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Dustin Penner Banks a Goal Off Ian White’s Face (Video)

This goal actually happened on Saturday, but I’m only getting to it now because I’m probably the only person in America who missed the Oilers-Flames game that day. Luckily for us, the internet exists to ensure nobody misses the awesome goal that happened in the game. Early in the second period with the game tied at 1, Dustin Penner took a centering pass and flipped it off Flames defenseman Ian White’s face. The puck banked off his face and into the net, giving the Oilers the lead. If you haven’t seen it yet, you must check it out:

White needed six stitches to close the cut but he returned to the game. With no points on the season, I’m just sad the scorekeepers didn’t credit him with an assist on the play.

George Parros Flicks Barret Jackman Like a 5-Year-Old (Video)

Now this is how you try to get a fight started…in the 3rd grade.  We’ve featured our fair share of sports fights here at LBS but I don’t think we’ve ever brought you a video of a grown man flicking another grown man like a small child.  Well, there’s a first time for everything.  Check out this video of George Parros flicking Barret Jackman:

Parros is lucky his mother — I mean the referee — didn’t see him doing that.

Video Credit: YouTube user DejaCoup

Anze Kopitar Takes High Stick to the Face, Returns to Score Winning Goal

So I already told you about Jonathan Quick’s awesome retro look in the Kings’ opener on Saturday night in Vancouver. He was sporting old-school pads and a Rogie Vachon-style mask and looked sweet in their win. What I left out of that post was how Kings star Anze Kopitar was playing despite having a jagged looking cut and major stitches on his face. Check out this gnarly thing:

Kopitar looked like a relative of The Joker with the cut on his face, yet he managed to score the winning goal in the shootout to beat the Canucks. What I didn’t realize is that Kopitar incurred the cut through a high stick earlier in the game that knocked his teeth out. In this video from SI Hot Clicks, you can see the trainer trying to find Kopitar’s teeth on the ice after the high stick!

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Jonathan Quick Went Retro in Kings’ Opener with Rogie Vachon Mask

After all the great college football ended on Saturday evening, I had a chance to watch some of the Kings’ opener against the Canucks. Hanging out with my cousin Corey for his birthday celebration, one thing stood out to all of us immediately — the Kings went retro with their jerseys. While I wasn’t wild about the Kings’ unis, goalie Jonathan Quick looked fantastic in his old-school retro pads and mask. The mask was incredible, just like Rogie Vachon back in the day, and it had ears and hair painted on. It looked awesome. Check out some of the pics courtesy of In Goal Magazine:

The Kings went back to their normal unis for Sunday’s game at Calgary and wound up losing 3-1. Jonathan Bernier was in goal for the game, stopping 29 of 31 shots. Quick stopped 23 of 24 shots the night before, so I’d say the Kings would be better served rolling with the throwbacks all the way around. If you have a superstition working, you can’t break it. And how awesome did those ears look painted onto the mask?

VIDEO: Ondrej Pavelec Collapses on Ice

The Atlanta Thrashers opened up their season on Friday night at home hosting the Washington Capitals. The mood of excitement and optimism quickly was erased by a scary moment. Goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who was beginning the year as the team’s starter for the first time, lost consciousness and collapsed just two and a half minutes into the game. Here’s a video of the freaky situation:

The 23-year-old netminder was taken to the hospital where he regained consciousness. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Pavelec is in stable condition and being held overnight for observation. Though they’re unsure what caused the collapse, I’ll play doctor for a moment and suggest the combination of enthusiasm and nerves probably overcame Pavelec who blacked out. Let’s just hope he’s not suffering from a serious medical condition.

Sidney Crosby Can Mash Too?

I was incredibly impressed by Tim Tebow who hit 12 out of 15 pitches he saw for home runs during a random batting practice session in May. I was equally surprised by the stellar display we heard Packers first-round pick Bryan Bulaga put on at Brewers BP a week later. The most impressive of the bunch though may have been Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

Crosby and some other Penguins visited PNC Park in Pittsburgh for a batting practice session and Sid the Kid showed he may have a career in baseball if something ever goes wrong in the NHL. Batting lefty, Crosby crushed a ball that appeared to leave the entire park. It was incredible. Here’s the Sidney Crosby batting practice video:

He says he played until he was 13 but it looks like he has much more experience than that. Minus the little hitch where he drops his hands down in his swing, I think he could be a productive ballplayer if he dedicated himself to it.

Video Credit: Penguins Official Site

Blackhawks Should Have Spent the Money to Keep Antti Niemi

The Chicago Blackhawks lost their arbitration case with goaltender Antti Niemi and would have had to pay him $2.75 million in salary. They had the option to keep him, trade him or release him as a free agent. Their decision? They let him walk away.

I think this was a horrible decision. I was fine with the team trading Dustin Byfuglien and company to the Trashers, but I am not OK with this.  If it was not for Niemi, the Blackhaws would not have won the Stanley Cup. I’m not saying that the rest of the Blackhawks’ roster wasn’t stocked full of talent– because it was– but if they would have had Cristobal Huet in goal instead of Niemi they wouldn’t have made it past the Vancouver Canucks.

The part that upsets me most about this deal is the fact that they agreed to sign Marty Turco to a one-year deal. First off, Turco is like 100 years old. Fine, he’s 34, but Niemi is only 26, so it seems like he’s much older. Plus, I don’t think Turco has much juice left in him. I mean yes, he’s a three-time All-Star and was once one of the highest-paid goalies in the league, but that was in the past. He did have 30 wins in the 2009 season, I’ll give him that. I just don’t think it’s enough.

The thing that might make this OK is if the Blackahawks start preparing Corey Crawford for his role as an NHL goalie. He saw a little ice time last season, but since Turco is only locked in for a year they should be preparing Crawford for his role as the 2011-2012 starter. You can’t really have a more important role than a goalie. You can score all the goals you want, but if there’s no one there to stop the other team from scoring too, you aren’t going to get too far. I really hope the Blackhawks know what they’re doing but I think that chances of a repeat just went down with Niemi’s release.

Sources:
Blackhawks drop Niemi, sign goalie Turco [Chicago Tribune]
Blackhawks agree to terms with three-time All-Star Marty Turco [Chicago Blackhawks]