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 =)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fight 'til the end, fellas.

We were in beast mode as the game began. Two power play goals early on, and the puck seemed attached to one of our guys. I'm not sure where we went downhill or what shifted. It could have been that we let a lead get the best of us and they wanted it more. That certainly was the case after the "no goal" call (which even a Pens fan would agree was the wrong call). I hated that we had lost the lead, hated that we were headed to overtime. Didn't predict that Sid would head to the box and with 3 seconds remaining the Stars would take the 2 points. Just proves the point: FIGHT 'TIL THE END.

Despite everything, the loss didn't matter as much as Pascal Dupuis dropping to the ice and laying there, players and staff surrounding him, for felt like eternity. Was he paralyzed? We didn't know a thing. The puck hit him so awkwardly where there was no protection. All of this after basically a season out. But... what came next I would only expect from (Super) Duper.

Thumbs up. He'd be OK. Not only OK, but he'd be in full gear for practice today.

Almost paralyzed? No big thing. This only confirms what I already know as fact: Hockey players are tough the toughest of any mainstream sport. Broken jaws/hands/feet/legs/noses, missing teeth, torn MCL, ACL, strokes...Men who sacrifice their bodies for their teammates, and for the love of the sport. Men whose only question after an injury is "when can I get back on the ice?" I'm in awe of these athletes.

So, the Pens were handed their first lost last night. Tough to swallow, but an entire season ahead of them and a NY team on the horizon who deserves THEIR first loss. Who would have believed the Islanders would be 4-0?! Not this LI-born girl.

Friday, October 10, 2014

One down, 81 to go.

So, it's not secret that I was a maniac at 7pm last night, and no, it wasn't in the excited for game type of way. My TV was telling me that I wasn't subscribed to Center Ice, and I was frantically yelling back, "YES I AM!" Half hour later and hallway through the first period, I'm (rudely) told that no one is getting the HD channels (My bad, I didn't think to check the non-HD). So, NOT the way I thought I'd start the season, but I quickly cheered up when I watched us take an early lead against the Ducks. Did Fleury do some "Fleury things" that made me uncomfortable? Sure (one costing an avoidable goal), but overall I was impressed by what everyone brought to the ice. New additions stepped up to defend their teammates, players who haven't seen a regular season game in 10 months matched personal bests. I like Malkin on wing. I love the way Sutter has stepped up as a key player on this team. I also LOVE this and want to make it my weekend uniform (I also wouldn't mind if the man behind it hand-delivered it to me).

In short...I'm beyond excited to see what the Penguins can do.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My kind of holiday.

If you're trying to have a conversation with me today, your voice is drowned out by my head screaming, "hockey, hockey, HOCKEY." Although the NHL season officially kicked off last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Flyers/Bruins game, tonight's the night I've eagerly anticipated for the past four months. In other words:

New coaching staff, exciting additions and heart-breaking subtractions to the roster, and veteran players that have something to prove after lackluster consecutive post-seasons. Could it be that we have a mostly healthy team? How long will it last? So many questions, so much potential, so much hope. One game at a time, and it all starts in less than five hours.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Birthdays, bubbles, and big hopes.

Good things
  • Pens finally won a pre-season game last night!
  • It's Chris Kunitz's birthday, and since he's 35 (and I'm 35), I don't feel one ounce of guilt or awkwardness in loving him.
  • Speaking of Kunitz, he will be playing in tomorrow's game.
  • So will Sid.
  • AND...It's finally on TV.
  • Also, Brandon Sutter and Beau Bennett have been on fire.
Bad things
  • But...Beau might as well live in a bubble. Man down. Again.

  • I don't yet have a third jersey (loving the throwback) nor tickets for a single game this season. This will need to change.
  • Oili Maata and Kasperi Kapanen look too much alike. They will need to make sure they are always wearing jerseys. Or name tags.
So... you'll know where to find me tomorrow night, as well as 82 other occasions over the course of the next seven months. Looking forward to seeing what a new coach and some fresh players bring to this team.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello, September!

It might be 90 degrees out, but in my heart, hockey is on its way. It's 20 days from pre-season, and my father-in-law brought us back two essentials from Pittsburgh this weekend:
A case of Iron City!

