Saturday, May 31, 2008
I don't know about anyone else... but that crowd noise gave me goose bumps...
And so it goes. Game 3 could quite literally be the best game I have ever watched. The intensity coming from playing on home ice is unmatched, the home crowd behind the team 100%, if there were any Detroit fans in attendence, they didn't have a leg (voice) to stand on.
Which leads me to tell this. For the life of me I can't recall where I read it, I believe it was on a Yahoo blog (gotta forgive me, my daily online hockey reads are many so I often forget where I read something) but Ticketmaster shut out people from outside the greater area of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Washington DC... sure there was somewhere else too.. from purchasing Stanley Cup tickets. So that means folks in Michigan were SOL.
There were many Pens fans able to buy tickets to the Detroit games, and this turn of events I'm sure didn't make Wings fans all too happy. I'm going to step out on a limb here and say I approve of this practice. Alot may not agree with me, the whole free enterprise thing aside... but don't our fans deserve the chance to see their team play at their own arena? The average person probably is gonna dish out cash for these tickets once.... if they are lucky.... how many can afford the extra to drive to Detroit, pay for a hotel... gawd, let alone the damn gas... in addition to the tickets? It's an opportunity of a life time, and hey, if you're lucky, you'll get to do it again, but that's not set in stone, no offense to the '91 and '92 Pens.
But... I digress...
The whole ticketmaster deal is a sore spot for me, being outside the Pittsburgh area and unable to take in more than one or two games a year, and finding it near impossible to get a single game ticket in the regular season. How I got the tickets to the Philly playoff game I'll never know.
Anyhow, it's Saturday morning. Now less than 12 hours till the drop of the puck. I'm already anxious. I've done my morning read of the Pensblog and EmptyNetters and ready to start my day and wait till game time.
Crosby didn't disappoint in game 3, and everyone else stepped up their game accordingly.. and as they should have. Orpik and Roberts delivered hits that made the crowd cheer. Gill did his job of keeping certain Wings players off their game, and letting the Pens offense try to do their thing. Hossa's several missed opportunities tell you he's on the cusp of a big goal... same with Malkin, that rocket slap shot has got to connect... and soon.
There are cliches to use at this point that would just be that.. cliche. So I'll not go there. Suffice to say that everyone knows what needs to be done tonight... and that would be a repeat performance of game 3.
With that said.....
Let's Go Pens!!!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
If you aren't disgusted by the diving antics of Detroit Red Wings goalie Kris Osgood, chances are you don't appreciate the finer points of hockey. Maybe nothing would be thought of it had this been one random incident. But he did it against Dallas... and then twice in Monday nights game. If I'd been Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora, I would have been fuming.
Not that Osgood was the only one taking plunges into the deep end. Johan Franzen pulled his own little dive after a glove to the head by Gary Roberts.
From the Hockey News online:
"I feel better than I expected I would," he said after participating in an optional practice before his team's flight to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Gary Roberts stuck a gloved hand in Franzen's face in the third period, and the Swede they call "Mule" in Detroit went down like a ton of bricks. No penalty was assessed. Franzen didn't miss a shift. He was asked if he felt it was a cheap shot from Roberts.
"Maybe, but I've got to be ready for it," he said. "I'm going to try and give some cheap shots as well. It's part of playoff hockey."
Give him another... Sir...
Anyhow the point of all this is to get myself jacked up for the game tonight. It's safe to say, like Max Talbot we have grown a certain hatred for the afore mentioned Dead Wings.
The upside to it all is we're finally at home, in front of our crowd, our fans, the ones that love the Penguins. Sure, being 2 games down is tough, but it's not the end... not yet my friends. The Penguin is not ready for it's swan song. Let Detroit plan their parade after only 2 wins, it just pisses us off to want to make them lose and carry the series on further.
It's time for Malkin to show himself.... Sykora and Hossa to show us what they are getting paid for. Poor Sidney Crosby can not carry this team all by himself! It's crunch time, Osgood has yet to be tested, Detroits defense is solid, it's time to get those shots on net and score goals... and WIN!!!
LET'S GO PENS!!!
