The Pregame: Cartoonist Bill Griffith, who just this week turned 68, sees the overlooked and forgotten corners of America with blinding precision. We were reminded of this recently as we took a drive through portions of Pennsyltucky – clearly where the phrase “fat of the land” has great meaning – and its meth-addled capital, Pittsburgh. Or, borrowing from Zippy’s creator, Dingburg.
Previously we anointed Pittsburgh as the Epicenter of Suck. Following our travels, we can confidently proclaim that it has become, in fact, the Pinhead Center of the Universe. The gangrenous, foul-smelling trash pile of contemporary civilization. The trucker-stop, Thunderbird-guzzling, used baby diaper of cities. Imagine if Paul Verhoeven remade “Showgirls” today with the same cast and you’ve got Pittsburgh, only with less sexy and more elastic waistbands. It’s exactly that awful.
[Ed. Note. By Rachel Cohen: Sidney Crosby as sparkly vampire Edward Cullen from the Twilight movie series, which Ian has totally seen. Click to embiggen.]
Which led us to a game, mostly to keep our tenuous grip on reality while speeding away: what would you rename Pittsburgh, if you could? Crapburg. Herpesburg. Fraudburg. (We already know former Coach Gabby’s choice.) To wit, we announce a new contest: #renamePittsburgh. Best answer in the next 24 hours, as determined by someone, will get a drink on the PuckBuddys’ dime. Or, if you prefer, we’ll go bother someone else. (Haha, it doesn’t matter as we’re going to stiff RMNB with the bill!)
Fun and games aside, it’s nearly time for
The Puck Drop
Why does that phrase – the puck drop – feel like the plopping of cyanide pellets into sulfuric acid these days? Oh that’s right, two shutouts in the last three games. (Well, I guess the Habs were a shutout, too – a good one – so that’s 3 for 3.) The Caps’ play in Raleigh was sloppy at best, and downright amateur at moments (we’ll get to the good stuff in a minute.) This while the Pens, frankly not playing that much better and hobbled of late, were still able to dash out a 5-4 OT victory with a Malkin zapper. Several Malkin zappers, actually. It just needs to be said: F you, Geno. #Goonburg.
What Makes Them Hot and Not
1: Heal! Whatever snake handler or psychic surgeon Coach Douche-hat has been bringing in lately, I say sign that puppy up! Letang, Neal, Martin, Adams, Jeffrey; holy cow, what sort of magic pellets are they feeding them up there in Fat Town? Sure, Crosby’s heading to a chiropractic neurologist (i.e., snake handler with a degree) to help him get his head back tight, and model-boy Jordan “Jordache” Staal remains benched, too; as might Arron Asham, who, frankly, could sit on his ass until the sun refuses to shine and we still wouldn’t be happy. (And as evidenced by the recall of Jason Williams from Wilkes-Barres/Scranton (23 points with WBS), they’re not coming back soon.) So: hot and not. #Ashholeburg.
2: Tang! But it doesn’t really matter, does it, the way some of these guys are playing? Evgeny Malkin (25G/30A, plus-9) is playing in demigod tier, and Dustin Jeffrey (2G/1A in just 12 games) was on fire playing the Habs Friday, with Drag-Name-Worthy Deryk Engelland, U.P. strapling Tyler Kennedy and the ever-infuriating Kris Letang (4G/18A, plus-9) not far off. In fact, collectively they remind us a bit of that powdery sugar-slush “Tang!” that astronauts used to drink before they started wearing Depends or whatever. Each year you’d think it would go out of business, and each year, there it would be again, looking and tasting all wrong but somehow working. Together the Tang boys have snapped the Pens out of their slide. #Fakeburg.
3: Who Needs Fake When You Got Fresh Squeezed? And whoopie-doo, breaking news, the Pens have some players who know how to find the twine. Did you also hear: there’s this thing called Limewire, and you can download all kinds of stuff there? Kyool, huh? Ugh, we go through this every time. In fact, #BarfBurg puts us through this every game, and the result – judging by a good statistical sampling – remains the same. This is a moment that calls out the best – and the beast – in the Capitals. Here’s who’s genuinely hot: Tomáš Vokoun, Troy Brouwer, Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perrault (who needs an easier name to spell,) wee Dmitry Orlov…shall I keep going? Wideman, Semin, Halpy, Ward and some fella named Ovechkin. True, Brooksie and Knooooobs have been just cheated recently; but these are exactly the guys who define how deep this team can dig when called on. No Tang! here – these guys are authentic.
We have several. First: at least one person will acquire a venereal disease while at CONSOL. Two: the NBC announcing team will dive nose-first into the #Dipsburg tank and moan and cry about how lame the Capitals are compared to the fierce braze knights and firm buttocks of the Penguins. And C: the Washington Capitals will defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in their home barn.
Meme of the Day: