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Puck Huffers

A blog about the Pittsburgh Penguins, est. 2008. Now on Tumblr for your convenience. PH 2.0, PH 1.0.
Apr 18 '14

the circle of life: our god returns

Longtime readers of PH began notifying us feverishly over the wires, and we finally feel confident enough in the veracity of this story to report it to you.  Yes, it’s true that John Curry has returned to our sphere, but in a confusing way.  Only deities challenge you this deeply.  He’s backing up Ilya Bryzgalov for Minnesota.  But we want the Avs to win this series.  Our god does not appreciate being defied.

We admire Michael Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, who wrote this article about Curry’s return to the NHL.  But what the fuck is this

Is that a subliminal reference to this:

(image courtesy Wikipedia)

This photo is by our friend Matt S. It references a similar, and perhaps more important, moment in the year of Our Lord 2009:

honestly the signs are all adding up that an armageddon is coming, we just don’t know what side of judgment we are on.

If you are confused about this long-standing but very secret religious devotion of ours, please refer to game logs from, like, December 08, when the Pens were literally dressing Dany Sabourin and John Curry as goaltenders.  REALLY THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENED THE YEAR WE WON THE GOD DAMN CUP

God isn’t merciful.  He is swift.  Go Avs though.

Tomorrow, we will bring you some brief recapping of the other playoffs that are going on or whatever.

Curry Bless.  See you in hell.  go pens

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Apr 16 '14

all these mixed emotions we keep locked away like stolen pearls.

Did you forget about playoff hockey? Because we always do. No matter how hard we emotionally prepare for it, remind ourselves that it’s Not Like Normal Hockey, and line our shelves with fresh bottles of bourbon, it comes as a surprise every year. We’re somehow always shocked when we find ourselves screaming and crying in a pool of our own sick at a public location, surrounded by police officers and confused citizens. You think we’d be used to it by now, right?

For our sixth year doing playoff coverage, it’s all new to us. Is that right? Six years? Jesus Christ. Anyway, if you’ve been with us for any fraction of that time, you know we ditch the awards show come playoff time. There is only one award the boys are working for and we don’t want to give false hope that anything is meaningful if they don’t get that one.

Tonight’s game was a wake up call for anyone thinking that the Blue Jackets are just going to slink off into the night during this series. It was also a fun refresher course in what it feels like to die on the inside. 

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Apr 15 '14

so many forbidden feelings: series preview: Pens vs Blue Jackets

This is our sum of all fears as Penguins fans who fell in love with the Blue Jackets in their halcyon days, when they made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, captained by Rick Nash and (wait for it) Steve Mason in his Calder year.  Sounds like a fucking fever dream these days but according to the Internet this did, in fact, actually happen.  This is the second Blue Jackets postseason appearance in franchise history.  The last time they were swept 0-4 by the Red Wings, who were on their way to a repeat appearance in the Cup Finals.  They were a very different team then.  Honestly, they probably had more problems.  It made them easier to love.

Per Rob Mixer of, the only players who remain from CBJ’s previous postseason appearance are RJ Umberger (who Steiggy will be delighted to remind you is “from Pittsburgh” or more specifically Plum), Jared Boll (whose supply of apple bongs will be crossing state lines), and Fedor Tyutin (whose name is not actually just Fedortootin).


Brandon Dubinsky is human garbage.  Pensblog has already covered his existence fairly well in their “who to watch for.”  As a young man, Brandon Dubinsky was pegged as future captain of the Rangers.  Presumably, everyone wised up to the fact that that would require some modicum of responsibility and quickly forgot this ever happened.

Blake Comeau’s offensive production has really fallen off since the Islanders kicked him to the curb but he still feels like a Penguin killer to us.

Artem Anisimov: we don’t quite actually hate the guy, but he’s gonna score some big goal from way downtown eventually.  he’s done it before.


If Sergei Bobrovsky is back in form after an up and down season, he will be incredibly frustrating to play against.

The offensive firepower of the Columbus Blue Jackets more or less boils down to Ryan Johansen.  You’re going to have to build a brick wall around this guy.  And around James Wisniewski, who has the second most points on the entire team, comprised almost entirely of assists.  Clearly he is passing the puck to somebody.  Also he’s basically the kingpin drug lord behind their special teams.  He is gazing at you from the corner of the basement as you try to close deals.  He doesn’t care about you or your family.

The absolute biggest advantage that the Blue Jackets have over the Penguins in this series is an actual ability to generate offense from all four lines.

