The Daily Bongo

November 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007 -- Afternoon

Pictures and game recap from tonight's Pens vs. Dallas Stars game will be posted Saturday morning. Check the game recaps page for information on this season's home and away games.

Thursday, November 29, 2007 -- Evening

Interesting news on the Pens front. It appears that Mark Recchi may be looking for another team to play with. Recchi has been a healthy scratch in four of the last five game. Now I'm not sure what team will want to pick up Recchi because he hasn't been producing and he is getting on the old side. There may be a team though that is looking for some mature leadership. Recchi does try. It's just that trying isn't always enough. You need to succeed too!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 -- Evening

I finally watched Endurance: Fiji this evening. The Purple team was sent home. Read the recap for more details.

Saturday, November 24, 2007 -- Late Evening

It was a glorious night at Mellon Arena tonight. The Pens played the Atlanta Thrashers. The analysts were right when they said that they thought the Ottawa Senators' game might have been a turning point for the Pens. Everyone seemed to want to come out to play. There was some talk about Dany Sabourin starting, but it was Marc-Andre Fleury in goal, and he played great this evening, earning a shutout. The Thrashers seemed to not be able to handle the Pens at all. Jordan Staal got his first goal since the beginning of October, and Fleury got a shutout. Mark Recchi was a health scratch again, and his churning old legs weren't missed. The Pens won with a final score of 5-0. Check out my pictures from the game. There were some Sidney Crosby fans sitting in the row in front of me. They came from around Toronto to see Crosby whoop some butt, and he did with a goal and an assist. They had some really neat signs which are in my pictures. Hope you guys come back for some more games!

Thursday, November 22, 2007 -- Evening

Happy Thanksgiving to all of those in the US!

The Pens played the Ottawa Senators this evening. The team flew into Ottawa around 1:30 am, and they weren't able to have a practice this morning because of some harsh winter weather in Ottawa. Marc-Andre Fleury started the game, but was pulled in the first 15 minutes when the Senators scored two goals. The problem wasn't Fleury, but that the Pens weren't clearing the puck. I hate to say this because I have been a Michel Therrien fan, but he's not doing the team justice this year. For one thing, he doesn't let the lines play together for any length of time to get a chemistry to build. Also, he has been switching frequently between Fleury and Dany Sabourin which doesn't allow Fleury time to work though whatever problems he has. I wonder how secure Therrien's job is. The Washington Capitals fired their coach, Glen Hanlon, today, and have named Bruce Boudreau as interim coach. It just goes to show that if a team isn't performing up to expectations, the coach's head is on the line. The Pens are far from performing up to expectations. The game was a scoring fest for both teams. Suprisingly, Colby Armstrong showed up for this evening's game and actually got two points. The game went into overtime and then a shoot out. Martin Gerber, the Ottawa goalie, did a great job of staving off the scores in the shoot out. Only Erik Christensen got a goal, and then there was a drought until the fifth shooter, Jarrko Ruutu, scored the winning goal. The Pens get a much needed win with a final score of 6-5.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 -- Late Evening

The Pens played the New Jersey Devils this evening, and it was not the most exciting of games. The Devils are really good at keeping the puck in their scoring end or in the neutral zone. The Pens weren't able to get the puck on ice, and the only person who scored (unassisted) for the Pens was Evgeni Malkin. That means that Sidney Crosby's scoring streak was ended. Colby Armstrong was back on the ice after being a healthy scratch over the last few games, and obviously he didn't learn much from sitting out, and was his usual sucky self. Mark Recchi was a healthy scratch again. Unfortunately, we would need to sit quite a few people because only Malkin and Crosby are really producing. The final score this evening was 2-1.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 -- Evening

It is time to vote for your favorite NHL star on the All-Star ballot. Both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are on the list for wingers, and Ryan Whitney is listed under defensemen. You have until January 2, 2008 to vote as many times as possible!

Sunday, November 18, 2007 -- Late Evening

I posted some pictures from my boyfriend's trip to Dallas. He really become fascinated with the JFK assassination while he was there. The Hyatt hotel where he stayed was close to Dealey Plaza and the former Texas School Book Depository so he was constantly walking over there. He also went to a Dallas Stars game.

Sunday, November 18, 2007 -- Early Evening

I caught up on yesterday's episode of Endurance: Fiji later this afternoon. Read the recap for all the details.

