Big Lead Sports Bar


Koz: Get Back, Satan


by Koz
Saturday night’s game against the Devils was the most important hockey game I’ve attended since Mario’s comeback game in 2001, and the most important game for playoff positioning that I can even remember.

Lots of exciting things happened; here is my account from B15.

To start the game, the fans were well fired up, bringing the “Let’s Go Pens” chant out before the opening faceoff. Jeff Jimerson was not in the house to start us off, which was more than somewhat disappointing. He probably was playing a bat mitzvah or something.

The scoring started quickly with Jarkko Ruutu scoring his third goal in three games. I was sure Staal scored, but apparently one of the Devils was doing his best Nicklas Backstrom impression and beat Staal to the puck. This just continues Jordan Staal’s terrible luck this season. I swear he’s just missed about a half dozen goals in the last couple days. A few minutes later he will have a nice takeaway and shoot the puck wide. Later in the second period, he will fire a sweet backhand off the iron. He’s seriously cursed right now. A little more luck and he’s got 20+ goals and no one is talking about a sophomore slump.

If a goal on the first shot doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. Next thing you knew the Pens were on the power play. Unfortunately, this led to one of the sickest goals of the season. Brian Gionta batted the puck out of mid air and deflected a short-handed goal past MAF. If Crosby or Malking had scored it, we would be calling for the puck to be sent to the hall-of-fame. The first period ends tied at one after Malone misses a wide open net.

During intermission, I took a walk to the High School Hall of Champions behind the Igloo Club to pay my respects to the Chartiers Valley Colts hockey jersey. Good times.

Sitting in B15, the second period is when I hope to see more action at the other end. We were treated to a Matrix-moment when a puck shot by Mike Mottau rolled on edge past the goal post. If that puck would have gone in the net, it would have been a huge momentum swing. Not much else happened in the second until snake-bitten Staal took a penalty. Pascal Dupui and Ryan Malone busted out for a short-handed goal to give the Pens the lead. What most of you didn’t see was this short-handed goal led to the guy in front of me spilling his nachos all over the guy in front of him. It’s crazy things like this that happen when your team scores a short handed goal.

Short-Handed Goal!

Right before the end of the second, Tyler Kennedy had an amazing chance from the slot, and Brodeur just got a toe on it. Kennedy had an outstanding game, fighting for the puck and generating chances. Entering the third period, things were still close.

As the evening continued on this Easter Vigil, it was clear this was not the Devils’ night. Fortunately for me and the folks on the south end of the arena, the Pens saved their goal outburst for the third period.

The Pens first big scoring chance in the third involved snake-bitten Staal who put on the Ritz, put a shot into Brodeur, whose own player crashed into him and into the net. Player with puck in net = goal, right? No. Not here. Penalty was called, and play was dead. Seven seconds later it didn’t matter because Ryan Malone tipped a shot past a diving (as in acting for a penalty) Brodeur. No penalty, 3-1 Pens.

At 16:04 in the third, everyone in the arena crapped their pants when we saw Malkin down on the ice behind the Penguin net. After a sigh of relief when he got up on his own and returned to the bench, we only needed to wait about a minute more for Pascal Dupuis to lift our spirits, raise the volume on the “Marty! Marty!” chants, and send Brodeur to the showers.

On the way home in the car, The Ole 29er mentioned in 60 starts against the Pens, Brodeur has been pulled from 10 of them.

From here on out, the Pens just poured it on. The only question was whether Malking would finish the game with 100 points. He didn’t. He has 102 now.

Kevin Weekes deciding between crying and winding his watch

Therrien called for the fans to be loud, and they did a good job. I want to give a special shout out to the Cowbell Section in D9. These folks got it going on. Keep up the good work.

I was unfortunate to witness an incident of mullet discrimination when a gentleman was escorted from his seat behind the glass in A17. This man was ejected from the arena, allegedly for banging on the glass, but that didn’t seem like anything out of control. Like I said, mullet discrimination. I was lucky to find this man after the game outside the arena (no joke) near the Pens van that is parked by Gate 2. He seemed to be ok, though was still confused about his ejection.


Speaking of ejections, Travis “Don’t Call Me Pat” Zajac hit Gonchar from behind and earned a five minute major. That was bad. But Jamie Langenbrunner, apparently upset about having a girl’s name, decided to come from nowhere and mug one of the Penguins. Fortunately, Pascal Dupuis has committed to the flightless birds and beat him down. Chats of “Go Home Devils!” rained down and sent us all home to wait for the Easter Bunny.

Penguins TV Viewing Information: Monday’s game against the Islanders will be on Versus at 7 pm.

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