Big Lead Sports Bar



If you're anything like me, you had a wish that the Penguins would close Mellon Arena by finally hoisting the Stanley Cup on its storied ice. But as I realized just moments after the first puck dropped, this was not going to be a night that was going to end well for the Pens.

Everyone and their uncle said that the Penguins needed to come out on fire and take the Montreal Canadiens out of the game early, because traditional wisdom says that the longer an underdog hangs around, the tighter the favorite plays. Well, that plan lasted all of 10 seconds, when Sidney Crosby took a boarding penalty on Josh Gorges, leading to a Brian Gionta power play goal just 32 seconds into the game that gave the Canadiens the lead and the early momentum. That series of events set the pace for a hole the Penguins could ultimately never dig out of, losing 5-2 to the Habs in the last hockey game ever played at the beloved Igloo. 
After the first 20 minutes had ended, the Champs had only eight shots on goal and were down 2-0, looking all the part of a Goliath primed to be taken down by a very formidable David. Barely five minutes into period #2, the Habs' lead had expanded to an insurmountable 4-0, behind goals from Mike Cammalleri and Travis Moen, a shorthanded variety that was cause to prematurely pull the plug on the Marc-Andre Fleury Experience for the night (an experience which will be known as "Sports Talk Show Gold" on Thursday, as people debate the polarizing goalie). And just for the record, I'm still very pro-MAF, despite this game.

Later in the second, the Pens scored a few goals and all of a sudden had a pulse, as Chris Kunitz broke their drought at the 8:36 mark and Jordan Staal scored roughly eight minutes later. The arena was rocking, Papa Malkin was rolling, and to top it off, the Pens had a 4-on-3 power play to start the third period. If ever there was a time to take advantage of momentum, it was then.

But did the Pens take advantage? Of course not. The power play flailed its way to another failure, which contributed to the unit's horrendous 0-for-6 night. Whatever this team was doing between periods on Wednesday night was clearly not working. They came out flat in the first, the gave up two goals in the first five minutes of the second, and they blew a prime chance to cash in at the start of the third.

Once that PP was killed off (as well as another one at the 6:40 mark), it was basically curtains for the Pens. Just for good measure, Brian Gionta made the Penguins pay dearly for a bad too many men on the ice penalty at the 10-minute mark, lengthening the Montreal lead to 5-2. Undaunted, announcer Bob Errey was still talking about ways the Penguins could come back from a three-goal deficit with five minutes to go. Let's just say he was a little more optimistic than I was, especially after watching this team score two goals in the first 55 minutes. 

So the final seconds ticked away, the Penguins pulled Brent Johnson but had no miracle comeback, and the Canadiens skated to the Conference Finals in dramatic and convincing fashion. We can nitpick the Pens all we want for what they didn't do, but let's give some credit where credit is due. Montreal was the better team in this series. They had a hot goalie, a hot goal-scorer, and they've beaten the #1 seed and the defending champs in consecutive seven-game series, clinching on the road each time in a Game Seven atmosphere. They certainly have the look of a team of destiny. 

People will finger-point at the Penguins for this lost series, and that's only because they were the favorites and because it was incredibly deflating. But if I told you that the following would happen, I'm not so sure we would all pick the Pens, knowing what we know now: 

-Sidney Crosby would score one goal in the series
-Evgeni Malkin would score one goal in the series
-Jordan Staal would be injured and need emergency surgery
-Ray Shero's big deadline acquisition, Alexei Ponikarovsky, would twice be a healthy scratch
-Marc-Andre Fleury would allow eight goals in the final two games
-Bill Guerin and Mike Rupp would both miss time due to injuries
-Offensive defenseman Jordan Leopold and winger Tyler Kennedy would not score in the entire postseason

Yeah, not exactly the recipe for a second-straight hoisting of the Cup. I talked myself into thinking that might be the case with my earlier predictions, but that's exactly why I don't like making predictions. I always go with my heart when it involves Pittsburgh teams, much to my detriment.

Looking back realistically, this was probably not the year for the Pens to win it all; maybe it was the toll of so many postseason games over the last few seasons catching up to them, or maybe it was the added stress of everything that came with the Olympic experience, but things just didn't add up to a championship. Even Shero was off with his deadline deals, in a rare moment of criticism for the near-perfect GM. But winning the Cup is never easy, not even when you have the talented players that the Penguins possess. And that's also why it is so exciting when it finally happens.

