Sunday, November 30, 2008

Price elasticity in HK Taxi industry

The issue of HK taxi pricing is one of the most interesting cases in microeconomic problems. It is one of those that would deserve a Cheung Ng-sheung style analysis like he did for the theatre pricing.

The HK government, more than 2 years after my proposal of tiering pricing, finally implemented the price rationalization. However, the timing is very bad, amidst the economic recession. Bureaucracy has made poorly timed policy inevitably in many goverments, HK is of no exception.

The new pricing involves a 7% rise in short distance (i.e.about 10km), which represents probably 65-70% of the incomes for taxi drivers. So the net effect is a 5% hike in average price.

Early reports claimed that total revenue decreased by about 20%, which I think is exxagerated (and partial data plus overshoot/overreact by passengers), more likely though it would be a 10% decrease, if I can extrapolate from the very limited data points in my previous post -- which is bad enough for the taxi drivers, epecially this incremental 10% are mostly net incomes as the fixed costs such as rent and time are constant.

In short, the pricing change, if implemented a year ago while the economic was robust, would have been welcomed. The new scheme, unsatisfactory as it is, is stil way more "rational" than the old one, although I would still prefer a more continuous change in price per km.

More from Max About O'Byrne, Sabou's Mask, Boucher, and the Economy

You may recall that Friend of The Show DayWalk3r sent in this video of Montreal Canadien Ryan O'Byrne shooting the puck towards his goalie - after the netminder had been pulled in favor of an extra attacker on a delayed penalty. The puck of course went into the net to tie the game, and the New York Islanders were able to win the game in a shootout. Watch it one more time:

Mad Max Talbot addressed the incident in a post he wrote on Thanksgiving day. (Just a heads up - I tried my own hand at translating this one, so if any of the French speaking Friends visit the original French entry and notice that I'm wrong anywhere, feel free to let me know either in an e-mail or in The Friends' Zone.)

If you don't love this guy already, you will after you read his thoughts on O'Byrne's blunder in this edition of...

Be lenient towards Ryan O' Byrne

While most Americans are gathered to celebrate family time on Thanksgiving watching football and eating turkey, I am resting in my hotel room in Buffalo, an issue to be well rested for the first a small series of two games in two nights starting Friday against the Sabers.

Thanksgiving is a big business in the United States compared to Quebec, but for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was merely to emphasize a small team in quiet dinner at the hotel restaurant. First, our schedule the next day does not allow us to do anything really crazy ... and secondly it is in Buffalo! Well, this is not a city where there are a thousand and one things to do, then it remains wise.

If all goes well, I should be in uniform to face the Sabres even if I could not finish the game against the Islanders on Wednesday. For those who have not seen the bad luck that struck me, I was hit by a slap shot from Radek Martinek in the middle of the neutral zone. I'm not supposed to reveal the exact nature of the injury, then my official version is that I am wounded in the upper body ... I let you draw your own conclusions if you've seen the game on TV!

The wound is a little frustrating because it occurred in a game a little weird. In fact, I do not really know what Martinek was trying to do because when he used all his strength to clear the puck, it was a good three meters before the red line, so if his shotgun does not hit me in passing, his release was denied [snoop: In other words, it would have been icing]. In any case ...

You know, I know the risks of my job and I am not afraid to take blows. For example, last year, I was injured blocking a shot during our series against the New York Rangers. I can say it is a little more acceptable to be injured in these circumstances than to be hit by a slapshot in the neutral zone!

Let us talk about this game against the Islanders ... The last time you've read my blog, it was after a completely crazy victory against the Detroit Red Wings. On Long Island, we lost 3-1 after two periods, but came back with four goals in the third to save the victory. You may find that a sense of the show, but believe me, we do not intend to make it so exciting.

I think we played a good second half of the game, but there is no doubt that we must work on our consistency. If we could play all full periods, we would be even more dangerous. It's odd: it seems that when we draw from the back, we start to apply more pressure and our defenders are involved more in offensive. I cannot explain that in a scientific way, but what I can say is that we are a team with great character.

I do not agree with those who say they were less well prepared or that the Islanders took it lightly because of their position in the standings. They had won five of their last six games and we knew they played well lately. We were ready, we knew we had a good challenge before us, but it took us time to answer the call.

I think we saw one of the best matches from Evgeni Malkin in the National League. As he does often when you have to climb a slope, Michel Therrien has placed him on the same line as Sidney Crosby and those who listened to the match will agree with me, it was beautiful to see. It still speaks of two of the best players in the world and I can tell you that when they were on the ice Wednesday, the Islanders had their arms full.

From my side, it was beautiful to see, but when you do not have the same uniform they do, you should be a little scared! I consider myself lucky because for the last two or three weeks, I was placed on the same trio [line] that Sidney was on and when we needed a goal, the coach will add Geno often. At that time, my role really does not change. I'm not going to start trying to make passes without looking and and of the impossible kind. I will seek the puck, I am the first in failure before, I make space while keeping it simple. The finish, I leave it in their [Sid and Geno] hands!

