Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recap: Pens lose to Devils during breakout session of National Whistleblowing Convention

By Finesse

The National Association of Whistleblowers held their annual meeting in Newark, New Jersey this afternoon but their small-group afternoon breakout session was interrupted by rival gangs of large men. Veteran whistleblowers Chris Lee and Gord Dwyer were leading a session titled, "Blowing Your Whistle: How to Do it Endlessly" on the floor of the Prudential Center when close to 40 men wearing red and white uniforms and armed with sticks, helmets, and rubber discs emerged from the tunnel and started chasing each other around. Though Lee and Dwyer were initially startled by the intrusion, they were able to quickly gain their composure and resume blowing their whistles only 44 seconds after the scary men started chasing each other.

Over the next two and a half hours, Lee and Dwyer combined to blow their whistles twenty times, delighting the raucous crowd of 17,625 whistleblowing fanatics. "I spend a lot of my hard earned money to come to these whistleblowing conventions," said Steve Turco, a lifelong member of the NAW who shelled out $465 to bring his wife and kids to the convention. "Today were some of the best whistles I've ever heard. I really feel like professional whistleblowing is about to take off in this country."

Chris Lee prepares for a Whistle Blowing scrimmage in 2011.
More after the jump...

- Refereeing is not to blame for the loss, but it did make the game thoroughly unenjoyable.  This was not a game where the refs needed to call penalties to prevent the game from getting out of control.  This was a game where the refs called way too many terrible penalties on both teams early, and then they let themselves get out of control.  Once they started down this road of calling things that are not penalties, and have never been penalties, they couldn't reel themselves back in.

- Of couse, we all know that they will reel themselves back in during the playoffs.  Of the 20 minor penalties in this game (8 on NJ, 12 on the Pens), maybe four get called in the playoffs.  Maybe only four get called tomorrow.  Who even knows.  If Dan Bylsma had done what Mario did to Kerry Fraser, who would have blamed him?

- Having said all that, the two penalties that the Pens took to immediately negate power plays were really dumb -- Malkin's roughing penalty and Neal's slashing penalty.  Although the shove that Malkin gave to Andy Greene's chin was very soft, as soon as we saw him do it, we all knew it was going to be a penalty based on the way the game was being called.  Malkin should have known it, too.

- Brodeur was outstanding, and he's the real reason the Devils won.  The Pens lose to the Devils in Jersey on a Saturday afternoon and Brodeur plays lights-out.  We've seen this movie before.

- Another big time performance from Bob Bortuzzo (known more familiarly as Bobby B, or simply Bob).  Last year the Flyers had 8 rookies who were completely inside the Pens' heads.  It's refreshing to see some new blood on the Pens finally start mixing it up in a positive way.  David Clarkson was totally off his game in the first period thanks to Bob.

- David Clarkson in a 7-game series is my worst nightmare.  He'd also be my favorite Penguin if we signed him this offseason.

- Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy had a great cycle going in the first period and TK did a nice job on the power-play goal.  But he only played 7:18.  It's hard to blame Jordan Staal for not wanting to spend the prime of his career with Tyler Kennedy as his top winger.

- Fleury was really sharp early and the team was doing a great job clearing rebounds.  But killing 10 penalties is too much to ask of anyone.  Same for Paul Martin.

- Crosby threw a big time elbow at someone in the third period very far away from the play.  Obviously I don't care for the sake of the guy who got elbowed in the head, but I don't like the karma.

- Devils again Sunday night. Bring your earplugs.

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