And a banner way too large for my new office, but screw it, it's up!
And yes, I understand that we're only days away from football. Of course I know that its return should put hockey on the backburner, but even the Steelers looks like they'd rather be watching hockey (or smoking pot, but that's a whole other story).
So expect a lot more from me in about 3 weeks. I'll surely be missing Disco Dan and half the team we lost/traded, but I'm as excited as ever for the season!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

And scene.

I went to bed, just as I did the year before when the Penguins lost to the Bruins, with tears in my eyes and a an emptiness only felt when a relationship ends. Like many fans, I was not only glued to each game, but to stats, blogs, articles, and press conferences from October through this morning. The roller coaster ride has ended but I don't want to get off.

I sometimes feel silly for the emotional investment I put into sports, and none more than hockey. I've always been a girl who wanted to belong to something. In high school and college, it was traveling up and down the East Coast for music, although sports were always in there- I remember being so obsessed with the Cowboys and Broncos that I would tape Superbowls. What pre-teen does that? (this one). Somewhere along these last ten years, hockey took over and my love and commitment to it started to grow and grow.

My life is very different than I thought it would be. Two years ago, I lost two unborn sons, and I'm forever changed from it. Since then, hockey has been not only something to take my mind off of tragedy, but it's been a constant in my life that I know will be there for me. Oddly, it has helped fill a void. It's something that I can get excited about and share with others. Following the Penguins has allowed me to be a part of something special. I boast about it like I would a family. It's also something special I share with my nephew, a kid who I adore like he was my own. And although Mark's right when he jokes, "You're not on the team," my heart is there. When I (and others) question why I take it so seriously, the counselor in me knows the reason: I need it. So a loss for me might (will absolutely) sting a little more than a casual fan.

My favorite blog, if you haven't noticed my reposts/retweets, is What's Up, Ya Sieve? The ladies are witty and equally passionate about hockey, and their blog says everything I want to write on here but much better. I woke up feeling deflated and cranky, but this morning's entry reminded me that being a part of something and sharing that experience with others, whether it's actually in-the-flesh friends and family or  people you've never met but "get you" make the disappointment worth it. Will I be cranky today? Absolutely. But I'm already filled with hope for October.

Monday, May 12, 2014


I am tired, feeling ill and cranky today, and that actually doesn't have to do anything with the Pens (although it certainly doesn't help). I didn't want to lose Friday's game 5, of course. But I also knew the Rangers wouldn't make it THAT easy to clinch a spot in the Eastern Conference finals. But pushing it to game 7?...frustrating and scary. I missed 2/3 of last night's game but my nephew had me checking the score here and there throughout Mother's Day dinner. I was OK with not watching the game because it relieved some of the anxiety, but I had unrealistically hoped I would get home last night and see enough of a lead that I could watch the third period stress-free. Not the case. We looked like we had plenty of chances but Henrik was on point and we just couldn't get it done. Anyway, it's do or die tomorrow night. I'm opting for DO.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


I got a text from my best friend last night that someone she was having dinner with in the city suggested that they go to the Penguins game. Last minute. For free. I would have given my right arm to be there (although my cousin asked, "but what would you clap with?" Good point.). Well, slowly we are converting said best friend to a Penguins fan. I even dress her up when she comes to visit.

She lives in West Virginia now, so she basically has no choice, but I'd like to think I was the one to start the conversion to making her a better person. (And yes, she's drinking an Iron City).

So as I sat in my pajamas glued to NBC Sports, this was her view.

She said that every time the Penguins scores, MSG went quiet. I like that. She also got to see one of the best goals of the season.

The Rangers are 0-36 on the power play, but who's counting? I'm too busy staring at matching purple suits.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Game 4.

Why didn't I write about Monday's game? I DON'T KNOW! I had plenty to say about it! I could have written about Marc-stonewall-Fleury, or the Rangers inability to score on a power play, or this:

While I would have liked a few more shots of goal, especially in the third (only 1!), I love what I'm seeing. Talk about a confidence booster for MAF! Back-to-back shut outs, a great penalty kill, and a team that finally looks like they're playing with some heart.

7:30 can't come soon enough.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Series tied up!

