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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hopefully NOT Same Stuff, Different Day - Attempting A Live Game Post

The Pens host the Mighty Sharks of San Jose tonight at the CEC.  The Pens have lost their last three nationally televised games and they can't afford many more with the playoff race heating up.  The Sharks are 1 game out of first in the Pacific (3rd in the West) and are hungry to shut out their competition.

Enter the new blood.  Tonight is also the debut of James Neal and Matt Niskanen.  Neal is going to be playing on the top line with Jordan Staal and it should be interesting to see how he fits in.  I think I pointed out that this guy is big and isn't afraid of mixing it up when necessary.  But the best part...he can score.  Let's hope he has a great debut.

I figured I'd try to use this opportunity to do a pseudo-live blog post.  Here we go...


1st Period:


-Sharks in white...Pens in Baby Blues

14:26 - Only a couple shots on goal and kind of slow, but you can feel it brewing.

14:13 - Tyler Kennedy gets his 13th of the season with the clean up from a Derek Engelland blast from the corner.  Ian White, the newest edition to the Sharks, dumps a board pass behind the net to nobody where Engelland picked it up and put it on goal.  1-0 Pens

10:44 - Brooks Orpik is caught cheating and put in the box for hooking on Logan Couture.  Pens are #1 in the PK and lead the league.  They are #1 on the road and #3 at home.

8:44 - Penalty kill over.  Thats 1 for 1 and in case you were wondering, are still ranked #1

6:24 - Niemi came up huge with a monster shot from Vitale at point blank range

The head shot/concussion discussion that everyone is sick of hearing about rages on at about the 5 minute mark.

2:39 - The Pens get another player to reach the 100 penalty minute mark with Derek Engelland repeatedly cross-checking Mitchell in the back.  Keep racking them up, boys.  We could become the new Broad Street...I mean Fifth Avenue Bullies...that doesn't work.

:39 - Another one killed.  2 for 2.

End of First Period...1-0 Pens...Fleury looks good so far.

2nd Period

The lights went out...LITERALLY!!  There is a delay, obviously.

SharksTV, which is the feed VS is using, did a nice little vignette on the features and amenities in the new CEC.  Good stuff.  I've seen quite a few shots from inside the stadium and was following along as it was built.  It is the first LEED Gold certified "green" building in the NHL...in fact any sport.  I guess it is so green, the lights even conserve their own energy, regardless of whether a game is going on.

8:45 Eastern Time and the game has still not resumed...why turning the lights on takes so long, I don't know.  Halogens take a few minutes to warm up but this is getting ridiculous.


8:48 Eastern Time and the puck finally drops

18:29 - deja vu...Craig Adams skates in on Kyle Wellwood and gets called for a hook.  Wellwood grabbed his stick and took a dive.  Apparently the lights aren't bright enough for the refs to notice.

18:04 - Letang almost put in a shortie.  In case you were wondering, he's a defenseman.

16:59 - Logan Couture is left to his own devices in front of the net and he drills one past Fleury.  His 25th of the year.  Penalty kill takes a hit.  2 for 3 isn't bad.  1-1 tie.

13:25 - Ben Lovejoy gets a turnover and tries the wrap around to no avail.  It was a good effort though.  The Pens are buzzing.  I can feel a goal coming.

12:35 - Couture almost pots #2 as Fleury loses track of the puck.  Dupuis's right skate saved a goal.

"Marc Edouard-Vlasic rimmed it too hard."  Not my words, theirs.

9:37 - Power play #1 for Pittsburgh, finally.  The Sharks couldn't get it out of their zone for 40-50 seconds and turned it over three times before crossing center ice.  Jumbo Joe goes in the box for 2:00.

8:55 - Letang and Vlasic almost go.  They were banging in the corner, cross-checking each other and pushing and shoving.  No glove drops though.

Pittsburgh 0-1 on power play.  I think they only got 2 shots on goal during that one.

I don't know about anyone else but I really like this line of Staal, Neal, and Conner.  They look like trees lined up for a faceoff.

5:40 - Niskanen gets his first shot on goal as a Penguin.  A blast from the face off circle.  18 seconds later he gets another chance but fans on it as he skates by the net.  4:27 - he gets his third shot on goal.

2:36 - Sharks go on the power play as Ben Eager is "tripped" by Niskanen.  I think he fell on the uneven ice surface.  Yeah, that's it.

Penguins kill of the penalty for the third time tonight...3 for 4.

End of the 2nd Period...1-1 tie...Pens are looking a bit shaky but I think they can still pull this one out.  It has been a streaky game with both teams getting momentum at different points.  The penalties aren't helping Pittsburgh's effort though.