[I saw] the blunder while in Pittsburgh

I will return to what occurs to Penguins a little later, but I cannot prevent myself from commenting on the subject of the hour at present in Montreal: the blunder of Ryan O' Byrne.

If you are a regular in my columns, you know already that I equipped my house with a satellite antenna which enables me to collect some chains of television of Quebec, one of which is the Sports Network. I thus saw and re-examined the defender of the Canadiens to send the puck in his own goal and my initial reaction was: "Poor guy!"

In the meantime, I did not see it as an opponent making a blunder; he is something of a colleague and it is clear that there is a kind of solidarity that exists between NHL players when something like this happens. I often say the National League is like a big family. I talked with my good friend Bruno Gervais, who was well positioned to attend the scene, and he saw it the same way.

The second thing I said was that the Canadiens fans were pretty harsh. Already the guy just made a mistake, he feels badly and he wants to disappear under the ice, so he does not need to hear hootings and and people chanting his name.

I do not want a big deal of it, but also listening to comments from various analysts during the post-game and found that one exaggerated a bit. The analyst almost said the incident could jeopardize the rest of O'Byrne's career ... Come on!

The guy made a mistake. He scored in his own net in a regular season game, a game after which the Canadian has still earned a point. He has not lost the Stanley Cup! I can understand that he has not necessarily played like Bobby Orr since the beginning of the season, but still, this is no reason for him to fall on a tomato like that. [snoop: I'm totally stealing that expression!]

We must forget it and move on. If I had advice for Canadiens fans it would be to encourage O'Byrne rather than diminish, because if that player loses his confidence, it will affect his entire team.

If such a thing happen to teammates, one of my friends, I would go see him and I would tell him to laugh, to turn the page. [snoop: Max freaking ROCKS!!!!]

The mask of Sabourin

Dany Sabourin tried a new mask against the Islanders. It was during just half a game, but it looks like it has not gone unnoticed.

Why talk about this mask? Because he painted a frog on each side, a little wink to the fact that Quebecers are sometimes given the nickname of frogs by Anglophones. In fact, everything started from a kind of joke between us. Marc-Andre Fleury often carries a cap with the logo of a frog, but it is only for laughs, it's humor. That has shocked people in our midst but this is not why Dany did that.

I know there will always be people who see the negative everywhere, but please, do not shout for the scandal here! There is no racist connotation here. Furthermore, on his mask, there are also three flags, the flags of Quebec, Canada, and the United States.

I think the result is fairly successful, it is a beautiful mask, but unfortunately I think it will stay in the locker room for awhile. Dany gave up three goals on 14 shots in his first game wearing it and I believe he will return with his former in his next match. You know, the goalies are often very superstitious!

The acquisition of Philippe Boucher

There has been much talk since the beginning of the absence of Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney, two guys without whom our power play is not what it was. To settle part of the problem, the management team decided to look to Philippe Boucher in Dallas and I can tell you it was a very nice addition for us.

In return of a guy who almost did not play any more, Darryl Sydor, we obtained a smart defender who coaches give a lot of ice time since his arrival. His experience and cannonball [shot] are welcome here, was welcomed with open arms. I was acquainted with Philippe before his arrival, and I can say that we got our hands on a damned good guy.

Moreover, and I do not want to speak for him, but I think he is very excited to be with us in Pittsburgh. He told me that people in his entourage called to congratulate him when they learned of his trade. It says a lot about the situation he was living in Dallas and the one in which he finds himself today.

The crisis is not felt

A major economic crisis currently plaguing the United States and the world of sport is already suffering the consequences. Some athletes have lost sponsors and ticket offices have lost sales, some teams are beginning to realize that times are hard for Americans.

In Pittsburgh, on the other hand, the negative effects of the crisis are still not felt. We have played to sold out crowds for about two and a half years here, the Mellon Arena is always full since the beginning of the season and I do not think it is about to slow down. The souvenir shops seem to make excellent bargains, it is really a frenzy. [snoop: He's not kidding. I saw this first hand when we visited PensStation on 11-15-08. We, as we usually do, waited until the end of the game to venture into the shop. I mean it very literally when I say that it was wall to wall packed with people. My husband and I got separated because it was every man for himself if there was something that caught your eye. I've seen it packed before, but that was pure chaos. I picked out a t-shirt to get with my birthday money and waited more than 15 minutes in line to pay for it.]

In other cities such as Detroit, it seems that a lot less true. Without wishing to criticize Detroit, on the other hand, I remember having played even before the crisis began and there were still a number of good tickets available. Even at the last finals of the Stanley Cup, we could see Hockeytown benches empty ...

