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Friday, May 31, 2013

First Star, page 3 by @RobUllman

Two-Headed Monster is Too Much For Teams by @MadChad412

9:44:00 AM 0

The Pittsburgh Penguins are rolling through the 2012-2013 NHL playoffs by skill and scoring a lot of goals. Mainly, the Pens are thriving thanks to their two superstars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, also known as the "Two-headed monster".  Cliche as this post is, bear with me, as I show just how truly special these two guys are, and how the Pittsburgh Penguins entire organization went "all in" on building their team around them.

When the won the draft lottery in order to draft Crosby it changed the hockey culture around here forever, of course we already know this. Drafting Malkin was a bonus gift that keeps on giving. This team has two guys that combined have won 2 Hart Trophies, 3 Art Ross trophies, 1 Conn Smythe, 1 Stanley Cup, and a Calder trophy in just seven seasons.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

What To Do: A Survival Guide for the Next 48 Hours by @ToonsBrian

4:00:00 PM 0

To many fans, a five day stretch with no games in the middle of a playoff season creates a bit of anxiety. A six day gap forces some fans to compulsively eat while seven days results in thinning hair and finger nails having been chewed to the point of bleeding. By the time the puck drops for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, nearly nine full days will have passed.

Withdrawal is never pretty.
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Jaromir Jagr by @ExcitedBobErrey

8:00:00 AM 0

I don't need to tell you about Jaromir Jagr.  You already know the story, but I want to reiterate some numbers from his time in Pittsburgh.  11 seasons.  806 games.  439 goals.  640 assists.  1,079 points.  5 Art Ross Trophies.  1 Hart Trophy.  2 Lester B. Pearson Awards.  6 NHL First Team All-Star selections.  1 NHL Second Team All-Star Selection.  9 All-Star games.  1 iconic mullet.  2 Stanley Cups.  He's a surefire HOF'er and one of the best ever to play the game, let alone play for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  He's the type of player whose best moments should be replayed for younger generations, whose jersey should be worn long after he last put it on, whose name and number should be hanging from rafters for years to come.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Free Wallpaper Collection by @evil_shero

1:00:00 PM 0
Here are some pictures I have done over the passed month. Feel free to use them for whatever you want, most of them are formatted to fit tablets as wallpapers.

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When Hockey was Played; A Haiku Set by @Nick422

9:10:00 AM 0
Remember when the Penguins played hockey?  Man, were those the days.  I have fond memories of that far away time.  The Penguins were winning, we were doing podcasts, there were things to write about.  Alas those times seem so far away.  Instead of wallowing in pity and sadness and wandering aimlessly through the streets zombie-like, let's recap what's happened to this point.  In haiku.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Trails to MAF by @chrisrbarron

12:20:00 PM 0

I am not a Marc Andre Fleury hater, indeed I defended Fleury after last year’s disastrous round 1 performance against the Flyers.  I made the case that as bad as the Pens D was in that series that it wouldn’t have mattered who was in net for the Penguins – no goalie could have survived that onslaught. 

I didn’t necessarily take Shero’s trade and signing of Vokoun in the offseason as a sign that the Pens had lost confidence in MAF.  Indeed, I admit to buying into the “maybe Fleury was over-worked during the regular season” line of thinking.  While $2 million is steep for a backup goal-tender, I never imagined a scenario where MAF wouldn’t be the Pens number one goalie.

Well welcome to the unimaginable.  After four disastrous games against the 8th seeded Islanders, which saw Fleury post an .891 save percentage while allowing almost 3 and half goals per game, Dan Bylsma replaced Fleury with Tomas Vokoun.  Since making the move, the Pens are 6 – 1.

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Kris Letang: Good Outweighs the Bad by @MadChad412

9:04:00 AM 0

Do you hate good looking defensemen that rack up a lot of points? Well this post is mostly about you, congrats.

