Gameday 33: Fear and Loathing


Good morning, Pens fans.

Tonight the Pens head to Sin City for the first time in their history to take on #AskNeal, Deryk “That’s per year” Engelland, David Perron and The Smiley Guy.

Let’s talk about The Smiley Guy for a minute.

His time in a Pens uniform should absolutely be celebrated. He was the rock in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, steady in the 2009 Cup run, bounced back from several abysmal playoff performances and stepped in admirably in 2017 against the Capitals when starting goaltender Matt Murray went down.

He was likable, he would always talk to the media even in the darkest of days and was a consummate professional.

However, he’s gone.

Marc-Andre Fleury, just like your ex, isn’t coming back. Put down the bottle, break your phone and go to bed.

The revisionist history on MAF is easy to find on the premier garbage can known as Twitter. Matt Murray isn’t as smiley as MAF, so he clearly is the lesser of the two, because narrative.

Matt Murray back tonight, saddle up.

The Penguins are reeling a bit right now. They had an underwhelming home stand, coming out with a 2-3-0 record and GMJR’s trigger finger is getting itchy.

Ian Cole, Daniel Sprong and a first for Erik Karlsson, who says no?

It’s tough to really recap what happened during the home stand. A fluky bounce against the Rags cost them the game, a slow start against Toronto put them down two goals before I even got into my seat Saturday and an anomaly happened against Colorado, they dominated just about everywhere, but Bernier decided to become 1990s Patrick Roy.

On one hand, it’s easy to see those Rangers and Avalanche games and think, “Play like that consistently and the wins will come.”

On the other…it’s December, time to start stacking some points here, boys.

Vegas, no pun intended, is playing with house money. They’re supposed to be awful and not supposed to go anywhere this season, yet here they are, battling for the top spot in the Pacific and they finally get their goalie back.

That said…11-2-1 on home ice and 8-7-1 away from T-Mobile Arena. Lotta teams getting that Vegas Flu.

LINES (via Daily Faceoff):



















“That’s per year”-Theodore





Who to Watch:

Dominik Simon

Gameday 33: Fear and Loathing

Daily Faceoff has Simon starting on the third line with Sheahan and Hornqvist, but as we saw against Colorado, he took a couple shifts alongside Sid and Sheary and did not at all look out of place. Interested to see if HCMS decides to give this a shot again. He’s played well in his two games, getting two assists against Toronto and making the most out of a few shifts with 87.

The Smiley Guy

Gameday 33: Fear and Loathing

Vegas is coming off Fleury’s return against Carolina where they lost 3-2 in the shootout. Obviously MAF loved Pittsburgh and didn’t want to leave, but that’s business. Like a lot of the Golden Knights, these guys all feel spurned by their former teams and they want to show them they made a grave error in letting them go.

Here’s to hoping it’s a 1-0 shootout win for the Pens and Twitter implodes on itself, that’s best case.

Go Pens, faceoff in like 19 hours.

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