The Daily Bongo

January 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Win
The Pens were playing the Carolina Hurricanes last night in Pittsburgh, and almost lost the game. Dustin Jeffrey, Mark Letestu, and Pascal Dupuis stepped up for the Pens to get goals. However, in the last five minutes of the game, the Hurricanes got a goal from Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal (at 19:02) got goals for the Hurricanes. Marc-Andre Fleury was able to hold off the Hurricane from tying the game. Final score: Pens 3 - Hurricanes 2.

Thursday, January 20, 2011 -- Evening

Brodeur Shuts Out Pens
The Pens are having issues. Sidney Crosby is still out with the concussion, and Evgeni Malkin didn't travel with the Pens to New Jersey to play the Devils. The claim is that Malkin hurt his knee, or at least, hurt his leg. So the team was down to Max Talbot and Jordan Staal. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough. The Devils scored two goals in the first period, and then they just sat on the lead. Even though the Pens tried to storm Martin Brodure, he held on for his 114th career shutout. Final goal: Pens 0 - Devils 2.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 -- Evening

Redwings Come to Town
The Detroit Redwings were in town to play the Pens this evening. Sidney Crosby was still not on the ice because he is still suffering from concussion symptoms. The game started out with Jordan Staal getting a goal, and Chris Conner scoring on a penalty shot. Chris Kunitz got a goal in the second, and Matt Cooke got an empty netter to give the Pens a 4-1 win. Marc-Andre Fleury did a great job in goal, and got the number one star of the game.

Saturday, January 15, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Beat Bruins
The Pens were in Boston for a rematch against the Bruins this afternoon. Again, as in the last game against the Bruins, the Pens had a lead, 2-0 this time. In the second period, the Bruins scored two goals in 23 seconds to tie things up. Of course, we were all starting to feel deja vu, but Jordan Staal tipped the scale in the favor of the Pens with the winning goal. Pens win with a final score of 3-2.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Beat Canadiens
The Pens were in Montreal to play the Canadiens this evening. The Pens scored first with a goal by Alex Goligoski, but the Canadiens tied things up 18 seconds later. Montreal got another goal in the second, but it was all Pens after that. Tyler Kennedy got a goal, followed by Goligoski's second, Jordan Staal's first of the year, and Kris Letang. The Pens won with a final score of 5-2.

Monday, January 10, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Choke
It seems that every time the Pens play the Boston Bruins in recent months that the Pens have a multi-point lead that they relinquish in the final minutes of the game. This evening's game was no different. The Pens had a 2-0 lead with less than four minutes left in the game. By game end, the Bruins had won by a score of 4-2. Who knows where the collapse came, but it just seemed that the Pens let the game get away from them with sloppy play. Maybe the team is missing Sidney Crosby, who is still out with the concussion.

Saturday, January 8, 2011 -- Evening

Crosby Has Concussion
The sports shows have been abuzz with talk about Sidney Crosby. It appears his "upper body injury" was a mild concussion. The Pens tried to make it sound as it he got the concussion from a hit in the Tampa Bay game. However, we all saw Crosby get his clock cleaned in the Winter Classic. Most of the NHL analysts have been aghast that the Pens allowed Crosby to play with a concussion. The team, and Crosby, are trying to say that he was cleared by doctors to play and that he didn't have symptoms. Crosby admits that he wasn't feeling right in the Tampa Bay game, and it seems that he probably did have a headache with some neck pain. Obviously we teach kids to play injured at a young age. You just hate to see it in someone like Crosby because you don't want such a valuable resource, both to the Pens and the NHL, to suffer debilitation. I say that should give even more weight to penalties against those who perform head hits. In Crosby's case, the Caps David Steckel seemed to go for Crosby's head even though Crosby did not have the puck. Of course, there was no penalty. And there was no penalty when Crosby was shoved into the boards from behind in the Tampa Bay game. Crosby should be out for at least a week.
Wild in Town
The Minnesota Wild were in town to play the Pens. Unfortunately, the Pens were feeling Crosby's absence. The Wild got two goals in the first period, and two more in the third. The Pens, however, were unable to score. Yep, you read that right; the Wild shutout the Pens. The final score was 4-0. Let's hope that Sid doesn't have an extended concussion problem.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 -- Evening