Monday, May 26, 2008
I wonder if anyone else was like me, and when they saw poor Marc Andre Fluery fall down coming out of the run way from the Penguins dressing room, that you just hoped it wasn't an omen of some sort. After all is said and done with, and losing the game, I guess maybe you could say it was. But I'm not the sort of person that believes in omens. Thankfully.
But, just as MAF did after falling, he got up, so shall the rest of the Penguins for tonights game 2 in Detroit.
Sure, it's tough with high expectations... high anxiety... to take that first loss. That said, being honest with yourself, you knew that playing Detroit, the Pens were not going to sweep them, as nice a thought as that is. Like me, if you picked the Penguins to win in 6, there are 2 games there that they will lose. And let's hope that's all.
Now that the first game is under this young team, I feel confident they are ready to buckle down and set to task the job at hand.
Players from the Wings we've already grown a strong dislike for? Kris Drapier and goalie Chris Osgood, which thanks to the Pensblog, every time they mention is name, I say... "He's a LIAR!"
Not to sound too girlish... but lots of the Red Wings players look rather scary with those playoff beards. I wish there was somewhere online to link to, but in the newest edition of the Hockey News, it mentions that the NHL doesn't care for players playoff beards. Why? They don't look marketable. Ahhh yes, the all mighty $. Aside from Max Talbot and Ryan Whitney, not to many of the young Pens have a full face of hair. Ryan Malone does, but his is reddish blonde and actually seems trimmed, so he doesn't have that wolfman look. Let's hope for Max Talbot the series doesn't go to game 7, by then we'll only be able to see his eyes and teeth.
Aside from losing... the biggest gripe from game one? Steven Crosby. WTH??? Apparently the announcer knows nothing about hockey and is just.. who knows. Maybe he's more familiar announcing the names of the elephants of the circus when it comes thru Detroit, idiot.
Was Chris Chelios out to one of his resturants Saturday night... never heard his name said once. Must have been out getting the senior citizens special somewhere.
The news of all news though. BGL is sitting out tonight. Adam Hall is still in the lineup. That only means one things folks. 'Nuff said!!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Read The Hockey News Stanley Cup Preview here
You can vote HERE to say who you think will win the cup. As of this posting, readers of The Hockey News online are picking Detroit by a ratio of 55% to 45% for the Penguins. Wankers.
And in non Stanley Cup news... in my mail box today...
Back to all things Cup related...
Since hockey isn't big news in the United States, and boohoo for that!, you're not hearing or seeing much about it on tv, unless you're in the cities involved, or you go looking for it. 'Tis a shame indeed.
Personally speaking, I've been scouring and reading about just as much as I can get my hand on via the web. The Pittsburgh papers have finally realized they have a winning sports team in the city that isn't the Steelers (though we'll not mention last season, as it doesn't qualify as 'winning') and are not forced to report on the seasonal woes of the Pirates. But, just like people, newpapers, tv stations and the like can be front runners too. The more the merrier I suppose.
As long as it doesn't infringe on us loyalists :)
Seems opinions are vaired, as to be expected, on just who will take home Lord Stanleys most coveted cup. I'm thinking, and though I've not taken any specific tally, that the Pens have the slight edge in sources choosing them as the final winner. Yours truly of course has them picked in 6.
I had a chance to go try for cup tickets on Wed, for games 3 and 4, but I held back and didn't go. My thinking was if it went 6 games... I'd try for a ticket to game 6... the hopefully, then final game. Wouldn't that just rock your socks off... being at the game they get presented the Stanley Cup? Awesomeness personified!
Will I be disappointed if they win it sooner? Heck no!
I added a link the other day to the side bar and failed to mention it, but I've added LOLgwins.
You must check that out for a few good laughs. My fav down towards the bottom is "I crap Lupuls". However, I think it would have been funnier had the person put "I crap palindromes"... but not sure how many people would get that :P
Anyhow, as the big day... tomorrow... approaches, I find myself getting more and more anxious. This is the ultimate for any fan of any sport, making it to the championship. I've honestly never fully experienced this. Yeah, I love baseball, I really enjoy football in moderate doeses, but my passion has been hockey. And now that I am in a position to fully enjoy said passion, my reward is now. Sweet.
