the denver of canada

Hello, friends.

It’s late Saturday night, and we are all glued to the TV. Maybe later in the season we’ll be able to go out with our pals without worrying about what’s happening in Calgary.

Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t want to go out with friends on Saturday nights any more. I want to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Because I AM OLD.

Gary Roberts is coming for you

Not quite as old as these guys, but still old

Anyway, here are some Fun Facts about Calgary that may or may not be made up, and are definitely not verified with any factual source.

1. Calgary is the Denver of Canada. Seriously. Same general geography, same Western outlook, same number of people in cowboy hats. Calgary is due north of Denver…at least, it was, the last time I checked.

2. As a result, there is less air in the air in Calgary. For normal, non-hockey-playing people, this isn’t a problem. But for any kind of sport where you might need to rely on fast muscle response and rapid oxygen use, such as, I don’t know, HOCKEY, this might cause some issues.

3. “Saddledome” is a dumb name for a stadium. A saddle and a dome have contrary shapes. This irritates both my inner and outer grammar nerd.

4. Calgary is home to the Calgary Stampede. As far as I can tell, this is some kind of large Western-type event. I would imagine it includes roping animals and other rodeo-type sports. (EDITED TO ADD: OH MY YES IT DOES)

Anyway, it’s time to get on to the fine business of recapping.

As a note, I may or may not be slightly tipsy. The husband and I have been enjoying the Ken Burns documentary on Prohibition for most of the week, and it’s making me really thirsty. I wish I had some bootleg Cobra Scorpion Whiskey.


Steiggy seems as prone to hyperbole as ever. “Sidney Crosby, the best player on the planet…” “People are talking about championships already…” Jesus tapdancing Christ, the season started two days ago. Step off, Steiggy.

The defensive pairing of Letang and Engelland is…interesting. Get better Orpik, we all miss you.

Mounties are adorable. They are the most adorable police force in the world.


Even the professional skiier wants to be a Mountie


Right off the bat, Fleury makes a really excellent save on Alex Tanguay. Whose every move I am quite familiar with, as my mother has a huge crush on him dating back from the days when he played for the Avalanche. She is the kind of crazy hockey fan who will learn all about the players’ personal lives and will update me on them, whether I want the information or not.

The object of my mother’s unrequited love

Scott Hannan is in Calgary now? Is there any place he hasn’t played?

Geno decides he isn’t going to take any shit from anyone and puts an elbow in Stempniak’s head. Like you do. I confess I’m not always worried when the Pens are short-handed, but at the same time, I know that’s a hangover from last year. Only time will tell if this feeling will continue.

Hearing about Bouwmeester’s Iron Man streak just reminds me of Karlis Skrastins, and that makes me incredibly sad.

This game keeps bouncing back and forth, back and forth, with lots of checking. Even though it’s not terribly exciting, it could be much, much worse. We could be watching New Jersey right now.

The Pens go on the power play, but just like last year, they can’t seem to set anything up.

This is the time when I check my fantasy hockey team. Phil Kessel is on my team, and he apparently had a hat trick today…I had him ON MY BENCH. I SUCK.

The Flames make an EPIC play and make Fleury look ridiculous as they score. 1-0 Calgary.

The period ends during a penalty to Tyler Kennedy for tripping. I can’t honestly say I’m surprised. Things like this happen.


Bloodiest Nose goes to Tim Jackman of the Flames.



Most Stoic goes, as always, to Dan Bylsma. His face after Calgary scored? The stuff of ICY LEGEND.


If I’m going to be up watching these kinds of shenanigans, I’m finishing off this bottle of wine. Usually I don’t like to drink while I’m on antibiotics, but tonight is a special case. Also, this wine is delicious.

Yes, they have curved the turnbuckles. It will make things safer for people. SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY.

Jarome Iginla totally just wiped out, ha ha.

TK comes out of the box and tears ass to the net to do the only thing he knows how to do – shoot the puck at the net. Fortunately, this time he actually beats the goalie and scores. WOOOOOOOOOO TK

Fleury makes a lovely poke check to bust things up, but Geno gets another penalty, this time for hooking. 