The 2010-11 Pittsburgh Penguins will have a very different look. First of all, they'll be playing in a new arena, which will take some getting used to. But from a personnel standpoint, there will be many changes a-comin'. Alexei Ponikarovsky, Bill Guerin, Ruslan Fedotenko, Matt Cooke, Sergei Gonchar, Mark Eaton, Jordan Leopold, and Jay McKee are all unrestricted free agents. Of those eight, I'm going to guess at least half aren't back next year, and I'll include Gonch on that list.  Another five enter the final year of their deals, including Talbot, Godard, Adams, Dupuis, and Rupp. This is a core built around six guys long-term: Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Staal, Orpik, and Letang. We'll just have to get used to the rest of the roster in a constant state of flux from year-to-year with that being the case.

Wednesday night was sad for a lot of reasons; the Penguins' season ended, and so did hockey at Mellon Arena, in the span of a few hours. Instead of dwelling on what could have been, we'll always have plenty of fond memories for both, whose respective times ended before most people wanted them to. To the team, I say thank you for a great season and for countless exciting nights and afternoons at the Igloo. Get some rest, re-charge your batteries, and get ready for the Consol Energy Center. It's going to be one heck of a hockey palace fit for a team as talented as this one.

Email your feedback, questions, and tips 


Adam Swiger said...

This makes me want to cry

the nigerian nightmare said...

Sad to see old Mellon close down like that. I absolutely do not want to see Poni, Guerin, Tenk or Gonch in black and gold next year (thanks for the great years Sergei, but you obviously showed tonight that you're not worth the $$$ anymore). Going to be an exciting off season if nothing else.

Koz said...

Holy hell that was an embarrassment. I love this team, but holy hell.

For shame.

I get that we can't win every year, but to go down like this is incredibly disappointing.

It really was an epic team fail that reflected much of what we knew as faults of the entire season (go figure, we are who we thought we were). Two of our most trusted stars, Fleury and Malkin, had weird seasons that had an uncharacteristic number of lows and unfortunately Game 7 was a low.

The only real stunner to me in this series was that Sid never found it. Absolutely shocking.

Anonymous said...

The power play was sickening to watch tonight... we just looked overwhelmed the whole entire game. MAF looked like absolute shit from the drop of the puck... I don't care if he makes 1 or 2 stellar saves in a night, when you let in the weak ass goals... we're going to lose.

Unknown said...

Marc-Andre Fleury was exposed all year for what he is--an average goalie at best. Without the security blanket provided by Scuderi and Gill, he was incapable of making routine saves and put this team in a hole all year long. Pens better do some serious soul searching about whether or not to go forward with him as the goalie or any shot at multiple Cups with the once in lifetime talent they have at the center position is going to go out the window. This will be the defining decision of the Ray Shero era.

Koz said...

Let's be clear, this game and series was not lost because of Marc Andre Fleury.

He got absolutely hung out to dry on too many goals in this series and his acrobatics in his shutout performance were the sole reason we were able to win that game (cause he defense also left him out to dry there).

He had some awful goals against (clearly too many), but everyone wants to bail on MAF.

Do these same people want to look for new top two centers since we only got a combined 2 goals from them in 7 games?

Koz said...

Never thought I'd see the day where I agreed 100% with Bob Smizik.

OK good night. Hope the sun comes up tomorrow.

SantoGold said...

It won't happen, but the team should consider whether Fleury is our goalie for the next 10 years. He is not progressing. Christopher got it right that Scuderi and Gill bailed him out of many jams last year. Granted, another defensive defenseman would help, but thats what Orpik and Eaton are supposed to be. We can't have 6 defensemen back there acting as part-time goalies.

Fleury's cap hit is $5M/year. We could get a suitable replacement for him at $2-$3M/year and use the extra money to get that defenseman or put it towards a decent winger for Sid/Malkin (Kovalychuk??).

Either way this should quiet down all the "Fleury comes up big in big games" nonsense that too many fans and media were spouting. Getting pulled not even halfway through Game 7 at home....Michel Dion where are you ???

