Tis the Season

No, it’s not Christmas quite yet. But, personally, this is my third favorite holiday on the calendar (after my birthday and Christmas, of course).

It’s that thing 16 teams have worked so hard to earn since October.

IT’S PLAYOFF SEASON!

These first two weeks are the ultimate test of how faithful I am to hockey. There’s either three or four games each night and with finals creeping around the corner, I will be watching (almost) all of it.

the motto until someone wins the Cup

My bracket has been officially entered to NHL.com. I’ve joined a few leagues. So we’ll see where my guessing gets me in two months.

bracketYup, 32 goals will be scored in the Stanley Cup Final between Pittsburgh and Chicago. Whether or not any of that actually comes true is a long ways away. But tomorrow night is a start in the right direction.

Good thing school is not my number one priority, otherwise I wouldn’t watch games during group meetings.

Because if I miss any game, much confusion will follow.

(via http://thg-joshifer.tumblr.com)

Because I hate not knowing what is happening during the playoffs. I’d be like a lost puppy. And that’s not good.

though terribly cute

More or less, the Stanley Cup Playoffs manage to be some form of paradise and torture. All at the same time!

It usually starts like:

Then, when the roller coaster of emotions begins, I’m like:

And at the end of the day, I remember:

So good luck to the 16 teams (more luck to some than others). May the best team win 16 games.

It’s (Actually) Rivalry Night

On the night of a Pittsburgh Penguins game, I love hearing Penguins’ radio announcer Mike Lange say, “It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh!” It’s the best possible introduction to every single Penguins game, whether at Consol Energy Center or on the road. But tonight I am tempted to scream, “It’s a rivalry night in Pittsburgh!”

The bad blood that exists between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will always exist. Whether they are two evenly matched teams, or one is dominating the other, the bubbling hate between these cross-state rivals is undeniable and relentless.

giroux - crosby 2011

Swinging punches, incessant chirping, and not-so-discrete tit for tat moments are clearly a staple of these true rivalry games. But lets look beyond their nasty history and dive into what these two teams have been up against so far this season.

Philadelphia Flyers (6-10-1)

For the second season in a row, the Flyers are off to a less than impressive start that got Peter Laviolette fired after having a horrendous preseason and losing the first three regular season games. However, after bringing in former Flyer, Craig Berube, it does not appear that the team is doing any better. There have been some glimmers of optimism, like the 5-0 win over the Ottawa Senators, who are only one spot out of the Wild Card. But then there have been some other games when it appears that all hope is lost. Specifically the 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals, where Ray Emery now infamously beat an unwilling Braden Holtby to a pulp.

Pittsburgh Penguins (11-6-0)

Yes, I am completely bias since they are my favorite team. But I’ll also be the first person to call them out when they’re not as great as they could be. Recently depleted by the injuries of two of their top four defenseman, Rob Scuderi and Paul Martin, the Pens have been struggling, losing 5-1 to the Rangers and 2-1 to the Blues. Sometimes the defense doesn’t show up, other times the offense disappears, or in most cases the boys just get a bit too cocky. There doesn’t appear to be a thoroughly logical explanation for their ups and downs, especially now with James Neal and Beau Bennett back in the line up earlier than expected. It’s been said before and I’ll repeat it again, the Pens have an explosive offense when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are scoring. Except they (especially Geno) have been lackluster in their past few games. Maybe the game against the Flyers will light a fire under their asses.

so true Sid, so true

so true Sid, so true

Who knows how this game will end; one team is looking for a bounce back, the other a glimmer of hope when things are really not going well. Maybe this heated rivalry will foster the best out of these two teams and add more fuel to the fire between the Flyers and Penguins. I’m excited and you should be too! It’s a real rivalry night!