Summertime Happiness

Thinking that hockey season is just a few short weeks from coming to a close is really depressing. Myself, Tina, and all other hockey fans around the world have to wait until September just for our favorite groups of guys get back together for training camp. Then, we have to wait another month for the regular season to officially start. That’s just so far away!

But then again, it’s SUMMER!

So when there isn’t hockey on tv, what is a girl to do? Oh yeah! Get on social media and find things related to hockey!

Like, “How To Be a Hockey Player” for all you summer / beer leaguers out there.

Or, “How The Playoff Beard Came To Be”

Or, there that whole, follow hockey players on social media to see what they’re up to. Because why not live vicariously through them?

Seriously, I wish I was in Matt Duchene’s shoes, hanging out with country singers in my spare time.

But let’s be honest, we’re way more excited for the new NHL season to start, especially when we have no stock in the Stanley Cup Final. Yet, I will be watching every single game, including tonight’s Game 7 between the LA Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.

P.S. – Go Hawks!! (because Patrick Kane is on a whole other level)

So during this all too long wait, players go to training camp. My particular favorites are Andy O’Brien:

And then, there’s Gary Roberts’ group / Biosteel #CAMP

To say the least, I’m excited for #CAMP 2014 and all things related to hockey players training. If it meant I could hang with those guys, then count me in for insane workouts and a strict diet.

As much as I love summer, I love hockey season even more. So I’ll enjoy the last few games before it’s 3-4 month hiatus.

In That Moment… Part Deux

Last night, it all ended. The Pittsburgh Penguins were eliminated from the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And I’m officially like:

(almost) all of the people around me

This is partially my fault because I chose to go to school in the Greater Boston Area and live with a Bruins fan. Then, I come home to Connecticut, where I didn’t choose to live, to a mix of Rangers, Bruins, Devils, Islanders and a mix of every other fan of an Eastern Conference team because this is no longer Whalers country. It’s quite awful. Especially since I am an all-too-proud Penguins fan.

There are other Pens fans in the state, and though I am friends with them, they are a rare sighting in this part of the country. Either way, we are not a particular favorite no matter where we go in the tri-state area or New England because (DUH!) it’s technically Rangers/Bruins/Islanders/Devils territory. We are those awkward, rebel children who people think were dropped on the head as babies or our parents didn’t raise us properly. It’s more like my parents were Hartford Whalers fans, then Carolina stole the franchise. So you ask, “Shouldn’t you be a Canes fan then?”

Umm, NO!

image

Long story short, my parents didn’t care who I was a fan of, so I turned to the Penguins when I could’ve so easily ran to the Bruins or the Rangers, like (almost) every other citizen of Connecticut.

So, the “how I became a Pens fan” aside, last night was torture. Once again.

Last night was too much because, the reality is, this is another horrendous playoff loss that adds to their trend of the last few years. They give their fans all the hope in the world during the regular season, to have it all come quickly crashing down in the playoffs in rather spectacular fashion. I think that’s where it really kills us.

Expectations: Thank you so much, media, for placing the Pens on your highest pedestal because they have arguably the two best players in the world. One of which in a press conference the day before, promised that they were going to win Game 7.

Personally, I don’t make promises that I can’t keep. Never guarantee anything. But in Evgeni Malkin’s case, he needed to make that promise to the fans to keep them faithful seeing as Game’s 5 and 6 were not pretty. At. All. Especially in comparison to a spectacular Game’s 2, 3, and 4. And since Geno and Sid are *arguably* the two best players in the world, they have the weight of the world on their shoulders because if they don’t perform and the Pens lose, they are the ones to blame, right? Well, I don’t really know. Granted, I was visibly upset the past couple nights when a certain number 87 wasn’t really shooting the puck or crashing the net nearly as much as he should. But, he’s changing his game, right? I don’t know. Either way, it killed me whenever numbers 87, 71, 18, 58, and 14 were on the ice (not necessarily for a power play, but even just individually) and not shooting the puck. There was WAY too much “pretty” passing and play-making, which drove me up and down a wall.

Sure, Geno is score. But not this time.

I can’t say I’m necessarily pointing my finger entirely at Sid, Geno, Neal, Kunitz, Letang, and the rest of the goal scorers, but they certainly didn’t help the cause. There are a multitude of things that have gone wrong in the Pens locker room and I can only make that assumption based on what we saw on the ice for the last three games of the series.

Though there were a few people who under-performed, other guys stepped up to the plate and I just have to say, thank you. I seriously and sincerely mean it.

Brandon Sutter (aka Flat Stanley)

Because he did a hell of a lot of this:

It’s literally impossible for me to be mad at him because  he was unarguably the Pens MVP for the last month. Flat Stanley did it all. Kill penalties, score, and score shorthanded. I will cry if he is traded this summer. I will be sobbing all the way from Connecticut if Ray Shero deals him because he earned his spot on the team.

Jussi Jokinen

He also happened to enjoy scoring quite a bit this post season for the Pens and the fans thoroughly enjoyed watching him tear it up. It was a career post season for Jokinen and we hope to see many more.

did Jussi that?!

Thank you so much for scoring the Pens lone goal last night. Just, thank you, in general, for showing up for the playoffs. Much appreciated.

Matt Niskanen

So maybe towards the end of the series he wasn’t playing his best hockey, but I love Nisky. Shero neeeeeeeeeeds to resign him to, or like Sutter, I will be sitting in a pool of my own tears if he doesn’t.

He’s such a cutie and he’s pretty good at scoring a few goals too.

Oh! And he has a puppy, therefore, Shero needs to resign him if they ever want me to buy the puppy calendar ever again.

Paul Martin (aka The Breakfast Maker)

Pauly has improved significantly since his initial acquisition by the Penguins. He’s also the official breakfast maker of James Neal, so he needs to hang around if we ever want to see Nealer score again.

He’s also a wearer of glasses. Aka the sexiest thing a guy can possibly do.

Plus, Pauly is a former Minnesota Gopher and here at For the Love of Goons, we looooooove us some cawlidge hawkey.

All in all, the 2013-14 season didn’t have the ending us Penguins fans were hoping for it too. Once again. Yes, it’s begun to take a toll on us, but here’s a bright side: at least we have a Stanley Cup. There are franchises that actually don’t have ANY. We have three and luckily, we were able to see one only five years ago. Understandably, that’s quite some time ago, but we should have some faith, right?

Changes will be made this summer, no question. What changes will be made? Who knows. The waiting game is on for the draft and free agency.  Then, hopefully sooner rather than later, it’ll be October again. A new season, a clean slate, and a new chance at winning the Stanley Cup. Just maybe 2015 will finally be the year.

Staal In the Family

Written by guest author, friend, and fellow Penguins fan Marisa.

In the NHL, we’ve come to know that some of these player’s moms and pops are pretty good at raising multiple children that are down-right dirty at hockey. And today, we just want to say thank you to Henry and Linda Staal for bringing these men into the hockey universe.

They brought not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 talented hockey players into the NHL and we are forever grateful.

 

(Also, thank you for making them very good looking).

Today is a day that I have been looking forward to since the start of the season! 3 words:

STAAL. FAMILY. REUNION.

staal fam reunion

hurricane staal

Eric, Marc, Jordan, and (hopefully one day) Jared will all on the same sheet of ice! (I say hopefully because Jared plays for the Checkers in the AHL. And maybe the Hurricanes will make a last-second call up today).

Although it will, most likely, two against one, it will be a game filled with an equal amount of brotherly “love” which I’m sure will include a lot of hitting.

Let’s hope the loser(s) don’t call mom after the game complaining about how their brother(s) were mean to them!