Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round One Epilogue

And the Brind’amour Chips move on!!!!

There‘s nothing like a little game seven drama. The New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes series definitely won the Most Thrilling Finish Award in Round One. Once the Canes tied it up, I felt relief...just get to overtime now. The thought didn’t cross my mind another goal would be scored, and lo it was.

The Rangers/ Capitals game was a close second. That wasn’t the first time we’ve seen Sergei Fedorov skate down the wing, stop, shoot and score in the dying minutes of something. Go Sergei! Sean Avery, Tortorella, water bottles, a Reno T-Shirt and a six game suspension for Donald Brashear Oh my! The Most Dysfunction Family Series Award goes to The Rangers/ Capitals Series. (The Flames and Sharks were the recipents last year – that one was a doozy too.)

The Reversal of Fortune Award was presented to the Bruins/ Canadiens series, a series that mimicked last season, with the roles reversed. The Habs took out the Bruins last time, the Bruins took out the Habs this time around.

The Can’t Remember What Happened Because It Seems So Long Ago Award goes to the Vancouver Canucks, the first team to advance to round two after sweeping the St. Louis Blues. Runners up were the Boston Bruins sweep of the Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings Columbus Blue Jackets sweep.

The Battle of the Seas Award goes to the Pittsburgh Penguins White Out and The Flyers Orange Crush. Good looking fans on both sides for a hard fought series topped off with game six come from behind Penguins Win. The Penguins waddle fiercely into round two.

The Upset that Didn’t Feel Like and Upset Award: The battle of California. Eighth place Anaheim Ducks dispatch of the first place San Jose Sharks in six games. My heart goes out to Shark fans everywhere. This just shouldn’t have happened, period.

The New Kids on the Block, Keep Your Chin Up Award goes to the Columbus Blue Jackets. As I’ve said before, there couldn’t have been a tougher opponent for playoff first timer’s the Columbus Blue Jackets to face than the finely tuned, mother of all hockey franchises, the Detroit Red Wings. At least the Blue Jacket fans got to see their boys score five playoff goals and kind of come close to winning in game four.

The Uh-oh...Another First Round Exit Award goes to the Calgary Flames. This is a shame because the Flames appeared to miss injured players too much, and I can empathize with that. Once again, their Fans out did everyone with their awesome Sea of Red. See you next year, Flamers ;o)
The I Like Saying Nikolai Khabibulin Award goes to the Chicago Blackhawks. I know, it’s a silly award but I can’t help it, it’s a great name to say. I enjoyed hearing his name during the game broadcasts. Was delighted in hearing it again during the sports news shows. I will have fun heckling him in Round Two, as his Chicago Blackhawks take on my Vancouver Canucks. Go Nucks!

See you in Two....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Still Kickin'

2009 Swag Off!!!

The Quarter Finals: The following teams are still duking it out in round one, leaving semi final bound fans guessing, speculating, calculating, imagining, and salivating over which team their boys will do battle with next.

What better way to celebrate the "Days of Do or Die" with a little Stanley Cup Playoffs Swag Off? Readers who were around last year might remember such famous swag offs like the Save the Predators T-Shirt versus the SteveYzerman Commenorative Sports Illustrated magazine. Or the Colorado Avalanche Mini Stein shot glass vs the Minnesota Wild game program. Which swag items will make it to the Finals this season???

In the West...

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Calgary Flames
Blackhawks lead the series 3-2

Try something new on your next evening out: bring along a functional accessory sporting one of the NHL's hottest logos. Surprise your friends at dinner, or in the lounge. (that's my cousin's lobster in the background. I had a big steak.) I've had this beer cozy stored away in the Hockey Swag box for four years, and finally it comes out to play, just like the Chicago Blackhawks have after a seven year absence from the post season. They are heading back to Calgary one more time to face the Sea of Red, and if the Flames have their way, a refreshed Mikka Kipprosoff and an angry Jerome Iginla. And they won't like it when Jerome's angry.

This stylin' Calgary Flames jersey hand bag screams "I'm a winner!" However, the Flames were definitely looking like losers in game five. The Blackhawks displayed the "win at all costs atittude", making it difficult for the Flames to get shots through to the net. On the downside, Phaneuff left the game. On the upside Jerome said "We will be ready for the next game." The jersey bag hopes'll look smashing in the semi's...


San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks

Ducks lead the series 3-2

Since we hear so much about Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, I thought it would be nice to showcase the league's other Evgeni. Evgeni Nabokov would like to play in the semi's too, and he hopes Joe and Patrick want to so bad, they continue to shake the damn choking, floating, long faced looks on the bench style of whatever it is that seems to plague them around this time of year. No time like the present...

The Anaheim Ducks are the team no one wants to play. Period. Who's fault is that anyways? Ah, let's blame Brian Burke...or George Parros' mustache. Or Chris Pronger's elbows. Or the Neidermayers' mom. Or the combination of orange towels and Snoop Dog. Or the fact they are really close to Disneyland, and boy could I use a visit to the happiest place on earth. But this isn't about me, it's about the Ducks, those super confident Ducks, trying to play mind games with the Sharks but the Sharks have been too busy playing mind games with themselves. Lucky Ducks...


In the East...

Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers
New York leads the series 3-2

I am sure there are hockey fans out there that think the Rangers Sean Avery and coach John Tortorella both deserve a good spanking. Well look no further than the above classic wooden Rangers mini stick as the spanking accessory of choice! Just under 2 ft. tall, the mini stick is sure to draw a chuckle from even the surliest Washington Capitals fan sitting behind the bench! Coach Torts has been suspended for one game due to bad behavior, but Ranger fans must be hoping the scratched Sean Avery returns to play in game six: one of these water bottle shooters needs to be present at MSG for game six to make up with everybody and continue the co-dependent thing into the second round.

The sick goal. The sick sick goal. Alexander Ovechkin’s game four highlight reel goal was almost overshadowed by Rangers Coach John Tortorella’s bench boss antics on Friday night. Like their team, The Washington Capital’s Sea of Scarlet (a tribute to Club Scarlet, girls!) is on the brink of elimination, and will have to helplessly watch from home as the Caps try to tie up this series and force a game seven. At least some of the fans will look lovely in Versace dresses.


New Jersey Devils vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Devils lead the series 3-2

The most talked about game in this series was game four; with the Hurricanes winning the game thanks to a buzzer beater shot delivered by Jussi Jokinen (can it get more buzzer beater than 0.2 seconds left on the clock?). Cue the stick throwing .Yes, the Devils prefer to make a bigger statement with tossing a stick, rather than water bottles (that’s what the Manhattan hockey players do). All I remember is walking by the TV, highlight package on, and Devils net minder, Martin Brodeur heaving his stick at the boards. Perhaps, long after the game was over, Brodeur had his feet up and enjoyed a different kind of shot from this attractive Devils Shot glass. Coming in at just under five bucks, this little glass can perk up even the most frustrating of days. Use the Devils shot glass responsibly!!

Yes, I will admit...this is an old bag of chips. But, it was the last bag I found after the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, and it was a keeper. Look at Rod Brind’amour - That’s a happy guy. And these Caniac chips are a tasty side kick for the Devils shot glass- talk about a perfect match. And the series has proven to be a good match, too: four out of five games were one goal games. Devils win, Canes win, Devils win, Canes win, Devils win,....the big question today is do the Chips win another day on the shelf??? The Hurricanes have been an elusive team for me, so if it seems like I am focusing on the chips too much, it’s because game six will be the first game of this series I will actually see. And I have a hankering for some chips...Go Canes! It’s your turn to win. The sequence says so ;o)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Philadelphia Freedom!!

Philadelphia Freedom – Elton John

by Jan Snyder

“As I live and breathe, it’s Philadelphia Freedom!” – we are free of the Flyers, at least until next season, as the Pens found a way to come back from a 3-0 lead by the Orange and Black and wrap up the series.

