For the first time since Game 7 of the 2010 playoff series with Montreal, which, you'll recall, went badly, GTOG team members gathered last night at Chez Artistry for dinner and a hockey game. The idea being to wipe the slate clean. Start fresh. The Pens were hosting the New York Rangers and trying to build some momentum coming off big wins against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. The following is a verbatim transcript of last night's discussion.
Finesse: Lundqvist doesn't scare me.
(At which point Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist proceeds to shut out the Penguins for the next 57 minutes.)
Finesse: You've been high on Letang.
Artistry: I have indeed.
Finesse: I just hope he doesn't turn into Mike Green.
Artistry: He's 23-years-old, and he's already better than Mike Green.
(Bob Errey points out that as Brooks Orpik shuts down the right side, Letang is cutting off Marion Gaborik's ability to cut towards the center of the ice.)
Finesse: Why don't we bracket Ovechkin like that?
Poise: We should trade Goligoski.
Artistry and Finesse: (nodding vigorously.)
(Nothing is going on in the game at this point.)
Finesse: What's a worse signing, Derek Boogaard or Donovan McNabb?
Poise: If you can give McNabb $40 million guaranteed a week after benching him, don't you have to do that?
Much, much more scintillating discussion after the jump...
Artistry: [Zybnek] Michalek just looks average to me. Tell me I'm missing something.
Poise: Michalek was undrafted.
Finesse: Take Chris Kunitz. Undrafted. Hands? Of stone.
Artistry: No talent.
Finesse: No pedigree.
(Sid Crosby whacks a puck out of mid-air, but still no score in the game.)
Artistry: You know why Sid is so good at that. He practices deflections for like 80 hours a week.
Finesse: Outside of Sid and Geno, does Craig Adams have the most job security of any Penguin forward?
(The Penguins then go on the power play in the middle of the second period, generating a few chances, and surprisingly few complaints from the GTOG team. Geno makes a few unreal moves in the offensive zone.)
Artistry: He's dancing.
(Eric Christensen scores on a blind, turning shot off some guy's skate. Silence. Late in the second, Pascal Dupuis gets high-sticked, and the Pens are awarded a four minute power play. Mike Comrie takes the ice.)
Artistry: If Comrie scores here, all is forgiven.
Finesse: He won't.
Artistry: I don't like having to split a power play between periods. It breaks the flow.
Poise: What flow?
Finesse: Fresh sheet of ice.
Artistry: I don't want a fresh sheet of ice.
(The Pens fail to score on the PP during the final 2:45 of the second period.)
Artistry: We should have signed Jagr two years ago. Put him on the half-boards and this power play is top 5 in the league.
Finesse: Is the Letestu, Comrie and Rupp unit the worst second power play in the league?
Poise: Is Mike Comrie worse than Chris Bourque was last year?
All: (Considering. Nodding.)
(Dan Potash reminisces with Bob Errey about Frank Pietrangelo and "The Save.")
Finesse: Would Bob Errey and Phil Bourque ever turn down an opportunity to talk about "The Save?"
Poise: We should interview them for the blog. They'll give us three hours.
Artistry: They'll pose for pictures.
Finesse: They'll rent ice and recreate the play.
(Mark Letestu has a chance all alone on Lundqvist early in the third. Denied. Finesse admits that he may have jinxed the game, but maintains that Lundqvist still does not scare him. Dan Potash discusses the auctioning of the old Crosby and Lemieux locker room stalls to raise money for the "Austin's Play Room" charity.)
Artistry: Let us not forget what happened the night of Austin's birth.
Poise: 5 goals for Dad.
Finesse: They should sell Austin's birth fluid.
(Mrs. Artistry peers into the room and shakes her head.)
Finesse: We're a terrible home team.
Artistry: Someone should tell Comrie this isn't the roller hockey rink in Malibu.
Finesse: This isn't the tennis court with the net down.
Poise: This isn't country club hockey.
Finesse: If we didn't have Crosby, we would be 4-12.
Artistry: I can't believe we're not scoring against the Rangers.
Finesse: You know how Notre Dame comes out and hits the banner that says "Play like a champion?" The Rangers come out and hit the banner that says "Play .500 hockey."
Poise: Do you think the Letestu, Cooke, Conner power play would click at 18% in the AHL?
Finesse: I don't think they would.
(Chris Kunitz scores. High fives are exchanged. We can finally hear the crowd.)
Finesse: Welcome to the game, Penguin fans. It only took you three periods.
(Matt Cooke scores. Pens take the lead, 2-1. Lundqvist smashes his stick on the top of the net, earning a two minute minor with about 1:30 left in the game.)
Finesse: John Tortorella is going to have a breakdown.
(Play resumes. The Pens number 1 power play takes the ice.)
Artistry: No, Geno, get it deep. Don't turn it o...
(Marc Staal scores shorthanded.)
Artistry: Why put out Goligoski and Letang when you're protecting a one-goal lead with one minute left? Did we need another goal there? Is there something I'm missing here? Guys?
(Silence. The game goes to overtime. Michalek falls down in the neutral zone.)
Artistry: Oh no.
(Paul Martin gets burned by Brandon Dubinsky on a two-on-one, slides the puck over to Ryan Callahan...game.)
Finesse: Check the football game.
Poise: Next time, why don't you come to our place.