You are now officially caught up on the Musings of Mad Max Talbot. I will do my best to keep as up-to-date with these translations as I possibly can. I love Max's RDS blog because he is uninhibited with the truth. He's a straight shooter and his honesty is refreshing. I've got a few game day photos and some Roaming Penguins in the works for tomorrow's post.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!

Dining Out With Marian and Other Stories from Max

I promised this post to you earlier this week. In this post, Superstar talks about the 7-6 victory over Detroit, a dinner date with Marian Hossa, Hockey to the Max, and much more. So now without further ado, it's time for another installment of...

A crazy match and my columnist TV

What a crazy game, our victory of 7 to 6 against the Red Wings gave quite a show Tuesday night in Detroit.

It was truly a part of hockey, comparable to the intensity found in series. I would venture to say that this is one of the best regular season games in which I had the chance to participate. We went from behind 4-2 after the second period before starting a rebound en route to the win of 7-6 in overtime.

Such a game could seduce anyone who does not have a passion for hockey, it was a very catchy.

The game was so intense that even after the game and this morning, I had ached everywhere. One would have thought it was a match series in November and it remains rare to see these matches at this time of the season. This victory is even more enjoyable because we have never given up. This confidence was manifested and Jordan Staal played the hero with three goals in the third to carry the game in overtime.

On the whole, we played much better and this has become a question of character. I remember a game during which we lost by four goals in the third period facing the Senators and we started playing good hockey. Obviously, we bring these games.

After our victory against the Wings, we celebrated in the locker room and there was a special atmosphere. Okay, I would not say that it removes the pain of having lost the Stanley Cup facing them. However, it remains that this particular comeback occurs facing them.

Of course, this match became the first rendezvous against Marian Hossa in his Wings uniform. Unsurprisingly the media have created a great excitement around this story. It should be noted that the Penguins fans have not yet forgiven the decision. On the side of players, we have no choice but to accept his decision. We remain satisfied that he was not a big factor in the game even if one of the best players in the NHL.

We must not make a big story

The day before our team faced the Red Wings, some of my teammates went to dinner with Marian Hossa and this story was circulated in the media. For me, this is an acceptable phenomenon regular season, but I do not see it as such a good thing during the playoff series.

Indeed, I went to dinner with my good friend Bruno Gervais when we faced the Islanders. The scenario is similar to the brothers Jordan and Marc Staal who go to a restaurant together when the Rangers and Penguins clash.

But I assure you that I can still give a strong blow to Bruno’s shoulder when I find myself in the corner of the rink with him. I believe that all these stories are a part of the sport.

Max, columnist TV!

It makes me happy to slip a few words about an experience that I am lucky to live once a week with the television network FSN (Fox Sports Net) which broadcasts our games. Each week, I have the opportunity to participate in a Sports Show where I'll talk hockey for about ten minutes, a segment called Hockey to the Max. In large part, I tell what is happening in the areas of the Penguins. Wednesday, for my weekly visit, we talked a lot about the electrifying part of the deal with the Wings.

Everything takes place in a relaxed atmosphere and I think it's good for our sport. Moreover, the supporters appreciate these chronicles and they learn different things because of our environment.

For me, this is a great experience and I developed a good relationship with this television network since my arrival with the Penguins. They seem to appreciate my rather extroverted personality. [snoop: I think we all do, Max! :)]

Like I do with my chronicles at, I will stop at [some places in the] series to get the maximum amount of focus. But during the season, we have time for such activities and it is nothing too serious.

Everything is going well for me on the first trio [line]

For four games, I have had the chance to complete the first trio with Sidney Crosby and Miroslav Satan and I am very pleased that the experience works. I was able to collect three goals and one assist during these four games. I cannot hide that it is good to participate in scoring and that is always nice to produce offensively. That said, I love filling my role when I am employed on a third trio, but I appreciate every moment with Sid and Satan.

I do not know if this experiment will last for a long period, but we won our last four games so I hope that will happen. However, that decision remains that of the coaches.

At the moment everything is going well and we have good chemistry. I contribute a lot by giving the puck, but I often get it as well. My earlier failure will always remain one of my strengths and I want to recover their washers and pass. On the other hand, Satan brings a lot with his natural size.

It looks like an interesting deal with the Flyers

Our next test takes place when we face the Flyers with whom we have a great rivalry. At every turn, these clashes become special games for both teams and the crowd inevitably [enjoys it]. These appointments become a war on the ice and we [thrive] on this type of encounter. The season is so long, we need these moments of emotion.

My parents are also en route to Pittsburgh for a few days and they will have the chance to attend this particular game.

Before (the Flyers), we have an eye on the Rangers.

[LATE EDIT: A big thank you goes out to Friend of The Show Bobby T. (who is also the one who coined the acronym IFHSA™ for The Show) for pointing out that the title contained a typo. That is why it did not translate properly. He provided what is (in all likelihood) the correct title in English in The Friends' Zone. :)]

Our beautiful sequence allows us to be brought up to the Rangers and the top of the Atlantic Division, even though we have not seen our best start of the season. The Rangers [only have a few points on us] and we have games in hand on them. This is a great accomplishment especially since our two best defenders are injured.

