Wednesday, April 2, 2008

It's a LIVEBLOG night at TST

(Credit image to an old one The Peerless used)

Join us, won't you, for what will be our last chance to live-blog a regular season game. And since playoff games are usually too intense with too much barley & hops flowing to keep up with, probably the last liveblog in a while. Those dastardly Flyers are in town and clawing for their pathetic playoff lives.

7:34: Scoreboard watching; New Jersey is up 1-0 on Boston with a minute remaining in the 1st. If the Devils don't win, the Penguins clinch the Atlantic Division by default. Boston has a lot to play for, as they're trying to hold off the hard-charging Caps to stay in the playoff picture themselves.

7:38: Darryl Sydor is scratched tonight and rookie Kris Letang is back in the lineup. We like this decision, but weren't sure Coach Therrien wouldn't want to scratch a vet like Sydor.

TST favorite Adam Hall is also back in the lineup, replacing (as we predicted) Jeff Taffe in the lineup. Hall yielded his #18 to that Marian Hossa guy, so he is now wearing #28.

7:42: Georges Laraque and Riley Cote are going to fight....I'll give Cote this, he's at least got the brass to take it from Laraque. Not many so called "tough guys" in the NHL want to do that. "Riley Cote, God bless ya son" says Penguins radio announcer Phil Bourque.

7:46: Six minutes into the game shots have been few and far between. It's 2-1 Penguins in that column and neither team has had that great of scoring chances...Very conservative, playoff style hockey; almost like the two teams are feeling each other out, which you'd think they wouldn't have to do since this is the seventh meeting of the season.

7:51: Sheeeeit. Scott Hartnell snaps a quick shot (on a nice pass from Danny Briere) and beats Marc-Andre Fleury high. The Penguins looked a little slow their in their coverage. Fleury was down and Hartnell did the rest. This is only the third even-strength goal MAF's given up in the past nine games. 1-0 Flyers

7:55: Jeff Carter makes a somewhat dirty play, knocking the USS Hal Gill into Fleury. Blatant disregard for another team's goalie? Not cool.

7:56: Well, that didn't take long. Sergei Gonchar sends a wrist shot on the net and it goes in. Nice screen by Ryan Malone, who indicated that the goal is Gonchar's. Philly goalie Martin Biron thought that Sarge was going to pass it down to Sidney Crosby. Even when Crosby doesn't get the puck he can create offense. 1-1 tie!

7:57: Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are given credit for the assists.

8:01: Gill gets a penalty, he went for a poke check but ended up tripping a Flyer.

8:03: Carter puts a PP goal in after Fleury directs a rebound right to him...Joffrey Lupul and Brooks Orpik start scrapping. They get mainly tied up, Orpik puts Lupul in the glass and then gets him down. This game has picked up in a hurry, it's now 2-1 Flyers.

8:05: Scoreboard watching update: Boston puts in a PP goal to make it 1-1 in New Jersey.

8:07: Crosby and Lasse Kuokkenen (or whatever the hell it is) get in a little scrap. Crosby was pissed that Pooponen cross-checked him in the back of the neck so he got in his face...Both get matching minors for roughing.

8:11: Jordan Staal
is playing a shift with Laraque and Jarkko Ruutu. Why not? Those two are producing more of late than Staal anyways.

8:15: Mike Lange and the old Two-Niner are right, the Penguins are giving too much time and space to Hartnell and Briere, letting them operate too freely in the zone. Hopefully the coaches will point this out and have the players make some adjustments in the coming intermission.

8:17: That's the end of the first period, it's 2-1 Flyers. Shots are 9-8 for the bad guys.

8:36: And we're back...Scoreboard update, New Jersey appeared to take a 2-1 lead but video review couldn't confirm it. Boston's Milan Lucic does score to make it 2-1 Bruins. That game (plus Philly winning plus Carolina clobbering Tampa 4-1) makes it a terrible night so far for scoreboard watching Capitals' fans.

8:39: Bourque calls out Hossa for having a too quiet a night so far. To be honest it doesn't seem like many Penguins have played that well so far. Crosby's been using speed to generate chances but guys like Petr Sykora and Malone have also been almost invisible too.

8:44: Malkin and Braydon Coburn tangle up near the net, Crosby and Geno almost combined for a goal. Penalties are coming, two of them on the Pens..This game has been very chippy and incredibly hotly contested for just about every inch of space up there. It seems like we're one second away from a crazy brawl.

8:47: Two man advantage time...CROSBY!!!! It's 2-2 Penguins.

8:48: Gonchar is a powerplay wizard. Nicklas Lidstrom will deservedly run away with the Norris Trophy, but the Sarge deserves some consideration in the form of a few 2nd or 3rd place votes.

8:50: Orpik and Hartnell get in an altercation...Hartnell was using his stick as a damn pitchfork when Orpik was down on the ice. Orpik got up and knocked him silly. The Flyers keep trying to goon it up but these Penguins are not going to back down. One gets the feeling that Jarkko Ruutu is going to do something interesting before this is over.

8:51: Hartnell goes for roughing and Orpik gets 2 for delay of game? Stupid. Hartnell's been really reckless all game long. One gets the feeling he's going to cost his team in the long-run if he keeps this up.

8:53: The USS Hal Gill is going back to the box. Ahh, not a good sign. Important kill for the Pens, this game is getting a little wild and the last three goals of the game have come on the powerplay.

8:57: Penalty killed. LET'S GO PENS! chant breaks out. Crosby is flying around and drawing a hooking penalty by Jim Dowd. Another example of Sid using speed on an inferior player that gets beat and has to take a penalty.

8:59: GENO!!!!!! It's 3-2 Penguins ...Unbelievable goal, Malkin's on the ice for 1:35 and blows by two players and snakes one in the 5 hole. The Pens PP is 3 for 4 on the night.

9:08: Crosby explodes and puts the puck at the net, Hossa tries to jam one in there but Biron is up for the challenge.

9:09: BGL takes a penalty that he can't and shouldn't take at this last moment of the second period against a good PP.

9:10: Well that's the end of two...The Pens had a 2-0 period and had a 14-7 shot advantage that stanza. Good period. Now they'll have to kill 1:24 more but this game has been wild, no chance they can sit on this lead. Must stay aggressive on a team that is desperately clawing for the playoffs.

9:20: Crap real life getting in the way sucks, sorry folks we can only do two periods of this liveblog....Recap of what we miss tomorrow.

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