The Daily Bongo

October 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Start Road Trip
The Pens started their second Western road trip of the season in Toronto with a match against the Maple Leafs. Marc-Andre Fleury was given a rest, and Brent Johnson was in goal for the Pens. The Maple Leafs scored first with a power play goal on an Evgeni Malkin penalty, but Matt Cooke tied things up with a goal in the second period. But the Leafs came right back with a second power play goal when Evgeni Malkin was out on a penalty. If there's one thing that Malkin needs to do, it's stop taking stupid penalties, especially since it penalizes us. Fortunately, Chris Kunitz tied things up with an assist from Malkin. Unfortunately, every time the Pens would score, the Leafs would respond. The Leafs won with a final score of 4-3.

Thursday, October 27, 2011 -- Evening

Pens/Islanders Rematch
The Islanders came to town have a rematch with the Pens. Marc-Andre Flery was in goal for the Pens, and he was doing a great job in goal. The Islanders took a 2-0 lead into the third period, but the Pens' Chris Kunitz and James Neal scored to tie the game and take it into overtime. The game was finally decided in a shootout. Fleury stopped all three Islander players, and Evgeni Malkin, playing his second game in a row, scored the winning shootout goal to give the Pens a 3-2 win.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 -- Evening

Fleury Gets a Shutout
The Pens were in New York to play the Islanders this evening. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal, and he has been playing stellar hockey in October. Usually, Fleury starts off slow, and finishes with a flourish. Let's hope that his high this month doesn't mean he will suck at the end of the year. Tonight, he got a shutout against the Islanders. Pascal Dupuis, Richard Park, and Jordan Staal got goals to give the Pens a 3-0 win.

Saturday, October 22, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Play the Devils
The Pens played the New Jersey Devils this evening. Martin Brodeur was not in goal for the Devils because of a shoulder injury. Instead, Johann Hedberg, former Pen, was in goal. The first two periods were the usual boring Devil play, with the Pens getting only three shots on goal in the second period. Jordan Staal got a power play goal in the first, and that was the only goal until Patrick Elias scored for the Devils. The goal was controversial because a penalty was called against Elias, and he got his stick on the puck, scoring the goal. That goal really fired up the Pens who took off after that with a goal by Chris Kunitz, Staal, and James Neal. Jordan Staal got his 100th career goal. The Pens won with a final score of 4-1.

Thursday, October 20, 2011 -- Evening

Orpik Plays
The Montreal Canadiens were in town this evening to play the Pens. Brooks Orpik was back on the ice after recuperating from his hernia surgery. James Neal continued his scoring streak with a goal in the first period. Arron Asham, in his 700th career NHL game, got his first goal of the season in the third period. The Pens got the win with a final score of 3-1.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Against the Wild
The big news for the Pens was that Kris Letang received a two game suspension for boarding Alexander Burmistrov in last night's game against the Jets. If the NHL wants to crack down on potential brain injuries or situations that may lead to brain injuries, they have to crack down on everyone. The Pens were in Minnesota this evening to play the Wild. After the disappointing loss last night, the Pens came out to play. Chris Kunitz, Jordan Staal, James Neal, and Pascal Dupuis all scored goals giving the Pens a 4-1 win.

Monday, October 17, 2011 -- Evening

Pens Play the Jets
The Pens were in Winnipeg to play the Jets this evening. Tyler Kennedy was not on the ice because he had concussion symptoms after journeying to Winnipeg. Evgeni Malkin also sat out the game, nursing his sore knee. Onto the game! The Jets had not won a game so far this season, and the atmosphere with the home game was like a Stanley Cup final. The Jets got to an early lead with two goals in the first period. Zbynek Michalek got one of the goals back for the Pens in the second. The third period became a hard fought battle between the teams. It was great to watch on TV because the Jets fans were so hungry for hockey and a home team win that they were cheering their hearts out. I could almost hear them here in Pittsburgh, and I don't mean from the TV broadcast. Even though the Pens tried valiantly, they were unable to get the tying goal. The Jets got their first win of the season with a final score of 2-1.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 -- Evening

I Love Pie!
I love to bake. I bake cakes, breads, cookies, and pie. Not only do I love to make the sweets, but I also love to eat them. This weekend I made pumpkin pie, and i thought I would share the experience. You can check out my recipe.