Mad Max played such a huge role in this game. In the second period, he fumbled a puck that led directly to a Flyer goal. As if determined to make up for that mistake, Max bravely took on tough guy Daniel Carcillo by challenging him. Max took a few punches, but was more than happy to take them for the team against one of the toughest of the tough guys. As Carcillo left the ice after the fight, he urged the Orange Crush- shirted fans to roar louder. Max had his finger to his lips trying to “shush” the crowd!

After Max’s heroics, the rest of the team lifted their games and Fedotenko quickly scored the Pens first goal. Closely following was Mark Eaton who potted another one. Sid got in on the act too, knocking a puck out of mid-air and into the goal. Fleury continued to make the big, important saves when he needed to and kept the Flyers off the scoreboard.

Onto the third period – tied! This had to be a big letdown for the Flyers, especially after being up 3-0 at the end of the second period and a big momentum-gatherer for the Pens who were feeding off each other.

The teams battled, but Gonchar found the net and Sid found the empty net to end the game and the series. Handshakes all around! Farewell, Philly!

This was an exciting series and a tough one for the Pens to start their quest. Games won’t get any easier though as they take on the next opponent, whoever that may be.

Until the other series are decided, we won’t know who comes next. We do know the guys will get a few days to lick the wounds inflicted by the Flyers and to get some rest. No pressure of a seventh game at home, just preparation for the next series.

We could see the Bruins next, Carolina, Jersey or the Caps. Boston is on a big roll and ruled the East most of the year. Carolina is dangerous, with Eric Cole back and another Staal brother, Eric, not to mention Cam Ward in goal. What else can you say about Jersey except Marty Brodeur, the goalie with the most wins in the history of the NHL? And the Caps come with Ovechkin and company, so any of these would be worthy opponents.

But whoever the Pens face next, they will be ready to start over again in Round Two. Journey had a big hit with Who’s Crying Now – it’s not now and never was Sidney Crosby! He effectively silenced the crowd and said after the game that he enjoyed the “silence” after his goals. Now he is free of the Flyers and free of their “chanting” fans.

Let’s Go, Pens!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hells Bells

Hell’s Bells – AC/DC

By Jan Snyder

My Dad was known to use some salty language during hockey games. Most I can’t repeat here but one of his favorites was “Hell’s bells, we can’t get it out of our own end.” Or “Hell’s bells, he couldn’t put one in with a two by four.” They were many variations on the theme, but ‘hell’s bells’ was the common denominator.

Unfortunately, Dad’s expressions fit this game to a tee. In the first scoreless period, things were looking good for the Pens, a couple of times pucks almost went in, but didn’t. In the second period, Philly took over and soon Asham scored their first goal.

Geno made some nice moves, got to the net, put it in – but replays showed he kicked the puck in. Hell’s bells, the goal was called back. Geno played well, as did Sid, but nothing wanted to happen. The Pens’ third line played a feisty game, got some chances, and was tenacious, all for naught. The white-out crowd did their part to help, but they couldn’t produce any particular magic either.

In the third, we hoped for a better fate, but hell’s bells, no breaks for us and we just had to watch Giroux and Knuble knock in two more.

Maybe the absence of Kris Letang and Petr Sykora made a difference. Letang was replaced by Philippe Boucher and Sykora by – Satan! Hell’s bells, did those replacements change the team chemistry? Did the team expect Fleury to continue his Superman routine from the previous game? Did they really want to go back to the “fans” of Philadelphia and their incredible lack of hospitality?

Marty Biron did a reasonable impression of Fleury from the last game in this game, making some quality saves especially when he was peppered in the first. The Flyers played a good game, didn’t fight much, and it all worked for them. On the other hand, the Pens didn’t seem quite as desperate as those guys in black and orange. Hopefully that will change in the next contest.

