I can't decide what storyline to run with tonight…
Familiarity Breeds Contempt: The unbalanced schedule has the Pens playing division games so often, it's just silly. This is the second time we've played the Islanders this week, so all those little scrums from Tuesday night became a string of offsetting roughing calls and one fight tonight. And look, we play the Rangers next week. Again. I'm all for rivalries, but this is ridiculous.
Less Pretty, More Gritty: When, oh when, will somebody finally break the Pens' habit of attempting fancy passes? Drive to the friggin' net!
Who Gave C-28 Stupid Pills?: Not a good performance from the Penguins fans tonight. Just in my section, I had to deal with:
- Frat boys intentionally singing the Star-Spangled Banner off-key.
- A guy screaming "Lets Go Pens" so loud, I though he was going to give himself a hernia. Dude, they don't have to hear you outside the arena.
- Somebody who thought the action in front of him was a voice-activated XBox, not a live game. "C'mon, get it over the line… cycle… rock the puck [whatever that means]… keep it moving… what are you doing?… c'mon!" And that was all in one breath. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating, but only about the pace of his incessant chatter.
- Darmok (who speaks only in bad nicknames) felt compelled to start every complaint about a play that didn't go the Pens' way with "Aw, c'mon, ya gotta…" This phrase, of course, is passive-aggressive shorthand for "You suck, because you didn't…" It's the cheapest cop-out in fandom.
- And finally, Man-Child. I call him that because he behaves like a 12-year old boy in a 30-something body. I used to call him The Foghorn, because he can yell "Lets Go Pens" louder than that other guy, but Man-Child knows how to project his voice. Last year, that was it. A bit obnoxious, but sincere in his support for the team. This year, he's added high-decibel sarcasm and a hair-trigger "Down in front!" to his repertoire, which gets him the occasional stern response. That's when the 12-year old comes out, in the form of insults too juvenile for a school bus, and an insistence on getting the last word. For the fourth time this season, ushers have had to take him aside and give him a reminder of what "family-friendly atmosphere" means. One of these nights, he's going to piss off the wrong guy, and it'll come to blows.
Just an unsatisfying night all around.
Final score, Islanders 5, Penguins 3, Ekman's speed tonight: Warp Factor 9.
- Viktor Kozlov (2G, 1A)
- Sidney Crosby (2A)
- Mike Sillinger (2G)