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Old 05-13-2010, 07:00 AM   #991
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPsteelers View Post
And see ya later Gonchar.. YOu are truly an awful defenseman.
And obviously YOu don't watch enough Pens hockey.

Serg didn't have his best game last night but neither did the rest of the team. They weren't hitting, they weren't checking and we were up against an extremely hot goalie along with a Habs team that had the momentum from Game 6 coming in. Also - this is the 3rd season in a row where the Pens made the playoffs, the last 2 had them playing until early June with only a few months off before they had to prepare for camp. It is very difficult for any NHL team in this day and age to win back to back championships.

Serg is 36 years old and has been a stellar defenseman for the Pens for his entire 5 year tenure here. He is our best defensemen and still one of the best in the league. He is also the QB on the Pens PP - y'know - what makes the PP tick? If you will remember back to last season's playoff run, the Pens were going nowhere fast until Gonchar returned from his injury. He came back at about the same time Therrien was canned and the Pens took off on their playoff run and Gonchar played admirably throughout the playoffs and in the SCF's. Every source here in the Burgh has stated that the Pens want to keep Gonchar and Gonchar wants to retire as a Pen and I have no doubt both sides will work fervently to make that happen.

As I said last night - I am extremely proud of this team and their accomplishments this season and I'm really looking forward to camp and the start of the 2011 season.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:01 AM   #992
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

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Originally Posted by zulater View Post
It's amazing how forgiving of the Penguins we are. If this were the Steelers losing a home playoff game to a 9-7 team I just don't imagine I would be seeing all this love. If Ben had thrown 4 interceptions, ( Fleury) if Bettis back in the day had run for 30 yards on 20 carries( Sid and Geno), if James Harrison( Gonchar and Orpik) had been bulled over and carried 5 yards into the end zone we'd be blistering them all today.

The Pens played their worst playoff game in 3 years with the season on the line. They lost to a much inferior team. At home! It's ridiculous that players of that pedigree can come out with so little poise and basically lose everything in the first 20 minutes.


While technically the game wasn't over until the Canadians scored their 5th goal the fact is the way the series has been played it was over as soon as the 3rd goal went behind Fleury.

This ranks right there with the loss to the Islanders in 93 or the Steelers AFC championship game loss in 2001. It should have never happened.
Although people are dissapointed, hockey in general attracts a different kind of fan than the NFL and Steelers.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:29 AM   #993
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

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Originally Posted by zulater View Post
It's amazing how forgiving of the Penguins we are. If this were the Steelers losing a home playoff game to a 9-7 team I just don't imagine I would be seeing all this love. If Ben had thrown 4 interceptions, ( Fleury) if Bettis back in the day had run for 30 yards on 20 carries( Sid and Geno), if James Harrison( Gonchar and Orpik) had been bulled over and carried 5 yards into the end zone we'd be blistering them all today.

The Pens played their worst playoff game in 3 years with the season on the line. They lost to a much inferior team. At home! It's ridiculous that players of that pedigree can come out with so little poise and basically lose everything in the first 20 minutes.


While technically the game wasn't over until the Canadians scored their 5th goal the fact is the way the series has been played it was over as soon as the 3rd goal went behind Fleury.

This ranks right there with the loss to the Islanders in 93 or the Steelers AFC championship game loss in 2001. It should have never happened.
It's not that big of an upset. The Habs beating the Caps in the first round was similar to the '93 Isles over the Pens. This is more along the lines of the last time the Pens played the Habs in the playoffs in 1998, where they were the lower-seeded team and the Pens were one of the better teams in the East - I think they were 4th that year too - yet lost to the Habs in 6. And their home record in Game 7s pretty much speaks for itself - if the Pens are on the road, it's money in the bank (5-0); if they're at home, forget about it (2-5). I can't put my finger on the reason why that's the case.

Anyway, I think the reason why you aren't seeing anyone other than maybe the bandwagoners getting upset is because we all understand the toll it takes on a player to go to the Final 2 straight years and playing more than 300 total games in the past 3 seasons. That's a lot of hockey, and it's perfectly understandable that they'd run out of steam. The last team to go to 3 straight ECFs were the Bruins from 1990-92 (ironically the Pens beat them in 91 and 92, and they lost to Edmonton in the SCF in 90), and the last team to go to 3 straight SCFs was the Oilers from 1983-85. It's a tall order, especially nowadays with the salary cap, 6 new teams (since 1992), and so much parity in the league. Still though, like I said, the Pens just need a few tweaks and they'll be back in the Final again next year.
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:14 AM   #994
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

I have to hand it to the Habs, they did what no one thought they could do - shut down Sid and Malkin.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:40 AM   #995
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

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Boy, that hurt.