In the absence of Ryan Whitney and Sergei Gonchar, Alex Goligoski [laced up]. He offers very good hockey and is gaining confidence. Alex proves to everyone that he is playing at this level since his first year. We did not know exactly what to expect from him, but he has proved his worth. This also provides more ice time for Kristopher Letang. Still, it is impossible to replace players like Gonchar and Whitney.

Many thanks to Friend of The Show Alyse for providing the translation. :) Come back later tonight - I've got Max's latest post, which he wrote on Thanksgiving, scheduled to go live in a few hours. :)

Light reading: the failed US invasion in Beijing

I hope the more industrious bloggers can translate this into English. Anyway, most of the points made in the post are somewhat true, though some may be exaggerated.
(The related parody is a nicely made movie called PLA in Paris I blogged a while ago -- they can be found in the Sanlitun/Tongli DVD shop)




19.中央情报局的谍报人员以留学生身份在战前一星期就潜入北京海淀大运村,希望以那里作为临时据点将京A牌照的摩托化民兵师的兵力布置情况报告总部,谁知道使用天鸿房地产商,燕桥物业声称的XX 兆宽带进行网络通讯时,区区10张总共才5M大小的布防图照片发了4天还未发完!当战斗结束时,欢庆胜利的市民被告知:多亏了房产商和网络供应商的杰出贡献,城市才避免了更大的损失。  
情报人员告诉我们:假如不是北京慢如蜗牛的小区宽带网速,我们应该能在tian-an-door 过中秋节了。  
现在,各位议员们,我提议让我们为在这次战斗中阵亡的4691名,也就是八师一团的全部 战士默哀三分钟。


God is our refuge and strength - Psalm 46

Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Thank God that He is our refuge and strength.

Thanks for all your visits, prayers and encouragements.

Thank God for preserving me daily. I have been feeling very tired in the recent weeks due to various commitments and have to limit the amount of time I spend on blogging. I do missed all of you very much and hope to return to more blogging and visitation soon.

Please continue to remember me in your prayers, if you can. Pray that God may grant me wisdom to seek and serve Him daily, to pace myself moderately and to seek first His Kingdom and righteousness.

I will continue to remember you in prayers too.

Thank God for the wonderful assurance in His Words of His love for us and His care upon us. He is our present help at all time and especially in time of trouble and need. Therefore let us go to Him always, casting all our cares upon Him for He cares for us.

May this lovely Psalm 46 from the Scottish Metrical Psalter brings encouragement to you as you remember afresh that God is our refuge and strength.

Psalm 46

Scottish Metrical Psalm 1650

To the chief Musician, for the sons of Korah,
A Song upon Alomoth.

1 God is our refuge and our strength,
in straits a present aid;
2 Therefore, although the earth remove,
we will not be afraid:

Though hills amidst the seas be cast;
3 Though waters roaring make,
And troubled be; yea, though the hills,
by swelling seas do shake.

4 A river is, whose streams do glad
the city of our God;
The holy place, wherein the Lord
most high hath his abode.

5 God in the midst of her doth dwell;
nothing shall her remove:
The Lord to her an helper will,
and that right early, prove.

6 The heathen raged tumultuously,
the kingdoms moved were:
The Lord God uttered his voice,
the earth did melt for fear.

7 The Lord of hosts upon our side
doth constantly remain:
The God of Jacob's our refuge,
us safely to maintain.

8 Come, and behold what wondrous works
have by the Lord been wrought;
Come, see what desolations
he on the earth hath brought.

9 Unto the ends of all the earth
wars into peace he turns:
The bow he breaks, the spear he cuts,
in fire the chariot burns.

10 Be still, and know that I am God;
among the heathen I
Will be exalted; I on earth
will be exalted high.

11 Our God, who is the Lord of hosts,
is still upon our side;
The God of Jacob our refuge
for ever will abide.

Thank you for stopping by and all your encouragements!

May God grant you a very blessed Lord's day and week ahead.

Take care!

Hat Trick Pics

Here are some fantastic shots of Siddo's hat trick. The last one of him smiling like a butcher's dog on the bench beside Geno is priceless! (Click it for a great wallpaper sized version.)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogroll Update

I decided it was time to update my blogroll. Here are the links that I've added in recent weeks:
  • Gracenotes—Grace Lin’s newest blog
  • Painting Bunnies—Anna Alter’s brand new blog
  • Scrub-a-Dub-Tub—The blog of The Reading Tub
  • TubTalk—Musings on reading and literacy
  • Write Time—The blog of Linda Kulp, a writer and teacher
  • Florian Cafe—The blog of Douglas Florian, one of my favorite children’s poets
  • The Drift Record—The blog of Julie Larios, an award-winning poet and author of Yellow Elephant and Imaginary Menagerie

Pens v Devils (W 4-1)

Tonight we witnessed The (real-life) Sidney Crosby Show.

Friend of The Show Sooska took this screenshot from the Pens' website. Check out that headline. Um, excuse me??? LOL


Sid absolutely pwned the game tonight. He scored his second career hat trick, and assisted in the other Pens goal. And it all started about two minutes into the game with this:

You can see that Siddo took a bouncing puck off the wall, broke free ahead of the Devils' defenders, and drove the net. As he approached the goal, Scott Clemmensen was able to just barely poke the puck off Sid's stick. The puck slid wide of the goal with Sidney right behind it. He made a spec-freaking-tacular spin-o-rama move and backhanded the puck into the twine. [Pens 1, Devils 0]

Dainius Zubrus took the first penalty of the night when he went to the box for holding the stick. The Pens didn't score on their power play. Petr Sykora went to the box soon after for high sticking. With 21 seconds left on his penalty, Travis Zajac was called for high sticking (even though the Devils had an extended period of puck possession in the Pens' zone). On the ensuing 4-on-4, Sid busted through everyone again and fired a quick shot that Clemmensen blocked. It was apparent that Sid was more than ready to play tonight! When the Pens went on the advantage, Miroslav Satan missed a shot on a wide open cage. The penalties ended and neither team added to its tally.

If you missed this game, shame on you because Sid was in tip-top shape. It was one of the best shows he has put on in a long time. He kept coming up with these amazing moves time and time again. Sid = BEAST. He batted the puck out of midair with his stick in the neutral zone, made another spin-o-rama (which, by now, was dubbed the "Sid-o-rama" by Paul Steigerwald) to get around three Devils for a shot on goal, but Clemmensen blocked it.

Jordan Staal had to go to the bench after being slashed on his wrist (no call), but fortunately he was not taken out of commission. (BTW, we never did get to see exactly what happened there because FSN PGH didn't think it was important enough to show the replay of it.) I know I complain a lot about Steigy's play-by-play, but tonight he had an extra helping of crazy before the game. As FSN went to commercial, he and Bob Errey were talking about Siddo and Steigy said, "Here he comes, NHL!" Um, I don't claim to be a hockey expert or anything, but I'm pretty sure he has already arrived. A long time ago. With a bang. O_o Anyhoo, with just under 90 seconds left in the period, Mark Eaton was called for holding. The Devils didn't score on their abbreviated power play.


The Devils still had 32 seconds left with a man advantage, but they didn't score. Then Steigy, who often mixes up players on the same team (ex. Sykora often becomes Sid and vice versa because Steigy only sees the 7 in their numbers), made a really awful mix up when he said, "Here's a chance for Jay Pandolfo." The problem? Pandolfo was in his own zone and passing the puck to his defensive partner. ???

Things got a little ugly when Alex Goligoski lost an edge and went crashing into the boards. Sheldon Brookbank was right behind him and ended up running into him. Then he made a decision to play the puck by kicking the puck right in front of the downed Gogo's face. The Pens rightfully took exception to the disrespectful move and a scrum ensued.

Zach Parise went to the box for interference on Janne Pesonen. It took a mere 12 seconds for the most glorious power play goal all season to go into the net. It was so good because it came from a series of moves from 4 players that each individually could have been on the highlight reel. First, Geno bounced the puck off a Devil at the blue line but somehow managed to keep the puck in with one hand. Then Geno sent the puck to Tyler Kennedy, who made a beautiful pass between his own legs over to Sid. The Captain then found the keyhole sized path the sent the puck up and over Clemmensen's big pad but under the criss-crossed sticks of two Devils defenders right to the stick of Syko. He was then easily able to bang the puck home into a wide open net. [Pens 2, Devils 0]

Later Matt Cooke finished a check on Parise by the benches while the Devils' door was open. Parise had to launch his body up and over the boards to avoid going into the open door. At first it seemed like a pretty disrespectful move from the Cookie Monster, but on a replay from a different angle, it seems very plausible that Cookie was unaware that the door was open. Whatever the case, another scrum erupted and Cooke and Jamie Langenbrunner were assessed coincidental roughing minors. Devils head coach Brent Sutter nearly had a coronary when he realized that Cookie wasn't getting anything extra tacked on for the hit on Parise. But immediately on the next faceoff, the Devils got away with high sticking Brooks Orpik. Errey said that the uncalled high stick was "the call that Sutter bought except it was a non-call." A few seconds later in the 4-on-4, Parise drilled Geno into the boards. Geno, however, recovered and rejoined the play. Sidney was about to leave the ice for a change, but he got the puck and fired a quick shot. The Devils regained possession of the rebound, but Geno dove and poked the puck off the Devil's stick on goal. Sid was right there to clean up the garbage and get the goal. [Pens 3, Devils 0]

David Clarkson, who had been hunting Cookie down for the better part of the period, earned an interference penalty for his efforts. Despite some grade A passing amongst the Pens, there were few shots taken and so the Pens did not score on their advantage. As FSN went to commercial showing some of Siddo's highlights, Steigy said, "It's just not fair what Crosby's doing!" (What?!) Ruslan Fedotenko took a penalty for high sticking, and while Patrick Elias rang one (hard) off the post, the Devils did not score on their advantage. During the penalty kill, Errey went on record to say that if the Devils didn't score before the buzzer, "the deuce can go in the books for the Pens."