Now we play on Saturday afternoon, in Philly, on NBC. Back we go to the home of a thousand Taco Bells and the Liberty Bell. Hell’s bells, I really didn’t want that to happen!

Let’s hold on to good thoughts until Saturday and hope we can wrap it up in Flyer country. Wish you were here to enjoy it all with us, Dad!

Canucks Sweep Blues....

Canucks Sweep the Blues...

by Lisa Ovens

...and it doesn't feel normal. I am still in shock. Super happy, but I'm in shock. This isn't normal for the Vancouver Canucks. It's the first time the hockey club has swept a team in its 38 year existence. This isn't how it's normally done for us.

In past round ones (at least the ones the Canucks won), we were diving right into round two with only a day, maybe two to spare because the series went the full seven games. Not a lot of time to get up to speed on the new opponent, reload the fridge, sort out the schedule, and make new Stanley Cup shaped tin foil hats, because the first Cup hats were destroyed during round one celebrations on Robson Street.

I was nervous for the Canucks as this was a shot at a playoff sweep, and I didn’t want to see them choke. However, I believed they could do it. I was nervous because if they didn't win game four, it would be raining doubt in the local sports media today. Not only did they win it, but they did it in dramatic fashion in the dying seconds of the first overtime period. The game winning goal scorer, Alex Burrows never ceases to amaze Canucks nation. His play has reached a higher level this season; you know he has a hockey angel named Luc Bourdon by his side at all times.

The St. Louis Blues were more than worthy opponents. What other team had to take on the hottest team during the last half of the regular season besides the Canucks? Although the Canucks has a two nothing lead (yeah, the worst lead in hockey), as soon as the Blues Brad Boyes scored that first one, I knew the kitchen sink was coming. They were going to throw it all at the Canucks, and it would be up to the Canucks to keep pace and capitalize on any mistakes. But the Blues tied it up and made it to overtime.

I watched game four on one of those little nine inch hospital TV's, sharing the headphones with my mom. I had to be reserved with my reactions and cheering in the hospital room. And I couldn't do my usual pacing and yelling at the TV that I would normally do during overtime when my team is killing a penalty. And this particular overtime I had to restrain myself like crazy during the 6 minutes the Canucks were shorthanded. Do you have any idea of how hard that is?

I can confidently say the spectacle of the playoffs is a wonderful distraction for people with illness. I've been in the hospital for each round one game, and it's brings the staff and the patients together. I know hockey gives my mom a heck of a lot of joy, and she's really enjoying the Canucks this season. If something tough comes along we just say it's "like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and we gotta take it one game at a time."

The Canucks will have a break that could last up to ten days. This is uncharted territory for them, so they’ll figure out things to do. The local sports media will continue to fret over the effects of a lengthy break on goal tender,Roberto Luongo and his teammates, and after a while everyone will just tune it out...I hope.

What are we fans going to do with our selves? Keep an eye on the rest of the battles, enjoy the current sunshine, and perfect the tin foil Stanley Cup hat design.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

That’s the Way I Like It

That’s the Way I Like It – K.C. & The Sunshine Band

By Jan Snyder

Right, Pens fans? What was NOT to like about that victory in Philly? The outcome was enough to inspire a little disco dancing to K.C.’s happy little song.

Marc-Andre Fleury was Superman (sung by Five for Fighting, a nice little hockey-related factoid) and stopped 45 of the 46 shots that were thrown at him. He stopped them high, low, flat on his stomach, glove grabs – whatever. He was determined to protect his goal and didn’t give up even an iota of space, wrapping himself around the goal post, having his helmet knocked off, it just didn’t matter.

On the other side, Biron faced far less shots but enough of the ones the Pens took went in. Crosby and Kennedy scored in the second and Max Talbot could see well enough through his shiner and added a much-needed empty-netter in the third.

“I tried to go out and stop the puck – that’s my job,” a very humble Fleury told reporter Dan Potash after the game. He certainly did his job tonight. Do you think he may have read what “Hairy” Hartnell said about him after the last game?