And hopefully, our present and future....
4 wins guys, that is all we need. I for one, know you have that in you.
Let's Go Pens!
Friday, May 16, 2008
It goes without saying that winning both would have been much better, and ending the series there, and getting a few extra days rest. Not the case, so we just need to get over it and get ready for Sunday. And really now, won't it be nicer getting the Prince of Wales trophy at home?
And I've been wondering to myself if Sunday's game on NBC will be a blessing or... more of a curse than what we've been made to watch on Versus. I've been so tired of their obvious one sidedness... and always not the Penguins side!
It's not even been this series with the Flyers, they were doing it when we were going at it with the Rangers. Seems as hyped as Sidney Crosby is as the face of 'the new NHL'... it is almost obvious that the media is anti Pittsburgh.
Hogwash I say!
We'll have the last laugh... at least that's what I'm hoping for.
All the talk on FSN's pregame about the Pens already playing Detroit really got me PO'd. Apparently they don't feel jinxed by talking like that, but I can gurantee a whole lot of loyal Pens fans do feel that way. STFU, and wait till we win this series... Dude?
Anyhow, waiting until Sunday for the next game will seem like torture, but, I guess there is no other choice but to do that... wait.
Until then, the loyal Pens nation waits with baited breath, anxious for the next step to glory.
Let's Go Pens!
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Game of the week for some, game of the year for us. (and yes, I spelled 'the' wrong on purpose in the title)
Going into the Whatever Center in Philly, I hoped we'd at least come out of it with one win out of 2, ya know, keep those bastard Flyers on their toes, and at the very least, bring them back to the 'Burgh for the final show down.
However, with how they've been playing the first 3 games of the series, it would be a great site to see the Penguins presented with the Prince of Wales trophy in Philly... you know me, I like shoving it in their faces :)
Game 4 tonight has all the promise of bringing my beloved Penguins to the final dance... to play for Lord Stanley's cup. I can't even begin to wrap my brain around that little ditty... but rest assured I sure as heck will try!
I'm not even gonna mention the 'S' word... you know, that thing you do with brooms? I jinxed myself against the Rangers doing that, and am not gonna do that again!
So here it is, we can finish it tonight, I'm ready... Let's Go Pens!!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
If you had high hopes for another win at the Mellon Arena on Sunday night, you most certainly were not disappointed.
From start to finish, I was completely riveted to the television. It's safe to say the hits got picked up a notch even from the first game. We'll not count that puck to the face one of the Flyers took... ya know, just outta the kindness of our hearts. :)
Malkin has been playing like the quiet beast he is. You have to speculate just how much better he's going to get as he gets older. Who knew he hid those arms under his jersey either? hubba hubba...
I'm really looking forward to tonight and what will go down when the Pens go into Philly's house. I know it'd feel great to give them a beat down in their own house. They'll be fighting for their playoff lives, that much is certain.
Expect things to get a little dirtier as things progress.
Game 3 tonight... Let's Go Pens!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Above is a brief video of the white out crowd at Friday nights game. We were up in section E2, and at first I thought when I originally got the tickets, it'd suck sitting up there so high, as we've spoiled ourselves and have become used to the blue Igloo seats in the couple games we get to a season. (not sure what YouTube does to the HD quality of my video, but.. *shrugs* )
I was pleasently surprised, and happy to see we got a great view!!! Truly telivison, even HD, does the white out no justice at all!!! It has to be seen with your own eyes, when the lights are low, the shirts almost glow. Then when the towels get to waving.. better yet!
We had some awesome people sitting next to us... ok, well at least I did! 4 guys that really got into the game, and as it happened, fellow Pensblog readers as well. Never let it be said that Penguins fans didn't all think alike, especially if it's all for the common good. :)
My observation shortly into the game was that Igloo seat people must be stiff and afraid to get into the game. Because seemingly everyone up in E section was loud, and into it. Well, save for those folks from Youngstown behind me, they were older and a bit more reserved.
