Pittsburgh Penguins

The Shores of Tripoli

I guess in John’s world you can come into our building and start your tough guys, but we can’t do the same here…He’s either got short-term memory loss or he’s a hypocrite.” – Pete DeBoer, New Jersey Devils Coach (March 18, 2012)

“I figured he was just blowing up. I’m sure he’ll apologize today about it and everything will be forgotten.” – Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins, in response to John Tortorella’s blowup post-game last night. (April 5, 2012)

What did I hear?


Gimme a break, you crybabies.  This is NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE, not Big Boy Pants Day Camp.

Again, gimme a fucking break.

The first quote was in response to Tortorella starting a line of tough guys at the get go in the game last month against the Devils.  Now, this is pot meeting kettle over here.  DeBoer knew exactly what he was getting into, and when Torts played fire with fire, he got mad about it.  Especially when it worked in Torts’ favor.

Last night was the biggie.  Look, if this was a game that truly meant anything at all, playoff ranking implications, whatever, well, teams need to do what teams need to do to survive.  Reality was, the Rangers are locked in #1 seed in East, whereas Penguins are also in playoffs.  OOOOH do I suspect a little bit of **SHOCK HORROR** JEALOUSY from those igloo dwelling babies?

Look, I didn’t see the game last night as I was (shameless plug) on a baseball podcast and needed to prepare some notes for it.  Plus, I had posted (another shameless plug) on the Rangers getting top seed on YouTube two nights before.  I was riding high on a Mets win in Flushing, then I had to hear about this bullshit.  And it pissed me off.

But you know what made me happy?  Things aren’t that bad.  I mean, of course I hope that D-Step isn’t hurt from that dirty play by Brooks Orpik (look, no matter what side of the fence you are on, you see that move, and it was DICK MOVE no question).  But when I heard what Tortorella said after the game…made me love him even more.

He called them out on the Penguins double standard bullshit basically, calling them the most “arrogant team in the league,” and “whiners.”  You know what?  Every team, no matter what sport, has their crybabies.  I might root for a few of them in my lifetime.  But only look at what Sidney Crosby has to say in response (calling out Ryan Callahan, saying Tortorella spoke in the heat of the moment, dismissing what the real issue is here), let alone the “WAAAAAAAHHHH” mentality of their owner Mario Lemieux.

See, Lemieux makes some very good points, as illustrated last season, the Islanders got fined a shitload of money for disciplinary action against the Penguins.

But you know, he comes across as that kid who grew up across the street with you.  You remember him, right?  He was kind of a douche but he has a pool (inground!), a mom who bakes cookies and lot of cool toys.

Then comes the day when you realize that he uses this against you.  Like, if things aren’t going his way, he threatens to take all his toys with him back to his house or makes you go home because you aren’t letting him win.

Except substitute “one of the legends of hockey” for that bratty fucking kid down the street, and there’s Mario.  (And you’re talking to a chick who was ALL ABOUT Mario Lemieux back in the day).  You know the league isn’t going to do anything to DARE cross Prince Mario’s path.  Noooooooo.  Especially with this two fucking arrogant bastard players, Malkin and Crosby…the poster boys for double-standard practices in NHL.  I get it — they’re good.  And I always had a philosophy that if you dislike a player, it’s really because you secretly want them on your team because they are good.

Well enough is enough.  Even though those two weren’t involved in the hit (and I do think that Orpik should get disciplined, but that’s just me talkin’), they perpetuate the idea that they are above the law in the NHL and that somehow, the rules don’t apply to them.  Well, fuck that noise.

As for Torts, should he apologize?  Is RYAN CALLAHAN somehow as bad with the dirty plays (as Crosby alluded to) that the Penguins do, and then complain about in the next breath when it’s one of their players?  NO TO BOTH.

I’ll tell you why.  John Tortorella is the MAN.  I can’t say I was his biggest fan, I liked him enough, just was like – whatever – when it came to him.  Now, call me in the corner of Tortorella’s camp.

We’re about to go into battle with this guy calling the shots.  He’d take a bullet for his players, and they would do the same in return.  You gotta love that in a coach.  You really do.

Oh and for the record, fuck Sidney Crosby with a rusty nail.

Funny About Blue

For a sports nut who likes to write about being one, I haven’t had much to say about the Rangers lately.  I’ve been doing most of my writing about the Jets and football, which to me is my weakness because I haven’t found my true “football voice” yet (unless you can count angry neurotic and pissed-off Jets fan…which yes, then I have it down pat).  The Mets have been quiet this offseason, therefore, I’m very pleased that I don’t have to focus 100% of my efforts on writing about them.

But the Rangers.  It’s a funny thing, my story with the Broadway Blues.  I guess they’re not pissing me off yet this year.  I guess that’s a good thing too.  But I mean, give ’em time, they’re the Rangers for crying out loud.

I’ve often said that baseball is not for the feint of heart.  It takes an incredible commitment to be a fan, and not a short attention span.  Football is for those who like to devote themselves to sports once a week.  It’s for commitment-phobes, really, ADD ridden (with shades of hyperactivity), and they’re pretty much in and out by winter time.  Then there’s hockey, which falls somewhere in between. It’s an 82-game schedule,  there aren’t games seven days a week for your team.  And you’re only forced to watch multiple games if you choose.

I’ve been following the Rangers since I was 13 years old, but our relationship is a little weird right now.  My next game is December 8th, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that I attend more games.  Since MSG was still under construction earlier (and still is, I think it’s scheduled to be “done” sometime in December), the Rangers haven’t had a tremendous amount of home games.  At least, none that I’ve been invited to which is a rarity.  But then, I have a feeling come the winter time, it will pick up.

I don’t necessarily like watching hockey on TV, but I made a conscious effort to try to do it more often.  I suppose it’s easier that my husband is not a big hockey fan.  When the Mets are playing, as an example, we have to rush home or be near a radio or find out where we can watch the game if we are not close to home.  Not to mention, we’re season ticket holders, go on road trips and manage to see the Mets all the time.  So I do become a bit complacent watching or lack thereof during the hockey season.  My husband doesn’t rush me home or make me watch or listen to it.  Couple that with my not-liking-to-watch-hockey-on-TV thing, and I am fine following reactions on Twitter or following on my GameCast.

I’ve watched the last two games.  What I think is funny is at the beginning of the season, I was all concerned that even with the big shit signing of Brad Richards, that they would not get their act together.  Even better, they have and seem to be clicking.  When they went on a 5-2 tear in their last seven games, I wasn’t actually all that concerned with their losses.  I know, it was only two…but I’m a Ranger fan.  We flip out about everything.  But I found myself enjoying the games on television too.  Funny, huh.   I remember when I was in grade school and high school, my mother would be working late, and me, the quintessential “latchkey” kid, would sit and watch my sports on TV (I lived in the suburbs…there was no “walking around” unless someone’s mom came to pick me up to go to the mall).

Though I’ve seen this team win a championship in my lifetime, I always have to sit and wonder…is this our year?  At current, if the playoffs were to be decided today, they’d be scraping for a position, but they’d be in it.  Tonight, the Rangers face the number one team in the conference, the Penguins and the hates Cindy Crosby, erm, SIDNEY.

And the funny thing is when I watch them these days, I don’t think they can lose.  I don’t know if that’s a fan’s hopeful optimism or just that I might see a different team this year.  Sure, I still see the dancing skating Smurfs on ice, but I see less of a dependence on Henrik Lundqvist, which is never the worst thing in the world, but it’s good that every win is not just on him every night.

They seem to be coming together, much like the rug in The Big Lebowski, sans pee stains of course.