Motivating factor

Feb. 8, 2007

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After getting called out by his coach the previous game, Ryan Whitney scored two goals and an assist for the Penguins in a 4-3 at home against the Islanders.

PREGAME

-Holy Mark Recchi. Kris Beech is going bald.

-No Jeff Jimerson. No Joy.

-Alex Goligoski and Ryan Stone were the Penguins' scratches.

-The Islanders scratched Bryan Berard, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Miroslav Satan.

FIRST PERIOD

17:45: Beech takes the ice for the first time as a Penguin (again). He's wearing No. 24 which shocks us. You'd think they would've retired that in honor of Bob Paradise eons ago.

17:12: Colby Armstrong works the puck from the behind the net to along the boards. He centers a pass into the slot to Nathan Smith who whips a nice wrister on net. Rick DiPietro makes a solid save.

16:47: Jeremey Colliton runs over Darryl Sydor behind the Penguins net.

16:22: Ruslan Fedotenko hammers Jordan Staal from behind into the boards.

15:29: You knew it was going to happen eventually. Ty Conklin's confidence in handling the puck was going to burn him. The Islanders clear the puck into the Penguins zone. Conklin comes out to play it before it goes into the "no-play" zone and misplays it. Andy Hilbert hussles down the ice and gets to it before any Penguin. With Conklin out of place, he centers it into the crease where Mike Comrie scores an easy goal. Islanders 1-0.

12:40: Paul Steigerwald notes that Frans Nielsen is the only native of Denmark in the NHL that he was aware of. He's correct. Jannick Hansen of the Canucks has played five games this season, but is currently in the AHL.

12:20: Coming back from commercial, we get a peek of Sidney Crosby in Mario Lemieux's suite. He's sitting next to former Penguin Marc Bergevin who looks as if he's wearing Chris Sabo's Rec Specs. During the television time out, Petr Sykora's 600th career point was acknowledged.

11:04: On the power play, Petr Sykora feeds a nifty pass into the slot to Ryan Malone. Malone tries to punch it in, but DiPietro makes a nice save.

10:56: Sykora slides a pass from the near boards to Malkin in the slot. Malkin squares up as if he's going to shot and gets Brendan Witt to drop to block the shot. Malkin then pushes the puck to his left to Ryan Whitney who shoots the puck past a helpless DiPietro. Islanders 1, Penguins 1.

10:41: In the least likely of fights, Comrie and Maxime Talbot decide to go at it. Talbot said Hillary Duff, Comrie's girlfriend, was awful in "Cheaper By The Dozen" or something. Comrie removes his helmet and has Talbot held at bay by his jersey. He actually allows Talbot to remove his helmet. There's a lot of wrestling but very few punches even thrown.

7:32: Georges Laraque slams Aaron Johnson into the boards from behind.

4:14: The Murphy Dump is explained. Larry Murphy gets some face time. Steigerwald talks about one of the most famous Murphy Dumps being when Murphy did it in a playoff game against the Devils in 1991 that the Penguins won. No so. It was Phil Bourque.

(Kudos to ThePensblog for being on the ball with that one.)

2:54: Conklin gets in Comrie's grill and the two have to be separated by an official.

1:41: Bob Errey admits that he tried to take out Kris Beech one year in training camp.

0:08: Errey defends his mangling of Bryan Trottier's name. Errey claims it "Trot-E-Yay" but acknowledges the common pronunciation is "Troch-E-A."

0:00: End of period. Islanders 1, Penguins 1.

FIRST INTERMISSION

-The Islanders own an 11-9 advantage in shots.

-Penguins trainer Chris Stewart explains what a high ankle sprain is to Errey using a model of a skeleton's foot. We know's he a trainer and all, but does anyone else find it odd that Stewart has a fake skeleton foot available on demand?

-Something tells us Steigerwald was a little too proud coming up with that "RuuTube" line.

-Steigerwald ask Errey if he likes those "Scotch" people as if they were some race of weird mind-erasing aliens from Neptune.

SECOND PERIOD

19:14: Erik Christensen thumps Witt down to the ice.

17:36: Right off a faceoff, Whitney throws the puck on net and Ryan Malone redirects it. The puck sneaks through DiPietro's equipment and trickles in for a goal. Penguins 2-1.

