I'm Just Numb

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I'm Just Numb

Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:54 am

I can't think of any other way to describe how I feel about the Pens right now. For the most part, I just sit and stare at the games on TV, just knowing they are going to lose.

It is so much worse than two years ago. At least then, I understood there was a reason for the suckitude. I knew they were in survival mode. I knew they were playing for the rights to draft Ovechkin. They had a talent level that probably wouldn't have been terribly competitive in the AHL, let alone the NHL. But I was fine with that, because I had hope that a new CBA would bring a more even playing field, and allow my Pens to return to a higher plane. Sure they lost 18 in a row, but I just knew things would get better.

But this year? The season started out with such high hopes. They won the lottery to get the best player in the world at his age. They signed free agents. Mario was coming back. The playoffs were in full view. And then. Wham! Right smack dab in the face, reality hit. And reality sucks. The GM made one personnel blunder after another. Mario went down. Ziggy retired. And the losing went on. Do you realize that this team has only 5 more points than that talentless, tanking team of 2 years ago? That's what's so hard to take.

The team is basically a replica of two years ago, albeit with younger players. But it is basically an AHL team trying to compete in the NHL, despite the addition of Crosby. The sad fact is, the young guys bring some hope for the future, but much more is needed. We thought they had added some vets to augment the youngsters, but, boy, that sure has worked, hasn't it?

I just have little hope right now that things will get better anytime soon. They need so much to even begin to be competitive. They need defensemen. They need scorers. They need grit. They need centers. They need wingers. How on earth do you find all that over the summer? You can't, and that's why I see no hope. And that's why I'm numb.
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Postby prez41 on Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:58 am

I am having trouble watching them anymore. As soon as they go down by a goal, you almost know the game is over. I hate to have that attitude, but it is painful to watch.
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Postby Pitts on Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:59 am

I came up with tix to tonight's game and...gulp...I was actually debating myself about NOT going! I have so many other things to get done, I'm not sure I want the Pens game to cut into it! I would be happy to just tune in of the TV. That NEVER would have happened in the past.

I WILL go...but it's odd to feel like I do. :?
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:01 am

Pitts wrote:I came up with tix to tonight's game and...gulp...I was actually debating myself about NOT going! I have so many other things to get done, I'm not sure I want the Pens game to cut into it! I would be happy to just tune in of the TV. That NEVER would have happened in the past.

I WILL go...but it's odd to feel like I do. :?


Well, tonight is one game I can understand not wanting to see. This could get ugly. The only birght spot is Hasek played last night, so I assume they'll see Emery tonight. But I would rest Fleury. Why expose him to Ottawa? Let Caron take the beating. I mean, it only matters as to whether it will be 6-2 or 10-2.
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Postby Pitts on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:07 am

Actually...the bright spot for me is to see Ottawa! I love watching a well run, talented team. The thing that should keep us going is that in 5 years, the Pens should be identical to them. And, by that time, Ottawa should be on the downward curve. :D

I want to see Fleury. My son and I go back and forth with the cheers because he likes Crosby better and I like Fleury better. That save last night on Jagr put me on top last night! :D
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Oh yeah

Postby rasbatch on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:08 am

You've summed it up, quite well. I've actually not watched part of some of the games cause it's just to damn depressing, that's right not a true fan. Even last season I watched to see what was gonna happen, but with so many other chores and such I've found it hard to justify the time. Don't feel bad Pitts, your not alone. Used to be that I moved my week around hockey nights, and now I've just lost some of that need to be in front of the TV for each and every game. Still fun to watch crosby, fleury and a few others develop, but I could care less about guys like eclair, and gonchoad. I guess I'm just one of those bandwagon fans. The only move left to make is to dump CP and some of the trash he's accumulated, look towards 07.
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Postby prez41 on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:12 am

Forget that "true fan" crap. It is hard to watch something when it is painful. I don't sit at the dentist's office and watch root canals performed. This season is falling along the same lines.
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Postby Pitts on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:14 am

I'd look for a complete over-haul of this roster by next season. I'm sure they will want to start over. No reason not to.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:24 am

Pitts wrote:I'd look for a complete over-haul of this roster by next season. I'm sure they will want to start over. No reason not to.


They tried that this year. Did you know that of the 20 guys who dressed for the final game of 2004, only four were in uniform last night? That's right, 16 of the 20 guys playing are new from the end of that season. The only holdovers were malone, Koltsov, Orpik, and Caron.

So complete turnover will not work unless that turnover includes the general manager.
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Postby Pitts on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:38 am

That's what I mean Mike. I truly don't expect CP back. I'm hoping they have a new GM in place by the draft. Dudley would be fantastic for this young organization. A new GM should be able to assemble a better cast than what we got last season. I'm not looking for a bunch of new vets. We need a shrewd GM with an eye for talent which Dudley has proven he's got. We should not even be looking playoffs next season...just good improvement over what we have this season. Weed out the trash and bring in solid youngsters with talent.

Top on the list is wingers with scoring talent.

Malkin under contract.

Cut the fat from the defense. If it has to get younger and a bit more inexperienced, so be it. Whitney and Orpik should be much better by next season.
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Postby Steve on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:53 am

"Weed out the trash and bring in solid youngsters with talent. "

Couldn't have said it any better.

It's difficult to watch this team now, I still watch every game I can however, and still plan on making a trip from Balt up to the Burg to see the Pens play.

I still have alot of hope for this team, especially on defense, they are going to get so much better. THe young guys are going to improve, and the old trash is going to be moved.

Let's go Pens!
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Postby Tocchet on Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:59 am

I actually ironed some clothes during the game last night -- that's hard evidence of apathy, my friends.

The least that they could do is call up Bonvie and Carcillo, play Roy and Cairns, and see where the chips fall. At least THEN it would be interesting!
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hey tocchet

Postby rasbatch on Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:14 pm

there's a game tonight how bout you come clean out the gutters on my house?
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Postby jmh70 on Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:27 pm

I remember thinking in 04 "at least it can't get any worse than this." I guess I underestimated CP. What's worse than a team filled with young players and AHLers? A team filled with young players, AHLers, useless veterens, and albatross contracts.

This was the first time in a few years CP was called upon to actually start rebuilding instead of simply keeping the team above water. Not only did he fail to rebuild, he also set this team back at least a few years. And the team can't simply "start over." Certain contracts will weigh this team down for at least the next season. Even if they are traded, garbage like Cory Cross will come back in any deal.

I can't believe that this team has actually taken steps backward from 03-04. Shocking.
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Postby mnpensfan on Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:47 pm

I hear you. Last night I was watching the tape of the game. Every since my son was born I tape all of the games and then watch them after my wife and kid go to bed. The good thing about taping these games (yes I know I need TiVo!) is I can fast forward when I get frustrated, which is quite a bit.

Luckily, my newborn keeps me busy and entertained enough to where this season hasn't taken it's total toll on me. If this was last year, I would be very depressed right now. My favorite time of year used to be April because the Pens were in the playoffs. Well...2001 seems like it was 20 years ago. Now my favorite time of year is Draft Day...now that is sad.

I think it's my fault because the 2001-02 season was my first with Center Ice and I've had it every year since..... No need to explain what has happened since :evil:
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Postby yeltzen on Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:00 pm

C'mon, guys, just try it...

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!
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Postby tluke53 on Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:25 pm

Wow, reading this posts is like a journey through my thoughts after last nights game. It feels hopeless. Tonights game could get very ugly.

Being from Pittsburgh we should all understand that it could be worse. If this were the Pirates, Leclair and Tbo would be getting million dollar raises next year.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:28 pm

tluke53 wrote:If this were the Pirates, Leclair and Tbo would be getting million dollar raises next year.


Actually, I think Gonchar's salary does go up by about that much . :cry:
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Postby relantel on Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:40 pm

yeltzen wrote:HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

Wait for it....
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Postby PensStarsFan on Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:44 pm

Its gotten so bad, its almost like a running joke.

Every year, I keep thinking..."next year will be better. It has to be!"

Well, apparently not...it IS possible for a team to continue to get worse and worse.

I wish there was one positive I could latch on to right now. But with the real possibility of the team moving soon, I don't know if I can put any more emotional energy into this franchise.
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Postby yeltzen on Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:52 pm

PensStarsFan wrote:Its gotten so bad, its almost like a running joke.

Every year, I keep thinking..."next year will be better. It has to be!"

Well, apparently not...it IS possible for a team to continue to get worse and worse.

I wish there was one positive I could latch on to right now. But with the real possibility of the team moving soon, I don't know if I can put any more emotional energy into this franchise.

Honestly, if the Pens start out with another streak like they did this year, they should go for a perfect 0 season. Then let's hope for a Blues vs. Pens matchup at Mellon Arena for the final game of the year, and BOTH teams have 0 wins/points at that moment. What a game that would be! Winner stays, loser relocates!
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Postby Stoosh on Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:05 pm

Some thoughts...

1. 03-04 was easier to watch because there were no expectations at all.

2. The most frustrating thing to me is the sense of indifference on the part of some of the players, particularly the veterans. Case in point...Hurt or not, Gonchar has too many instances where it just looks like his loafing, especially with loose pucks. I know he might be playing hurt, but you can play hurt and still play with a sense of urgency at the same time. I've seen the same sort of thing from Recchi in the defensive zone all year. What happened to accountability with some of these guys?

3. I don't mind seeing them lose games because we all kidded ourselves into thinking this team was ready for bigger things. And they clearly are not.

4. This was a team that finished with 58 points in 2003-04. I remember criticizing some of the preseason predictions that said the Pens wouldn't make the playoffs this year because that would represent nearly a 35-point jump in the standings, and the team as constituted wasn't capable of that, especially defensively. Apparently, they were right. This team needs to come up with 24 points just to match its 03-04 point totals, and there are only 58 standings points remaining.

5. I can't, however, get down on too many of the players. Most of the guys playing integral roles on this team are skating each game against oppoents who are 8-10 years their superior. Some of them just aren't ready for that, and it shows.

6. The other sobering thing to me is to look at this and realize how far away they are from competing. Malkin will help next year, but this team still needs players who can dent the twine with some degree of regularity. Malkin and Crosby can't do it all themselves. And I hate to say it, but I'm not sure Phil Kessel is ready for the NHL next year. I like what he could bring, but I'm not sure his game is dynamic enough at this point.

7. And like some other posters alluded here, I wouldn't even know where to start with the defense. I know as much as the next fan that we need to find Chara and Redden types, but therein lies the problem. I hate to break it to some of you folks, but the reason everyone wants a d-man like Chara or Redden is because they're rare. Teams that have them aren't really rushing to put them out on the market. And if they were, they sure as hell are gonna want a lot more than Ric Jackman and Konstantin Koltsov for them. And as is the case with Kessel, I don't think Erik Johnson is ready for the NHL yet, so I don't expect the draft to yield much in terms of immediate help here either.

In the meantime, I'm going to sit back and enjoy watching Crosby, Orpik, Fleury and Whitney in Pens' jerseys. I may only have one more year to be able to do that.
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Postby Admin on Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:50 pm

Stoosh wrote:2. The most frustrating thing to me is the sense of indifference on the part of some of the players, particularly the veterans. Case in point...Hurt or not, Gonchar has too many instances where it just looks like his loafing, especially with loose pucks. I know he might be playing hurt, but you can play hurt and still play with a sense of urgency at the same time. I've seen the same sort of thing from Recchi in the defensive zone all year. What happened to accountability with some of these guys?

Just want to clarify that I am not making any excuses for Gonchar's lackluster play by questioning whether he's injured or not.

Frankly, if he's too hurt to carry his stick with two hands he needs to sit until he's better.
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agreed

Postby fourtKNOX on Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:52 pm

i agree... not sure if you were posting after i mentioned you... didnt mean to give gonchar the benefit of the doubt... or that you are either admin... just thought that if you noticed it... could possibly be true...

agree with you... if you cant hold the stick with your hand... than get it taped to make a cast or dont play...

sorry if i put u on the spot!
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Postby Redlight on Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:06 pm

Yes, Numb is about the way I feel as well.

I still can't help myself from watching or going to the games, but this is the same feeling as I had two years ago. When I watch a game now, the thought of the Pens actually winning the game doesn't even occur to me. I just sit there waiting for the other team to go up 2-0 or 3-0 in the first period, and downhill from there.

The only bright spots left in this season are Sidney and Marc-Andre. I can't imagine what it's like for them to be going through a season like this has turned into.
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