From the Globe and Mail, via my buddy BP at Awful Announcing, comes news that Don Cherry snubbed Sidney Crosby.
Wow. I didn't see that coming.
Anyone who knows Sid and knows Don Cherry were not taken by surprise at this. Cherry is unique to listen to, and must be respected for all he's done for the game. However, he's had a history of berating Sid, mostly stemming from Cherry despising the now-famous lacrosse-style goal Sid scored in juniors.
So after the Game 3 win, Cherry gave tons of love to most of the Pens, including Gary Roberts (not that there's anything wrong with that), but seemed to miss Sid's contributions. I mean, its gotta be easy to forget the guy who scored the first two Penguins goals. Especially right after the game.
Here's the money quote:
When Cherry did his postgame spot for ESPN, he continued to ignore Crosby and wax lyrical about Roberts. Finally, ESPN commentator Barry Melrose said, “What about the Crosby kid?”
“Oh,” Cherry said. “I forgot. Yeah, he played a great game.”
Typical Cherry. I'd be more pissed if it was someone other than Don Cherry. I've come to expect nothing less, although he did wear Penguins colors earlier in the playoffs (above picture taken from that link).
Whatever. Drop the puck for Game 4, already.
Friday, May 30, 2008
(originally published on 5-30-07)
Tron pony says hi.
(Editor's note: I guess this is in case any of you want to measure your own miniature horses. I got your back.)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
How do I even begin to describe my current emotions following last night's win?
Praise Sid? Thank God that the presence of Sydor might have changed our luck? Worship Brooks Orpik? Point out to Chris Osgood that goalies with the lead don't flop?
Nah. I'll chalk it up to the Playoff BTM. Home ice might have had something to do with the win, or maybe the whiteout. I think the BTM stepped it up huge, scoring early so Detroit was unable to keep up their puck-control nonsense. It seems the BTM does well when challenged, or when the team's back is against the proverbial wall.
Sid could have easily had a hat trick (or more), if not for the pipes playing about as well as Chris Osgood last night. No matter the case, a win means the BTM has a longer shelf life, and more importantly, means that the Pens are still alive.
Sure, I'd like to see a few other players step it up, like Geno (who played better last night), Hossa (he scores on Saturday. Write that down) or Jordan Staal (sure, he's been playing possessed, but he's missed on several finishes). The BTM can only do so much by itself.
Which is why its nice to have a flower in your corner.
What a win. I've been waiting for that feeling since 1992.
(originally published on 5-29-07)
This is Smooch. Smooch is the MPotD. Smooch rules. Wanna see more of Smooch? All you had to do was ask...
I would totally let Smooch attack my dog and my pantleg, for the sole fact that it would be the cutest attack ever. I probably wouldn't even be mad. I'd just be happy that the mini pony was hanging out with me.
(Editor's note: Attacks are ALWAYS cool so long as there's a sweet critter involved.)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I'm taking the easy road today and posting a Youtube video.
Also, I've done nothing but talk about the Pens, and we're down 2-0. Hopefully, a switch to Steelers news will reverse our luck tonight.
I know you've always wanted to play football like Troy Polamalu. Now, with the aid of Youtube, you can train exactly like Troy.
I know its a workout, but some of that stuff looks fun as shit. And some looks fun-ny as shit.
Hey, baby (chick in the blue and chick in the pink-ish).
CMPotD is here, if you want that instead. Its got Santa, and might brighten up your day.
I wanted to use this picture, as it was emailed to me by reader Al. ICHC is a great way to start the day, especially when mini horses are involved.
All Chrysler mechanics should be mini ponies.
Thanks to Al.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Is Ross McKeon serious?
Resort to whining? So is McKeon whining about the Penguins, then? Why else would his title have such harsh criticism?
I take offense to the countless "opinions" on Game 2 that just want the Pens to shut up and focus on the game. So what if Chris Osgood is showing that he has no respect for the game, so long as he posts wins?
As a Penguins fan, there's nothing that gets to me more than some dumb fan, writer, analyst calling Sidney Crosby a diver, which makes its way around the hockey community, infecting all who hears it. It seems like Penguins fans can't bring up Crosby's name without belligerent "DIVER!" calls drowning out the praise.
So Game 2 brought several instances of Chris Osgood embellishing calls and flopping to the ice as if he'd been hacked to death with a machete. Penguins fans, rightfully so, were outraged that the obvious dives resulted in two Penguins penalties. And now, since everyone and their mother thinks Crosby is a diver, Penguins fans aren't allowed to challenge Osgood's childish antics. Complain, and Ross McKeon will call you a whiner.