Paul Rupp said...

1) Had better special teams
2) Had better goaltending
3) Capitalized on mistakes better

Rarely, if ever, does a team win those 3 battles and lose the series.

That being said, win as a team and lose as a team... Fleury didn't have a strong postseason but not many people did. Time to recharge, make some changes, and hit the ground running in the new arena.

Thanks for a great season Pens, and here's to another Cup run next year!

Chip said...

I can't believe anybody would place this epic fail squarely on MAF's shoulders. (Well, I can believe it given the fair weather nature of Pittsburgh sports fans and the extremely simplistic view many take of hockey...)

Yes, he let in some weak goals the past couple games. Yes, he isn't the most consistent goalie ever. And yes, he probably is a bit overpaid.

But when your team constantly turns over the puck in THEIR OWN ZONE or gives up odd-man rushes because they're either too clumsy or lazy to backcheck, that's not the goalie's fault. Halek played well but he also had 5 guys in front of him playing like demons. That wasn't there for the Pens.

Honestly, this D corps needs a complete overhaul. Letang and Golgo are turnover machines while Gonch looked like he was ready to clear out his locker after the 1st period. McKee was useless. Leopold was useless. What was Orpik thinking?

And I blame Shero for doing a piss poor job of shoring up the D and not finding any decent wingers. Kunitz played like crap. Poni is the worst trade he ever made. I like guys like Cooke and Letestu but when they're your most consistent offensive players, that's not good.

Blow it up and start over again. Leave the Core 4 alone but everything else needs changed up.

BAMAQT said...

Did you guys see the montreal fan in the front row with the puppet (monkey?)? What the HECK???!!!!

As for the game, the canadiens were on the Penguins like white on rice. I was impressed on how they collasped around the net. Did anyone else notice that? Why couldn't we do that? Just askin...

okel dokel said...

This was a total team effort. I really didn't expect much from this team in the playoffs.

They struggled all year to hold leads and never really seemed to be able to put it together defensively.

I would really like to see them overhaul the blue line but they are fairly limited from a cap perspective.

I would love to see them get Regin and Volchenkov in the off season but Anton will probably be too expensive for the Pens.

jmarinara said...

What a shameful, absolutely soul crushing loss. With the talent this team has, this never should have happened.

1) Bylsma needs to kick some ass or Shero needs to find someone that will. The team got soft and complacent. They were satisfied being one time winners. That can't happen.

2) I'm not saying put him on the market. But, if a team offered us a legit goal scorer for MAF, I'd take it and run.

3) Here's my offseason:

Alexei Ponikarovsky - How soon can you be on a plane out of here? You suck.

Bill Guerin - Can you stick around as a coach? Otherwise, you're too old. Good bye.

Ruslan Fedotenko - I can't believe you're still here. Good bye.

Matt Cooke - Sign him. Do what it takes.

Sergei Gonchar - Thanks for the memories. Good bye.

Mark Eaton - Make a reasonable offer. Sign him if he agrees, let him go if he's being unreasonable.

Jordan Leopold - Same as Eaton.

Jay McKee - Sign him and play him for goodness freakin' sake.

Talbot - Sign him. Do what it takes.

Godard - He still plays for us? Good bye.

Adams - Make a decent offer. See what happens.

Dupuis - Sign him.

Rupp - Make a reasonable offer.

misterjamo said...

spoken like a true steeler fan, jason.

do you know how the salary cap works? also, good luck making a playoff run with a team that has johnson between the pipes.

nuthinhere said...

Well now, that was highly disappointing. So, were left with Montreal vs. Boston or Philly in the Conference finals. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I wouldn't mind seeing the Blackhawks win the Cup. Its been a while for them (1960).

BurressWithButterflywings said...

The story of the entire series was Halak. When the game was 4-2, we had the 4 on 3 PP and he stoned Malkin and Crosby point blank with ridiculous saves. The guy was literally a brick wall and we never had a chance to get it back. The Habs scored 5 goals on 20 freaking shots, 4 on the first 12. The Moore goal was nothing more than a lucky bounce and a blind shot. We got our only lucky bounce of the entire playoffs when it was already 4-0 and too late to matter.

