Kukla's Korner

The Confluence

Category: Opinion

Penguins Closing in on Division, Conference Lead

Let’s see now:  Delicious fish sandwich at Pittsburgh’s oldest bar = Check.

Beautiful Pittsburgh nighttime holiday skyline from atop a cold and blustery Mt. Washington = Check.

Seeing Sidney Crosby’s 199th, 200th and 201st career goals = Check.  Watching the Penguins win their 6th straight game, earn points in their 9th straight = Check.

Getting a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee for the long trip back to VA Beach = Check.

That’s a pretty damn good road trip, if you ask me.

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Penguins, Fleury Keep on Truckin’, shutout Sabres 1-0

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, even Red Wings fans.

My son and I will be headed to Pittsburgh Friday morning and at the CEC for Saturday’s matinee against the Flames.

Solid although unspectacular effort last night in Buffalo, where Sidney Crosby’s steal led to the game’s only goal by Pascal Dupuis.  Marc-Andre Fleury continued his hot play, stopping all 30 shots for the shutout.

Other stuff:

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Looks Official This Time, Igloo to be Torn Down

From Pittsburgh’s WTAE:

PITTSBURGH—The city Planning Commission heard many public comments Tuesday before voting to move ahead with demolition of the Civic Arena, the former home of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sports and Exhibition Authority had already voted unanimously in September to tear down the old arena, but the planning commission’s approval was also required for any demolitions and redevelopment within Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle.  Some preservationists had fought to save the silver-domed staple along Centre Avenue and find another use for the old arena, which has hosted hundreds of concerts, basketball games and special events over the past 50 years.

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Penguins “Getting to Their Game”

It’s kind of an inside joke within the Penguins’ blogosphere.

Of course, NHL players and coaches are incredibly redundant in their comments, such as “dump the puck, get in on the forecheck”, yadda, yadda.

So mostly due to the Pens’ mediocre commencement of the NHL regular season, the main slogan you’ve heard time and time again has been “Get to Our Game”.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not on HCDB’s letterhead nowadays.

Other stuff.

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Penguins at the Quarter Pole:  Copacetic, but Still Work to be Done

For all of the vitriol spewed about the goaltending, the defense, the lack of offense, the coaching, the ice surface and a number of other complaints, your Pittsburgh Penguins are a mere two points behind the Flyers for the Atlantic Division lead.

Last night’s 5-4 shootout win over Carolina gave the Penguins points in five straight games with a 4-0-1 record.

What do ya know, the season may not be over after all.

Some other observations:

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Don’t Trust Sidney Crosby with Your Car Keys

From Pittsburgh Magazine’s Sean Conboy:

Yet every time there’s a camera in his face or a bouquet of microphones running hot, Sid simply charms us to death with aw-shucks humility and Downy-soft media-speak. He’s so normal it befuddles us.

He is seemingly everything to everyone. But the real Sidney Crosby is a lot more interesting.

In October, Pittsburgh magazine sat down with Sid to discuss his childhood, his role as a captain and his forays into locker room espionage.

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Despite Loss, Penguins Making Progress

Let’s face it, we should be grateful the Penguins came out of last night’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Rangers with a point.

Henrik Lundqvist was solid for the first 57 minutes between the pipes for the Rangers.  It really looked as if it was simply going to be one of those nights when you tap your stick to the opponent’s goaltender and get ready for the next game.

What followed was a wild 65-second scramble that accounted for three goals to eventually send the game to overtime, where Ryan Callahan’s tap-in goal off a 2-on-1 Rangers break gave them the win.

Other notes:

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Fleury Bounces Back in Pens Win over Bolts

Just a short note today since the Pens are back in action tonight in Atlanta.

What a refreshing sight:  FSN ‘Burgh’s Dan Potash interviewing Marc-Andre Fleury after his excellent performance in the Pens’ 5-1 win, the audio being piped to the CEC’s PA system.  The monkey off his back, for one night at least.  The big smile on his face, the crowd roaring.  Refreshing as well was the five goals the Penguins’ offense provided, something Fleury hasn’t gotten yet this season.

Tonight we’ll most likely see Fleury back between the pipes against the Thrashers.  Tonight is crucial for Fleury, assuming he starts.  If he plays well, he may very well be well on his way back to normalcy.  We’ll just have to see if that happens or if he continues to struggle.

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Bashing New Penguins Defensemen Not New at All

We fans are a fickle bunch, aren’t we?

Things aren’t going well in Penguinland nowadays, that much is fairly obvious.  Remedies are coming in from all directions:  It’s the goaltenders, it’s the defense, it’s the lack of offense, it’s the coaching, it’s the ice.  Hell, I even heard one guy on Pittsburgh sports talk radio yesterday blame the Penguins’ struggles on the “cushy” facilities in the new barn.

One group that is getting a portion of the blame particularly caught my eye though, those being the defensemen.

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Um, Remain Calm, All is Well?

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During the 2nd intermission, it was as if you could feel the weights being taken off the collective backs of Penguins fans.  It was one big “THERE they are”. this was Penguins hockey.  They had fairly dominated play for the first 40 minutes, most taking place in the Bruins’ defensive zone.  They had gotten four pucks past undefeated goaltender Tim Thomas, and went into that 2nd intermission with a two-goal lead.

And then?  Those weights were firmly planted right on top of our heads once again with an absolutely horrendous performance in the 3rd period, giving up five goals in a 7-4 loss to the Bruins.

But as Kevin Bacon exclaims above, all is well, isn’t it?

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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