The Daily Bongo

March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the New York Rangers again this evening (back to back games for both teams.) The Pens really stunk up the joint with only one shot on goal in the first period. However, they managed to keep the Rangers from scoring with some stellar play by Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury has just been playing wonderful hockey since he came back from his injury. The only goal in regulation was one where Jaromir Jagr shot at the goal, and Rob Scuderi hit the puck from the air into the Fleury's helmet and into the net. The game went into over time, and the Rangers got the winning goal on a power play. The final score was Rangers 2 - Pens 1.

Sunday, March 30, 2008 -- Evening

Big Brother was on this evening, and we got to see Natalie as HOH. Natalie seems like a decent, nice person. It's sad that some of the houseguests mock her and make fun of her silliness and seeming lack of intelligence. I think that they underestimate her, and I'm rooting for her to get far in the game. James tried to talk her into aligning with him, but as Natalie said, she can't trust him. When Natalie nominated James and Josh, James said that he would come after Natalie next week when he won HOH. I guess he's going after everyone. Anyway, from the live feeds, I found out that James won POV, and Sharon was put up in his place. So I am expecting Josh to go home next.

Sunday, March 30, 2008 -- Late Afternoon

The Pens played the New York Rangers in an early afternoon game today. The Rangers got the first goal, but the Pens came back to take the lead with two goals. The second period was one of the worst with the Pens getting only four shots on goal. Fortunately, the Rangers didn't score, but the Pens are going to have to start getting more shots on goal in the playoffs. It was scary for a second when Evgeni Malkin fell to the ice clutching his face towards the end of the second period. He just got a cut and was back in the third period. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and he did a good job. He was playing alot more aggressively in this game, and was playing the puck behind the net or off to the side more than I like. I always get nervous when the goalies do stuff like that because they can get burned with an open net goal. The Pens won this game with a score of 3-1. Check out my pictures of the game.

Friday, March 28, 2008 -- Early Evening

I made a trip to Phipps Conservatory yesterday morning to check out the spring flower show. The spring show is going to be a short one, so get there before April 13. Check out my pictures of the show.

Friday, March 28, 2008 -- Late Afternoon

The Pens played the New York Islanders last night. The Pens were determined to make the outcome different from their match up with the Islanders last week, where the Pens lost. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and he only let one goal get past him. The real stars of the games were the third liners, Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque. Laraque got his fourth goal of the season, and Ruutu was a huge presence on the ice, having a hand in all three goals. He got two assists, and scored a short handed goal. Not only that, but he was just Ruutu, getting under everyone's skin. Fleury did a great job too. The only problem was when he attempted to score a goal himself when the Islanders had an empty net at the end of the third. The puck went in front of the net, and Fleury had to scurry to prevent a goal. He did. Check out my pictures of the game. The next game is Sunday afternoon, and I hope to have the pictures up sometime that evening. My service provider is moving its servers, and my site might be down over the weekend.

Pens' playoff tickets went on sale to 2000 lucky buyers. The season ticket holders who signed up to pay as we go for the playoff tickets should get them in the mail sometime today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 -- Evening

It was live eviction night on Big Brother. Sharon seemed pretty calm with her eviction because she felt safe going up against Chelsia. Chelsia realized that she was screwed because people were out to get either her or James. The key thing in everyone's mind was to break up the pair because they were strong competitors.. Although Natalie was against them for what they did to Matty. Natalie had spent some time making Easter eggs, and Chelsia acted like a real bitch and broke every one of Natalie eggs while she made fun of Natalie. Chelsia really flipped out and just kept on yelling abuse at Natalie. Natalie stayed in another room and didn't say anything. Chelsia really showed her true side which was not nice. It will be good to see Chelsia leave the game. James even said that he would be voting against Chelsia. Everyone voted to evict Chelsia, including James. Chelsia went totally crazy at the end and felt a need to be vicious until the end. Julie asked Chelsia what she whispered to Josh. Chelsia said that she told Josh to calm down before competitions because Josh tended to psych himself out before competitions. Chelsia admits that she should not have voted James back into the house because she was playing with her heart instead of her head. The HOH competition had the houseguests answering that the public voted on over the past week. The houseguests had to blindfold themselves and answer the questions. Josh was picked as most likely to recarve himself on Mount Rushmore. Adam was more likely to give to charity. Adam was more likely to lock himself out of the White House. James was voted most likely to have an interesting biography that people would rather read. James was the one picked to go to lead everyone to battle. Natalie picked as the person who would give the most inspiring speech. Sharon was picked as the person to who stop a motorcade to avoid a squirrel. Natalie got six of the seven questions right (she only missed the one that asked if Natalie or Sharon would stop the motorcade) so she was the new HOH. I was really glad to know that Natalie won because I really don't Josh or James, and they will be the ones that Natalie targets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the New Jersey Devils this evening, and it wasn't the same as yesterday. For one, Marc-Andre Fleury gave a stellar performance, earning a shutout. Ryan Malone scored a goal for the Pens in the first period, and that goal was good enough to take them to the end of the game when Marian Hossa scored an empty netter. I think that Fleury's performance this evening should have shut up all those Fleury neighsayers, but some people are hard to please. The Pens won with a final score of 2-0, and have a four point lead over the Devils in the conference.

Monday, March 24, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the New York Islanders this evening. Ty Conklin was in goal for the Pens because he had a good record against the Islandesr. Sidney Crosby did not play this evening as planned because he felt his ankle still wasn't ready. If he had been playing, he would have been blamed for the Pens poor performance. As Ryan Malone said in the second intermission, the Pens were playing crappy hockey. The first period wasn't so bad, and the score was tied 1-1. However, the Pens really just let the game go in the second period. The Islanders took a two goal lead into the third period. The Pens only had three shots on goal in the second period! There were alot of tensions between the teams, but it didn't help the Pens in the end. They lost with a final score of 1-4.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 -- Evening

I watched Big Brother this evening. The show was delayed because of the NCAA basketball games. The show started with the eviction of Matt and the HOH competition with Adam winning. Shelia said that she cared about Matty, and they are going to fight for Matty. Shelia said that Adam was going to be a total hero in her eyes for seeking vengence on the others. Chelsia was so mad because she wanted the HOH. Adam admitted that he didn't want to win because it would be the end of his fun and easy ride in the house. The houseguests got to compete in a luxury competition to watch the movie 21. They had to pick cards that would add up to 21, and give the names of the houseguests on the cards. Chelsia couldn't add, and neither could James. However, Ryan was very good at adding, and he won the game. So he got to pick three houseguests to see the movie with him. Then Ryan was given a change to increase his prize by playing one hand of Blackjack. If he won, he would win a trip to Las Vegas. If he lost, the other four houseguest would get to see the movie. The total of the prize package is $21,000. Ryan got 18 and then the house got 19 so Ryan lost, and Josh, Sharon, Chelsia, and Shelia got to see the movie. The funny thing is that Natalie started seeing things grouped in eight all over the house, and she thinks it means that Evel Dick will come back to the house. From watching the live feeds, I know that Dick comes back to host the POV competition. So Adam tells Natalie that he is thinking of nominating Shelia. Natalie tries to tell Adam that he needs to think of the numbers and he needs to get rid of people on the other side. As Natalie said they have to reduce the numbers of the other side. Adam wises up and winds up nominating James and Chelsia. As Adam says, James and Chelsia are a pair and have to be broken up, and he's not going to backdoor anyone.

Sunday, March 23, 2008 -- Morning

The Pens played the New Jersey Devils yesterday evening. With only seven games left in the regular seaon, and all those games against others in their conference, this game had huge importance. The first two periods were good, and the Pens took an early lead. The score was still close. When the third period startd, the Pens came out with renewed energy. They scored five goals in the third period, and even caused Martin Brodeur to be pulled from the game in the third period after the Pens' fourth goal. Kevin Weekes did not do much better, letting in three goals. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and did a good job, and although he spent alot of watching the game in the third period. Evgeni Malkin got three points (two goals) and now has 102 points in the season. Everyone has been talking about how much better the team has been doing without Sidney Crosby. I know that I have been saying that he can take off longer because he seems to change the chemistry of the team in a negative way. The Pens score less and win a few percentage of games when Crosby is in the lineup. No one can explain it, but I think that it's because everyone on the team expects Crosby to score. Also, I think the lines have chemistry, and when Crosby comes back, the Malkin, Petr Sykora, and Ryan Malone line get broken up, and that's the most productive line! Final score in today's game was 7-1. Check out my pictures of the game. I have some good ones!

Thursday, March 20, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the Tampa Bay Lightning at Mellon Arena this evening. I didn't go to the game because I am still trying to recouperate from the flu. This one really knocked me for a loop, and I have been feeling tired. The game was quite fun with goals by Jarkko Ruutu and Jordan Staal. Right after Ruutu scored, he got a high stick to the mouth and nose that left him with a bloody nose and swollen lip. That didn't stop Ruutu from making some great plays. At one point in the third period, Ruutu lost his stick, and shuffled the puck between his feet down the ice and feed it to Max Talbot who missed the net. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and did a good job of stopping the puck, although truth be told, his teammates tried to cut down on the shooting chances of the Lightning. All in all, it was a good game, with the Pens winning with a final score of 4-2.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 -- Evening

The live eviction show was on Big Brother this evening. It came down to a tie between Ryan and Matt with Shelia, Adam, and Natalie voting to evict Ryan. Well, James decided that Matt was more of a danger than Ryan. I thought that was stupid in a way because Ryan was the person who was doing all the bad things. Poor Matty was quite blindsided. When it came down to the HOH competition, it was an elimination challenge with the houseguests having to pick which evicted houseguest said a statement in the diary room. Well, it came down to Chelsia and Adam. Adam rang in, and guessed Amanda before the question was completely finished. Surprisingly, he won! It will be interesting to see what Adam does. There was a blow up between Shelia and Joshuah before the live show on the feeds. Josh is one of those disgusting low-life people who pick on those they consider weaker. So Josh yells at women and berates them with vulgar names and obscenities. As Shelia said, Josh picks on women because he's afraid that a man would beat him up. I think that Josh really hates women, and that's why he demeans them so much. I hope that he gets voted out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the New York Rangers this evening. Ty Conklin was in goal, and he did not do a very good job. The Rangers got five goals in the game, and the Pens were only able to get two. The dads of the players were on hand for Sunday's game and tonight's game. This is something that Ray Shero has been doing for the teams that he manages to get the team members happy and bonding. There was talk from the announcers about Conklin's performance. They think that letting Marc-Andre Fleury play screwed up Conklin's rhythm. I think it was just that he had a hot streak, and now he's not so hot.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 -- Late Afternoon

The Pens played the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon. The game was a special offering on NBC and had a special start time of noon. It was difficult to get into hockey mood that early, but it wasn't hard for the Pens. Although Sidney Crosby was a scratch with his high ankle sprain acting up, but Marian Hossa played, and he got a goal and an assist in his second game for the Pens. Petr Sykora and Evgeni Malkin also scored two goals and two assists each in the Pens' 7 to 1 route of the Flyers. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and did a very nice job. It doesn't look as if the Pens have a goalie controversy because after the game, Ty Conklin and Fleury seemed to get along really well after the game, joking and chatting together as they skated close to each other. Check out my pictures of the game.

James won the POV on Big Brother, and he used the veto to take Shelia off the block, and put Matty up. That means that Matty is probably going to go home this week. I think that it also means that he will be the first person in sequester.

Friday, March 14, 2008 -- Late Morning

Georges Laraque was suspended for three games for hitting Nathan Paetsch with an elbow in Wednesday's game against the Buffalo Sabres. I watched the replay of the incident, and it looks as if Laraque barely touched Paetsch. However, it seemed that Paetsch had taken a hard hit in the game before that, and he had probably suffered a slight concusion in that game. That would explain how such a slight touch from Laraque would end in Paetsch being knocked unconscious. The NHL, being the incompetent organization that it is in such matters, judges these things not on the type of blow, but on how badly hurt the person is. So when Jordan Staal is shoved head first into the boards, it results in a minor penalty because Staal didn't get hurt. Who cares that boarding someone head first is a potentially dangerous move. And if Laraque lightly brushes against someone with an elbow, and that person has a glass jaw, it's a hard penalty on Laraque. These things don't make any sense.

On Big Brother, James was able to hold on the longest of all the houseguests. His main competitor was Natalie. For the life of me, I can't understand why Natalie and Adam voted against their own alliance members by chosing to bring back James. Now they are going to get bitten in the butt by their decision. James nominated Shelia and Ryan for eviction, and is probably going to backdoor Matt.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the Buffalo Sabres this evening. Petr Sykora wound up getting over his backache and played this evening. However, Sidney Crosby didn't play because his high ankle sprain was acting up. Tyler Kennedy got a breakaway in the first few minutes of the game, and scored the first goal. The Sabres haven't been doing as well since they had the fire sale of their best players last year. Right now, they are battling to get into the playoffs, and this game didn't help them. After the Pens took the lead, it looked like they would keep it with Ty Conklin in goal. The Sabres scored two goals in a little over two minutes at the beginning of the third period to make the score Pens 4 - Sabres 2. From there, it became a scoring fest on both sides. The third period took forever, with everyone getting a hand in to score. The final score in the end was Pens 7 - Sabres 3. This is the first time that the Pens won every game played in the season against the Sabres.

It was eviction night on Big Brother. This group of houseguests are the biggest bunch of flip-floppers that I have seen in the game. As we saw on the show, Shelia and Natalie were quick to turn on Sharon after Sharon told Shelia about Matty making out with Sharon when she was HOH. Of course, Natalie is so into Matty that she can't think straight. All six evicted houseguests were brought back to the BB stage, and we finally got to find out who was going to back into the house. Hold on, there was a catch. Parker came in second, and Alex (my choice) won the vote. Now the catch. The houseguests would get to vote to decide whether they should keep the person just evicted, or if they should take the person who was to reenter the house. The only thing is that the houseguests wouldn't know who was the person who was voted to come back into the house. James was evicted and talked to Julie for a short while. Then Julie broke the news to him that the houseguests would get the option to bring either James or America's choice back into the house. The siren went off in the house, and the houseguests assembled in the living room. Ryan voted to bring back the mystery houseguest. Chelsia voted to bring back James. Matty voted to bring back mystery houseguest. Shelia voted to bring back the mystery houseguest. Joshuah voted to bring back James. Natalie voted to bring back James. Adam voted to bring back James. Sharon voted to bring back James. Unfortunately, that's five votes to bring back James. I was really disappointed because I liked Alex. They brought a box into the house, and when the houseguests opened it, James came popping out. Then it was on to the HOH competition. The competition was an endurance one. The houseguests had to grab onto a disco ball on a chain.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 -- Evening

Another Big Brother this evening. We got to see all the scheming. Ryan is playing both sidees by keeping both Matty and the group against Matty cloe. Jmes, Chelsia, Sharon, Joshuah, and Shelia were against Matty. The POV competition was interesting. As the contestants were eliminated, they got to pick a prize, and trade for someone else's if they wanted. Shelia got a motorcycle, and very gallantly, when Adam won the $10,000, he gave her the money and took the bike because he thought she needed it more. Ryan, who won the competition, let Chelsia keep her prize of the veto, and took the $10,000. Surprisingly, Matty wasn't concerned about Ryan letting Chelsia keep the veto, and obviously since James went up in her place, he was right. Josh, Sharon, Chelsia, and James were playing Ryan when Shelia finally got sick of a comment that Chelsia made about Shelia playing the single mother card (Shelia is a single mom.) Well, that turned Shelia, and she talked to Ryan and told him that he should not put up Matty. She told him that Matty and Adam were the only two who really had Ryan's back. So that explains how Ryan wound up nominating James. The POV ceremony was great. Josh was so pleased with himself, and then when Ryan put up James, it was like someone slapped him in the face. Josh thinks that he lost the battle, but he'll win the war. I hope not because of all the people in the house, he's one of my least favorite people.

