god is dead, but we’re still here

We’re allowed to be pissed and talk about cutting people after tonight.
This is totally allowed.
The game got off to a great start, what with the Harlem Boys and Girls Choir tearing it up and Rangers fans screaming obscenities over the national anthem. We found out earlier today that Mark Letestu was injured in practice. Versus says it’s a knee thing. Out indefinitely. Jesus Christ.
Dustin Jeffrey came to town. Without Crosby, Malkin, and Letestu, there was a definite question as to where the Pens’ offense was going to come from. But you weren’t really scared–just happy as hell that the All-Star Game is fucking over and real hockey is back into our lives.

So many things could have happened that didn’t. And so many things that you didn’t want to happen–they did happen. But: 2 points. And Philly got flattened by TB. Big time points in the division. We’re still alive. We’re kicking.

Here we go. It’s not pretty.

You had probably noticed Beninati with the sick Staal brothers reference, but it was before puck drop. Luckily it doesn’t take Beninati too long to bring it up again once play begins. That’s one drink: the Staals are brothers.
MSG is fucking dark. As we all knew. This begins to be a slowly-developing metaphor for our souls.
Chris Conner takes the ice, and every time it happens, it’s an instant scoring chance.
We looked hard for a picture of Chris Conner on the ice is this game, but the press is retarded.
Here he is back from when he played with Dallas, showing the expression that we imagine defines his entire existence:

That shot becomes more important once Prust does some shit off of an assist from Polish Ex-Boyfriend Wojtek.

whatever 1-0
Pens get into more penalty trouble, but kill it.  Sean Avery exists.  The feeling of doom hasn’t quite set in yet.

- Sid’s concussion
- the All-Star Game
- Beninati not understanding the phrase “wintry mix”
- Both Staals being on the ice (drink)  (That’s 2 drinks, folks.)
- TK sucking
All brought to you by Versus and the Pittsburgh Penguins and the NHL and Bettman’s splooge.

Basically, intermission almost inspires a suicide pact.  Jeffrey was creating shit there at the end of the period, though.

The second period starting begins to have the bitter, metallic tang of blood.  Cooke is yelling at people right off the opening faceoff.
Fleury is all over whatever comes his way.  He is in control of all things.
Until Artem Anisimov shows up.  Dude is becoming a serious Penguin killer.

it’s 2-0 and a serious lovefest for the Rangers and their fans, who probably don’t even know who Artem Anisimov is.  Serious question: have you ever met a New York Rangers fan who wasn’t trashed and yelling about Mark Messier?

But the Pens are still in this. First, Engo fights Prust, and Prust probably pees himself:

Pens then get a power play, and Dustin Jeffrey shoots a puck that finds its way behind Lundqvist by the grace of God.
 That’s 1-0.  Then Talbot makes a play to Rupp, who goes straight to the net like a boss.  2-2 and it feels like it took no time at all.  We’re working hard, we’re grinding this out.
Chris Conner appears hurt, returns, again by the grace of god.  You thought Zbynek Michalek was going to score this game, and he almost did, until his big blast from the point gets redirected by Kunitz.
We’re in the lead!  Right?  This is how we roll. . .
Brandon Prust throws an elbow in Jordan Staal’s face, so Jordan Staal punches him in the head.  Prust goes down like someone emptied an entire clip into him.

Look on Prust’s face is dastardly.
Sure, Staal punched him.  Give him a penalty.  Hell, even give him the five minute major.
Because of a punch.  Versus even went so far as to compare it to this dick move by Ben Eager:

Riiiiight. Exactly what happened. Staal clearly jumped him away from the puck and started punching him in the face repeatedly with zero provocation. RIIIIGHT. No, folks. This is a play that happens daily in the NHL. Someone gets their arms up during a puck battle, and gets a jab in the face as a result. Prust was fine. Jordan Staal, murderous beast that he is with such a rich and detailed history of violence, was obviously trying to hurt Prust beyond a reasonable doubt.
He must be thrown out of a game to prevent injury to other innocent players! He must learn a lesson that this is just Not What We Do in the NHL!
Bullshit. What Eager did is retarded. What Staal did happens, every goddamn day. Even if Prust did go down and wasn’t faking. . .we are trying to figure out how this is a match penalty. Staal retaliated when Prust went up with his elbow? How have the majority of people not seen this? They got involved with each other. Staal didn’t just skate up and start punching Prust down. Blown call. If you really felt that strongly about it, you could give him a game misconduct????? OR SOMETHING????

Anyone who says otherwise can deliver us their mouths, into which we will put Jordan Staal’s sac. Metaphorically of course.

Oh, so: now we are without our top 4 centers. Oh, and Asham left the game with an injury too, so we’re down a winger. HOORAY US.
The Rangers score on the subsequent major penalty before the horn sounds. So it’s 3-3.
And did we mention? God died.


Killed the rest of that penalty when the third started.
Then killed a delay of game penalty after that.
Fleury is on fire. All kinds of fire. Fuckin’ Fiendfyre.
The boys get tired. They ice the puck, use their timeout.
KTang dumps some asshole’s face into the boards, which is a penalty.
We kill that too. We kill it dead.
Somehow the game reaches overtime. And you get to take your third and final shot of the night when the words Brother Jordan are said. You’ll need that and more for the shootout, which goes six rounds without a score.
Dustin Jeffrey, effectively the top skilled forward on the team at this point, finds the back of the net. Why it took Bylsma so long to call Jeffrey’s number is beyond us.

And Marian Gaborik, believe it or not Versus: actually sucks and is neither a good nor a clutch player.
Fleury has his number.
Brandon Prust killed God, and the Pens came out on the other side.
4-3 SO
we major.


Tyler Kennedy.

1. Chris Motherfucking Conner
2. MAF
3. Brandon Prust’s tears.

very short turnaround to Islanders tomorrow. Maybe we get Malkin? Who knows.

Proudest win of the season, founded solely on good defensive play, good goaltending, and keeping the Islanders to the outside as much as possible.
classic, and astonishing.

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.