sutter had an early breakaway. Miller stopped it, but Jamie McBain, the worst player in the NHL, tripped Sutter, and the Pens had a PP. MAF had to make a couple saves during that PP, but before we could see the replay, Crosby took a pass from Niskanen then sliced through Mike Weber and Brian Flynn like they didn’t exist on his way to snapping Miller. 2-1.
Get real. You want to talk about bad defense?
Shit got worse for Weber. He held Sutter’s stick and was going to the box. Before he got there, he got douched with a shot.
The Pens really started pulling away around this point. Malkin-Jokinen-Neal were a nightmare for the Sabres every time they were on the ice.
Neal and Malkin both had breakaways. Malkin capitalized on his. He just used and abused Jamie McBain, then he smoked Miller:
John Scott needs to end
That was pretty much the game, and everyone knew it. But Steve Ott wanted to get people jammed up. He hit Crosby with a semi-dirty hit. Then he and Crosby ended up shoving and shit.
Then before the next faceoff, Ted Nolan threw John Scott out there to calm things down; that didn't work. Scott reminds us of an ultimate muscle-man villain. While they were getting ready to drop the puck, Scott and Glass were chirping. Crosby got kicked out of the faceoff circle. All of a sudden Crosby was yapping at Scott.
We couldn’t help but think about the Phil Kessel/John Scott episode as the puck was about to drop, but nothing happened. We were rooting for the Penguins to drive a car out on the ice and hit John Scott with it during the third period.
During the intermission, NBC took us out to Sochi.
So excited for the Olympics. Based on Pierre's outfit, we're in for a treat. Frozen penis of sorts.
The Gibbons celebration™
After an initial feeling-out period, we've planted ourselves on the Brian Gibbons fan train. The sooner we all accept him as our generation’s Robbie Brown, the better. He lasered one past Ryan Miller’s corpse.
Our favorite thing about Gibbons is that he refuses to celebrate after he scores. Got a Barry Sanders feel to it. All business.
Paul Martin raised Gibbons’ hand:
The third period set Buffalo Sabres hockey back 5 years. Neal and Malkin added one more for good measure.
Rest of the game was really poorly played by Buffalo. Too much John Scott.
- Nice minutes up and down the lineup, but a blowout always skews the numbers.
- How good was Paul Martin.
- Harry Z should take a screenshot of the Pens' bottom-six production since the last time he was up in the NHL and text it to Bylsma every day he's in Sochi.
- Scuderi has been missing a step. Guess an ankle injury does that. He'll have a couple solid weeks to rest up here, and we'll see how he is.