“We did a good job [Sunday] of getting to the net, getting second chances and changing the angle of the puck. It seems like he can stop that first shot most of the time. When we get him moving side to side, it seems like we've been getting some better chances and last game we put them in the back of the net,” Hartnell was quoted as saying in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Wishful thinking, maybe? Fleury seemed better than usual in his side to side motion in Game Four.

The Pens did many things well, including winning faceoffs and keeping shifts short and productive. But the best thing they did was to get back to playing their brand of hockey with skill and finesse and avoiding the scrums and fighting that the Flyers like to draw teams into doing. One more game like that back in Pittsburgh on Thursday would be great. That’s the way I’d like it!

Let’s Go, Pens!

Welcome To Lisa's Lounge, and its temporary home

Hello Hockey fans! Just a quick entry to let you know Lisa's Lounge is a little different than it used to be. The old lounge is being renovated, and this I blogger spot will serve us until the construction is complete. All recent 2009 playoff columns from Lisa ovens and Jan Snyder have been moved over, and are located below. The rest of, including the online shop is still live...visit it here

2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs


Lisa Ovens, Columnist/ Hockey book author: Lisa Ovens is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is covering the Vancouver Canucks, as well as anything else Stanley Cup Playoffs related.

Jan Snyder, Columnist, Freelance writer: Originally from Pittsburgh, writer Jan Snyder has serious depth and perspective on the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Club. But she's also a die hard Pens fan who has plenty of fun with hockey and writing. This year's playoff theme for Jan is theme songs for each Penguins Playoff'll never know which one works until after the game!
Scroll down for more....

Two Nothing

Two Nothing
(originally published April. 18th, 2009)

By Lisa Ovens

Well it’s Day Five of Round One and we are swimming in a sea of Two Nothing. It’s like a thick soup of twos and zeros. If your series has ones in it, sorry but you do not count in this particular column...

Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues

Series: Canucks 2 Blues 0

Vancouver now leads the series, 2-0. It might have been tied, if the Blues, Andy McDonald’s potted the four shots that rang off the posts during the extra chippy Game Two. This can mean only one thing: Eventually they are going to start going in for MacDonald. Be aware Canucks...

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

Series: Rangers 2 Capitals 0

I don’t know, but if I were the Washington Capitals coach, I would have kept Jose Theodore in net for game two. If memory serves me correctly, When the Avalanche stuck it out with Theodore between the pipes last playoffs, he held his own in round one. I’m just sayin...

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens

Series: Bruins 2 Canadiens 0

Well, who here got a kick out of the male Bruins fan trying to steal Kovalev’s stick through the camera lens hole in the glass in Game one? What really surprises me is they let the idiot back for game two. I’m sorry, but a woman would never do that...teehee :o)

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Calgary Flames

Series: Blackhawks 2 Flames 0

Ooh my, the Flames need to resolve the fact they are missing Robyn Regehr and Rhett Warrener. Perhaps the return home to Calgary, and reuniting with the Sea of Red, and the Red Mile will help the Flames take a game or two.
BTW, I couldn’t help but notice all of the Blackhawks bandwagonners in Chi Town...could you? I kid, I kid.

Detroit Red Wings vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets

Series: Wings 2 Blue Jackets 0

Heck, any team would have trouble trying to solve the mighty Red Wings in Round One. Let me put it this way: The problems the Red Wings have would be considered blessings anywhere else. The Blue Jackets are stuck with them, but for now, let’s be happy for Columbus hockey fans: the Stanley Cup Playoff Show is rolling into town and everyone is invited!

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Series: Penguins 2 Flyers 0

The Penguins are hot and fun to watch. I still have a problem with teams wearing lots of orange, as the Flyers do. Therefore, the Penguins must win this series. If they don’t they won’t be able to meet the Vancouver Canucks in the Finals. Oh what? You haven’t heard of this possible match up for Round Four?

