The Daily Bongo

November 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008 -- Evening

The Steelers played the New England Patriots late this afternoon in Foxborough. At first things seemed to be going New England's way, and they took the early lead. However, the rainy weather was to the Steelers liking. They tied things by the half, ad then just came out to run away with the third quarter. It was shocking how many times the Steelers came up with the ball on interceptions or fumbles. Twice, James Harrison sacked Matt Castle, stripping the ball from him, and the Steelers recovered. The entire second half was Steeler football with the New England Patriots not able to score any points. Final score: Steelers 33 - Patriots 10.

Saturday, November 29, 2008 -- Late Evening

The Pens played the New Jersey Devils at Mellon Arena this evening. Dany Sabourin started the game and got rid of the new helmet that he wore for the New York Islanders game a few days ago. Marc-Andre Fleury skated this morning, and might be playing later this week. It seems it may have been a groin injury that kept him out this long. The Pens felt that they had to come back and score right away, and Sidney Crosby did that by scoring in the first two minutes of the game. The Pens, especially the Crosby/Evgeni Malkin team were hot this evening. Crosby got a hat trick. The Pens won with a final score of 4-1. It was also Matt Cooke's 600th NHL game. I thought that was pretty interesting because I didn't realize he was in the NHL that long. Check out my pictures of the game.

Friday, November 28, 2008 -- Evening

This evening, the Pens played the Buffalo Sabres. Michel Therrien started John Curry in goal. It had nothing to do with his performance on Wednesday, but was a predetermined decision based on three games in four nights. Max Talbot was also scheduled to play even though he missed most of the last game after getting hit with a puck on his left skate. Tyler Kennedy was the first to score off of a feed from Matt Cooke. However, the Sabres came right back to tie things up in less than a minute. The only thing that I would have to say is that right after that goal, Curry was looking abit awkward in goal. What can you expect from a young kid who has only been so-so in the AHL? The Sabres pulled ahead by a goal in the second period, but Sidney Crosy (with an assist from Evgeni Malkin) came back to score the tying goal in 34 seconds. Then towards the end of the second, Crosby (with Malkin) scored again to give the Pens the lead. At the start of the third, the Sabres made the Pens play for a turnover, and scored a tying goal. Towards the end of the third period, Curry made a really nice save on a puck that should have gone across the line. Unfortunately, within a few minutes, the Sabres got the go-ahead goal. The Pens couldn't tie things, and the Sabres won with a final score of 4-3.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the New York Islanders this evening. Dany Sabourin is still in goal, and we still don't know what Marc-Andre Fleury's injury is other than that it is in the lower body. Sabourin let two soft goals during the first period, and after letting in a third in the second period. Michel Therrien pulled Sabourin and put in John Curry. This was Curry's first NHL game. Fortunately, the Islanders are a pretty crappy team, and their 3-0 gradually vanished, and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin got the game tied midway through the third period. Just seconds after tying the game on a Malkin goal, Crosby stole the puck from Andy Sutton behind the Islanders net, and while on the ice, passed the puck to Malkin who scored the go-ahead goal. In the last minute, the Islanders pulled their goalie, Joey MacDonald. Malkin had the puck with 17 seconds left in the game, and he scored an empty net goal for a natural hat trick, three straight goals in a row. John Curry got his first NHL win, and the Pens got a come from behind win with a final score of 5-3.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the Vancouver Canucks this afternoon at Mellon Arena. I went to the game, but unfortunately I had a battery problem and wasn't able to get any photos. I really need to resolve my battery issue because this is the second game that I couldn't take pictures. My problem is that I got generic batteries, and they don't hold the charge well. The game started out quite exciting. A melee broke out in the first 25 seconds of the game that lead to Matt Cooke and Jannik Hansen getting game misconducts for roughing. The Canucks were probably upset at Cooke tripping up one of the players and sending him head over heels. Shortly after that, not even making it to the five minute mark, Roberto Luongo was injured in the game. I didn't get a good look at it because they didn't reshow it on the jumbotron, but it looked like he got hit in the leg. Luongo was lying flat on the ice, and couldn't get up. He was helped up by his teammates, but couldn't put any weight on his left leg. Curtis Sanford came in to replace Luongo. The rest of the game was mostly boring with the Pens not seeming to do anything right. The Canucks scored the first two goals, and it was starting to look like the Pens might be shutout. But Michael Zigomanis got a goal for the Pens at the start of the third period. Unfortunatly that was it. The Pens lost with a final score of Pens 1 - Canucks 3.

