|The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby was held in check by the Bruins’ Tim Thomas, who made 45 saves. (Jason Cohn/Reuters)|
‘Igloo’ has been a hot commodity
Parts of old home sold as ornaments
PITTSBURGH - Slowly, deliberately, contractors yesterday continued their deconstruction of the old Civic Arena, this city’s funky “Igloo’’ that served as home to the Penguins for decades prior to the recent opening of their swank, state-of-the-art CONSOL Energy Center across the street.
Similar to what happened in Boston when it came time to tear down the old Garden, the Igloo cannot be imploded and is being torn down in stages. The retractable roof is the natural place to start, of course, and the steel sheathing has found a useful, sentimental afterlife. The metal sheets are being transformed into holiday ornaments as a charity fund-raiser, and the baubles have been selling fast and furious.
The Penguins, who have made the ornaments available on pittsburghpenguinsfoundation.org, projected demand eventually would reach about 6,000 units. There are two styles, one with the team logo, the other depicting the old arena (known in its latter years as Mellon Arena) and the city’s skyline. But when sales began a week ago, 11,000 ornaments sold in the first two hours.
The ornaments, handmade by the Wendell August Forge, cost $29 each, not including shipping and handling.
Bruins fans aren’t likely to crash the website with their orders. The Igloo is where defenseman Ulf Samuelsson dealt Cam Neely the dastardly hit that ultimately unraveled the power forward’s career and fast-tracked him to retirement at age 31 in the summer of 1996.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, heaping praise on the Bruins after yesterday’s morning workout, complimented Bruins coach Claude Julien for his sound defensive teams through the years and also praised the team’s offense this season.
“They are almost harder to handle in the offensive zone,’’ noted Bylsma, “than they are a sound defensive team.’’
That has certainly been the case since the start of November, once the Bruins shrugged off their disappointing 3-7-0 start. Last night’s 3-1 win extended the team’s roll to 14-0-1, during which it has outscored the opposition by a whopping 66-27.
“I don’t know if we ever felt we were a team that wanted to sit back,’’ said Julien, asked if he felt his club might now be shedding its defensive label.
Rather, said Julien, the design was to use a strong defensive game plan to regain puck possession as a means of triggering the offense. The longer he has been behind the bench (now his fifth season), the better the offense has developed.
“Some of our younger players have grown into the role,’’ said Julien, a reference to the likes of Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, even Patrice Bergeron. “We are better offensively. And we’ve had some trades that have allowed us to be better at finishing - scoring some goals.’’
Attempting a lid on Sid
Bergeron, a frequent teammate of Sidney Crosby’s on Canadian national teams, including the 2010 Olympics, on how to defend his old pal:
“It’s not easy. You have to be aware of when he’s on the ice, and it’s not just one guy [with the defensive responsibility], it’s the whole unit. And you’ve got to be aware of his linemates, because he’s so smart [in getting them the puck]. He will make you pay if you are puck-watching. It takes all six players on the ice, being aware.’’
A little hate
Brad Marchand and Matt Niskanen hooked up in decent scrap at 3:19 of the second period after a pileup at the Boston net. Both landed a number of overhand rights. . . . Tyler Kennedy and Evgeni Malkin each finished with a game-high eight shots . . . Lucic landed one shot on net and Nathan Horton zeroed out, Boston’s top wingers not giving much help to first-line pivot David Krejci (tied for a team-high four shots). Horton was 1-3-4 in his previous two games. Lucic was 2-2-4 in his previous two . . . Jordan Caron and Steve Kampfer were the Boston scratches . . . Seguin, on whether he tried to emulate Crosby’s style while ascending the amateur hockey ranks: “I guess . . . he’s probably the best in the world right now. His speed and skill are at the top of the world, and I hear he’s a good teammate, so he’s kind of got it all.’’ . . . Following Saturday’s game in Columbus, the Bruins will play only seven games over a 24-day stretch into January. Over that run, they will enjoy a total of three three-day breaks, light by NHL standards. However, they’ll pay for it in January when they play 12 times over a 20-day stretch, beginning Jan. 4 in Newark. The key will be to keep their game tuned and taut during the easy stretch in the second half of December.