This game kind of snuck up on us. Midseason games against western conference teams, even the Wings, lack the oomph of an exciting matchup, especially with nearly everyone the press likes to feed on for stories out of the lineup.
Instead, the Wings start Joey MacDonald in goal. Yes, that Joey MacDonald. The guy whose claim to fame is being an Islander when they sucked more than they do now. The guy who we immediately associate with an AHL fight during a line brawl versus John Curry. (Please genuflect. Thanks.)
And I mean. There wasn’t a lot going on. You didn’t feel the hate. The men that the Pens competed with for the Cup have defected to other teams in some cases, and in others are too old to really make sense. So this game was 2 points. Whatev. Wings were hurt and that is what every person in the D is going to cry about while they shiver in the cold.
But, as we at PH like to say, we’re over it. So should you be. It’s a long season. Next game. No time for crying.
And very little time for celebration.
Especially if the city you are in happens to be so cold.
MOST JOBBING AROUND
The Pens and the Wings in the first. Like seriously what was with everyone? Lots of back and forth and chances, but it didn’t seem to matter. Joey MacDonald even looked confident, and had rebound control. You could see this becoming the most boring game of your entire life.
Random pic. Bertuzzi exists.
SAY HELLO TO AN OLD FRIEND
Joey MacDonald is familiar with Marc-André’s Behind-the-Net Adventures. He may have watched this beloved series a million times. He loved it so much, and even missed it enough, that he wanted to create a reprise. Somehow, the remake is better than the original.
He gives the puck away to TK behind the net, who quickly gets it in front for Jordan Staal. Essentially an empty net goal. Hoooo.
Some more back and forth occurs, but Fleury and the defense are holding the fort. Example:
MOST DESERVED GOAL
Chris Conner gets hauled down on a breakaway, and gets a penalty shot.
This is his chance to prove to the universe that his hustle is unmatched, and he does it.
He is the first Penguin to score on a penalty shot since Jarkko Ruutu in 2007, which puts things in perspective a little bit.
Crosby and Malkin both suck cocks at penalty shots. You have likely grown tired of thinking: shit, I wonder if he’s going to get this one. THEY HAVE HAD QUITE A FEW LET’S BE HONEST
But the second the referee pointed to center after the play, you basically knew you could trust Chris Conner. And this is why he is the best.
So, it’s 2-0 Pens.
The period ends in crashing, choking, and crying.
When Bob Errey was yelling “SWEEEEEP” for no known reason.
That is all.
BIGGEST DISPLAY OF GETTING ONE BACK
Franzen scored. It happens.
Then: Kunitz and Malkin end up on the ice together and somehow make a play that doesn’t involve giving the puck away to somebody else. It’s a sight to behold. Malkin drives the net. Kunitz finds a loose puck. And all is in happy harmony. We’ve gained back that pesky, two-goal lead.
The period ends just in time for the Wings not to score off of a lengthy cycle in which Asham didn’t have a stick.
Timing is everything.
During second intermission it is announced that Mark Letestu is locked up for 2 more years at $625k/per.
If you complain, you’re a moron.
Oh yeah, and this happened:
picture courtesy of Raquel
And, some choice Steigerwald moments:
“Hockey games are often the tale of a threesome.”
“There’s Franzen again. He’s so big and wide. . .”
MOMENTS FOR WHICH YOU WERE MOST GRATEFUL
Malkin backchecks like a beast.
Everyone defends everyone.
The last 5 minutes could be a meltdown. But the funny thing, the boring thing, is that they weren’t.
I KNOW BRAH. I KNOW. YOU WANT A PONY. SERIOUSLY. I GOT A BUNCH OUT BACK.
Pens Win, 4-1.
The moment everyone is going to remember about this game is KTang’s hair.
MOST THINKING CAPS WORN
PERSON WHOSE ASSOCIATED PRESS CAPTION POSED MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS
Detroit Red Wings goalie Joey MacDonald blinks after squirting water in his face during a time out in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.
ladies and gentlemen, we hate to be the fifteen year old boys in the room, but who said it was water?
also, who is Rutherford? Wings/JoeyMac fan help us out?
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. Evgeni Malkin – still doing things. trust us. Also was a stunning (for him) 55% on faceoffs.
2. Brian Rafalski – Mr. America was a -2. So was Lidstrom, but he isn’t from ‘Merica.
3. Paul Martin – 4 blocked shots. DE-FENSE. HONORABLE MENTION: Zbynek Michalek’s voice. Melts pants.
Next game is in NJ. Don’t even know.