After a crazy bounce, Geno whacked the puck out of midair towards the net. Clemmensen blocked the shot, but it would have been a spectacular goal. Well, it may or may not have been a goal because it could have been called as a goal with a high stick and it wouldn't have counted. He didn't get it in, so it didn't matter. Right before the period ended, Sid and Mad Max Talbot got a 2-on-1, but Johnny Oduya forced Sid to take the shot that Clemmensen blocked.


I swear - the FSN PGH staff was doing just about everything they could to jinx our Boys tonight. Case in point: Just before the start of the period, Stan Savran said, "Dany Sabourin and the Pens are throwing the shutout at the New Jersey Devils." And wouldn't you know that soon after that, the Pens failed to clear the puck out of their own zone and Mike Rupp made them pay. [Pens 3, Devils 1]

A little later, Rupp and Sid were battling for the puck against the boards. Sid took the much bigger Rupp down, but as he fell, Rupp put Siddo in a headlock and wouldn't let him up. He even stripped Sid of his helmet. This (of course) angered our title man, and as a result, both players went to the box for coincidental roughing minors. On the 4-on-4, Staal carried the puck down towards the net and drew a holding penalty on Paul Martin. On the ensuing 4-on-3, the Devils went 3-on-Geno. Inexplicably, the two defenders stopped cold at the blue line, thus abruptly ending their odd man rush. (Maybe they were afraid of what Sutter might do if Geno got the puck while they were all in deep?) Neither team scored during any of the penalties.

Rob Scuderi was the victim of a rather vicious high stick from Brian Gionta. It wasn't a high stick in the traditional sense; instead, Gionta brought his stick down on the back of Scudsie's head in a motion like he was splitting firewood. There was no call, and luckily Scuds was okay after taking a few moments on the bench to regain composure. Virtually at the same time all of this was happening, Kris Letang popped the puck up and over the glass and was assessed a delay of game penalty. The Devils didn't score on their advantage.

With a little over 2 minutes left in the game, the Devils pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker as the faceoff came to the Pens' zone. Mike Zigomanis (aka The Faceoff Beast) won the faceoff to Geno, who was able to get the puck to Siddo. With his a hat trick on his mind, Sid went hard to the empty net with a Devil in front of him. Sid dove out onto his stomach and with one arm holding his outstretched stick, he was able to swat the puck towards the empty net for the hat trick! Who else but Sidney Crosby could make scoring an empty net goal something for the highlight reel?! :)

A hat for the hat trick!

Here are all the highlights of the game, including Geno's batted out of midair near-miss (starts at the 2:18 mark) and Sid's stunning empty netter (at the very end):

What a game!!! :D Thanks go out to Sooska for sending in the screenshot. The Pens are off until Wednesday when they hit the MSG to face the New York Rangers.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pictures from Last Night

As most of you know, good Friend of The Show Carlie D. went to last night's game at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, NY. (Recall that we all encouraged her to wear her Pens jersey to the game.) She wrote to tell us all about her night and sent in a ton of pics for us:
I want to start by saying that during the warmups I CAUGHT A PUCK!! So you know how all the players skate by (SO FREAKING FAST)? Well I was so happy that I got a picture of Cookie Monster (see below), but then he slowed down, started scanning the crowd, and looked RIGHT AT ME. He made a gesture with his head that he was going to throw the puck over the glass to me. In slow motion (or at least it SEEMED that way), he tossed it over and I caught it! And the thing is, I usually can't catch to save my life. But my hand hit it, it bounced back up, then I almost lost it again, and closed it on the inside of my elbow!

I was the ONLY one in our section, and I mean the ONLY one in our section with a Pens jersey. It was worth it, though, since Sid got 2 goals! (He also got the 3rd star of the night.) Oh, and Paul Gaustad scored 2 goals, correct? Well that's the Sabres jersey I have! Apparently I pick the right jerseys. ;) I made a pact with my mom that when the Penguins scored I wouldn't stand up and rub it in too bad, but I couldn't contain myself! There were these jerks behind me that would yell RIGHT at the back of my head,"CROSBY SUUUUUUUUUUCKSSSSSSS!!!" So when Sidney scored (both times!), I promptly slapped the back of my jersey! [snoop: Nice!! ;)] LOL!!! And I'm like,"Oh yeah baby! I DID wear the right jersey!" It was soooooooo fun to rub it in!