There is a gross double standard in the hockey world, centered primarily around the league's best player and the notion of diving. Sid is good, so its easy to label him since he isn't on your team. Osgood blatantly dives (and not just in the Penguins series. Remember Mike Ribeiro?), and the hockey world is quick to sweep it under the rug. "Focus on hockey," they'll say. "You should be more concerned that the offense hasn't scored," they'll say. Its as if calling Crosby a diver is acceptable when the Penguins are doing well. As soon as the team struggles and an opposing player flops, the Penguins and their fans aren't allowed to voice displeasure. John Dellapina calls Crosby a diver, so in turn, anyone associated with Crosby and the Pens just have to accept that Osgood was just selling calls. Focus on the fact that the Pens aren't as good as Detroit, not that Osgood killed a Pens Power Play less than 20 seconds into the kill with a bush-league flop.
With a 2-0 deficit, a Power Play could have made all the difference in the Pens getting back into Game 2. Remember the Rangers series? Down 3-0 in Game 1, the Penguins scored goals separated by less than 20 seconds on two separate occasions to win that game. That's all this offense needs. One goal gets the ball rolling, and the Pens were looking to get back into the game before Osgood's flop. Would they have scored if Osgood had more respect for the game? No one will ever know, and I can only wonder aloud since Osgood cleverly changed the feel of the game with his dramatic collapse to the ice. Fall down, and the home crowd will help buy a call.
This is not to take away from the Detroit offense or blueliners. Both parts of the team have severely outplayed the Penguins. They're up 2-0 in the series because they've been the better team. They block shots, get in passing lanes, create rushes, and most importantly, are scoring the puck.
However, I have no respect for the show Osgood put on in Game 2. Or the asinine comments of a guy like Ross McKeon.
We wouldn't be "whining" if it wasn't so obvious.
(originally published on 5-27-07)
I defer comment...
(Editor's note: I usually try to make some sort of humorous caption to go with the image. This one transcends any and all possible captions. You could probably do better than anything I could come up with.)
Friday, May 23, 2008
If you follow this provided link, you may die.
I followed it, am still here, and am encouraging you to do so as well.
Puck Daddy, the fantastic Yahoo! sportsblog edited by the man, the myth, the legend Greg Wyshynski, has put together some of the finest Penguins fans songs from the tubes into its very own musical, of sorts.
I'd post each video here, but you should go to Puck Daddy to get the full effect. I'm not a huge fan of musicals, which you could probably guess since I'm a massive sports fan, but this is one I'd definitely check out. Multiple times. And since I live in New York City, I shall camp out in front of some odd Broadway theater (theatre?) until this show comes to fruition.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Stanley Cup Musical [Puck Daddy]
Podcast it up!
Head on over to my good buddy Ed Spags, who graciously invited me to a Stanley Cup Finals podcast on his site.
My voice kinda sucks. That's what happens when you just get over being sick, then decide to (try to) sing on Rock Band, then podcast the next day. Awful throats all around.
However, it was a ton of fun. Follow the link to get my opinions on which Pens playoff opponent ate more of their own balls, how many games it'll take the Pens to win the Cup (spoiler, 6) and why I have an obvious man-crush on Tyler Kennedy.
Ed Spags has a bunch of other cool Pens bloggers doing similar podcasts, and want to thank the former PSaMP Hiatus Daddy for including me in the series!
Eddy Spaghetti Pens Podcast - Nick From Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies
(originally published on 5-23-07)
Every mini pony deserves a blue ribbon, if you ask me. This one just happens to be really good at something. I'm guessing science. He probably just got back from kicking a lot of ass in some 4th grade science fair. Or a coolness contest, hence the assortment of ribbons.
(Editor's note: The regular-sized horses in the background are totally creeping up on this little guy. Quit trying to steal this horse's accomplishments, asshat big horses!)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
How money is the Winnipeg Sun?
Straight from their desks, because I'm a blogger in my mom's basement, sitting in my underwear eating Bagel Bites (those things are killer, though) while only wearing my undies as I recycle other folks' stories, comes the realization that both the Pens and Wings have guys who played against each other for a Cup once. In 1989.
And now that I've mentioned it, I really want some Bagel Bites.
Flash back to '89, and we've got a local hockey team with no Cups to its name. Gary Roberts is a second year winger on the eventual Cup-winning Flames. Chris Chelios was finishing up his 15th season as a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens (Chelios is old).
