02 March 2008

ATL @ PIT: Liveblogging


Colby and Rex both got nice standing Os during their pre-game introductions. I love that - they didn't leave of their own volition (Brian Campbell I'm looking at you), so I'm pleased no one booed them.

I don't know why Kari is wearing his Kill Bill mask and not the Transformers mask, unless he only wore the new one yesterday because he knew he wouldn't have to play and he was running a trial with it. Like I said yesterday, he's using the throat guard on the new mask and might not yet be comfortable enough with it to use the mask during a game.

1st Period
Kari is extremely on edge right now. He jerked when one of his own d-men gave him a snow shower right off the face off. Not a good sign.

Defencive breakdown. Defencive breakdown. Defencive breakdown. It equates to 2 goals by 17:44. First he had the puck (he thought) covered and was holding for the whistle, but it had trickled out from beneath his pads and jammed in by Malone. 2-0.


Second, not really sure what happened there. You can't let the damned Penguins make a rush like that into your own zone. Did no one see the Mighty Ducks movies?! Hello, classic Flying V formation! At any rate, Talbot sends it in seven hole on Kari's blocker side, and just like that it's 2-0 Pens. Our defence can not continue to be passive, and expect to get away with it, or expect to get anywhere with it.

Flower looks so damned good for having been out since 12/6. Cept for a period or so on Thursday, this is his first game since his injury, and he's looking pretty sharp. The white pads are throwing me off like crazy.

Saturday's game: Played against the team with the league's leading assist man (Savard).
Sunday's game: Played against the team with the league's leading points man (Malkin).

Fate is such a cruel, cruel mistress.

Goligoski negates our first PK and puts the teams into 4-on-4.

Am I the only one who thought Ex was going to score on Kari at the end of the 1st 4-on-4?

He hasn't exactly been peppered with shots yet, but Flower is textbook in his positioning and responses to the shots he's taken. Chances are pretty good he's been aching for this game, and for the chance to kick Conkblock out of his net, reclaiming it as his own.

Malkin clings to Mac in the corner like a stuffed Garfield clings to a car window, and receives a penalty for his efforts.

Bugsy's making a complete pest of himself in the d-zone, ragging time off the clock and making it difficult for the Thrash to get set up. They manage to get set up a few times in the umbrella, but nothing more than 2 or 3 shots come out of the powerplay.

Flower makes another sharp save on Kozzy's one timer.

Slats scores! Off the pipe and in. Why on earth was Flower playing like Dryden and Roy? Not that I'm complaining - Slats has his 4th and we're within 1 with 5:28 to go in the 1st. Jimmy Slater - our secret weapon! Has this become his new pattern? I'm loving him scoring in consecutive games. Reach for the stars, Slats. 2-1.

Is anyone else damn sick and tired of this Phillips commercial? They have as much money as God, can't they make another one?

I feel like I'm almost watching a Pens black and white scrimmage, with all the former Pens we're carrying on our roster. It would be a lot more complete if Moose was in net, but y'all know I wanted Kari getting the start after yesterday. I still keep thinking Crusher is Dupuis when I see 9 on the ice.

Kari doesn't confuse the 9s.

Zhitnik makes a return to Saturday's game by flattening Talbot against the glass, and the period ends with 4 guys battling for the puck against the boards.

2nd Period
Kari gets bowled over by Bugsy and Bugsy goes to feel shame. Malkin steals the puck from Rex, and he and Ruutu go on a rush up ice. Good thing Kari's used to playing with Ruutu on the offseason, as Malkin sends him the pass and Kari stops him. Moment of panic when Kari snow angeled in the crease and the puck flew free, but the Pens had already turned for the change. If it had been Bergenheim instead of Ruutu, it'd probably be 3-1 right now. Army and Crusher are both big in a flurry against Fleury (oh yeah, I went there), but don't produce, and the penalty expires.

Moose is the 3rd commentator in the 2nd! Awesome! "Kari's made some great saves to keep us in here." He's pretty long winded, eh? Good to learn Kari and Moose are communicating visually during the game. "Kari knows where I am." I'm impressed that the only exclamation Moose has made to his team while watching is, "Sweet." Whereas I'm yelling at the team. And giving Kari instructions. OK. I'm mostly yelling at him. "QUIT PLAYING THE PUCK, HASEK!" Maybe Moose made the conscious effort not to. But awesome all around. Can we do this every game? Have the backup guy be the guest commentator? Someone get on that.

I give Bugsy big props for going 1 on 5 to start the Thrashers' PP. The boys get set up nice and Holik rings it off Flower's crossbar. The man advantage expires.

So we're already down Klee, and seems Havelid is also now out with an injury. Awesome. Only not. Slats gets smashed by Letang (former captain of Canada's U20 team), and looks a little hobbled after his shift. Walk it off Slats, get the shot and walk it off. We can not lose our secret weapon!

Missing: Swedish defenceman, last seen in this photo.
Wears #28, answers to Nic or Havs.
If found, please return to ice at the Igloo.

Am I the only one kind of bored by this period? It's technically sound, but it's not unlike watching Minnesota and Jersey play. Despite having just said that, there's still not much trap being played. Believe it or not, with 5:35 remaining in the 2nd, the Thrash are leading the SOG tally with 20 to the Pens' 17. I know, right? It is like hell froze over!