 When it comes to the Pittsburgh Penguins, it seems that some of their players are just easy targets to criticize than others. You never really hear too much criticism aimed at Sidney Crosby and for good reasons. Crosby is a terrific person and a great hockey player who doesn't usually make many mistakes

Marc-Andre Fleury has probably been the most criticized player in the past six years of the Penguins' franchise in terms of criticism and being under appreciated. Jordan Staal was in that category as well until he was traded. Of the Pens' core players right now Kris Letang by far takes the cake for the most overly criticized player on the roster.
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Best of Pens Facebook: May 13-May 26 by @TheCaptainDuck

12:00:00 PM 0
It’s time for week five/six of “Best of Pens Facebook.” This will probably end up being a twice a month thing, so here are the past two weeks. The format and idea for the weekly posts are simple: take people’s outrageous comments and suggestions on the Pittsburgh Penguins official Facebook page and analyze them.

The Penguins only suffered one loss in this time period so we don’t have the usual bridge jumpers. There are still some head-slap-worthy posts in here. And as always: Enjoy, these are fellow Penguins fans:
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Desktop Wallpapers by @ryannoble66

9:00:00 AM 0

Here are some new desktop wallpapers that we put together for you. We hope that you enjoy! 

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Radio:PI Pens Postgame 5/24 with @Nick422 and @ToonsBrian

12:00:00 PM 0
Start your long weekend the right way: with Radio:PI Pens Postgame from last night's win that sent the Pens to the Eastern Conference Finals!  Nick Case and Brian Blystone break down the game, take calls, give you Mike Lange's goal calls and post game audio from Sid, Neal, Vokoun, and more!

Listen to internet radio with Radio PI on BlogTalkRadio
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The Sound Of Inevitability by @LCJS

9:00:00 AM 0
Do you know what that sound is, Mr. Alfredsson? That is the sound of inevitability.

Daniel Alfredsson had seemingly given up.

When asked if the Senators had a chance to win three straight games versus this Penguins team, Alfie responded,

“Probably not.” 

While this refreshingly brutal honesty may come as a surprise, it’s not really that surprising. The question had been asked shortly after the Sens were pushed to the brink of elimination by the score of 7-3, and the game wasn't even that close. It was a crushing defeat, where the Penguins got to their game and could not be deterred. 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

First Star, Page 2 by @RobUllman

A Battle Plan For The Cup by @ToonsBrian

12:00:00 PM 1

Memorial Day 2013 is upon us.

For those who may be unfamiliar, Memorial Day is an American holiday in which we honor our fallen military heroes with parades, barbecues and paint sales. We celebrate this holiday on the last Monday of May each year.

On Memorial Day 1998, a mind-numbing 15 years ago, a young Private Brian stood in formation at Sand Hill, Fort Benning, Georgia. I can attest to the fact that the experience of Army Basic Combat Training for an Infantryman was disturbingly similar to Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. The exception was that we had three Drill Sergeants and weren’t allowed to keep loaded weapons.
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A Game in the Life ........ Chris Neil @ExcitedBobErrey

9:00:00 AM 0

(The Penguins currently hold a dominating 3-1 lead over the Senators, and you've probably gotten a better look at one of the least respected players in the game.  You might know Chris Neil as the cheap and cowardly agitator for the Ottawa Senators, but he has another side to him too.  He's also evil and sadistic.  That being said, I bring to you an inside look into a game in the life of Chris Neil.)

On a typical game day, Chris Neil will arrive to Scotiabank Place several hours early to get ready for the night's game.  A meticulous student of the game, the first thing Neil does is finish his advance scouting of the opposing team, bringing up to see who will or won't kick his ass.  He then checks over his equipment making sure everything is ready to go, including a trip out to the penalty box to stash away that week's copy of Cosmo.  There'll be plenty of time to read that later.  Once back in the dressing room, he chats with Don Brennan for a few minutes about how Don Brennan's package is doing and then gets dressed for the game. He pulls the Ottawa sweater over his head, complete with the "A" on the chest, which designates him as his team's asshole.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Radio:PI Pens Postgame 5/22 with @Nick422 @Evil_Shero @MadChad412

3:00:00 PM 0
After every game in the post season the Pens Initiative crew discusses the game with themselves and YOU!  Last night's game was no exception.  Evil Shero, Mad Chad and Nick Case shared their thoughts.  Plus Mike Lange's goal calls!  Hear all of the past, present, and future Radio:PI on BlogTalkRadio, downloaded via iTunes or streaming on and through the Stitcher app.

