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.

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Getting the Call

Ahh, the smell of Sochi is truly in the air. All of the hockey teams have been chosen and whether or not you agree with who is or isn’t on whatever team you’re rooting for, it’s time for us fans to be excited for those lucky guys who got “the call”.

As many of us know, NHL Revealed will be coming to NBCSN starting on January 22nd and to CBC the following day, and late yesterday, the league released a clip of New York Islanders captain John Tavares.

I would’ve loved to see him actually get the phone call and talk to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. However, it’s just as adorable listening to John telling his parents the amazing news. Personally, I would’ve been jumping up and down on the bed like an immature school girl if I ever received the call to be on Team Canada, but being John Tavares, he had to be a bit more subdued.

All in all, congratulations to everyone who was named to Team Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, and all other competing Olympic teams.

Here’s a link to the rosters of all competing nations:

http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/news/news-singleview/recap/8367.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=955&cHash=2e1a9eceb4

Mr. 250

On November 22, 2013, Sidney Crosby scored his 250th career goal against the New York Islanders. Only in true Sidney Crosby fashion would it happen to also break the tie and be the game winning goal with 1:16 left in the third period. As if he needed any more interesting facts to add to his already impressive résumé.

Do we really need a reminder of his stellar career? As a bias Penguins fan, the answer is always YES.

Being the #1 overall draft pick in 2005 was just the tip of the iceberg for the kid.

sidney_crosby_draft

 

Then (after getting snubbed for the Calder Trophy), Sid went on to become the youngest player (and only teenager) in any league’s history to capture the scoring title, the Art Ross Trophy, at the age of  19. That same year he also won the Hart Trophy for the NHL’s Most Valuable Player and Lester B. Pearson Award for Most Outstanding Player, as voted by his peers. High praise for a guy who had just completed his second professional season.

crosby-trophies2

 

At the end of the 2006-07 season, Sid was named captain of the Penguins. At the time he was the youngest captain in the league (now second to Gabriel Landeskog by 11 days, but who’s counting). The 2007-08 season produced the first ever Winter Classic, which was the most storybook of them all. Per usual, Sidney made his mark by scoring the game winner in a shootout goal. Here’s the whole shootout:

Despite an amazing 2007-2008 season where the Penguins made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final to lose to the Detroit Red Wings, they would reach that same summit just a year later. In one of the greatest moments of Pittsburgh Penguins history, the most amazing trophy in all of sports returned to the ‘Burgh. Oh and in case you didn’t think that was awesome enough, Sid the Kid is also the youngest captain to ever raise the Stanley Cup.

I think they're excited

I think they’re excited

sid cup

 

Stanley Cup Finals - Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Seven

 

2009 team

 

party hardy, capy

party hardy, cappy

Oh! But it doesn’t end there! Remember the 2010 Vancouver Olympics? Yes, I do too. But let’s be real. Many Americans (me and Tina) secretly cheer for Canada anyways. (Team Canada 2014!!!)

Here’s the infamous “Golden Goal” by none other than Canada’s “Golden Boy”

And do yourself a favor by watching Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder predicted this incredible feat.

Ya’ll already knew this but, Sidney Crosby is awesome. There’s nothing more to say than that. I’d also thought of doing the courtesy of reminding everyone that he’s a mere 26 years old AND a human being. Just in case you ever forgot. You’re welcome.

insanely human

insanely human