james_neal_rocks

angry princesses and uss hal gill

Hello, friends.

Tonight’s recap may suck more than usual, because I have a terrible headache. Well, it’s not so much a headache, as my face hurts. Probably not as much as Jay Beagle’s face hurts, but it still doesn’t feel great. The dog has been howling at me all day, too, which doesn’t help.

Anyway.

Tonight marks a milestone for someone near and dear to my heart. Yes, friends, the USS Hal Gill, lately of the Pens but more lately of Montreal, is celebrating his 1,000th game tonight. Also: his wife just had a baby.

I'm here to crush your dreams. And your head.

Congratulations on the newest addition to the Gill fleet

I’ve always liked Hal Gill. Yes, he is super slow, and sure, he occasionally did some dumb things on the ice, but he plays with a lot of heart. And that’s not something you can learn. You either have it or you don’t.

PREGAME SHENANIGANS

In case you need something mildly amusing to read, FoxSports has posted NHL Power Rankings that include Simpsons quotes for each team. I applaud the diligence of the intern who put this together.

Mike Cammalleri is returning tonight. What’s the line on how many times I will misspell his name and have to go back and fix it? Whatever you set it at, I would probably pick the over.

Both Brooks Orpik and Dustin Jeffrey are back in the lineup for tonight. Isn’t it nice to hear about Penguins players coming back to play, instead of getting injured or suspended?

FIRST PERIOD

Matt Niskanen has 21 shots on goal this season? Those are Kennedy-esque numbers.

Diaz hooks Asham while the latter is on kind of a tiny breakway, resulting in a Pens power play. There’s been a lot of back-and-forth here, some good chances at each end, but not much happening. I fully expect the rest of this game to go the same way.

Hal Gill gets the puck off Kunitz and hands it over to Darche, who basically has the entire length of the ice in order to set up for a shot, but Fleury denies him. Which is awesome.

The Pens keep on bringing the thunder and Carey Price ends up in the net, with no stick, and is somehow still able to stop Joe Vitale (or anyone else) from scoring.

James Neal bangs a shot off the post, and for a second, no one knows if it’s in or not…BUT IT IS!!! 1-0 Pens

Oh James Neal, both you and Phil Kessel have seven goals this year, and I can only hope that this trend continues

I don’t always score goals, but when I do, I do it in October

Nothing much else happens except Carey Price keeps playing pucks from behind the net. I predict that this behavior will come back to haunt him; if not today, then soon.

Oh man, as I wrote that sentence, he knocked the net off its moorings and got a two-minute delay-of-game penalty. HA HA YOU SUCK

More shots on goal, but no scoring as the period ends.

FIRST PERIOD AWARDS

Prettiest Princess goes to the inimitable James Neal. Apparently this is what happens when you train with Gary Roberts in the offseason. You come back WITH A VENGEANCE.

What? Princesses can have vengeance.

James Neal will destroy your will to live

Hell hath no fury like a vengeful princess

SECOND PERIOD

Steve Sullivan keeps on trying to score, and failing, because Carey Price is playing balls-out.

However, Carey Price’s balls fail to prevent Joe Vitale from redirecting a rebound through traffic and making scoring look super easy. 2-0 Pens

Paul Martin gets called for a cross-check, which is unfortunate, because he is apparently the nicest dude ever. My pal who works for the Penguins got paired up with him for season-ticket distribution this year, and she says he’s great.

I inform the husband that the Caps and the Flyers are playing one another tonight. “Wow…two teams I can’t fucking stand,” he says.

Although the Paul Martin penalty expires without incident, Lovejoy gets called for holding someone’s stick.

Fleury continues to stop the Canadiens from scoring and destroy their collective wills to live. He makes some epic saves even when the Canadiens players, frustrated and angry, run into him “accidentally”.

Michalek takes a penalty thay the husband can’t figure out, which results in more short-handed opportunities for the Pens and more profanities from the husband. He thinks the Pens are being unfairly penalized, not only in this game, but in EVERY GAME EVER.

The Pens finally go on the power play after Gionta gets called for boarding with about a minute and a half left in the period. They get set up nicely, but Carey Price continues to be strong.

SECOND PERIOD AWARDS

Best Goalie goes to Fleury, for standing strong and continuing to not let any pucks in the net. And for being contrary to haters.

I'm not entirely sure why he's shirtless but I'm also not sure that I care

Haters gonna hate

THIRD PERIOD

The third period commences with the very tail end of the Gionta penalty, but it’s not enough time for anything to get set up.

Everything’s happening in Montreal’s end, but at the same time, Carey Price is making every single save.

Except when Arron Asham knocks the puck out of mid-air. Although it’s called a goal on the ice, the bigwigs in Toronto need to review the footage to make sure it’s a good goal.

I forgot to mention earlier that not only is it Gill’s 1,000th game, it’s Asham’s 700th game. Which is also awesome!

“After video replay, the decision on the ice stands. GOOD GOAL!”

3-0 Pens

I feel like we’ve comfortably settled into Grind Mode. Not that I’m going to stop paying attention or anything, but still.

Nice hat, Coach Disco

This phrase will NEVER GET OLD

In the absence of new things to say about Montreal failing to accomplish anything yet, I will say this: ROOT Sports’s camera angles SUCK MY BALLS. I am sick of missing faceoffs and watching power plays from behind the opposing team’s net. What’s wrong with the normal angles?

I flip over to check out the Caps/Flyers game real quick and see a replay of Ovechkin scoring off of a bad MaxTal turnover, WHY AM I NOT SURPRISED

Michalek takes a ridiculous penalty but it doesn’t even matter until he comes storming out of the box and grabs the puck to shoot it at Carey Price. Even though he doesn’t score, the Canadiens look defeated and sad.

In the very last minute and a half, the Canadiens manage to win a faceoff and Gionta slaps it in from the point. 3-1 Pens

I was really hoping Fleury would pitch a shutout, mostly because he’s the goalie on my fantasy team, but we are none of us perfect.

Carey Price heads off to the bench with one minute remaining. However, the Canadiens fail to score AT ALL. WOOOOOO

THIRD PERIOD AWARDS

Most Asses Kicked goes to Deryk Engelland, who had the first two-point game of his career. Good for you, Engo!

Up next: New Jersey. SNORRRRRRRRE

Go Pens.

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