14:47: Kris Beech gets called for tripping.

13:30: Just as Steigerwald finishes bragging about the wonderful job Greg Malone did with the Penguins as a scout, Fedotenko ties the game. Trent Hunter brings it down the near boards, gets by Armstrong and centers a pass. Fedotenko takes the pass and shoots it by Conklin. Islanders 2, Penguins 2.

8:27: On the power play, Malkin takes a shot from the right faceoff circle but Witt blocks it. Whitney sneaks in from the point, picks the puck up and throws a backhander on net that beats DiPietro. Penguins 3-2.

6:13: From his knees, Beech fires a backhander that DiPietro is forced to make a nice blocker save on.

4:23: Witt trips up Nathan Smith. No call.

4:16: The puck deflects out of play and Laraque saunters over to Witt and expresses his displeasure with Witt's trip.

3:27: While touting the fact that FSN Pittsburgh is available in Lancaster, Steigerwald says, "There's a lot of Amish people up there. I don't think they watch TV. Maybe they'll see the game going to the market or something." Errey follows that up with a little giggle. Roy Munson is stunned. Paul Steigerwald 1. Religious Tolerance 0.

3:07: Witt fires a shot from the point. Armstrong blocks it with his ankle and hobbles to the bench in a ton in pain.

0:00: End of period. Penguins 3, Islanders 2.

SECOND INTERMISSION

-The Penguins are out-shooting the Islanders 22-21.

-During the intermission, A musical chairs game is played on the ice. When it gets down to two, the guy drops to his knee and proposes to his girlfriend.

-Best text messages sent to the Jumbotron:

"Cotton Candy Guy be my valentine."

"Where is Billy Tibbetts?"

"Gary Roberts Can Divide By Zero."

-Showing NHL highlights, Rob King refers to the Ducks as the "Quackers."

-No Mike Yeo before the third period. Fail.

-Steigerwald suggests they could play a Penguins game at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning and sell out Mellon Arena.

THIRD PERIOD

15:18: Chasing after a loose puck, Staal nudges Sutton off his skates and into the boards. Staal probably could've been called for interference there.

13:38: Laraque upends Richard Park along the Penguins bench.

13:15: Coming back from commercial, we learn that Lemieux was skating this morning with a young man who is ailing from Hodgkin's disease. The obligatory "best shape of his life" comment can take a rest for once.

11:06: Armstrong trips up Blake Comeau. Two minutes.

9:14: Park holds the puck for about seven seconds behind the net. He gets Darryl Sydor to come after him and then passes it to the right to Comrie. Comrie get Conklin to drop to his knees and roofs it from a nearly impossible angle. That prompts a few "fans" to leave. That is so mind-numbingly stupid we can't even describe it without cursing. The game gets tied with less than 10 minutes left and you leave? Why even buy a ticket? Islanders 3, Penguins 3.

8:12: Malkin tries to get by Witt along the boards but gets upended by the rugged defenseman.

3:39: Whoa what a shot! DiPietro tries to play a puck from behind his net but can't get it out. The puck gets swung back around the boards and Kris Letang pick it up. He moves in from the point and zips a shot from almost along the goal line over DiPietro's near-side shoulder and in the far side. Just sick. Penguins 4-3.

1:10: DiPietro is pulled in favor of an extra attacker.

0:27: The Penguins ice the puck and the Islanders call a time out.

0:18: The Penguins win the faceoff and work it out of their zone. Staal tries to backhand it from the point into the empty net but hits the post.

0:00.4: Josef Vasicek throws the puck from the boards into the crease. Trent Hunter and Fedotenko try to jam it in. Conklin says no and covers it up. It squirts loose and the officials whistle it just as Bill Guerin punches it in. The officials wave off the goal.

0:00: End of game. Penguins 4, Islanders 3.

POSTGAME

-The officials should've blown the whistle sooner on Guerin's non-goal. That said, the puck was loose in the crease when they did blow it.

-To say the least, Ryan Whitney responded to Michel Therrien's criticism well.

-It's safe to say the Penguins' offense bailed out Conklin yesterday. This was easily Conklin weakest effort since taking over as a starter.

-Even without Mike Sillinger, one of the best faceoff guys in the league, the Islanders owned a 35-27 edge in faceoffs.

-New York out-shot the Penguins, 32-27.

