Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pens at Isles. Gameday 78.

The Islanders got the better of the Pens last game. Thing is, they could also beat the hell out of the Pens in golf, because they haven't missed a tee time since 2007. 

The Pens had the opportunity to choke the life out of the Islanders two nights ago, but forgot to show up. The Pittsburgh offense shelled Evgeni Nabokov worse than Berlin in 1945, but the defense got lost on the way to the arena, perhaps because somebody stole the GPS off Paul Martin.

I actually like Paul Martin, and I could have put the blame on any of the defensemen for that game. PaulMatinPowerball just happened to finish with the lowest +/- on the team, except for Craig Adams. I refuse to talk smack on Craig Adams.

While it was not the Penguins who landed the death-blow to the Islanders, they will be attending the funeral tonight.
And will be kind enough to leave a 9-iron and a Titleist.

It feels almost redundant to go over it again, but I'd be doing a disservice to anybody reading this if I didn't at least cover the basics. Here's the rundown:

-Flower's tied with Pekka Rinne for the league lead in wins, with 41.

-Geno's 9 points ahead of Steven Stamkos with a league-leading 99 points. He's getting 100 and 101 tonight. One goal, one assist.

-James Neal is 5th in the league with 78 points. Ray Shero got him AND Matt Niskanen for Alex Goligoski. The only thing I miss about Goose is sitting in front of the tv and screaming, "NO, YOU IDIOT! YOU ARE THE WORST THING THAT WAS EVER BIRTHED". I was wrong, though. The worst thing that was ever spawned on our lovely earth was Sarah McLaughlin, for those sad commercials. Sorry for being so harsh, Goose.

-Sid's points per game is off the charts, with 25 points in 16 games. He'll have 28 points by the end of the night. Why?

Pittsburgh's going to crush the Islanders 5-1. 

I have nothing more to say. Make this happen, gents.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Blog, All Music, All the Time

Hello, there.

When I started this blog, I had mentioned that I wanted to discuss three things: hockey, random stuff that makes me a fascinating fellow, and music.

Hockey? Check.

Randomness? Check.

Music? Not quite.

I wrote a few posts about a few different musical things. One was about heavy metal as a genre, another was about Avenged Sevenfold's album, "Nightmare," and the other was about my favorite album of all time, The Who's "Quadrophenia". None of them really fit with what I'd been doing previously on this blog.

Because of this, I'm creating a separate blog for divulging my deepest, darkest thoughts on music. This one will still be going, but I feel that not being able to write about music would be a mistake for me, so I'm doing this, as well. I feel that I know a lot about hockey, but I also feel that I know twice as much about music.

I'd like to eventually turn writing into a career of sorts, or at least have it make up a large part of my career, and I think that making a second blog about music, where I can sort of challenge myself to be serious, is a good idea for practice. It's difficult for me to do that, and most of my posts on this blog look like a snarky college student's attempt at talking smack on everything around me, or an attempt to just make fun of myself.

Therefore, I've created "Over The Wills And Far Away," which is my extremely lame attempt to turn a Led Zeppelin classic into a cheesy name for my blog. I'll admit, I took the idea from a blog I used to read, called "Houses of the Hockey" ("Houses of the Holy," by Led Zeppelin (1973), was the inspiration there). What a terrible name I've given this new place. It'll change, but that's what I'm going with for right now, so deal with it.

The URL for the site is

Don't go there yet, because there's nothing to see right now. I have to set up, format, and write a post first. I'll let you know when that is. EDIT: IT'S UP AND RUNNING

Anyways, thanks for faking interest for my sake! Or maybe, just mayyyyybe, you really enjoy my writing. If you're in the latter category, you're probably my Mother, but it's nice all the same.

And remember....

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pens vs. Jets

Holy cow's udders, it's Spring! What should I listen to? "Seasons of Wither" by Aerosmith? No, that defines Fall. Metallica's too dark. I know what'll do the trick...

You're damn right it's a great day for hockey! My window's open, I've got lame-ass plaid shorts on, and I can smell burgers and hot dogs being grilled up at the small park above me. When it comes to hockey, that means only one thing: PLAYOFFS!

In a few weeks, I'll write an enormous and unquestionably awesome post about how the NHL playoffs are the greatest thing since sliced pizza (sliced bread is overrated). That's what I do....nonstop awesome posts. Except the times they're not very good. First thing's first, though: get two points tonight.

What do the Penguins do? Win.

If I could describe the last month of the Pens' season in a picture, it would be this:

Yeah, Yukon Cornelius with lightsabers making an appearance.

How about a .gif?

Ticklefrog knows what's up.

Perhaps a song?

That's right. The Pens have grabbed their lightsabers and ticklefrogged their way through the nhl, as they have sought and destroyed everything in their path. Ticklefrogged isn't even a verb, but I made it so. Guess what?


Oh yeah, there WAS this one little problem. The Philadelphia Flyers. They came back from out of nowhere the other day, as the Pens bought into their garbage tactics and lost focus. Can't take it away from Philly, they fought back hard, and Scott Hartnell caused my jaw to drop for at least two minutes as he scored with seconds remaining in overtime, thus rendering me speechless for the first time in 21 years.

The boys in the black and gold will get 'em back later on in the Spring. I have no doubt their space cadet goalie will return to Mars, and will leave a humayyyyyyngaas beeg hole for Sid and Geno to fire pucks into the net through. 

Tonight, though? Winnipeg.

Guess what?
An attempt to give the middle finger to Winnipeg.

First thing's first: it took me until the 9th page of google images to find ANYTHING relating to the NEW Winnipeg Jets, even though I typed in "Winnipeg Jets".

Perhaps something else would've been more appropriate....


The Thrashers Jets are currently 8th....wait, no. 10th in the Eastern Conference. So much for my preseason prediction that they would make the playoffs. They sit behind a dreadful Sabres team, and a hilariously awful Capitals team, and need five points to make it into the playoff picture. They're not getting two of them tonight, and probably won't make it at all. Guess how much I care?

Sid's back, Geno hasn't slowed down, James Neal is scoring goals again, and Matt Cooke is all of a sudden a dominant offensive force (chalk that one up to Sid dragging 3 players on his back so that Cookie has some room to move).

With this win, I'm told the Penguins can secure a playoff spot. Let's get those points, boys.

Gotta get some Maiden in here somewhere.

Despite the good time I had making fun of the Jets, I can admit that they're a great team at home, playing in front of a crowd that wishes to drink the blood of their enemies. This game should be more of the.....wait...

Pens are winning this one, 6-3.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Blog About Nothing

Blog blog blog blog blog. I need something to write about.

I've been 21 for 3 days now, and so far, I've not died. In fact, I didn't even get legitimately drunk this weekend, so I guess I'm a bit of a loser in that sense. My friends took care of me on Wednesday night, though. I had no idea rum and coke comes in a pitcher. I also had no idea how fast it can disappear. Hi, Mom!

Speaking of my Mom, she provided me with the best laugh I've had in a while. She called while we were at Quaker Steak for dinner and told me to wish my friend Alex a happy birthday as well. Alex replied that my Mom beat her to it, which is both sad and hilarious (to me).
I was in a sour mood today, probably from lack of sleep the last few nights. My roommate, John, got really sick the other night, so I stayed up til 6 or so waiting for news about him. He reads this, so feel better, double J.
I created a solid new insult today. The Penguins lost in Overtime to the Flyers, on a goal scored by Scott Hartnell, who is the hockey equivalent of syphilis. My jaw hit the floor, and I was without a proper insult. My mind searched through all the bad words I know, but I was unable to think of the proper thing. Later in the day, I got in an argument with someone I loath, and it came to me: "go fall on an open box of lightbulbs". Had I been in the right state of mind, that's what I would have said as I watched the winning streak die in the lat seconds of overtime.
Check this out:

Yeah, those are the footprints of two people a'doin' it, caught in the act by the Marauder's Map from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Happy birthday, Bruce Willis.

That's about all I've got to say. I just felt like I should write something.