The Cryers will end up winning and then Halak will let up 5 goals per game in the ECF, paving the road for the Cryers to have a shot at Stanley.

Also, in order to be called for "boarding" wouldn't you think the person being "boarded" would actually hit into the boards? Guess not! The game was over 10 seconds in, and even more over when we were about to go down 5 on 3 1 minute into a game 7.

Unknown said...

As a yinzer who no longer lives in the Burgh, let me just say that this comment thread is the reason no one likes Pittsburgh fans. I guess I began to notice it when everyone threw Neil O'Donnell under the bus although tape proves that Yancey Thigpen ran the wrong route twice.

Now everyone is on the "Fluery is a loser" bandwagon! Am I the only one who saw the turnover that led to a partial breakaway shorthanded in the first period? I suppose it was MAF who was making all those stellar passes on the PP that kept drifting back into the nuetral zone, so that the squad was in a constant state of setting up to get in the zone. Yep, he's definitely to blame for the 0 for 6 effort last night.

I guess I must have been watching PHI-BOS when I saw Jaroslav Halak beat Sid and Geno point blank multiple times on a 4 on 3. The man seemed like he could have made saves with his hands tied behind his back. And this is what it comes down to...defense. The 5 guys in front of him collapsed the net. Bodies in front of the goal mouth, AT ALL TIMES. That never happened in front of Fluery.

Do I think MAF's performance this playoff series was weak at best? Absolutely! But to run him out of town on a rail when arguably one of the most talented offenses in recent memory can only register 12 goals in 6 games is to be intellectually dishonest, even if you are only a casual observer of the game. Quit complaining about Fluery and start looking at why the wheels fell off the bus for the other 20 players on the squad...87, 71, and 11 included!

Unknown said...

Fleury may have not had his best game last night, but to throw him under the bus is ridiculous. Our all-world power play looked like it was their first time on the ice together.

I have a hard time watching talent like Malkin skate around with no heart. Maybe it will be disclosed in a few weeks that he had some illness or injury, but the bottom line is, he showed poor effort for someone who is supposed to be one of the best in the world.

I know you can't win them all, but it was frustrating for me to watch the Pens drop a series in a field that seems to be wide open. Boston and Philly have been beating eachother their whole series and the woodchipper from the west, the Detroit Red Wings, have been eliminated.

I guess there's always next year...

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Our defense was suspect all year.

In the playoffs, even if you're more talented, if your defense is suspect you can be exposed by a good defensive team with a hot goalie.

okel dokel said...

Who else is tired of hearing " the reason no one likes Pittsburgh fans."

I live in the Philly area and you should hear them when one of their teams under performs.

All fans of all teams make irrational comments when frustrated.

The main reason outsiders "hate" on Pittsburgh fans is they are jealous of the sports hardware possessed by the teams in the city.

I have had many a non-Pittsburgh fan say that the Pirates are the "karma" for the success of the Steelers and Penguins.

Papa Eo said...

No way will the Penguins dump Fleury. I think he was the primary reason we were able to win the Cup last year. He came up with huge save after huge save in the biggest games of our season (as did Scuderi and the goalpost). Anyone who has followed this team for more than 4 years knows that he can be quite the rollercoaster goaltender, but for better or worse, that’s simply the way it is with him. That being said, we’ve all seen Crosby improve parts of his game during the offseason, so here’s hoping that Fleury can do the same and come back next year at another level.

I have to echo Jamie’s sentiment, too. Yes, it’s frustrating to see a team with so much talent bow out to a team stacked with notably less, but the worst part of it all is seeing the two teams battling it out on the other half of the Eastern bracket. Boston and Philadelphia? Come on now. If the Penguins could have gotten past Montreal, I don’t think either of those teams could have touched them. Then you have the Cup Finals, which is always a crap shoot, but it sure would have been a lot of fun. Now we have a summer of coulda-been’s, what-if’s, and Pirates baseball.

As for the rest of the way, I wouldn’t really mind seeing BOS, MTL, CHI, or SJ win the Cup this season. I have no substantial beef with any of those guys. Just please not the Flyers….

Looking forward to the Consol Energy Center next year.

Anonymous said...
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Someone Somewhere said...