Thursday, November 20, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens were in Atlanta this evening to play the Thrashers. Dany Sabourin was in goal again for an injured Marc-Andre Fleury. The Pens and Thrashers traded goals in the first two periods. Then with 2:40 left in the tied 2-2 game, Sidney Crosby shot at the net, and had it tipped in by Petr Sykora to give the Pens the lead. The Pens managed to hold off the Thrashers to win with a final score of 3-2.

Here in Pittsburgh, the Steelers were playing the Cincinnati Bengals. There were snow flurries in the air, but not alot of accumulation on the field. This is a short week for the Steelers since they just played on Sunday evening. By the end of the first half, the Steelers were leading with a score of 10-7. There has been alot of controversy following the Steelers this week because of the bungled call by the referees on Sunday. It seems that the Steelers should have gotten credit for the Troy Polamalu touchdown in the final seconds. Fortunately, the Steelers still had a one point lead so they won the game. The only thing that happened is that the people who bet on the game got screwed because of the point spread. I'm probably going to go to sleep before the game ends.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the Minnesota Wild this evening. Marc-Andre Fleury didn't play this evening because he is out with an undisclosed injury. It seems he got injured some time during the third period of Saturday's game. The Pens have called up John Curry from the Baby Pens. Dany Sabourin was in goal for the Pens. Both the Wild and the Pens scored in the first period. Then in the second period, Evgeni Malkin got hit in the mouth with a puck. He left the ice with six or seven minutes left in the period, dripping blood into a towel. Malkin did return for the start of the third period with a much swollen lip. There was no score in the third period, and the game went into overtime. No score during the overtime, so it went to a shootout. First up was Petr Sykora for the Pens. Sykora was stopped. Next up for the Wild was Marek Zidlicky who scored. Then Alex Goligoski was up, and he couldn't score. Then Antti Miettinen was up for the Wild, and Sabourin stopped him. Then Sidney Crosby couldn't get one past Niklas Backstrom. The Wild won in the shootout with a final score of 2-1.

Sunday, November 16, 2008 -- Late Evening

The Pens traded Darryl Sydor to the Dallas Stars for Philippe Boucher. It's a curious move because this is really a trade of like for like. Both are 35 year old defensemen who have the same sort of stats. Both also make $2.5 milllion and are unrestricted free agents in the summer. I wonder if it was a personal request by Sydor who played for the Stars before coming to Pittsburgh. Anyway, it is a very curious trade.

Sunday, November 16, 2008 -- Evening

The Steelers played the San Diego Chargers in a late afternoon game at Heinz Field. There were snow flurries in the air most of today, obviously cold. The game was not a high scoring game because the field was frozen and slippery, and there was wind which was making passes and kicks difficult. With only 15 seconds left in the game, the Steelers were down two points. They almost got a touchdown, but there was a holding penalty. So the Steelers settled for a field goal and one point lead with only 5 seconds left in the game. The Chargers decided to go for a trick play, and there was alot of passing back to keep the ball in play. Well, Troy Polamalu tapped the ball with his hand, grabbed it and ran the ball in for a touchdown with the clock at 0 seconds. The refs reviewed the play, said that there was an illegal forward pass at one point, but the call was denied. The Steelers got the touchdown, and it looked like the refs were going to make them do the extra point. Then the refs thought about it again, and took away the touchdown, which was fine because the Steelers still had the win. The final score was Steelers 11 - Chargers 10.

Saturday, November 15, 2008 -- Evening

The owners of the Tampa Bay LIghtning fired Barry Melrose today. Rick Tocchet is going to be the interim coach, I suppose until a suitable replacement could be found. The reason? The team has only won 5 of the 16 games they played so far this season. What I think is just absolutely amazing is that the stupid owners haven't figured out that the reason is that the team is overly populated with the scum of the barrel from the Pens. I mean they ahve Ryan Malone, who only has 3 points this season, and only had one good year in his entire career--last year, playing with Evgeni Malkin, Mark Recchi, Gary Roberts, Michel Ouellet. I mean really! That's the reason! It has nothing to do with Melrose as coach. And if you think that any of those four is good, you are just deluding yourself.