I avoided visiting my old seats (D-27, row A, seats 7 and 8) before last night's Game 7 with Montreal. I didn't want to jinx the Penguins by paying final respects to my own personal piece of Mellon Arena before it was appropriate. As it turns out, superstition had nothing to do with the result. The Penguins just stunk.

Before I continue, much love to the 17,132 that packed the Igloo one final time. The crowd certainly reeled a bit when it was 4-0 Montreal but, instead of booing and reacting angrily, the citizens did their best to coax the Penguins back into the game. That made me feel a bit better (though no less teary-eyed) when, after the game, I made my way to the seats where my late mother and I had season tickets through the early '70s. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Much respect to the Canadiens fans who made the trip south. It's hockey's one true legendary franchise, and their supporters behaved with style.

So, what the hell happened?

Well, Marc-Andre Fleury was awful. As in Game 6, none of the goals was horrible. But a few dripped with blood, and you simply can't let them all in. Allowing good goals is one thing. Letting them add up is quite another. This doesn't diminish Fleury's past accomplishments one bit. But like the Penguins in general, Fleury never really got started this campaign. Didn't stink. Didn't match past heights, either.

Sergei Gonchar was terrible. Largely responsible for Montreal's second and fourth goals, he showed why he's simply not worth re-signing.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin struggled mightily. For the first time I can remember, Crosby lacked confidence. It was an odd sight. Malkin seemed spooked by Jaroslav Halak's excellence in Montreal's goal, trying to make the perfect play at the expense of several good shots. Halak robbed Malkin and Crosby in tight when the Pens had a power play to open the third period. If either scores there...?

Jordan Staal was the Penguins' best forward, kind of like being the sole survivor at Little Big Horn. Give that kid a Purple Heart. I'm glad he's on our side.

I wish the coaching was better. I'm not saying Dan Bylsma stunk, and I'm certainly not suggesting he be replaced. But I've seen his practices, and I'm not impressed. And when I see the Canadiens making tic-tac-toe plays off turnovers, like the series of passes that led to Mike Cammalleri's goal, I just know Jacques Martin's practices are better than Bylsma's. That comes from drills, from focused practice.

The further the Penguins get away from Michel Therrien, the more discipline and structure recede. Witness two unnecessary penalties in the game's first 32 seconds. Witness 0-for-6 on the power play. Bylsma needs to be less buddy, more boss.

The Penguins need to change. Crosby and Malkin need wings. Use Gonchar's and Bill Guerin's money to get better than what they've got. Crosby and Malkin shouldn't continually be asked to polish crap. Even Mario Lemieux couldn't do that indefinitely.

Spend on wings, gamble with lesser lights on defense and stick to a system that emphasizes team defense. In the Canadiens' system, Josh Gorges looks like Larry Robinson. Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland will do fine given proper support. With more experience, Kris Letang will be a star. Alex Goligoski will be OK running the power play. He won't be Gonchar right away, but Gonchar isn't Gonchar anymore. Brooks Orpik is signed long-term. Retain Mark Eaton. There's your defense corps.

Re-sign Matt Cooke, even if he wants three years, as long as the money is reasonable. By November, Eric Tangradi fills a spot on the top two lines. He has to. As soon as July 1 hits, use that Gonchar cash to get a legit scoring winger. You're not going to get Ilya Kovalchuk. But do better than Ruslan Fedotenko this time.

Sign Colby Armstrong. What the heck.

The Pens have the best young nucleus in hockey. Fleury is 25, Malkin 23, Crosby 22, Staal 21. Those four give you a shot. You don't need any more superstar talent. You just have to find the pieces that fit best around that quartet. You're never far off.

Sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Penguins this year, from ownership down to the equipment staff. It is, by far, the classiest organization in Pittsburgh sports. The players are quality performers and good guys. Last night was disappointing, but I can't wait for next year.

It's tough to single out any one player for special thanks, but Crosby has conducted himself with decorum and character since the moment he set foot in Pittsburgh. If there's any motivation for a fat 49-year-old with one heart attack under his belt to stay alive, it's to see what Sid does next. Go fishing, kid. You earned it.