The Steelers played the New York Jets later this afternoon. The Steelers weren't playing very well, and I know that the expectations were the Steelers would win because the Jets have not been winning this year. After all, they have two wins and eight losses. Well, the Jets have another win after today when they beat the Steelers in overtime. There were several issues. The offensive line was not doing its job and Ben Roethlisberger was spending alot of time on his back. Ike Taylor had a good day, and made some nice plays. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough, and the Steelers lost with a final score of 16-19.

Sunday, November 18, 2007 -- Morning

The Pens played the New York Rangers last night, and it was a disappointing game. The Pens came out playing well, and scored two goals in the first period. From there, things went down hill. The Rangers scored three goals in the second period to take the lead. The Pens tied things up in the third to lose in overtime. Some of the folks were blaming Marc-Andre Fleury who was in goal last night. However, the problem is that no one other than Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is consistently scoring. I'm not sure where the problem is--other then the fact that our defense is lackluster and the offense doesn't score. I did get a nice video of a fight between Jarkko Ruutu and Brandon Dubinsky. Final score was Pens 3, Rangers 4.

As usual, the prarie dogs were out at last night's Pens' game. My boyfriend actually complained to the folks at the arena because we missed every goal because of the folks standing up in front of us. As he told the arena management, we didn't pay for our tickets to see someone's back. The problem is that the ushers at the arena are a bunch of goobers who are just there to watch the game. They let people go to their seats during the game, and don't say anything to people who stand up during play and won't sit down. Everyone in my area was yelling at the people to sit down, and they just gave us dirty looks. As the woman behind me said, they were premature standers--because they would stand anytime the puck came down to our end of the ice. While my boyfriend was in Dallas, he went to a Dallas Stars game, and he came home very disgruntled with Mellon Arena and the fans. As he said, during play, people didn't stand up, but kept their rears in their seats. I can only hope that the arena management does something to make the ushers actually do their job, but I'm not holding out hope.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 -- Morning

Pictures and game recap from tonight's Pens vs. New York Rangers game will be posted Sunday morning. Check the game recaps page for information on this season's home and away games.

Thursday, November 15, 2007 -- Evening

I didn't go to the Pens game this evening, but I should be there on Saturday. They played the New York Islanders this evening, and there was a tribute before the game for the Pens' 2007 Hall of Fame inductees, Paul Coffey and a longtime Pens' equipment manager, Frank Sciulli. Kris Letang was called up from the Baby Pens and will be playing tonight. Michel Therrien said that he has always had faith in Marc-Andre Fleury. As Therrien said, he made a point of talking to Fleury this morning to make sure that Fleury understood that Therrien has never lost faith in him--that Fleury is the go-to guy. Fleury was back in goal this evening. The surprising thing is that Mark Rechhi was scratched this evening. I'm not sure if he was a healthy scratch, but he definitely should have been! The guy has not been playing up to snuff this season. The Pens played better this evening then they have in the past several game. Even Georges Laraque scored a goal, his first in 40 games. Fleury got to add a check to the win column. Final score, 3-2.

Monday, November 12, 2007 -- Evening

The Pens played the New Jersey Devils this evening at the Mellon Arena. Unfortunately, I didn't go to this evening's game. My boyfriend is in Dallas for a conference, and I have alot of home work. So I sat at home and watched the game. Dany Sabourin was in goal for the Pens, and Kevin Weekes was in goal for the Devils. That was abit of a shocker since they do have Martin Brodeur. However, the Devils have not been playing up to potential so far this season, and you know what that means. The first person blamed is the goalie. Geeze, he let in a goal because our defense is shoddy--must be that he's just not good enough. Maybe I just have a pro-goalie bias. The Devils came out swinging and pulled ahead by two goals in the first period. Sidney Crosby scored one for the Pens at the start of the second. Evgeni Malkin tied things up in the third period, but the Devils came back again to take the lead. They went on to win the game with a final score of 3-2.

Former Pen, Ron Francis, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this evening. He was joined by Scott Stevens, Mark Messier, Al MacInnis, and Jim Gregory.

Sunday, November 11, 2007 -- Early Evening

The Steelers played the Cleveland Browns this afternoon. It was being setup as a competition to determine the leader of the AFC North division. The first half was not looking good for the Steelers, and at half time, they were down by a score of 21-9. The Steelers came back from half-time ready to fight, and the fourth quarter was one of the most exciting that I have seen in a long time. The lead kept on switching hands as the clock ticked down. In the last 30 seconds, the Browns had gotten within field goal range, and they were ready to tie things up. Fortunately for the Steelers, the attempt failed, and the Steelers won with a final score of 31-28.

Last night was the first elimination from Endurance: Fiji. Unfortunately, the Yellow team was sent home. Get all the full details of the episode from the recap.

Saturday, November 10, 2007 -- Evening

The Pens were in Philadelphia this evening playing the Flyers. Unfortunately, the game was a repeat of Wednesday's game. Tensions were running very high, and there were quite a few shoving matches. The Flyers usually go around acting like a bunch of thugs, and tonight was no different. Of course, I could be saying that because of the anti-Flyer feelings that run high with Pens' fans. The announcers were saying that games like this bring the team together, and that Sidney Crosby feels Georges Laraque makes him feel safer on the ice. What a bunch of hooey from Crosby. Laraque is a huge softie on the ice, and seems to spend alot of time avoiding confrontation. The only people he scares off (as even Crosby admits) are the little yappy dogs. My grandmother would scare off the yappy dogs--so? Laraque was playing tonight, and the only person putting up his dukes was Ryan Malone. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and suffered a barage of pucks again, and gave up some goals. The team needs to find the answer to its problems. One thing might be the confusion the team has. The Flyers got an opne net goal in the final minute because the Pens were confused on who was supposed to be center on the face-off. Unacceptable! The Pens had two five on three opportunities, and didn't get a single shot on goal! Unbelieveable! The Pens lose with a final score of 5-2.

Thursday, November 8, 2007 -- Evening

The pictures are now posted for last night's Pens game.

The Pens are playing again tonight. This time, they are in New York playing the Rangers. There were some problems with the Pens' flight out of Pittsburgh last night, so they wound up leaving for NY this morning. That obviously wasn't a good thing for them, or for poor Marc-Andre Fleury. He was in goal this evening, and was under unbelievable attack by the Rangers. They had 22 shots on goal in the first period alone! Fortunately, due to Fleury's good play, only two goals were scored. The Pens are really having some issues. Chief is that the Pens really don't have any defense, and that means that the opposing team usually has free rein around our goalie. Also, there isn't any scoring. Jordan Staal has been cold on the ice, and there was talk on the Pens' after game radio show about how Therrien should bench Staal to send him a message. By the middle of the second period, the Pens had three power play opportunities, and in that tiem, they didn't have any shots on goal. The Pens are really not playing very well, and it's hard to tell what the problem is. Sometimes you have to wonder if it is the coach when the team isn't performing up to expectations. The game was a huge disappointment, and the Pens wound up losing with a final score of 2-4.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 -- Late Evening

The Philadelphia Flyers were in town this evening, and they aren't last year's Flyers. This year, with the addition of former Buffalo Sabres, Martin Biron and Daniel Briere, the team has been winning and playing well. Tonight was no exception. The crowd at the arena wasn't very happy with the Pens performance, and there were alot of cries of "come on, shoot the puck!" There were alot of tensions during the game, and a fight broke out between Brooks Orpik and RJ Umberger. It wasn't the best fight, but Umberger had a bloody face afterwards. The only goal that the Pens had was a nice one that Sidney Crosby fed to Ryan Malone. Dany Sabourin was in goal again for the Pens, but I'm not sure if that will be the case in the next game. Sabu let in two goals on three shots in the first six minutes of the game. Final score was 3-1. I should have pictures of the game posted tomorrow evening.

The Pens have been holding tickets for student rush, and today was no exception. Two hundred tickets were available for the students, and the kids started lining up around noon. The Pens sent Maxime Talbot and Georges Laraque out to give the kids some pizza.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 -- Morning

Pictures and game recap from tonight's Pens vs. Philadelphia Flyers game will be posted Thursday evening. Check the game recaps page for information on this season's home and away games.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 -- Early Morning

The Steelers / Ravens game last night was a bust. There was only a field goal scored by the Steelers in the second half. The announcers were mostly talking about stupid stuff because there really wasn't much going on on the field. At one point, Ben Roethlisberger hurt his leg, but he came back out on the field for a few plays. They thought it was to make sure his leg was actually doing okay. All in all, an extremely boring game. The Steelers won with a final score of 38 - 7.

Monday, November 5, 2007 -- Evening

The Pens played the New Jersey Devils this evening in the new Devils arena. It was a sorry picture because there were alot of empty seats in the brand new arena. Dany Sabourin was in goal, and got his first NHL shutout. That probably means that he will be back in goal on Wednesday's home game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Sidney Crosby got two goals in the game. I felt for Martin Brodeur because the announcers were commenting on how he has gone 28 games without a shutout. After the fourth goal of the game, Brodeur was pulled in favor of Kevin Weekes. It was good for the Pens to get a win, but the Devils have been playing crappy this season. Not to downplay, Sabourin's shutout, but I could have had a shutout as the goalie with the Devils only making three shots on goal in the second period! Final score was 5-0.

The Steelers were also playing this evening, in their first Monday night football game this season. It has been raining somewhat heavily here in PIttsburgh, and the Steelers are leading with four touchdowns five minutes before half time. I probably won't stay up till the end of the game, but right now, it is a butt whopping. The Baltimore Ravens have really been stinking up the joint. The Steelers just got another interception to really rub the salt in the wound. The ESPN announcers are commenting on how good James Harrison is doing because he's the one who got the interception. Harrison replaced Joey Porter this season. The Steelers are also celebrating their 75th anniversary this evening by bringing together the players who made the best of 75 years team. Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth are on the sidelines, enjoying the game. Half time is still not here, and Ben Roethlisberger just threw his fifth touchdown of the game. Steelers lead 35-0.

Sunday, November 4, 2007 -- Late Afternoon

I watched the latest episode of Endurance:Fiji. There is alot of drama in this season, and JD Roth has added some nice twists that should keep everyone on their toes. I think that some of the other reality shows could learn from the example of Endurance: Fiji. Read the recap to find out what happened.

Saturday, November 3, 2007 -- Evening

The Pens played the New York Islanders this evening. Marc-Andre Fleury was back in goal, and he played a good, consistent game even though it resulted in a loss. The Pens were the first to score with a goal by Ryan Malone. He has a reputation for being a Islander killer because he has had two hat tricks against them. The most memorable was last year's game on President's Day. In that game, he had a goal in the first minute of all three periods. In the second period, new addition to the team, Tyler Kennedy scored his first NHL goal. It looked like the puck skimmed the top of the inside of the net. However, the refs didn't call it a goal, and the game continued. When play was halted, the refs box blew the horn. The refs went over, and we saw that Kennedy did indeed score. The clock was turned back three minutes, and things really did seem to be going well for the Pens. The Islanders scored in the second period, and then come back to score two more goals in the third to take the lead. Ryan Whitney didn't play because of a groin injury. He was in the broadcast booth during the game, and said that he hopes to be back by Wednesday. Colby Armstrong was a healthy scratch. I'm surprised that he hasn't been a healthy scratch before this because he basically sucks. He has only had one point this season, and is a -4. I've never been a big fan of Armstrong. He may be very personable and be a hard worker, but that doesn't matter to me if you don't produce.

Thursday, November 1, 2007 -- Late Evening

The Pens played the Colorado Avalanche this evening. For the second game in a row, Marc-Andre Fleury was not in goal. There has been lots of talk that Michel Therrien is very uphappy with Fleury and that he doesn't think that Fleury deserves to be in goal. However, Therrien hasn't actually said that he doesn't think much of Fleury. I think that at this point, if Dany Sabourin continues to do well in goal, he will continue to play. Sidney Crosby scored two points in the first period to give the Pens a 2-0 lead. Crosby likes this time of year; last year at this time, he had his only hat trick. The Avalanche came back in the middle of the second period to tie things up, and very quickly take a one goal lead. They took advantage of some very sloppy play by the Pens. Now if Fleury had been in goal, he would have been blamed for letting the goals in. Sabourin was given a pass by the game announcers (Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey) who said that there wasn't anyway he could stop the puck. Yes, I am a Fleury supporter. The Pens weren't able to score again in the game. Final score was Pens 2 - Avalanche 3. Now I wonder if it will be Fleury or Sabourin in goal on Saturday when the Pens play the New York Islanders.