Petr Sykora and Max Talbot are not going to be playing in tomorrow's game. Sykora has a sore back, and Talbot reinjured his high ankle sprain. It's not sure how long Sykora will be out, but Talbot says that he thinks he will be back soon. Marian Hossa won't be playing in tomorrow's game either, but he might be playing by Sunday's game. I know that I won't be going to the game tomorrow either because I'm still recouping from my flu.

Sunday, March 9, 2008 -- Late Afternoon

The Pens played the Washington Capitals in an early afternoon game today. The game was showcased on NBC. There was alot of talk about the points race and how the Caps hoped to get into the playoffs. The Pens weren't playing well through most of the game. In fact, the Pens only had 13 shots on goal in the first two periods! Ryan Whitney sucked at defense per usual, but Petr Sykora and Sidney Crosby scored two goals. Marc-Andre Fleury was back in goal, and did a great job considering that he was being used for target practice (22 shots in the second period alone.) The score was tied until until the last 28 seconds of the game when Nicklas Backstrom tried to clear the puck from in front of Cristobal Huet, and instead knocked the puck into the net. Crosby got create for the goal, but it was an "own goal" on the part of the Capitals. The Pens went on to win with a final score of 4-2 when Jordan Staal scored an empty netter.

Saturday, March 8, 2008 -- Evening

The final episode of Endurance: Fiji was on this evening. The final came down to the team everyone thought was the weakest, the Blue team, and the strongest, the Green team. Green was very confident about winning, but unfortunately for them, they didn't. Blue pulled out a surprise win. Read my recap for more details on the show.

Friday, March 7, 2008 -- Late Morning

I have been out of it for the past few days because i have been battling a cold and a fever that won't go away. I have a call in to my doctor for some drugs so I should be on the road to recover soon.

To catch up on some things that happened over the past few days. There has been alot of change up in the Big Brother. On the live show on Wednesday, we found out that when the evicted couple went to leave the house, the door would be locked. The mystery siren that was to signal everyone to return to the living room would go off, and the couples would be told that they would be playing the game as individuals from now on. Well, Ryan and Allison were evicted, and when the siren went off, Allison got so excited because she was sure that she had a reprieve. But then we found out that the reprieve was for only one of them. The houseguests then all voted on which of the two should leave, and everyone voted for Allison to leave. She was bawling her eyes out to Julie because she was so upset. Then we (the viewers) found out that there was another surprise in store for the houseguests. None of the folks who had been evicted were sent home. They were all in sequester. We could vote for the person we wanted to return to the house, and that person would go back in the house after the live eviction next week. I have been too sick to do much, but I'm hoping that Alex gets voted back in because of his friendship with Matt. I think those two could do alot in the house. Finally, it was HOH competition time, and Ryan won HOH. That should stir things up. I found out from Jokers Updates that Sharon and Chelsia are nominated for eviction. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.

On Thursday night, the Pens played the Florida Panthers. Unfortunately, the Pens did not come out to play, and Michel Therrien did the thing that we were all hoping he would not do when Sidney Crosby came back from his injury. He put Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the same line. You would have thought that with Malkin's scoring burst after Crosby left that Therrien would see that there is goal scoring chemistry between Malkin and Petr Sykora, but no, but no. Instead Sykora wound on a line with Jordan Staal (who wasn't out for very long with his bruised ribs) and the team had a scoring drought. No points for Malkin, either. Marc-Andre Fleury started the game, but got pulled after the first period because our defense sucked at clearing the puck from our end. After three goals in the first Ty Conklin was back in goal. After the game, the post-game show guys were showing how crappy Ryan Whitney was at clearing the puck from his end or acting defensive in any way. I really wonder why some folks think Whitney is all that, but I suppose it is because he can score every now and again. However, I'd rather have a defenseman who knows how to play defense and does a good job at it, than having some goober who can score a few goals a year. After all that gets negated when the other team is able to score them right back because you don't clear them from your zone. Final score: Pens 2 - Panthers 5.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 -- Evening