Both players have won Lord Stanley since Roberts bested Chelios in '89, but while Chelios is a sure-fire HOFer, look at the Sun's recap of Roberts' career:
[Roberts] has been an all-star, had his career ended by injury, made a remarkable comeback, lived through two lockouts, almost carried the Toronto Maple Leafs to a Cup final, changed his life with a second marriage and second family, signed as a free agent in Florida and was traded to Pittsburgh at the deadline one year ago.
He won a Cup in his second full season in Calgary; He has not played for one since.
While I don't like how most sports outlets like to give past stats as a way to predict current outcomes (i.e. Roberts is 1-0 lifetime against Chelios in the Finals), I'd hope that history CAN repeat itself, and despite the change in decades and teams, Roberts can prevail over Chelios once more.
Oh, and I know this is kinda old, but Gary Roberts doesn't hate Pittsburgh. Same can't be said for Chelios and Detroit.
(originally published on 5-22-07)
Imagine the most fun you've ever had. From the looks of it, you didn't have nearly as much fun as this cool little trouble-maker. He actually looks like he's having the time of his life, which is awesome. This mini pony is so small, and it looks like I could fit him in my pocket, which I would totally do.
(Editor's note: I'm running laps like this waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals to start. Bottled. Up. Energy.)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Gary Roberts can dunk a basketball with his feet.
Gary Roberts is so tall, he did a backflip and kicked Jesus in the mouth.
These are some of the Pensblog-inspired Gary Roberts Facts that make up half of the legend (okay, I made that second one up myself).
The other part of his legend includes his playoff performances, especially against Ottawa. All legends need substance, right?
This may seem a little far fetched right now, but I see Ryan Malone at the onset of his own Roberts-like career. I'm using no stats, merely my own opinion. I'm too lazy and bogged down with actual work to look up stats right now.
Watching Malone tirelessly work the top of the crease this postseason, I can't help but notice how much he plays like a younger Gary Roberts. Roberts immediately impacted the Pens with his presence around the net when he was acquired last season. Pittsburgh fans appreciated that on a level unrecognized before #10 came to town. Throughout this playoff run, Malone has matured into the type of crease-invading player that alters the course of the postseason. And he's conveniently doing it to pick up the slack with Gary out of the lineup.
Malone helped his boyhood team reach the final for the first time since '92 with two goals and an assist in the series-clinching game 5 win over the Flyers. Should the Pens win the Cup this season, Malone's contributions to help get the team this far would be seen as inspirational.
Roberts won a Cup early in his career, which is one of the reasons why his name invokes so many unique images. Would Roberts-facts Facebook pages exist if he was just another Cup-less player?
So if the Pens win the Cup, will Malone be that gritty, physical, garbage-goal scoring vet 10 years down the road? Will he get his own, Ryan Malone facts? He's physical (fought Hatcher), can score in the crease, knows how to check...and now has a chance to win a Cup.
Roberts-esque, if you ask me.
And too bad for us that he's going to be an unrestricted free agent.
(originally published on 5-21-07)
If this is actually how the Oregon Trail went down, then pioneers kicked ass. Cute Westward expansion! I might trade in my car for a similar version of this.
(Editor's note: Man, now I wanna play Oregon Trail on the old-school Apple IIe. Oh, and happy birthday to my Mom!)
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Passion head into their Memorial Day bye week fresh off a 28-0 win over the
Columbus Phantoms (thanks, smarchit) Baltimore Nighthawks.
And guess what? IWFL has no stats or recap posted! Awesome. Instead, I'll have to update you on some happenings in the division.
With this win, Pittsburgh moves to 5-0 on the season. The team previously tied atop the North Atlantic division, the New York Sharks, dropped the ball over the weekend, and their 28-14 loss to the Boston Militia allowed Pittsburgh to claim sole possession of first place.
Both teams are off this weekend, setting up a clash between the two in two weeks. Pittsburgh can distance themselves from the pack with a win, while the Sharks need their A-game in order to keep pace.
But remember, Pittsburgh beat Boston earlier in the season, in convincing fashion. If Boston can hold its own against New York, then I'm excited about the game against the Sharks.
(originally published on 5-20-07)
I think I shed a tear when I first found this picture. Mini ponies should never be hurt, or in pain. They should always be cool, and ready to make people happy. I would hang out with this little guy at all times, because he seems like he needs a cool friend. Don't worry, little buddy. You will always be cool with me. I don't hate on anybody/thing just because they are in a wheelchair. If you were with me right now, I would feed you as much hay/salt lick/sugar cubes as you wanted. You are officially my favorite mini pony of all time.