Ok. One more thing. My mom was standing over in the Pens "zone" for warmups with her Sabres garb on. So Dan Potash looked RIGHT at her and pointed to himself and mouthed, "What's with that?!" and she mouthed back,"Look at what zone I'm in though!" And he was like,"You got a point!." It was so funny! Max was chewing BUBBLE GUM during the warmup. BUBBLE GUM!! I thought that was rather strange.

On the Jumbotron they were finding people in the audience that looked like the kids from the Brady Bunch. They found this one random girl in the audience and compared her to one of the Brady girls. Then they zoomed in on these two guys in a luxury box and compared them to two of the Brady boys. Well, it was actually them! My mom said that they have been there before. They both started laughing. It was awesome to know that they are still not too good to go to a hockey game.:) And also Andrechuk got his own little mini ceremony since he is now in the hall of fame. He starting saying how Perrault was one of his mentors, and how he always loved it here in Buffalo. Today we read in the paper that he was surprised that we gave him a standing ovation. He felt that since he won the cup with Tampa that he like felt bad that his success was after he left. I don't know. It was awesome though!

Ok, now I will describe the pictures. :) These are just random ones of Dan Potash and an overhead view:

Orpik getting interviewed by Dan:

Sidney stretching and skating:

This one is so funny! Seka and Sidney's sticks looked combined to make a pitch fork! LOL!!

Sidney and Jordan:

Awesome shot of Tank! He skated RIGHT by!!!


Curry and Sabourin skating together:

GENO!!!!!! (again):

The dynamic duo!:)


Sid and Gronk:



The back of Geno's head:


Ha! This is a picture of Geno's quite strange stretching routine! Lol!


And last but not least, Boucher:

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Carlie! :)

Buying Books for the Holidays

I was so busy cooking, baking, and preparing for Thanksgiving, visiting with relatives, and then cleaning up after the holiday feast at my house that I never got around to writing up a post for Poetry Friday this week at Wild Rose Reader or Blue Rose Girls. I'll be back with an original poem or poetry recommendations next Friday.

I still hope to encourage blog readers to consider buying books for the holidays--especially for children!'s another "I'm Buying Books for the Holidays" post.

What's a better holiday gift for a child than a fine book? This year do consider buying books for a special child or the special children in your life. Why not join those of us who are making a commitment to purchase books this holiday season? Do check out the Buy Books for the Holidays site to find out more about this initiative.

This is my third post of lists of notable and best books for children in case some of you might like suggestions for excellent kids' books that will make the perfect present for a child you know. You might also consider buying books to donate to a school classroom, school library, shelter, hospital, or to a charitable organization that helps out families in need.

Books Lists

From the National Council of Teachers of English: 2008 Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts

From School Library Journal: Best Books of 2008

From Booklist: 2008 Children’s Notable Books (March 1, 2008)

From Kirkus Reviews: Best Children’s Books of 2008

From The New York Times Sunday Book Review: Notable Children’s Books of 2008

My Previous Wild Rose Reader Posts with Lists & Reviews of Recommended Children’s Books

Buy Books for the Holidays: Book Lists

Christmas & Hanukkah: Book Lists & Book Reviews

Edited to Add:

From the Banbury Cross Children’s Bookshop in Wenham, Massachusetts (my favorite place to shop for children’s books): Book Recommendations from the Holiday 2008 Newsletter

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pens v Sabres (L 3-4)

I'd like to see this again tonight:

Many thanks to Friends of The Show Molly M., Julia M., Carroll T., and Nulpher for answering my call to find the link to this video. :)


It was a scheduled backup goaltender night, and since our backup is now our starting goalie, rookie John Curry got his first start in an NHL game. His performance proved that once again, the Penguins have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to goaltending. The Pens started the game 5-0 in their last five meetings with the Sabres. Even though the streak ended, it was an amazingly entertaining game to watch. Patrick Kaleta spent the better part of the night in the box. The first trip he made was a result of a high sticking call. Okay, since the Pens went an astonishing 0 for 8 on the power play tonight, I won't even bother wasting keystrokes telling you they didn't score on their advantages. You should just assume that fact in this recap as I go through the Sabres penalties.

We were told that the Penguins team, staff, and FSN PGH staff had a Thanksgiving turkey feast in their hotel room in Buffalo on Thursday night. Maxim Afinogenov fired a shot that Curry blocked and held. The whistle didn't blow, and Afinogenov decided to take an extra whack at Curry's hands. This (of course) did not sit well with the Penguins, who promptly went to work defending their new goalie. After all was said and done, Kaleta and our own Hal Gill went to the box for coincidental roughing minors. During the 4-on-4, Bob Errey mentioned that he was going to "beg" Kris Letang to start shooting more from the blue line. (Echo that!)

