Garden state of decline

Nov. 6, 2007

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The Penguins took advantage of a lesser Devils team and won 5-0.

PREGAME

-Pardon us if that's a weak headline. We kind of dug "Garden State" and wanted an excuse to link to it.

-Dany Sabourin gets the start in net. Are the Penguins outright using a platoon system in net?

-Jarkko Ruutu and Colby Armstrong are scratches. Ryan Whitney is a scratch due to his groin injury. Alain Nasreddine plays his second NHL game this season

-There are more empty seats at the Prudential Center than the fourth quarter of a Steelers game when the beers sales are cut off. This is seriously pathetic. But as we've stated before, what can the Devils expect having played a boring brand of hockey for over ten years and then moving to less than lovely Newark and raising ticket prices?

FIRST PERIOD

18;35: Sergei Gonchar takes a penalty and it's not a hooking call?

16:28: FSN Pittsburgh pulls out a stat showing the least penalized teams this season while the camera is on Gonchar:

TeamPenalty MinutesIslanders134Penguins156Devils162Sabres163Avalanche165

We assume the camera is on Gonchar because hooking penalties against him probably have accounted for roughly 50-55 percent of the Penguins' penalties. We think.

16:15: Never in our life did we think we'd see a line of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Georges Laraque.

15:54: Trying to claim a puck bouncing into the offensive zone, note Penguins nemesis Jay Pandolfo gets smacked to the ice by Brooks Oprik

12:59: Nasreddine throws a shot on net from the point. Brodeur makes the initial save and Ryan Malone chops at the rebound sending it across the crease. Malkin has a juicy opportunity with an open net, but his shot is blocked by John Madden who sacrifices his body by flopping to ice and taking it in the stomach.

12:25: Laraque socks Arron Asham in the back along the boards and knocks off his helmet. Asham responds by punching Laraque in the back. Somehow, Laraque is the only one that goes to the penalty box.

8:20: David Clarkson takes a penalty when he holds Nasreddine's stick.

7:51: Gonchar wrists a shot from the point and Sykora deflects to just left of the Devils' crease. Crosby jumps on the puck and bangs it past a sprawling Brodeur. The Penguins tie a franchise record by scoring a power-play goal in the first 14 games of the season. Penguins 1-0.

5:45: FSN has another solid stat. The longest point-scoring streaks of Sidney Crosby's career:

DatesGamesOct. 6, 2007-Present13Dec. 2, 2006-Dec. 21, 200610Dec. 16, 2005-Jan. 7, 200610Jan 13, 2008-Feb. 1, 20077Feb. 10, 2007-Feb. 25, 20077

3:41:

Orpik throws a lazy shot towards the net and Adam Hall deftly re-directs towards the net and past Brodeur. It's an amazing feat by Hall to get a puck on net that otherwise would've missed it entirely. Penguins 2-0.

1:09: Asham, who is hardly known for his stick-handling, fakes Rob Scuderi and then Orpik out of their shorts with two brilliant moves. He then shows why he's not known for his offensive ability has he shoots the puck wide of the net while on a breakaway.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Devils 0.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-Good thing the Penguins have a 2-0 lead. They're pretty good at defending those. Wait...

SECOND PERIOD

14:12: On a power play, Malking steals the puck off a clearing attempt. He gets tripped up a bit by Andy Greene and falls to his knees in the lefts faceoff circle. Despite that, he's able to make a no-look pass to Sykora in the crease who snaps the one-timer past an out of position Brodeur. It's an amazing play by Malkin. Penguins 3-0.

10:58: While tussling for a puck in the corner, Mike Mottau clips Mark Recchi in the face with his stick. Two minutes.

10:01: Crosby chops out the skates of a Devils defenseman and gets away with a tripping penalty.

9:46: On a power play, Sykora comes down the slot with the puck uncontested and fires a shot on net that Martin Brodeur easily gloves.