Think about it: back in November, the Canucks are in the Igloo, and Roberto Luongo hurts his groin. Then it’s like a roller coaster ride begins for both the Pens and the Canucks. It gets bad enough in Pittsburgh, that the coach is fired. It gets bad enough in Vancouver the majority of the city wants the coach fired. But he stays. Both teams are like, in tenth and eleventh place in their conferences. And then, both teams claw their way back up the standings, often in the same spot, with the same number of wins. At regular season’s end the Canucks finish in 3rd place, 45 wins and 100 points, and the Penguins finish in 4th place, with 45 wins and 99 points.

But wait...there's more columnist Jan Snyder covers all things Pittsburgh Penguins, and publisher/ columnist, Lisa Ovens covers all things Vancouver Canucks.

Jan Snyder has visited Vancouver and attended a Canucks game with Lisa Ovens.

Lisa Ovens visited Pittsburgh and attended a Penguins game with Jan Snyder.

Lisa Ovens likes to take pictures of bobbleheads. Jan Snyder’s daughter, Jen also likes to take pictures of bobbleheads. Jan Snyder and Lisa Ovens are friends, and were chatting on the telephone as they watched the game when Luongo was injured....uncanny isn’t it? I’ll leave out the part that has Jan living in Houston, Texas. But she is a born and raised Pittsburgher...

Stayed tuned for Game Three and Game Four Canucks report...

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Things can Change

How Things Can Change
originally published Apr.16, 2009

By Lisa Ovens

Series: Vancouver Canucks 1 St. Louis Blues 0

My day started with digging up my 2008/09 Hockey News Yearbook from the pre-season. I had to double check the Vancouver Canucks ranking from way back when. The hockey minds in Toronto placed the Canucks at 11th in the West. And the St. Louis Blues were ranked at finishing 15th in the west.

Now here we are, Game One of the Canucks/ St. Louis Blues series is officially under our belts, and before I gush about my home team Canucks and the city, I have to congratulate both teams for proving at least a few people wrong, and winding up in third and sixth place respectively.

My day began, listening to the talking heads on the radio, updating fans on how the team looked on the ice during the morning skate. We also heard the St. Louis Blues took off to the rink at University of British Columbia instead of skating at GM Place. Once I was on the road, I was impressed by how many car flags were dancing in the wind on every street. The weather was exceptional today: Sunny, warm with the smell of blossoms in the air. There’s nothing like the playoffs in the city. Thank you Canucks: for turning it around after the “January to forget”, and making it an April to remember.

I know, we are only at Game One of a possible Seven, but it’s oh so sweet to be involved in the Stanley Cup Playoffs party again! I distinctly remember crying last season when the Canucks officially knocked themselves out of contention. (And out of respect to the fourteen teams that are not caught up in post season bliss, I actually made sure I watched the draft lottery on Tuesday as it was an important event for you guys!)

How things can change. The last round one game one the Canucks played, before last night’s, was in April 2007 against the Dallas Stars. I went to the game with my mom, Stella. That game turned into the sixth longest game in NHL history, finally ending with a Henrik Sedin goal in quadruple overtime. We had an amazing time together at that game, and mom waved her towel practically the whole time.

Last night, I watched the game with my mom, but this time we watched it together in the hospital. She hasn’t been feeling well for some time, but hockey still gives her plenty of joy, and I was so happy to be by her side for the first game of the Canucks playoff run this year. The Canucks winning 2-1 gets us off to a good start. But we know the Blues are going to bring it on during Friday night’s game.

I wish everyone glued to hockey right now, the best of times. Be sure to include your loved ones in your passion, and make it a post season to remember!

Happy Playoffs!!

Emotional Rescue

Emotional Rescue
– Rolling Stones
originally posted Apr.20, 2009

Game Three Pens/ Flyers series

by Jan Snyder

Emotion: An affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate or the like, is experienced; usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, such as increased heartbeat, respiration, or the like.

