RECAP: Tighten your buttcheeks. PENS LOSE.

 
We really don't know what to say.   As we have all learned over the past year, just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.  During the day Friday, some disheartening Crosby rumors started filtering out.   People associated with the Pens came out and peed on the rumors.  But it's disheartening to everyone that Crosby is in the position where a rumor stating he won't return this season is even entertained.  
 
Then came the third period Friday night.  Satan sat down on his couch and spun the Pens Injury Wheel.   And it landed on Jordan Staal
 
 
 
Staal was on pace to come close to matching the 29-goal benchmark he set for himself his rookie season.  That might not happen now.  The collision with Mike Rupp was ug-ly.   Mike Rupp probably ran over kittens in his huge truck after the game.   A pissed-off Dan Bylsma had nothing to report on the Staal injury.  We're going the route of expecting the worst from Staal's injury and then hopefully being pleasantly surprised if the news doesn't have Staal out for the season.
 
And there was also a game.  It was another one where the Pens came out banging, eventually scored the first goal of the game, and then basically fell asleep.  To be fair, it's not like that at all.  The Pens bring pretty much everything they have every shift.  But this game was another case where the opposing team and opposing coach adapted quickly to the Pens' game.
 
Then again, the Rangers are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now.  Based on the episodes of 24/7, the team is loose but focused, they've gotten rid of Steve Avery, and the Staal revolving door has put Marc in their lineup while Jordan may be spending all weekend on a table.    These are a different breed of Rangers.  In recent years, they've shown flashes of elite play but couldn't sustain it.  Torts has shit under control.
 
So, under the looming Staal cloud, this game also brings to attention the fact that the Pens just can't seem to beat some of the big contenders in the East.  They're competitive with them, no question.  But they aren't getting the W's while the big hitters are. So here's where the Pens sit:
 
 
We're now entering the dog days of Winter, that lull in the hockey season where it's unrealistically cold outside, you're getting the credit-card bills for your Holiday shopping, and people are trying to put balls in your mouth every turn you take.  Strap in.
 
Other quick shit after the jump:
 
 
Looks nothing like Jordan Staal.  Got news for you.
 
Evidence that there was a crowd there last night.  A bunch of people reading this undoubtedly go to games and try to make some noise.  But on TV, the crowd comes across like a Lakewood Church mass.
 
The Ben Lovejoy goal was one of the prettiest goals of the year for the Pens, from an execution standpoint.  It's why Bob Errey wanted to go back and telestrate it like 11 times.
 
The elusive grump stunned.
 
A bunch of stuff happened, then came the third period.  1:20 in, Fleury entered The Dead Zone.  Basically, if a goaltender touches the puck in one faceoff circle and ends up in the opposite faceoff circle by the time the puck goes in, you know it was an embarrassing event.  It gave the Rangers a 2-goal lead with Lundqvist in their back pocket.
 
 
Then came the Pens goal that got called back.  A clear case of interference.  Henrik Lundqvist was stopping everything. If Kunitz doesn't interfere with him, King Henrik makes that save.  Flip the situation, and never in a million years would you think that goal should count if MAF is the one getting interfered with.  There's nothing at all wrong with being a homer, but objectivity has to be brought into the equation somewhere or else you'll go insane.  Objectivity is in our blood.  That rule is one of the most consistently correct calls made on a nightly basis.
 
Game.
 
yeah
 
8 minutes

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