This just in: Montreal is pretty damn good. You don't win back-to-back 7 game series against the Presidents Cup and defending Stanley Cup champs (including Game 7's, on the road) if you aren't a good/great team. Sure Halak was spectacular, but I think the difference in this series was at the blue line. With the exception of an "ill" Spacek, I think I would take every single Montreal defenseman over the top Penguins defenseman. I know he's not known for his speed, but Gonchar sure looked like he was mailing things in last night. I would think that a power-play specialist would be able to, you know, specialize in keeping the puck in the offensive zone on the power-play. But no, he'd just saunter on back to retrieve puck after puck after yet another dribbled over his stick at the blue line. I'm not going to sit here and run through each player, but when the alleged leader (he does wear the "A") of your bunch is putting forth that kind of effort, it's eventually going to spell doom for your team. As with all 7 game series, the better team won. If Halak can stay hot, I think it's Montreal's Cup to lose...but then again, I also thought Baltimore was going to win the Super Bowl after dismantling New I'm kind of stupid when it comes these sorts of things.

Steve said...
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Steve said...

Jesus, it's like politics listening to some people break down wins and losses. No one can look at things realistically, or find common ground on anything.

The fact is, the Pens played poorly, sometimes very, and that's why they lost, The Canadians played as well as any team should in the playoffs, especially in a game 7, while the Pens were mentally not in it, or even on the same planet as the Canadians from the start. The game was lost before the puck was ever dropped. Halak was good but he wasn't the main reason they won. Fluery isn't the sole reason the Pens lost either, but he's one of them and Bylsma’s decision to stick with him after the first 2 goals with Fleury showing no signs of composure and being erratic making even the simplest of saves, is another reason they lost. 4 goals on 13 shots is crap goaltending regardless of the defense in front of him.

The defense is horrible and I’m sure Therrien is having a good laugh about it too. The over-emphasis on these so-called offensive defensemen by Shero has to be corrected. Gonchar will be gone and I think Goligoski should be traded too. For the money, I’d rather see more offense coming from the wings for once. I think we can get by just fine with Letang and Leopold spread out between the top two defensive pairings with a couple more responsible defensemen teamed with them and a pure blueline pairing for the third, but currently having Leopold and Goligoski paired together along with Letang and Gonchar sometimes as another is a recipe for disaster. Right now there’s no balance at all on the blueline. We might as well be skating 5 forwards at any given time.

Like every season, the Pens need a real scoring threat or two from the wings, but also like every season, this will be determined by how creative Shero can be given the cap constraints. Guerin, Poni, Feds, Goddard have to go. Cooke may also be a casualty as he may demand a lot more than the Pens can offer, especially if they want to invest in top 2-line talent. It will be interesting and I’m sure there will be a lot of new faces to start the season in the new arena, but after a performance like that, this team needs and deserves a good shake up.

Unknown said...

People who post about getting rid of MAF do not understand the full game of hockey.

If they did, they would realize that Kunitz, Letang, Gonch, and others were the real reasons for many of the goals scored on the Pens in this series. The turnover count was TWENTY-To-ONE last night in favor of the habs... we had 20 turnovers to their 1.

Did MAF let in a couple of soft goals over the past 13 games? Yes, definitely... and that was uncharacteristic of him in big games. That said, were 80% of the goals that people are blaming him for actually the result of a boneheaded play by a jobber in front of him? Yes, definitely...

The entire team had a bad series... singling out MAF as the lone problem is moronic.

Judge Smailes said...

Andre Hastings ran the wrong route...not Thigpen.

Steve said...

"Did MAF let in a couple of soft goals over the past 13 games? Yes, definitely... and that was uncharacteristic of him in big games."

He's let in soft goals in big games too, so it's not uncharacteristic of him. Game 5 against Detroit last season wasn't a "big" game? He's had as many bad big games as good ones but it seems like the only games people who staunchly defend him want to classify as big, are the ones he wins. Every game in the playoffs is big, not just the game 7's

Just like people who look to crucify him with every goal against, don't look at things so blindly one way or another. Fleury is just as responsible for this miserable result as anyone else. Besides, if he would have had a better showing in that "big" game 6, it wouldn't have come to this.

Unknown said...

A few thoughts.

