For as much shit as we’ve collectively given the NHL schedule makers this season for the ghost pepper chode they’ve force fed the Pens, you’ve got to hand it to them on this one.
It was genius, really. Because the only way to get any Pens fan to watch a game against the shitheap that is the Vancouver Canucks, they had to play on the biggest drinking night of the year.
It’s fitting, too. The best way to stomach being a Canucks fan is to be shithoused every single second of every single day. There is literally one positive thing about Vancouver and it’s the greatest song to ever exist.
If that doesn’t get you amped up and ready for Thanksgiving, then nothing will.
As for the game itself, the Pens were victimized by a couple of bad bounces that easily could’ve gone the other way. This was not a 5-2 game by any stretch of the imagination and arguably should’ve been a 5-2 decision in the Pens favor.
No sense really sweating it, though. This was a Penguins team also missing Evgeni Malkin, thrusting Jake Guentzel into a 2C role to play with Rust and Phil, while also shining on the top PP unit.
Anyway, it’s hard to really give a shit about a game against the Canucks, so¯_(ツ)_/¯.
VAN – 1st Pd./3:52 – Boeser; A: Baertschi, Del Zotto – 1-0
Not even 4 minutes into the game, the away side would get a chance to open the scoring. At one end of the ice, Hagelin and Sheahan both had really nice chances to be heroes. Instead, Nilsson made the save and the Canucks countered the other way on a 2v2. Del Zotto managed to get the puck out to Baertschi through a slew of Peng bodies, drawing Letang in. Brock Boeser fought off Dumoulin to take the chipped feed from Sven and wire a snapper glove side on Murr. Tough bounce Part 1.
PIT – 1st Pd./6:28 – PPG – Guentzel; A: Phil!, Letang – 1-1
About two minutes after the opener, Edler continued his downward spiral into obsolescence by tripping up Crosby behind the Canucks net. [Side note: The Pens had 5 PP chances in the game. Crosby drew 4 of the penalties leading to those.] Vancouver would clear the puck initially, but it allowed the Penguins to try something new on their PP zone entry with Malkin out of the lineup. Phil swooped into the D-zone to collect a drop pass from Letang, cut through the neutral zone, and hit Guentzel cutting in from the weak side wall as he split the D and took the O-zone with speed. One-on-one with Nilsson and that’s all he needed. Unreal play from Guentzel, who started the whole rush in the corner of his own zone.
VAN – 1st Pd./8:33 – Eriksson; A: Vanek – 2-1
Just two minutes later, however, the Canucks would regain the lead. On the previous shift, Crosby would have his stick broken by a point shot. Legally, he left his twig where it died, which just so happened to be in the Pens zone. Fast forward a couple of seconds and Phil has the puck in his zone, gliding backwards looking for the breakout pass. Fun fact: Crosby’s broken stick was still there and stole the puck off Phil. Murr was able to make the initial save on Vanek, but the rebound came out to Eriksson jumping in late for his shot to go off Murr’s knob and just loop into the net in one of the most bizarre goals of the year. Tough Bounce Part 2.
VAN – 2nd Pd./7:08 – PPG – Pouliot; A: Del Zotto, Vanek – 3-1
Just over 5 minutes into the 2nd frame, Ian Cole would go off for a little slash on Granlund to give the Canucks their first PP of the night. The Peng did a find job killing off 1:58 of it, but with about 2 seconds left, the Canucks would double their lead. Unsurprisingly, the shot from Derrick Pouliot’s stick was going about 500 feet wide of the net, and also unsurprisingly, the puck went off of the most important piece of the Jordan Staal trade and in behind Murr. Of course Joe Morrow 2.0 would score in Pittsburgh to give the He Never Got a Chance crowd a chance to soothe their self-righteous indignation about a player that just isn’t very good. Tough Bounce Part 3.
VAN – 2nd Pd./9:47 – PPG – Boeser; A: Edler, H. Sedin – 4-1
Boeser would effectively seal the deal for the Canucks from the corner of Stamkos Street and Ovechkin Boulevard with Hags in the box for tripping. Ain’t stopping that.
PIT – 3rd Pd./1:24 – PPG – Guentzel; A: Phil!, Crosby – 4-2
Early in the period, the only penalty Crosby didn’t draw on the night came as MDZ hooked up The Kuhn. Crosby would win the draw cleanling to Phil to set up shop on his half wall, walk in, and rip a shot off Grendel’s turned skate to cut the lead in half.
Almost gave you something positive and not political to talk about on Thanksgiving, but the Pens weren’t able to convert on two additional PP chances and that was all she wrote when Sutter’s dong buried the gimme goal into the empty cage with 1:20 to play.
- This seems statistically accurate
Pens are back at it on Black Friday in Boston in a matinee game at 1 PM. Have a nice holiday and shit, folks. LGP.