When I was in class today, I got a text message from the Pens saying that Sidney Crosby would be playing in tonight's game agains the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was great to have Crosby back, but in the first period, the injury jinx struck again. This time Jordan Staal took a hit and left the game. They said tyhat he bruised his ribs. There was a scoring drought for most of the game, but with 2:44 left in the game, Crosby passed the puck to Max Talbot who got the puck into the net. Marc-Andre Fleury was in the net, and got a shut out with 35 saves. Talbot did a great job without a stick and passing the puck to Evgeni Malkin who got an empty netter. It was a great game for both Fleury and Crosby!

I watched the latest episode of Big Brother this evening. In this episode, we got to see Matt and Natalie win the POV competition. It is pitiful how Natalie is chasing after Matt. She won't let the guy alone, and is constantly offering him massages. Then Matt goes up to the HOH room and tries to romance Sharon. She is totally on to his game, although he doesn't realize it. Towards the end of the show, the houseguests were told that at some point they will hear a siren. When they hear the siren, they have to rush into the living room and expect big news. We don't know what it is, but I assume that we will learn more about it tomorrow. I wonder if the houseguests will be forced to play on their own for the final weeks of the show. The houseguests spend most of their time talking about how awful the siren scam could be. The veto meeting arrives (no siren) and Matt and Natalie take themselves off the block, and Adam and Shelia go up in their place. Who will go home tomorrow?

Sunday, March 2, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the Atlanta Thrashers this afternoon at Mellon Arena. For the first time in a few months, we finally got to see my favorite goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury, start for the Pens. Fleury did great job, and only let in two goals when he was under attack with no defense. I've always thought the Fleury did a great job, and got a bum rap for some reason. One of the people behind me was moaning about how the Pens got rid of that great player, Colby Armstrong. She was saying that he was going to get a hat trick and show everyone. I thought that was amazingly funny because Armstrong sucks, and he wasn't going to become a goal scorer for Atlana. I don't know why people have such trouble admitting that Armstrong was funny and personable, but not much on the ice. Anyway, the game was tied in regulation and went into overtime. With no score in overtime, it went into a shootout where Fleury stopped every puck and Kris Letang scored to give the Pens the win. Check out my pictures of the game.

I watched Big Brother this evening. I haven't beeen watching the live feeds much this week because I have been busy with homework. It was interesting to see that Joshuah and Sharon were against Allison for turning on them about keeping Matt & Natalie. Allison didn't like how Josh and Sharon rubbed their win in everyone's faces. Josh really does come across like a psycho by screaming and threatening people. We found out in the show that Josh was targeting Allison (and Ryan) and he puts up Matt and Natalie up as pawns. From looking at Jokers Updates that Matt and Natalie won the POV. Adam and Shelia are put up in their place. But we won't find that out on the show until Tuesday!

Saturday, March 1, 2008 -- Early Evening

The Pens played the Ottawa Senators in an afternoon game today. It was a disappointing game because it wound up being another loss. What irritated me throughout the game was that Ty Conklin was not playing his best, and in fact let in five goals. The irritating part for me was not that he was not playing his best, but that the announcers were making excuses for him, saying "well, he's been playing so well in the past." Meanwhile Marc-Andre Fleury is sitting on the bench. Does he get the same sort of respect? No. In fact, one of the local sports guys was saying that Conklin won the games for the Pens while Fleury's 40 wins last year weren't wins by Fleury, but by the team. I'm really tired of the Fleury bashing that goes on in this city. I guess we won't respect him until he leaves. Meanwhile Evgeni Malkin was stellar as usual this year. The Pens lost with a final score of 5-4, and will be playing again here in Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon against the Atlanta Thrashers. Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen will be back in town with the Trashers.