1.The book is out on Fleury. High and over his shoulder. He goes down into the butterfly way to quickly, and is on the ice before the shot leaves the players stick. Also if you get to him early he is done for, its a lot like if you frustrate Randy Moss early you take him out of the game.

2.Goligoski as soon as the new arena opens up have someone point you to the weight room because your lack of physical play makes me believe that it was hidden somewhere in Mellon Arena. I hate to think how bad you and Jordan would have been abused in the finals against premier power forwards like Joe Thorton or Dustin Byfuglien

3. Not to make an excuse but could Sidney and Geno be tired ? Over the last 2 seasons with playoffs that added another 45 or so games and with olympics (at least Sid cause i dont think the Russians went) an addition 8 or so games and those extra 50+ games are high intensity games not regular season games against the Thrashers.

4.Pony is terrible i havent seen someone play that uninspired in anything other then a Pirate jersey.

5. At least Ovie choked first

Unknown said...

oh yea and what kind of D-Bag brings a puppet to a sporting event?

there are a few things should not do.
1.use puppets unless you are jeff dunham or entertaining a baby.
2.take a glove to a sporting event, catch it with your bare hands and give it to a kid
3. Magic, i dont care if your lance burton
4 drink designer malt beverages
5.tuck in sports jerseys

Steve said...
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Steve said...

Sadly Derek, Frogs bring puppets...Frogs.

Curious though, what is a designer malt beverage?

The Abiding Dude said...

I love the "fans" in this town...yinzers, so typical.

Take your powder blue jersey's and exit the wagon, PLEASE!

Gawd you people make me hate this city at times.

jmarinara said...

"spoken like a true steeler fan, jason."

1) Screw you.

2) I'll repeat myself: "I'M NOT SAYING PUT HIM ON THE MARKET." but, if a team approached us and offered a Rick Nash/Henrik Sedin type player (I know I know, I'm dreaming), I would take that player and run.

Here's why. The team needs another goal scorer, and I can't believe I'm saying this, more offensive presence. Geno is consistently inconsistent. I love the guy, because when he is on, he is as good as anyone. But when he's not on, he's invisible.

Sid is consistent and incredible. Beyond Sid, who do we have to score goals consistently? Kunitz? Please. Dupuis played well this year, bless his heart, but we all know he is playing beyond his abilities. There's no one. It's Sid and Geno. Stall is on the third line and the scoring opportunities just aren't there (if they were, we all know he'd be a goal scorer).

So when Geno is invisible, and the opposing team has the right defensive strategy, (that is: play the man, not the puck) it is possible to shut Sid down. The Red Wings did it last year, sort of. The Habs did it this year.

We need more offensive presence.

3) Point number 2 does not mean that I don't lay the blame for this loss squarely on the defense. What in the hell was GoGo thinking when he let what's his face get around him in Game 6? Seriously. I mean what are you expecting out of your goaltender there. . . to summon fireballs and blow the man off the ice? You gotta hit that guy, or trip him, or, I dunno, force him into the boards/corner/hot dog stand. . . something! But don't let the guy get past you. Geez.

Orpik has been invisible since the Senators series. Gonchar is getting old. Eaton played ok, but he's never going to be much more than a role player. Letang is a roller coaster right now.

I mean, I think the pens have defensive talent on this team. Letang is going to be a special kind of player I think. Orpik is the best in the biz when he's on. But they laid an egg here and asked too much of MAF who simply wasn't having a great playoff year.

4) Point number 2 doesn't take away from the fact that I think MAF is a good (not great, but not merely average either) goaltender. I like the guy, I'm happy to have him on my team. His incredible saves against Ovie, and in Game's 6 & 7 last year against the wings are a large part of why we won the Cup.

5) No one, except maybe Sid, should be considered untouchable. Heck, I just traded Pujols in my fantasy baseball league. 99% of players are tradable for the right deal.

Rick Nash for MAF. I'll take it.

The Abiding Dude said...

"Just traded Pujols in my fantasy baseball league"

Classic to compare fantasy to reality...I fricking love this tahn!

Steve said...

@ The Adibing Dude.