The Pens played the Buffalo Sabres this evening. The Pens wore their third uniform, the powder blue uniforms. Marc-Andre Fleury was back in goal, and did a good job. Jordan Staal got two goals in the game (one was an empty netter) and Evgeni Malkin got three points (one goal and two assists). Malkin is now leading the points race. The Pens won with a final score of 5-2. This is the sixth win in a row for the Pens.

Thursday, November 13, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the Flyers. The Pens took an early 3-0 lead. However, we've see this before, and the Flyers came back to tie the game up. In fact, Simon Gagne scored two short handed goals to tie things up. The Flyers took the lead in the last four seconds of the second period on a power play goal. Marc-Andre Fleury didn't go back into goal for the third period. Dany Sabourin was put into goal for the third. It wasn't looking good for the Pens when with two and a half minutes left in the game, Sidney Crosby scored the tying goal. The game went into overtime. Neither team could score in OT, so the game went to a shootout! First up was the Pens. Petr Sykora was first against Martin Biron. Biron stopped him though. Then it was Simon Gagne's turn. Sabourin stopped Gagne though with a poke check. Next up was Kris Letang, and he missed. Then it was MIke Richards' turn. He tried a tricky move, trying to get the puck past Sabourin, but Sabourin stopped him with the stick. Then it was Crosby's turn, and he missed the goal. Next was Jeff Carter for the Flyers, and he was stopped. The shootout continues. Evgeni Malkin was up next. He missed while trying to dump it with his backhand. Then it was Kimmo Timonen who missed. Next it was Miroslav Satan, but he was stopped by a poke check. Then it was Joffrey Lupal who missed. Then Alex Goligoski scored in the 6th round. It was up to Scott Hartnell who missed and ran into Sabourin. The Pens won in a shootout. What a finish! The Pens win with a final score of 5-4. Unfortunately, the Flyers got a point out of it, but it is the fifth win in a row for the Pens.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens were in Motown to play the Detroit Red Wings. The Pens looked like there were coming out to play when Sidney Crosby got the first goal, but then Detroit got two goals in the first period to take the lead. Meanwhile, halfway through the first period, Rob Scuderi was hit by a puck around the ankle, and he hobbled off the ice on one leg. At the start of the second period, the Pens were on a penalty kill when Brooks Orpik got out of position, and the Red Wings got the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury had dived for the puck, but it was too late. The game was a scoring fest. The Red Wings would score and pull ahead by two, and the Pens would score to get within one. Then the Red Wings would score again. With only 20 seconds left in the game, and the Red Wings up by a point, Jordan Staal got his third goal of the game to tie things up! It was great to see Staal celebrating when he scored. The Red Wings got called on a penalty to give the Pens a man advantage in overtime. The Pens were in a frenzy during the power play in OT. It was amazing how they hammered at Chris Osgood. Staal fed the puck to Ruslan Fedotenko in OT who scored to give the Pens the win. My gosh! This was some game! Especially in the third period. Congrats to Jordan Staal for getting the three goals and showing his star caliber. Final score: Pens 7 - Red Wings 6.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 -- Evening

The Steelers played the Indianapolis Colts in a late afternoon game at Heinz Field. The Steelers took the early lead, but the Colts didn't give up. In the last minutes of the game, the Colts pulled ahead to win the game. Final score: Steelers 20 - Colts 24.

Saturday, November 8, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the New York Islanders this evening. It was the first time this season that the teams met, and the first time that Miroslav Satan got to play again his former teammates. Dany Sabourin was in goal for the Pens. Surprisingly, Sidney Crosby played in the game. Crosby didn't practice yesterday because of the undisclosed injury that has been bothering him for several days now. Crosby is that kind of player. He doesn't like to give in to injury or illnss. The Islanders were the first to score in the last three minutes of the first period when the Pens made a sloppy line change, and Hal Gill blocked the puck into the Pens' end of the ice. The shots on goal in the first period were pitiful with the Pens getting three and the Islanders five. Tyler Kennedy scored the first goal for the Pens, but the Islanders went on to score two more. The Pens were playing listless in the end of the second period until Jordan Staal scored his second goal of the season, only this time, it wasn't an empty netter. With 3:15 left in the game, Tyler Kennedy got his second goal of the game to tie things up. The Islanders were really played like a tired team in the third period, and it may have been due in part because of the poor condition of the ice due to humidity. The game went into overtime. It was not pretty too watch because players were falling all over the place because of the poor condition of the ice. Neither team could score in overtime, so it went to a shootout. The Islanders went first. Doug Weight missed his change. Then it was Petr Sykora's chance, and he scored. Bill Guerin went next for the Islanders, and he was stopped by Sabourin. Satan went next and he was stopped by goalie, Joey MacDonald. Then Trent Hunter went, and it looked like Sabourin stopped him, but Sabourin slid into the net. The puck was stuck in Sabourin's leg padding (way down by his ankle), and the refs spend a few minutes reviewing the play. But Sabourin kept his left leg (the leg with the puck) outside of the net. After the review, it was called a no goal. The Pens won with a final score of 4-3.

