ESPN…the world-wide leader in hater points

After the Penguins’ dispatching of the Rangers last Wednesday, I was ready to bask in the glory watching the highlights on Sports Center the next morning. My first mistake was expecting to see hockey highlights on ESPN. First of all, it took them nearly the entire hour until I saw the “Penguins/Rangers” tab on their preview sidebar.

Right before the highlights was a scheduled interview with Simeon Rice, former NFL wide receiver from Tampa Bay. His interview about the firing of his former coach was only supposed to take a few minutes. However, it turned into a 10 minute rant, and, when I looked back at the sidebar at the top of the hour…

You guessed it, the tab was gone and the show was over. No apology was uttered. ESPN, you’re flirting with hater status for life. Keep that in mind.

Pens’ players hate Paul Steigerwald

Is no one safe from his nicknames?

Before the New Jersey game last Friday, Steigy referred to Brooks Orpik as “Hitman” and Kris Letang as “Tanger.” These aren’t bad nicknames, but keep in mind, they are grown men. Ok, so maybe that part was slightly excusable. But what happened next was not.

Sidney Crosby was shown taking the opening draw. Now we didn’t see his name or number but, after all, he is Sidney Crosby and I think we know what he looks like by now. Steigy said, “There’s Geno getting ready to take the opening draw.”

My hand immediately slapped my forehead. Paul Steigerwald confused Sidney Crosby with Evgeni Malkin. Apparently the players aren’t the only ones in the Penguins’ organization who are struggling…

Coincidentally, last night in Montreal when Steigy tried to impress everyone when talking about where he was when Lemieux scored his first career goal, Bob Errey shut him down, saying, “I was sitting next to Bobby Orr in the press box because I was a scratch that day. So suck on that!”

Thanks, Bob. Someone had to do it.

Bobby Holik hates respect

“Sticking” along the lines of New Jersey ( ba dum chh ), Bobby Holik had trouble keeping his two jobs separate against Pittsburgh. For those who don’t know, Holik is apparently a jouster at Renaissance fairs nation-wide. I have no problem with a little roughing up every once in a while, after all it is hockey, but Holik took it to a new level when he cross-checked Fleury. I think this guy would check his mother if she were out there.

…really, think about that one, folks.

Super Sunday

As I’m sure Pittsburgh fans are aware, the Steelers won Superbowl XLIII last Sunday. But they weren’t the only winners that day. No the NHL needs commended for their inter-league communication too. With the Superbowl set for a 6:28 kickoff (really? 6:28?), the NHL wisely moved all of their games to the afternoon so no one’s ratings would suffer. Way to go NHL, I’m proud.

Haircut anyone?

The Boston Bruins kept their hot streak alive last week when they traveled to Montreal. Though they only defeated the Canadiens 3-1, they had the Habs going in circles. The trouble was that Montreal was wearing their 1912-13 jerseys, which feature narrow red, white, and blue horizontal stripes. And when they got all spun around, the ice was mistaken for six barbershops.

But seriously…the Canadiens are wearing different retro uniforms for choice home games all season to celebrate their centennial.

Phil hates Pittsburgh

Some of you might be wondering “Phil who?” Well, I’ll tell you (I wouldn’t just leave you hanging like that). The big game Sunday trumped a very important holiday in Pennsylvania and other parts of the world: Groundhog’s Day.

That’s right, Punxsutawney Phil saw minimal crowds to make his infamous prediction February 2. Well Phil, I was watching. And for those of you who don’t know, he saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

Therrien hates his own system

The alternating…well, alternate I suppose…finally found a home on the chests of Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik. Coach Therrien decided to scrap his floating “A” idea as it was a failure. Orpik will only sport the “A” until Gonchar returns to the lineup (keep your fingers crossed…it might be soon).

Shades of Mario?

Ok, not really. But Luca Caputi’s goal was something special to watch. When you look at the last Penguin to score their first goal on their first shift and you realize it was Mario Lemieux, it makes you stop and think for a second doesn’t it? Even he could only utter a “Wow.”

Well that does it for this week’s edition of the HH Report. As always, look for more haters in hump-days to come.

Happy hating!