The Angry Budgie Live

Thursday, 25 June 2009

The Angry Budgie On Tour - Download Festival 2009 Day 3

The Angry Budgie on Tour – Download Festival 2009 Day 3

Sunday saw the curtain come down on 2009’s Download Festival, a bit more of a relaxed day as most of the line up was not as hardcore as the first two days. Highlighted by bands such as Journey, ZZ Top and Def Leppard on the main stage. Due to the relaxed nature of the day, and Sunday being the hottest day of the festival I cant fully remember who we saw first! Im sure we began on the main stage, and remember seeing a banner saying ‘Skin’ so we will start there! J


Main Stage – Skin:
Even though I said I was starting with Skin, I don’t remember there set at all! I think we spent most of the time finding some friends who we would spend most of the day with. I think we also arrived in the main arena just as Skin were finishing up so cant really offer a rating on them!

Main Stage – Black Stone Cherry: Sadly another band that I didn’t really pay much attention too, must have been the sun!


Main Stage – Journey: I must admit to not knowing huge amounts about Journey, however they played a decent set with some cracking rock songs. Hilariously with a lead singer who looked like the rest of the band could be his dad! Despite this he had an amazing voice, absolutely faultless and the crowd lapped it up! 7/10.



Tuborg Stage – Hexes
: We trudged off the the Tuborg stage (tent) for Hexes, I wanted to catch a bit of Hexes as im a big ‘A’ fan and Daniel P Carter (‘A’ bassist) was now the front man. Plus the friends we were with wanted to go and see them, Hexes had the added advantage of playing in a tent at the hottest part of the day. So the tent offered some respite from the sun! Hexes performed very well and Daniel has a great rock/screamy voice! The crowd got into it but I think most were just tired from days of camping and the intense heat! 7/10.


Second Stage – Shinedown: Shinedown are one of those many polished American rock bands who get endless air play on US radio. I must admit to liking them after hearing them on Rock Radio over the Internet. Some fine agreeable rock, performed perfectly! Stand out songs in the set were ‘Fly From the Inside’ (I think they played that one!) and ‘45’. I remember enjoying their set but not getting overly worked up about it, so another 7/10 for me! Shinedown also showcased something else I came to realise, why is it American bands are better at the whole crowd banter thing than others?

Second Stage – Clutch: Much like Shinedown, in as much as putting on a polished performance but with a more raspy hardcore edge. To be honest I spent most of the set admiring the lead singers beard! Must have been the sun! So ill apologise now, 7/10 again! Another good performance but again I don’t remember getting worked up much!

Second Stage – Buckcherry: We stayed for Buckcherry really to save our place for Papa Roach and Trivium after. Plus seeing as though we had settled in for the long haul at the second stage we couldn’t be bothered moving! The only song I knew of Buckerry’s was the ‘Crazy Bitch’ song, which was unleashed at the end of the set. Up until then I wasn’t impressed much. Good tune though! 6/10.

Second Stage – Papa Roach: Papa Roach have come a hell of a long way, another band that seem vilified for jumping on the whole rap/rock thing made famous by Mr Red Cap. For this reason I wondered what sort of reception they would get at a mainly metal festival, judging by the size of the gathering crowd, they have done pretty darn well! Having not listened to my Papa Roach albums for a while I was surprised by home many songs I knew! Papa Roach played very well with Jacoby Shaddix bounding round the stage and getting the crowd moving. ‘Between Angels and Insects’ ‘Deadcell’ and ‘Infest’ being crowd favourites. 8/10.



Second Stage – Trivium: Now, my girlfriend and I are big big Trivium fan’s so when the line up for Download was announced this Trivium were pencilled into our schedule straight away! Trivium always put on a good show and this was no different, the band seemingly at ease with headlining a stage at the legendary Donnington Park. Matt Heafy loving marshaling the crowd and revelling in the mutual love-in between crowd and band. It was quite heartening to see a band who genuinely felt honoured to be on the stage, and this helped ratchet up the atmosphere to delirium levels. So many song highlights littered through the set, so ill have to go for the obvious highlight, being the set ending ‘Pull Harder on the Strings of your Martyr’. 9.5/10!



Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage – We Are The Ocean: The thing with Sunday we knew was due to We Are The Ocean headlining at the same time as Trivium and Def Leppard, as soon as Trivium finished we were to set off on a mad scramble to visit the other two stages. As soon as Trivium did finished we packed up and rushed over, for our first visit, to the Red Bull stage. Now We Are The Ocean are one of my girlfriends favourite bands, but I do quite like them too. As ive often said to my girlfriend im a big fan of lead guitarist and vocalist Liam’s vocals, I think he has a great voice! Due to spending most of their set watching Trivium we only got to see their last two songs of the set. But judging by the crowd reaction they must have put on a blinder. Due to the limited set we did see im not going to rate them, but they did well!

Main Stage – Def Leppard: So with all stages now closed except for the main stage it would have been rude of us not to take in some Def Leppard. It was obvious this was quote an emotional performance from the band, with the light going and a fantastic light show it really was a spectacle. 2009 was the first time Def Leppard had returned to their spiritual home since their first appearance at the Monsters of Rock festival in 1986. What followed was a truly heartfelt 5 minute ovation for drummer Rick Allen. To be honest I don’t remember much about the set other than that moment, but we had to stay to catch ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’. Once that song ended we knew Download 2009 had ended. 8/10.



So that was Download 2009, I couldn’t have wished for better weather! The music was great, food was overpriced, and even the loos were ok! Great site layout with good slopes on all stages offering good views and a great festival atmosphere! Now if only someone can explain to me the meaning of ‘Butt-Scratcher’ and why a Panthers fan decided to bring a flag!

Roll on 2010!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

The Angry Budgie on Tour - Download Festival 2009 Day 2

The Angry Budgie On Tour – Download Festival 2009

After firday’s exertions it was time to go back to Donnington park for round two, another scorching day saw few clouds in the sky and some sky high temperatures. We really had been blessed with some great weather for the festival!

The day began slightly later than Friday and entering the site was a breeze, today we did not intend to get in for the firs acts but, to be in to ensure a good spot on the main stage for Five Finger Death Punch. Anyway this was the day that saw the main dilemma of the festival, The Prodigy or Slipknot? In the end the choice was easy, explanation below!

Main Stage – Five Finger Death Punch: These are a band ive got into fairly recently, mainly thanks to ‘The Bleeding’ video getting heavy exposure on Kerrang/Scuzz. A band fairly similar to Killswitch Engage in having great solo’s matched with some damn heavy riffage! Anyway despite this being their first Download the lads did well, interacting well with the crowd and getting some damn fine moshing at lunch time! The main highlight being ‘The Bleeding’. 8/10 for me!

Second Stage – In Case Of Fire: Admittedly I did not see much of In Case of Fire as halfway through the set I let to go and take in Hatebreed on the main stage. As such I cant really give them a rating!

Main Stage – Hatebreed: What can I say, no band plays harder or more honestly than Hatebreed. With every song you can tell they mean what they say and appreciate the fans. After every song the crowd go mental and much love is exchanged! I don’t think I saw any on person not nodding their head or moshing! Obvious stand out songs being ‘Perseverance’ and ‘I Will Be Heard’. 10/10 Yes you read that correctly a perfect 10, and possibly my band/performance of the festival!

Second Stage – Fightstar: After Hatbreed left the stage, it was back up the hill to rejoin my girlfriend and take in the last few songs of Fightstar’s set. There not really for me but I do respect them for plugging away and winning over the doubters. At Dowload 2008 they were greeted with a number of bottles but 2009 was different, with just about everyone in attendance rocking along with Charlie and Co. As I only saw the last two or three songs im not going to give Fightstar a rating but of those songs they did, they did well! Ending with the excellent Death Car.

Second Stage – Static-X: This next band were someone I had been looking forward to see all weekend. I have a few Static-X albums but never seen them live. On the walk and Wayne Static appears, one of the most recognisable front men in metal. They proceed over the course of their set to pummel the crowd into submission. A damn fine set and high points being ‘Shadowzone’ and ‘Black and White’. Again another band with a fairly simple formula, but one that works! 8/10 for me!