Finally, God bless Mellon Arena and all who sailed with her. YNWA.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:51 AM   #996
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

My Final Official "Unofficial Assessment of the Game"


One Word: Eliminated

(another word: Disappointing)


AAAAAAAARGHH!!!

So Zu wants to beat up on Flower. But let's face it, it takes a WHOLE TEAM EFFORT to keep the puck out of the net. Like, well, what the Habs have been doing the whole series. They held the best player in the league to, what, two! goals total? I mean, this is the same guy that won the Gold for his country just a few months ago.

Letang only showed up for half of each game.

Gonchar just watched a goal skate by----he reminded me of Reed trying to make a tackle. "I'll just stick out my elbow as he skates by and....hey! Come Back Here!!!"

The Pens looked Brilliant at times---like they were The Defending Champions of Lord Stanley's Cup.
At other times it felt like I was watching a High School Hockey Club.

There were moments when we could have, and should have tied the thing up, but Halak was, well, incredible. As much as I HATE the fact that he killed us, I have nothing but Mad Respect for the guy. He was on his game for the whole series (and the previous one against the Crapitals). And, as much as I hate to admit it, he may take the Habs all the way.

We need some rest. And then get back to it.
I would NOT say goodbye to Gonch, or ANYBODY (OK, maybe Fedotenko). The Pens made ANOTHER run at the cup. They were beaten. It happens.

I got a little choked up thinking about all the time I have spent in the Igloo...
I saw my first concert there when I was 12----KISS
I have seen many other concerts since then.
And I got the privilege of watching Super Mario do his thing---one game he was on a breakaway (seems that Mario was ALWAYS on a breakaway); he got dragged down; so he's sliding on his @$$ and...HE SHOOTS AND SCORES!
I'll never forget seeing Coffey (I think it was on a New Year's Eve in the early '90s) outskate everyone on a breakaway with around 10 seconds left in the game---he scored to win!

Great Memories.

And, as Tony (I think) mentioned, I really like seeing when the Players salute the fans. It's Classy.

So this year has come to a close.
But next year is right around the corner...AFTER we make our next SUPERBOWL run!

I love da 'Guins.
Always will.
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Old 05-13-2010, 09:54 AM   #997
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

Good post, WH.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:03 AM   #998
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

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Mark Madden wrote:


If Mark Madden did nothing but blog, we might all be tricked into thinking he's not a total assclown.
He's still a total assclown.

Let's see...Gonchar has one bad game, and he should be jettisoned? Are you serious, Mark? And go with "lesser lights" on D? I don't know if you were paying attention, but our D corps outside of Orpik and Gonchar have been downright brutal at times. And you want to make it worse by letting Gonchar walk and going with career minor leaguers like Lovejoy and Engelland (no offense to either and I like Engelland a lot, but they are what they are)? I have never understood the total lack of appreciation Gonchar has gotten from many Pens fans. Almost from day one the guy has been getting tarred and feathered, while he continues to put up numbers and makes our PP so much better. The man needs to be re-signed, plain and simple.

And of course, here's the predictable bashing of Dan Bylsma because he's "too lenient" in his practices, and as such the team lacked focus. If they don't win the Cup next year, expect calls for him to be fired the way some Steelers fans have been calling for Tomlin to be fired. Unbelievable.

Have another 3 dozen doughnuts, Mark.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:25 AM   #999
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

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He's still a total assclown.

Let's see...Gonchar has one bad game, and he should be jettisoned? Are you serious, Mark? And go with "lesser lights" on D? I don't know if you were paying attention, but our D corps outside of Orpik and Gonchar have been downright brutal at times. And you want to make it worse by letting Gonchar walk and going with career minor leaguers like Lovejoy and Engelland (no offense to either and I like Engelland a lot, but they are what they are)? I have never understood the total lack of appreciation Gonchar has gotten from many Pens fans. Almost from day one the guy has been getting tarred and feathered, while he continues to put up numbers and makes our PP so much better. The man needs to be re-signed, plain and simple.

And of course, here's the predictable bashing of Dan Bylsma because he's "too lenient" in his practices, and as such the team lacked focus. If they don't win the Cup next year, expect calls for him to be fired the way some Steelers fans have been calling for Tomlin to be fired. Unbelievable.

Have another 3 dozen doughnuts, Mark.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:39 AM   #1000
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Default Re: Round 2 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. Pens/Habs. LETS GO PENS!

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He's still a total assclown.
I was thinking he's a Partial Assclown.

But perhaps I'm too lenient!
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