Yesterday was a celebration of all things Mario, and it clearly makes the man uncomfortable. He was hesitant to have the statue built, and he almost certainly agreed to do all those interviews to hit his quota for the spring so people will leave him alone during the playoffs. While he was being awkwardly interviewed during the game by Doc Emerick, who ran out of questions immediately upon Mario's arrival, Lemieux allowed Toronto to score two goals. After Mario went back to his seat, the Pens started their comeback.
In other words, Mario has successfully created the impression that interviewing him is bad luck, but him sitting in his box having wine with Tie Domi is good luck. If we have to stomach the fact that Mario is best friends with Tie Domi, we can do that, so long as the Pens are winning.
|This is Mario's best friend.|
- Ah, March. That special time of year in hockey when we separate the men from boys, the wheat from the chaff, and the Penguins from the Maple Leafs. We were prepared to watch the Pens lose this game. They went down 2-0 in the second, they had Brad Thiessen in net, and the Malkin-Neal-Kunitz juggernaut was simply naut juggering. But, as it happens, we have this other center iceman, Jordan Staal. He's like the unholy offspring of a lion and Joel Otto. He has a man on his wing named Pascal Dupuis, who you will instruct your children to call Mr. Dupuis, because he's about to grow a dense playoff beard and he's a man, baby. The Staal line completely took over this game. Combine that fact with Geno taking a couple nights off from being the best player in the world, and we can think of no better illustration of we're right about what this team should do when Sidney Crosby returns.
|The kind of man you want to inspect a house for foundation damage before you sign a mortgage.|
- The second uncomfortable stretch where Kris Letang is out with a concussion but no one really talks about it continues, and, in keeping with tradition, it makes us uncomfortable, and we don't want to talk about it. We will say though that we've been impressed with Ben Lovejoy and Brian Strait. If you wondered why the Pens left Simon Despres on the farm and recalled Strait, now you know. Strait is solid, mobile, and the right choice to play on the 3rd pairing as Despres continues to spread his wings as a potential top-tier guy.
- Dion Phaneuf has some tendencies of a garbage-time player. Like a guy who scores 50 goals for a bad team, Phaneuf is the type of defenseman who will make a lot of big meaningless hits after the whistle and away from the play in games his team loses.
|Look at me! Look at how tough I am!|