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The other game Pittsburgh is playing in Miami today.
The Panthers have given the Pens problems all season.
Tomas Vokoun will be in net for Florida.
He's been on fire in every game against the Pens.
In other news, Mike Yeo has been hospitalized.
We could say something about the Pens power play here but...
There's nothing worse on a lazy Saturday afternoon than the Pens going into Tampa Bay's Sam's Club Warehouse and laying a turd on the center-ice dot with pinpoint accuracy.
As far as Tampa's concerned, they've been under everyone's radar all season.
They have the horses. So did Eight Belles' jockey.
So, the Pens have now dropped 4 in a row and 5 of the last 6. But this shit happens. In the NFL, losing 4 games in a row means you start calling people homos on Twitter. In the NHL, it's 5% of the season. But, still, flip the calendar back one year, and things were much more depressing.
We refuse to try to chisel away at the Pens' issues, because they're hard to find. Sure, the Pens powerplay is anus, but it'll come around when it has to. We're looking at a hockey team that's been hanging around at the top of their conference all season, they're the defending world champs, they have 2 of the top 10 players in the world, and their GM already knows what you're having for lunch next week. They just haven't been winning recently. Going through these stretches helps everyone in the organization to find faults and to find what works and what doesn't. Have to do it.
And the Pens are taking this slump into the official dog days of winter; that slice of time from mid-January to about a week before the trade deadline where it's cold as balls 24/7 and you don't want to get out of bed in the morning. The most wonderful time of the year.
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St. Pete Times Forum
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Check out the enemy:
We're officially into the second half of the season now.
It's also the Pens first game of 2010 and another wonderful 3pm start.
The Lightning are 11th in the Eastern Conference with 40 points.
They lost to Montreal in overtime on Wednesday.
Martin St. Louis leads the team in points with 44 and Steven Stamkos leads in goals with 21.
After losing three games in a row, and four of their last five, everyone's anxious to jump off of the Pens bandwagon.
After 41 games last year, the Pens were 20-17-4. They had 44 points, nine fewer than they have today at the same point in the season.
From Shelly Anderson circa PG1984:
Huge thanks to Jamie K. for digging that up.
If you can't read that, it says:
"A Michael Jackson look-alike dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff before last night's National Hockey League game in the Pacific Colsieum while the real pop star was opening with his brothers across town."
So stunningly, the picture is real. But MJ isn't real.
Never doubt the internet.
Happy New Years.
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We need your help.
The mysterious Michael Jackson photo is bringing up a great debate on the Internet.
[Larger pic after the jump]
[Canucks.com] has an interesting write-up on the reasons it could be real, and the reasons it could be fake.
-The Canucks hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Pacific Coliseum on November 16, 1984 and beat them 7-6.
-Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour stopped in Vancouver to play three shows on November 16, 17 & 18 at BC Place.
-It’s highly unlikely the Canucks would have had a Michael Jackson impersonator take part in a ceremonial faceoff the same day that Jackson is in town. That screams trickery and just doesn’t add up.
-The Canucks Creative Department has the original printed picture in its possession, which virtually eliminates the involvement of Photoshop.
According to a ticket stub from the Nov. 16 concert that stuffed_with_fluff has for sale on eBay, Jackson and company were scheduled to hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Assuming the Canucks/Penguins game began around 7 p.m., Jackson wouldn’t have had enough time to get from BC Place to the Pacific Coliseum and back in time for the start of the show.
-MJ is sporting his signature military jacket, but a quick Google search of Jackson pictures shows that the middle sash is almost always running from his left shoulder to his right hip. In this picture the sash goes from right to left. I smell a fake.
-Why was there no red carpet rolled out to greet the biggest musician on the planet? The King of Pop agrees to take part in a ceremonial faceoff and the Canucks welcome him by making him shimmy his way across the ice in dress shoes? That doesn’t make sense at all – the Canucks are much classier than that and Jackson’s entourage would have demanded red carpet treatment.
-Why does no one remember this happening? Both Stan Smyl, the Canucks captain standing close enough to elbow Jackson, and Norm Jewison, the former Canucks public relations director who most likely scheduled the appearance, have no memories of this taking place. Jewison took his wife and daughters to see Jackson when he was in town that week, but has no recollection of MJ dropping the puck. Fishy.
Our biggest thing is this. There is no way MJ doesn't come out on a red carpet. No way.
But we also know this, we have an archive of over 10,000 photoshops. We cannot tell the difference. And the fact MJ can be linked to being in Vancouver? Wow.
The larger photo is after the jump. Can anyone tell?
Just as the first part of the decade, the last few years have taken so many insane turns, it makes your head spin just documenting them.
What is amazing about the whole thing is that it worked out. We needed a shit load to go right for us, and it did.
After the jump, a look at how we got from here: