Rant: Lee’s whistle, right or wrong?

It’s no surprise that the Montreal fanbase is up in arms today after losing to the Penguins 3-2 last night at home.

Referee Chris Lee disallowed what appeared to be a goal by Scott Gomez with less than six minutes left in the game. The whistle blew at the same time Gomez wacked it in and was met by a resounding thunder of boos from the Montreal crowd — lasting for the rest of the game, almost non-stop.

Fans and bloggers of the Canadiens had gripes against Lee before the game even started. Apparently Lee sent Andrei Kostitsyn to the box against Boston last year, which eventually developed in to a 5-on-3 power play in which the Bruins scored.

That was a mid-January game with Northeast Division impolications. This, however, was a non-divisional game in early December.

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Pens 3, Canes 2 — shootout

When you talk about unlikely candidates to win a game — Chris Kunitz is it.

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Pittsburgh Penguins 3 — Carolina Hurricanes 2, SOT

I mean, the guy hadn’t scored a goal yet this season while playing on the Penguins’ top line, he scored just one in the playoffs last year and, all told, had scored just one goal in his last 35 games.

Ironically, he also had this story published in the paper the day of the game, documenting his recent scoring troubles.

Well, all he did was step to the puck as the Penguins’ sixth shooter and potted home the game winner to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 overtime win and perfect 4-0-0 roadtrip to start the season. It also makes the Penguins 5-0 on the road to start the season since entering the NHL in 1967.

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Oct. 14 — Pens at Canes

First thing’s first — if you haven’t read this column disputing Pittsburgh’s No. 1 ranking as the best sports city in America then you need to. Join the masses of the Black and Gold Nation on the comment board.

It’s written by Jessica Isner, who decided to pick the worst argument ever to claim Boston is the best sports city in the U.S. Thank to Tony at The Confluence for shooting that over.

Now to the game.

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Pittsburgh Penguins (5-1-0, 10 pts.) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (2-3-0, 4 pts.)

The Pens travel to Raleigh tonight for the final game of their 4-game road trip. They are already 3-0-0 on the trip with wins over Philadelphia, Toronto and Ottawa — all by a combined score of 14-7.

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Pens sign Lovejoy, Wallace

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today the signing of defenseman Ben Lovejoy and forward Tim Wallace (Penguins.com).

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Both spent time between Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre last season.  Lovejoy played in two games in the NHL, while Wallace played in played in 16 games and registered two assists.

The two will likely be the first to get a call up to the Penguins in 2009-10 if the Pens need fill-ins.  Wallace is a guy people talk about as a possible permanent fourth-liner.  He’s a gritty, grind-it-out winger that fits perfectly on a fourth line.  Lovejoy is the best defenseman in the Penguins’ minor league system, in my opinion.

Click read more for their career stats in professional hockey.

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Bill Guerin signed

The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Bill Guerin to a one-year deal today.  The contract is worth a reported $2 million.

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Guerin’s signing likely assures that Sidney Crosby will have the same line next season.  Guerin also brings the veteran presence most of the players and all of us fans want on the team.

The pay he will receive has not yet been disclosed.  We will update you when there is more information.

Chris | PPT

Pens sign Craig Adams

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed Craig Adams to a two-year deal.  His contract will pay him $550,000 each year for two years, which is a decrease from his $600,000 salary of this past season.

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That’s great news for the Penguins as far as signing other guys goes.  We figured he could earn around $750,000 to $1 million.

Adams scored 3 goals and added two assists in the playoff run.  He’s a solid fourth-line center that we were hoping would get re-signed.  His signing means the Penguins are all set down the middle, with each line’s center under contract — Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Adams.

Chicago placed Adams on waivers and the Pens picked him up.  Maybe the Blackhawks should have kept the guy, considering they were knocked out in Western Conference Finals.  Solid player, solid guy.

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NO SLEEP

So now we get overly optimistic.

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Detroit 3 — Pittsburgh 1

(Red Wings lead series 1-0)

I mean, hasn’t that been the case for every Pens fans since the end of Game 1?  Before the game started we all knew how important a win in Game 1 would be, considering the first two games are back-to-back on Detroit’s home ice.

Many of us are thinking, ‘We’re alright.  All we need to do is split.’  And that’s true.  But a win tonight will not come easy.

Detroit looks just as strong as they did last year.  Confidence for the Penguins should come from the fact that they look better.

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