Main Stage – DragonForce: I am a big big DragonForce fan, I know they are not many metal fan’s taste, many finding them boring! But I simply find them amazing, the songs are great and the guitar work is simple first class. Before the festival I had wondered what their sound would be like on a festival main stage, after seeing them at the most metal festival of 2008, their sound kind of got lost in the MEN Arena. I shouldn’t have worried, it was a noticeable slow down after seeing the likes of FFDP and Hatebreed, you cant really get too involved with moshing to DragonForce as the songs are too fast. But each song was greeted with enthusiasm from a pretty darn good crowd! Best songs of the set being ‘Heroe’s of our Time’ and ‘Through the Fire and Flames’. 8/10 for the DragonForce boys.

Main Stage – Pendulum: We moved further back for Pendulum as we were going to rush over to the second stage for You Me At Six. Now we missed most of their set in 2008 so we were determined to see more of them! Pendulum seem to have cracked the rock market and drew one of the biggest crowds (as evident by the lack of one for YMA6!) of the festival. Thankfully we saw ‘Granite’ and ‘Propane Nightmares’ before we had to dash! 7/10.

Second Stage – You Me At Six: As mentioned we caught the second half of their set, a strange booking for Download and even stranger position on such a big stage. They boys played well but I thought Josh looked very nervous on stage. A few more years and invite them back and im sure they will give a better performance. 6/10.

Second Stage – Chris Cornell: For Chis Cornell we decided to get into position for The Prodigy after. Even so Chris sounded excellent and did a few Soundgarden and Audioslave songs. Not sure I 100% forgive him for pulling out of Download 2008, but none the less I enjoyed his set. The highlight being Cochies. 7/10.

Second Stage – The Prodigy: So after much waiting and excitement it was time for The Prodigy. I was looking forward to this, as my girlfriend had seen them live before and waxed lyrical about how good they were. We must have chosen the spot where the sound was at its poorest! The Prodigy were so quite that, around a couple of hundred people began chanting ‘Turn it up’! Such a big disappointment, despite The Prodigy playing ‘Omen’ and ‘Warriors Dance’ the sound was so poor we left early to go and check out Slipknot! 5/10.

Main Stage – Slipknot: Soo many people seemed to be looking forward to Slipknot, and so were we. We were towards the back of the crowd but still took in a fantastic show. Wondering at the same time what passengers on departing aircraft were making of the show! The band sounded great and the crowd were going mental. We stayed for most, not all, of the set but still saw ‘Wait and Bleed’ and ‘Psycosocial’. Then as we were leaving the site heard the crowd explosion to ‘Spit it Out’ and ‘People=Shit’. 8/10 for Slipknot.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The Angry Budgie on Tour - Download Festival 2009 Day 1

The Angry Budgie on Tour – Download Festival 2009

For three days in June The Angry Budgie made its second pilgrimage to the home of rock and metal music, Donnington Park. This years line up was a damn fine thing to behold, with the three headlining acts being, a reformed Faith No More, Slipknot, and bringing the curtain down on the Sunday, Sheffield’s finest: Def Leppard.

So for my Download Review im really only going to pass comment on the bands I saw day by day. This review will concentrate on the Friday, June 12th.

Day One – Friday June 12th 2009

After a short period of rain before the festival there were a few worried thoughts in my head as to what the ground would be like at the festival. Add in reports from friends camping of muddy campgrounds, both my girlfriend and I decided to pack our wellies! We needn’t have bothered, thanks to some excellent sunshine on Thursday the main arena had obviously dried out. As soon as we arrived on Friday the ground was bone dry, the sun was shining strongly and there were few clouds in the sky.

Anyway on to the bands, ill review each one in order that we saw them, culminating in the headline acts.

Main Stage – Hollywood Undead: These were probably the band my girlfriend wanted to see more than any other over the weekend. Bit of a strange band but one that tries to fuse rap/electronic with a bit of rock. I’d been used to them for a while thanks to the gf playing their cd in my car, and to be fair to the boys they put on a decent show and sounded excellent. Each member wearing masks but not in the Slipknot full face stylee. The standout tracks being ‘Young’ and ‘Undead’. The latter being a big crowd favourite. 7/10 for me, good peperformance, but opening up the main stage on the first day of the festival is a difficult and un-enviable position.

