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Hey, so, if you’re reading this, you already know what happened, and we’d hate to take you deep on that journey again. The journey from cautious optimism to rage to disappointment.
Through the standard four games, the series has lived and died by the 4-3 score. The team that led 3-1 ended up losing the game. All four of the games. Columbus’s two wins have come in OT, which either means that they’re scraping harder at the bottom of the barrel to get by, or that the Penguins are failing more spectacularly. Probably both.
Anyway, last night, Brandon Dubinsky cemented his villain status by scoring his first goal of the playoffs at 19:36 of the third period. 24 fucking seconds was all we needed, but MAF made a horrible mistake by coming out to play the puck for some unknown reason. It bounced in front of the net and no one could stop the Dubinsky bullet train from crashing into our feelings of personal safety.
Let’s talk about OT, then, since we’re already there. Hey, where did Nick Foligno score his game winning goal from?
Note the small blur, that’s the puck on its way to Hell. My screenshot capabilities are great. For those of you who didn’t bring your measuring tape, that’s about 40ft. 40ft of rope to hang ourselves with, as a family.
Jackets fans are unreal right now. Standing during OT. They are basically the soldiers of Rohan during the battle of Pelennor Fields. We should have known we were fucked as soon as it was 3-2. Still. 24 seconds.
Each game has had the exact same arc. One team surges ahead on the strength of their own ball sweat and then gets tired and goes to buy a blunt wrap at the corner store before settling in for the evening. Suddenly, there are noises on the fire escape. How can this be?
don’t pick up the phone.
the call is coming from inside the house.
Foligno’s crotch is a black hole in which we can see all of our ethical misdeeds, traced back over a course of centuries. We can hear generations of children screaming. We can hear drums, horrible satanic drums.
Anyway. The Pens blew it. MAF really blew it. He played very well the rest of the game which makes this all the more disturbing. Looks like his brass balls swagger is probably over for awhile. They can get back on the horse on Saturday, because they’re professionals, but we’re never sure that these emotions can be overcome. This Penguins team really isn’t very tough. The last couple months of the season is really just a blur of inadequacy and haunted stares.
Further discussion of the playoffs resumes tomorrow, we will try to get our minds right before the weekend.
Ryan Whitney with the existential question of the night:
we realize that this is taken out of context, because his next tweet was “not out there killing the 5 on 3 with Orpik” but really these words probably emerged fully formed from the singularity, in which an angry god is carving Rob Scuderi’s Corsi stats game by game into the forearm of an angel with a gilded blade.
hey, go pens, or something
I mean, I understand the the Jackets are kind of new to being in a situation where they are pitted against the Penguins…but do we have to borrow Flyers fan tactics that stopped being relevant in 2008 (if we’re being generous?)
Tonight’s game was a confused mess that became even more confusing when we won. What the hell is going on here? And is there a specific attachment to the 4-3 score? Is it a sign or an omen? We fear for our souls. We fear for all of our souls.
JESUS HOW IS THIS STILL HAPPENING. God, you know that playoff feeling? The one after you do win a game where it feels great to win, but the dread just builds and builds until the next game, which, if lost, will be catastrophic. If you are still feeling bad about this, please know that somewhere in Bushwick, New York City, there is a cat named Gus Gus, who does his own thing. In a world where everything is always topsy turvy, it’s good to remember creatures like Gus Gus, who don’t give a shit about hockey and are probably sleeping on a fire escape right now oblivious to our emotions. It’s a shame the cat is in New York aka Hell but we’ll live with it.
I have period by period notes because maybe I anticipated the need for cold, hard facts in the light of day.
good morning, babe. please put the coffee on.
Bite-sized details about the other series going on, in case you are behind in your news and want our insight (obviously) (we are only figuring all of this out now by staring at NHL.com and unconsciously shoving sweet potato chips in our mouths):
Avalanche vs. Wild
We’ve already discussed the religious angle and devotional challenge that this series poses. We really like the Avalanche and think they are the best, so it’s hard to really go against them. We are wondering if this is part of a grander plan to test our faith, because the Wild are also being very blasphemous. These playoffs seem to have a hidden theme of babies doing things. In this case, a baby is “taking” the Stanley Cup:
We question the inclusion of the Cup itself on team apparel prior to winning the Cup. Did they run this past everyone at the Karma Division? Anyway, Avs in 5.
Blackhawks vs. Blues
The Blues could become a tire fire in later rounds, but right now they are hanging admirably with the defending champs despite injury trouble and a 3OT thriller. Game 2 is in OT at press time. Seabrook attacked David Backes at the end of the game. No one wants Chicago to win the Cup again except Chicago fans. It would just be boring for all involved. Blues better take that shit in seven and spare us Patrick Kane’s neckbeard.
seriously nobody wants to see this
Ducks vs. Stars
The Stars are just happy to have made the playoffs. Everyone knows the Ducks are the better team, and a sentimental favorite due to Teemu’s farewell tour. We’re sorry Dallas but we have to follow our hearts into the mystical ice palace.
Sharks vs. Kings
Battle of California or something. Gotta root Sharks because the Kings got theirs and the Sharks have never won anything and we still worry about running into Joe Thornton in a dark alley and having him ask us why we haven’t made ourselves available to bring him Makers, rocks on the balcony during the offseason.
Bruins vs. Red Wings
MOTOR CITY DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ GO WINGS GO GO WINGS GO
seriously fuck the Bruins
Lightning vs. Canadiens
The Lightning are down 2-0 in the series and they are literally eating a dick on this one. I guess we do have to kind of feel for the Habs because it’s not like it’s THEIR fault that they’re assholes, per se, but dealing with the Quebecois media makes it extremely likely that they will BECOME assholes. So really it’s Quebec’s fault for breaking Carey Price and turning him into one of the most feared dudebro’s this side of the Mississippi. They are highly trained. The Lightning have Stamkos but like. that’s about it. And Stamkos’s spirit was so injured after Game 1 that they were forced to rely on Teddy Purcell for offense. Let’s be honest: things are looking grim.
Rangers vs. Flyers
send the building into a dimensional rift so we don’t have to think about this please and thanks? Really just nothing to even comment on. Thug City 2014.
awright so we hope you were taking notes THE BLUES JUST WON IN OT PRAISE THE GODS
BUCKLE THE FUCK UP (BUT NOT YOUR BABY THE BABIES SHOULD BE LEFT AT HOME SAFE DURING WAR TIMES)
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:
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
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.
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 BlueJackets.com, 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).
PLAYERS ON THIS TEAM WE FUCKING CAN’T STAND
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.
THINGS ABOUT THIS TEAM THAT WILL TEST YOUR RESOLVE
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.
WORDMARK BATTLE (LITERALLY)
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.
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:
SERIES ANTHEM INSPIRED BY THE SIDNEY CROSBY JACK JOHNSON CANONICAL (B)ROMANCE
Complete Surrender by Slow Club it’s just so sexy and forbidden
CALL ME OUT, A TRUE PRETENDER
WHAT YOU WANT
go pens, bitches
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.
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
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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