Listen to internet radio with Radio PI on BlogTalkRadio
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Time to Change the Bylsma Narrative by @Nick422

12:00:00 PM 0
Dan Bylsma sucks.

Disco Dan is an awful coach.

Bylsma is only riding the coat tails of Sid and Malkin.

Bylsma needs fired, he doesn't change anything.

We hear it all of the time.  On radio, on Twitter, on Facebook.  So many people hate Dan Bylsma.

So many people are dead wrong.

(Lake Fong/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
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Despite Circumstances, Jarome Iginla has been money for the Pens by @MadChad412

9:00:00 AM 0
I still remember the night Jarome Iginla got traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. March 27, 2013 everyone in the league had thought that Iginla was on his way to Boston to play for the Bruins. The reports were all over the place. But then Ray Shero swooped in and saved the day, acquiring Iginla for two prospects and a first round pick. It was basically the same deal that the Bruins had offered, but fortunately for Shero and the Pens Pittsburgh was where Iginla wanted to be.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pens Initiative on Tumblr @Kris58Letang and @ryannoble66

12:00:00 PM 0
We have recently asked @Kris58Letang to help us out with creating a Tumblr account. This is a concept that was new to me. I have seen people use it and never fully understood it. Recently (Not) Kris Letang messaged me asking why we haven't take advantage of the site and I simply told him that it confused me. He told me that he would happily set up and run the account for me.

Now there is another place to see our posts, videos and pictures. If you have a Tumblr account, or are interested in setting up an account, please follow us and share us.

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Happy BirthdayFrancois Leroux @fleroux18 by @evil_shero

9:00:00 AM 0

Francois Leroux 

I was going to come up with a clever tag line for this but the name, for me, the name and the man behind it stand alone.

It was a cold Pittsburgh March in 1996 and I was at my first Penguins game without adult supervision. I was lost under the massive steel sky of the Civic Arena with the buzz of being excited and seeing my two favorite hockey teams driving my every step. For some reason I wore my blank New Jersey Devils away sweater (still unsure why) and was gazing longingly at the Penguins 3rd "striped" jersey knowing I couldn't work enough hours at the local pool to ever afford them. I was pulled from my consumerist trance by my friend who reminded me that amongst all this activity there was still a game to watch and, my god, what a game it would be.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dana Heinze: Blademaster @ChicksDigHockey

9:17:00 AM 0
I have a game day guilty pleasure. Every game day, I find a comfortable, private place and check out Dana Heinze’s Twitter feed.

                                                     Photo Courtesy:Dave Sandford

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Is TK Playing Himself Back into the Pens Future? by @chrisrbarron

1:00:00 PM 0

For most of this year almost every Pens fan hating on Tyler Kennedy assumed that TK would not be a part of the Pens after this year.  Kennedy's two-year, $2 million per year contract expires after this year.  Since Kennedy has not played in the NHL long enough to become an unrestricted free agent, he will become a restricted free agent after this year.  In order for the Pens to maintain his rights, they would have to make a qualifying offer equal to his salary this year.  That would be a $2 million offer by the Penguins.  Even the most ardent TK fans - myself included - believed that was highly unlikely:  given next year's salary cap, the need to re-sign Dupuis, and the need to extend Malkin and Letang.

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Pens Lose 2-1; Monday Morning Recap

9:00:00 AM 0

 Our site doesn't usually do recaps but after a double overtime loss, but in this case we'll make an exception. Losing in the playoffs sucks, especially in the social media days because of the extreme overreaction. Then you take in account that a heavily favored Pittsburgh Penguins team loses in a double overtime game. All Hell breaks loose. The loss isn't the end of the world, even though it probably feels like it right now. Most people picked the Pens to win this series in five or six games, so logically that means they would have to lose a game.

