Posts Tagged ‘Alex Goligoski’

Best Bob Errey Quote Of The Season So Far: Goligoski Is A Hummingbird

October 18, 2010

During Monday’s Pens/Senators game, Chris Neil lined up Alex Goligoski for a big hit while his head was turned, and at the last second, Goligoski pushed himself away from the boards and Neil collided with his own teammate. This greatly amused FSN’s Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey, and during the instant replay — emboldened by the Pens’ comfortable lead — Bob Errey delivered this awesomely insane about Golgoski’s move (transcribed verbatim):

“For Goligoski he saw it coming and he was able to WOOP! Slip out backwards. Like a hummingbird, don’t they take off backwards? Like a fly, when you try to catch a fly, Steigie? You gotta, you gotta reach behind that fly it goes backwards, like a crayfish. And that’s exactly what Goligoski did.”

Suck on that poetry, Lord Byron. You…hummingbird…crayfish.

I know a lot of Pens fans complain about the Penguin tv announcers (and basically all non-Dodger fans whine about their announcers all the time), but personally, I think Errey and Steigerwald do a pretty good job, and I’d rather have two homers slipping in the occasional awesomely insane quote than a completely professional, reliably sane announcing team. Or Joe Buck, ever.

Penguins Vs. Canadiens: The Unbearable Lightness Of Being Confident

April 30, 2010

I find every reason to be worried about the Penguins at all times. This prevailing mindset exists in all fans of all sports teams, regardless of the quality or recent performance of that team, for two main reasons:

1) As a devoted fan to a particular team, one is uniquely privy to that team’s subtle weaknesses.

Commentators and casual Penguin-watchers might remark that Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the best clutch goaltenders in the NHL, or that the Pens are loaded with offensive firepower on the blue line with Gonchar, Letang and Goligoski, and they wouldn’t be wrong. People who watch and root for the Penguins on a nightly basis, however, know that Fleury is capable of going into “Fleury…what??” mode and letting in unscreened wrist shots from any concessions stand on any given night, and that Gonchar, Letang and Goligoski all occasionally forget how to play the sport of hockey and become unable to stand in front of other human beings while in their defensive zone. These concerns aren’t extreme pessimism on the part of fans; they’re legitimate aspects that we notice and worry about because we’ve seen them happen hundreds of times.

2) Fans are always reserved about praising their own teams too highly for fear of jinxing them by celebrating prematurely.

Part of this is in a joking, supernatural “don’t want to jinx them!” kind of way, which people don’t actually believe (but dammit, we’re not deviating from it in the playoffs), but on a more practical level, fans also don’t want to appear overconfident and gloat and then have their team ultimately lose, which would make the situation far less digestible on all levels. By curbing our expectations in advance, we give ourselves an emotional safety net if our team loses, rather than the devastating free-fall we’d experience if we were positive the team was going to win and they didn’t.

Both of these reasons are completely legitimate and almost completely universal — you want to scream at Yankee fans when they get nervous when Mariano Rivera comes into the 9th inning of a game when the team’s up 3-1 in the playoff series, but that’s just what fans do. Who wants to be confident and rational about their own team? Douchebags, that’s who. Also rational people, I guess. No, only douchebags. There – proved it!

My point is, I am very much one of these always-worried people. I am extremely one of these people. And yet, having explained in depth all of this jargon about all fans making themselves worried at all times, I am extremely, almost dangerously confident about the Penguins heading into the Montreal series, and here’s why:

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Penguins 5, Maple Leafs 4 (OT-SO): You Know Who’s Not Good? Luke Schenn

March 30, 2010

Didn’t have time to write a proper recap for this game, but just wanted to raise one quick point before this game disappears into the ether:

Luke Schenn is not a good NHL defenseman.

I don’t scout the Leafs or anything (nor do I scout anyone, but I registered a free WordPress blog so listen to my thoughts dammit!!!), but every time I watch Toronto play, against the Penguins or someone else, Luke Schenn is constantly exposed on defense in repeatedly noticeable ways, and offers little in the way of offensive contributions. And yet, every broadcaster for every team, especially the Hockey Night In Canada dudes, will point out what a good young up-and-coming defenseman Schenn is, essentially just repeating the mantra because he is a young defenseman and is in the NHL and on a high-profile team and has a cool name that’s easy to say.

Last night, Schenn was painfully out of position on both Sidney Crosby goals, covering an invisible phantom player on the opposite post instead of the leading freaking goal scorer in the NHL wide open in the slot twice. That’s not the stuff of up-and-coming young defenseman and growing pains, it’s just unambiguously terrible. Granted, maybe I just happen to keep catching Schenn on isolated bad games, but still, the discrepancy between the constant praise of Schenn and his actual on-ice play is consistently jarring.

