Wednesday, July 29, 2015

the inevitable trade

It's been over three months since my last post. I'd taken a hiatus to writing about hockey, because frankly, work had taken over my life and I wasn't quite sure if I still had anything worthy to say. But today I do.

I'd somewhat seen it coming, but with no movement with the Kessel trade, I thought it might be safe to say my favorite player would remain in Pittsburgh for another season. Yesterday, news broke that Brandon Sutter had been traded to Vancouver. My reaction was a mix of this...

...and a whole bunch of 'inappropriate at work' words.

Moments later, my husband called to console me. Although at one point he joking asked, "Are you going to drown your sorrows at the Chinese Buffet?," he knew I was disappointed.

I'd grown an affection and admiration soon after Sutter was traded to Pittsburgh, as I thought he brought great skill and enthusiasm to the Penguins. It also helped that he was easy on the eyes.

Many of you can relate to losing your favorite player. It's feels like you're losing a part of your family, a piece of you, and it seems unthinkable to go from wearing their jersey (see above) to rooting against them. It's happened before (see: James Neal) and it will undoubtedly happen again, but I swear, if the guy on the left goes, there will be Hell to pay.

So thank you, Brandon Sutter, for all you brought to the Penguins. Anyone who watched "In the Room" saw your charisma and love for this game, city, and team.  Perhaps it was your time to go, and I'll grow to adore your replacements, but for now, I'll be drowning my sorrows in MSG...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Another run cut short...

I didn't watch Friday's game. I couldn't. For as many games as I watched this season (80+), the pressure of this elimination game was just too much.

While disappointed, I'm not mad. I didn't throw a tantrum. No tears were shed. While the series final didn't show it, the Pens finally gave their fans something to be proud of: a strong finish and a fight until the end. Most would agree that had the Penguins showed up the way they did against the Rangers through the month of March, we would have been in a much better spot. I'm certain that we wouldn't have been fighting for a wild card and we wouldn't have faced the top team in the NHL in round 1. Things could have been different.

But alas, it wasn't their year and I'll wait to see what additions or subtractions they'll make in the off season. We already know that most of the key players aren't moving, and I'm OK with that. While at the end of the regular season I was shouting from the rooftops that the coach needed to go, I'd like to see what he could bring given another year. I have hope.

So until then, I'll switch gears and get ready for a Steelers season with a roster with some big shoes to fill and the promise that the Pens' next season will be here before I know it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2 Days and Counting

Well, we didn't beat the Islanders but we did clinch a playoff spot Saturday night by defeating the Sabres. Nothing like coming down to the wire. And yes, it's certainly not where we hoped to finish in the standings, but it's a fresh start. A start that begins with a rematch against the Rangers, the team that last season made an incredible comeback and shattered our playoff run. A jaw-dropping, "can you believe that just happened?" bad dream. While we didn't fair well against NY during the regular season, this could be different.
I'd like to think of our low ranking as a positive. After all, we've had a lackluster second half of our season, and I'd assume that any team at this point would be excited to face us in the playoffs. Perhaps that can work in our favor, and we'll be the dark horse that hits them when they're least expecting it. Sure, we don't have home ice advantage for ANY possible future series, but that didn't seem to benefit it us, especially when we were swept by Boston two years ago. We were at the top of the world and it was a long, hard fall. Not to mention, my hopes were too high then. As the bottom seed, my expectations are set much lower and I'm not picturing the long-term. I don't have envisions of Sid holding the cup. While of course that is any fan's ultimate fantasy, I'm focused on the more immediate, small steps in the process. First stop: Madison Square Garden to face the President's Trophy victors. It will be hard fought, but isn't that true of anything worthwhile?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Under Pressure

It's been over five months since I've sat down to write. Blame it on a new job, or perhaps it's that What's Up, Ya Sieve? says everything better than I ever could, but I finally need to vent to more than just my friends and family.

My husband and father-in-law joke about how seriously I take hockey. They call me "coach" and and "fire" me when things aren't going well. Unfortunately there's been a lot of those comments lately.
In the not too distant past, the Penguins rarely lost two consecutive games, let alone this embarrassment called March and April. I remember an undefeated March 2013, where Mark and I were able to witness three incredible games and where I fell in love with Consol. This year's trip had a much different feel with two big losses.