That’s a clear description of what we went through during this contest as fans. Joy at Geno’sthe Flyers.
power play, sorrow at a last minute empty net goal, fear that someone would get injured in all the fights, hate – well, that’s a given when facing

This bluesy little song is just what we need to hear after this game.
Going back to Philadelphia seemed to be just what the Flyers needed. And playing an afternoon game on NBC seemed to be the last thing the Pens needed. Being the stars on NBC doesn’t agree with Pittsburgh for some reason. Maybe they are all just “night people”.

The raucous crowd certainly came to the Emotional Rescue of their team and energized them. Playing the way they did today shows the importance of home ice. The hitting started early but unlike the two prior games, the Pens decided to be more involved in the roughing and fighting than that were at home. Discipline was lacking on the parts of both teams but took a higher toll on the Pens.

Frantic is the best word to describe Game Three. Frantic hitting, frantic fighting, frantic skating – but give the Flyers credit for being able to control it better, scoring a power play goal and a short-handed goal.

Petr Sikora missed a couple of shots, Bill Guerin didn’t make much of an impression today, and the third line, except for getting into trouble, didn’t make much noise. Geno never stopped and scored two of the Pens’ three goals, with Scuderi adding one as well. Fleury was a little off too. Crosby did everything but score in a totally hostile environment.

So, the team from the western part of Pennsylvania is still up 2-1in the series and the next game is at night and not on NBC, both factors in their favor. Let’s not let our emotions get the best of us and let’s hope the players do the same. Monday night we’ll be in for more joy, more sorrow, more fear and more hate – after all, it’s the Stanley Cup Playoffs! We wouldn’t want it any other way.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Someone Saved My Life Tonight
– Elton John
originally posted April 18, 2009

Game Two Pens/Flyers

by Jan Snyder

And the hits just keep on comin’! What a game between the Pens and Flyers tonight. Although this is a slow song, we’re all exhausted after almost a full fourth period, so let’s do a calm dance, because none of us was calm during the game.

The first period was just hit after hit after hit as each side tried to establish position. At the end of that period, the score was 1-0 Flyers on a goal by “Hairy” Hartnell. After a non-call for throwing his stick, which should have given the Pens a penalty shot, and Geno hit the post, I was starting to wonder if fate was conspiring against the Pens tonight.

But then in the second, Guerin opened the scoring for the Pens on a great rush with Sid and Geno, tying the score at 1-1. Much more of the same ensued, hitting and jockeying for position all through the second.

In the third, the Flyers went up 2-1 on a goal by Powe. Then, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, because we fans were about to have a collective heart attack seeing a yawning open net in front of Jeff Carter – but then, somehow, some way, the tip of Fleury’s skate blocked the way! Amazing. Following that was an exciting power play goal scored by Geno from Letang and Gonchar.

As the third period came to an end, we wondered if we were in for another long overtime game with the Flyers.

The action was brisk, but no one could score during overtime. With just four and a half minutes left, Gill was called for a penalty. As the Pens toiled, trying to kill it off, first one, then another Flyer forgot all the talk about discipline. They marched off to the box, giving the Pens a 5 on 3 advantage with just two and a half minutes left. Guerin then closed the scoring for the Pens with a power play goal to end an exciting, physical game. The two Flyers sat in the box feeling shame.

As the rally towels waved and the crowd roared its approval, the team mobbed Guerin while Mr. and Mrs. Malkin celebrated along with the rest of the fans.

The Flyers played a better game tonight but the Pens stayed with them and never gave up.

Before the season ended and the while the team was still hoping for a long playoff run, a fan at Mellon Arena applauded Bill Guerin’s arrival with a sign that read, “Pens will make the playoffs – I Guerin-tee it.” I think that may have been a prophetic sign!

Off to the so-called City of Brotherly Love to see what awaits the Pens in Game Three on Sunday. They will arrive with momentum on their side, playing their game and hoping to go up 3-0 in the series.

Let’s Go, Pens!