(Editor's note: Coolest. Little. Horse. Ever?)
Monday, May 19, 2008
I need a moment, away from the parodies of Flyers fans, the BTM sightings, or any other cheap laugh.
The Penguins are going to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Our Pittsburgh Penguins, one year removed from a gut-check of a loss in the opening round of the playoffs, now stand 4 wins from hoisting Lord Stanley. I've yet to let that fully sink in,
I'll turn 24 years old in under 3 months. I can't be foolish enough to make you believe that I saw the Steel Curtain firsthand. Hell, I come from a generation after the "We Are Family" Buccos, and my best memories of our out-of-luck baseball team include a slide by a guy who used to wear black and gold before breaking the heart of every Pirates fan on a Barry Bonds throw home.
But with the Pens, something special happens. I find myself thinking back to the Cup days of the early 90s. How excited and fortunate I was to watch Lemieux and Jagr...on the same team. Two superstars united with one goal in mind, the Stanley Cup. I remember the games against the North Stars and Blackhawks. I can nearly name, from memory and almost in order, the players on the Stanley Cup Championship plaques that hang in my aunt's den.
Through the recent losing seasons, Lemieux's retirement, Jagr's trade, I would take myself back to the good times, desperately clinging to the pride of winning back-to-back Cups. With the Steelers and Buccos, I could only liken to moderate successes. Playoff appearances, short winning streaks...but no championship. The Steelers finally got their one for the thumb, but I couldn't relate that to any personal memory.
As we wait for our opponent, be it Dallas or Detroit, I have, as anyone in my age group or older, a connection made between this group of young Penguins and the champions of the past. The bridge had been built, but never finished. '92 seems like yesterday, and forever ago. It was the beginning of innumerable Cups. Jagr and Lemieux would hoist the trophy 10 more times, it would seem. But the sport is fickle.
16 years later, and we're back. Should it have taken this long? Does the wait make it this much sweeter?
Do any of those questions matter at this point?
Teams hope and pray and bargain with the devil to have everything line up at the perfect time. Free agent puzzle pieces. A white-hot goaltender. Young leaders capable of dishing AND scoring. Defense. More defense.
As I write this, the feeling starts to sink in more than when I began. I'm writing about the Stanley Cup. Its a highly plausible goal. We fought the best the Eastern Conference had to give for the right to TRY for the Cup.
Now all we need is 4 games of our hockey.
Those champions from my memories played their hockey, and were rewarded with their names forever etched on the Cup. Let's hope the connection remains true, and that this version of the team finds similar results.
No CMPotD today, it was just used this past St. Patty's Day.
This picture comes from Equine Imagery. Thanks to Matt for sending that in. If you ever need to see thousands of pictures of little horses, or ever wanna buy one or ten, head to that EI link and do your bidness.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Prince of Wales Trophy (next to our boy, Stanley) is going to be in the Civic Arena.
Let that sink in.
He has been stuck in Ottawa since last year.
Only two words need spoken.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Megadeth rules! Woooooooooo!
The Flyers are "alive and swell," baby!
I don't know where I heard it, but I think Game 5 is this Sunday on NBC.
That dude who brings like 30 signs to the games behind the net is the man. Its like he knows what's gonna happen!
Pink, popped-collared shirts are fantastic.
3 more wins til the finals, baby! Briere's gonna own!
(/blatant trip on a Penguin) Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
I need to buy some Dockers.
And some Edge Shave Gel.
We're only down because Timonen and Coburn are out. No, I've never heard of Mark Eaton.
(originally published on 5-16-07)
For today's MPotD, we're going way back. Looks like people in the olde tymes were fans of mini ponies as well. Four kids on one mini pony...impressive. Even the person in the background is amazed by the feat. These kids know how to party.
(Editor's note: Hey, baby. *To the woman in the back, jerks.*)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Albert Guilianelli rules.
As if you needed any more evidence that Pittsburgh sports fans are absolutely insane about their teams, watch that video to understand the lengths gone to profess the local love.
That's a prosthetic leg. Adorned with a massive Penguins logo. And a captain's C on the back. Man, I want one of these and I luckily have both of my legs. Maybe a third leg...I'm gonna stop while I'm ahead.
Props to WTAE for the video.
Listen close at the beginning of the video. Jake Ploeger gives a healthy chuckle after saying "do do."
