Dear Answer Idiot,
How do you miss Robert Nilsson’s sick* goal? You’re in the darn building! The press box is at that end, high up in the suite level! No wonder you’re an idiot.
Mike F., Van Nest
*-“Sick” in the non-ear-infection sense this time, idiot.
Listen, punk. I could make excuses about astigmatism and white nets and altitude and angles and being at one end and we-had-some-problems-with-protection. But I won’t. I’m not the type to make excuses. Here’s my explanation: The simple, brilliant radiance of that play — the ol’, scary lacrosse play, where he picked the puck up, literally, with his stick and shoveled it past Dany Sabourin — simply blinded me.
Heck, referee David Banfield, who was not 20 feet away, didn’t see it, either. He waited until Wyatt Smith buried the “rebound” to point. The goal judge didn’t put the light on until then, either. At least I could tell Nilsson’s shot, whatever it was, went in.
(If you don’t get first edition, by the way, you won’t get the joke. This goal could turn out to be the play of the year — I’m dying to see the tape — and I don’t know if I lost it behind the boards or what, but I thought it was just this nifty wraparound that he got up. Until I got down to the room and guys are talking about how to get this tape to ESPN.)
Banfield had one of those nights where almost everybody in the building hated him at one point or another. He gave the Penguins nine power plays, and they scored on their ninth to begin a two-goal comeback. Nilsson scored right after Dennis Bonvie came out of the box, a penalty that was called with him sprawled out in a corner, apparently having roughed a Sound Tiger so hard that he hurt himself.
Bridgeport’s two-man kill was outstanding all night, Smith, Steve Regier, Dave Karpa, Bruno Gervais, and others. It had to be.
Frederic Cloutier was excellent, beaten on the third sprawling right-to-left save attempt he had to make in sequence, then on a power-play ricochet to the left post, then on a shot he had no chance at after it deflected upward. He had to be.
Sean Bergenheim scored in the first on a nice play by four forwards: Jeremy Colliton got it deep and changed. Bergenheim and Nilsson stayed on with Matt Koalska; they worked to keep it deep, and Koalska-to-Nilsson-to Bergenheim, it’s 1-0.
Rico Fata tied it. Then Allan Rourke scored off a neat Regier setup. Then Nilsson scored his.
The Pens came back in the third and took a 1-0 lead in the shootout on a sick Erik Christensen move. But Nilsson and Colliton (nice move to the backhand in the fourth round) scored later, and that’s that. The Sound Tigers are 2-2 in the bonus round.
D: Caldwell-Karpa (A)
D: Nasreddine (C)-Lannon
Bridgeport came into the game without allowing a power-play goal in six of its previous seven games, and eight of its previous
Incidentally, loving the Pens’ whites, reminiscent of the Pittsburgh sweaters of the late 1990s, complete with the little fake-shoulder-pads dipping into the yellow sleeves. (NHLUniforms.com, BTW, is an amazing site.)
When stars align: On the template I keep on my computer for the weekly page, the example for the “week ahead” feature says “Friday/at Providence, 7:05 p.m. Sometimes, it just works. While there, hoping to talk to a couple of people and put together what could be an interesting feature. Hope it works out.
No word on Dave Karpa and a new contract.
Didn’t even get to introduce myself to Nick Boucher (No. 34, change the nameplate from “Naumenko”). Cody Rudkowsky is supposedly continuing to make progress.