Via Daily Faceoff, these are the Blue Jackets as of late skating in bottom six roles:

Their third line center has 22 goals.  Their fourth line center (Mark Letestu, alternate captain, we miss you) has 12 goals and 34 points.  If you’re really curious as to how well their bottom six forwards stack up against whatever combination of bottom six forwards the Penguins are pulling out of a hat on any given night, feel free to go Stat Crazy (tm) and report your findings back to us, but they’ll probably be depressing.

Obviously, we can assume that the Penguins are getting back some key players and that the top six is more than capable of taking care of business.  But if Crosby and Malkin’s lines aren’t producing, watch the fuck out for some third period heroics by guys like Derek MacKenzie.  Honestly, the quality of the Blue Jackets’ bottom six could be the story of this series if the games are close.  The Penguins swept the season series with CBJ but that really doesn’t mean anything this late in April.  It might not be one for the ages, but it could get frustrating out there.  We haven’t seen a Penguins roster that has made sense in a few weeks at least, and even when it did make sense, they weren’t playing particularly well.  This could go either way.  Don’t underestimate your opponent.


CBJ is running with a dual playoff slogan of “Join the Battle” and “Battle On.”

because their whole schtick is like that they were the Union Army in the Civil War or something.  We are still partial to Carry The Flag.  B-

The Penguins have decided to go with Buckle Up Baby! in the Impact font which seems like the only font that Phil Bourque, the Ol’ 29-er, is capable of speaking in.  We can’t really decide if it’s strangely appropriate to Pittsburgh’s inability to get with the current century in a cultural sense (which is one of our favorite things about Pittsburgh), or just kind of sad.  The wordmark for Buckle Up Baby doesn’t really appear anywhere on the Penguins site, but they plastered it onto CONSOL and it’s on this graphic, and purportedly on some towels:

Honestly, the Penguins might be winning this one based solely on the balls it takes to be this absurd in public.


Here’s a slightly erotic story from the Columbus Dispatch about Sidney Crosby and Jack Johnson getting in a fight during a baseball game when they were teens.

The deep canonical romance between Sidney Crosby and Jack Johnson is something that the media will not let you forget about this series.  Please pay close attention to it or risk personal injury.


4-1 Pens if everyone competes.

4-2 Blue Jackets if they shit the bed.  We honestly, seriously do not want to get too excited.

stray Penguins news:

  • "gold out" and Big Screen in effect
  • Vokoun called up to be third goalie for playoffs
  • surprise, Crosby won the Art Ross, which, unfortunately but fortunately in this case, usually means a de facto Hart Trophy
  • oh lol the schedule:
  • Wednesday, April 16 Columbus at PITTSBURGH 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 19 Columbus at PITTSBURGH 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 21 PITTSBURGH at Columbus 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 23 PITTSBURGH at Columbus 7:00 p.m
  • *Saturday, April 26 Columbus at PITTSBURGH TBD
  • *Monday, April 28 PITTSBURGH at Columbus TBD
  • *Wednesday, April 30 Columbus at PITTSBURGH TBD


Complete Surrender by Slow Club it’s just so sexy and forbidden




go pens, bitches

5 notes View comments Tags: columbus blue jackets pittsburgh penguins puck huffers 2014 NHL playoffs hockey nhl

Apr 14 '14

ho hum.

This time of year the hypocrisy flows freely around Puck Huffers. We say that if you’re a true fan, you’ll always deeply believe that your team is going to win the Cup. This year when someone says they’re growing a playoff beard, we chime in “won’t be too long a beard!” It’s not to say we don’t deeply believe it…that belief just rests at such a depth that it’s hard to find under the skepticism. We assume the silt of suspicion will be washed away on Wednesday. 

Another of these hypocrisies is the ol’ “every game matters” belief. It’s so true, it really is. But last night’s game against a team of golfers didn’t matter. The attitude from that game isn’t going to carry over - the playoffs bring a totally new mindset. The only thing that actually mattered about the game was no one getting hurt, which is why the scratch list looked more like a list of speakers at a “Why Hockey Is So Badass” conference. 

There’s room for a few awards, but overall this is an exercise in pointlessness.

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Apr 12 '14

sublimated aggression

Woe is us, NBC is on this afternoon.

But for once we actually need them to give us the basics straight because the haze of our Western journey has us out of touch with the playoffs.  Oh god.  We’re not ready for this at all.

We would rather play Detroit but it’s looking like Columbus and Jesus Fucking Christ, if the Pens play badly in that series, we’re rooting for CBJ.  Can’t have your cake and eat it too, motherfuckers.  HOWEVER, IF THE PENS COME OUT AND PLAY WELL, THEY WILL OBVIOUSLY DESERVE EVERYTHING THAT COMES TO THEM IN THE FUTURE.

We still don’t understand why there is no more playoff reseeding.  It seems rude.

Buckle up Baby or something

why is this happening to us right now

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Apr 11 '14

wom delay.