Happy Kashubian Unity Day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reflections on 21 Years of Strange Activities

As I sit here writing this, a mere 22 hours before I am officially 21, I am forced to reflect back upon my life, and what occurred in the 21 years prior to this very moment.

I am told that I was born in grotesque fashion, as 100% of everyone on this planet was. I apparently was not willing to enter this world, and the doctor used a suction cup to yank me out. That's right, I got plungered out like a clogged toilet. That's why I look the way I do, I think. It's a good thing I don't remember.

Perhaps my earliest memories come from Westminster Church, where I attended daycare for several years. Apparently, I left quite an impression upon the people who worked there, as there are some who still remember me at least 15 years later. What can I say? Even as a toddler, I was charming as could be. Serious 5 year-old game with the ladies, too.

One time, a girl named Christine vomited what appeared to be gray mud in the corner of the classroom. Then she did it again. And again. To this day, I associate "Christine" with "projectile vomit". I could meet the hottest girl in the world, and strike up a conversation with her. Things could be going real smooth, and perhaps I'm showing her how I can hold a straw or pencil in the space directly between my eyeball and my skull. Then, I ask for her number. Smooth move, Will. The eyeball trick is a winner. I get her number, and then I say "oh man, it's been a solid 30 seconds since I had this stupid idea for my blog! I need your name!". Then, with a wink, she says in a very lovely voice, "Christine".

And proceeds to throw up all over me.

Three times.

Another early memory includes Alex Billak, who was one of my friends in my very early years. The story is rather short...we used to sit at Westminster and eat chalk dust. Many of you are probably feeling pretty Christine-ish at that, and I don't blame you. I didn't enjoy it, but he did, so I thought perhaps I wasn't eating enough of it, and had to double up to get the full flavor experience that only chalk can give you. In the end, I probably consumed more chalk than a sidewalk crevice.

Skip ahead a year or two to Kindergarten at Eisenhower with Mrs. Friedman. I used to annoy the shit out of this lady, though I never knew it. Looking back, I was a real bastard, but it's funny. I used to go to her desk while everyone else was working, and take stuff out of it. Then I would proceed to ask her what each thing was...every single day. I think she probably took pity on me, because she thought I was retarded. How else could I not understand "those are scissors" after the 50th day in a row? But I wasn't retarded...I can't remember now, but chances are good that I knew I was being obnoxious, and I enjoyed it.

I have made several trips to the emergency room, most of which were for stupid reasons. One year on Easter...or was it perhaps a different holiday? Whatever the case, we were at my grandparents' house in Baldwin for a celebration of some sort, and my Dad, my uncles, and I were playing catch with a football in the backyard. I ran to make a catch, and drove my face straight into a pole that held up the clothesline in the back yard. Holiday ruined. ER.

Three Christmases ago, I punched through a pane of glass in a fit of rage. I won't go into the entire story, though in truth, it's more justified than it sounds. The end result was 6 stitches, presents being delayed until about 2 p.m., and emotional trauma for my family. Once the spirit of the holidays re-entered me, I spent the entire time at the hospital making jokes, attempting to get the man who was stitching me up to laugh. He did not, and I still think he probably got nothing but shit in his stocking as a kid. How else could you avoid even smiling at the hilarity of a kid hitting his stitched, slightly bleeding hand off things, because the Novocaine made it feel as if it was a block of wood? Oh right, my Mom wasn't laughing either. Holiday ruined. ER.

The most bizarre trip to the hospital was not holiday-related. I used to put coins in my mouth, because as Mrs Friedman had realized before any of us, I was retarded. I enjoyed the taste of the metal, and a layer of grime and germs only added to that flavor. I have also heard that there's cocaine on all our money, so perhaps I am a cokehead? Regardless, I swallowed a quarter one day, and was taken to the hospital. They told me there was nothing they could do, and I'd just have to wait for it to "pass". I'm convinced that it never did, and that if all else fails, I'm worth 25 cents (adjusted for inflation).