Every team in the NHL has a Luke Schenn, often multiple Luke Schenns or better Luke Schenns — would you trade Alex Goligoski for Schenn straight-up? Maybe? It’s not a no-brainer, though, cause they’re comparable players, which is my point. But any discussion of the best young defensemen in the NHL begins with Drew Doughty of L.A., along with Shea Weber, Brent Seabrook, Mike Green, and Tyler Myers, and yet, Schenn seems to get mentioned with the regularity of the aforementioned players, despite not only not being in their class, but also by barely playing as an impactful NHL defenseman.

Schenn is 20 and some of those guys are 22-24, which is an important distinction, and Schenn does have an impressive +4 rating on Toronto somehow (though just 6 goals the past two seasons, tying him with Mark “Sniper” Eaton in that span), but his profile continues to be disproportionately bolstered by the visibility of playing for Toronto, much as the profiles of average MLB players like Melky Cabrera or A- prospects like Austin Jackson become extra well-known because they’re constantly mentioned in Yankee trade rumors, even though every team in baseball has those guys.

Perhaps Schenn will develop into a force, but that’s not my point; he’s still a liability on defense at this current point in time and hasn’t shown much offensive skill, which is totally acceptable for a 20-year-old, but can we please stop saying what a great young defenseman he is as he’s costing his team a game with multiple high-school-caliber mental lapses? He’s like the Emperor’s New Defenseman, where no one in the kingdom has the guts to shout out the obvious about how not-great he is. Consider me that a-hole kid.

Wild 4, Penguins 3: Who Loves The Funk?

January 12, 2010

Not much question where the Pens are right now:

Last night’s pathetic 4-3 loss to Minnesota featured all the wonderful recurring themes of the Pens’ current extended slump / sucking (henceforth to be referred to as “suckmp”):

– Another crap goal let in by Fleury.

Malkin continues to be distressingly mediocre night in and night out. Even though he still creates consistent impossible turnovers, he currently has 13 goals on the season, tying him for 58th in the NHL with marquee names like Rich Peverley, Matt Duchene, and Raffi Torres. If you woke up Jodie Foster’s Nell at four in the morning and asked her what’s wrong with the Penguins, even though she has no concept of hockey, society, or the English language, she’d be like “Obviously Malkin has to play better. Chickapaaayyy!!!”

– There are no more words in the English language to describe the Pens’ power play. It literally defies description. So I’ll make some words up. The Penguins power play right now is fucking bleexnorff.

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Goligoski Injured For 2-3 Weeks; Crosby To Start Playing Inside Bulletproof Glass

November 16, 2009

Alex Goligoski is out 2-3 weeks with a “lower body injury.” Yes, seriously. Apparently, these injuries are contagious and a bunch of the Penguins drank out of the Cup from the same straw.

I thought my Penguins depth chart last week was an exaggeration, but now it’s actually not as ridiculous as the Pens’ actual injury list.

Here’s the updated depth chart as of today:

Updated Penguins Depth Chart November 09

 

Pens Sign Goligoski To Three-Year Deal, Will Probably Frickin’ Use Him Now

June 17, 2009

P-G:

The Penguins signed defenseman Alex Goligoski to a three-year contract today.

The deal is worth a total of $5.5 million, and carries an annual salary-cap hit of $1,833,333.

Goligoski was scheduled to become a restricted free agent July 1.

This is good news — With Goligoski under contract and presumably ready to make the full-time leap to the NHL, that fills up five of the Pens’ six 2009-10 starting D spots with Gonchar, Orpik, Letang, Eaton, and now Goligoski. In a perfect world, the Pens would also sign Rob Scuderi for something reasonable, round out the starting six, then bank on a cheap veteran 7th option and/or Ben Lovejoy as their first wave of alternates, but I’m growing increasingly skeptical that signing Scuderi will be possible. What would keep Scuderi here if Atlanta or someone were to offer him a Jay McKee-style $4+ million deal? Surely the Pens couldn’t match it and probably wouldn’t want to anyway, and the 30-year-old Scuderi wouldn’t hesitate to maximize what might be his only offseason as a prized free agent.

I predict that more likely, Scuderi will walk for some borderline-ridiculous deal, and the Pens’ D corps next season will include the 5 players currently under contract, plus one additional cheap veteran (maybe Hal Gill, maybe someone else who’s great at deflecting pucks by Fleury), with Ben Lovejoy and a minor-league free agent as the 7th and 8th options.

The potential wildcard situation — and I’m not sure if I’m even advocating this, just a thought — would be to explore possible trades for Sergei Gonchar, maybe for a winger who’s also nearing UFA status, in the hopes that Letang and Goligoski can shoulder the power play burden, and the Pens can add a forward in the short-term and possibly save a million or two in ’09-10 cap space to re-sign Scuderi or another veteran stay-at-home defenseman (though they don’t come cheap — Tom Poti makes $3.5 million and is not a good player of hockey).

