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Game 5 open thread!

For anyone who’s inclined to comment on the game during or after.  I’ll be watching in my lovely hotel, which is lovely.  Here’s one way to tell your hotel is a lovely hotel:  the fire-exit staircase has marble stairs.

Though 5 pm is just a bad hour for a hockey game.  Pacific Time is so weird.  It’s kind of like real time, only slower.

Posted by on 06/06 at 06:29 PM
  1. Yeah, it’s like we don’t even exist out here, as far as the schedule makers are concerned. Try watching NFL games at 10am.

    Captcha: “series”. Seriously.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  08:09 PM
  2. I miss Foster Hewitt and Yvan Cournoyer, and the former’s inability to pronounce the latter’s name.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  08:44 PM
  3. What do they call the full court press in hockey? Because I think I just saw one.

    Posted by David J Swift  on  06/06  at  08:49 PM
  4. David, you must be talking about Detroit.  Because for 4-5 shifts after Cleary’s goal, I don’t think the Penguins even touched the puck.

    OK, I watched the first period from the elliptical machine, so, in reverse order:  I dunno about that goaltender-int call on Kunitz.  The Pens’ PP, btw, sucked.  No speed through the neutral zone, no sustained possession in Det zone.  Actually, that’s true of the entire period, with the lonely exception of the one impressive Malkin-Talbot-Fedetenko shift.

    Quite apart from the Cleary goal, Fleury is still playing the Wings’ rush too aggressively, way too far out of his crease.  I thought he said he’d learned his lesson about Ye Olde Bouncy Boards?

    Oh, right, the Cleary goal.  Great pass from Datsyuk.  I guess it helps to have your leading scorer/ MVP finalist back in the lineup.

    And Pierre Maguire gets extra extra bonus points for alluding to this song not once but twice during the pregame.  Though this one is even better, imho.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  08:58 PM
  5. Not great. Phone posting from friend’s house. They are clueless but enthusiastic. I, on the on the other hand, am an antisocial jerk . My wife can provide details.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:04 PM
  6. I mean, wooooosh.

    I never thought I would see a forecheck more aggressive than Detroit’s.

    Captcha: Training as in what Michael is doing on the elliptical and what I am not doing because I am watching hockey at my usual exercise time.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:09 PM
  7. Wow, and Osgood gets the assist.  A real assist, the play-making kind.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  09:12 PM
  8. Who does Osgood think he is?  Brodeur?

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:15 PM
  9. Q.:  How do you know when your team is done?

    A.:  When Kronwall skates the puck out from behind the net and scores. 

    Dear Moloch, he had all kinds of open ice.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  09:20 PM
  10. Great!  Another penalty.  This could get ugly.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:21 PM
  11. Those speedy Pens all assumed he would pass....

    Someone needs to tell the Joe Louis Arena that playing the Empire Theme during the home team’s power play is, um, missing the point.

    Those of you watching on NBC might not know yet that there is a long change in the 2nd period....

    Captcha: “only” as in it is “only” Nick Kronwall

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:24 PM
  12. Training as in what Michael is doing on the elliptical and what I am not doing because I am watching hockey at my usual exercise time.

    OK, Rafalski scores. You can go work out now.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  09:26 PM
  13. Pacific Time is so weird.  It’s kind of like real time, only slower.
    Thus explaining why we are so laid back out here on the left coast (or not).  Now the full moon became full (post waxing and pre-waning) at 1812 UT/GMT/Zulu today.  Thus, we “lefties” (we are all Obama now party) can choose to celebrate the passage, not as a single moment, but for the last 8 hours.  Sadly too many do, and that just makes a mess of the ERs and jails (i suppose Stanley Cup games do that too).  Ooops, there goes another siren.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:32 PM
  14. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Pens are saving all their energy for the third period??????

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  09:34 PM
  15. Ah, they’re playing on Penguins Energy Saving Time.  Which explains why Kunitz took a chance to sit by himself for two minutes.

    Great stickless D by Rafalski on that PP, too.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  09:40 PM
  16. And so much for the Penguins’ newfound maturity and composure!  Biggest.  Meltdown.  Ever.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  09:47 PM
  17. OK, I’m going to go play pool for the third period.

    Btw, I caught a few minutes of this earlier today.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/06  at  09:49 PM
  18. Step out for a few minutes, take my son to a l’il Mexican joint, come back and, tho I am ill-versed in the Iciest Art, we appear to have a rout.

    (BTW, you’re half an hour into my future. I resumed at the beginning of TiVos’ 30-min buffer.)

    What does “knocks his water bottle off his well” mean?

    Maybe, Michael, for the final final you can provide real-time commentary via iChat or some-such? After you get done with your . . . machine? I prefer my announcers to have bled at their sport with nonchalance, plus wry wit and hyperlinks.