I am nervous every game, but one that starts out with one penalty after another has my stomach in a perpetual knot. For the first period, it seemed like we were on the penalty kill more than we were even strength. And despite NY being gosh awful on the PP, if you give a team enough chances with the man advantage, they'll eventually score. But they didn't. We survived and finally thrived. We actually looked GOOD. 

Flower did his part when he had to, and if it weren't for Lundqvist being a rock star, we could have probably closed that game out with a bigger number before the -0. A shut out is exactly what we needed to go into NY tonight.  And Sid, despite not actually scoring, looked more like Sid last night. I went to sleep last night recognizing my team again. Hooray for that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One games/series at a time.

HOORAY! Aged a few years last night but YAY! Pens move onto round 2, and we'll find out tonight whether it'll be against the Flyers or Rangers. I'm torn. The Flyers have schooled us, but it would be one Hell of a match up. Plus, we're a family divided:

Hat tricks aren't as fun when it's not on home ice, but wait, who am I kidding? It was still a hat trick.

Did I almost lose it when late in the third we almost lost a 4-0 lead? Absolutely. Will it only get harder from here? Yep. Will I miss hearing the name "Boone Jenner"? Kind of. But buckle up your literal babies, we have a long way to go and can only get there one win at a time.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I hate you because I love you.

It's Kris Letang's birthday and I don't feel like celebrating.

Unlike two nights prior, I wasn't screaming. Perhaps a few cheers early on (after all, the first period had the Pens looking like rock stars), but there were no words, even curse words, to explain the total meltdown that unfolded in the third. Every year, I'll yell at the tv the same phrase: "GET IN YOUR GOAL." Why won't MAF listen? While I don't blame the loss on Flower (did Geno even have a shot on goal?), it was a careless move that sent us to OT instead of wrapping up a win.

Going to sleep is not an easy task after a loss like that. The conversation with my husband went something like (OK, exactly like) this:

Me: heavy sighs
Mark: "calm down honey, you're not on the team"

I know I need to take this less seriously. I thought about not watching game five, but who am I kidding? I'll be glued to it. I'll be hoping to recognize my team again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The story of last night.

I can't believe we came back to win last night's game, but I'll take it. I was a cursing machine three minutes in and for the remainder of the game. "F'ing Christ" flew out of my mouth uncontrollably. My husband walked in the door to me shouting about Boone Jenner. Two goals too soon and I hoped they'd pull Fleury. Instead, they took a time out and tried to regroup. It worked, as they wound up holding Columbus, but we still couldn't score. Bobrovsky was looking like Rask and despite several chances, including several on the power play, it just wasn't happening. With the Blue Jackets up 3-1 in the third, I was ready to go to sleep angry. I had hoped that we'd try and tie up the series later in the week. And then, as my husband was falling asleep beside me, I shouted so loudly and practically pulled his arm out of the socket because the Pens scored, then scored again. And then holy crap again and we took the lead. Even this morning we muttered to each other, "I can't believe we won."

Even still, I can't make sense of our veteran stars. Crickets. Sure, they had some chances but their inability to connect worries me moving forward. This crap won't fly if we get through this series. The other teams will trample us like buffalo. Literally, like the Buffalo Sabres would be trampled. Let's make it right.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Where have all the Penguins gone?

As I'm still trying to shake of the double overtime loss from Saturday, I can't help but wonder, where have all the Penguins gone? I mean, I see them on the ice, but they're mentally on another planet. Earth to Sid, Geno, Neal, Kuni- we're in the playoffs! They can't rely on the baby Penguins. How can they play so well in the first period and then lose Brian Gibbons and they fall apart? It makes me crazy.


Matty Niskanen has perhaps replaced Tanger as my d-man boyfriend. He's on his game, he's easy on the eyes, and he loves puppies.

We (I) need a win tonight. And not a scare the crap out of me "a win's a win" kind of win. A kick ass, make'em cry, 10 run rule kind of win. Let's make that happen, ok?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

And so it begins.

Last night, game 1, and anxious was the understatement of the year.  Is it so hard to whoop ass in the playoffs? Thankfully Fleury was OK- I know he wished he could take at least one of those goals back, but anyone who says they don't worry about Flower is lying. We're all scared out of our minds that he'll lose it. I wonder if the sports psychologist travels with the team? Let's consider getting him on the bus. We'll pay him in silver.