Ahhh, the obligatory "bandwagon" comment for the righteous self-important fan who's above such non-sense. This is sports my friend, has nothing to do with Pittsburgh, being a "Yinzer" (which if you live in Pittsburgh you are with it), or being a fan only when a team wins. Get over yourself please.

Just because most of us actually give a $hit, criticize and comment on the terrible losses as well as the great wins, we're all of a suddenly leaving this mythical bandwagon? The reality is people like you can't tolerate criticizm whether it's about you or you team. No bandwagon here, I'll be right here to comment on crap decisions in the off-season as well as any bad play next season.

People like you who don't get excited about their team one way or another are souless, vanilla eaters, who I wouldn't go to a game with if the ticket was free.

Here, I'll make you happy and say this: Congatulations Pens on a great 2009-2010 season! Although we didn't go as far as we hoped, it was great and we love you and we'll see you next season!


JRW said...

Trade a Stanley Cup Winning Goalie for a Goal scorer on a team with Sid, Geno and Staal, etc.???

Wow. I'll keep my comments brief and say please keep the negative crap for any Steelers currently / soon to be on trial.

Thank you Pens for another great season.

Drew Baranet said...

"I was so angry after that that when the Canadiens scored their second goal I had to turn the game off or I might not have survived the night."

Don't comment about the loss if you didn't even watch the entire first period. What a joke.

Steve said...

Jim, although I may not go as far as trading Fleury either (not yet anyway), because good goalies are harder to find than scorers, I will add this: Ward, Giguere and Bill Ranford won Cups too. Not all Cup winning goalies should automatically be considered untouchable.

Anonymous said...
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Steve said...

But Ray, you're not a "real" fan and know nothing about the game because you didn't watch them though the entire, lopsided loss, didn't see the handshakes and the post-game commentary and weren't gathering insighful information like Fleury's career "big game" stats and Sid's previous Game 7 heroics on the numerous internet blogs. Only real fans who do this are allowed to express their well informed opinions and those opinions have to be non-critical of course. Everyone else like you should just keep quite and let the "experts" (to quote Sutton) speak.

Go Pens!

The Abiding Dude said...

You're so pretty steve... :wub:

JeremyT said...

Jesus. I hope there aren't any Flyer fans reading this comment section. I'm sure they'd love to see us fighting with each other like this after last night. I will say that I love to read their message boards after they melt down. They make tons of excuses and argue with each other just like this.

The sun came up today and the future of this franchise will still be bright. Come July 1st, Shero and Mario will start to retool the Pens and good things WILL happen again. In the meantime, we will all get by, just like we always do. But, let's not let the bastards get us down.

Unknown said...

it's amazing how everybody THINKS they're right...

Scott said...

I know Steve's comment was meant to be sarcastic but it's pretty accurate. No real fan would turn off a game 7 before the end of one period, or blame the officials after a game in which the Pens had 6 power plays to the opposition's 4.

This was definitely a year in which the Pens had little chance to win the Cup. Remember their dreadful record against the best teams in the league. It was only seeing the top 3 teams in the east go out early that got everyone hopeful.

No worries, this team will still be a contender for years to come.

jmarinara said...

"Trade a Stanley Cup Winning Goalie for a Goal scorer on a team with Sid, Geno and Staal, etc.???

Wow. I'll keep my comments brief and say please keep the negative crap for any Steelers currently / soon to be on trial. "

1) And again, screw you.

2) The Steelers play football, the Penguins play hockey. This is a HOCKEY post about the local HOCKEY team. I just didn't think you noticed that yet considering you keep bringing up the Steelers.

3) Name a fourth goal scorer on the Pens that you expect to score 30+ goals in four of the next five seasons (we'll give him a year for an injury).

I'll give you a hint, we don't have even three. Stall is a fine offensive talent, and if he centered a first or second line every game, he'd probably score 35 or 40 a year. But he doesn't, and won't play on those lines because he can't play wing. Therefore, the most we're ever going to see out of him is 25 goals (career high is 29). If he didn't play some on the powerplay, I wonder if he'd even get that many.

This isn't to rip on Stall. I love the guy and I'm glad he plays for us. But reality is what reality is.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I'd say Geno is going to score 30+ in 4 of the next 5 years. But if you put a gun to my head, I'd say he'll do it in at least 3 of the next 5.