Saturday, November 8, 2008 -- Late Afternoon

There was sad news earlier this week. Michael Crichton, writer of some of my favorite fiction, died from cancer. He didn't make a public statement of his illnes, and the public didn't know about it until his death. I loved his books because they had a scientific bend and were written by a questioning mind. Crichton made it plain to all that he thought any inquiring and intelligent mind could understand scientific matters. Instead of accepting scientific claims, it is up to the person to read more about it and make a decision on whether the science held to scientfic standards or was just a way to sell a product. In State of Fear, Crichton questioned whether scientists really understood the cause and cure for global warming, and whether the change in climate was as dramatic as some claimed AND caused by man. Even if we did have a hand in causing a change in climate, could man fix it? I think these are legitimate quesitons. However, those in charge of pushing a certain agenda don't want questioning minds. They want blind faith. I'm going to miss MIchael Crichton. I'm going to miss the intellectual challenges and the entertainment that he provided.

Friday, November 7, 2008 -- Evening

Last night's game between the Pens and Edmonton Oilers was a mix of emotions. The first two periods were great for the Pens. They took a 5 - 0 lead, and the whole crowd was energized. The problem is that they have been falling apart in the third period and that happened last night. It was painful to watch because once the Oilers pulled their goalie in the waning minutes of the second period, the Oiler players just seemed really energized. They scored one goal in the last two minutes of the second and three more in the third. In fact, for awhile in the third it looked like the Pens were going to lose the game after having a five point lead. Fortunately, they somehow managed to hold on to get the win. Miroslav Satan scored a beautiful goal (his first in the game) where he pushed the puck between his legs, and then shooting the puck from that location, managed to get past Mathieu Garon. There was also a really good fight between Eric Godard and Steve MacIntyre. The final score was Pens 5 - Oilers 4. Check out my pictures of the game.

Thursday, November 6, 2008 -- Afternoon

Pictures and game recap from tonight's Pens vs. Edmonton Oilers game will be posted Friday afternoon. Check the game recaps page for information on this season's home and away games.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 -- Afternoon

The Steelers played the Washington Redskins last night in the Monday night game. Neither offense seemed to have been prepared to play, but both defensives were playing well. The Steelers started off the game with an onside kick that the Redskins recovered. You have to wonder why you would start a game out like that. Neither side was fairing well against the defense when Ben Roethlisberger injured his right shoulder with a quarterback sneak for a touchdown right before the half. Roethlisberger left the field after that, and Byron Leftwich ably stepped into the game. In fact, he seemed to be more stable than Roethlisberger, who completed only 5 of 17 passes and had an interception. The Steelers went on to win the game with a final score of 23-6.

Saturday, November 1, 2008 -- Evening

The Pens played the St. Louis Blues this evening. Sidney Crosby played in the game tonight, and didn't look as if he had any problems. Obviously his injury was just a temporary one. Ruslan Fedotenko was out of the game though with another one of those undisclosed injuries. The Pens had called up Janne Pesonen was called up from the Baby Pens to play in his first NHL game. It wasn't looking good when the Blues scored first in the middle of the first period. As the period was winding down, Miroslav Satan scored one for the Pens, and then the Blues came back 17 seconds later to take the lead again. In the second period, the Pens took a two goal lead. The Blues came on in the last four minutes to score, but within seconds, Max Talbot got the goal back to keep the Pens two ahead of the Blues. With only seconds left, and an empty net in the Blues end, Evgeni Malkin had the puck near the empty net, but passed it to Jordan Staal so he could get his first goal of the season. i thought that was a really nice move on Malkin's part, and shows how the team is a team. The final score: Pens 6 - Blues 3.