Recap 07: The Cole Harbor Bowl

Recap 07: The Cole Harbor Bowl

Penguins

Recap 07: The Cole Harbor Bowl

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Good morning, Colorado. 

Real nice unbeaten streak you’ve got there.

Sure would be a shame if…someone…ended it…

Brandon Tanev, with some help with Gabe Landeskog, took Colorado’s five-game unbeaten streak, turned that sucker sideways and shoved straight up their candy asses. 

Let’s get into it. 

FIRST PERIOD

First and foremost – did you know that Sidney Crosby AND Nathan MacKinnon are from Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia? 

Just a little fun fact, no need to get upset about this. 

With the strength of second-line center Sam Lafferty and left-winger Juuso Riikola, the Pens welcomed the (at the time) undefeated Colorado Avalanche. 

You’d be excused if you sat this one out. It would make sense. Half the roster is hurt, Colorado is rolling and it’s a Wednesday in October. 

The Pens, however, had other plans. 

The first few minutes were about as pedestrian as it gets. NBCSN had this one hyped up as a heavyweight battle because Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon are from Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia. 

Then you winced because Colorado opened the scoring. 

 

Lots to unpack here. 

First, Letang gloving the puck down, not a bad move. However, he’s gotta pick his head up and see what’s around him. He throws it up to no one in particular and Colorado gets to work. 

Nieto gains the zone and finds Calvert streaking in late. Letang over commits and Calvert makes absolutely no mistake. 

1-0 Avs. 

Here’s the good news: The Penguins, for the most part, controlled play before and after the Avalanche goal. 

Pens had 14 shot attempts to the Avalanche’s 11 and it was a Sidney Crosby attempt the brought down the goddamn house. 

He’s 32. He’s been in the league 15 years. He’s STILL doing this. 

Gloves the puck, turns Erik Johnson into a lamppost, undresses Samuel Girard, and for good measure, sneaks the puck past Grubauer and we’re knotted at one. 

It’s just stupid at this point. 

Appreciate it. 

1-1.

Pens with three high-danger chances to the Avs one to end the period. For what it’s worth – it could’ve been 3 or 4-1 Pens after one. 

SECOND PERIOD

If the first period was fun to watch with back-and-forth action, the second period was great for catching up on sleep. 

Also, fun reminder – both Sidney Crosby AND Nathan MacKinnon are from Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia. Not sure if you knew that. Fun fact!

Tanev got absolutely robbed by Grubauer about halfway through the period on a partial breakaway. You just wonder when he’s gonna score. He’s doing everything right. Hold that thought. 

Colorado slightly controlled the play with a 21-16 edge in shot attempts, but it was Jake “Worth Every Goddamned Penny The Penguins Are Paying Him” Guentzel breaking the tie and giving the Pens their first lead of the evening. 

Lol imagine thinking he’s overpaid, overrated, and only good because of Sid. 

Idiots.

Guentzel corrals the puck from a pass from Sid, brings in it, fends off Ryan Graves (definitely not a made-up player from EA’s Franchise Mode, not at all) and just absolutely embarrasses Grubauer. 

What a shot.

2-1 Guins. 

That about did it for the second period. 

Another equal period. 5-4 Pens advantage in high-danger chances. 

THIRD PERIOD

You just knew the Avs first line was going to wake up. Held quiet for most of the night and right off the bat in the third, Nathan MacKinnon of Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia (where Sid is also from, fun fact!) evened the score. 

Dumoulin bobbles the puck, Rantanen takes advantage of it, they’re off to the races on a 2-on-1, Letang tries to force Rantanen to make a bad pass, Rantanen does the opposite and MacKinnon scores on a real nice shovel shot over Murr’s glove. 

2-2. 

Aside from a Justin Schultz almost sort of goal…the third was relatively uneventful.

To the extra period we went. 

OVERTIME 

The funniest part of overtime, surprisingly, wasn’t the goal (spoiler alert), it was Brian Dumoulin going full lumberjack on Cale Makar’s stick and acting stunned they called it. 

Brian, I know it’s OT, but my dude, you came down with both hands on his stick. Penalty every single time. 

With Dumoulin in the box, it was time for all of Tanev’s hard work to finally pay off. 

 

Sam Lafferty continued his unreal NHL debut with a slick outlet pass to Tanev, and he went to work. Cutting across the middle, Tanev was clearly trying to kill clock. About a minute left in OT and 40 seconds to go in the penalty, he puts a harmless half-shot on net, it fools Grubauer, Landeskog tries to keep it out but buries it in his own net. 

Ball. Game. 

More like Bad Landeskog. 

THOUGHTS: 

  • Four straight wins with a banged-up roster. Can’t be too mad at that. 
  • Have to appreciate Sid right now. Tanev is playing well, the kids are playing well, Murray has been steady, but Crosby is doing some heroic shit. Has not had a game without a point yet. 
  • Sam Lafferty, man. The kid is for real. Gotta figure he’s jumped the depth chart and prospect rankings. Likely staying in Pittsburgh and in the lineup. 
  • Rough night for Letang. Couple weird decisions with the puck, couple plays he was out of position. Bounce back is coming. 
  • You made it this far in the recap so I can admit it….Jump Around as the goal song is growing on me. I said it. 
  • Big weekend ahead: Dallas on Friday and Vegas on Saturday. Real test to see where this team is. 

Go Pens. Do it.

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