Second Stage – In This Moment: Another favourite of my girlfriends, a metal band from LA fronted by Maria Brink. Now anyone who has seen a picture will realise the obvious attraction of this band. Maria has a cracking voice and……well….check out a picture! Despite this the band sound great and much like the CD, however Maria’s voice on occasion did sound a little strained on the day. Either way ITM did well and managed to get the crowd involved. 6/10, would have been higher had the vocals been better.

Second Stage – A Day To Remember, must apologise dont remember this lot!

Second Stage – Parkway Drive, or this lot!

Main Stage – Killswitch Engage: Probably the first band of the festival for me to get really excited about. Im a bit Killswitch fan and firmly believe they never put on a bad show! I only wish they would stop Adam from speaking, he really can be a bit of a tool! Anyway with Howard on top form the boys pummelled their way through a storming set. With ‘Holy Diver’ and ‘My Last Serenade’ being highlights for me! 8/10 cracking performance!

Main Stage – Limp Bizkit: Before the start of the festival and, when the line up and timings were announced, I felt sorry for Lacuna Coil. Im a fan of theirs, but they had the difficult slot of performing on the second stage as Limp Bizkit were scheduled to return on the main stage. It was the main stage where we decided to be, the return of Fred and Co. too tempting to miss. Now putting aside whether you think Fred Durst is a tit or not, Limp Bizkit are an awesome band live. Throughout the set you remembered all the good songs and were left thinking, they were actually pretty damn good! Starting with the epic ‘Break Stuff’ and finishing with ‘Take A Look Around’ ensured those in attendance went ape! 9/10 a cracking return to live action for the Bizkit boys!

Take A Look Around:

video

Main Stage – Korn: Korn are a band that I own many albums of but have never seen live. With some of the crowd leaving after Limp Bizkit’s set we managed to edge closer to the stage. What can I say, Korn are brilliant live, and Johnathan Davis has an amazing live voice! ‘Freak on a Leash’ provided the obvious high, with the crowd exploding into a mass mosh on the main riff. Korn have a tried and tested formula, down tune those guitars and beat the crap out of them, but hey it works! Another 9/10 for me!


Main Stage – Faith No More: It was a natural decision to stay on the main stage for Faith no More. You got a sense you were seeing history, no disrespect to Motley Crue, there was no where else to be! FNM arrived and played a damn fine set, with a fair few ‘oh yeah I remember that tune’. Admittedly we left a bit early to try and beat the crowds but we got to hear ‘Epic’. A fine return and 8/10 for me (would have marked higher but did not see the full set)!

A great first day, fantastic bands, great company and great weather! Roll on day two!

..which ill try and post tomorrow!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game Seven

So it was to be, the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs would go the distance! After the Pens win in Game 6 at the Mellon it was back to the Joe and, in front of 20,000+ fans Lord Stanleys Mug would be won!

You would expect the Wings to win on home ice and retain the cup, but as you all will know Playoff Hockey changes everything!

After a couple of early chances it was the Pens who came closest to scoring in the opening period. With Kennedy picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, he skated in on Osgood only for the puck to hit the side of the net, this didn't deter Kennedy who rounded the net and slid the puck to Staal. Osgood once again came up big to keep the score at 0-0. Then at 8mins ish, the sweetest mid ice hit you will see, Talbot is breaking into the neutral zone with the puck and head down (big no no!) and Kronwall comes across and absolutely levels Talbot!

Into the second and Pittsburgh got the early break, unfortunately Brad Stewart will want that back. Rounding the net he attempts to clear the puck up the middle of the ice (another no no!) only for his pass to be intercepted by Talbot who slides it through the 5 hole! Both teams continued to trade chances through the second period, with both goalies standing tall. Then with 10 minutes on the clock Talbot and Kennedy advancing on Osgood, what followed was a shot of the highest accuracy and Talbot shot the Pens into a 2-0 lead. Game on!

