flirting dangerously with Justice

The high (or hangover) from last night was probably still palpable when you sat down to watch this game. You didn’t even realize what you were in for. A classic Saturday night in Canada, a media circus.

Not going to be one of those normal games, is it? Not even a normal game against the Habs where everyone does something shitty and someone wins by one extremely fluky goal scored in the 2nd period and then nothing else happens and you get really bored and angry and stop paying attention at some point in the 3rd when you remember you have Oreos. Nope. Not that kind of game.

Malkin scored 21 seconds in on some powerful, world-shattering passionate move.
Everyone was so upset that they couldn’t even get a pic with Gene’s face in it.  But rest assured, everyone was really happy.

Travis Moen then came back and scored some more shit.  Off of a heinous giveaway.
Can’t find a pic of this anywhere.  But it happened, too.  It was 1-1.  Not necessarily your favorite way to start the rodeo.  The bulls are late.  Etc.  IT ALL JUST HAPPENED SO FAST


Paul Martin looks on in angst as more weird stuff happens.
Everyone said it was going to be “one of those nights.”
I guess we just didn’t know how bad.
Kris Letang is getting messed up by a Kostitsyn and Price is in true Cam Ward Memorial Trophy form. Subban acts totally shocked and injured when he gets slashed, that’s a total penalty, but Fleury is in Erik Cole’s head, whispering sweet nothings to his pucks. The entire city of Montreal boos an offside call. We can’t figure out if this is preferable to half the fanbase already leaving since their team is up 2-1.
Might as well just go home.

Kunitz scores an almost goal but everyone says he punched it in from Toronto. No idea, ROOT didn’t show any angles proving that it wasn’t just a deflection. But we’ll deal.
At least, until Patches gets another shot off and it’s deflected in by Erik Cole. Two repaired vertebrae on that goal. He’s building himself up to be a real comic book villain at this point.
The young soldier, previously brought back from the dead, corrupted by the evil around him. . .

Just. . .balls.

Apparently, more offside calls. You can see the Habs fans getting realllllly indignant about this, images swirling in their heads of their team getting 10 goals. Fever dreams.
The Pens own a power play for 2 straight minutes practically, but nothing happens yet again. The Habs are just being dicks. We have not a leg to stand on.
PaulMart makes a sweet play to keep a puck in, and Dupuis rips it into the net. Redemption is real. The city of Montreal disagrees.

Sidney Crosby looks on evilly as Price tries to talk himself out of crying and remind himself of the grape blunt wrappers he has in his gym bag, which will be very comforting later on.
3-2. This is a real hockey game again. The Habs fans are officially booing the Pens for playing defense. After the second, all you can hear on replays of the Pens doing something is an awful rumble. Like a disenfranchised army on the other side of the city walls.

Everyone gets really up in arms on both sides when a Kunitz breakway ends up with a puck in the net.  But he made contact with Price that knocked the puck in, so that’s not a goal.  Kunitz has already had something like 4 goals taken away this season.  Both 2 goals in the same game.  Possibly more that we’re not remembering–maybe 5 goals overall.  Insane.
There was some incidental stick contact on Subban by James Neal after Subban kicked James Neal in the legs or something. THAT IS A PENALTY IN THE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE. Everyone acts like Subban just survived a gunshot wound to the face.
Luckily, nothing comes of it.
Joe Vitale has one of his “I’m taking over the universe brb” shifts after the penalty bullshit evens out again, which seems to wake the Pens up even more.
Sid, Gene, and Staal are out together for a shift. What is reality. Malkin hits Staal with a pass up ice, and he makes very good use of it. This goal is a big deal, and everyone wants to give Sid an assist on it. WHY NOT


Of all people, Max Pacioretty is the one who decides to throw a blindside headshot to Kris Letang while he is trying to play hockey.
Patches came back from having his entire back/neck totally fucked up by Chara and that was the scariest thing of all time.  We felt for him.
Now, we know that even the fallen and victimized make mistakes.  Particularly in Montreal.
Blood everywhere.  We later learn that it was Tanger’s nose that was broken.
But spilling unicorn blood is one of the most terrible, evil things you can possibly do.  To hurt something so pure and good is to damage the soul.  Just ask Hagrid.

But the look on Letang’s face seems to prove that he’s going to be back.
The rest of the period is spent being super angry.  Sid takes on the entire team by himself and almost wins.
But overtime looms.

And Letang is back for OT, covered in his own blood.  Looks like he doesn’t give a fuck.
Blah blah blah blah.  OT goes as usual.  You’re expecting something nasty.  What you don’t expect is for all the world’s unicorns to stand up and say, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”
The whole game, in case you didn’t remember, was all the Habs just being major dicks.  Subban attacked Neal at some point and there was no call, meanwhile Orpik was called for roughing for standing up for himself.  Rubbing your dick on someone in Montreal = not a penalty.
The Unicorn Guild is up to the challenge.
Pens crash the net.  And if you play hockey in the NHL you know you play to the whistle.  THERE WAS NO WHISTLE, even though Price had the puck covered briefly, there was no whistle.  That’s on the official, not on the Pens who dug for the puck in the pile.  You don’t stop playing, ever, until you hear the whistle, because that’s what you are coached to do.  It might mean someone made a mistake, but that’s what you actually do when you care about playing the game well.
The puck was found, it came up to the front, and Letang was right there to put it through Price’s legs and the inimitable Valley of Tears.

Look at Neal full of LOLs.

Carey Price is all mad.

Sweet, sweet anger.

4-3 OT


what a photo.

1. Sidney Crosby: look who’s back to 20 minutes a night already.  20:55 for those following along at home.  Also ripped Nick Foligno in his postgame interview, like a boss.  Also, 6 shots.
2. Carey Price’s sticks: he broke like 2 of them and 1 of those times was on purpose.  Poor little guys.

gif courtesy of RMas_71 on Twitter

3.  Marc-Andre Fleury: was there when it was really important, so suck it.

Also, don’t you ever wonder why the game stats literature looks weird in Montreal?  Then you realize: all of this shit is in French.  It looks classy but you have to wonder why they don’t do it for all the games.  Like the old hockey cards that used to be in French and English.  Even like Panthers cards.

Also, Dan Bylsma’s mustache earns an assist on the night.

go pens 


About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.