Share This Page

Rossi: Blues on call, but in blue, Pens fall

I'm not alone in hoping the Penguins one day become a Blue Man Group, but those of us who favor their original colors to Pittsburgh black and gold are seemingly a minority smaller than the number of men to have coached the Steelers since 1969.

Having long ago abandoned my charge for the Penguins to Go Blue! into Consol Energy Center next season, I spent a few hours looking to answer the most pressing question regarding the Stanley Cup champions:

Why can't they win wearing blue?

Faking ignorance to his club's 3-5-2 record last season when dressed in blue, captain Sidney Crosby originally denied a working knowledge of these struggles. However, I know better than to trust his "Didn't we win in them?"

Not enough, and on some nights the only good-looking thing about the Penguins was their threads: one goal scored in a shootout loss to Minnesota last November; seven goals allowed in a loss to Toronto a month later; a five-goal trouncing to Florida in early January; a loss to Philadelphia in late March, their first regulation defeat in a month.

The Penguins won 18 of 25 games under Dan Bylsma last regular season. Two of their non-wins came in blue.

"And I like them," Bylsma said of the baby blues.

Not long after their loss to the Flyers, the Penguins dropped their blue like a bad habit. Apparently they discovered some Blue's Clues. Hey, they needed points, right?

As is often the case when I have a serious question regarding the Penguins, I turned to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. A guy nicknamed "Flower" surely could solve this colorful controversy that has begun to bloom.

Me: What can you do to break this curse?

Fleury: I don't know yet.

Me: Burn them, maybe?

Fleury: No, (equipment manager) Dana (Heinze) wouldn't be happy.

Me: Douse them in holy water?

Fleury: Thanks for bringing it up. I'll give it some thought and get back to you.

Me: What about a voodoo doll wearing the blue uniform?

Fleury: No. No.

Me : Anything• My point is you never win when wearing blue!

Fleury (rolling his eyes and smiling): I get that point now. It's just coincidence. Maybe I could wear a black jersey under the blue.

Me: What if you wore the black game sweater under the blue sweater?

Fleury: No, it would get too hot - and this is getting ridiculous.

It is getting ridiculous. Colors aren't cursed, are they?

"No, they can't be," Fleury said later. "Why would blue be cursed, anyway• What has it done to anybody?"

Nothing, other than not being either black or gold.

PRESS BOX RUMBLINGS

The Flames are resisting the structured defensive system preferred by new head coach Brent Sutter. ... Heat in Toronto on Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson is not from GM Brian Burke. ... Ottawa D Anton Volchenkov has jumped atop the list of hockey's best open-ice hitters.

FOUR IN PLAY

In honor of the Penguins' alternate blues, worn last night for the first time this season, HDIP rates Pittsburgh's top hockey sweaters:

4. Shamrocks (1935-36): The Penguins should wear replicas every St. Patty's Day.

3. Penguins (1977-78): Think the 1991 Cup team, but dressed in blue.

2. Phantoms (1994): Bonus points for the best logo in city history.

1. Penguins (1991-92): Three patches, but none better then "BADGER."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.