back from the brink

We try not to be tyrannical.  But we have one rule.  Which is that we don’t miss elimination games.  People who miss elimination games for anything other than a life-changing event are suspect.

So we’re always here.  Even when our lives are in the strangest of places.  When we can’t tell if the pit in our stomach and our inner restlessness is because of deep longing or because of hockey.  They’re more or less the same thing.

First shift Byslma calls a timeout after an icing.  Sid’s line got a bit bottled in.  Dupuis failed to gain center red.  Something about us doesn’t look quite ready–something looks a little fearful.  Pens all up in the stretch pass–the Isles are so ready for it it isn’t even funny. 

Then the Pens just get dicked by forecheck.  Dick in mouth.  Tavares is the villain:

P.S. just fucking figured out who Tavares reminds me of

mother of god

1-0.  Felt that coming real hard.

blah blah blah.  You feel this could be the end days.  The doom.

Crosby is in to everything so fast: gets a pass up from PaulMart and goes hard on Nabby after Josh Bailey was mesmerized by his speed.  Nabby makes the initial save but Iginla drives the net and the puck ends up under Nabby.  Man oh man:

Something about it doesn’t feel great though.  Something about it feels like a dream.  Like we didn’t quite actually earn it–it was a strange accident.

Getting out of this period evensies would be pretty god damn good.  Sid and Jarome are basically making it happen on their own.  If you don’t think you’re spoiled, even when the Pens lose, just watch Sid control the puck and one-hand passes while giant men are hanging off of his ass.  You’ll be humbled.

Vokoun still in this.  Doesn’t give a single solitary fuck about the past. 

We need to know whether the Princess Crosby chant by Nassau is implying if Crosby is a female or if it’s some kind of class issue.

The whole period has really been a chess match.  Just a lot of chin-touching and angry gestures.

The final minute of the period is almost a steel cage match though.  Sid gets absolutely nasty in the Isles zone but then it goes the other way.

Burned to death.

Colin MacDonald we think his name is? 



the intermission is one of those ones where you thought you were gonna do the dishes but you couldn’t move because something in your soul told you not to.

The second starts with more Sid almost scoring.  But not quite doing.

Every single play is a turnover.  Literally every one.

Potential turning point could have been James Neal destroying Visnovsky to create a good cycling shift for Malkin’s line (something we haven’t said in awhile).  Then Morrow hits someone and that’s a penalty.

The whole PK is absolutely vicious and terrifying.  Isles have every shot and somehow the Penguins manage to interrupt what they do.  Douglas Murray basically checks Moulson into Vokoun and that gets a whistle.  We’d like to say that Douglas didn’t know what he was doing but who knows.

Tyler Kennedy makes some kind of unreal move to get in Nabby’s kitchen and the puck is almost in the net but not quite.  More and more chances coming.

When the Pens finally get a PP, the most exciting thing that happens is Malkin blocking a shot after allowing a pretty devastating-looking shorthanded chance.  Islanders are all over the Pens on this.  Everything looks bad.

After the most embarrassing power play possibly in recent Penguins history without giving up a shorty, Bylsma puts Dupuis, Vitale, and Cooke  on the ice.  Joey V hustles into the zone and manages to feed Dupuis.  Why Joe Vitale is ever scratched remains a mystery in all developed nations.  Dupuis finishes that shit because he is the champion:

It takes awhile to bask in that goal.  Matt Cooke touches someone.  So we’ll have to kill a penalty again.  This could be the ugly moment, the Bad Thing, the Floss is Boss moment.  The Pens weather the first moment the way you weather a long wait at a bus stop.  Everything smells like garbage.  And yet we make it through somehow–only to take a too many men penalty.  Bylsma almost has an aneurysm on the call.  Most pivotal kill of the year.  Hail mary moment when a pass goes cross-ice to Tavares and it looks like he has all net–but somehow it doesn’t go in.  And it’s killed.

The final minute of this period is again dedicated to trying to get Sid to feed Kunitz.  Malkin isn’t doing much btw.  It’s probably because he “doesn’t get it” and is Russian.  Vokoun saves the universe in the final ten–the puck wasn’t really frozen but everyone thought it was because Vokoun’s swagger caused temporary blindness.

The third period is going to be either finding religion or going straight to hell in the tiniest of handbaskets.

The vision, the one your heart doesn’t want you to see, is Brad Boyes scoring a big time goal with like a minute and a half left.

It was so much worse than that, though.

Letang managed to give the puck away while trying to exit the zone, and there was Michael Grabner with a total layup.


Jerkcity’s untitled gardening project with an assist.

Letang and Malkin try to have a redemption shift.  Get some shit buzzing around Nabby but nothing crazy.

Time ticking below ten minutes.  Matt Martin basically trying to assassinate Despres, probably thinks Despres is too adorable to be allowed.

Malkin’s unit finally gets its shit together and has a good shift.  Isles eventually ice it.  TK is out with Sid and Morrow.  Jaysus.  Nothing happens though.

Okposo shoots on a 2 on 1.  Then he makes a couple more big saves as the Isles get down off the rush about as easily as spreading that nice Land-O-Lakes canola oil butter everyone likes.  Vokoun is still here to play, you guys.  Win this shit for him.

Malkin has basically been coming all period.  Getting his puck control back.  Comes down the wing and ends up being able to circle the net despite four Islanders being back.  Martin struts up from the blueline.  Rocket shot goes in off of something.  That goal was worth several screams.



what could happen now?  three and a half left.

Not a lot, apparently.  It’s overtime city.

It’s absolutely suck it up or go to hell with this overtime.  One shot–just one.

Poke poke poke to start the OT.  No one really trying anything.  Isles seem less tight.  Pens getting a little bit of space.

An absolutely terrifying moment when the Isles crash in around Vokoun–but Paul Martin digs it out like a soldier and takes it up.  Pens get a chance there–Morrow and Vitale looking hungry and brutal.

Cizikas jumped off the bench and it felt like death.  But then Sid stole the puck and you realized that it was Cizikas we were up against–and yet the feeling of security collapsed so quickly.  The puck never got out.  Something happened–we don’t know what–everything was very frightening in every possible way and somehow the puck stayed out of the net as the Isles had unlimited chances.  Grabner.  Everyone.  It was almost the end.

Afraid to even pay attention to anything.  Afraid to look.  Afraid to breathe.  A makeshift line of TK, Malkin, and Kunitz takes the ice.  Kennedy puts the puck back to the point–Brooks is seriously just trying to get it on net.  Possibly deflected by an Islander in front–high on Nabokov.  Surprise.
If Douglas Murray has 2 goals in this series and Brooks Orpik has the series-winning OT goal. . .
We don’t even know, Nabs, we don’t even know.  Maybe you need to practice with Hal Gill in the offseason or something.  We don’t even know.

This goal.  This goal is the stuff of legends.  It immediately drew comparisons to the Kasparaitis goal.  But really we think it was just beautiful dumb luck.  The celebration is an instant classic:

Dude though.  Islanders.  You nearly made us shit our pants and we only barely got this.  The elevator could really go up or down.  And we have the fucking Sens next.
K, assholes.  Fine.  We’ll take your shit.





Pens advance.

And this is the last time we see these beautiful fools this season:

It’s always bittersweet.


The Pens played badly enough to let this series go to 7 games and probably lose game 7 because they’re full of shit when they don’t have urgency.

Instead, they lost a mere two games playing like dog dick, had two shutout wins, and had two OT victories where they picked themselves up out of the trenches to capitalize just one more time.

This is a good summary of how the Pens have been.  Either they’re shutting you the fuck down and pulling your hair to make you shut up or they’re just apathetic–or at least, they look apathetic.  And sometimes–just sometimes–they have the hero factor necessary to make something special happen.

So we’ll need all possible kinds of fortitude to get to the Sens series, which is going to be a media jizzfest in Canada because Matt Cooke and also FUCK do we hate the Sens and their Feelings.

Just stay awake, see?



This is a truly special image.  All of these people are so incredibly special and not pieces of shit, right?

Also the lower left dude on the phone.  Boring into your soul.

Bye. Go away. Don’t come back.

Later, whores.

Yes–the Pens won.


About Zoë

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