The loss is annoying though, considering the Pens had a 1-0 hard-earned victory all but wrapped up with less than a minute to go. Add the fact that they were on the powerplay, then it becomes just aggravating beyond belief.

 What I'm liking right now:
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Friday, May 17, 2013

An Old Playoff Foe Returns by @lcjs

4:00:00 PM 0
It has been a couple years, but a familiar playoff foe of the Penguins has returned to Pittsburgh. The Ottawa Senators, who the Pens have battled in the 1st round of the playoffs in 2007, 2008 and 2010, renewed their rivalry at the Consol Energy Center. The Pens took Game One by the score of 4-1 but as history has shown, a series between the Pens and Sens will often have many twists and turns.

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First Star, Page 1 by @RobUllman

12:00:00 PM 0
A look back at the proud, storied history of the Pittsburgh Penguins, with a new page every week.

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Penguins as WWF Superstars by @evil_shero and @ryannoble66

8:00:00 AM 0
Matt Cooke - Jake "The Snake" Roberts

Jake Roberts was one of the most disliked wrestlers of his time. With a reputation of being "dirty", the comparison was pretty simple.

Though, both guys have been known for being "sneaky", unless you know the two or watched both on a regular basis it was/is tough to appreciate all the great qualities that both have. Both are there to do a job that not everybody wants to do, while in their spare time have hearts of gold.

Both guys are proof that you cant always judge a book by its cover... Or its reputation... Or its suspension history...

Jarome Iginla - The Undertaker

Undertaker is one of the most respected wrestlers in the history of the WWF. The longevity, loyalty and consistency throughout his career can not be matched.

Though, Iginla was moved and can no longer be considered a franchise guy, his loyalty and continued leadership is a quality that the Undertaker shares. No matter who they are working with they manage to make who they are around better.

The only difference is Championships, will Iginla win his first "title" this season with the Penguins?

Doug Murray - Diesel

Diesel (Kevin Nash) was regarded as one of the better "big man" wrestlers in the business. He was tough, powerful, and carried himself with a calm cool in the ring.

His original character "Diesel" was hired muscle to protect then Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels.

Doug Murray was acquired by the Penguins in 2012 for a little extra muscle and to make people think twice about taking liberties on our superstars and to shut down opponents in our zone.

Murray and Diesel both doing the dirty work not for ill intention but because it was the job they were hired to do. Both men imposing, strong and intimidating made this comparison a no-brainer.
Sidney Crosby - Bret "The Hitman" Hart

Bret Hart is known as "The best there is, the best there was, and the best that ever will be" how appropriate for Penguin's captain Sidney Crosby. Hart's finisher was also called "The Sharpshooter" and was widely considered a Candian hero hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Hart has won every title in the WWF and WCW making him one of the most accomplished professional wrestlers in modern history. Crosby has won virtually every award available in the NHL and is considered one of the best NHL players in modern history.

A combination of being the best in their profession, a national hero, and widely respected amongst their peers Bret Hart and Sidney Crobsy just made sense.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ray Shero: Best of the Best by @ToonsBrian

4:00:00 PM 0

On May 25, 2006, Ray Shero replaced the legendary Craig Patrick as GM of the Penguins and has proven to be nothing short of magnificent ever since. To be fair, 2006 may not have been a banner year, in terms of veteran General Manager. But bringing in defenseman Mark Eaton and forwards Mark Recchi and Jarko Ruutu as free agents showed that the rookie had a feel for what the young team, loaded with talent, needed.

This week, Shero was named a finalist for the NHL’s GM of the Year award along with Canadiens’ GM Marc Bergevin, and Anaheim’s Bob Murray. To celebrate that accomplishment, I thought I would take a look at what I perceive to be the Top 5 Transactions by Mr. Shero.
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#Vokouna Matata @MadChad412

12:00:00 PM 0

Vokouna Matata! What wonderful saves

Vokouna Matata! Deserves to start the rest of the games

It means no worries for the rest of your playoff days 

Its the problem-free goalieosophy 

Voukouna Matata!

