Saturday, 23 May 2009

Screw the ECF, this is the WTFCF

ECF Game 3 Pens 6 - Canes 2
Team Jordan 3 - Team Eric That is, indeed, Godzilla on the Horizon

I'll be honest. I wasn't feeling this one.

I wanted the Pens to embarrass the Canes on home ice. They did. A lot. So what if we have killer offence? Aren't the Canes supposed to have some golden boy Staal kid playing on their team? Don't they have Rat Bastard Cam Ward?

This series is coming down to sick goals and goal-tending. What % of the Pens' goals have been scored by Geno and Sid? Seriously? I love secondary scoring, but Malkinstein and Saint Siddo have been ON so far this series.

Now. Goal tending. I'm not an expert, but I'd say Flower is clearly trying to impress Stevie Y so he can get a shot at the BU spot in Van next February.
Dear Rat Bastard Cam Ward, We know you're better than this. Stop sucking already. We don't WANT to sweep you... no wait, WE DO!!!


I baked all day. I made bread and chicken pie and the most kickin' chicken soup you've ever tasted. I forgot to put my Letang shirt on until the puck was dropping and I saw Clare's tweet. Close call. Pull the shirt on. CBC cuts out. FKSFHLSDHNLJKFHNHDFNHLS!!!!! It's gonna be one of those games.

My room-mate gets home. I go to the kitchen for one minute to talk to her, I come back, it's 15:26 in the 1st and the Canes have opened scoring. Lauren tells me it was the vampire, Emmett Cullen. Canes up 1-0. We take a while to answer back... whatever, they can wait, we've got all night.

Geno scores. Like, duh...

Tied 1-1.

There is a brief two-minute period at the end of the 1st where the Penguins and the Canes are just FLYING, Carolina looks like it may muster a comeback (the fact that we're thinking the word "comeback" in the first period of a 1-1 game in the playoffs is saying something... something BAD). Geno looks like a freaking pterydactyl (whoever it was who made this comparison deserves credit, but I can't remember because I'm all tired and shit). For about a hundred seconds, I am actually interested in this game. Thirty-one of them are actually really lovely seconds.
Sid scores.
He doesn't want people forgetting why he's Captain.
He's the next one, remember?
Pens 2-1.

You blink.
Geno scores.
This goal is #12 of the post-season. It's Malkinstein's 6th multi-point game.
He's just broken a Mario Lemieux record.
(We're pretty that's just a playoffs-streak record.)
Check out the little girl's face.
This why I have A. Bitches. (We would pay good money to hear him actually say this.)
3- 1 Pittsburgh. Booyeah.

Complete with elevator musack. We're THAAAAAAT bored.

The other room-mate gets home. Haven't seen her since before I left for Pittsburgh. She got called to court to testify in some big drug bust thinga she was part of. Chatchatchat. Not paying attention to the game. Mis most of the second period because it's just that boring. Not missing much either. We can't remember what happens for a long while. It's boring us all ("us all" being Mer and Ky and Lauren). I'm so not feeling this game. Probably good to get some sustanence so I don't fall asleep it's that boring. Mmmmmmm, bread and butter....

DULLLLLLLSVILLE, Population: Pens fans.

The only reason you can't turn this game off is because now you have to wonder if Geno's going to score a hattie. And if he does, you want to be able to say you saw him do it. Hat-tricks in consecutive playoff games. Has that ever happened? No clue. Too lazy to Google it. If it has happened, there are only really two people who it could be. One of them was a Penguin. The other was #99. Either way, Geno's ace and everyone knows it.

More Intermission.
More musack.
More Dullsville.

Third period. Bread is out of the oven. And it's 3-2. I have no clue who scored. I can't be bothered to find out. I wasn't paying attention. I was shredding chicken from a carcass.

All I know is that it wasn't Eric Staal, because CBC's won't shut up about 'how quiet' he's been. Quiet? No. Dead. ONE ASSIST in the first two games. This is ERIC STAAL. Eric Staal, who led the Canes in scoring in in the playoffs 3 years ago. Remember? How he was that bloody GOLDEN BOY??? Remember how he scored the Canes 28 Points? TWENTY EIGHT POINTS. And he has 1 point going into Game 3 of the ECF. Explain this to me? Is he sick? CBC seems to think he's gone all soft and can't bear to hurt he little brother. Um, yeah right. You have GOT to be kidding me!