As you would expect the Wings would come at the Pens at the beginning of the third, with the Wings laying siege to Fleurey's goal. The Wings would have to wait until 6mins left on the clock before they scored. The puck was down low and worked to the point, a quick pass across the blue line saw Ericsson unleash an absolute howitzer into Fleurey's net! Needless to say its nearly all Detroit at this stage, then with 2min 12 seconds on the board, Kronwall released a short wrister and, the crowd went silent.........Ding.......it hits the crossbar! A Ding so loud the whole of Detroit must have heard! The last chances fell to the Wings with 6 seconds to go and with an empty net, but the Pens stood firm and won the Stanley Cup!

Cue elation on one bench and utter misery on the other, this is what Playoff hockey is all about!

Conn Smythe Tropy went to: Evgeni Malkin

Then the moment every player dreams of, Sidney Crosby becomes the youngest captain to lift the Stanley Cup!



Pittsburgh Celebrations:



So that's it for hockey's 2008/09 season, roll on September when it all starts again!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game Six

Well after the 5-0 drubbing in game five it was up to the Pens to save the playoffs and come up with a win and force a game seven back in Detroit. Thankfully they did, so lets recap game six!

(some of you may well have noticed im posting this late, my excuse is being at the Download Festival all weekend!)

The Wings rolled into the Mellon with the chance to win the cup, coming off the back of annihilating the Pens in Game 5 confidence must have been high in the Detroit camp. Im sure most of the players would have preferred to be on the verge of lifting the cup in the Joe, but hey a Stanley Cup win is sweet no matter where it happens!

The first clear cut chance came to the Wings with Zetterberg free on in the hashmarks only to come up against an inspired Fleurey in the Pens net. with just a minute and a half left on the period Zetterberg was, once again, found on his own in front of the Pens net, and once again Fleurey came up big and denied the him!

Early in the second Staal managed to poke check the puck round a rushing Detroit defence man and rush 2 on 1 to Osgood's net, with his fellow attacker Staal was able to take one shot, get the rebound and put the puck in the back of the net. Advantage Pittsburgh! To give themselves a chance of forcing a game seven the Penguins upped the ante and started laying waste to some Detroit bodies! The Detroit attack seemed no existent in the second period, then with less than two minutes to go, that man Zetterberg is homing in on Fleurey only to hit the post. Then a minute later Fedetenko is found in front of Osgood only for Chirs to come up big to deny the Pens extending their lead!

Into the third, and the Wings know what they need to do to win the cup! Things got even tougher when, after 5 minutes, the Mellon explodes as the Pens go 2-0 up! Kennedy on the post hacking away forces the puck into Osgood's net. Then, its as if the Wings knew, with 12mins on the clock Sir Stanley's mug arrives in the arena and the Wings finally get on the board. With the puck in the Pens zone, the Detroit defence cycles the puck from one point to the other and after a big shot from Ericksson, Chris draper is on hand to put away the rebound. At around 9mins 50seconds im sure every Pens fan had his/her heart in their mouth. Fleurey unsighted, doesn't know where the puck is as it dribbles across the goal, a Detroit player closing in then.........and fine clearance from the Penguins defence! A championship saving moment?......possibly!
All the Pens needed was to hold on, and the last chance for Detroit came with 20 seconds left, and with an extra skater the puck is put on net. Cue an insane scramble on net the Pens hold on for the win!

So that's it the Pens forced a game 7, the holy grail of the Stanley Cup playoffs!

Game seven will get posted tomorrow, followed by The Angry Budgie on Tour - Download Special!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game Five

Game 5, tied 2 a piece, the Joe. Everyone settled in for a cracker? Oh who forgot to tell the Penguins to turn up? As a neutral I was hoping for a good close game, but the 5-0 scoreline to Detroit rather tells a different story!

A couple of early chances to each side, with the best coming to Detroit after a determined run up the wing left a Dteroit player on Fleury but the big Pens goalie stoof firm. Then the sustained Wings pressure finally resulted in a goal. Pavel Datsyuk went 2 on 2 with Clearey, and Cleary with a fairly weak shot slotted the puck home. This will be a hard goal for Pittsburgh to have conceded as they had plenty of men back to defend it!