    For example, an announcer—ad-libbing, I believe—opined that the Penguins have got to do better in the third period. Does he pause for a beat so we can chuckle knowingly? I bet you would.

    Posted by David J Swift  on  06/06  at  10:44 PM
  19. Try watching NFL games at 10am.

    Pffft! That’s nothing. I lived in Hawaii for 10 years. Try watching an NFL game at 7am!! (Hint: not fun).

    So, can some of you more hockey-knowledgeable folks explain to me what the hell happened to the Pens tonight?

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  10:53 PM
  20. 19: They lost.

    Posted by  on  06/06  at  11:14 PM
  21. Woo hoo!  I come home from a night of volunteer sno-cone-making at the drive-in (America’s only community-owned, nonprofit one).  S.O.’s off in Charlottesville overnight between the semifinals and finals of his hockey playoffs.  We didn’t record the game (technological incompetence or Detroit-fannish overconfidence? you make the call).

    Poised to go to NHL.com, the thought occurs that it might be a lot more fun to find out how it went in Chavezian airspace…

    And it was. Thanks, y’all.

    Posted by Nell  on  06/07  at  12:25 AM
  22. Biggest.  Meltdown.  Ever.

    Really? Worse than the Chicago meltdown against Detroit?  That one made me feel bad, because I love the young Blackhawks.  This one, especially if truly a bigger meltdown, would be more of an occasion for Schadenfreude.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  12:31 AM
  23. Pffft! That’s nothing. I lived in Hawaii for 10 years. Try watching an NFL game at 7am!! (Hint: not fun).

    I have gotten up for soccer world cup games at 6am, so I have some idea what it’s like. But at least that’s only every four years… For me it’s not that 10am is early, it’s more that TV before noon is something I like to avoid.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  01:36 AM
  24. Oaktown Girl asks “What the hell happened to the Pens tonight?”

    I am going with either Wingedwheelphobia or the lack of the jaunty scarf on the logo.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  01:52 AM
  25. Hey smart-ass JP up at #20 - is that any way to treat somebody who’s pulling for your team? I’ll chalk it up to you taking this loss very hard. But hey, suck it up, buttercup! You throwing in the towel already?

    I have gotten up for soccer world cup games at 6am, so I have some idea what it’s like. But at least that’s only every four years…

    Exactly!

    For me it’s not that 10am is early, it’s more that TV before noon is something I like to avoid.

    Agreed. And it’s especially hard that it’s always on a Sunday morning, and I’m never in bed before 1:00am on a Sat. night unless I’m sick. Not every week has a must-watch (or, would very much like to watch) early game, but enough of them do to make it truly a pain in the okole (Hawaiian word for the gluteus maximus region).

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  03:39 AM
  26. You throwing in the towel already?

    No, sorry. See the last part of my comment #5 for an explanation. For whatever reason, I don’t think they were quite ready for the level of play last night; they played decently for a while early in the 1st, but when it started going south, their relative immaturity and lack of real veteran leadership served them poorly.

    During my short stint as a left coaster, I kinda liked the early NFL, could watch an early game and still get some outdoor stuff in.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  07:09 AM
  27. Michael, you’re a pool player? Do you know the rules of snooker? (There’s probably a concise summary on Wkipeda.) Anyway watch the most amazing runout I’ve ever seen--this is on a table measuring 12 by 6 feet--here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btmB-p_0QFg&feature=related

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  10:24 AM
  28. Biggest.  Meltdown.  Ever.

    Really? Worse than the Chicago meltdown against Detroit? 

    I think when I wrote that I meant Penguins’ worst meltdown ever, but now that you ask:  sure.  The two are comparable in scale and suckitude, but the Pens’ was worse because, well, it’s the finals, and it’s game five.  Higher stakes, further to fall, etc.  But yes, the Hawks’ sudden decomposition was pretty dramatic too.

    Maybe, Michael, for the final final you can provide real-time commentary via iChat or some-such?

    What is this “iChat”?

    Michael, you’re a pool player?

    Sometimes.  I ran out b/c there’s a pool hall three blocks from here (which also had the game on TV) and I haven’t played in many many months.

    Do you know the rules of snooker?

    No, but thanks for the clip!  Dang, everything in the world is on YouTube.  And at the same time!

    Posted by Michael  on  06/07  at  11:13 AM
  29. Well, that was a disppointing game.  True, I am rooting for Detroit—always take the original six over expansion teams, unless it is Montreal—but what I really want is a great series. Game five should have been great, and it just did not pan out. It is rare for this to happen during a hockey game, but at a certain poin in the third period, I looked at the screen and thought, “There’s got to be more to life than this.” Let’s hope Game 6 makes up for this debacle.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  12:04 PM
  30. Hey Michael, regarding your “lovely hotel”, last night I was going to make some snarky remark about you elitist academics and your speaking gig junkets, but I decided to refrain. I’m glad I did, because despite all your gross excesses, I see you have absolutely nothing on Ben Stein.

