One and done

Oct. 24, 2007

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The Penguins win a low-scoring 1-0 game against the Rangers.

PREGAME

-Jaromir Jagr is booed as the Rangers starting lineup is announced. We hate to keep beating a dead horse, but why is he booed? He is the second best player in this history of the Penguins franchise. He kept the team afloat on and off the ice in the late 1990's. He was the best player in the league for at least five seasons. Granted his exit from Pittsburgh was hardly on the best of terms, but he doesn't deserve the rough treatment he gets here. At the very least he deserves a polite applause.

-Additionally, it seems as if people don't even realize why they're booing him. The just do it to do it.

-Is it us, or does Marc Staal look like Barry Pepper?

-Christine Simpson looks like Martha Stewart.

-Has anyone told Brian Engblom about his hair?

-Jeff Jimerson blows our ears out with a wonderful rendition of the National Anthem.

FIRST PERIOD

13:47: As Ed Olczyk bemoans Rob Scuderi wearing No. 4 this season, Jarkko Ruutu of all people draws an interference penalty from former Penguins defenseman Michal Rozsival. Rangers tough guy Colton Orr tries to goad Ruutu into taking a penalty to even things up, but he doesn't bite.

7:04: After Penguins turnover, Nigel Dawes knocks down a bouncing puck and fires a wrister that pings off the post. No goal.

5:50: As Evgeni Malkin puts on a stick-handling clinic near the blue-line a stickless Ryan Callahan decides the only way to defend him is to pin him against the boards. The officials decide Callahan should spend two minutes in the penalty box. As we come back from commercial, we see Alice Kilgore, one of the fans who had Sidney Crosby deliver her season tickets personally, getting some face-time. She's rapidly becoming the most famous Penguins fan out there.

5:10: The Cotton Candy Man (yes he's that important that his "name" deserves capital letters) comes through our section. Life is good.

2:34: Petr Sykora clips Daniel Girardi in the face with a stick and is sent to the penalty box.

1:41: Jagr swoops behind the net and from the left boards sends a backhander into the crease. The puck glances off Ryan Whitney's skate and towards the goal. Fleury reacts quickly and freezes the puck.

0:01: Callahan takes another penalty as he trips up Ryan Malone. The Penguins will get nearly an entire power play on clean ice to start the second period.

0:00: End of period. Yawn. Penguins 0, Rangers 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-The most notable thing to happen during the intermission is an insane deke put on by one of those kids playing hockey before the Zamboni cleans the ice.

SECOND PERIOD

19:16: On the power play, Whitney sends a pass across the crease from the left faceoff circle to Evgeni Malkin who gently taps the puck into an empty goal. Penguins 1-0.

18:50: Malone makes a pass to Jordan Staal and springs him on a breakaway. Fedor Tyutin tries to break it up, but accidentally throws his stick at the puck. Staal still gets a shot off, but Henrik Lundqvist makes the save. A penalty shot is awarded to Staal for Tyutin throwing his stick. The Penguins forward glides down the middle of the ice and attacks Lundqvist's five hole. The Rangers goaltender calmly closes the gates and denies the goal.

10:12: Sykora takes his second penalty of the game for interfering with Scott Gomez.

9:46: Jagr snaps a nasty wrist shot off the post and it deflects out of play.

7:52: On a three-on-two, Sykora sends a cross-ice pass to Maxime Talbot who smacks a one-timer on net. Lundqvist is there and makes a save with his left leg.

6:54: A collision between Blair Betts and Brooks Orpik pops open the door to the Penguins locker room.

4:19: Play-by-play guy Joe Beninati refers to the penguins as Pitt. Former Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson unavailable for comment. He's updating his resume.

3:59: Former Penguins coach Ed Olczyk, who's doing color commentary for the game, discusses Marc-Andre Fleury's development and sort of takes a dig at the Penguins. He says, "He was not rushed to the National Hockey League. The organization, I was a part of it. We brought him in slowly. I would've loved to have him the year I got fired but the organization thought 'Hey you know what, we're going to bring along a little bit slower. Let him season down in Wilkes-Barre.'" Team CEO Ken Sawyer unavailable for comment.

0:00: End of period. Yawn. Penguins 1, Rangers 0

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Seriously, what does the hair dresser in the Versus studio think when Enblom shows up? Trying to style that rats nest would be like trying to create the Lincoln Memorial with Play-Doh.

-Mike Modano North Stars highlights? Awesome!

-This is the best intermission ever. Glenn Anderson Oilers highlights.

THIRD PERIOD

16:34: Marcel Hossa knocks Fleury over and is sent to the box for goaltender interference.

16:04: Marek Malik appears to haul down Sidney Crosby. No call.

12:36: Mark Recchi and Crosby come down on a two-on-one. Recchi passes to Crosby who tries to make a play, but Daniel Girardi makes a marvelous play and kicks the puck away with his right skate.

5:27: Rob Scuderi bumps Callahan who in turns acts as if he's been struck by lightning and collides with Fleury.

5:08: From the left faceoff circle, Callahan rips a wrister that hits the far-side post. Those posts have been unkind to the Rangers tonight.

4:55: Ryan Callahan is pretty short.

(Kudos to The Pensblog for spotting that.)

3:41: The Penguins get whistled for too many men on the ice. Rangers coach Tom Renney, who looks like Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, calls a time-out.

0:52: A marvelous cycle between Malkin, Recchi, Crosby and Darryl Sydor kills roughly 40 seconds of time.

0:28: The Rangers pull Lundqvist for the extra attacker.

0:11: From center ice, Jordan Staal tries for one of us, but it goes wide.

0:00: End of period. Yawn. Penguins 1, Rangers 0.

POSTGAME

-Holy Roman Oksiuta was that a boring game. We can't believe we watched it twice (Once in person and another time on our DVR.)

-He didn't make any spectacular saves, but anytime you stop 36 shots and earn a shutout like Marc-Andre Fleury did, you played like a franchise goaltender.

-Mark Eaton's insane. He blocked four more shots tonight.

-Did anyone else notice a young guy in a Penguins jacket run down to the Penguins bench from the stands and hand someone on the bench a stick in the third period?

-Best jerseys we saw: Sidney Crosby Rimouski, Colby Armstrong Red Deer Rebels, Phil Bourque, Yellow Mario Lemieux and Tom Barrasso.

-Worst jerseys we saw: These.

-Speaking of the Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jerseys, we saw Chris Drury have to change gloves at one point in the game. We wonder if he's having sweating problems too.

-This was our first game sitting in our new seats in D-7. We used to have seats in C-6. It was weird to see someone sitting in "our" old seats.

-The Rangers have not scored in a goal since last week. They've gone 126 minutes without putting one in the net. Their last goal came in a 5-3 loss to Atlanta Oct. 18.

-According to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time in the Rangers' history they've lost back-to-back 1-0 games. The Bruins beat them in a shootout Saturday.

-Do the Rangers' struggles remind anyone of their problems from the late 1990's and early part of this decade? Much like that time period, this version of the Rangers spent a lot of money on high profile talent and it hasn't worked out thus far. Chris Drury and Scott Gomez have combined for only three goals this season.

-It was Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night last night.

-We're 2-0-0 in games we've attended in person this season.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Jordan Staal is $737 poorer.

-What's the deal with the crease rule?

-Hey ladies. Getting married soon? Why not do it while wearing a Penguins garter?

-If you're having a bad day, read this story about Sidney Crosby and a sick girl at That Night. It will put things into perspective for you.

(Kudos to The Sidney Crosby Show for spotting that.)

Atlantic Divison

-Islanders defenseman Bryan Berard will be out two-to-four weeks with a groin injury.

-Ryan Callahan of the Rangers will be out indefinitely after injuring his knee in Pittsburgh.

-Jaromir Jagr has no idea why the Rangers are struggling this season.

Northeast Division

-Things are starting to cave in for Toronto. The Maple Leafs lost, 5-4, in a shootout to the worst team in the league, Atlanta, Tuesday.

-Damien Cox of the Toronto Star explains the reason the Maple Leafs are a mess on the ice is because they're a mess off the ice.

-Senators coach John Paddock didn't have a problem with defenseman Anton Volchenkov's hit on Panthers forward David Booth last week. After watching the video, we don't have a problem with it either. As Volchenkov was about to engage Booth, the Panthers forward turned into the boards and made himself vulnerable:

-Paddock complained about a hit by Florida forward Brandon Mezei that injured Senators forward Nick Foligno. We don't have a problem with this hit for the same reason. Foligno leaned over into the boards and put himself into a bad position:

Southeast Division

-The Capitals have put Chris Clark and Viktor Kozlov on a line with Alexander Ovechkin.

-Tim Lemke of the Washington Times examines the healthy blogging community that follows the Capitals.

-Capitals owner Ted Leonsis posted a reaction to the story on his blog.

-Greg Wyshynski of AOL handicaps the potential candidates for the Atlanta Thrashers coaching job.

Central Division

-Don't look now, but the Blues appear to be back. They beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks, 4-2 Tuesday.

-The Blue Jackets beat the Blackhawks in a wild 7-4 game Wednesday.

-The Blackhawks players are psyched about finally getting some home games on television.

-Red Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and several unnamed media outlets were sent "notices of libel" by agent Don Meehan. Chelios made fun of Meehan for being bald or something.

Pacific Division

-Goaltender Jason Labarbera led the Kings to a 6-0 pasting of the Predators Tuesday. The Kings have won three of their last four games.

-This isn't the best picture of it, but Labarbera's helmet has an image of "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan on it. Sting not impressed.

-Kings forward John Zeiler, a native of Jefferson Hills, got into a fight last night with Nashville's Vernon Fiddler:

-The Coyotes sent goaltender David Aebischer to the AHL.

Northwest Division

-Avalanche winger Ryan Smyth returned to Edmonton for the first time as visiting player as Colorado won 4-2.

-Oilers defenseman Joni Pitkanen will be out of the lineup for four weeks due to a knee injury.

-Flames coach Mike Keenan is mad at Sharks center Jeremy Roenick for being entertaining.

-Canucks forward Markus Naslund, a former Penguin, is frustrated by his team's lack of offense.

Wales Conference

-Paul Kelly was officially introduced as the new head of the NHLPA.



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