My husband has this plaid jacket that needs to be thrown out because half the arm is ripped off. He tends to keep clothes and shoes until I secretly "lose" them (ie: throw them out myself).

Well, last night he decided this jacket would now be be known as his "Boone Jenner." It made perfect sense to me (although this is a RED jacket, not a blue jacket... but it certainly fits the name "Boone.")

And will I ever grow up? Eveytime I heard the name "Tyutin," I giggled. (This also happens with Oduya).

One down, 3 (or 15, but let's not get ahead of ourselves) to go. Buckle up, baby. if last night's game shows us anything, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Friday, March 28, 2014

If I blog, can we please win??

What is happening? Since when are we a team that loses three consecutive games? For the last few games, we've been one point away from clinching a playoff spot. I know we'll get there, but I'm growing impatient and after each agonizing loss (and as Boston increases their lead), I find myself feeling like this:

I understand that we're ridden with injuries, moreso than any other NHL team, but I'm starting to have little confidence when the majority of our players are on the ice. I keep hoping they'll prove me wrong, but it hasn't been happening. I'm not quite sure how we went into last night with the top powerplay in the league (I'm assuming that spot is gone due to last night's performance), but we don't look like a team who could make it through round 1.

I think back to this time last year. We didn't lose a single game in March, and now it seems we lose more than we win.

I haven't had time (nor do I have time right now) to post on here but I'm looking for anything that can turn this ship around.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Stadium Series bust.

A rare shoot out loss, and then a schooling by the Blachawks? What's happening? Last year the Pens didn't lose a game during the month of March. Things need to change.

With that said, let's go back to Saturday's Stadium Series in Chicago.

First, we watched the game with my husband's family. I've obviously trained my nephew well, as he brought down from his room basically everything he had in support of the Penguins. He made Pillow Pens, sported hats and shirts, and of course a game isn't complete without not one, but TWO sock monkeys. The boy was more enthused than I was, if that's even possible. In general, his hockey knowledge (for being ten) is outstanding and when play trivia during dinner he knows all the names, numbers, and teams. Obviously all crucial information. It's adorable.

And speaking of adorable... THIS.

James Neal, who happened to be the only Pens goal-scorer, seriously couldn't be cuter here. And everywhere.

Crazy conditions for this game. I can't imagine the puck traveling well in that snow, judging by how often they cleared the ice. I guess that's better than the last Pens outdoor game which was delayed due to it being so warm out.

I'm curious about the possible Ryan Kesler trade.  I don't want to see Brandon Sutter go. I think he's good for the Pens- both on and off the ice. But I'm willing to enterain any changes that might make for a better team. ANYTHING to avoid a repeat of last year.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Criticism, Canada!, and the return of NHL hockey.

It was like a horrible repeat of the Boston/Penguins series. Rask in net. Unstoppable. Bylsma's team defeated. But this time it was the United States and not Pittsburgh, and this time a country's and not a city blaming Dan. I'm certainly disappointed that the USA didn't earn the gold, but I'm reluctant to toss blame toward the coaching staff alone. Should Kane have been the penalty shot pick? Probably not. Were there changes that could/should have been made during the last two games? Sure. But could it be that the teams who medaled were just better? I thought so when I saw the rosters, at least for Canada. It's obvious that I have a soft spot in my heart for my coach. He's a likable guy and easy on the eyes. But I can be unbiased enough to assess that one man is not the reason that the Unites States finished fourth. I'm seeing a boat load of articles criticizing Byslma. I've also seen Twitter and Facebook comments saying that "Martin and Orpik are disgraces to their country." Hello! Martin was scratched for the two final games with a hand injury.

Oddly, I'm not seeing criticism for Zach Parise, Captain America. He was supposed to lead the team, no? (disclaimer: I'm not bashing Parise. I will miss watching/rooting for him. I will most of all miss his har.) ANYWAY, while the USA was defeated, I was a little happy That my Pens Jussi and Olli scored. I wonder how Bylsma felt- there has to be a little bit of "Hey, they're my guys!" (hidden behind a few curses of course).