Thins went from bad to worse in the second for Pittsburgh, following another poor line change, Chris Osgood found Hossa who stepped over the blue line to find Filppula in the centre who scored! Pittsburgh......try harder! The Detroit pressure was immense and continuous, the third goal not a surprise. If anything Kronwall should not have been allowed to skate from the corner, in front of Fleurey to score! Detroits 3rd of the period and 4th overall came courtesy of a stunning wrister from the point. Rafalski taking a couple of steps and sending the puck high to Fleurey's blocker side. A loud 'ching' and then the horn! Must admit Fleurey was unsighted by a fair few bodies in front of him! More misery was to come, Hutler received the puck on the blue line, wound up for a shot and cleverly passed to the front of the net to a grateful Zetterberg who roofed the puck! An absolute demolition in the second - game over! This would also see the end of Fleurey in this game, he was replaced for the last few minutes by Garon.

Into the third and its a case of damage limitation for the Pens! Not much else happening in the third and Osgood held on for, what could be, the most important sht out of these finals!

So a devastating game for Detroit, and one wonders what effect this will have had on the Pens and more importantly on Fleurey. All back to the Mellon for the deciding game, will it be a Detroit win, or will Pittsburgh send it back to the Joe for game 7?

Who knows!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game Four

So last thursday night saw game 4 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals in Pittsburgh, such an important game in deciding where Sir Stanley's mug will go. A Detroit win and its back to the Joe with the Wings 4-1 up in the series with a chance to lift the cup. A Pittsburgh win and the series is tied, and that game 5 at the Joe becomes a whole new ball park.

As a fan of the NHL and of both teams, my hope was for a Pittsburgh win in game 4. Makes the series interesting for the neutral and leads, hopefully, to the holy grail of all hockey games - a game 7!

So the puck drops and Pittsburgh really need the first goal if they want to tie the series. They duly got it too, after a couple of minutes, and on the powerplay, Malkin backhands the 3rd attempt on Osgood's net and the Pens fans go wild. Both teams then traded some pretty good chances, with the Wings laying seige to Felurey's goal at one point. But the big man stacked the pads and repelled every advance. The Wings did make it onto the board before the hooter, after a poor clearing pass from inside the Pens zone, Helm picked up on the pick and wristed a perfect short over Fleurey's glove.

Things got even better for the Wings, no less than 46 seconds into the re-start, Zetterberg makes the zone rounds the net and passes to Stuart on the point, who then shoots through 3 or 4 bodies into the net. This prompted a made scoring rush in the second period. Then, on the penalty kill Staal picks the puck up on his own blue line, passes the Wings defence and with one hand fending of the Wings D man, lifts the puck sweetly over Osgood. Easily one of the best goals you will see in the Finals! The Pens would go one better when Sidney Crosby was found on the back post all alone, something you really should not let happen! Then, in addition to Staal's earlier goal, the Pens fourth was a thing of beauty! Kennedy picks up the puck in the Detroit zone and passes cross ice to Crosby who then passes back across the ice to Kennedy who slots home! Two fantastic goals worthy of a Stanley Cup Final! Scores now 4-2 Pittburgh in the second!

The third period really couldn't live up to the Second, and neither team were able to breach the defences. A little bit of frustration creeping in for the Wings throughout the period ensure the Pens would hold on to win.

So two games a piece, it seems obvious but the key really will be for the away team to become more effective. Both home pairs have been dominated by the home team, so the key to win will be for the away team to get the early goal and nullify the home support. Either way this will turn out to be a memorable final series!

2-2 and all back to the Joe for tonights game 5!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game Three

Wings 2-0 up it was down to the first game in the Mellon for the Pens to finally get going and ensure the finals don't end before they should! In most final series you would expect to win your home games, so its not too much of a surprise that the Wings did just that, and went 2-0 up in the final. So naturally you would think the Pens can make the most of the Mellon support and win their two home games to make things interesting.

Thankfully they did, winning game three by a score of 4-2, here's my take on what happened!