And now the bad news...Orpik hasn't been back on the ice since taking a shot in the hand.  What next?  Isn't there a league limit on the number of players allowed on an injury report?

3rd Period

It starts out kind of quick both game speed and the fact that when the commercial ended, the game was in progress.  Way to go there, VS.

It's a bit chippy thus far.  Lots of hits and some "almost" fights.

16:36 - Big save by Fleury on Setoguchi, coming out of a 3 on 2.

15:57 - James Neal with a heavy, sweeping shot.  Niemi gets it in his big mitt and holds on.

14:56 - Another 3 on 2 for the Sharks as Fleury turns away a shot by Mitchell


14:32 - Patrick Marleau gets in behind the net, passes off the board to Heatley.  Heatley pops it back out to Marleau who sneaks it in behind Fleury.  Lovejoy just stands in the paint with a stunned look on his face.  2-1 Sharks.  This can't be good.


13:37 - The Sharks have the puck in deep and aren't letting up on the Pens.  Fleury makes a desperation save as he falls back into the goal post.


11:36 - The Pens have kept the pressure in the Sharks zone for a good 2 minutes.  Faceoff comes to center as Niskanen shoots it over the glass.


8:34 - Setoguchi gets caught cheating and holding the stick of Jordan Staal.  Power Play #2 for the Pens.  They rank #15 in the league.


8:14 - Jamal Mayers and Joe Pavelski almost take down the entire Pens team and score a shortie...ALMOST.  Fleury is a beast.

7:01 - Niemi ROBS!!! Letang on the glove side.  He comes 10 feet out of the net to keep it 2-1.  Nice save.  That was the only shot on the power play.  They just have no offensive firepower with all the injuries.


5:44 - Chris Conner crashes the net and almost scores but Niemi comes up again.  Conner pays for his transgressions as he gets mugged in the goal crease.


4:08 - Fleury takes a smattering of shots from all directions as the Pens defense takes a mid-game vacation.  He stands on his head like a true professional.


2:32 - Sharks go into the prevent defense.  It's just dump...line change...turn over...dump it again.



1:31 - Patrick Marleau scores his second goal...oh wait. No he didn't.  It was on the back of the goal.  That should be a penalty for goal faking.


:50 - PITTSBURGH TIES THE GAME!!!!!  Extra attacker on.  Boyle can't clear it, fans on it, gets clobbered, and Kennedy gets the bounce to go in.  That's number 2 of the game and 14 of the year!!!

We're going to OVERTIME!!!!  That was a crazy ending to regulation.  My heart is beating out of my chest right now.  I need a moment to compose myself.

Overtime

4:50 - Neal tries to end it quick but his shot is turned away by Niemi.

4:27 - Dupuis puts one on net from the faceoff, another save by Niemi.


3:09 - Vlasic is flattened by Matt Cooke


2:40 - Staal takes on three guys by himself but gets it poked away by Niemi.


2:03 - Wallin gets the Sharks first shot on goal in OT but Fleury scoops it up.


1:02 - Thornton steals the puck at center ice and passes it up to Marleau.  It's One on One with Fleury....Fleury STONES HIM COLD!!!



:04 - Vlasic takes a booming shot on the net from the circle.  Marleau gets a lucky bounce in front and puts it behind Fleury as the rest of the Pens defense lies in a heap in front of the goal crease.

GAME OVER.  SHARKS WIN.  PENGUINS SUCK.


Alright, so the game is over.  My heart is still kind of pounding but now I have that sinking feeling.  That was kind of fun posting my thoughts as the game went on.  Although, I think there is a better way to do it, I just haven't figured that out yet.  You know, I hate when your team does so much to fight back and get into the game, only to lose with no time left on the clock.  It was most definitely a heartbreakerI'm over it, though.  When's the next game?

So here come the excuses.  Well, excuse; singular.  The Pens are injured.  Badly!!  Worse than any other team in the NHL if you look at it on paper.  If they can't get healthy, this season is doomed.  Shall I list them all for you?  Crosby, Malkin, Nick Johnson, Eric Tangradi, Chris Kunitz, Aaron Asham, Mark Letestu, Paul Martin, Mike Comrie, and Eric Godard.  Now, Brooks Orpik has a hand injury as he blocked a shot by Patrick Marleau.  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton should be able to count Pens games in their own record because 70% of the team is made up of minor league guys.  This is getting just plain stupid.

Crosby, I implore you to return and quit faking (as he is daily accused of on Red Wings blogs).  Take some Advil and suck it up.  We need help. 

2 comments:

  1. It would have been nice to see Couture hit the empty net to seal the deal, but I'm glad to see the boys fight and claw back to get the win with 4 seconds left.That last 2 minutes plus OT were nerve racking.

    ReplyDelete

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