Or something like that. Earlier this week, I wrote that Marc-Andre Fleury might have seen the last of his days as the Pittsburgh Penguins' starting goalie. After another stellar performance by 36-year old goaltender Tomas Vokoun, that theory is starting to pick up some steam.

Vokoun has played too well for anyone to even think about putting Fleury back in. In three starts Vokoun is 3-0, with a goals-against-average of 1.28, and the best save percentage in the playoffs now of .957. Vokoun has stopped 101 of 105 shots that he has faced while winning three straight games.

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Disco's Diary #2 by @evil_bylsma

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

PI Radio Post Game 1 vs. Sens with @evil_shero and @madchad412

Ray Shero's 5 Million Dollar Question by @excitedboberrey

4:00:00 PM 0

Ray Shero's $5 Million Question

(Mad Chad covered earlier the on-ice issues that could bring Marc-Andre Fleury's time in Pittsburgh to an end. I'll be taking a look at how the off-ice situation can potentially work against him remaining a Penguin)

You know the story by now. The Penguins struggling in their own end during last year's playoffs with both their team defense and goaltending. Ray Shero trading a 7th round pick for the best backup goalie in the league, because he's Ray Shero and he wakes up in the morning and pisses excellence. How the first round series against the Islanders looked eerily familiar and how pucks started going in off the boards, from behind the goal, and off Fleury's feet. Hell, Steiggy could've stopped Casey Cizikas's shot at the end of Game 4, and you know I'd love nothing more than to fire pucks at him to prove my point. Tomas Vokoun came in and righted the ship. It wasn't all smooth sailing, and the defense did revert back to its turnover prone ways at times in Game 6, but he didn't let in those back breaking goals we saw kill this team's morale in Games 2-4. While #VokounaMatata certainly served as a wakeup call to his teams, it had to set off some alarms for his bosses too. Ray Shero and Jason Botterill now have a serious question to answer this offseason, and I believe a perfect storm of circumstances outside of Marc-Andre Fleury's could play a big factor in deciding whether he remains a Penguin or not.

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The Hype List by @Nick422

12:00:00 PM 0
Sports.  Whether playing or watching they're meant to get your blood pumping, your mind racing, and your adrenaline flowing.  In the moment or the build up, the feeling of sport is hard to replace.  How people get to "sport" differs from person to person.  For me it's a Hype List.  A Hype List is a series of tracks I'll listen to on the way to the park, in the dressing room, or just before the game to get me ready to run through a wall.  After the break a peak at my hype list (some lyrics may be not safe for work).

Penguins Hyped
(Kathy Willens/AP)

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Top 10 Penguins Pugilists by @evil_shero

8:00:00 AM 0
I think as Penguins fans we have been so spoiled with the level of talent that has come to play for our city, and we have all been apart of historical moment after historical moment, but there was always one thing I absolutely loved about hockey; the fighting. I used to check the Sunday paper and read the stat lines like a bible, to see who I would think would fight eachother for the weeks line up of games. I used to circle the top PIM guys and predict who would come out on top.

This is a list of my favorite, and maybe the best fighters the Penguins have ever had dress in the black and gold. There are some that have had a short but memorable stay with the Penguins, and I thought I would include them anyways.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Radio:PI Round 2 Playoffs Preview with @Nick422, @Evil_Shero and @JoeDepto

What makes Pittsburgh "Hockey Tahn"? by @Chicksdighockey

12:00:00 PM 0

If you told the citizens of Pittsburgh, Pa in the 1970’s that the Steel City would eventually become a hockey town they may not have believed you. Western Pennsylvania has a legendary reputation for being football-crazed. There was a time when the Steelers were the only thing other than making steel that the city had to be proud of. The region was full of hard working people who loved to brag about their Steel Curtain.