Losing ALL interest in the game... we're not even sure what period we're in anymore...

Then Fedetenko scores. At least someone's listening...

For another minute and a half, the game seems interesting. There is a glimmer of hope. A few people rush the net. Blahdiblahdiblah. Back to boring. Really, we're watching out of courtesy and because we're too superstitious to just turn it off. And because we know that if we turn it off, then Geno WILL score a hattie and we'll have missed it.

Someone tries to decapitate Jordan Staal. Ouch. Ten seconds later, they're trying to see if Maklinstein's head comes off. Somehow the Pens end up on the PK? Miro's in the box for interference. Can this jokeshow just be over already? Canes PP is over in like four heartbeats (47 seconds) as Corvo gets thrown in the bin for the most blatant tripping penalty we've seen this series.

Blink. Blink. Craig Adams/Jussi Jokinen scores and empty netter off a faceoff. From the effing POINT. I was busy eating the fantastically yummy bread I baked, while it was butter-meltingly-warm, so I barely even caught the goal. I looked up and saw empty ice and a puck and started laughing. Then I realized they'd actually dropped the puck FOR REAL. This means one very good thing (and it's not that the Pens are now up 5-2), this means that there is a high probability of a shirtless Craig Adam interview later. (What? He's HOT!) We'll keep you posted.

Then Bill Guerin scores. Cause, you know, there was still 28 seconds left on the Corvo penalty and we're on the PP so -WHAT? we scored a SECOND powerplay goal? Like a second one IN A SINGLE GAME?- clearly the PP caught Mike Green in bed with another scoring opportunity and decided to come home from vacay early...

Plus this is Billy Guerin, and he's still kinda new. Maybe he never got the memo about the no-scoring-on-the-power-play thing and he figured since we had the advantage and there was still over a minute to go in the game, why not score? All we can say is this: BEAUTEOUS backhand sir, BEAUTEOUS!!! We're actually loving this goal. Mostly because it is Grandpa Guerin. And it means they'll interview him too. And we love his interviews because he gets all Dad-like and proud of his hockey family/linemates, and he is clearly just SO happy to be playing for a team whose fans know that hockey doesn't have to end when the snow melts.

We also love this goal because it would have been pretty if it was Sid who'd scored it, because we expect Sid to score pretty little backhand beauties, but it was BEAUTEOUS because it was Billy, and we've never seen him score like that. We can still see it in our heads on instant replay. For those of you without CBC streaming direct to your brains, watch it again.

Lovely. Next time, sir, I am so buying you a drink.

Carolina's down 6-2 with a minute and 8 seconds to go.
(You really have to enlarge it to read it...)

Sixty eight seconds later the game is over. The last few (and by few, I mean about fifteen) seconds are guys lazily dribbling the puck, waiting for the clock to hit 0.0 so they can go drink some cobra scorpion whiskey.

Really, you could have stopped watching after Geno's second goal. You didn't though because there was that slim chance that you could have seen him score a hat-trick, and because you aren't sure you can turn OFF a hockey game, let alone a Pens game, let alone a playoff game, let alone a Conference Final game. Something is very wrong with this entire situation.

This was a little less unexpected than the 7-4 blowout the other night. It reminded us a little of the last 6-2 game we played though... same level of WTFness.

I cannot quite figure out if she means that my wanting the Pens to sweep Carolina is bad for the league, or if she means that my ability to call goals is somehow to blame for the Pens' ridiculous showing so far in the WTFCF and the fact that they actually might sweep the Canes. Deets will have to explain. Too tired to read into things.

At least that game is over. We have three of the four wins we need. The fourth is always the hardest, but given that we've out-scored Carolina 19 to 8 so far this series, our chances are looking good, and the Canes are looking mighty desperate. It's do or die on Tuesday night.

As much as a sweep would be kind of insane and mind-blowing (I mean how often does that happen in a conference final?), we were actually kind of looking forward to this series. So far, it's consisted of the Pens scoring a bunch of WTF goals twice in under a minute, in the first and the again in the third period, and then people calling their own goals like Geno's third the other night and Scuderi going all boss-man on Adams (good thing Adams listened).

Thoroughly unimpressed. There is something entirely unsatisfying about stomping on another team in a best of 7/race to 4 situation. Especially if it's not a huge rival or the Cup final (because then no one cares how you win so long as you win).