One more video before I let you go. Check out the Pens, specifically BGL, Ruutu, Malone and Geno taunt the hell outta the stunned Philly fans after the crushing Game 3 win.
I know I promised you a CMPotD for today, but this is better. Last year's MPotD for the 15th is here. Rob and Big style.
This came from staunch PSaMP supporter Doug. That's right Doug, I called you staunch.
Little guy just wanted to celebrate the big Game 3 win. Is all.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Possibly fueled by their new mascot (above, h/t PittGirl), the Passion kept their winning streak alive this past weekend with a 38-0 drubbing of the Columbus Phantoms.
You know what that mascot fuels for me? Night terrors.
As per the press release on the Passion website, your unbeaten women's football team racked up over 200 yards on the ground. Three different players, Amanda Haeg, Michelle Cook and Jenine Suprano all topped 40 yards on the ground. Balanced. Attack. Sure, former player Torina Henley would've had 200 by herself, but how can an opposing team try to stop three different players capable of burning an unsuspecting defense?
Haeg herself had 35 yards on one touchdown run.
Natalie Bliel held down the D with 7 tackles while rookie DB Kimberly Lackner picked off a pass and Katie Heil had 1.5 sacks.
The Passion are still tied with the New York Sharks for the lead in the N. Atlantic Division with both teams sporting 4-0 records. Next week, Pittsburgh travels to Baltimore to take on the 1-3 Nighthawks. The Passion have a bye week (for Memorial Day) after the Baltimore game, followed by an epic power struggle with the Sharks.
Condolences from a heavy-hearted blogger must go to Jordan Staal and his family. Staal's grandfather passed away on Sunday, and Jordan's immediate schedule after getting the news included playing Game 2, attending a funeral in Canada, then playing in Game 3.
That ENer at the end of Game 2 must've been emotional.
Death is a hard thing to deal with. When we see athletes take the field/ice/court/etc., we assume that they're focused on one thing, executing to the highest level their skill allows so that the fans can enjoy a win. Knowing the darkness that must have clouded Jordan's thoughts before playoff hockey games during this difficult time is unbelievable.
I don't mean to liken Staal's ENer or his play in Game 3 to, say, Brett Favre playing well after his father's passing, but the strength and mental toughness needed to contribute to a playoff hockey game is something that you and I cannot fully understand. I know how your energy is sapped away when you are given fatal news, and being able to compartmentalize that pain enough to produce on the ice is a feat worth applauding.
Staal had a free pass to miss some games, or even had a legitimate excuse for poor play.
He didn't need any of that. Hockey might have been the help he needed.
As I pass along my condolences, I also give Jordan Staal a higher level of respect than the level at which he's already earned through his accomplishments in his first two years in the NHL.
Your youth is offset by your strength. As a Penguins fan, I am truly appreciative.
Some books rule.
Horse of the Future would be one of those books. Jill Swedlow Coffey knows what's up.
Go buy that book then give it to me.
CMPotD triumphantly returns tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Every now and then, I like to apologize to you, the reader. I know this blog covers all Pittsburgh sports, but I find myself focusing on the biggest/funniest/most interesting topics of the time. I'd love to break down the Pirates' recent 6-game winning streak (which was just snapped in the nightcap of last night's double-header), but my schedule is so jammed that I rarely have time to offer more than one sports story a day. Please accept my apologies if you only care about the Pirates. Not just because my coverage of them has been spotty so far this season, but because the Pirates suck, and any Buccos fan deserves an apology.
So if you're a regular PSaMP reader, you've probably noticed that the Penguins have pretty much dominated the majority of my recent writing. Same thing happens during football season with the Steelers, and once hockey season is over, you can bet on a number of Pirates posts.
But hockey season isn't over. Last year, I had just started PSaMP, and the playoffs were over as quickly as they began. Being two short wins from the Cup finals this season hopefully justifies my plentiful Penguins posts. And Game 3 in Philly is tonight. Its impossible to NOT get caught up in the emotion, whether you're a fan or some dumb blogger.
Home-ice advantage is huge. That might be a generic-ass statement, but it needs to be reinforced in light of the series switching to Philly ice tonight. The Rangers only win of the series came at home, and we'd be foolish to expect anything more than a split of the next two games in Philly. Fans have a way of pumping up the home team, creating momentum or absolutely deflating the visiting team's collective psyche. Why do you think the white-out worked in both Game 1s against the Rangers and Flyers? The fans were excited, and transferred that emotion to the players. It was a genius move by the organization, knowing that in spite of the immense talent on the team, the pre-series layoffs would sap the players of that game-ready attitude. The fans helped bring the Pens back from that early 3-0 deficit in Game 1 against New York. As soon as that 3rd New York goal was scored, you could hear "Let's go, Pens" resonating throughout the entire arena. It resulted in two quick goals that ultimately decided which team was going to keep momentum.
Expecting a win tonight isn't wrong, since we're Pens fans, but we need to understand that the home team is counted on to hold serve. I don't care what seed we are compared to the seed Philly is, we're the underdog on the road. Whatever those fans throw at the Pens, orange shirts, collective chants, its going to give Philly a boost not seen in Games 1 and 2.
Unless this video captures exactly how
lonely Flyers fans are pumped Flyers fans are for the game (h/t to the MYFO crew at Deadspin today):
Holla atchur boy, indeed.
This game is huge, and I fully expect that these two guys will provide the inspiration needed for the Flyers to tighten up this series.
Let's go Fly-ers!
Next to last regular MPotD before the CMPotD kicks back in. I can't help it that I had other stuff going on at this time last year.
After searching the world wide web for pictures of miniature horses throughout the duration of this site, I go into funks where I assume I've seen just about every possible picture available with a small horse as the subject.
I'm always wrong.
Monday, May 12, 2008
When one stops at a bar in Queens after a hard day's work, one doesn't expect to see a Favre-In-The-Box.
The smile on Favre-In-The-Box's face makes me assume that Favre-In-The-Box is on some miniature pain pills. Or John-Madden-In-The-Box/Peter-King-In-The-Box is "helping" Favre stay "smiling." Or any other Brett Favre cliche.
Props to my sister Kate for snapping the pic.
Night terrors, resume.
That title, is a rough transcript of the praise given to Mike Richards by Joe Beninati and Darren Eliot in last night's Game 2 between the Penguins and Flyers.
That's some pretty high praise, if you ask me.
To recap, Mike Richards just completed his third year in the league, and offensively, he has put up 141 points in 211 career games. I don't remember if it was Beninati of Eliot who uttered that line, but I was taken aback when I heard it. I usually tune out the whoever is calling the game, but this quote was heard loud and clear. Thanks to The Pensblog for the update on who actually was calling the game.
So Mike Richards, who has done squat in this league, is now the best two-way player of his generation, being players aged 25 and under.
Hockey minds get their panties in a bunch whenever praise is given to Sidney Crosby, despite the fact that he's actually accomplished something in the NHL. A scoring title and a plethora of trophies should be more than enough to back claims of Crosby's skill. Which is why I'm appalled that there's no attention drawn to this fantastic quote from the Versus broadcast of Game 2.
Offensively, Mike Richards has scored 28 goals in his best (current) season. Jordan Staal, in his rookie campaign, scored 29. Plus, Staal is regularly called on to kill penalties. I'd argue that Staal is a better two-way player than Richards. Case in point, the empty net goal scored to seal last night's win. No, Richards wasn't involved, but Staal's defense was highlighted. With one less guy on the ice and nursing a one-goal lead late in the game, Staal showed more desire to get the puck than anyone wearing orange, while the Flyers controlled the puck. Your team is losing, you've brought an extra attacker on the ice, and you get beat by a kid on a team who DOESN'T NEED to score. If I was a Flyers fan, I'd be outraged at that pitiful display.
It can even be argued that Sid plays good defense, despite everyone understanding that he's an offensive force. Therrien has used him to kill penalties, albeit to hopefully create shorthanded opportunities, but he's out there. Also, the way he uses his lower-body strength to protect pucks can be seen as a defensive maneuver. We always hear about how teams with the lead like to dump and chase in order to keep the other team from gaining momentum, and to finally wear them out. Sid's ability to protect the puck with his stance and leg-strength is just as defensive a move as a dump and chase tactic. The other team gets worn down trying to fight the kid (another one in this "generation"), and Sid can take time off the clock playing this defensive style.
Mike Richards is a good player. I want to take nothing away from what he's accomplished and the way he is dedicated to defense. But any hockey fan should be disgusted at the unwarranted praise given by the Versus broadcasters. Richards is clearly one of the top young talents at playing offense and defense, and he should be commended for his efforts. But to use the term "the best" to describe Richards is disturbing...
