Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins have a chance to win the Stanley Cup against the Nashville Predators (I know, weird right?) and repeat as champions of the NHL for the second straight year. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact I’m cheering my beloved Pens through their 4th Stanley Cup Finals since I moved to Pittsburgh and 6th of my lifetime.
Last year the Pens won Game 6 on the road in San Jose and with the same scenario repeating itself in Nashville I was thinking back to that night. The Pens hosted a viewing party which allowed Teaspoon and I to be at the arena and cheer along as Pittsburgh won the Cup but it wasn’t just that which made the night memorable. Here’s a video from last year I can chalk up to posts I wanted to make but never did and one of the best nights we’ve ever had.
Flyers made it into the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the last day of the season with a shootout goal and now they’re playing for the Cup. How in the freaking world did this happen? Teams 1-3 were knocked off right away and then the Pens fell to Montreal in 7. This has been one screwed up playoffs and if the NHL commercials about “History will be made” weren’t so god awful they would be praised for accuracy. Actually it should be “This is some fucked-up repugnant shit.”
I’m seriously torn but here’s what my decision came down to.
Keep the cup in PA – the state tourism people can make some $$ with “Pennsylvania – The State of Lord Stanley”. If I see that on any shirts or posters send me royalties.
Never cheer outside your conference – In baseball you cheer for the NL, in football its the AFC. Its YOUR group.
Hossa factor – I hate him. hate hate hate. He is the epitome of being a douchebag in modern day sports. He does not deserve to win a cup. EVER!
Rivalry – Pens and Flyers as the last 2 cup winners. Do you realize this just took the rivalry up to a level of potential rioting. Next season is going to be freaking BEAUTIFUL!
Chicago – The only thing they’re deserving to win is an NBA title and thats because its a meaningless sport of thugs. White Sox? They really don’t exist.
2010-11 season – There’s no bigger kick in the nuts to Philly than Pittsburgh knocking the defending champs out of the playoffs next year and winning the Cup back.
In other words… Flyers in 6.
If your reaction is “you’re not a TRUE Pens fan” I must retort with “neither are you bandwagon!”. I’m not saying I’m cheering for the Flyers, I’m saying I pick them to win. I remained a ticket holder in the Mellon Arena during the dismal early 2000’s. Where were you when 8000 would show up to the games and before the Crosby era. You can’t question my fandom because you cant get past made up hatred for a a team you didn’t know existed 2 years ago.
Do I still hate the Flyers? You bet your sweet ass I do but they’re representing the East right now. OUR conference. They deserve OUR support. As much as it hurts me to say it, they made it to the show this year and the Pens didn’t.
Thursday night’s 4-2 Penguins win over the Red Wings was hands down the most fun I have ever had at a playoff game. My night started on pre-game drinks with Jim and Jim downtown. Many pints and cheers were had by all. It was the walk TO the game where things got exciting and a hobo wasn’t involved.
As you can see from the picture above the area outside the Mellon Arena was PACKED. The lawn was already 1/2 full at lunch time when the local news stations were broadcasting live from there. We make our way to Gate 9 and who do we see but Dave Hanson from the Hanson Brothers. My night was already made right there since he’s one badass guy. We walked the red carpet inside and not 1 minute later I bump into Mark Cuban. Yes, THAT Mark Cuban. He’s a native yinzer and probably came into town to see what a winning hockey team is like since he doesn’t get much of that in Dallas 🙂 Great guy.
The game was a non stop scream fest for myself and the regulars in F balcony. I’d go into details of the game but what haven’t you read or seen by now on the constant replays on NHL Network? Overall the energy was high and I was having an absolute blast. Pens rally from down 2-1 to win 4-2 (could have been 6-2). Once the game ended I took some time to absorb the night from my seat. I walked around the emptying arena a little bit and concluded with a trip to Pens Station to buy a program to add to my Ice Time, Whiteout Tshirt and Rally towel.
I started the walk back to my parking spot when who do I see next to me but Mike Emrick. What I love about Pittsburgh is that no matter what level of celeb you are, everyone treats you the same. Well unless you’re on NBC/VS and foam at the mouth to talk about Osgood’s 5-hole.
I wish I could better represent the excitement I felt that night but I can say that the only way to top this evening is to bring that cup back to Pittsburgh. I’m lookin at you Game 6.
Faceoff for Game 5 is in 19 hours. I gotta put the foil on.
I’m going to save you A LOT of time and sum up everything leading to this point. Your media insists on berating you with the same fluff piece because honestly if you’re not a hockey fan you really don’t care. The only coverage you need to read is over at The Pens Blog.
This is a rematch of last year’s Stanley Cup. No one since the 76/77 77/78 Bruins has lost 2 in a row. If you’re old enough to remember that you probably still think Pittsburgh is filled with steel mills and smog.
The finals schedule is apparently made by NBC and not the NHL. They fear going up against reruns during the week yet ABC has full coverage of the National Spelling Bee in prime time. Back to back games wouldn’t bother me if the league wasn’t at the mercy of a network with a joke of hockey coverage. You’ll think you’re watching a man crush porn with Mike Emrick’s love for anything red and white. Edzo, yeah we won’t go there. Drink a box of wine (Franzia Chillable red of course), snort a little horseradish and smash your head into a wall and your views of the game still wont be as skewed as Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury’s.
Hossa played for Pittsburgh last year, lost and left for Detroit in the offseason so he can “have a better chance winning a cup.” Hossa’s return isn’t a major concern, karma is a bitch and Jesus hates him.
One would think that Detroit, a city called “Hockey Town”, would be able to sell out a game. Well they can when it gets filled with Pens fans.
Some random Detroit fan throws an octopus on the ice every game. That’s about as stupid a tradition as it is not to touch a trophy.
Most of you know by now that the Pens lost Wednesday night 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals 4 games to 2. Normally a fan would be depressed but not me. Yes, I would have liked to see my team win but when you look back over the last 5 years you can’t help but feel pride.
The franchise was on the verge of leaving Pittsburgh. A cash dump by then GM Craig Patrick left us with a team that couldn’t even beat the Johnstown Chiefs and those of us die hard hockey fans were on life support for a sport destined to leave and keep this struggling city a major league town. 5 years later the Penguins became Stanley Cup finalists and the promotional baby of the NHL which was revamping a sport considered dead from a full season lock out.
Hockey isn’t a sport that you can just jump into. You need to know the rules to fully appreciate it. It’s also not something that can go to and just drink unlike football where it’s usually one big kegger. Hockey fans are similar to baseball nuts in regards to the amount of information they can pull out of their rear at any given moment. They are a plethora of random sports knowledge. Come up to F balcony some game and you’ll see it first hand.
My point is that not only as hockey fans but citizens of Pittsburgh, we’re on the verge of something very special and rare. We are at the birth of a dynasty. Granted that the offseason could really screw that up if Shero can’t resign some guys but still we have a core group of guys and a fan base that is more passionate than any other professional sports franchise. We don’t set fires like the people in Montreal or get violent like the thugs in Philadelphia but we do bleed black and (las vegas)gold.
I’m upset that the team lost the Cup but I could never, on any level, be disappointed in the season. I’m proud of this team, the organization and I’m DAMN proud to be a season ticket holder and a fan.