Thursday, December 26, 2013

Super-Duper Christmas.

For the last few years, my family has given me Penguins related gear and paraphernalia. Jerseys, glasses, hats, and tees- all wonderful gifts to add to my collection.  But nothing beats this:

The picture doesn't quite do it justice or fully explain its coolness, but let me try.  When I opened it, I figured my father-in-law bought it for me. When I realized he made it, I realized it's the most thoughtful gift anyone has given and this Penguins-obsessed girl shed a tear and did a little dance.  He MADE this.  Collected each of their rookie cards of the current team members with signatures and/or pieces of jersey. Up close it's incredible.  I'm in awe. Merry day after Christmas everybody and may we be gifted with a Pens win tomorrow! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Leafs blown away by "Baby Penguins"

Annoucers said it best last night- "Baby Penguins no more." Last night's roster looked like a pee-wee league, with young players brought up, some to play in their first NHL game. Matched up against some of the best in the league, how would our new players fair? Fan-friggin-tastic. Veterans players- take your time to heal- the rookies seem to have it covered!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Shame on You.

I'm still not exactly sure what I want to write regarding Saturday night's loss to the Bruins. Was I beyond pissed off that the Pens fell so late in the game? Sure. But what I think has replaced this disappointment is both Neal and Thornton's misbehavior. YES, I admit my beloved James Neal did a shameful thing to a Bruin that I can't stand. I'm in no way defending him, and I believe he deserves the five game suspension. But Thornton's brutality towards Brooks Orpik was horrific. I can't imagine what parents at that game said to their young children. There's no way to justify his behavior. The announcers said it happened because the refs didn't call a penality...and that Orpik wouldn't fight....and so on. I'm not buying it.

Oddly, I actually LIKE that there's fighting in hockey. I've never been one to argue for removing it. But there has to be a line in the unwritten rule book of hockey fights. Maybe it's as simple as "don't pounce on a defenseless player."

Afterall, it's a game. Yes, it's competitive and aggressive and hockey players above all others get pretty damn banged up. But it's still just a game. Anytime someone leaves on a stretcher, it's gone too far.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The West Isn't Always Best

Normally I'm more excited for Eastern conference matchups, but I was looking forward to the Pens meeting with the Sharks for two reasons:

-San Jose's record more or less mirrored ours and they were on a six game winning streak
-Tyler Kennedy's return to PGH.

I certainly expressed criticism about TK in the past, but he did have a way of coming through when we really needed it. That was evident in the playoffs- the guy is benched and when we finally decide to throw him in, he reminds us of his talent. While not quite easy on the eyes, and I still don't undertsand the whole "licking of the stick" incident, I was sad to see him go and I'm guessing he was too. The tribute to Kennedy during last night's game was a great reminder of his important to the Pens organization. I'm glad he's found a home when he can play more- he seemed to be on the ice quite a bit last night (and did you see him take down Brooks Orpik?).

I predicted a low scoring game. Both goaltenders were on point and it looked it was going to take a serious maneuver to get one in the net. Then the second period happened. One, two, three, four. Without Geno. Then without Dupuis. And while the Sharks made a goalie change, Flower stayed strong and continued to make spectacular saves.

With a Boston loss last night, Montreal has taken the lead in the Atlantic and we remain at the top of the East. But there's no time for gloating, especially when the Pens take on the Bruins in Boston tomorrow night.

God, I love hockey.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

C-ya Long Island.

Points of frustration. Points of pure joy. Trailing 0-2 to the Islanders early in the game is a horrible feeling. Fleury blocking a penalty shot, Pens tying it up in the third, and Sid scoring the game-winning goal in OT is not.

I still couldn't believe the OT goal when I woke up this morning (yes, I admit I wake up thinking about games, stats and standing).THIS is why I watch hockey. Sure, I wrote yesterday about building a comfortable lead, but games like last night are a constant reminder of how magical this sport is and how anything can happen with a little faith, hardwork and luck. I love my team. I love my captain. And I love the fact that for at least the next two days, we reign supreme in the East.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I love hockey nights.

I do. They get me through my day, and when there's no hockey, I think to myself "what am I going to do tonight?" and wait for the next night's game.

Thankfully there's been quite a few exciting games recently- some in which we've built a comfortable lead, others have been "holy crap, did that just happen" comeback moments. Nothing made me happier than waking my husband to tell him, "Pens beat Toronto in a shoot out."

Tonight the Penguins face Long Island. Only thing about LI that I like? John Tavares and a few family members (mine, not his).  For some reason, despite their abysmal standing and mere 20 points, the Pens often struggle with the Islanders. Lately we've struggled with many divisional opponents, which is troubling considering we're clearly seen as the sub-par division. I've read it plenty of other places- dominating the Metropolitan Division could mean very little on the road the the cup. Nonetheless, it's an important first step.

So tonight's our chance to extend our divisional lead. It's a chance for Malkin to "wow" us some more, after breaking away from the non-goal scoring slump that hung over his head for too long. Maybe tonight we'll move ahead of Boston in the East (maaaaybe? pleeease?).