    JP - yeah, 10am west coast games are great. 7am Mid-Pacific, not so much.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  12:26 PM
  31. I’m with you, Chris—it wasn’t just disappointing for Penguins fans, it was disappointing by the impartial, objective, non-Latina standards of what constitutes a proper game five in a final series.  I so wish I had seen game four and missed this one.

    O. Girl, you know I’m at the mercy of whoever books me.  Sometimes I get the executive suite with the baby grand piano, sometimes I get a hotel that even a Steve Buscemi character would not stay in.  (With apologies to my friend Jay Dobrutsky, who came up with that very useful criterion about ten years ago.) And sometimes, as with the Marlboro College commencement gig, I’m the guy who tries to tiptoe into the quaint B&B at 1:30 in the morning even though he has no clue which room he’s been given.  This time I wound up in a great place in a great city, and got to do some walking around (and pool playing).  If only it didn’t have this stupid “Pacific” “time.”

    OK, now for the adventure of trying to get home.  Flights thru SFO badly delayed, so they rebooked me thru O’Hare—and I have a center seat.  Gotta fix that somehow.  I mean, what would Ben Stein do?

    Posted by Michael  on  06/07  at  01:00 PM
  32. This is why they play seven. Yes, all seven!

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  01:06 PM
  33. I mean, what would Ben Stein do?

    Upgrade to 1st class.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  01:29 PM
  34. They booked you through O’Hare because SFO is delayed? Ummm-kay. Have fun.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  01:34 PM
  35. What is this “iChat”?

    An internet evergreen whose leaves contain a stimulant.  Useful to chew when on Pacific Daylight Time, or recovering from same.  See also “iMelatonin.”

    Do you know the rules of snooker?

    I’m pretty sure the first rule is “Never talk about snooker.”

    I mean, what would Ben Stein do?

    Drone about how the fact that the plane was designed means that birds couldn’t have evolved, while everyone tries to ignore him.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  02:04 PM
  36. Nell @ 22, Michael @28

    Hawks melt-down was worse in the abstract - more players tossed over a greater span in the game; Pens worse in context, for the reasons Michael mentioned.  Same root cause in each case.  Young, highly skilled players that do not have the character and/or maturity to deal with adversity under pressure.  I hope that time provides a proper cure for all over them.  In Chicago, it will require new management.  Quenneville’s antics were an inspiration to his fledgling Hawks.

    Did you catch that close-up of Bettman? He looked like he had just downed a flagon of hemlock laced with battery acid.

    I am still not overconfident.  But watch for game six to get really ugly—I’m talking injures—If the Pens are down 2 at the end of the 2nd.

    captcha: alone - what I would be, if not for Nell.

    Posted by jazzbumpa  on  06/07  at  02:16 PM
  37. Ben Stein would say, “Teh Libruls hate America.”

    captcha: history.  And he’s sticking to it.

    Posted by jazzbumpa  on  06/07  at  03:09 PM
  38. Hey, O’Hare looks just like when I last left it!  Everyone misses you here, Christian.  I even had time for some awful food.  Couldn’t get myself out of that middle seat, though.  Proving, thereby, that I am no Ben Stein.  Also, I believe in evolution, so there’s that, too.

    Jazzbumpa, yes on Quenneville.  That was unreal—I remember him from his days in St. Louis, where he was always sane and buttoned-down.  No question in my mind he helped drive his entire bench crazy, Versteeg most of all.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/07  at  06:26 PM
  39. On the other hand, would the Hawks even get that far without Quenneville? Questionable, in my opinion.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  06:51 PM
  40. I mean, what would Ben Stein do?

    I don’t think Ben Stein would ever have that problem - is there even such a thing as “middle seat” in first class?

    This scene with Stewie on an airplane is one of my favorites!

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  07:00 PM
  41. Christian -

    Good question.  But the Hawks are very talented and very young.  They would get there in a year or two, without Quenneville, and no doubt handle it better. Too much success, too soon, can be destructive over a longer term.

    I loves me some Red Wings, but also wants a good league for them to play in.

    Here’s a serious question - wouldn’t Crosby, Malkin, etc have been better off if they had played for a year or two under the captaincy of someone like Yzerman or Lidstrom, and had a chance to grow into a leadership role?

    My fear is that instead of being the next generation’s Mario Lemeieux, Crosby will become their Claude Lemieux.

    Posted by jazzbumpa  on  06/07  at  07:22 PM
  42. Three years from now, half the current Hawks team is gone because of salary cap. I’ve never bought the “too much success” thing in sports, still not buying it.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  08:08 PM
  43. Here’s a serious question - wouldn’t Crosby, Malkin, etc have been better off if they had played for a year or two under the captaincy of someone like Yzerman or Lidstrom, and had a chance to grow into a leadership role?