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2013 Postseason Could Be Marc-Andre Fleury's Last Chance With Pens by @MadChad412

9:00:00 AM 0

It would be a difficult task for you to find a bigger Marc-Andre Fleury supporter than yours truly. Fleury has been one of my favorite athletes since he was drafted number one overall in the 2003 NHL draft. I have supported Fleury through the good times and the bad times with constant defense of his playing abilities. That being said, there is a realistic chance that 2013 is Fleury's last time in a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey.

Ryan Lambert, from Puck Daddy, wrote that the Pens have to get rid of Fleury. In his article Lambert crushes Fleury for his poor postseason play since winning the Cup, and even suggests that the Pens buyout Fleury's contract. Fleury is due $5 million next year and the Pens have little cap room to re-sign a bunch of players that includes Pascal Dupuis and Jarome Iginla. 

I think suggesting such things is a little premature, and I'm the guy that wrote off Dan Bylsma last week. The Pens made it out of the first round. They won the four games that they needed to win, Fleury having won two of those games for them, including a shutout.
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Redemption Thy Name is Tyler Kennedy by @chrisrbarron

4:00:00 PM 0

My rec league hockey number is 48.  When a teammate asked me why I wore 48, I told them that my favorite player's number is 48.  When they asked who that was, I told them, "Tyler Kennedy."  My teammates response was, "who?"

Being the self-appointed President of the Tyler Kennedy fan club has been a lonely place during much of the Pens regular season.  TK, as I have written before, deserved some of the criticism but at some point the TK hate was no longer really moored to reality.  TK got the blame for any and everything bad that happened to the Penguins.

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Best of Pens Facebook April 29-May 12 by @TheCaptainDuck

12:00:00 PM 0
It’s time for week three/four of “Best of Pens Facebook.”  I’m combining two weeks into one post, because I was unavailable for my post last week.  The format and idea for the weekly posts are simple: take people’s outrageous comments and suggestions on the Pittsburgh Penguins official Facebook page and analyze them. 
These two weeks featured everything you’d expect out of the casual Penguins fan after a loss (losses).  “Fire Fleury” “Trade Bylsma” etc, etc.  The Penguins ended up taking the series from the Islanders 4-2, but everyone on Facebook is on their A game as far as bridge-jumping goes.  Most of these, I’m just going to post without any comments because of their existing comedic value.  Enjoy, these are fellow Penguins fans...
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Playing Tyler Kennedy Right Call by @MadChad412

6:05:00 PM 0

Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Tyler Kennedy was involved in the most important play of the night in the Pens’ 4-0 game five victory over the New York Islanders. Who would have thought that would be the case after Kennedy was scratched for the first four games of the series? Kennedy, or TK, has been one of the most controversial players since he’s been in Pittsburgh.

Most people I interact with don’t like the guy as a player. Endless amounts of jokes are made at Kennedy’s expense on a day-to-day basis by hockey fans. Jokes about Kennedy’s looks and the fact that most times his shot wouldn’t even be considered a scoring chance on a soccer net.

Much of the 2013 season Pens' fans, including myself, were clamoring for Bylsma to bench Kennedy. Kennedy just wasn't playing well, taking terrible shots, turning the puck over, really not contributing to the team in anyway. Then, before game five, most Pens' fans, including myself were demanding Kennedy be inserted back into the lineup mostly because of his playoff experience.

Head coach Dan Bylsma listened to all of the social media coaches and put TK back in, and it was the right call.
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Bylsma's Shake Up Worked by @knucklepucker

3:40:00 PM 0
If there was ever a moment when a coach under fire could silence his critics, it was Dan Bylsma giving the Max Talbot "shhhhh" last night in game five.

Go back to Tuesday night's game four. The nightmare that it was. The performance all around by the Pittsburgh Penguins was God awful. The coaching by Bylsma was God awful. He struggled to get his team to listen, act, or respond.

That all changed on Wednesday.
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MAF: Potential HoFer? by @ToonsBrian

11:28:00 AM 0

Soft photo:
    Marc-Andre Fleury is taking a lot of heat right now. It's easy to dog on him when he's clearly off his game. And, frankly, much of it is deserved. Often forgotten by us armchair observers, though, is the fact that, love him or hate him, Number 29 is one of the very best the sport has to offer today.