The trip down from the Akron area went smoothly. We're driving down the PA turnpike, getting close to pulling on to 79, some dude speeds past us, waving his hand, giving us a thumbs up, and obviously saying, "GO PENS!" ..... Hmmm... must be my personalized license plate that says 87 Pens that tipped him off to our destination. *smile*
Then once we were onto 279, another car with 3 people in it gave us an enthusiastic wav as well. Like I said... musta been my plates. Sweet ...
Of course it had not rained the whole drive until we hit the Vetrans bridge, and I had visions of sitting in a soaked jersey thru the game. But thankfully once we parked and walked to the Mellon, it was barely raining and the doors were open.
One thing, if I were single and had no tickets, I'd be in that crowd watching on the screen, it looked like fun to be there, no matter what!
The game started with a bang, the roar of the crowd made my own adrenaline start to pump and I was screaming right along with everyone else. It's amazing the things you see... and don't see, when you're at the game as oppossed to watching it at home on television.
Anytime you can take on Philly and make them choke on their own mistakes, makes the win taste all the more sweeter. Not to sound to arrogant, or cruel... it's also nice to see the obnoxious Flyer fans in the crowd sit with their heads in their hands, in the immortal words of the Pensblog... stunned.
As an extra treat (as if the Penguins winning wasn't enough for you!) the fireworks after the game were the best I'd seen in many years. I think they were put on by Verizon wireless, not that I'm giving them advertisement (though I do have wireless service thru them, lol) but major kudos for a job well done, they were great.
Possibly the only 'suck' thru the whole experience was getting out of the parking garage. We normally stay over night at the Marriott, so parking is never an issue for us, but we sat in the garage for a good 30 mins before being able to head back towards home. Seems the police were not directing traffic. I barely noticed though, I was still so jacked up from the game.
Speaking of jacked up.... I'm already there for today!
I'm ready for another Pens win over the Flyers, let's do it again boys....
Friday, May 9, 2008
My team... My Penguins... if things don't go the way I want in this series, and in the final round, I can still look back and say.. "yes, that's my team..." Their success thus far in the playoffs has been astonding, and just knocks my socks off. I've loved every bone crushing moment.
Not to be melodramatic, but it's the playoffs, just in case you forgot. Just when you thought things were intense up to this point, it's been pushed to the next level. We're not going up against a bunch of panty waists tonight. It's the freakin' Flyers. Goonery knows no limits here.
Sidney Crosby remembers all to well having 3 teeth knocked out in his rookiee season, compliments of one Darrien Hatcher. They will come at our guys hard, but feel rest assured, our team is going to be coming right back at them.... harder.
This will be my first time at a playoff game. I'm so excited about it, I can't sit still. I've been up since 3am. I'm anxious to feel the rush of 17,000 fellow Penguins fans inside the Mellon Arena, and another 3,500+ outside on the lawn watching the big screen.
I've been to Penguin/Flyer games before, but this one will not compare, and the stakes are such that a win puts us one step closer to the finals, and a chance at bringing the Cup back to Pittsburgh.
So the question that remains is... how much do you want it? I'd say if I could skate and score goals like Malkin, or could block shots like Fleury, or irritate opponents like Rutuu... I want it just as bad as they do.
This is my team... They are my Penguins.... Let's go guys... Do it for all of us, we've got your backs.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Yep!! FINALLY!!! I got them... playoff tickets!!!
Friday night... section E2 (yeah, not our usual Igloo seats, but I'M GOING!! WHO CARES!) yours truly and her dear husband will be cheering on the Pens over those freakin' Flyers!
I think I've finally found a way around the whole online circus of getting a chance at tickets. Just because it worked this time doesn't mean it will next time... but I'M GOING!!! :P
In case you've not guessed yet... I'm excited. :)
Let's go Pens!!!
On the long and winding road to the Stanley Cup, a team must win 16 games. Note, that's not play 16 games... that's WINNING 16. So it's a given that you'll more than likely play more than that. So far the Penguins have been lucky, sweeping the Senators 4-0, then taking the Rangers in the series 4-1. A big advantage.
Add to that the series with Philthadelphia will not start until Friday. So a few days rest for our Pens. :)
Sunday's win against the Rangers at home was a nail biter for sure. When we were up 2-0 I could just feel the win, only to have the air sucked out of me when NY came back early in the 3rd to even it up. Rats in a poke!