"I'm So Excited!"- The Pointer Sisters

I’m So Excited!
– Pointer Sisters

by Jan Snyder
originally posted Apr.15, 2009

Well, here we are again. The playoffs are about to begin during this most wonderful time of the year for hockey fans. Just a few short weeks ago we Penguin fans had to be wondering if we would be in on the joy of the season. But a coaching change and some additions to the team made any doubts disappear.

Thanks in part to the New York Rangers, who unceremoniously defeated the Philadelphia Flyers this weekend, the Pens will begin the trek to the Cup on the beloved home ice of the Mellon Arena with their adoring white-out crowds cheering them on against the dreaded cross-state rivals. Thank you, Flyers, for coming to Pittsburgh to start the series (and for not showing up in Sunday’s game).

Last playoff season, I suggested celebrating each Penguin victory with a donut. Not a very well-thought out plan considering I’m still trying to work off 13 donuts! This year, let’s go healthier and aerobic.

In honor of our new coach, “Disco” Dan Bylsma, we’ll celebrate every game, win or lose, with a song that describes some aspect of the game. Coach seems to have acquired his nickname because, in his own words, “I was known to polish a dance floor or two.” We can all join in with him, sing and do a victory dance or wallow in our sorrows after a loss.

The title of this column expresses how we are feeling prior to the drop of the puck on Wednesday night at the Igloo – so excited! The Flyers will be a tough opponent but the Pens are coming in on a high note, brimming with confidence and ready to start the climb to the top of the heap.

Geno secured his scoring title, Sid was just a few points behind. Fleury is sharp, relaxed and ready. Talbot, Dupuis and Cooke are going to produce points while the defensive core will not only shut down the opposition, but do some scoring in the process. All the while, Coach Dan and his staff will be there offering staunch support. The two teams have very similar stats on the season, but home ice gives the Pens a big boost.

Come on, Richards! Bring that hair, Hartnell! Do your best, Biron! Beware, Briere! Daniel Carcillo, meet Eric Goddard!

Okay, fans, the players are ready, so let’s get excited for that opening game!

Happy Easter Happy Playoffs!!!

Happy Easter, Everyone!
orginally posted April 12, 2009

By Lisa Ovens

What could be better than eating chocolate and finding out the official 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff match ups?

One thing comes to mind: watching your team win the Stanley Cup!

Welcome Wagon

This post season welcomes the Columbus Blue Jackets to the playoffs for the very first time, and the return of the Carolina Hurricanes, St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Short on Canadian Teams

In Canada, we only have three teams competing (Canucks, Flames, Canadiens), and thankfully none of them are playing each other in the first round. (It’s hard for some Canadians to watch one have to knock another out when there are few battling in the first place.)

Long on the Central Division Teams

Wow...four Centrals: the Detroit Red Wings, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the St. Louis Blues. Normally it was always the Northwest Division filling up the joint.

Interstate Battles

We have a Battle of California (Sharks and Ducks), and the Battle of Pennsylvania (Penguins and Flyers).

The Lesser of two Masons?

The Vancouver Canucks knew they’d be facing a Mason in goal in round one. It was only a matter of time before they found out which one. Chris Mason and the St. Louis Blues fired up the standings to meet their Northwest Division rival, Vancouver Canucks.

The Upset?

The Detroit Red Wings will be playing first timers, the Columbus Blue Jackets. If there is an upset, this will be it!

The Kids and the Flames

The Calgary Flames will have their hands full with the boys from Chicago, and their fans.

Original Six!

If it’s anything like last year, The Bruins/ Canadiens series is one to watch.

Offense vs. Defence

The Washington Capitals score and the New York Rangers don’t...yet they should.

Could be a Dud??

It’s been suggested the New Jersey Devils vs. the Carolina Hurricanes will be the dud series in round one. Which means it could turn into a barn prediction – game three in this series will open right up and surprise everyone. Woohooo!!!

Stayed tuned for more 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage from!