    The position of goaltender requires unreal amounts of conditioning, skill, agility and levels of insanity not found in most human beings. To be a goaltender, you must have the ability to focus without regard to what is happening elsewhere, in the arena or out of it. On a near-nightly basis, you must find a balance between the highs and lows of the emotions that flow throughout a hockey game, season or series.

    Because of the lofty expectations that come with the position (and perhaps a little bias), only 33 goaltenders are currently enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Nine seasons into his career, an argument could be made that, despite his current struggles, Fleury could help add to that number.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

10 Memorable Penguins Moments by @evil_shero

12:00:00 PM 0
These are not the greatest moments in Penguins history, but they very well could be. All of these stories have some fondness for me, and I will try and recall as best as I can what I was feeling for these moments. It was so hard just to pick 10, but these are the ones that stick out in my head.


In the salary cap era NHL it was so improbable for a team to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals consecutively. The Penguins, and Red Wings did just that. The Penguins came back from absolutely insurmountable odds by beating the Flyers, Capitals, and dominating the Hurricanes to make it to the Cup Finals.The Red Wings were last year's champion, and handled the Pens the year previously with precision and efficiency. 

I was on the phone with cXnX co-founder Ian Clemente during the final few minutes of Game 7, chanting "oh my god" over and over again like a prayer. The final few seconds I was still in disbelief, as the entire team rallied around "The Flower" throwing all their equipment in the air like a Canadian high school graduation. I was so overwhelmed with 8 months of invested time and love into this team, and seeing it pay off for them, and me what too much to handle.

All summer I watched any available replay of that game, with the same teary eyed result. What an incredible game.

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Dan Bylsma's Shelf Life Has Expired by @MadChad412

9:00:00 AM 0

Pittsburgh Penguins' head coach Dan Bylsma is a fan-favorite by most accounts. Upper management for the Pens' seems to have taken a liking to him as well, as they should. Bylsma has already won the Stanley Cup as Pens' head coach, along with becoming the fastest coach in NHL history to win 200 games. He's adopted the city of Pittsburgh and the fans have adopted him as one of their own. 

But every coach has a shelf life, especially in the NHL.

It looks as though Bylsma's shelf life has expired with the Penguins. I know this isn't the type of stuff people want to hear or read right now and I hate being the bearer of bad news but Bylsma's time as head coach is about to be over.
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pens’ Historic Season Began a Year Ago by @kamo33090

3:00:00 PM 0

Pens’ Historic Season Began a Year Ago

 By Jeff Kamovitch, freelance contributor

Everyone in the Penguins’ organization has something in common. It transcends being propelled to win. It is far deeper than the love of the game. It has been built over the course of a season, but it all began in last year’s playoffs.

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The Beauty and the Burden of the Playoff Beard by @Nick422

12:00:00 PM 0
We're a week in to the playoffs and as I look in the mirror my grizzled visage stares back.  For a week my growth isn't too shabby.  After a month it's intimidating.  After the Cup it's hot and cumbersome.  But the playoff beard is a point of pride and honor for a hockey player.

Nick's Playoff... Growth?
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Steve Wozniak vs. Douglas Murray by @knucklepucker

6:20:00 PM 0
Allow me to introduce you to a man who doesn't get Douglas Murray.

In an article posted Tuesday on Yahoo! Sports, author Steve Wozniak puts the recent PK woes squarely on the shoulders of Pittsburgh Penguins newcomer Murray. Let us begin to breakdown Wozinak's feeble efforts of demoralizing Crankshaft.
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Pens Get Big Boost From Free Candy by @MadChad412

4:00:00 PM 0 
After allowing four goals in back-to-back games the Pittsburgh Penguins are lucky to be up in their series two games to one. The defense has been mediocre at best, allowing the Islanders to have many scoring chances and giving up 78 shots in the last two games. The good news, help is on the way! 

