Big Lead Sports Bar


Penguins-Blue Jackets Live Blog from the Consol Energy Center

I'm live and on the scene for tonight's matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets. I tell you, the records can be thrown out the window when these two teams get together. 

I'll have updates and photos throughout the night, so check back often for "saturation coverage" of the game and all the other oddities I feel relevant enough to mention.

6:07: First things first, tonight's lines:


I must say, Sterling-Crosby-Malkin is going to be intriguing to watch.

6:20: As you know, tonight's the big "Ultimate Home Game," which gave more than 8,000 free tickets to area students and thousands to local youth hockey players. And I can tell you that those people are definitely using those tickets tonight, as I've seen roughly half a billion hockey jersey-clad youngsters around the CEC. That's definitely a good thing.

6:25: Eric Godard is officially added to the Pens' lineup for tonight's game. That should keep things interesting.

6:30: Pens take the ice to a rousing round of cheers. And a rather nasty welcome for the Blue Jackets. What have they ever done to you, Penguins fan?

6:40: I continue to be amazed by the CEC Jumbotron, which is already in midseason form. And I can attest that the sound system is definitely working, and that whatever music that they're playing right now is very loud.

6:55: 10 minutes and change until gametime, and all these kiddos in the crowd are getting fired up. They gave away some kind of rally towel tonight, and they're getting waved at a ferocious pace. Once I figure out why my pictures aren't uploading, I'll try to give you a visual.

7:00: OK, picture problem fixed. I present "Kids Waving Towels":

And now it's lights out for the pregame video montage. I love the "Lacrimosa" choice as background music. Seriously.

7:04: The Pens begin intros, and it is LOUD in here. I can only imagine the audible crowd reaction to a huge goal in an important game.

7:08: And we're underway!

7:11: Simon Despres checks in with the first shot on goal. Unfortunately, it didn't go in.

7:13: Joe Vitale of the Pens is whistled for the game's first penalty, slashing. Discipline, guys! Didn't anyone learn from watching Pitt?

7:14: I've finally run my cup of Diet RC Cola dry. I must say, I haven't imbibed in the RC much over the years, but my taste buds had no complaints. Still surprised no one is making a bigger deal about the lack of Coke and Pepsi in the CEC. I don't think I've ever seen an RC fountain dispenser until it happened tonight.

7:16: Camp darling Brett Sterling, wearing Ryan Malone's old #12, shoots wide. Is it fair to call him the Ike Redman of the Penguins at this point?

7:23: Shots are 3-2 Columbus through the first 10 minutes. Needless to say, the scoring is down a bit from the last home first period.

7:24: My viewing partners tonight on press row: @jmarshhh from Faceoff Factor and @hooks_orpik of Pensburgh and SB Nation Pittsburgh. Good dudes. Read their stuff!

7:20-something: Michael Ratchuk breaks the ice with the game's first goal, putting the Jackets up 1-0 on a backhander past MAF. Luckily, no one has yet called to pull Fleury.

7:33: Pens have too many men on the ice, so Geno is sent to the sin bin. I blame Wannstedt for their lack of focus.

7:35: Pascal Dupuis gets stopped twice in a matter of seconds. Pens are outshooting Columbus 7-5 with 3 minutes and change left in the first.

7:37: Just spotted my first Terrible Towel in the crowd. Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long.

7:39: Eric Tangradi sent to time-out for hooking. Pens seem anxious to see the Columbus power play on the ice tonight.

7:40: Columbus' Ratchuk takes a shot off the head, continues his shift. He laughs in the face of your head injury concerns.

7:41: Arron Asham nearly hits the buzzer-beater, but it goes wide.

End of the 1st: Columbus 1, Pens 0. Time for some Pee-Wee hockey shootouts between periods.

7:54: Finally found my Diet RC Cola for the second period. My crying will now stop. 

7:55: Also scored a hot soft pretzel from the ever-hospitable Penguins. My mouth will be too full to blog for the next few minutes.

7:59: Pens open the second period on a power play, which I completely forgot about. I'm clearly distracted by the snacks.

8:01: Pens got some nice chances on that PP, including Letang hitting the post. But Columbus kills it with no damage.

8:08: Just noticed how many people are watching the game from the concourse areas - another innovation that was impossible at the Igloo. As for the game, nothing's really happened of note since the last update. Still 1-0 Columbus with 13 minutes left in the 2nd.