I would like to be able to say that in my 21 years of life, I have learned things. Valuable things, invaluable things, and trivial things. One thing, two things, red thing, blue get it. And I can say that yeah, I have. I'm a pretty decent writer, if I do say so myself. I also have a knack for making people laugh when they don't want to, and laugh harder than normal when they do want to (except that time Bri Buczek punched me in the face last year, which turned out to be the funniest part of an already hilarious evening). Perhaps you're reading this going, "he's not that funny," to which I say..."shove it up your ass". It's my damn birthday almost, and I'm going to brag. I never do, and if you ever catch me doing so, it's a joke. I'm not really the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas, the kitten's mittens, or an ox's socks. None of these animals wear clothes, and bees don't have knees. That would be preposterous.

And I made up the ox thing. Nobody else has ever said that before, and with good reason. Oxen live in muddy areas, and socks would simply slip off their feet into the mud. I'm sure at one point, a cat wore mittens or pajamas, and a bee with knees was born near a nuclear reactor. An ox would never wear socks.

See what I just did? That's called beating a dead horse.

Or like putting socks on an ox.


Tomorrow night, I shall embark upon my first journey to a bar that didn't result in a quick "get the hell out" (just kidding, it'll actually be my first time entering a bar for anything other than a burger). In conclusion, and in light of all of this reflection, I shall promise to remember all that I have learned in my past. As I move forward and grow older with each passing moment, I will remember what scissors are, I won't punch any glass, and I will not eat chalk. There may be a few other things that I should take with me, but those are the most important three.

Oh yeah, and I won't even go "Christine" and vomit on anyone.

Time to party like it's 1996.

This is not me, but the little bastard stole my dance moves.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Run To The Hills

Bruce Dickinson's first album with Iron Maiden, "The Number of the Beast," is often lauded as the band's best. While I disagree, and think "Powerslave" is their best, I can't deny that "Beast" is full of classic songs; "Hallowed Be Thy Name," "22 Acacia Avenue," "Invaders," and of course, the title track all come to mind.

At an Iron Maiden show, there is one song the band keeps as a reward for a great crowd. It is only played when a crowd has reached superhuman levels of insanity. After an encore of "Number of the Beast," "Hallowed be Thy Name," and "Running Free," (from the first album, "Iron Maiden") the crowd sits in anticipation as the lights go down a final time. On many nights, the crowd is disappointed to hear the PA system begin playing "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's "The Life Of Brian". Some people laugh, some sit in stunned disbelief that they didn't exactly get what they came for. Something is missing.

However...on rare occasions, after all the smoke has cleared, Nicko McBrain begins pounding out the tribal drums, and Dave Murray, Janick Gers, and Adrian Smith play a familiar harmony. Soon, Bruce Dickinson begins filling the empty space with lyrics about Europeans taking over the lands of North America. Eventually, Steve Harris comes in with his trademark bass sound, and it's on: "Run To The Hills".

The NHL should collectively hit up iTunes and begin listening. The song is about to become their reality.

As of right now, 6:30 on Sunday, the Penguins sit in 4th place in the Eastern conference with 89 points. Were it not for the unfortunate seeding rules the league follows, their 89 points would put the Pens into second place, behind the first place New York Rangers, whose once seemingly untouchable lead in the standings has dwindled to just two points. They play the 14th place New York Islanders tonight at 7:00.

It was not too long ago that things seemed bleak for the Pens. In early January, there were reports that the team was splitting at their core, with players being vocal about their displeasure regarding the rehabilitative efforts of captain Sidney Crosby. These reports, fueled specifically by Tribune Review writer Dejan Kovacevic, caused a kind panic that hasn't been seen since the stock market collapsed in 1929.

Since those reports, the team has been playing with fire, and are 9-1-0 in their last ten games. Their penalty kill is first in the league, and their power play is ranked 7th. Marc Andre Fleury is second in wins.


Today, the Penguins disposed of the once fearsome Boston Bruins in convincing fashion, chasing last year's Vezina-winning goaltender, Tim Thomas, to the locker room after one period. Run to the hills, indeed.

