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we all saw it coming, from miles away

JESUS HOW IS THIS STILL HAPPENING.  God, you know that playoff feeling? The one after you do win a game where it feels great to win, but the dread just builds and builds until the next game, which, if lost, will be catastrophic.  If you are still feeling bad about this, please know that somewhere in Bushwick, New York City, there is a cat named Gus Gus, who does his own thing.  In a world where everything is always topsy turvy, it’s good to remember creatures like Gus Gus, who don’t give a shit about hockey and are probably sleeping on a fire escape right now oblivious to our emotions.  It’s a shame the cat is in New York aka Hell but we’ll live with it.

I have period by period notes because maybe I anticipated the need for cold, hard facts in the light of day.

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good morning, babe. please put the coffee on.


The story early on is that Bylsma has probably (after much gnashing of teeth) agreed to try to match lines against CBJ and get Crosby away from Dubinsky.

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Dubinsky was lauded on national television for being such an important part of the game despite playing like an asshole the entire time  That’s NBC for ya though.

Very early on, Matt Niskanen wound one up and it got deflected in. Oh my god we are all fucking pregnant. Gibbons touched it.

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jesus, look at how happy Olli Maatta is.  Let’s just fuck with that kid’s hopes and dreams.

After that shift the fourth line has a spirited shift but Joe Vitale interferes with someone.

Brian Gibbons saw some people chirping him on Twitter and decided to give those bitches a solid view of his enormous metaphorical dick. Outskated everyone and scored a shorty.  HONESTLY, AT THIS POINT, EVERYTHING LOOKED LIKE IT WAS GOING REALLY WELL.

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everyone trying to buy a ticket to get on the Brian Gibbons Express

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Jackets came right back on their PP.  First they hit the post, but they got it next try.  Ryan Johansen.

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So it’s 2-1. We are okay with these games being fucking track meets apparently.  Symbolically, Gibbons went to the locker room pretty much immediately after his second goal.  He briefly returned to the bench but he didn’t play again in the second or third periods.  Gibbons was our magical baby of hope or something, and now he’s fucking dead.

The Pens draw a penalty, but it was to Tyutin, not for Dubinsky for being a piece of fucking shit.

Pens don’t score on that PP but after some more heart-stopping action Dubinsky finally gets called for something.


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and that was basically all she wrote for the Penguins offense, forecheck, work ethic, killer instinct, and good luck.  We would not be happy again this eve.


The second begins and the Jackets have some more scoring chances but manage to take another penalty. Umberger trying to make noise. The story of the game NOW is that Letang is getting benched on the PP again and he is actually getting punished for his shitty actions. After Martin and Niskanen actually give up a shorty chance, Bylsma puts Letang back out there to make everyone suck on his balls. But he isn’t quite there yet.

Blake Comeau tries to take Paul Martin on a date to Red Lobster but Pauly wanted to go to Olive Garden instead. Pens get a PP, but let up a shorthanded 3 on 1.  Matt Calvert shot the puck. No chance for MAF.

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smug smug smug smug smug

Penalty expires and Comeau fucks up yet again.  Calvert came back on a 2 on 1 with Jack Johnson, but didn’t score.  If Calvert evened the score there honestly the Pens probably would have had a better chance of winning the game.

Jackets are coming hard. This is one of those leads where you feel like you’re losing.  NBC finally notices that Fedor Tyutin is missing, which honestly also feels like an omen, a reminder of simpler times that we will never return to again.

Dubinsky tried to score but MAF was in his mouth.  MAF has in general played incredibly well, though we’re pretty sure there was a headline in the Boston Globe this morning about how he sucks, because his play is very relevant to the people of Massachusetts.

Penguins can’t get out of the zone. Blue Jackets pressuing in the final minute. Calvert all alone in front hit the post. But the Pens somehow made it out of the period alive.  They probably shouldn’t have.


Brandon Dubinsky took another penalty. He probably hasn’t been disciplined properly for this by his coaching staff since the Jackets’ PK is giving the Penguins fits.

Nothing happens though. it’s possible that Adams tried to kill Bobrovsky, and he went to the box for it. CBJ has a power play and an opportunity to tie it up. We’re honestly just surprised it hasn’t happened already.  MAF makes some saves on the PP that have us calling 911 because we think our hearts stopped millennia ago.  It’s basically all Columbus, and then they get another PP.  And then Letang takes a penalty when we are still on the PK with 7 seconds left.  Of course.  The 5 on 3 expires, but the Pens never cleared the zone.

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And Jack Johnson ties the game pretty goddamn quickly.

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Jack’s face is the face of a man who is gearing up for some early spring hate sex.

oh no.

Turnovers for days. MAF makes amazing saves to get the Pens through the third period and force OT.  Seriously, that’s all on MAF.


Lots of dick grabbing in OT until Paul Martin takes a penalty.  Pens kill it and I mean this is tense as hell like every OT ever.

Pens get a PP though. Someone gets tripped we don’t even care who just end this pain. Let us go.
Jack Johnson made a mistake.  Pens can’t score though.  PPs in OT are a gift, and the Penguins basically were trying to return them to Montgomery Ward with a receipt from 1992.  The Crosby line has an unreal shift towards the end of the first OT.

Then Comeau attacks Orpik and we can end the first OT period on the PP.  Still, nothing happens.


The Pens get their chances early on.

But Letang and Scuderi take care of business.  Of course they do.  Matt Calvert.  Even strength at 1:10.  No coverage.  No nothing.  WHO THE HELL WAS PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT MATT CALVERT WAS DOING?  HE COULD HAVE HAD HIS PENIS INSIDE YOUR MOTHER AND YOU WOULD NOT HAVE NOTICED

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and so the Jackets are taking it back to Columbus, Land of the Free People, with a tied series.  mother of god


So, we all know that the Blue Jackets deserved to win this game.  This is their first playoff win in franchise history, and they earned every single bit of it.  They outworked the Penguins with pretty much everything they had, and it showed.  They have allllllll the momentum, gurl don’t even TALK to us about momentum, Pittsburgh drowned that child years ago.

If you don’t get chills a little bit looking at these photos we question your understanding of hockey.  These are magic moments.  There are depressed children in Ohio who saw this game last night and believed in the hockey gods for the very first time.

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look long and hard at these photos because this is what joy looks like

If the Pens want to get back in this at all, they will have to remember a few things:

  1. Sergei Bobrovsky is by no means playing the best hockey of his career.  Throw pucks at him like your life depends on it, and many of them will go in.  The shots were relatively even at 42-45 in favor of CBJ, but the Pens passed up innumerable opportunities to shoot the god damn puck.  And that came back to haunt them, as it always does, because our favorite sons are fucking idiots.  The Jackets threw pucks at the net at every opportunity and it paid off.
  2. Playing man on man defense is not just a parlor trick, it is actually a way to win a hockey game in the playoffs.
  3. Kris Letang’s emotions are out of control and he will need a lavender sachet over his eyes every night at midnight.
  4. stop being stupid
  5. did I forget anything?

Pain can be cathartic.  Feel as much of it as you can before Monday, guys.

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.