Crosby Injured; Pens Lose in a Shootout
The Pens were in Montreal to play the Canadiens. Sidney Crosby wasn't with them though, because he was sent back to Pittsburgh this morning with an upper body injury. It seems that Crosby may have had one too many hits that gave him some sort of injury. He got a bad hit in the Winter Classic, and then was pushed into the boards in yesterday's game. Matt Cooke also missed the game for personal reasons, and he also returned to Pittsburgh. Brent Johnson was in goal for the Pens. Aaron Asham scored in the first two minutes of the game to give the Pens a 1-0 lead. The Canadiens didn't get the tying goal until the second period. No goals were scored in the third period, even though the Canadiens had a 5-3 opportunity. The game went into overtime. The game went to a shootout. Michael Cammalleri went first and did not score. Kris Letang was up next, and Carey Price stopped him. Next was P.K. Subban, who was stopped. Pascal Dupuis was next, and he missed too. Then it was Brian Gionta's turn. He missed too. Then Evgeni Malkin missed, per usual, not even getting it to the net. Then it was Andre Kostitsyn, but he lost the puck. Mark Letestu had a shot, and Price gloved the puck. Next was Benoit Pouliot, and he scored by getting the puck behind Johnson. Pouliot's shot was a gorgeous one. The game rested on Chris Kunitz's shoulders, and Price stopped him. The Canadiens won with a final score of 2-1.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Have a Scoring Frenzy
The Tampa Bay Lightning were in town this evening to play the Pens. The Lightning have been having a good season with Steven Stamkos scoring on a regular basis. The team just picked up Dwayne Roloson as goalie, and he had a shutout win last night. Well, the Pens came out with a vengeance to redeem themselves after the Winter Classic. Evgeni Malkin scored in the first seven seconds of the game, one of the fastest goals for the Pens since the 1990s. That started a scoring streak. Four goals (Malkin, Chris Conner, Tyler Kennedy, and Chris Kunitz) were scored in the first eight minutes, leading to Roloson being pulled from goal. Dan Ellis went into goal, and quickly gave up a goal to Kunitz. Roloson came back into the game in the second period. The second period was interesting with Stamkos getting a penalty shot because he was tripped up on a breakaway. Unfortunately for Stamkos, he lost his edge on his skates and fell to the ice, losing the puck. Marc-Andre Fleury quickly skated out to push the puck away because Stamkos could have gotten up and tried it again as long as the puck had forward motion. After that fiasco, Mark Letestu and Kunitz scored goals. Yep, Kunitz had his first hat trick as a Pen, and second of his career. After the second period, the score was 7-0. Ellis was back in goal for the Lightning at the start of the third. Then Lightning got a goal near the start of the period to take away Fleury's chance at a shutout. But then Alex Goligoski got the goal back to keep a 7 point lead. No one else scored after that, and the Pens won with a final score of 8-1.

Saturday, January 1, 2011 -- Evening

Winter Classic
There has been a good deal of talk about the Winter Classic between the Pens and the Capitals, held in Pittsburgh today. I thought that Pittsburgh was not the right choice for an outdoor hockey game when it was first suggested. After all, you can never guarantee that it will be cold in the city in the beginning of January. Well, even though it has been cold and snowy since November, the temperatures picked up. The Classic was postponed from 1 p.m. this afternoon to 8 p.m. this evening. Unfortunately, the temperatures have remained in the upper 40s and lower 50s into the evening with rainy drizzle. There weren't any goals in the first period, but then the scoring picked up in the second period. Evgeni Malkin got the first goal of the game with assists by Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury. Then the Capitals got a power play goal, and then got a second goal when Fleury misplayed the puck behind the net. The ice was in really bad condition because of the warmth and the rainy conditions. It seems that what Fleury did might have been normal for an inside game, but for crappy ice, it wasn't such a good move. Unfortunately, the Caps scored again in the third period to give the Capitals a 3-1 win. After the game, the Pens waved their sticks to thank the crowd, but there wasn't a handshake line at the end of the game as there were in past classics.
Jordan Staal Plays
Jordan Staal got clearance to play in the Winter Classic. It was very nice to have Staalsy back on the ice.
Steelers at the Winter Classic
Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis dropped the puck with Mario Lemieux and a military guy. In the second intermission, Harris and Bettis had a competition on who could get the most pucks in a net. The Bus got 9 pucks in the net compared to Franco's 7. So The Bus won that. Then they finished off having to throw a football into the goal. The thing that I liked about Jerome "The Bus" Bettis is that he loves to compete, and he really goes all out to win in any sort of physical competition.