Seeing as how there's no MPotD from May 10-14 from last year, I had to go back to finding a truly epic, original MPotD.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
What with all the furor over who is going to deface (or already has defaced) the Rocky statue in Philly, I'm proposing a few less famous statues that would look good in a Pens uniform. Besides, everyone knows Rocky is a target of Pens fans.
Imagine Philadelphians waking up to see Crosby or Malkin jerseys adorning every statue in their city! I'm giddy about the possibility.
Here's a list of other potential targets. Have at it, Pens fans.
Jeanne d'Arc. Could use a little black to go with that gold.
Lafayette. Could use a little gold to go with that black.
Iroquois. Then, maybe we can distinguish what the hell this thing is.
Thomas Fitzsimons. Dude looks like he could use some protection from acid rain.
Frank Rizzo. Why make a bet with a current mayor when you can get at the former.
Ben Franklin. And then make him look like he's engraving the Penguins' names on the Cup.
(originally published on 5-9-07)
I understand that MPotD stands for mini pon-y of the day. Singular. Yet there are times that group photos really capture my attention. Plus, its more cool tiny horses to look at. This picture clearly classifies as multiple mini ponies, thus making it the MPsotD. Whatever. Look at the one in the front who recognizes that someone is taking his cool picture. The others are more concerned about how sweet the grass tastes at this specific point in time.
(Editor's note: This looks like about the oldest recorded picture of mini ponies. And those clouds in the distance look menacing.)
Thursday, May 8, 2008
What the hell kinda awful picture is this?
If you ask me, this barely visible mashup of colors and shapes could very well be the tipping point in the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals series.
Its from a fight that happened just over a month ago. Riley Cote decided to fight BGL, despite having lost to him earlier in the season. While this fight was a shade above a draw in favor of BGL, Georges landed a left that sent Cote's helmet flying 30-some odd feet down the ice. Video is provided below, so you know what I'm talking about.
Even if you're a casual Pens fan, you've probably seen this video.
With the Flyers expected to play wanna-be-goon Cote to matchup with the likes of Hal Gill and BGL, a fight might be what gives either team the decided advantage. We've been fortunate to follow a sweep with a 5-game series win. Expecting another sweep, or even a quick series, would be foolish. As much as I'd like to see an absolute dissection of the Cryers, I'm fully prepared for a series that goes 6, maybe 7 games. This isn't me doubting MAF or the ridiculous display by our defense, just me trying to stay level-headed in spite of the recent playoff success.
So what happens if the series is knotted up at 1s or 2s? Would we sit back and hope our offense comes through in the clutch? That's a good aspect to have in your back pocket, but with guys like Cote and Hartnell wearing orange, borderline-dirty play might keep the offense in check.
Which is why guys like BGL might play a bigger role than originally thought.
That April 2nd fight allowed BGL to get in Cote's head (and nearly knocked that head off). Sure, Cote is pretty fearless and will fight anyone, but his inexperience (compared to guys like BGL) causes him to bite off more than he can sometimes chew. Should the two players fight in order to sway momentum, Cote goes into the brawl knowing that the last time the guys tangled, Cote's helmet went into orbit. Sure, hockey players are tough, but something that extraordinary has to leave some doubt in a guy's mind.
Now, that was a lot of speculation put into print, but my point is this:
- Expect a tight/physical series
- Momentum will be key
- Cote is going to get a decent amount of ice time.
- Its the Eastern Conference Finals, teams will be playing desperate
- BGL is 2-0 against Cote this season
- Fights are rare in the postseason, but could Cote make a Holloweg-esque dumb move and battle BGL?
Oh, and this:
(originally published on 5-8-07)
I can't really speak for the pseudo-Indiana Jones (or even Jack Bandit. Wa Na Nah) chick in the background, but I will say that the mini pony in this picture rules. Staying with the Doug Funnie theme, I would totally change into Quailman, and use this mini pony as Quailhorse.
(Editor's note: Hey, baby.)
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Are you pumped for the Pens/Flyers series? You should be.
I figured that Flyers fans (much like Patriots, Browns, Rangers or any other Pittsburgh rival fanbase) would be trolling Google to find instances where their team is mentioned in a negative light, so I plan on exercising my right to bash, should any Flyers fans (pictured below. Nice Hollister bag, douche) find this.
Philly sucks and is stupid.
The Flyers are idiots, and I think several players are having relationships with each other.
Your city can't win shit.
Go boo Santa.
Go throw batteries.
We hate you.
Daniel Briere sucks and has a dumb face.
