Tag Archives: james neal

Cruel Summer – Penguins

24 Apr

For a few days after something bad happens, you don’t want to be cheered up.  You want to drown in a cocktail shaker or eat an entire wedding cake.  If you’re me, you picked a bright orange heavy bag and kickboxed the crap out of it a la Captain America.

Then life goes on.  Other teams win and lose, and to keep me from slipping out of reach after last night’s Blackhawks loss, I need a moment to thank the Penguins for a great season.

Prom Night 2012. They obviously tried to take the photo before Letang showed up, but no such luck. The man even looks good in a ponytail.

The waiting was the hardest part.   I held my breath a lot, exhaling mostly in the form of cheers for for Malkin and Neal and all those beautiful points.  When Crosby was finally back for good, all I could do was sigh.

At the end, the Penguins went a little haywire.  Their top-of-the-line hardware should run like a fighter jet, but somewhere in the programming the machine became human.  Their system fell apart in the first three games vs. Philly and couldn’t recover.  But like the computer you’re on right now, you don’t throw it away when it malfunctions.  You smack it and threaten to chuck it out the window, but really you just shut down, wait a minute and reboot.

Or you go on summer vacation.

To send the Pens off, here are a few things we demand to see this summer.

We Want: James Neal in Glasses

Nealmobile once came a contact lense away from a career-ending eye injury [link].  He could have been finger painting like Doug Dorsey!  Thank God for small miracles.  Where there are contacts, there are glasses, and some super sleuth found them in NHL36:

The old adage “boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses” is not at all true for girls.  We LOVE your glasses (without ever seeing you wear them).  In fact, how dare you deprive us?  Mike Green would never do that.  Since it’s only April and you’re gone, at least give us this.

We Want: Geno’s T-Shirt Collection

We didn’t get enough hilarity out of Geno’s wardrobe this year.  The man alternately shops at Charlotte Russe and the Hustler Store, which can only mean one thing: we can’t wait to see what he’s wearing at the high-roller table in Vegas when he picks up that Hart Trophy.

We Want: Niskanen and Sullivan

Matt Niskanen’s (RFA) middle name is Norman for heaven’s sake.  Sullivan (UFA) fits in on any line and plays like he’s in his twenties.  Sign them now.

We Want: Workout Videos

Show us how hard you’re working, how dedicated you are to the new season.  That’s what these videos are about, right?  Last year we posted Kris Letang’s [link] and you guys all disappeared for a week.  Maybe this year, James Neal won’t be ignored in the Camp Biosteel videos.

I think that’s everything we need for the next five months.  Players eat their Wheaties and do their squats while we save up cash for tickets and merch.  See you all in Septemb…  hahahaha.  RIGHT.

We Want:

Crosby, where are the rest of these pictures?

Caption removed for inadequacy.

And even this.

Neal's going to need a lot of help putting on that SPF 75.

Don’t you feel at least a little better now?

Shanabanned: Who’s Not?

18 Apr

At Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon in Austin, TX, every Sunday night they play Chicken Sh*t Bingo.  It’s exactly what it sounds like – feed a chicken, turn it loose on a tabletop bingo board and wherever it takes a crap, that number goes on the board.

I’m pretty sure this is also how the NHL is deciding suspensions.

James Neal – 1 game for charging [Shanahan video]

The chicken really likes James Neal, because he gets away with the Couturier hit like a bank robber with a sack of money.  He leaves his feet to run two guys in one shift and manages to earn two disciplinary hearings for only 42 seconds of play!  Someone please tell me if that’s a land speed record.  You know I love the Pens & Neal (still so pissed), but even I can’t believe this. No I don’t want a huge suspension handed out to my guy – but I don’t know other players running my guys with zero fear of consequence.  This works both ways and next time, it’s coming instead of going.

To me this shows the NHL believes the Pens/Flyers series is over tonight, so the chicken did her business on the 1 because there’s only one game left in Neal’s season.  God, I hope they’re  wrong.

Be honest if you can see the sense in this: Carl Hagelin got 3 games [video] for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson and Andrew Shaw got 3 games [video] for hitting Mike Smith.  If those are 3-gamers, why is Neal’s only one?  Alfredsson was injured, Smith was not.  Neal could much more easily have avoided Giroux than either of the other hits.  And neither Hagelin or Shaw threw another questionable check less than a minute before.

Aaron Asham – 4 games for cross-checking [Shanahan video]

The chicken was angry – fine with me. This is a terrible move in a terrible game that could repeat itself tonight.  For all the bitching about Schenn cross-checking Crosby from behind a few weeks ago, this is obviously a hundred times worse and deserves a sit-down.

Nicklas Backstrom – 1 game for cross-checking  [Shanahan video]

A stick to the face for a Backstrom-less game 4?  Deal of the century!  Thanks a lot, chicken!

This play is no dirtier than a million uncalled penalties in this series.  But it is, as Shanahan calls it, “excessive and reckless” – because he can’t say “stupid and pointless.”  Nicky’s not going to fight Peverly anymore than I’m going to be proclaimed Queen of Canada.  He has been run constantly in this series – because he’s the Caps best player.  And he gave it away for nothing.   The Caps got through 40 games without Backstrom this year, here’s hoping they have one more in them.

Raffi Torres – Awaiting the Chicken

You need 5 in a row to win bingo.  Just when the NHL had suspended 7 players in the first round (only 6 suspensions in all of last year’s playoffs), Phoenix’s Raffi Torres does this.  Marian Hossa was stretchered off the ice and taken by ambulance to a local hospital, from which he was released last night [link].  He got into a waiting car under his own power.  Torres has been suspended twice and fined once in the last 13 months [link].

What do you think the chicken will have to say about this one?  If suspensions are being doled out based on some other system (say, player popularity?), where on the bingo board does this load land?

PS: You should all read The New York Times’ Slap Shot blog for this scathing piece on the state of player safety.  Writer Lynn Zinser says: “If you can follow the logic through those four [Asham, Neal, Shaw, Backstrom] — particularly how the Penguins’ James Neal earned only a one-game suspension for head-hunting two players on a single shift — you belong at M.I.T. Or Shanahan’s next dinner party.”

 

40 is the New Foxy

4 Apr

Uh, there’s something missing from your post Chuck.

James Neal’s 40th goal of the season!

The Nealmobile was honking like mad last night as James hit this milestone.  His previous career-high was 27 goals in 2009-10.  How fun it must be to play alongside Geno (105 points this year) and sometimes Sid (22 points in 12 games back).  Added to his 41 assists, Neal has 81 points on the year.

Can I get in on this hug?

James’ salary this year was $3.5 million, which works out to $87,500 a goal (oh my).  He’s worth it.  The new contract pays his $ mill/year, which means he’ll score 57 goals next season.  Yeah, sounds about right.

Chuck did include the Neal/Ference fight.  I was yelling, “Not the hands!” and “Kick his ass!” in the same breath.  Thanks to those of you who were worried about my well being.  I survived by fanning myself with a copy of Cosmo.

Not enough?  Here’s Nealmobile’s post-game interview with really bad audio (and yes, I do care what he’s saying) – link.

Honk for Hat Tricks!

21 Mar

Ohhhh, HAT trick. I thought you said PANT trick.  That’s how my jeans ended up on the ice.  Could I have them back?

Flower says, "THIS is the game I don't start?"

Nealmobile had a hat trick last night!  It was the second of his career and first with the Penguins, for a whopping 37 goals on the season.

Goal #1: Stand There, Look Pretty

James does a great job of being open in the right spot.  But look at that passing!  Sid, no-look to the outside to Geno cross-ice in the slot… I weep, it’s so beautiful.

Goal #2: Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

We heart rebounds. Listen to the fan yell when he scores, “Yaaaaaaaaay!” That’s either Kermit the Frog or me.

Goal #3: If You Just Smile

… and have a wicked wrist shot.  Look at him trying not to smile.

Post-Game: Aw, Shucks.

Some other guys played pretty well last night too, in the Penguins 8-4 win over Winnipeg.  TK had 2G, Geno had 2G/3A, Crosby had 4A.  Pucks were flying and TK came thisclose to a hat trick of his own.

Things I Love.

Pittsburgh is one point behind the NY Rangers, who take on Detroit at home tonight.  Go WINGS!  (Haha, what?!)   The Penguins host the Predators tomorrow – lets hope it brings them a shot at the #1 spot in the Eastern Conference!  I’m holding on to the Penguins/Capitals first round dream (and bank account).

NHL36: James Neal

8 Mar

Go to the mirror right now.  Look at yourself and say, “Plaid suit” three times.

James Neal  and Claude Giroux will be fighting to climb out.

Nealmobile!

(If you’re too young to know Candyman or Beetlejuice, ignore that.)

When someone’s watching, you always think, “I’m definitely going to mess up.”  Like a cute guy smiles and you spill your drink, or you trip walking up the aisle at your wedding.

Imagine 36 straight hours of people watching you, recording it for posterity and the enjoyment fans everywhere.  You might get flustered.

You might forget how shirts work.

Wait, this isn't a pullover.

(Side note: What if James always puts his shirt on like this? And never knew it was weird until we all laughed?)

In case you’re new around here, NHL 36: James Neal premiered last night.  If you took every ‘N Sync song ever recorded, covered them in chocolate and injected them directly into my bloodstream, I would feel like this.  I had to stop it twice in the first three minutes just to squee.

Most the the show (like most of this blog) was dedicated to James’ hair.  It really is Grade A Hedgehog-quality.  He is afraid of losing it, so he only washes it once a week.  A dramatic re-enactment:

Then he styles it like he’s weeding a garden:

For a final polish, he lets Dupuis perfect the coif with his stick right before taking the ice for warm-ups.  This is obviously television gold.  You want to see the whole thing?

At the very beginning, watch Jordan in the background.  He’s trying so hard not to laugh.  Literally three seconds into the broadcast I knew I was dead.

Other things we learned:

Paul Martin is definitely James’ girlfriend.  James buying the house across the street is a little stalker-ish, really, but we’ll let it slide because he obviously loves breakfast.

Everyone thinks of James as their little brother. We want to know in what world people’s little brothers are James Neal, and where they live so we can grow up next door to them.

His favorite color is purple. He’d fit right in at Sweet Valley High.

You know the Stamkos-eating-cereal commercial I’m always going on about?  James one-upped it by using my favorite, Honey Nut Cheerios.

He’s bad at soccer, has beer in his fridge and drops an occasional F-bomb.  In the last 30 seconds he wises up and goes with full-body spandex over a cup – I’m just saying, that’s like Batman’s suit.  He knows we’re watching.

The verdit?  Dorky perfection.  Me, unsupervised, throwing pillows around the living room.  And lots of volunteers to help James Neal decorate that big empty house.

One Day

6 Mar

Geno: You said 7:30.

James: I said 6:30.

Geno: My English is not so good.

James: …

We all know when the Nealmobile episode of NHL 36 premieres: TOMORROW.

Two Days

5 Mar

TWO DAYS, people!  James is ready. Are you?