9:40: We get our first look at the junior varsity power play unit that consists of Recchi, Gary Roberts, Erik Christensen, Scuderi and Orpik.

8:42: Taking a pass in the neutral zone from Laraque, Christensen feeds it on to Maxime Talbot on a two-on-one. Talbot gets it past a diving Johnny Oduya and gives it back to Christensen who bangs it home past a helpless Brodeur. Easy goal. Penguins 4-0.

6:32: Paul Steigerwald busts out the Alain Chevrier reference. Splendid.

2:35: The only sign of life from the Devils comes from Vitaly Vishnevski as he hammers Tyler Kennedy along the Devils' blue line as the Penguins forward tries to bring the puck into the zone. A penalty is called on Zach Parise for smacking Orpik in the face with his stick.

1:08: With the game seemingly in hand, the ninth grade power play unit gets onto the ice for the Penguins. Talbot, Laraque, Hall, Orpik and Scuderi.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 4, Devils 0.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Devils only managed three shots on goal that period. Weak.

-It's a little weird seeing the Devils intermission report with Ken Danyeko on behind Steigerwald and Errey.

-The have a weird bubble light thing going on with the ice during the intermission, being that the game is being played in Newark, it's entirely possible that someone is in the stands tripping on acid and having a heck of a time.

THIRD PERIOD

16:32: Brook Orpik goes all Bobby Orrpik and snaps a pass from along the boards into the crease to Sidney Crosby who drops to one knee and sweeps the puck past Brodeur. The Devils pull their beleaguered net-minder in favor of backup Kevin Weekes. Brent Sutter does some weird thing with his lower lip. Penguins 5-0.

(Kudos to Illegal Curve for spotting the video.)

12:42: You know it's a bad game when Alain Nasreddine is getting power-play time.

11:32: The Devils' best chance to score all night comes when a loose puck bounces out to the crease and former Canadian prime minister Paul Martin whips a nice wrister on net. Dany Sabourin coolly snags it with his glove.

9:00: Steigerwald explains who Hobey Baker was.

8:07: Steigerwald uses the term "stinker." Awesome.

6:27: Steigerwald, who at this point is providing the only entertainment in this game, says Brent Sutter has a bitter, beer face. This allows us to talk about how bad Keystone Beer is. The ironic thing about Keystone is despite its attempts to sell itself by proclaiming how it doesn't give you that bitter, beer face, it is in fact one of the most bitter beers we have ever had. We call shenanigans.

5:12: Dan Potash blames Bon Jovi for Martin Brodeur's troubles. We blame Bon Jovi for all sorts of things. Famine, disease, low brow cultural choices in Pittsburgh. But never for goaltending issues. We'll add it to the list.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 5, Devils 0.

POSTGAME

-Sabourin gets his first career shutout.

-Sabourin's shutout was one of five in the NHL last night. Remember the "new" NHL? We don't either.

-Sutter went all Herb Brooks on his team after the game.

-Readers of the The Pensblog provided some photos showing how pathetic the crowd was in Newark.

-Uno.

-Dos.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

WE HATE THE NEW UNIFORMS

-Don't know if anyone saw this last night, but Rangers forward Jason Studwick got into a fight last night with Philadelphia forward Riley Cote and the name plate on his $330 Reebok Edge-Super-Duper-Mega-Ultra-Awesome-Humungo-Women-Will-Want-You Uniform System jersey fell off. But hey it repels water! And that will always come in handy when it... uh... rains... or something.

-The Senators wore the new redesigned versions of the uniforms last week. (Kudos to the NHL Tournament of Logos for spotting that item.)

RANDOM YOUTUBE FIND OF THE DAY

-While mining HFBoards we found this gem. The video to "Tootsie Roll" by the 69 Boyz. (According to their Wikipedia page, they were all born in 1969, so get your minds out of the gutter.) Anyway, who ever coordinated the wardrobe for this masterpiece, decided the jerseys of the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers were just right for the video:

Enjoy.

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Martin Brodeur is a fan Marc-Andre Fleury.

-Ray Shero is pretty good.

-Steve Zipay of Newsday says the Penguins are looking at Dallas goalkeeper Marty Turco. We say no thanks. If you want to win a playoff series, pick up a goaltender who can perform in the playoffs. Turco is the Alex Rodriguez of the NHL. He plays great in the regular season, but falls apart in the post-season.

Atlantic Division

-Henrik Lundquist stopped 30 shots and picked up his fourth shutout of the season in a 2-0 defeat of the Flyers.

-Jaromir Jagr is having trouble with his sticks. It's had to believe Reebok is the culprit here given the wonderful job they've done with butchering the NHL's new uniforms.

-Bud Barth of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette says the NHL should take action against the Flyers organization for the actions of their players.

-Jim Baumbach of Newsday is really bitter about Al Arbour getting credit for the Islanders' 3-2 win against the Penguins Saturday.

-The eye injury Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro sustained in Saturday's win is not serious.

-Neil Smith has yet to be paid for the 17 minutes he ran the Islanders. He probably forgot to get his time sheet stamped.

-The Devils put defenseman Richard Matvichuk on waivers.

-EN friend Jason Yarosik spotted former Rangers goaltender Mike Richter in the New York Marathon Sunday.

Northeast Division

-Cristobal Huet made 29 saves and got his first shutout in nearly a year as the Canadiens blanked the Sabres, 2-0.

-Ottawa's Jason Spezza isn't expected to play tonight against Toronto.

-Toronto forward Mark Bell will make his debut for the Maple Leafs after serving a 15-game suspension.

-The Sabres recalled defenseman Mike Weber, a native of Pittsburgh, from Rochester of the AHL.

-The Bruins recalled highly-touted goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask.

Southeast Division

-Cory Stillman scored a hat trick and led the Hurricanes to 5-0 romping of Washington.

-Carolina forward Scott Walker is still experiencing pain from a collision with Pittsburgh forward Jarkko Ruutu Oct. 19.

Central Division

-We're barely a month into the season and Pascal Leclaire has tied the Blue Jackets' franchise record for shutouts in a season. He made 21 saves in a 3-0 defeat of divisional rival St. Louis Sunday.

-The Blue Jackets have found a way to get forward Nikolai Zherdev to play to his potential.

-The Blues sent defenseman Erik Johnson to Peoria of the AHL for a rehab stint.

Northwest Division

-Paul Stastny scored two goals for the Avalanche in a 4-1 win against the Flames.

-The Wild are beat up.

Pacific Division

-Marty Turco recorded his 31st career shutout as the Stars romped the Ducks, 5-0.

-The Kings sent forward Matt Moulson, a former Penguins prospect, to Manchester of the AHL.

Adams Division

-Peter Forsberg had some troubles with his ankles while practicing with the Swedish National Team. It could mean the end of his career.

-Kukla's Korner points out that NBC might not value its partnership with the NHL all that much.

-James Mirtle has a list of players with the most time on five-on-four power plays who have failed to score. Oilers forward Dustin Penner, one of the biggest and most controversial free agent signings this past offseason is the leader in the clubhouse at 34:71.

-Mirtle also rounded up the stats of some of the more notable ex-NHLers who are playing in Europe this season. Former Penguins on the list include Ric Jackman, Petr Nedved, Eric Boguniecki, Aleksey Morozov and Nils Ekman.

-At AOL, Greg Wyshinski wonders if there should be a return to the two-minute "major."

-Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Ron MacLean says the NHL needs to allow hooking and holding. No seriously.

-Fighting is on the rise.

-The weak U.S. dollar is hurting NHL players.

-Anson Carter is still a free agent and he wants to play.

-Voting for the All-Star game begins Nov. 13.

-TSN' James Duthie has some suggestions on how to spice up the All-Star game.



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