Saturday, October 15, 2011 -- Evening

Malkin Out Again
The Buffalo Sabres were in town, but Evgeni Malkin wasn't on the ice for the Pens tonight. Malkin is nursing his sore knee again. I think that he can manage a game or two, but then the stress of playing takes its toll. Marc-Andre Fleury was back from his little illness, but he didn't seem as sharp as he was last week. James Neal and Jordan Staal scored for the Pens, but the Sabres won with a score of 3-2. James Neal has been on a a scoring streak, and he leads the NHL with goals.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 -- Evening

Crosby is a Black Hat
Good news for the Pens! Sidney Crosby has seen improvement with his concussion and has been upgraded to practice with contact. That means that during practice, Crosby gets to wear a black helmet just as the others wear. There's no rush to get Crosby onto the ice for a game. Since the team is doing okay without him, they can hold off to have a healthy Crosby in the latter part of the season. We want to get the Stanley Cup, not get Crosby back on the ice in the first month of the season.
Pens versus Caps
The rivalry was on at Console Energy Center when the Pens played the Washington Capitals. The pre-game ceremony honored the players from the KLHL team, Lokomotiv, who lost their lives in the plane crash in Russia a few weeks ago. Mario Lemieux dropped the ceremony puck for Evgeni Malkin and Alexander Ovechkin. The Pens also had stands in the area where the wives, girlfriends, and children of the players were selling Lokomotive remembrance wrist bands. Obviously, Malkin was back from his knee soreness, but Marc-Andre Fleury was out with an illness. Brent Johnson was in goal, and he did a good job.

James Neal was hot in the game. He got a goal in the first period with an assist from Steve Sullivan and Malkin. The Capitals came back with goals in the second period by Mike Knuble and third period by Ovechkin. Drama happened in the third period when Arron Asham got into a fight with Jay Beagle five minutes into the third period, and laid Beagle out with two hits to the jaw. Beagle got both a roughing and a fighting penalty to give the Pens a power play. Neal got a second goal, with an assist by Malkin, to tie things up with less than four minutes left in regulation. The regulation ended in a tie, and the game went into overtime. Unfortunately, the Capitals got their only power play in the game during overtime, and Dennis Wideman scored for them. At least the Pens get a point from the overtime loss. Final score: Pens 2 - Capitals 3.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 -- Evening

Pens' Home Opener
The Pens opened their season at home this evening. Both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby were out of the game. Crosby with his concussion and Malkin with an undisclosed lower-body injury from the Calgary Flames game on Saturday night. I wonder if the injury is related to the knee surgery from early in the year. Marc-Andre Fleury was back in goal for the Pens. Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Richard Park, and James Neal all scored to give the Pens a 4-2 win.

Monday, October 10, 2011 -- Early Morning

Pens versus Oilers
Evgeni Malkin was a late scratch against the Edmonton Oilers Sunday evening. Malkin was pulled in the third period of Saturday's game. The cause is a lower body injury. This game is the last of the Western Canada series for the Pens, with the home opener this coming Tuesday. Brent Johnson was in goal for the Pens, giving Marc-Andre Fleury a rest. Kris Letang got a power play goal for the Pens in the first period. The Oilers scored in the final few minutes of the third period to tie up the game. After another scoreless overtime, the game went into a shoot out. Unfortunately, none of the Pens were able to score, and the Oilers got one past Johnson. Final score: Pens 1 - Oilers 2.

