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Pens-Rangers Postgame: Dig that ceremony!

PEGUINS 3, RANGERS 2

The Trib’s Terrific Trio:

1 – D Alex Goligoski, Penguins.

Key stats: 2 assists, 2 blocked shots, 2:12 of power-play time.

Rossi: As I told Go-Go after the game, he’s making me look good: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_642739.html

2 – G Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins.

Key stats: 25 saves, including all 12 shots faced in second period.

Rossi: I told a Canadian colleague in the press box before the game, “If Canada doesn’t put him in net with a medal on the line at the Olympics, Canada loses.” Seems pretty simple, eh?

3 – C Sidney Crosby, Penguins.

Key stats: 1 goal, 2 shots, 13 of 20 on faceoffs.

Rossi: May he never leave the front of the net again.

SAY IT, SIR
“They are extremely tough to beat in this building. That’s just the way it is.”

–Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist, on the Penguins and Mellon Arena.

Rossi: He’s right, you know. Just ask the Detroit Red Wings. This, of course, begs the question: Should co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle keep the Igloo around a bit longer just in case Consol Energy Center isn’t so sweet to the local club?

RING IT UP

  • Penguins team president David Morehouse did a bit of damage to his Stanley Cup ring on Friday. It slipped off his hand as he tossed a football inside Mellon Arena prior to the game. To the naked eye the damage doesn’t show, and Morehouse will have the diamonds his ring lost replaced.
  • Penguins team CEO Ken Sawyer needs some work on his Cup ring, too. It doesn’t fit. I learned this while riding to the fifth level in an elevator with Sawyer before the game. Also in that elevator, coincidentally, were David Morehouse’s sons and brother-in-law. (Me thinks they knew not of his gaffe.) Anyway, Sawyer will have his ring re-sized this week, but I question how the guy that hired GM Ray Shero and oversaw design of the new arena – not to mention helped steer the franchise during its dark post bankruptcy days – fails to get a Cup ring that fits.

CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES

Before leaving Mellon Arena on Friday morning after the pregame practices I stopped by the room that houses the club’s game-night entertainment crew, where I was told by Chris DeVivo, director of game night operations and video production, “Be in your seat by 7:25 tonight, because it’s going to be something.”

Sorry, Chris, but you weren’t doing the Stanley Cup pregame ceremony justice. It totally reeked of awesome.

When those white drapes dropped to cover the video board and showed nothing but a picture of the Stanley Cup… well, for those lucky enough to be in attendance that will be a moment to keep forever.

Penguins vice president of communications Tom “SLAP!” McMillan told me the dropping of those drapes gave the organization its gravest concerns about the ceremony. “You just never know if it’s going to work,” he said.

It did.

Plus, the move to get comedian Dennis Miller for narration of the Stanley Cup tribute video was worth any trouble – and I’m not just staying that because Miller is a graduate of Dormont High School, which later became Jay Neff Middle School in the Keystone Oaks School District, which holds a special place in at least one Golden Eagle’s heart.

Nope, I’m not just saying that at all, babe.

Anyway, kudos to DeVivo, game night producer Billy Wareham and his crew, which I can attest works longer hours than any in the NHL (and deals with by far the most rodents). Their work pays off often, and it did big-time Friday.

–BY ROB ROSSI (10/3/09)

YINZ TELL US: Thoughts and questions are always welcome. Send emails to hockeyday@tribweb.com. Emails without writers’ full name and current hometown will not be read.

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

Comments

  1. Jane Cass says:

    I always enjoy your perspective on the Penguins, but lately you seem to show a dislike for Kris Letang. Maybe it is because Goligoski is doing so surprisingly well that it diminishes Letang’s accomplishments and play. Maybe the bar is higher for Letang given his talent and skill set, but he has also shown more confidence and improvement that seem to go unnoticed. I guess it’s easy to forget that he is only 22 years old, the third youngest on the team. You almost seemed happy to report that Letang was replaced on the power play by Goligoski, but Bylsma is wanting to use both as good options at the point with Gonchar. If confidence is an issue with Letang, I hope he doesn’t read your articles. He is one of the most exciting and interesting young players to come along, yet seems to go under the radar.

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