A look at an artists rendition of Ralph Wilson Stadium, set up for the January 1, 2008 Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres.
Well, it's eleven days and counting until the Pens season opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, and my oh my, I sure as heck hope the preseason is not a view of things to come. I do tell myself this 'is' preseason play, and this is where they are supposed to get all the kinks out and see what needs improving.
It sucks this year that FSN Pittsburgh is not covering any of these games before the regular season starts. That leaves us Pens devotees to search for alternatives. So here I was online searching and listening to 2 Canadian announcers do play by play for the first two preseason games against Montreal.. BOTH in Montreal, and why that was I've NO clue.. both enlightening, in different respects.
Despite losing in game one, Laraque laid one of the Habs out. Hahaha... game one and you have to tell your buddy's you got owned. I think this is the type of play fans were looking to come from George last season, and were disappointed it never happened. Here's to hoping he steps up to the line this year. All that said, the loss was tough to swallow, but satisfying in the respect that it doesn't count. :P
Game 2 was a tad bit better. Newcomer Peter Sykora got a goal, but later then was hit in the face by none other than fellow teammate Brooks Orpik. Ugh... flashbacks of John LeClair ran thru this Pens fans brain. Alas, at least Sykor will only miss a few preseason games, unlike last year Malkin missing several weeks. The team sluggish at points during the game, but were at least able to pull out a win in the end 5-2.
The next two games, back to back ones against the Detroit 'Dead' Wings, tested my patience, but more so in trying to find a way to access a way to listen/see them. Holy cow, in the day of all things high tech, why was there NO radio, internet, tv coverage of the game on Friday night, and it was in Detroit.. self proclaimed hockey town!? News flash to the motor city.. you guys suck, and lost your standing a great place for hockey. Oh.. and yeah, sorry to break it to you, but obviously the struggling Tigers beat you out for radio/tv time, on all networks. Even the Lions who weren't playing that night got better coverage. Chris Chelios, scored a goal in OT to win it for the Wings... musta ditched his walker before coming out on the ice. Mr Personality --- please don't shake my hand, I'm emotional...
Saturday nights game felt like it was going to be a replay of Fridays, struggling with the newly developed PensTV. Thankfully they eventually got the problems with that ironed out, but not before I'd missed half the game. Sadly, I didn't miss much. They seemed sluggish, and sorta got a second wind towards the end of the third period, and had it sucked away quickly, losing 5-2. Blah, western league teams blow... 'cept San Jose :P
Now I lay in wait until Thursday and my trip to the 'Burgh to catch a Pens practice. I'm really jacked up about this as I've never been to one, and with all the season tickets and a majority of the remaining seats eaten up for the WHOLE GD SEASON.. this may be my only chance to see my team!!! *insert loud sobbing noises here* Since I'll be saving mucho dollars not getting a room at the Marriott, and igloo seats, I may invest in Center Ice this year just to watch some other games thru the season.
Stay tuned for the next installment on how practice goes!!!
Peace be with you all... new jerseys, old jerseys, the Flyers suck!