    Probably.
    They say the same thing about jazz musicians these days.

    Posted by  on  06/07  at  08:40 PM
  44. wouldn’t Crosby, Malkin, etc have been better off if they had played for a year or two under the captaincy of someone like Yzerman or Lidstrom, and had a chance to grow into a leadership role?

    Ah, I knew I forgot to address JP’s “lack of real veteran leadership” remark @ 26.  Short answer:  probably.  I’m not convinced it was a good idea for the Pens to dump first Recchi and then Roberts.  Granted, Roberts was getting ancient, but both those guys have level heads and great work ethics.  Cf. Carolina Hurricanes, who, it was pointed out by one commentator or another, still have Brind’amour wearing the C even though it’s really Staal’s team now.  The Penguins seem to have adopted the “grab a veteran at the deadline” approach instead, and though Guerin’s been effective, he’s not, as JP implies, a take-charge grizzled-vet kind of guy.  Sykora, meanwhile, has fallen off the face of the earth altogether, and Bylsma deserves extra extra bonus points for noticing early in the first round that he was completely ineffective on offense.

    Gonchar has been serving as the Senior Eminence by default.  He doesn’t have the stature of Lidstrom, and as team leaders go, nobody has the stature of Yzerman.

    Ken Dryden remarks in The Game that teams take on the character of their best player, which is why the Canadiens were in such good shape with Lafleur and why the Sabres could not win the Cup.  Ouch!  The insult to Perreault stings—but only because it hit its mark.

    Oh, and speaking of leadership vacuums:  two words.  Newyork.  Rangers.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/07  at  09:37 PM
  45. This is for Sven @ 43.

    Posted by jazzbumpa  on  06/07  at  09:58 PM
  46. and as team leaders go, nobody has the stature of Yzerman.

    This prompted me to look up some information on Yzerman (whose career started before my NHL fandom). Was interested to read the following on Wikipedia, Prior to the 1986–87 season at the age of 21, Yzerman was named captain of the Red Wings and continuously served as captain until his retirement two decades later. Not saying that Crosby will become a Yzerman in terms of team leadership, but whether they did it consciously or not, the Red Wings ended up playing a long game (with some bumps along the way) to get to their current level of ongoing success with veteran leadership.

    I do think the Pens might have been better served this year with a veteran (or two) who really did take a more active role in team leadership.

    Posted by  on  06/08  at  11:40 AM
  47. the Red Wings ended up playing a long game (with some bumps along the way) to get to their current level of ongoing success with veteran leadership

    Hmmmm.  Interesting point.  Btw, Guerin’s press conference was stunningly unconvincing.

    Posted by  on  06/08  at  12:34 PM
  48. Yeah, the Pens will be lucky to get back to Detroit at this point. If I were the kind of person to do it I would quote portions of my beginning of the playoffs prognosticating from your CT post. Something like this:

    In the East I rate it as Boston, Pittsburgh or Washington (possibly Carolina) and in the West, Detroit or San Jose (surely both will not fold). From my parochial Pittsburgh perspective, I think the East is theirs to be won assuming their defense tightens up like it did last year .... But I cannot see Detroit or San Jose* not beating the Eastern winner.

    Posted by  on  06/08  at  01:31 PM
  49. D00d, that’s just embarrassing.  You were so wrong about San Jose.

    Posted by Michael  on  06/08  at  05:26 PM
  50. the Red Wings ended up playing a long game (with some bumps along the way) to get to their current level of ongoing success with veteran leadership

    Yes, well, bumps…

    Scotty Bowman created a historic one during his battle of wills with Yzerman in 1993(?) by musing publicly about trading him.  He was trying to get the captain to adapt his game to the then-fashionable defensive style (it was the high period of Neutral Zone Sludge).  A typical Wings game during Yzerman’s first decade was an 8-6 loss in which he scored two to four goals.

    Fan reaction was swift, predictable, and fierce: standing ovations for Yzerman, jeers and worse for Bowman.  Equally predictable was the dramatic ‘I’ll show him‘ improvement in Yzerman’s game. 

    The ensuing years moved him from revered captain to religious icon in Detroit.  Still vivid is a vignette of the phenomenon in a downriver basement, where a fierce sibling ping-pong game was interrupted by one brother-in-law’s call to worship: “The Captain blocks a shot.” And we all stopped to watch the replay in silence before the match resumed, ennobled.

    But someone looking for correlations with Detroit’s big step up would find it hard to avoid noticing how things changed for the better forever the moment that Nik Lidstrom showed up.  Low maintenance, leadership by example.  (The latter a style set by Yzerman, who wasn’t given to locker room speeches.)

    Posted by Nell  on  06/09  at  12:17 PM

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