Pittsburgh Penguins HOCKEY Headlines


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

City of Pittsburgh shuns the Penguins...

The city leaders have managed to let politics interfere with the will of the people. This time they have managed to let the spirit of the city get derailed by the spirit of the law.

(Here's the Trib's story on this...)

The Pens and Reebok wanted to decorate the side of Fifth Avenue Place with two giant, 40 x 85 foot banners (think Godzilla-sized Fatheads) of Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury and the city's lawyers said, "no."

Some city council members and Mayor Luke have been walking on eggshells over a recent billboard controversy. Back in the beginning of April, the city placed a six-month ban on new billboards. So, the Pens banners featuring Reebok's poster children - technically, are advertising.

Rules are rules.

God knows, every politician in this city has bent the rules since the time Washington passed through these parts.

Council President Doug Shields' alternative? "Get a bed sheet and hang it off your front porch."

The Penguins banners would have been hung for a whopping two weeks and would have been strategically positioned to showcase two superstars, the skyline and, yeah, Reebok.

Imagine next Wednesday, while the national broadcast begins with a tight shot of Crosby on the banner and the camera pulls back to the wide shot of the city and the voice of Mike Emmerick squeaks, "From the confluence of the Monongahela, Ohio and Allegheny Rivers..."

This is how the city shows spirit to the first team to recognize the city's 250th anniversary with a patch on their uniforms?

The Penguins honored the city all season with the patch instead of their own 40th anniversary patch. (The Steelers, by the way, recognized their 75th Anniversary with a patch, and nothing for the city.

Let's hope that the leaders get their acts together. Let's hope that the team does well in the playoffs...keep in mind that the moratorium for banner hanging will be lifted by October 1 and there shouldn't be any fuss when the team wants to hang another banner on opening night.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The bandwagon isn't full yet...

Okay, some of you have figured out that the Pens are involved in something big. Not a hockey fan? Don't understand the scenario involved to win that thing called the Stanley Cup?

Here's some things to help you sound knowledgeable around the water cooler:

• The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final.
(Don't say "finals," that is an NBA trademark)

• There's no recent history between the two teams since they didn't face each other in regular season.

• The Penguins were the number two seed in the East and the Wings were number one in the West. Detroit had the best record in the NHL for the regular season and won the President's Trophy. Winning the President's Trophy isn't an automatic claim to the Cup; since the Trophy was first presented in 1985-86, only six of those teams have won the Cup.

• There is only one real Stanley Cup and it's the oldest trophy in North America. The Penguins have won the Cup twice, but they do not have two trophy's in the team office. Detroit has won ten Stanley Cup Championships, not ten Stanley Cups.

• Players from the winning team have their name engraved on the Cup and each player gets to host the trophy for one day over the off-season.

• It is a best-of-seven series and you need to win four games to win the Cup.
(Click here for the schedule of games)

• Take a nap in the afternoon. Each game is played until the bitter end. No shootouts, no ties...just SUDDEN DEATH. They will play period after period until one team scores.

• The Penguins have only lost twice so far in this year's playoffs and they are a perfect 8-0 at home.

• Pittsburgh has three of the top five point scorers in the post-season: Sidney Crosby (21), Marian Hossa (19), and Evgeni Malkin (19).

• Detroit has two of the top five scorers: Henrik Zetterberg (19) and Pavel Datsyuk (18)

Mike Lange's Flyers' series wrap-up call

One for the archives...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sew, what's new?

While the Penguins players were still sleeping the morning after securing a trip to the Stanley Cup final, the equipment staff was busy altering the spring formal wear.

By early morning had all of the home and road jerseys were adorned with the 2008 Stanley Cup patch. Click on the patch to see the details on this an all of the other patches used by the Penguins throughout the 40-year history of the franchise.

Youth, home ice advantage in Pens favor

The Penguins' are a young, rested team and have only played in 14 games to reach the Stanley Cup final.

Having the home ice advantage in the first three rounds of the Eastern Conference is the NHL's path of least resistance.

The Penguins will be in the comfort of their own homes watching tonight's Game 6 between the Dallas Stars and the Detroit Red Wings.

They have all publicly said that it doesn't matter to them which team they'll face, but tonight you can bet that they'll be cheering for the Stars to win in the second, or fifth, overtime to send it to a Game 7 in Detroit.

More time and energy are needed to to figure out how the West is won. Dallas has logged some serious time and travel this post-season; Detroit has been more economical in time played, but have spent roughly a day on an airplane in the past few weeks.

Pittsburgh has only played two extra games this postseason, and both were in the comfort of the Mellon Arena.

Home, sweet home.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

...I've got my spine, I've got my Orange Crush

The Penguins needed to show some backbone and thwart any Flyers uprising, or suggestion that the Eastern Conference final would be extended. Pittsburgh systematically and emphatically destroyed the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-0, in Game 5.

Series over. On to the Stanley Cup final.

They started early on the Flyers and wasted very little power play time to send the message. Ryan Malone started the scoring just 0:12 seconds into a power play to put the Pens up, 1-0, just 2:30 into the game.

Before the game the Pens needed to show they could put a team away. Today, they showed they had a killer's instinct. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 21 Flyers' shots for his third shutout of the playoffs.

