Mild night

Oct., 31, 2007

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The Penguins win a boring 4-2 game in Minnesota.

-They've had 282 consecutive sellouts in Minnesota? That's insane considering how mediocre the team has largely been since it came into formation.

-We would've loved to have seen the faces of Mike Emrick and Andy Brickley when the were told they would open the broadcast with a Versus pumpkin in between them.

-We know it's a commercial, but could they ask any more ridiculous questions in the "Is this the year" NHL spot? Sidney Crosby asks if this the year someone score 200 points? Wayne Gretzky ask if someone scored 93 goals? If the NHL were to expand the season to 130 games or so, maybe. We're lucky we get a handful of 100 point guys as it is in the "new" NHL.

-Dany Sabourin gets the start in net. His mask still creeps us out with that baby on it. We're sure it's a member of his family and has some special, wholesome meaning, but it totally reminds us of the dead baby crawling on the ceiling in "Traininspotting."

-Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque are out of the lineup. Tyler Kennedy is in.

FIRST PERIOD

13:20: The Wild players are a bunch of momma's boys. They brought all their moms along for a road trip this season.

5:16: The first significant action of the game occurs as Mark Parrish sends a centering pass from the corner to Mikko Koivu in the slot. Koivu snaps a one timer right into the mid-section of Sabourin. After a short scrum, Sabourin freezes the puck.

5:10: Wild goon Derek Boogaard actually displays some stick-handling ability as he redirects a pass from Martin Skoula behind his back on net. Sabourin easily freezes the puck.

3:40: A North Stars fan is shown. Even despite the boring display of hockey, we're pleased.

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

FIRST INTERMISSION

-Holy Dave McLlwain was that a horrid period of hockey to watch. The Wild fans were even booing and they're used to less than entertaining hockey. We probably could've been more entertained watching a candle being made:

-OK, maybe not.

SECOND PEIROD

-17:23: Mike Emrick mentions that Erik Christensen is "probably" the Penguins best shootout guy. That's like saying Pittsburgh is a "probably" a Democratic city.

16:30: It's not pretty, but we'll take it in this snore-fest. Crosby takes the puck towards the goal from the right corner. As he approaches the net, he seemingly looses control of the puck. Malkin is on the other side of the net and takes control of the loose puck and sneaks it in from behind past Josh Harding's left leg. Penguins 1-0.

13:46: The Wild answers the Penguins' ugly goal with one of their own. It's more lucky than ugly actually. A big slapper from the right side by Branko Radivojevic clinks off the post and deflects directly to Stephane Veilleux in the left faceoff circle. He easily fires a slapshot past an out-of-position Sabourin to tie the game. "Crowd Chant" by Joe Satriani is played Penguins 1, Wild 1.

13:31: Did someone turn on the goal-scoring switch? The Penguins immediately answer back. Malone sends a wristshot on net. It deflects off some bodies out to Malkin in left faceoff circle. He winds up and lunges into a shot that beats Harding. Penguins 2-1.

12:09: This game has been so boring we don't even get penalties until now. Malkin elbows Nick Schultz in the face and Schultz responds by putting the butt-end of his stick in Malkin's ear. They each get two minutes.

9:46: Martha Stewar... Christine Simpson tells us the story of the mask of Josh Harding. You may not know much about Harding or care about him, but you should. He's a guy who cares. His mask has the logo from the Minneapolis bridge collapse and a pink ribbon to raise awareness of breast cancer.

5:10: During a Minnesota power play, the hardest check of the game occurs when Koivu is accidently run over by his teammate Brian Rolston collide in the Penguins' zone.

4:02: Emrick busts out a Roman Cechmanek reference. Solid.

3:01: Only Mike Emrick could figure out a way to segue way from a Charlestown Chiefs jersey, to "Slapshot," to schools like Bemidji State and St. Cloud State, to Robert Morris and then to one of the Hanson Brothers. Mike Emrick is good.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Wild 1.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-Yeah there was a little bit more offense, but that was still some pretty boring hockey.

-A graphic shows that since 2002-03, Florida's Olli Jokinen has scored 31 game-winning goals, the most in the NHL. What tells us that like 21 of those were scored against the Penguins?