Can I just say that I kind of love watching hockey games that are in Canada? I feel like the crowd has a way better sense of what’s going on, and is thus way more invested in what’s happening on the ice. And they don’t tend to yell “SHOOOOOOOOOOOT” like a bunch of idiots.

In contrast, the Flames get called for too many men. Sutter doesn’t seem very happy and yells a clearly visible “Bullshit” to whoever’s listening.

This particular power play is really showing what Steve Sullivan can do and is doing. I still miss Gonchar on the point, but if Sullivan can keep this up, all will be well.

Niskanen storms the net like he’s been doing for the past five minutes and tips it in neatly behind Kiprusoff. 2-1 Pens

So very, very soff

Hat tip to @MalkaMania71

Holy crap, Kiprusoff made a save and covered up the puck, and Matt Cooke skated by and didn’t bump him at all. HE IS COMPLETELY REFORMED YOU GUYS

Craig Adams (a Calgary native) SNIPES THE FUCK out of Kiprusoff to put the Pens up 3-1. Awwwwwwwww yeah.

Alex Tanguay runs over Fleury and Engelland takes umbrage with that decision. Tanguay does get penalized, though. But that was the first time during the second period that Calgary spent any time in the Penguins’ end, it seems.

Geno smashes it in on the power play and embarrasses everyone wearing red. 4-1 Pens.

And then Matt Cooke got a massive elbow to the chin from Cory Sarich (whose name I just had to frantically look up). That makes me cringe even in slow motion, and Cookie’s out of the game for the moment. I smell an impending Shana-ban.

Malkin, Malkin, Malkin. His stick gets knocked out of his hands by Glencross, but he goes back for some shoving. And then they drop the gloves, and we discover that Geno hasn’t tied his jersey down. Steiggy and Errey engage in some hand-wringing about Malkin potentially getting kicked out of the game. Fortunately, this does not come to pass.

Nothing much else happens for the rest of the period, except for constantly hammering on Kiprusoff. The Flames seriously only have 9 shots on goal for the whole game so far.


Angriest Russian goes to Geno. I feel like he just wants to play some hockey, and would get to do so if it wasn’t for those meddling refs. And those meddling opposing players.

In contrast, Saddest Finn goes to Miikka Kiprusoff. Maybe Luongo can loan him a handkerchief.


Matt Cooke’s back on the bench. BOMB.

The speed of my observations will no doubt slow down, mostly because a) this game is sort of getting out of hand, and b) it’s 12:20 in the fucking morning. And I’ve had an entire bottle of wine.

I also see Root Sports has taken a cue from NBC and their shitty, shitty angles. Every time something happens, you can count on Root using the worst possible camera angle to show it.

I wish there was more to say. Calgary just looks mad and the Pens are calm, cool, and collected.

Fleury’s still paying attention, though, even if I’m sort of not.

A Flames goal wakes me out of my wine coma. Tanguay is the one who shoots it…Bourque just tips it in, just barely. 4-2 Pens, but the Flames have got to be feeling at least slightly better about this.

Butler goes to the box for a delay of game. The power play looks nice, but they once again fail to score. So they’re going for a regular victory instead of a brutally demoralizing one.

I go to play some Words with Friends with my pal Annie and all of a sudden, the Flames score again. Although I might have given up on this game, a little, the Flames have clearly not. 4-3 Pens

Kiprusoff goes off with one minute left. Fleury reacts exactly how you would expect him to react: by grabbing his balls and yelling “WHOSE HOUSE? MY HOUSE.” However, both Letang and Bourque draw penalties. And although the Flames try valianty, JStaal puts it into the empty net. 5-3 Pens with 4.6 seconds left.


Most Delicious goes to the bottle of vinho verde I drank this evening. I think they stopped selling it in PA, which, if it’s true, will make me very sad.

Dude of the Day goes to Matt Niskanen. Enjoy it while you can, dude; I’m sure this trend will not hold.


And with that, I’m going to bed. It’s one in the goddamn morning and I’m old and tired.

Also, please let me know if you liked this recap. I haven’t done anything like this before and I want to make sure I’m giving you, the reader, what you want.

Go Pens.