Sid is the offense. When Geno is on, it's all the better. Occasionally a Dupuis, or a Guerin, or a Kunitz has a good stretch, but that's all it is. Stall does what he does. Beyond that, it's role players and defensive forwards.

We need a goal scorer. Period.

And, also, to prevent this type of loss in the future, the defense needs to play like they are capable, not like the Bad News Bears on skates.

And, MAF needs to be better than he was in the Habs series. Period.

Until someone offers a Nash/Sedin type, trading MAF is a bad idea. But if that were to happen, it's a good deal for us.

JRW said...

Maybe trading Fleury is a good idea. I can think of another team that sacrifices premier goalie talent for offensive firepower. The Washington Capitals. You should probably go root for them. Plenty more to complain about, which seem to be your thing.

See at the CON baby! Pens in 11!

jmarinara said...

Complaining isn't my thing, nor is rooting for the CrAPS.

Good grief.

I'm upset they lost. We can all agree that it shouldn't have happened. MAF didn't play well. The defense was beyond awful. We didn't score enough, especially when we had PRIME scoring opportunities. these are facts, not complaints. It's called being a fan.

Pens didn't play well. It sucks. Oh well. Go Bucs (*sigh*). Should be interesting off season.

Can't wait for next year.

Drew Baranet said...

Thank you Scott

Penguins were 0 for 6 on the power play. Even if the call on Sid was terrible, calls even out over a series. In game 4 the penguins got every single call and still managed to blow the lead.

Saying the refs were biased against the Pens is absurd.

Unknown said...

Judge, thank you for correcting me on the reciever, but at least you understood my point. O'Donnell wasn't as much to blame as everyone that...but I'll get back to that in a minute.

Derek, as someone who has played the game and actually had a try out with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, I have to say I agree that Fluery uses the butterfly too early, and honestly, I'm not a big fan of my own goalie using the butterfly EVER, but I don't think his positioning is the biggest concern, I believe its the team as whole...which is the point I was trying to make. There's plenty of blame to go around, lets not let MAF take the lonely ride in the trumbrall.

Which brings me to you, Steve. I wasn't trying to burn those who criticize as bandwagon. I was merely suggesting what men like Rod Woodson and Terry Bradshaw have iterated about the fanbase in Pittsburgh have said. Generally speaking, if you have a bad game at the wrong time, you will be run out on a rail. Its not an individual rant against being fairweather, and I don't even believe that anyone one this board is, but its true. The moment an intregal part of the Steelers, Pirates, or Penguins has a bad game in a clutch situation, there is a loud minority calling for him to be traded to the next available team for someone else. I think that's wrong. I'm a fan of the Rooney policy of holding out for the long term. Hope I didn't insult.

Unknown said...


I have to ask, name me one Stanley Cup team, outside the 1980's Edmonton Oilers, that has 2 50 goal scorers. I think you've set the bar a little high.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry, Jason, if you set the bar at 2 - 30+ scorers, name 3.

Someone Somewhere said...

Keep your head up Pittsburgh, at least we can be thankful every night that we aren't Cleveland. Nice game there LeBron.

Keith Mitchell said...

Wasn't meant to be for the top teams in the Eastern Conference this year.

Yeesh - 7th and 8th seeded teams playing for a shot at the Cup. That would have been like the NFL adding in two more teams per conference for the playoffs and the Falcons and 49ers playing for the NFC title.

Hope Chicago takes it all.

jmarinara said...

"I'm sorry, Jason, if you set the bar at 2 - 30+ scorers, name 3."

I'm not sure what exactly your asking, but I'll give you three stanley cup champion teams that had three or more players who scored thirty goals in a year.

The 90-91 penguins had 3 players with 30+ goals. Mark Recchi, Kevin Stevens, and John Cullen.

The 91-92 penguins had 5. Kevin Stevens, Mario Lemieux, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, and Jaromir Jagr.

The 92-93 canadiens had 4. Brian Bellows, Vincent Damphousse, Kirk Muller, Stephan Lebeau

There's your 3.

Also the 95-96 avalanche had 4, the 01-02 Red Wings had 4, and I didn't even look at teams before the Pens first cup. I'm sure there is more.