-Whitney showed some class when he tossed a stick into the stands to a fan when he was named the first star of the night. This is something we wish the Penguins would do on a regular basis. The Sharks do it at all of their home games. A public relations official will stand in the tunnel to the locker room with a replica stick, have the player who was named one of the games three stars sign it. The Shark will then skate out with that stick and hand it to a kid along the boards. It's a classy gesture more teams ought to partake in.

-Best jerseys we saw: Martin Straka and Alexei Kovalev, (late 1990's); early San Jose Sharks; Ron Francis 1991-92; Martin Straka (early 2000's).

sharks
Jarmo Myllys would be proud.

-Most obscure jersey saw: Janne Laukkanen.

Janne Laukkanen

Was Hans Jonsson not available?

Most out of place jersey we saw: A Jessie Armstead New York Giants jersey.

-No Jimerson. No Yeo. And worst of all No Cotton Candy Guy. We're really depressed. -The Malkin bobblehead we got was solid:

malkin

Why was our camera so foggy?

-It took its place in Castle Empty Netters alongside several other bobbleheads we've claimed at Mellon Arena.

bobbleheads

Recchi's bobblehad complains it isn't getting enough playing time on our shelf.

-Dave Molinari's recap.

-Game Summary.

-Event Summary.

-Highlights:

EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Penguins

-Sidney Crosby practiced today.

-Tyler Kennedy was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-It's the end of an era: Marc-Andre Fleury's going to white pads. (And Mario Lemieux's a good guy.)

-Eddy Spaghetti gave Michel Therrien some props.

-Someone spotted the pre-game introduction to the Penguins' first home playoff game last season:

-EN contributor Eric Politowski rounded the Penguins goals from games 41-52 this season:

Atlantic Division

-Flyers forward Scotty Upshall will be out 7-10 days with a hip injury.

-The Rangers assigned forward Greg Moore to Hartford of the AHL.

-Check out this video the Flyers played when they inducted Ron Hextall into their team's hall of fame earlier this week:

(Look for Hextall chasing Rob Brown at the 2:12 mark.)

-Say what you will about Hextall as a Penguins fan, but you have to admit he was an entertaining player.

-Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News thinks Eric Lindros should be inducted into the Flyers hall of fame. Bobby Clarke vomits.

-The Devils plan on being active at the trade deadline.

-The Islanders gave former great Pat LaFontaine the middle finger.

-Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg is mad Montreal's Alex Kovalev didn't get suspended for elbowing him in the face Sunday. We can't argue with him.

Northeast Division

-Dany Heatley's first game back from a shoulder injury saw him score two goals and an assist for the Senators who edged the Panthers, 5-4.

-The Maple Leafs got two goals from Darcy Tucker in a 4-2 win at Montreal.

-Montreal's Patrice Brisebois hammered Tucker last night:

-Bruins forward Glen Murray hopes to play tonight. He hasn't played since suffering a hip injury in a game against the Penguins Dec. 20.

-Sabres forward Tim Connolly will try to play with a hip injury instead of having surgery.

Southeast Division

-Vaclav Prospal's overtime goal gave the Lightning a 2-1 win at Nashville. It was Tampa Bay's sixth consecutive win.

Central Division

-Patrick Sharp had a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks in a 3-1 win at Calgary.

-Fredrik Norrena made 26 saves to lead the Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win at Phoenix.

-Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews could return to the lineup Sunday. He has been out since Jan. 1 with a knee injury.

Northwest Division

-Roberto Luongo made 27 saves for the Canucks in a 2-1 win at Atlanta.

Pacific Division

-Alexander Frolov and Brad Stuart each had a goal and two assists as the Kings, the worst team in the league, beat the best, the Red Wings, 5-3.

-Mathieu Schneider had a goal and an assist for the Ducks in a 4-1 road win against the Rangers.

-Mike Smith made 25 saves and led the Stars to a 1-0 shutout win at Minnesota.

-Check out the cheap shot Coyotes forward Craig Weller gave Blue Jackets defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen last night:

(That's worth a few games at least.)

-The Kings put defenseman Rob Blake on injured reserve with an ankle injury and recalled goaltender Dan Cloutier from the AHL.

-The Coyotes are creative advertisers.

Adams Division

-Who is Fabian Brunnstrom?



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