So in front of a full house, the crowd wearing white the Pens needed the first goal. And thanks to the Wings not clearing the zone they duly scored first! A nice one time from Talbot at the hash marks seemed to go right through Osgood in the Detroit net. Not to be outdone the Wings got themselves on the board when Fleury gave up a rebound, which fell to Zetterberg on his own with Fleury on the floor, 1-1! The Wings would go on the powerplay and after some pretty sharp passing around the Pittsburgh zone, Franzen was found on the far post who lifted it high into the Pittsburgh net. The Pens certainly didn't want to go in to the period break down a goal and thanks to Letang, the didn't. A goal which Osgood will defiantly want back, on the power play the puck was worked to Letang on the point, and in clear view of Osgood and the Detroit net let fly a fairly tame shot that seemed to fool Osgood. Not that the Pen's fans really care!

For the most part in the second each team cancelled each other out, one of the better opportunities falling to the Wings Samuelson, picking up on a Pittsburgh error he rushed free clear on goal and managed to find the post! The 'ding' easily heard in Detroit!

On to the third and it was clear from the first few minutes that the Pens wanted this game, with Crosby and Cook going close. The Pens would get the go-ahead goal when a shot from the blue line from Gonchar somehow made it through about 4 or 5 bodies past the helpless Osgood. The Mellon exploded! The Pens nearly extended the lead when Talbot broke down the left wing and managed to find the right post. With a minute to go Osgood naturally came to the bench to give the Wings the extra skater. As is sometimes the way when you pull a goalie shortly after Osgood stepped off the ice, the puck broke for Talbot who took three steps into the neutral zone and fired home into the empty net!

At the end horn Pens fans inside and outside went mental, a good game with so many hard hits going in. Thankfully the Pens won and now comes game four tonight at the Mellon. Such an important game, if Detroit win they have the chance to win Sir Stanley's mug back at the Joe. If Pittsburgh win, we carry on!

As a neutral I sincerely hope the Pens win tonight!


Wednesday, 3 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game Two

After the Wings well and truly outplaying the Pens in game one, it was down to the Pens to turn up and make a game of it.

Well game two in Detroit saw the frenetic play pretty much carry on from game one! Some damn good chances for both teams finally saw the Pens take the lead. With a goal worthy of any seen at the Ice Dome. Scrappy and chippy in its excellence here! At least 3 Wings D men could not stop the shear persistence of Malkin to give the Pens the lead!

The Penguins defence must be shot for the wings first goal of the game. A face off in the Pens zone is lost to Detroit, puck back to the point and a shot in on goal. The Pens defence managed to leave Helm on his tod in front of Fleury. Excellent work by Helm on the other hand, he did what he needed to do! Make life difficult for Fleury! The Wings go-ahead goal was a bit fortunate, with Marian Hossa lucky to get away with a slashing call. Even so Holdstrom was again the man on net creating problems, and with Fleury on his chest it was a fairly simple goal for Filppula.

The Pens needed to get into the game, and what better start to the third period than having Sidney Crosby on the net all alone. Somehow Osgood came up big and denied the Pens captain. Now how big could that miss be, well pretty big as it turns out! As the Wings went up the other end, and with a bit of a weak shot from Abdelkader made it 3-1. Fleury will want that one back, a bouncing puck and a bit of a cricket bat attempt somehow finds its way above Fleury's glove hand and in to the net.

So ended the game with a bit of frustration, Malkin on the net in the face of Osgood resulted in a bit of fire from the Pens and a slight ruckus!

On to game 3, which for those who keep up to date will already know the score! Ill work on my post for tomorrow!


Monday, 1 June 2009

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs - Game One

As the domestic season is now at an end, eyes turn to North America for the annual battle for Sir Stanley's mug. The final show down after a mammoth regular season pits the 2008 finalists against each other one more time. Detroit v Pittsburgh a battle of two historic NHL franchises.

May 30th saw game one in Detroit, and what a cracker! Both teams flying from the first puck drop, no inch given no strength spared. Some frightening hits going in at the Joe! The game itself was played at a pace worthy of the final. Eventually Detroit would win game one by a score of 3-1. To be fair Detroit edged the game, however were very fortunate in at least two of the goals rebounding rather strangely, and favourably to a Detroit stick.

Despite all this the Pens did get on the board and were able to create there own offence to worry the Wings. A fantastic crowd of 20,066 at the Joe created an atmosphere only seen in Cup hockey.

I know game two happened sunday night, but ill work on that post in readiness for tomorrow. In the mean time head on over to NHL.com and check out the highlights!