The Pens have been without veteran defensemen Brooks Orpik for the first three games. In game one they managed to put together a 5-0 shutout but since then it's been ugly on the back-end. The Islanders have used their speed and determination to get to the net and plundering goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a brigade of shots.Although I called out Orpik for mediocre play during much of this regular season, there is no denying that the Pens will get a big boost when he returns to the lineup. Orpik bring so much to the table in so many different areas.
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Mario Lemieux Fight Compilation by @evil_shero

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Playoffs are a Marathon, Not a Sprint, So Calm the F!ck Down @chrisrbarron

6:00:00 PM 0

Watching the first three games of the Islanders-Pens series has been an emotional roller coaster for fans.  After game 1, when the Pens absolutely dominated the Islanders, Pens fans were ready to start engraving names on Lord Stanley’s cup.  Just 48 hours later, by the end of the game 2, where we blew a lead and lost at home to those same Islanders, some folks were ready to march on Consol with pitchforks and torches in hand looking Fleury, Bylsma and essentially any other Pens player not named Sidney Crosby. 

The roller coaster that was games 1 and 2 had nothing on game 3.  A few minutes into game 3, with the Pens down by 2 goals and a raucous Islanders home crowd pouring salt on our fan wounds with every FLEEEEEUUURRRYYYY, I thought it was time for the Pittsburgh Police Department to shut down access to any and all bridges in the greater Pittsburgh metro area.  After the Pens scored 4 unanswered goals, however, all seemed right in the world – the birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and we were back on track.  Two goals by the Islanders in the 3rd to tie it and suddenly we were back to manning the bridges.  The roller coaster would take one last turn – in our direction – off the puck of Chris Kunitz to give the Pens the win and a 2 to 1 series lead over the 8th seed Islanders.

Three games into it, and we have experienced every emotion known to a fan.  What we need to remind ourselves, however, is that the Stanley Cup playoffs are a marathon, not a sprint, so all of us (myself certainly included) need to calm the f!ck down.  I know it is hard with the ghosts of playoffs past, particularly last year’s embarrassing exit in round 1 against the Flyers, looming large in our minds, but let’s calm down and enjoy the ride.

We need to remember that 14 teams – including those hated Flyers – are busy making tee times rather than working on their power play.  Just making the playoffs is something we can and should relish, if you don’t believe me, just ask those raucous Islanders fans how happy they were to finally have playoff hockey back in their dumpy arena.

Obviously, the Pens are not the Islanders, and I am not suggesting that we should be happy with them just getting to the playoffs.  But getting to the playoffs is the first step in actually hoisting another Stanley Cup.  The next step will be winning 2 more games against the Islanders and moving on to the next round.  The Stanley Cup playoffs aren’t like March Madness or the NFL playoffs, it’s not one and you’re done if you lose a game.  Even the best teams will lose a few games along the way.

This Penguins team is built to win a Stanley Cup.  They were built to win one even before the additions of Iginla, Morrow, Murray and Jokinen.  Nothing less than a Stanley Cup will be considered acceptable.  I get that.  But let’s enjoy the road to that Stanley Cup.  There will be games we lose, games we win, games where our D looks terrible, games where our D looks great, games where Fleury looks like a sieve, games where Fleury looks like a shut down goalie, games where we will score 6 goals and games where we might not score a single goal.  And maybe there will even be a game where Tyler Kennedy gets on the ice (ok, so maybe no one but me wants this to happen).  It is all part of this beautiful road to the Stanley Cup.

Fans will be fans, and we are going to get fired up, but let’s just remember that the playoffs are the proverbial second season of hockey: so keep calm, have fun, and Lets Go Pens!
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It Was a Damn Penalty @MadChad412

3:27:00 PM 0

This just in: The NHL still has no idea how to market their game to casual sports fans. Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Islanders in overtime thanks to a Chris Kunitz power-play goal. The power-play came thanks to a holding penalty on former Pens' defenseman, now Islanders' defenseman Brian Strait, when he held Sidney Crosby.

Since then people have lost their minds. Now the internet is full of conspiracy theories, people bitching, and of course Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick giving their great opinions.
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