My team went from battling for first place to now holding onto any hope of clinching a wild card. What. The. Hell.  If we make our way into the playoffs, will we be able to even get through the first round?  Not based on they way we've been playing. We don't shoot, we cause nonsense penalties, and we're generally flat. All of this with some of the best players in the game.

And yes, it's just a game. There's always next season. But when you commit your time and energy and walk away with nothing to show for it, it's heartbreaking and frustrating. I'm not ready to say goodbye to my team just yet.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nice try, but...

I turned the channel when the Pens "lost" in the shootout, partly out of frustration (mostly toward my husband who I felt jinxed the game) and partly because I knew that Center Ice would start playing the "goodnight" music. I hopped on Twitter to post something snarky (either about my husband or the Pens, I wasn't quite sure), but instead saw messages in my feed that I didn't understand. "Penguins win!" was posted by none other than the Penguins. "Sutter scores!" Sutter hadn't shot. I quickly turned back to Center Ice and rewound the handful of minutes that I'd been away. Indeed, the hockey gods were spiting my husband who earlier commented, "we're going to lose." Apparently Boyle shot twice, or rather, he shot, the puck ricocheted off the post onto his stick and then went in. But this wasn't evident until further review. In the meantime, the Rangers had cheered, the Pens sulked, and both teams retreated to their respective locker rooms. Their gear was off, fans were making their way to the exits, and the Rangers had taken the two points.
And then horn sounded, and they all rushed back.

It would have been rather anticlimactic had they come back onto for the Rangers to win again. Thankfully this was not the outcome. Sutter (who has surpassed my Letang love) scores, then Fleury blocks a Rick Nash shot. We win, and you'd honestly think we won the cup by the enthusiasm of the crowd and the joy of the players. It was one of the most amazing hockey moments I've ever seen.

Also, 87% sure that I have tickets secured for two March games in Pittsburgh. Hopefully Santa's bringing me a throw back Sutter jersey.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Going for 6.

Too much time has gone by since my last post, but this is no way correlates with a lessening addiction to hockey. It's in full force. Just ask the Verizon customer service rep that heard my wrath the night of the Devils game. You know, the one where we scored 8 goals? Also known as the one I had to listen to in its entirety on the iPad, because after close to two hours on the phone, Fios could not give me my Center Ice. I will not forgive you, Verizon, but somehow you still convinced me to upgrade my TV package. Now that we pay 2 bazillion dollars, I'd like my services to work 100% of the time.

I digress. I'd like to point out (for those of you who haven't noticed) that we are kicking ass and taking names. Now on a five game winning streak, we hold the top spot in the Metropolitan division, and once again, Sid seems to be racing toward the Art Ross. And Flower has been resigned for another four years. How can you not when the guy has three shut outs in four games? For the doubters (which at times has included me), can we ease up a bit on him now? At least until he gives a reason otherwise...

It's been some time since the Penguins AND the Steelers were simultaneously going strong. How long can it last? All I know is that both teams face the Jets next- Pens tonight and Steelers on Sunday, so you know where I'll be.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Battle of PA!

Until this morning, our family was split fairly even. My husband and I are obviously Pens fans, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law root for the Flyers, and my nephews were split (as shown here):
Little by little we've tried to infiltrate and bring my nephew Jake over from the dark side, and wouldn't you know- this morning I see this picture posted on Facebook:
Please ignore the crazy hair (it was "crazy hair day" at school), and please focus on the fact that my (smaller) nephew is also sporting a hand-me-down Winter Classic Crosby shirt. It's a good day in PA.
Pens/Flyers is always an exciting rivalry that always has my stomach and knots. There's also an adequate amount of taunting and teasing, much of it surrounded by the Flyers lackluster start to the season (at least they have the Eagles) and ever-amusing captain Claude Giroux. This should make even a Flyers fan laugh:

So best of luck to my Penguins. Glad to know that they'll be one more kid rooting tonight for the good guys =)