Thursday, October 14, 2010

One streak ends, another continues

No, seriously, tear the effing place down
My friend wants the Penguins to play the rest of the season on the road. Hard to blame him. Pittsburgh is 1-0 when playing as the away team. It's 0-3 in the new stupid arena.

My friend's theory is that since they built it near a church, it's probably built over top a graveyard and thus, cursed. He wants the place to be exorcised. That might be a little extreme, but hey, what could it hurt?

'cause the Pens suck. Can't control pucks, can't make short little passes, and the oh-so-close of so many scoring chances is a trend, not an exception. The team still lacks talented finishers.

So three goals in a span of 7:29 - two by Clarke MacArthur - for Toronto proved plenty to hand Pittsburgh its third loss of the season, 4-3. Two of those goals came right off faceoffs, the opening goal (by Colton freaking Orr) was a deflection, and MacArthur's second - and eventual winner - was easy, since no defender bothered to pick him up even though he was five feet from Marc-Andre Fleury's crease.

Of course, all the blame goes to Fleury, even though no Pittsburgh player felt the need to box out Orr or get in front of Luke Schenn's shot, or try to block Tomas Kaberle's cross-ice pass to MacArthur, or step in front of Francois Beauchemin's point shot that became the third goal. And I already mentioned how wide open MacArthur was on his second goal.

It certainly doesn't go to Pascal Dupuis, who had a gaping net after a slick pass from Sidney Crosby yet shot it at the one foot that Jonas Gustavsson had covered. Evgeni Malkin is absolved despite missing the net on a penalty shot. Nor does it go to Crosby, who despite scoring his first goal is still mainly a nonfactor in games. And it's certainly not the offense in general, which still doesn't really have any true goal scorer.

Gustavsson finished with 22 saves for the Leafs, who are freaking 3-0 now. At least I got a fantasy win.

The only Penguin highlights were Derek Engelland knocking out Orr in a fight and the Tim Horton's coffee for sale inside Consol Energy Center. That shit is going to become the new game day tradition. The coffee, not the fight.

Ducks win! Ducks win! Ducks win!
As bad as the Penguins are, at least we're not Vancouver. The Canucks just lost to a team that had given up 48 shots per game and had been out-scored 13-2 in three games.

But that's not fair. Anaheim showed it knows how to win a fucking home game.

Ryan Getzlaf registered four points, assisting on Corey Perry's and Bobby Ryan's goals 1:18 apart that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 Ducks victory, giving the team a badly needed boost. Getzlaf scored the game's first goal and also assisted on Teemu Selanne's first of the season.

Anaheim still gave up a lot of shots, with Jonas Hiller needing to make 36 saves, but they did enough to get the win. Ryan finished with a two-point night.

Daniel Sedin had a goal and assist, Christian Ehrhoff and Raffi Torres scored and Alexander Edler notched two helpers for the Canucks.

Working late
--A classic goaltender's duel was won by Martin Brodeur and the shorthanded Devils when Ilya Kovalchuk opened his account (that's a soccer phrase for scoring) by scoring 53 seconds into overtime, giving New Jersey a 1-0 win over Buffalo. Brodeur made 24 saves. Ryan Miller made 34 in the loss.
--Steven Stamkos again showed he's the good, and clutch, Richard Trophy winner when he scored a power play goal with 1:19 remaining in regulation to force overtime, where Ryan Malone scored in the final minute to lift Tampa Bay over Montreal, 4-3. Stamkos and Malone each had two points. Carey Price stopped 43 shots, but if Montreal's anything like Pittsburgh, he is 100 percent to blame for the loss.

In other action
--Nicklas Backstrom scored a late power play goal, and also had an assist, as Washington edged the Islanders, 2-1.
--Corey Crawford was the surprise starter in goal for Chicago, but two third-period tallies by Nashville, including Joel Ward's power play goal with 27 seconds remaining, resulted in the Predators earning a 3-2 win over Chicago.

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