The Toronto Maple Leafs faced off against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Leafs have a knack for playing the Pens tough, regardless of the teams' respective positions in the standings, including a beat down last season that appeared to be the final straw that broke the back of Michel Therien's coaching tenure in Pittsburgh. This time the Leafs came in on a hot streak, having won...I don't know, like 8 of their last 10. The Pens were coming off a big win over arch rival Philadelphia the day before, so the risk of a letdown in this game was very real. We're going to do it Tarantino style this time around, showing you the ending first
Signs of the Times
I want to take a minute to give a shout out to the little guy below, the skating penguin in classic black and white.
He has been following us around since Game 5 in Detroit last June. Even though his opening game saw the Pens fall to the Wings 5-0, we kept him around, and since that time his luck has been very good. He watched over the Pens Cup clinching win in Game 7:
And he was there March 6, 2010 against the Stars.
Once again, we tried to promote the Pensburgh brand.
GO PENSBURGH! This might replace the Qdoba burrito as Disco Dan's new good luck charm.
Stalker Alert!!! Good thing the sign is covering her, or else this young lady's outfit would push this post to at least an R rating.
Sid is a-smiling. Bad news Maple Leafs.
Stalker Alert 2!!! I'm pretty sure the person with the "ladies single for the night" sign is a dude. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Not all the love is reserved for #87.
Max Talbot life lesson 1 to Mike Rupp: Don't get high on your own supply.
In the words of great boxing referee Mills Lane, "Let's get it on!"
Pens M*A*S*H unit goes into action:
Not a great pic, but Eaton shows off the new 3rd jersey for next year, featuring the controversial "Bloody Penguin" emblem.
How to coach a defending champion team:
HCDB: "Come on guys, you gotta talk to me. What is it you want?"
"Ok, that's 2 kung pao chickens, one extra spicy"
"Billy likes his chicken spicy"
"Say what again motherf****r. I dare you. I double dare you"
Everyone knows the key to Human Bowling...
You have to know when to hit the ice.
This guy went down a little early and left the 4 pin standing.
Back to the game:
Gratuitous Jordan Staal pic.
Token Maple Leafs pics to follow. This is the best one I got of Luca "I live on the second floor" Caputi.
Ooh, an action shot.
Damn it, they scored. No more Maple Leafs pics.
"Let's get it on", overtime style.
Sid: "Come on guys, can't you get that Miami chick to sit down already? She's freaking me out a little."
Supremely confident, Crosby awaits the shootout. Dups, on the other hand, has no idea he is in consideration to be the 3rd shooter.
As you can see, HCDB is having trouble making up his mind.
Come on, Tanger. Tony G was 0-for his career in penalty shots, and you're taking pointers from him. Apparently, Tony told him to "Go 5-hole, or something".
(Note: I don't really know well Tony did on penalty shots, but his stickhandling was a little suspect on the NHL '94 game).
New guy gives Flower some pointers on how to stop his former teammates.
Tanger tried Granato's move. Fail.
Flower stands ready for battle. What the hell is #91 doing crowding my shot?
Damn you, 91!
I'm told that Fleury made the save. Score tied 0-0.
These guys all told Giguere that Sid would most likely go backhand.
Sid approaches. Giguere waits for the move to the backhand.
Sid "fakes" the shot. He will most certainly go backhand.
Giguere, still expecting the backhand, appears not to notice the puck in his net. Let me help you JS. It's in the little, yellow box.
Sid is so money.
Another Toronto guy doesn't realize Fleury is baiting him big time. No linesmen in the way this time, just Rupp's stick.
Another save. Pens lead 1-0 after 2. Rupp still holds his stick at the ready, just in case this one goes 8 or 9 shooters deep.
Can anyone save us from another shootout disappointment?
Duper nails the shot. Pens win 2-0 in the shootout.
Nice win, boys. Four point weekends are sweet!
Third star of the game - some Toronto guy.
Second star, and looking very uncomfortable in the spotlight - Brooks Orpik.
First star of the game, and looking very much like the pic I used for Saturday's game, Sidney Crosby! And yes, it's true, some goofball tossed a hat for Sid's "Shootout Hat Trick".