You signed the lesser of the two Sabres free agents, and we just dispatched of Drury in 5.
Ben Franklin sucks.
Our mascot skates faster than Derian Hatcher.
Rocky uses steroids.
MAF > Biron.
Ryan Malone > R.J. Umberger
Marvin Harrison tries to shoot people in your city.
I'd probably punch a Mummer.
Tigger (pictured at the top of this post) is your biggest fan.
BethRawks, what is your take on the Flyers?
Done and done.
(originally published on 5-7-07)
Today's MPotD is snacking so hard. I can't imagine if I was tiny enough to stand behind an absolute mountain of cool food. If I was tiny, though, I'd want to stand next to a giant pile of spaghetti and just feast on it.
(Editor's note: Mmmm. Or a massive bowl of pasta fagioli.)
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
An uncharacteristic 38-34 win over the D.C. Divas this weekend helped the Passion extend their winning streak to 16 games (3-0 this season).
You like that picture? I did it myself...in case you were wondering.
The teams traded the lead back and forth, showing fans that although they're used to blowing out opponents, Pittsburgh knows how to play with the pressure on.
With the win, the Passion are now tied for first place in the N. Atlantic Division. The New York Sharks also sit at 3-0. May 31st is setting up to be a power struggle between the two teams.
Props to Lori Johnson, who caught an 83-yard touchdown pass to set a team record previously held by Wilma Walton.
Next week, Pittsburgh welcomes the Columbus Phantoms. They're 0-3. I don't like to predict wins and losses, but this matchup looks positive for the Passion.
(originally published on 5-6-07)
I thought I was gonna have some trouble finding a mini pony with better hair than yesterday's MPotD. However, the mission has been accomplished. This cool little dude pulls off the Sanjaya Malakar better than Sanjaya Malakar.
(Editor's note: Sorry for the Sanjaya reference. Really. You can hate on me for it if you like.)
Monday, May 5, 2008
...From his person.
Mendenhall was robbed on the South Side of Chicago. He's now short a phone and a wallet.
He wasn't hurt, but was obviously startled. I woulda been too, man. I woulda probably sharted.
He has until the 16th, when he's due in Pittsburgh, to deal with this situation. Take the time you need, dude.
(click for bigger view)
Yes, you heard correctly. Beware the Playoff BTM.
I hope you know what a BTM is. Cos its been guiding the Penguins through these playoffs.
Know why chronic playoff underachiever Marian Hossa scored twice in the close-out game against the Rangers? He was successfully guided by the power of the Playoff BTM on each tally.
With all the love given to the Playoff Beard, its about time the Beard's bastard son is recognized for its own significance. Sure, it may look gayer than Erasure (awesome song, though), but if the face of your team can't submit to his own Playoff Beard, one needs to take what one can get.
Baby-faced teens everywhere were given hope the moment the Pens cashed their ticket to the Eastern Conference finals. Adam Morrison now believes an NBA title is in the foreseeable future. The tall-ass kid who went to high school with my younger brother is probably a millionaire at the mere mention of the Playoff BTM.
You can keep your epic Playoff Beards, Scott Niedermayer and Mike Commodore. Oh wait, you can't, because they mean nothing right now.
But the Playoff BTM is still in commission.
(originally published on 5-5-07)
Sorry about the size of this pic, but I couldn't get it any bigger. When I first saw this cool tiny horse, I knew it had to be the MPotD. Kickass sunglasses and a mean 'do. It doesn't take much to amuse me...
(Editor's note: Intentionally-oversized sunglasses are comedy genius. Especially on mini ponies.)
Friday, May 2, 2008
Tip of the cap to the irreplaceable PittGirl for this story from earlier in the week.
I don't watch Back To You. Hell, I don't even know if the show got cancelled or if its still running. Kelsey Grammer is Frasier Crane, not some anchorman from Pittsburgh.
However, the show did okay in my book when they prominently featured both a Pittsburgh Passion and Pittsburgh Xplosion t-shirt. And by prominently, I mean only visible by a screengrab from a paused DVR still of a terrible show (in my opinion, although I've never taken the time to watch it).
Evidence of both shirts are provided.
The defunct Pittsburgh Crossefire feels slighted.
(originally published on 5-2-07)
Today's MPotD is proof that mini ponies and sports go hand in hand. This mini pony would probably be a Pittsburgh Riverhounds fan. There's no shame in that. I've been to a few Riverhounds' games. Can't really remember if they won or not, though.
(Editor's note: MPotD is possessive. Sheesh.)