Either way, the Goligoski signing was an inevitable move but a good one, and if he maintains his offensive output over the course of a full season next year, the Pens won’t be missing Ryan Whitney anytime soon. As long as Goligoski starts making some more easily-intercepted breakaway passes to Mike Richards.

GAME FIVE: Pens 4, Capitals 3 (OT) — Geno Scores Brilliant, Intentional Overtime Winner

May 11, 2009

Not sure how many times I can repeat the same things, but here goes:

– The Pens have outplayed the Caps for the majority of the series, and deserve their 3-2 lead.

– That being said, the Pens still make it too easy for the Capitals to score, too often. The Caps’ entire offense has been based on random, isolated rushes up the ice; they haven’t managed more than a shift or two of sustained forechecking pressure ( / dumbass Penguins keeping it in their own zone when one foot from the blue line) at a time in the past couple games, and if the Pens can just grab an additional unexpected Fleury save or lucky offensive bounce, there’s no reason to believe they shouldn’t close this thing out Monday night. Remember how well they played at home against Philly when they had a chance to finish them off?? Wait, um…I mean……… rabbits are fuzzy. Teeheeheeee rabbits.

– I did quickly rush to rip on Tom Poti for his game-winning effort, but my brother correctly pointed out, if he hadn’t made a play on the puck it would’ve gone to a wide-open Crosby for a tap-in. The real blame on the goal goes to Bruce Boudreau for inexplicably leaving Sergei Federov in at defense while shorthanded to take on Crosby and Malkin. Watch the clip again – Malkin goes right around Federov untouched. I understand throwing him on D late in the game when you’re trailing, but in overtime? Mind-boggling.

– Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted with the first overall pick six years ago. We shouldn’t still be worrying on a game-by-game basis whether or not he’ll just randomly let a long-distance, untipped wrist shot in, essentially spotting the other team a goal every night. I almost get angry at him now when he follows his spastic mishaps with awesome redemption saves; I don’t like to be confused while complaining.

– In Fleury’s defense (or lack of defense…heyo!!!), Brooks Orpik was playing some serious Washington Generals caliber D on that first Ovechkin goal. Could he possibly be that afraid of challenging Ovechkin one-on-one? He doesn’t have to line up Ovechkin and run him, he just has to get a stick on him or some body position or anything other than letting him set up for his nine hundredth predictable-ass high glove side wrister of the series.

– I’m not quite pushing the panic button about Sergei Gonchar’s injury. Maybe it’s the homer/optimist in me, but we’ve gotta remember, he was probably the Pens’ weakest defensive defenseman in the playoffs to this point, and calling him the “quarterback of the power play” is like calling someone the “anchor of the Detroit Lions’ defense.” Do you really think the Pens will be that much worse on the man advantage with Alex Goligoski at the point instead of Gonchar, the way they’ve been going? Are they going to score negative times? Is Goligoski gonna turn around and throw a puck past Fleury when he’s not looking, then slash Crosby’s Achilles? I realize it’s a lot of ice time to redistribute, and Phillippe Boucher makes me nervous as hell, but I don’t think Gonchar-to-Goligoski is quite the chasm-like dropoff that some fans appear to fear, especially with the way Gonchar had been playing.

Alexander Semin has to be injured; every time he gets the puck, he’s peeling back and looking to pass immediately, and every time he’s shot the puck, his release has been uncharacteristically slow and everything’s been blocked or wide.

Viktor Kozlov sucks. He doesn’t hustle, doesn’t play physically, and is good for usually one or two five-second bursts of tallness-using puck possession per game, and if he doesn’t score during that span, he’s invisible.

– Caps fans apparently wanted an interference call on Phillippe Boucher in overtime just prior to the Malkin tripup. I will respond to all complaints about officiating in this series by linking this clip.

– On the FSN Pittsburgh coverage, just prior to overtime, the announcers agreed “you get the feeling that Chris Kunitz has been saving his best for that big moment…” Which is a kind way of saying “Chris Kunitz does not know what a net is anymore.”

– Think Jordan Staal and Ruslan Fedotenko recently watched the video of their 7-6 overtime win against the Red Wings from earlier this season and were like “oh wow, we’re talented, professional hockey players! Let’s do that some more!” When was the last time a Penguin just buried a puck into the upper corner the way Fedotenko did on that second goal? Maybe Malkin in like, February?

– And last, but definitely not least: Two legitimate assists for Miro Satan now in consecutive games?? Why didn’t Ray Shero sign this guy to a five-year deal when he had the chance??


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