THIRD PERIOD

19:20: Versus busts out a pretty good statistic. The fastest active players to reach 100 points in their careers:

PlayerGamesAlexander Ovechkin77Sidney Crosby80Evgeni Malkin89Paul Kariya98Sergei Fedorov99

18:16: Malkin and Schultz both go to the penalty box again. These are both pretty weak penalties. Malkin gets called for holding the stick and Schultz is penalized for hooking. Perhaps the officials are trying to spur some offense in this game.

15:01: Off a steal, Tyler Kennedy leads a rush into the Wild's zone, but Recchi is whistled offsides.

14:50: Adam Hall is run over by James Sheppard in the neutral zone.

14:33: Hall didn't appreciate getting checked by Sheppard or getting clipped by the rookie off the faceoff with his stick. They drop the gloves. Nothing really happens. They basically spin each other around before the officials separate them. Even the one fight in this game is boring.

13:34: Koivu works the puck around a diving Mark Eaton and feeds it into the crease where Rolston is able to drive it past Sabourin for a goal. Penguins 2, Wild 2.

9:55: On a power play, Crosby sends a feed to Petr Sykora in the slot. Sykora repositions himself and snap a quick shot that beat Harding. Penguin 3-2.

8:40: Harding comes up with the save of the game. Recchi dishes a feed from the corner to Gonchar who's streaking down the slot. The Penguins blue-liner fires a quick shot on net but Harding is able to deny it. As Harding freezes the puck, Gonchar can only look up in disgust.

5:31: Off a blocked shot in his own end, Gonchar sends a breakout pass to Crosby in the neutral zone. Crosby out-races Skoula and fires a shot that beats Harding on the glove side. Penguins 4-2.

4:20: How does Kurtis Foster not get a boarding penalty? With Jordan Staal on his knees in the corner facing the boards, Foster checks Staal from behind and plants his face into the boards. Given how Boston's Patrice Bergeron was injured Saturday, you would think officials would be more vigilant of this call.

0:54: The last decent chance for the Wild comes when Mikko Koivu comes from behind the Penguins' net, turns and fires a wrister that Sabourin easily gloves.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 4, Penguins 2.

POSTGAME

-Wow was that brutal to watch. Hopefully, the Penguins don't play this team any time soon again.

-In all fairness to the Wild, they were playing without two of their better offensive players, Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik. Additionally defenseman Kim Johnsson was injured in the second period and didn't return.

-Dany Sabourin wasn't challenged a great deal, but he obviously played well enough to win.

-Cal Clutterbuck might be the best name in NHL history.

-Is it us, or does it look like the Wild celebrate Christmas every time they're home?

-Harding might have a cool helmet, but he needs to loose those pads.

-Shelly Anderon's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

WE HATE THE NEW JERSEYS

-At AOL, Eric McErlain says it's time for the NHL to "correct" the new jerseys.

-He's some more information on Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera's struggles with the new jersey.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Minnesota fans have been eager to see Sidney Crosby.

-Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune had a pretty good piece on Crosby's first game in Minnesota as a pro. (Registration required)

-Buying a Jarkko Ruutu jersey might be a bad idea.

Atlantic Division

-Flyers forward Simon Gagne is day-to-day with an undisclosed head injury.

Northeast Division-The Canadiens are mad that Sergei Gonchar was allowed to participate in the shootout in a 4-3 win in Pittsburgh Saturday. At the end of overtime, Gonchar boarded Habs defenseman Francois Boullion and injured him. The Habs feel a player who takes a penalty within the last two minutes of overtime shouldn't be allowed to participate in the shootout. It's a good idea in our opinion.

-The Bruins will be without goaltender Manny Fernandez for a few days.

Southeast Division

-Ilya Kovalchuk helped the Thrashers pull out a 3-2 shootout win in Montreal.

Pacific Division

-Coyotes assistant coach and former Penguins forward Rick Tocchet met with Gary Bettman yesterday to determine his status as a coach in the NHL.

-Ducks general manager Brian Burke wants to bring holding back into the game.

Northwest Division

-The day he got $35 million from the Flames, goaltender Miikaa Kiprusoff made 39 saves in a 5-1 defeat of the Predators.

-Former Penguins defenseman Dick Tarnstrom is having trouble getting playing time in Edmonton.

Adams Division

-From the completely insane department, some guy is attending an NHL game in all 30 arenas in 30 days. He'll be in Pittsburgh for Nov. 7 to see the Flyers game. As James Mirtle pointed out, this is surely a man to be idolized.



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