As our Penguins prepare to square off with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in the latest installment of “The Battle of Pennsylvania,” it occurred to me that many younger fans may not understand or fully appreciate the deeply rooted hatred between the two clubs. Especially considering that it’s a kinder, gentler Flyers team we face these days. [...]
Over the course of their storied 50-year-history, the Penguins have iced all sorts of hockey teams. From the sublime to the hapless…and worse.
They’ve literally come in all shapes and sizes. Different colors, too. Until January 1980, the team sported Columbia blue, navy blue and white.
Thus, I decided to break with the present and write [...]
September 29, 1973. Brantford (Ontario) Civic Centre. The Pittsburgh Penguins squared off against their arch-nemesis—the truculent St. Louis Blues—in an NHL exhibition game.
Early in the second period all hell broke loose. The Pens’ pint-sized policeman Bryan Watson—an early version of Bobby Farnham—was hunched forward into the wheelhouse of [...]
Noted philosopher and poet George Santayana once wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
There’s another famous quote, one uttered by hockey legend Conn Smythe. “If you can’t beat ‘em in the alley, you can’t beat ‘em on the ice.”
Don’t count the black and gold among the teams that subscribe to Smythe’s time-hon [...]
For my fourth and final installment on the toughest Penguins ever, I’ve listed the guys I’d most want to have with me if I were entering a dark alley.
1. Bob “Battleship” Kelly (1974-77) As a 27-year-old rookie with St. Louis, Kelly beat reigning heavyweight king Dave Schultz twice in a preseason game. Able to intimidate foes simply by skatin [...]
The Dirty (Half) Dozen features the Penguins players who were most likely to stray over the boundaries of fair and gentlemanly play. Needless to say, none was ever a candidate for the Lady Byng Trophy.
1. Steve Durbano (1974-76) A wild man on skates, “Demolition Durby” was renowned for his razor-edge temper and unpredictability. Aptly describ [...]