And then there was yesterday's game. After the Unites States lost, I could unapologetically turn my attention to our neighbors to the north in the gold medal game. I promise you I didn't want it to turn out this way- I would have been just as content watching Canada duke it out for bronze. But man did I enjoy watching that game and rooting for my guys. And after all the criticism about Crosby and Kunitz ("Crosby hasn't scored yet; Kunitz shouldn't even be there), I pretty much screamed and did a little dance when each of them had their goals yesterday. I felt proud to be Canadian have once gone to Canada. I was overjoyed for Sid. This picture makes me so happy that I can (almost) ignore that PK Subban is in it.

So now tha the Olympics are over, we can go back to our regularly scheduled hatred of NHL players who are not on our respective teams. Give me back my Russians, Fins, and Canadas. It's time to win a cup.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Oh, Canada!

I will preface this all by saying: I wanted USA to win the gold. Really, I did. Promise. I'm American, afterall. My motto was "Coach and Country above Captain." I did, however, want it to be reeeaaaallly close and for Crosby (or Kunitz) to score. So I was disappointed with the loss to the Canadians. (Really, I was).  I'm very much hoping that Disco Dan and Captain America go home with the bronze. I want to see this guy smile.

However. I now can root for my number two team unapologetically. TeamCrosby. I want this again:

Sure, he hasn't scored yet in the Olympics. But that's what Sunday is for. At 7am. With a lot of coffee.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Holy Hockey Weekend!

#SochiOshie. #OshieFever. These were just some of the hastags that took over Twitter Saturday morning. And I drank the Kool-Aid. Here's a kid I'd barely heard of giving one of the most remarkable shoot out performances I've seen. I watched it live in, oddly enough, my chiropractor's office. Thank goodness for technology, as a young boy sitting next to me and I watched simultaneously on our iphones, giving the office updates with every shot. The rules for the shoot out are so different than the NHL- I didn't know that until I saw Oshie back again. And again. And again. It was such an amazing moment in hockey history.

I bet A LOT more people woke up to watch the USA yesterday because of what they saw happen on Saturday. Maybe these types of moments will show others what I've been preaching for years: hockey is awesome in the truest sense of the word.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Olympic hockey has begun!

Thank you snow Gods for giving my job a reason to close yesterday. Snow day = hockey day! I'd also like to give special thanks to Keurig and my comfy couch for adding to this already wonderful event.
I was NOT up at 3am, but I was happy to hear that Maatta and Jokinen rocked it (like I knew they would). I was up in plenty of time (like a girl on Christmas morning) to watch Disco Dan lead Team USA to a beyond impressive first win. I was so proud to be an American.
And then at noon my Canadian alter-ego kicked in. And while that battle was a little bit tighter, it was nice to end the afternoon with ALL of my Pens players coming away from game 1 with wins.  I know that won't always be the case. I'm hoping that it doesn't come down to USA/Canada in the end because my heart will be torn between my coach/country and my captain, however if you show me more clips of Zach Parise and his messy hair I could certainly be swayed.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Letang. Tiny hole in heart has led to a massive hole in my heart. A STROKE. Only 26. Holy Hell. Wishing you the best, Kris.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jet Lag

So before we talk about last night's late nighter, let's address the Olympic rosters. I definitely agree with the six Penguins who were chosen for their respective teams, but was disappointed (as many were) not to see James Neal as a pick for Team Canada. Perhaps we were lucky to have two and I should bite my tongue. Afterall, some teams were completely shut out. But it's James Neal! His energy, his ability, and his boyish good looks should have landed him a secure spot. Oh well. I hope he wasn't too bent out of shape about it. Also, had Letang not missed as many games as he had, I think he would have had a good chance as well. Not that I'm hoping for an injury to one of the current players, but there's still time...

Now onto last night.

I was tired at 8:30. At 10pm I thankfully got a second wind and told myself, "You have work tomorrow. Call it a night after the second period." I did not listen. I was excited that they were up, and then I was annoyed they were down, and with about 5 to go in the third I decided that was it. Goodnight. But then... Letang scores. Sid scores. TIE GAME headed to OT. HOLY HELL. Then a shootout. Then a win. Then sleep. Did I need an extra cup of coffee this morning to function and was it well worth it? Absolutely.