Zoe is far away in the land of Canada and I am right at home in the land of Intense Stomach Virus. I long for her ability to stuff herself full of poutine and tim bits, that smarmy bitch. 

Regardless, hockey goes on. Last night’s game wasn’t preempted by one of these adorable little guys living inside of me

so let’s talk about it. The only award goes to those bug eyed creeps because they work with a level of efficacy the Penguins could only dream of. 

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Apr 8 '14

Dead, dying, reborn

Sorry that we didn’t provide you with more live updates from Denver. Fair warning: don’t go to Denver if you don’t expect to be constantly inebriated. We went to a bottomless mimosa brunch at which, even after saying “No I’m fine” to an offer to top off my blood orange mimosa, I was topped off anyway. Against my will.

Needless to say, we smoked a few cigarettes after that one.

Let’s talk real quick about the game.

First of all, they don’t fuck around at the Pepsi Center. The whole lower concourse smells like churros (though we had previously heard rumors of it smelling like kettle corn) and Avalanche fans are serious ballers, in their Nordiques jerseys and sensible shoes. There was one Horrible Woman behind us at the game, but every back row of every arena has a Horrible Woman who says things like “GET IT” and “Why isn’t Sidney Crosby playing? They’re stupid!” But I mean. What are you gonna do.

Our section was maybe 40% Pens fans and we definitely drowned out the “LET’S GO AVS” chants with “LET’S GO PENS” a few times.


Great seats behind the goal for the shootout.

This game was cool to be at because the Pens worked it out with a skeleton crew and half a tank of gas.

We didn’t get to see Max. We were scared to get too close. But he was there. Skating badly and wriggling around.

Our three stars were:
1. The PK that kept the Pens in it for the shootout. Dear god. We couldn’t breathe.
2. Tanner Glass’s flow. Also his assist.
3. Jayson Megna’s 6:52 TOI.

Possible Vacation Recap of Flames vs. Kings tomorrow in addition to the Detroit game, which Kim should be bringing you in grand fashion.

Also, we found this photo on Google yesterday while we were having an Experience in DIA and we thought it was extremely topical. Please visit our Twitter to enjoy our abbreviated comments on High School Musical 1 and 2.

What would you even do if Zac Efron showed up at your house with Bulleit Rye and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s? What is this photo even from? Do we even really care?

Anyway. Live from Canada in a post-Denver haze, Go Pens, etc.

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Apr 6 '14

The game sucked today so we are watching High School Musical.

Sorry not sorry.

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Apr 5 '14

Hello from Denver.

So, we’re in Denver, and we’ve Learned A Few Things about the city so far.
- The coffee scene is decidedly uncivilized.  Nothing seems to be open before 10AM.  So when we rolled out of bed, delirious and in need of coffee, we spent two hours looking for coffee before our brunch place opened at 10.  We did not find any.  Except 7-11.  So we had to tough it out.
- Mountains may or may not be real.  We arrived late at night just as the bar/club across the street from our hotel was starting to pick up its business.  We didn’t glimpse the mountains until we spotted them from the top of a hill this morning, creeping up the street at us like some kind of horrible specter.  The veracity of these Mountains is still in dispute.
- Apparently, the sort of people you see lining up at the legal recreational weed dispensary before it opens for the day may not be savory young men you want to have brunch with.
- The brunch scene in this town is out of this world.  If you can handle the wait for the place to open.  There were serious bros and hipsters waiting for brunch with us and some of them were so upset that they had to wait for the place to OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  They kept trying the doors.  There was a lot of pearl clutching in the streets.  And it’s like.  You’re from around here.  You presumably know how to use the Internet.  You know this place opens at 10AM, right?  Not like…9:54.  Goodness gracious.


This is a rough town.  We kind of feel like we are in another country.  Is there even hockey here?  We don’t really have a hockey sense for this wild west yet.

More information as it becomes available.  We’ll probably try to Mike Lange the game tonight.  Stay safe.  And Go Pens.

View comments Tags: denver colorado coffee brunch unsavoury characters mostly brunch puck huffers

Apr 4 '14

time to go.

We deal with enough when we decide to travel. Booking flights and hostels. Finding nearby things to do. Packing. Trying to remember the ounce at which mouthwash becomes a domestic threat. The last thing we needed on the eve of our voyage west was to be called in for a rescue mission.

Luckily the Penguins pulled it together tonight and made us…proud isn’t the word. Relieved isn’t, either. Not for the team as a whole, at least. But rather than throwing around our “eh” feelings about their State of Being currently, let’s go ahead and apply “proud” and “relieved” to Paul*Mart for coming back and reminding us that once upon a time there was a game called hockey and It Was Good.

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