After the game they showed the poise of a well-focused team. Captain Sidney Crosby looked uncomfortable near the Prince of Wales trophy.

"That's not the one we want to be holding," Crosby said in the post game press conference.

Pittsburgh is now 12-2 in the playoffs and a perfect 8-0 at home with a lethal combination of offensive skill and a tenacious defense.

The Penguins won't be wearing the 2008 Eastern Conference Champions hats and t-shirts, and neither should the fans. How many people do you see wearing Buffalo Bills NFC Championship shirts?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pens/Flyers Game 4 photo gallery

(Click the photo to see the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review photo gallery.)

Daniel Briere's photo was removed from the side of a milk carton tonight.

He accepted a challenge Philadelphia coach John Stevens sent his way. Briere scored a big goal to give the Flyers a little wiggle room on their way to a 4-2 victory over the Penguins. Briere and goaltender Martin Biron did the heavy lifting to stave-off elimination from the playoffs.

Jordan Staal, who spent the series off day flying home to Thunder Bay, Ontario to attend his grandfather's funeral, scored two third period goals to shrink the Flyers lead to one.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pens/Flyers Game 3 photo gallery

Click on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's photo gallery - work produced by Chaz Palla & Christopher Horner - these two shooters have been having a great playoff season.

Not so random numbers...

• The Penguins are one of only four teams in the history of the NHL that won 11 out of their first 12 games.

• Sidney Crosby leads the NHL in scoring with 19 (4+15).

• Evgeni Malkin is tied for second with 18 (8+10).

• Marc-Andre Fleury leads the playoffs with 11 wins.

• Everyone on the team except Fleury has made the scoresheet. With an assist on Marian Hossa's empty net goal, Hal Gill became the last player to get a point. Pittsburgh is the only remaining team to have every skater on the stats board.

Monday, May 12, 2008

They gotta have Hart ... and Smith

The Flyers head back to Philly - banged-up, but not beaten. They have officially moved to using desperate measures.

Time to roll out the Lauren Hart and Kate Smith God Bless America duet.

For the record, Hart is the best anthem singer in North America.

Yeah, it's been done this year, but we want to see it again.

Most assuredly, Versus won't broadcast the anthem ... even if Smith came back from the grave to sing it, so we've included the youtube link.

Did we mention that Hart is the best anthem singer in North America?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pens/Flyers Game 2 photo gallery

Here's some great photos from tonight's game.

Another puck, without the Penguins logo

The Penguins are using the 20th different official game puck in team history.

Not many people will get an up close peak at the pucks used exclusively for the Pens-Flyers Eastern Conference Finals.

Here's a closer look at this year's playoff puck. You can see all the other styles used throughout the years on that page too.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The road to the White House

The Mellon Arena was glowing in white again tonight for the opening of the Eastern Conference Final duel between cross-state rivals – and continued a streak of 62 consecutive sellouts.

Not much orange to be found, except a few seat backs that were visible for the first few minutes of the second and third periods between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers.

Outside, the crowd grew again despite the inclement weather. The crowd outside the Mellon around 8:45 p.m. was dangerously close to the crowd at PNC Park for the Pirates-Braves match-up. Two fans outside the arena were clutching their Willie Stargell bobbleheads when Evgeni Malkin scored with 6.5 seconds remaining in the second period.

Inside? Basically a sea of white - except for the few Philly fans. The largest Flyer representation had to be in section C-27 where the Umberger clan was parked in two rows. RJ's parents, Rick and Roseann Umberger, were very noticeable walking through the concourse. Many fans couldn't help but notice them. Most of the comments addressed to them were cordial enough while some people made jeers just because of their jerseys. Only one fan knew exactly who they were and still made some off-color remarks. 

That person must have been role-playing as a Philadelphian. Class act.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

YO! What's up with Rocky?

Not since The Italian Stallion was filmed has this much attention been given to Rocky's clothing issues.

Rocky was dressed in a Sidney Crosby shirt and was blindfolded with Pens logo t-shirt.

Certainly not an original idea - last week some brave Canadiens fans slipped a Habs sweater on the Philadelphia icon - but this week Penguins fans responded to a dare on a craigslist posting and here's the photographic evidence.

No need to worry about protecting any of the statues here in Pittsburgh.  A Flyers fan that attempts to cover the face of Willie Stargell or Roberto Clemente will only be doing the right thing to prevent further embarrassment of viewing the circus inside PNC Park.

Pittsburgh doesn't have a statue dedicated to Darren McCord from Sudden Death ... he actually had some playoff experience...Tolliver!!!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Perfection ends, Jagr continues

We somehow thought that Game 4 might end with Jaromir Jagr handing off the torch to Sidney Crosby like Wayne Gretzky did for Jagr when The Great One ended his career at Madison Square Garden in 1999...

Didn't happen. Series now at three-games-to-one. Game 5 on at the Mellon Arena on Sunday.

Fact is, Jagr didn't quit – scored two goals and had one assist to make goalie Henrik Lundqvist's 29 saves hold up for his second shutout of the playoffs.

Hidden stats: The Penguins have been so balanced in scoring only defenseman Hal Gill is pointless.

And, um, the only Penguins player without a penalty this post-season?   ...  Georges Laraque.