Holik goes to the bin off the faceoff for slashing (on Letang), and clearly says "This is bullshit" after getting into the bin. In Bobby's defence, any time a composite stick goes up against a wooden stick, the composite's gonna fall apart, hands down.

I am going to beat Darren Elliot if he says one more time that they don't play baseball in Finland. This is the 2nd time he's said it. Someone get me his email address so I can send him the link to pesäpallo. Jackass.

Professional Finnish baseball (pesäpallo).

Not much happens on Bobby's penalty, except for a sweet save by Kari. Like I said, boring period. Lot of whistles, too. It's hard to get a nice flow going with constant stops and starts. I will say I'm quite pleased to see the team stepping it up some in front of Lehts.

Malkin takes a penalty for interference (slashing, really) with :44 in the 2nd, and the boys don't do a damned thing with it. So they'll begin the 3rd with the man advantage. End of the 2nd, and shots are tied at 21-all.

3rd Period
Good news during intermission: Secret Weapon Slats is fine! Havs, however, has an injured elbow, and will not return, rendering us with 5 D. Kill me now.

Kozzy scores on the early PP to tie it up! He throws it on net, then bangs away at the rebound, and suddenly we're tied. Now it should get a little more exciting. 2-2.

Mac's broken stick is IN Kari's net, almost allowing a goal from Gonch except for divine intervention, and here's a thinker - Army gave Mac his stick. Of those two, who do you want to be stickless, and who do you want with a stick? I'm going to go with, I would prefer Army to have the stick. But whatevs, way to be a good teammate, Army. By the time the rush returned to Kari's cage, the refs have removed the broken twig.

Tobi! Hitting! I loves it! If this guy is not the team MVP, someone needs to be committed. He's definitely in Calder contention, and is consistently the best player on our team. We salute you, Mr. Defence-playing Swedish guy! Even when you take a semi-questionable interference penalty. C'mon man - against Ruutu? Like he doesn't get peoples' asses all up in his grill EVERY GAME. When did the buttcheck become a penalty? Good news for us, Pens are 0/2 on the PP in this game with only 1 shot. I'll reiterate though, the Pens have a very aggressive PP. I wish our PP was so aggressive.

Mac, I've got a shiny new $5 bill with your name on it if you'll drop the gloves with Malone!

Jimmy Slats schools our defenceman and shows them how it should be done, intercepting a pass from Malkin in front of Kari, and sending it out of the zone. You are full of WIN, Jimmy Slats!

Kari is apparently pulling every save technique out of his bag of tricks tonight. The belly flop, the puck-hug, the glove deflection. Going back to his quote the other day of "No matter what you do, nothing goes well," he's making changes to his play to try and make the difference. Way to be, Kärppä.

Using another new technique, Army crashes the net onto Flower, and tries to sneak the puck in through the underside. Don't crush the Flower, Army.

With 2:26 to go, Malkin makes storms the crease, and Kari snakes the puck away from him.

1:00 to go, and the Pens ice it.

:30 left and it's just back and forth.

And we go........ to overtime, 1 point each.

SS has a bumper video of Lehts leading into the OT that distracted me from the game to the point where I was not sure what was going on when OT started.

I hate that Kari looked behind him after the first save. His redemption is how solid he's been this game, and how solid the team in front of him has been, even with just 5D. How tired is Tobi right now?? Have we had a shot on Flower yet in the OT? Tilted ice like whoah.

Kari made a huge save on Malkin from in tight with 1:50 to go.

We rush bck up the ice and Crusher has a huge shot on Flower. Army was slightly out of position, or we'd be doing the wrap up right now. Had an open net and a puck, and didn't realise it.

Perrin to Kovy to Perrin to Kovy to Ex, and Ex can't put it home. We get through 5 minutes and no one can convert. And we go...... to the........

100% chance Army is giving Kari the dirt on all the Pens as they show the two talking while the zamboni clears a path. Pitt shoots first.

0 Sykora: Shanks it off the pipe, although Kari didn't fall for his move.
0 Christensen: High and off the pipe.
X Letang: Forehand, backhand, donkey kick, scores high blocker side.
0 Perrin: I don't even know what happened there, but Flower said NON!
0 Ruutu: Misses the net.
0 Kovalchuk: Hit Flower in the pads.

Thrash lose, but we go home with a point, and the boys have two days off to think through this streak of losses. More photos tomorrow.


Suzanne B said...

Honestly.. can we just win already? SERIOUSLY? I did like seeing Colby talking to Kari before the shootout... too bad it didn't really help. I'm confused about why Slava didn't get to take a shot.. Kovy hasn't been doing so hot lately.

I liked Colby's post game quote about Malone's goal... and him being a lug. Oh Colby, I think I'm going to like you.

Maal said...

You are totally digging the blog, aren't you? Heh!

I don't even know wtf to say at this point. They actually showed up for Kari yesterday, and even put the shots on net. Dude, it's like the Sabres, like what Harry Neale said "I have no idea what's wrong with this team. Everything is there..." although, I will say, it would be pretty fucking helpful if we had some GOOD defencemen besides Tobi. Just sayin. When Kiwi is your player of the game, you're in trouble.

I LOVE Colby! Did you watch Chasing the Dream? Cause you will totally love him once you do. I didn't see the interview, for some reason, SportSouth went bluescreen before his interview and plus the Buffaloes game was starting. Sigh. Did KL get interviewed? What'd he say?