Sunday, October 9, 2011 -- Evening

cover of Click by Ori and Rom Brafman I read Click: The Magic of Instant Connections by Ori and Rom Brafman this weekend. The book explains how people click with each other. The authors explain that sharing vulnerabilities, being in the same proximity as others, sharing similarities (names, birthdays, hometowns, etc), and being a person who mimics the emotions and interests of others around them can click. That's rather a simplistic view of the book, but it gives you an idea of what the book is about. A few cases that the authors use to illustrate the concept of clicking are interesting. The four players on the University of Florida basketball team that won the NCAA National Championship two years in a row is a good illustration of the many of the concepts. The four players, Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, and Joakim Noah, were placed in the same dorm room as freshman. They played together all the time. Not only did they practice with the team, but they went to the park and played in pickup games together, always on the same team. They shared the usual experiences that roommates share in addition to basketball. When the players as sophomores became starters, they went on a winning streak that culminated in the National Championship. Instead of leaving for the NBA, the players remained at the University of Florida. They went on to win another National Championship. Not only did the players click, but they also had a synergy with each other that wasn't replicated in their NBA careers. Also, the University of Florida team was okay both before and after the foursome played, but didn't achieve the same level of success. The book gives tips on how a person can do things that will encourage a "click" relationship: show vulnerability to other and concentrate on similarities. The book was a very quick and entertaining read, and I'm going to try to incorporate some of their suggestions when I am involved in team projects. After all, every little bit can help to make the project a success.

Sunday, October 9, 2011 -- After Midnight

Pens versus Flames
The Pens are still in Canada, and this evening, they played the Calgary Flames. Marc-Andre Fleury was in goal for the Pens, but will probably sit out tomorrow's game against the Edmonton Oilers. The Flames had a 1-0 lead going into the second period, when the Pens exploded, scoring four goals off of 16 shots. Most important is that the Pens held the Flames to only five shots on goal. Evgeni Malkin almost got thrown out of the game when he got involved in a roughing and his jersey came over his head. Kris Letang was thrown out of a game last year for the infraction of not tying down his jersey, but Malkin got away with it. Then Matt Cooke was elbowed in the head by Cory Sarich. The team started a scrum over that, and Cooke went off the ice. The new rule is that anyone with a head hit has to go to a quiet room and be evaluated. Cooke made it back to the ice for the third period. The Flames made a mini-comeback in the third period, scoring two goals. Fortunately, the Pens were able to take control of the final minutes, culminating in an empty net goal by Jordan Staal with four seconds left in the game. Final score: Pens 5 - Flames 3.

Friday, October 7, 2011 -- After Midnight

Pens Season Opener
The Pens opened their season in Vancouver against the Canucks. The game didn't start until 10 p.m. EDT. That was okay, though, because I was staying up to put in my pre-order for the iPhone 4S with Sprint. The Pens came out with energy. Matt Cooke had said in some pre-season interviews that he was committed to changing his goonish ways. Obviously, he meant it. Cooke scored the first goal of the game, and then scored a short handed goal on an Evgeni Malkin penalty. The Pens had a one point lead going into the third period, but the Canucks tied things up. After a scoreless overtime, it was time for a shootout. Malkin was first up for the Pens, and he scored. Marc-Andre Fleury had more composure this year than last year at this time, and he held off the Canucks. Kris Letang sealed the deal with his shootout goal. All in all, it was a promising start to the season for the Pens. Final score: Pens 4 - Canucks 3.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 -- Evening

Steve Jobs
RIP Steve Jobs
Very sad news this evening! Apple announced that Steve Jobs died today. Even though Jobs has been sick with cancer for a few years and had a liver transplant in 2009, I didn't think that he would live this mortal coil. However, I suppose we should have seen the writing on the wall when Jobs stepped down in August because he was no longer able to fulfill his duties. The thing that I have difficulty with is that Jobs was so young, only 56 years old. Jobs gave the world so much with his innovative technology. As I write this, I'm using my MacBook laptop and charging/syncing my iPod. As tears blur my vision, I'm going to fire up the iPad and play Angry Birds in Jobs' memory. I prefer to think of him as the robust Jobs, fired up, telling us just one more thing about his marvelous, aesthetic creations. Love ya, Steve!