The puck went to the corner behind Ryan Miller's net. Matt Cooke chased after it while Tyler Kennedy followed close behind. Cookie came out from behind on Miller's left side (the far wall) and passed the puck through traffic right to the wide opeen TK on Miller's right side. [Pens 1, Sabres 0]

The celebration was shortlived. Just under a minute later, Afinogenov tried to get the wrap around but couldn't get through Curry's leg pads. So he decided to go to Drew Stafford on Curry's right side for the tying goal. [Pens 1, Sabres 1]

Alex Goligoski sold a hooking penalty on Jason Pominville by gripping Pominville's stick under his arm and "falling" as he went to clear the puck. After the power play failed to produce, Mike Zigomanis sent a lead pass to Pascal Dupuis. He would have had a breakaway chance but Teppo Numminen hooked him like a fish.

Errey wanted a penalty shot, but instead the Pens got another 2 minutes to do nothing. With 30 seconds left in their power play, Miroslav Satan was called for hooking. On the ensuing 4-on-4, a panel of glass broke and had to be repaired. Errey stated first that he'd like to see the officials tell the teams to hit the locker rooms and just add the remaining 1:08 to the second period only to retract that opinion a few minutes later after realizing what a bad idea that would be for the Pens since the ice was bad for the last half of the Sabres' power play. The game resumed and neither team scored on the 4-on-4 nor their respective power plays. In the final seconds of the period, Brooks Orpik was tripped but no call was made.


Kaleta must have enjoyed the view from the sin bin tonight because he went for a third time for boarding Satan from behind. On the power play, Derek Roy had a great shorthanded chance, but Curry made a beautiful save. With 32 seconds left on Kaleta's penalty, Geno Malkin literally touched a Sabre's hip with the blade of his stick and was nailed with a hooking penalty. Neither team scored on the 4-on-4 or their respective power plays. (Haha, I'm repeating myself now!)

Brooksie got a little too excited and drilled Daniel Paille. It would have been a great hit if Paille hadn't been 15 feet from the puck at the time. Brooksie went to the box for interference. While the Pens were on the penalty kill, Superstar Max Talbot nearly had a shorthanded chance, but he was hooked by Pominville (no call) and was unable to get by Miller. The Sabres brought it back down the ice and after the puck bounced off a skate and changed directions while Curry was still positioned in the puck's original path, Paul Gaustad banged one home for the PPG. [Pens 1, Sabres 2]

The Pens wasted no time (just 34 seconds, to be exact) in getting it back. The puck was loose in front of Miller. As players from both teams scrambled to get to it, Jaroslav Spacek tried to clear it up the middle. Geno was right there to keep it in and fire a quick shot on goal. It was blocked by a Sabre, went into the wall hard, and bounced right to a wide open SIDDO. You know what happened next! [Pens 2, Sabres 2]

Orpik was able to draw a holding penalty on Jochen Hecht after joining the rush. During the Pens' power play, TK tripped a Sabres defender (pretty blatantly, actually) and he stopped playing waiting for a call that didn't come. In an even up attempt (according to Errey), Gill was called for another lame hooking penalty. It was about this time that we were told that Philippe Boucher, who had gone to the locker room for an undisclosed injury, would not be returning. Thomas Vanek missed a wide open shot on the Sabres' power play, and in frustration he lay on the ice and used his stick to trip Letang behind the net. Shortly after Vanek went to the box, a poke check by Geno allowed Sid to get the puck and carry it to the net. He faked a shot then sent the puck through Miller's five hole to score his second goal of the night. [Pens 3, Sabres 2]

Then, Pominville took a similar tripping penalty out of frustration which gave the Pens an opportunity for an extended 5-on-3. The clock ran out before the end of the penalties, so they got to start the 3rd period with 50 seconds on the 2 man advantage.


But for whatever reason, they were only able to fire one measly shot on goal during their 5-on-3. The Sabres gained serious momentum for the big 5-on-3 penalty kill, and following a turnover, they developed a 3-on-2 and Stafford scored his second goal of the game. [Pens 3, Sabres 3]

Something weird happened to Geno. He went to the bench in pain, but on the replay there was no obvious cause. (I got especially concerned because when they showed him on the bench, it almost looked to me like he was clutching his chest.) It must not have been serious because he was back on the ice a few moments later. Curry made a series of saves that were spectacular. He made a pair of glove saves, one even came while he was down on his belly. A crazy save in which the puck danced on the goal line but did not go over it prompted a show of respect for the netminder from the Penguins on the benches as they pounded their sticks off the boards to salute his efforts. The play went under review in the War Room, but since the puck never crossed the goal line, the NO GOAL call stood.

With just 3:24 left in the game and after Curry made a great save and Hecht missed a wide open cage, Gaustad scored the GWG. [Pens 3, Sabres 4] Miller made a fantastic stick save on Siddo to preserve the lead. Curry was pulled in favor of the extra attacker at the 0:33 mark. A quick whistle due to the ref having lost sight of the puck interrupted a shift that may have been able to tie the game. But it was not meant to be.

The Pens come home to face the Devils tomorrow night.

GO PENS!!!!!!!!