Oh great, another loss! (slaps self in face)


We just can’t express our gratitude to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, coaching staff and active roster for their performance in the past two games. How could anyone in their right mind be unhappy with a pair of road losses to start the Stanley Cup finals, particularly when they’re back to back shutouts? This will teach us to cheer for any team other than the Mighty Oil, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what friend-wants-to-bet-what-when.

But wait! All is not lost! We went over to the Penguins website to see what’s being said over there about the team in the face of these crushing pair of losses. Apparently they have the same Happytime Brain Medications™ for their site writers that the Edmonton Oilers force their staff to take prior to delivering bad news.

“Pens head home looking to rebound” reads the title. Fantastic! The team is upbeat, and must have some tricks up its sleeve right? What kernels of wisdom can be collected in the article, showing those of us who bet on the Penguins that all is not lost?

“We’re not frustrated. We knew it was going to be tough. Going home, it’s going to be a great place for us and a tough place for them to play.”
—Penguins winger Jarkko Ruutu

OK… Ruutu isn’t top 10 in team scoring in the playoffs but he’s a marginal impact player so he must have some sway in the dressing room. “It’s going to be a tough place for them to play” doesn’t really involve suggesting THE TEAM MAY SCORE A SINGLE GOAL in the Finals, but we can build some positives from this, however small.

What else is here?

“Whether you lose the game 4–0, 3–0, or 1–zip, it doesn’t really matter. The things that are important right now are wins and losses and we’re down two.”
—Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi

The usual garbage canned statements from an 11th defenceman. Yup, you can’t beat the perspective of a guy who sees the ice for 15 minutes, has no shots on goal and is a tidy -1 on the evening. Overall, this doesn’t look good. Can’t they get Crosby to say something positive? How about getting Fleury on camera saying “I guarantee four straight wins, and ‘tis I who will be getting the shutouts from now on.” C’mon Fleury, make a legend of yourself! Don’t leave Ruutu and Scuderi to do your dirty work. Doesn’t anyone of skill have any grand statements to make??

“We played pretty hard. We just have to find a way to make that hard work pay off. We just have to plug away.”
—Penguins defenceman Hal Gill

Oh great! Down two games to none we have Hal Gill telling us it’s time to start “plugging away.” This is the secret play, the brainchild plan cooked up high in the rafters of the Mellon Arena by the powers-that-be in Penguin Land. This is Crosby and Malkin getting together in the pre-game skate and deciding (via a translator) that they will each score ten goals during the game. Hal Gill saying it’s time to start plugging away is like Gary Coleman saying it’s time to start being short. It’s all they have ever done.

Hal Gill.

You’re such a plug, don’t you even dare open your mouth in the dressing room. If a media type walks by and says “Anything to say Hal?” you say “Nope. I’m just happy to be here and earning millions of dollars, which I will ultimately blow on nuts and gum forcing me to wash windshields of cars on corners shortly after my retirement.”

Hal Gill.

We want to hear Hal Gill’s plan to bounce back in the Finals like we want to hear the soundtrack to High School Musical 3: not now, not ever. Hal Gill telling the world what it’s going to take to win the Cup is like Lindsay Lohan explaining how to chemically separate cesium from an alloy. It’s either a) something they heard on TV b) something they’re making up or c) that they’re channeling the ghost of someone much smarter.

Damn you Hal Gill.
Damn you Penguins.
Damn you sports betting.

Let’s see an SCF comeback worthy of a team that calls Ty Conklin its back up goaltender shall we?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    The Pens need a little momentum thats all. You know – like scoring 1 goal in the SCF!

    You sucker Wanye. Don't bet against the Wings. I bet my brother in law the same bet and you will both have to cough it up when the Wings win in 4

  • I'm a Scientist!

    You can assemble all the talent in the world but if the players don't understand the level of commitment to win the Stanley Cup then it is all for not. I'll never forget KLowe's comments on the Boys on the bus. He talked about their playoff losses to the Islanders and seeing how they were all nicked up with ice bags everywhere. The Islanders accumulated those injuries during the 4 preceeding series. That is when the lights came on and even unbelievably skilled, up and coming teams like the Oil had to learn how to win regardless of talent and then be prepared to pay that price to win. I personally am sick of Crosby whining all the time and he has been prolific at it since entering the league. The worst of if for me last night was how Therrien resorted to blubbering and whining. For me it deminishes my respect for the team's skill. The salary cap realities might mean teams like the Penguins don't have as many years as the Oilers did to keep a team together and have time to learn those lessons. To take the next step and go from whiners to winners the Wingless Ones will have to take a page from the playbook of other championship teams. I don't recall any team backing into the Stanley Cup as if they have some sort of entitlement. Does anyone else see a little sulking in the post-game comments?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    I don't know why you are being so hard on Hal Gill.

    The Penguins are a young team and now is exactly the time for a savvy veteran to step up and offer the kids the insight he gained from his years of playoff experience. Particularily when it comes from a such a storied and successful franchise as the Leafs.

    Oh wait…never mind.

  • I'm a Scientist!


    If you want to read some good Penguins bashing where the reporters in Pittsburgh are calling them out for everything under the sun – including whining and being soft check this article by Gene Collier in the Pittsburgh Gazette


    the best lines:

    Sidney Crosby hasn't scored a goal since Mother's Day.

    Evgeni Malkin skates in quicksand.

    Ryan Malone can't function unless he's under the world's largest formerly retractable stainless steel roof.

    And that Marian Hossa trade so widely hailed? Did it really happen? I mean, is he here?

    Marc-Andre Fleury looks as though he could jump out of his skin, at least the portion of it he didn't leave on the ice with that memorable entrance in Game 1.

    ha ha ha

    Let us not forget Uncle Hal played for the Bruins as well. He has put up some tremendous numbers in the playoffs during his career:

    NHL Playoff Totals:
    52G 0 Goals 3 Assists 3 Points -2 36 PIM

    And that doesn't even include his lockout year when he played for something called "Lukko" in Finland, and failed to record a point in 8 playoff games.

    Hal Gill. Pfft

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Wanye, I think the best line in that story has to be this:

    "Pranksters might have awakened the Penguins by activating the fire alarm at their hotel at 1:30 a.m., but the fellas were fast asleep again by 8:15 p.m., which just happened to be game time."

  • I'm a Scientist!

    "And that doesn’t even include his lockout year when he played for something called “Lukko” in Finland, and failed to record a point in 8 playoff games."

    True enough but he did register 57 PIM's in those 8 playoff games. When is the last time an NHLer accomplished that?

    Now the big question is if he was tagged for 26 hooking calls as the Euro's blew past him on the outside with one 5 minute major added in there for the obligatory melt down or did he accumulate the minutes by showing an actual heartbeat and emotion.

    I'm betting on the former myself.

    As for the reporter, I love a scathing article as much as the next guy but all things considered the guy is reporting on actual hockey on May 27th. Talk about what have you done for me lately.

    This time a couple years ago he is reporting on how the future home of the Kansas City Penguins has already sold out all their luxury boxes.

    Perhaps he is yearning for the old days as opposed to reporting on the fully expected growing pains two of the most exciting players in the game are going through.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Re: The Gene Collier article.

    I need to agree with Rick on that one- at least they're in the final. Secondly, when you're resorting to scatological references you're likely on the bottom rung of sports journalism.