I had dinner at TGI Friday's with Guy Fieri. Horrible company to dine with. He never shuts and up and he actually ordered my dinner for me. Some little steak. I didn't even want steak. I wanted potato skins stuffed with jalapeno poppers. Then, after dinner, he went over to this table of three women and bothered them for a half hour until they finally left. I know they were rushing to get out of there, because they only ate like two bites of the Brownie Fudge Blaster they ordered for dessert.
I don't care how bleached his spiky hair is and how many steel ball bracelets he wears, that guy is about as punk as my dad's podiatrist. He has all the edge of a tweed blazer-wearing bassist at a Lutheran mass. Just looking at him, you can tell guy the guy was a straight up nerd in high school, then reinvented himself as "edgy" when he was 20. I see through him like he was the Bud Light he ordered with dinner and then nursed for the entire night.
So that was the bad. The good was the dominance of the Penguins on Friday and Sunday. Looking at this team for a weakness, I just can't find one right now. Actually, here's one. Even though they keep winning, sometimes the outcome is in doubt for 20-30 minutes. It would be nicer if they scored two goals in the first minute of each game and then just cruised. They should work on that.
The thing I like most about this team is that even when rolling four lines somebody good is always on the ice. Somebody who can make things happen is out there for 60 minutes. Start with Crosby, then Malkin is over the boards, then Staal and Ruutu and then Talbot. Positive things are always happening.
Jordan Staal had two amazing games and it's amazing to see how somebody so gangly can continuously drop people to the ice. Everybody coming into this series talked about how good Lundqvist is and how tight the Ranger defense is and on Friday, the Pens scored four straight and five of the last six goals.
And then on Sunday, the Pens showed they can beat you however you want to do it. You want heartbreaking? Okay. You want steady and inevitable? Great. We can do that too. It was nice seeing Fleury bounce back after an iffy Game 1. Avery's goal through the seven hole was particularly weak, but on Sunday, he was square to every shot.
If I'm on the Rangers, I'm starting to wonder just how you beat this team. And if I'm still on the Rangers, I'm a little worried about giving Chris Drury $7.1 million this year for 58 points and a third line checking role in the playoffs. By New York standards, this is a pretty good return on investment. Actually, probably one of their best free agent signings in history. But by normal team standards, this has been a bomb. That's why you don't sign two centers to huge deals on the same day. By the way, in Connecticut, John Buccigross just started sobbing uncontrollably and he doesn't know why. His Drury boner is so strong that it can actually receive bad thoughts about Drury as they bounce across the universe.
If you're wondering, Martin Erat had 57 points this season, can serve as a checker and made $1.75 million this year.
And, of course, it's illegal to mention the Rangers in 2008 and not bring up Sean Avery, so here we go. He is suspiciously tan for a man who plays an indoor sport in winter. He almost looks like those Pittsburgh girls with orange skin and yellow hair. Do the Rangers have a tanning bed in their locker room? On the team plane? And the end of Game 2 featured a classic Avery technique. Take a shot at a smaller player and then turtle when somebody big and tough comes looking for you. Avery should've tipped the linesman that protected him after the game, because Gill and Laraque blocked out the sun as they pinned him in the corner. Avery can probably beat up Marty Straka, but he isn't taking on Gill and coming out on top.
Oh, and even though it didn't matter in the end, the penalty called on Gill was preposterous. Since Ranger Tom Renney was so outraged when Crosby went to the ice after Fedor Tyutin shoved him in the chest, I'm sure he had a talk with Avery after the game and said, "Hey, you don't have to dive headfirst over Fleury." Just a terrible, terrible call.
My other favorite moment of the weekend was Tom Kostopolous sucker punching Kimmo Timonen. Partially because Montreal Guy Carbonneau said Philadelphia deserved it and partially because immediately after the game, the Flyers traded two first round picks for Kostopolous. They just can't resist that kind of toughness!