The best part of this game was, FAR and AWAY, the post-game presser and the interviews. Seriously. It's like our own personal brand of heroin. I get daily doses of Kris Letang and MAF telling me over and over how confident the team is. It's masturbatory, and completely ludicrous, but you'll never hear me SERIOUSLY complaining about getting to watch Kris Letang giggle on camera in an assortment of different backwards hats.

Plus we love how freakin' awesome this whole team is. Bill Guerin and Rob Scuderi have filled the void that cracked open in our souls when Gary Roberts left.

Grandpa's Postgame Interview.

I love this man.

Really, really love this man.
I kind of wish Bill Guerin was my dad.

Craig Adams (sadly, fully clothed) refusing to compare himself to Mario (no shit).

Okay Craig? STOP MOVING!!!
Best guess: he's on whatever Max was snorting post-game 2, or he REALLY had to pee.
Believe whichever provides your imagination with a more entertaining internal monologue.

Max. Telling me things I REALLY don't want to hear.

The second period? I was falling asleep. Please can we NOT have entire games like that? PLEASE???

Your Favourite American Hero.

Please interview this man more often.


This may be the most we've ever heard Geno speak. Ever. In any language. Potentially both.
I love you Geno, you are the most adorable boy in the world.
You get cookies.

And, of course, your daily dose of swooon.

If he's not careful, he's gonna get himself jumped before this round is done.
Maybe that's what he wants. At least he doesn't do the hair-laugh combo.
Admit it, a little piece of you dies inside everytime he does it, it's just that, damn ADORABLE!

ALSO, total, COMPLETE offside: one of my favourite boys graced the pages of The Hockey News this week. And this IS a big deal because his name does not appear on the Pens, Sens, BJs, Hawks, Giants or Syracuse Crunch websites.

Brad Marchand. Boston's 3rd round pick in 2006. Used to play in the Q (with le swooon, actually, for a while at least) and played his little blazing, gritty heart out at the 2008 WJC. He is one of the four 2008 boys who have a special place in my heart (the others are Stefan Legein, Steve Mason and Karl Alzner) and he was/is Pat Delacroix...

I have no clue what it is about me loving 5'9"-tall-third-round-underdog-with-heart combo, but I do. I have a strange weakness for any and/or all of these criteria, and most of my favourite players have one or more of these attributes: Legein is the epitome of my weaknesses, on all counts, and a HUGE long shot at having and NHL career right now; the Sens' Ryan Shannon is 5'9" and was NEVER drafted; Kristopher Letang was a 3rd rounder, as was Steve Mason (69th OA will probably put him in the "draft steal" category if he wins the Veniza in his rookie season...); Kyle Wellwood went 134th OA (he plays for the Canucks, and there is no rhyme or reason to me adoring him save the fact that he worked his ass off to stay in Van after they picked him up off waivers from the LEAFS after his point production dropped by 50% in the 2007-2008 season. Plus, he's just a damn adorable human being); and Max Talbot was a freaking 8th round pick -if that's not SCREAMING draft steal, you are deaf. (And people say the Pens can't develop talent like Detroit... my ASSSSSSS we can't develop talent!)

Sure, a whole bunch of players I adore were first round picks just destined to be NHL stars (Heatley, Army, Alzner, Malkin), but there is something so much more satisfying about seeing a kid like Brad Marchand make it big. He just plain wants it and he will stop at nothing to get it, and that's probably why I am rooting for him and his 41 helpers with the Baby Bruins, and why I will have one more inconvenient loyalty when he makes the jump to Boston. Like being unable to cheer 100% against the Washington Capitals on account on one Mr. Karl Alzner wasn't enough, sooner or later I am going to have at least a teensy tiny bit of affect for a Bruin. Ugh. That's almost as bas as having to cheer for a Toronto Maple Leaf. Or a Flyer.

But YAAYYYY!!! for Marchy for making it into The Hockey News, because I want to see him in the NHL next season. Probably not permanently, but I'd like to see him play his first NHL game next year. And when he does, so long as he isn't playing my Sens or my Pens, I will be cheering for the Bruins.

This was supposed to be a short little post-game rant. Right. Bed is calling me. Commanding me in fact.

Best of luck the the little Hawks tonight. I'll be rooting for y'all in my head from wherever I happen to be at 5 p.m. tomorrow. GO HAWKS!!! GO PENS!!!


Jessclub7 said...

Le swooon wants it. He SO wants it.

Everything about him screams: 'You better hold on tight spider monkey!'

And why shouldn't you be the one to give it to him?

I attempted to watch the game on my illegal cable last night at 12.30am. I didn't get very far.

I thought it was because I was too drunk to concentrate. Now I am starting to think otherwise.

mer said...

@ jess - no it was just that boring. no wonder you fell asleep. also, please stop making me laugh my ASS off when it's not even 7:30 a.m. here - have you no shame? I mean *I* don't ever sleep (I went to bed at one and woke up WITHOUT AN ALARM at 5:38 a.m. ... Pardonmewhat?) but everyone else in B.C. was trying to.


Jessclub7 said...

Just imagine spider monkey said in his adorable accent.

It is so sunny on the Costa del Warrington today. So what have I done?

Yep. Walked around a museum.

Vitamin D is so overrated.

As is sleep.

Jessclub7 said...

I am totally spamming you today, but if you ever can't sleep and are bored try this little game:

There are 50 movies from the past 20 years hidden in the picture.

My housemate and I have spent the past 3 days trying to get all 50. With the help of 5 other people.

We have one left, which I am about to cheat and find the answer to as we are being driven slowly insane by it.

Lauren said...

Mer, add this to the list of things we need to do when you move to Pittsburgh: Get Kristopher to say "you better hold on tight spider monkey"

hahahaha swooooooooooooooon

Val said...

Hahahaha, thought about you when I was reading about Marchand in THN...impressive!

As usual, you are spot on with your observations of yet another hockey game, that while dull, was still so fab in the fact that it was won by the PENS!!!

Also, I have never seen the use of the word "mastabutory" in a sentence; it was, ummmm, impressive, quite impressive.

Geno speaking russian or english = schwing!

lauren said...

You were right the first time, about my comment- wasn't the whole point of the salary cap/lockout business to prevent dynasties and even out the teams? Having the ECF teams so totally mismatched makes it look like there's a couple of powerhouse teams and everyone else sucks. I'll only blame your goal-calling ability if it starts to work against my team. =P

And yes, I realize that I shouldn't be saying anything about the salary cap with the way my GM likes to manipulate it.

You just brought up the Olympics Question... now I'm going to spend the rest of the day wondering if Stevie Y will take Fleury over Brodeur or Luongo. I would definitely take him over Luongo, I think. But we'll see.

mer said...

@ deets - okay. I was just tired and tripping out from that game because I haven't been that bored for a LONG time while watching a hockey game.

Stevie Y won't discount Bobby Lu. He's elite even if he had a less than stellar season. MAF is a potential. Rat Bastard is also a potential. And so is Mase. It's not like there's a shortage to choose from... and we all know that I think Brodeur is over-rated. If he plays, he'll start (unless he failboats in the Prelim round) because this will be his last Olympics, but I don't know if Steve Yzerman's sentimental enough to pick him over a better, younger goalie.

@ val - Marchy = <3<3<3

@ Lauren - I bet you 50$ I can do it.

lauren said...

@mer- that's the million dollar question, isn't it? If Stevie Y will go with older, experienced guys, or with the young guns? I do think he'll pick Crosby, at least. And I'm not anticipating seeing any of the Canadian Red Wings, so hopefully there won't be any talk of favoritism.

ali said...

I loved this post.

This two day break is killing me, if I have to wait until next Friday for the next series to start (assuming that the Pens are in it)... I might die.

Complete side note: I was utterly disappointed with the lack of Hawks fans I saw in Chicago yesterday. I just keep telling myself that they were all in the United Center -- not out on the streets. Ah well...

lauren said...

@ali (or everyone)- apparently if the Pens win tomorrow and the Wings win Wednesday, the first two games of the SCF will be this Saturday and Sunday! If either series goes longer though, it'll begin the following weekend.

mer said...

@ deets - I can SO deal with that. Has it occured to anyone else that if the SCF starts on the 5th of June it will, in fact be STARTING THE DAY AFTER IT ENDED LAST YEAR???

lauren said...

@mer- Yes. That's why I'm leaving the country eleven days later than last year but am still flying out on the day of game six of the WCF (if it gets that far). I'm not sure if it's all the game sevens or a later regular season or what. Actually, I think it's that Bettman/NBC don't want me to see a SCF game where Detroit is playing. :-(