Here's my artistic rendering of the game:

No mercy from the drop of the puck. Though the Pens were outshot by Boston 36-32, the outcome was never in doubt. Admittedly, the Bruins may have been tired after being defeated yesterday by an abysmal Washington Capitals squad. The Penguins' Arron Asham scored 3 minutes and 24 seconds into the first period, and was quickly followed by a goal from defenseman Matt Niskanen at 7:12. 

They never looked back.

Despite two goals from David Krejci in the second period, the Penguins lived up to their reputation as one of, if not the best third period teams in the league. They did not allow a third period goal, and got some offensive help from Pascal Dupuis, who netted his 18th goal of the season with assists from Deryk Engelland and Jordan Staal.

Pascal Dupuis: The Red Fish Warrior

Nothing else too important happened. Just kidding, Evgeni Malkin got his 500th career point on Matt Niskanen's goal, which also saw James Neal get his 200th career point. With that assist, Malkin became the 4th fastest current NHL player to reach 500 points.

"I like make score many point"
-Evgeni Malkin


It's Cam Neely's knee.

Sorry Pensblog, I couldn't help but make the joke.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Superstitions are funny. Some people don't believe in them, but in a bit, I'm gonna make a case for them.

Do I have superstitions? More or less. It's not that I believe in them, but perhaps they make me feel a little bit more comfortable. Here are some:

-I don't wear my blue Pens jersey during games. Instead, I wear one of my Sherseys or my Penguins hat.

-I play "The Ecstasy of Gold" by Ennio Morricone before every game. The song is used by Metallica to pump up the crowd before shows, but is better known as the song that plays as Tucco runs through the cemetery at the end of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".

-Before games, I also listen to "Strength Beyond Strength" by Pantera, Metallica's cover of "Remember Tomorrow" by Iron Maiden, and "Victim of Changes" by Judas Priest.

-This isn't so much a superstition, but it's just something odd that I do. When I'm eating, I make sure to chew equal amounts with both sides of my mouth. Perhaps ten on the right side, then ten on the left side. I'm not sure why. I never said I was normal.

-Finally, there are a few things that are cursed. First, my blue jersey as mentioned before. Also, there's the EPIC VAN COMMERCIAL, which the last few times I have seen it, was quickly followed by a goal from the other team. If it comes on tv, I turn it off immediately. There's also the arm chair in my apartment; the Penguins have never won when I sit in it for any length of time during the game. I should burn that bastard down.

It does make vans look sweet though, right?

This brings me to superstitions as a whole.

I don't believe that the individual superstition by itself has any effect on any sporting event. I don't even believe in the idea I'm gonna say in a second. It's simply a different and seemingly plausible way of thinking about superstitions.

I have my superstitions, if you can call them that. Everyone else has theirs. Is it possible that the balance of luck is based on the sum of the superstitions as a whole, and that the luck is shifted in favor of whichever team's fans follow the greater number of their own superstitions?

Say I'm following mine, I have on the hat, I'm pumping out the Pantera, and I'm beating the living hell out of that damn chair. The lady down the street had her super special superstitious spaghetti for dinner. The creepy guy down by the river is wearing his lucky assless leather chaps. And yes, Sidney Crosby ate his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The majority of Pens fans are following up on their superstitions, and perhaps 78% of them have done so.

On the other hand, the Flyers fans are not so diligent. One of them forgot to get his daily parking ticket for parking in the handicap spot at the office. Another didn't piss wherever he felt like, in the name of the Flyers (I've been told Philly smells like vomit and urine, and I don't have the heart or desire to dispute this claim). Countless other ones didn't do the foul, disgusting things I can't say here, which they normally do in order to sway luck in favor of the black and orange. Only 33% of the Flyers fans followed through on their superstitions.

That night, the Pens win 4-3 in OT after a puck just bounces past Ilya Bryzgalov.

Perhaps the sum of one side's superstitions outweighs the other side, and luck goes in favor of them. That's just my ridiculous late-night idea about superstitions.

If you think wearing your lucky assless leather chaps makes the Pens win, you're a little full of yourself.