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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Biggest Pens Villain - Bettman Bracket Semifinals

The Bettman Bracket

Two rounds of voting has taken the 14 contenders down to 4, and the cream has risen to the top in the Bettman Bracket. Commissioner Gary Bettman, noted pest Scott Hartnell, playoff spoiler Tuukka Rask, and cheapshot artist Marc Staal all remain to fight for the right to come out of the bracket and earn the title of Biggest Pens Villain.

Gary Bettman vs Scott Hartnell

Gary Bettman (66%) over Trevor Gillies (34%)
Gary Bettman - Bye

Scott Hartnell (95%) over Tim Peel (5%)
Scott Hartnell (91%) over Rick Tocchet (9%)

No question about it, Scott Hartnell has received the biggest share of the voting through the first two rounds of the contest, as he's romped to victory with over 90% against Rick Tocchet and Tim Peel. Moving from the Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team desperately trying to making the Penguins their rival, hasn't helped to rehab Hartnell's image with Pens fans in the least. He'll really need to earn his place in the next round if he's to move on, as Gary Bettman won't be an easy out. The commissioner faced a tough test from Trevor Gillies, the former Islanders goon who's infamous for his actions against the Pens in a 2011 game, but he was still able to move on with two-thirds the vote.

Tuukka Rask vs Marc Staal

Tuukka Rask (77%) over Stephane Quintal (23%)
Tuukka Rask (67%) over Ray Shero (33%)

Marc Staal (82%) over John Vanbiesbrouck (18%)
Marc Staal - Bye

The pain of the Penguins' embarrassing defeat to the Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals is still fresh enough to push Tuukka Rask in the bracket semifinals, as the goalie was instrumental in holding Pittsburgh to just 2 goals during the 4 game sweep. He's gotten past Ray Shero and Stephane Quintal to reach this point, but he's going to go up against much stiffer competition in the semifinals. Marc Staal drew outrage from the entire Pittsburgh fanbase as he repeatedly targeted the head and neck of Sidney Crosby, a player with a concussion history. You'd have thought a player who struggled mightily with a concussion of his own would have been more cognizant of what he was doing, but Staal apparently didn't care.

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