It's been 5 days now since the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, and I've held off really adding anything here to my blog other than the quick graphic I made up top there. The first couple days it was just because I was still so jacked up over it all. Then when I did have the inclination, I had no time, was at a loss for words, and oh yeah, the famous POS internet connection I have.
But, here I am at last. Yes, I'm still in a savoring state of mind, but at last able to share a few thoughts.
I've been pontificating just what I wanted to add here, and really this blog is more about my thoughts and opinions and ideas more so than any sort of 'news'. I leave that to bloggers much better than myself, and those with access to all sorts of media outlets, it is without them my own ideas would have nothing to feed off of. :)
So, in retrospect it was just like any other Friday night, except for the fact that it was game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, and my Penguins were playing! I was anxious all day for it to start, and then when it did start I almost wanted time to stop!
I remember thinking to myself once the puck dropped, how am I going to react if this is a repeat performance of last year? Devastated sure, but I would go on, albeit maybe a bit grouchy for a few days, but despite the feelings of nervousness as play progressed, I was having a very good feeling about all of this.
Seeing Sidney Crosby get hurt part way thru the second, I knew it'd do one of two things to the team. Either they were going to feed off that or they were going to let it get them down. Suffice to say it was the former and not the latter.
Superstar Max Talbot giving the Penguins their only two goals almost seemed poetic in a sense. Here is a guy who is obviously a fun person to be around for his teammates, but isn't really known for his talent. Max was clutch when the need arose, and in more than one instance thru these playoff's. Starting with that fight in the Philly series. I think the levity that he brings to the locker room is needed just as much as those moments when he adds to the game so richly.
Jordon Stall was another player that I was really happy to see blossom thru these games, and though he didn't score in game 7, he made his presence known.
I remember saying to my husband after the end of the second period, still uncertain what was wrong with Sid, "this game is going so fast!". Later those words couldn't have been further from the truth.
Thru these playoff games, my dog, Tulip, has become what you could call a Pavlov dog. A bunch of these games towards the end I watched on my own as my husband was still working, and I'll admit to letting go a bit more when I'm on my own in my celebrations. It got to the point when she heard the horn from the Mellon Arena from a Pens goal, she'd join me in voicing her excitement, though it has to be stated she probably has no concept of hockey, poor doggie. But it got to be fun nonetheless, every time I'd celebrate, she'd join too, even getting to the point that during the final game, half way thru the 3rd period she could sense my anxiety once Detroit scored.
For a game that I had thought to be speeding by suddenly came to a screeching halt about 1o minutes from the end. A 2-1 lead didn't seem so huge anymore. Gawd, I did not want this going into OT!!! Sure, the stamina of youth was on our side, but this was going to be the end of it all, no more second chances.
So the remaining time left, Fluery say a ton of shots on goal, and like a wall deflected and blocked them out. No longer was I sitting comfortable in my recliner, but instead on the edge of my seat quite literally. For crying out loud, I wanted it all to end, my heart couldn't take another shot off the crossbar behind Fluery!!! Let alone a near miss to his glove side.
A score of 2-1, a mere 6 seconds left on the clock, please hear my cries, I'm mentally yelling to the hockey gods, LET THEM WIN THIS!!!
A faceoff, a shot on net, Fleury takes a funky body dive to his right blocking a shot, he gets back up and sort of raises his hands, even he himself isn't sure, is it over? IT IS! He throws up his stick and gets surrounded by the rest of the team.
The Penguins have just won the Stanley Cup! And imagine, Sidney Crosby didn't get asked if he was going to Disney Land. Pffft!
Me and my husband, and Tulip celebrated right there in the living room to the greatest accomplishment in sports. In no other sport do you have to go thru a series and win 16 games to get to the final prize.
I've never been ashamed of my team, but at that moment I was never more proud of them, they had gone into the Joe Louis Arena, with most folks doubting their chances to take the Cup, but all us loyal Penguin fans had their back, we above all else, knew that they could do it. And they did.
Saturday night I barely slept, all I could think about was just how exciting this must be for the Penguins and all the troubles they've had in the last year since coming out of the finals as losers. They proved to everyone that you can't take a team at face value, that there is more to a team than the faces of it's players and a bunch of mumbo jumbo stats. There is heart, and without it, all the talent, stats, and money in the world won't buy you that win.
Sunday morning I got to rewatch a good bit of the game again on the NHL network, and I'm sure over the coming weeks I'll happily watch it again. This time it is easier to watch given that I know how it all ends.
For the rest of this week, I shall bask in the glory of my team having claimed Lord Stanley's most sacred chalice for their very own, and not be ashamed to do so. I'm a gracious winner, and won't shove it in anyones face, but forgive me if I feel the need to brag a little.
You see it's happened.... a hoceky girls dream has come true.