Jagr continued to play like a man possessed. It still remains to be seen where his future lies.
In the end, we got our just desserts, and finished off the NYR's. Hope Sean Avery got to watch the game in HD at home. :) See ya on the greens, guys.
Hossa has really shut me up. And I'm glad. I've been saying he's not been producing lately, then he procedes to do that, show up and get the job done, and in OT at that.
Fleury has been showing everyone what he's all about, and why he was a number one draft pick.
I've been secretly wondering about Sid though, he almost seems to be going along unnoticed. Let's just hope it's me being weird, and it's not like last year where he had the broken bone in his foot!
All in all I was very pleased with Sundays performance, and look forward to a hard fought battle with the much despised Flyers.
Let's keep this winning train a rollin'.......
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Did I say we'd sweep the NYR's ? Well, I guess I did, but more specificly, I probably should have reserved that until after the fact that it did happen, which it did not. Ahh well, we'll not be so presumtuous again in the playoffs :)
The game didn't end well. Jagr played with a passion he's not shown for quite a few years. He seemed possessed. He wasn't so bold after game #3 to be like Mark Messier and say they would win, but hinted that 'this series is different, I just feel it'. Ok. Sure.
I never thought initially the Pens would go up 3 games to none, but was happy that they did so. And maybe it will be nice to come home and end the series with a win at home, in front of the fans. Something they didn't get to do with Ottawa.
Personally, I think since this could possibly be Jagr's last game as a Ranger, heck.. maybe even his last game in the NHL.... I say let's end his career right where it started. :) How poetic, yes?
Also in staying alive fashion..... the Sharks win it in OT last night to stay alive against Dallas, that series now 3 (Dallas) to 2 (SJ). All along I've secretly been holding out for a Sharks/Penguins Stanley Cup. Wouldn't that just rock? I've been a bit stunned with the trouble the Sharks have had in the playoffs. This doesn't seem like the same team that was on a 10+ game road winning streak when they were in and out of Pittsburgh, nor the team who had another 14 game streak twoards the end of the season.
Detroit took out Foppa and the rest of the Avalanche. Foppa played in 9 of 19 games after being acquired at the trade deadline, then in something like 6 of 10 playoff games. A commentator I heard yesterday on XM radio's home ice channel said... "seems he can't step on the ice without pulling a groin". I think he needs to call it quits. But I thought that last year too. There is something to be said for consistancy.
Montreal and Philly go at it again tonight. Montreal has only won one game in this series to Philly's 3. Sure would be nice to see the Habs win another game, at the very least make the series go 6 or 7 games, wear down the Flyers a bit. But as it is, it seems the Canadians are taking a slow walk into the middle of some quick sand. *shrugs*
Tomorrow..... 2pm... NBC... HD!!! Pens end it... Let's d00000000000 eet! (again!)
Thursday, May 1, 2008
(and as a side, nonhockey note.. if you've never been to I can has cheeseburger? your life is not complete... same with I has a hotdog )
Tuesday nights win was exciting hockey to say the least. The aftermath being Sean Avery injuring his spleen. I dislike the guy and his dirty tactics, but I'd certainly wouldn't wish to see him hurt... well... at least not like this :P So he's out for the rest of the season, and more importantly tonights game. Let's be honest here, there wasn't going to be much of a season for left for him anyhow.
Jaromir Jagr played like he hasn't played in years. Is he that desperate? Finally?
Ok, latest word is Max Talbot has a broken foot. What do you think? Is it Gary time? You bet your last nickel it is!! Him and Sudderi are playing tonight folks! The Pens nation celebrates.
As a loyal fan, I'm trying really hard not to get too far ahead of myself, but darn when the team is playing like they are, you just have to love our chances of making it past the conference final and into the final dance.
At this stage of the game, the Habs have been lackluster and disappointing in their play against the freakazoid Flyers. All I can say is if the Flyers do eek out and take their series against the Canadians, I say BRING IT. They think we avoided them in the first round, we'll happily do away with them in the final round. Bastids...
It's a little more than 4 hours to game time, get those brooms out, and get ready to sweep some Rangers under the rug..... d0000 eeeet!