8:10: Kris Letang mixing it up with Random Blue Jacket #1,278. Kids in the crowd gave the minor scrap an overwhelming cheer of approval.

8:11: Letang throws down with Matt Calvert. Crowd goes absolutely insane. I can't emphasize enough to you how loud this place is.

8:12: And a minute later, my pregame proclamation of Eric Godard's addition to the lineup rings true, as he throws down with Jared Boll. Like always, there is no love lost between Pittsburgh and Columbus.

8:18, Or also known as the moment I realized the Penguins didn't lose their CD of "Cotton Eyed Joe" in the move from Mellon Arena.

8:20: Pretty sure that was Rick Nash dumping Malkin on his keyster.  Notoriously tough Columbus defense continues to frustrate the Penguins' offense. It may be time to insert Pat Bostick into the lineup.

8:24: Time for Kiss Cam, presented by Wetgo Car Washes. On another note, the Pens should contact Guinness for the new world's record of things sponsored in a sports arena.

8:28: Once again, attendance is 18,087 - a full house. Congratulations Penguins on making preseason hockey relevant.

8:29: Pascal Dupuis scores the Pens' first goal on a setup from Arron Asham. To quote the great Gorilla Monsoon, "Pandemonium is running wild".

8:31: MAF stands on his head and gets rewarded with a Fleur-eeeyy chant. That's a welcome departure from whatever fans were yelling at him in the playoffs.

8:34: We're through two periods at the CEC, with the score Pittsburgh 1, Columbus 1. Shots on goal are tied at 14. These teams are clearly equal in every way going into 2010-11.

8:35: It's time for flying t-shirts, which I'm sure is sponsored by somebody. Too Pirate-y for my tastes.

8:53: And we're back for the third period! I've switched to Diet Dr. Pepper for the third period, for those of you scoring at home. And if you're at home scoring my beverages on a Saturday night, I feel bad for you.

8:55: Geno scores on a setup from Hutchinson and Tangradi to put the Pens up 2-1. Bedlam ensues at the CEC. 2-1 Penguins, 16:51 left in the game.

8:58: Letang gets two for roughing, and Jakub Voracek gets a penalty for Columbus five seconds later that virtually negates the Letang penalty. If I were a Blue Jackets fan, I'd be furious right now.

9:01: Letang gets in another fight, this time with Voracek. Kris seems awfully irritable this evening. 
9:04: Columbus is trying to fight their way back into this game, as Derek Dorsett and Tim Wallace drop the gloves. Let's just say this one didn't have the same momentum-changing impact as Talbot's Shhh fight against the Flyers few years ago.

9:10: Pens enter the GNC Penalty Kill after Sidney Crosby slashed a Blue Jacket. The vaunted Columbus power play steps back onto the ice.

9:14: Pens follow the Shearer's Potato Chip NHL Crunches video montage with the McDonald's Big Mac Attack promotion. I think those two sponsorships officially paid off what they'll owe Zbynek Michalek for 2010-11.

9:18: A sprawling Fleury makes save #24 on the night. He's looked pretty sharp between the pipes tonight.

9:19: Dupuis nearly puts home his second of the evening, but Columbus goalie Steve Mason denies the CEC crowd what they wanted to see.

9:20: Time for the PowerBall Power Play. I don't know who the Pens employee is that lined up all these ads, but he has to get Ad Salesman of the Decade.

9:23: The Pens disappoint on the PowerBall Power Play with a few sloppy turnovers (as if there are any other kind).

9:26: Very nice save by Mason on Asham that would've put the Pens up two. Thankfully, Asham redeemed himself with his second goal of the preseason moments later. 3-1 Pens down the stretch.

9:27: Geno celebrates the Asham goal by dropping Rick Nash like a bad habit. He is rewarded with an early shower.

9:32: Game, set, match! Pens 3, Blue Jackets 1.And even more good news: the Pens scored three goals, so everyone gets $10 off their next $50 purchase at Dick's. It's not quite the Chili Goal, but it's a nice touch.

9:35: Three stars: 3. Rick Nash  2. Geno Malkin  1. With 32 saves, Marc-Andre Fleury.

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc):


Chad said...

No Coke or Pepsi at the CEC! That's it! I'm never going there!

Unknown said...

Did you happen to see ONE Blue Jackets fan in the crowd wearing a white jersey? If so that was me. Im pretty sure I was the only one there.