Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Drop the puck Vol. 4 - Pens 3 : Islanders 4

Nothing is more old news than the review of a lost playoff hockey game, when the next one happened already and the one after that is only 22.5 hours (yes, I am counting down) away, but let me have a short look at this one anyway and focus on some things beyond the score. 

The Pens lost this game out of stupidity. The first period was a case of pure beauty and another gorgeous Sidney Crosby comeback, but the they forgot to show up after the intermission and let the Islanders just do their thing although I was yelling down from my fantastic section 120 row N seats that they should dare to ruin my last night in Pittsburgh so badly, but they were just not listening. SIGH! 

Although that was really a downer I would not for a million $ give up the experience of being at the Consol Energy Center that night. 

Alone the pregame countdown would have been worth it. The first highlight is usually the warmup - always a good chance to watch the players and take great pictures. 


The traditional Kris Letang shot 

And ..... the first standing ovation of the night for Sid coming out with his special helmet 

After the warmup comes what turned out to be my favorite part of the two playoff games I went to - the pregame countdown. It is beautiful and emotional and made me cry. 

And this the best of all moments. The light points through the darkness to the Pens' tunnel. The scoreboard screen quickly shows the waiting team, the sirene starts and "THEY CAN HEAR YOU" comes out of the speakers to tell the fans welcome their team .... and then the place goes BATSHIT CRAZY! 

I can confirm with all seriousness that playoff hockey is on some completely different level of awesome than a regular season game (and those are huge fun already).

Sid did not play the first shift, but when he finally jumped over the boards on the ice the whole CEC was on its feet celebrating the return of the Captain and undoubtly best hockey player in the world.
It all started well and when Sid scored it was a LOT of towel swirling fun

The net was in the way for the best shots on game action (a problem made out of the luxus of gorgous seats) but I could snap some good ones. 

Flower - Do  not blame him for the loss. The last goal was bad for him, but he blocked so many shots and the real bad stuff did not happen in the goal but in front of it.

Time out Pens

Sid and my man Douglas Murray



Fun in the stands with ...


And Benstonium's giant Potash head

And finally some random observations:

  • The Pens lost stupidly. I  have no idea why they just left their brains in the locker room, but somebody needs to fix this.
  • Geno started okay, but in the 2nd and 3rd his performance was horrible. He turned the puck over a million time. It is obvious that there is no chemistry between him and Iggy and without James Neal it is not working at all. In game 3 it was significantly better especially in the PP, when he could play along Sid though. Today James Neal praticed with the team and I hope he can play in game 4. Geno needs him more than it he should.
  • Sidney Crosby does not know fear. If the strange helmet would not be  there you could not tell that he is still recovering from a difficult facial injury. He takes all the physical risks a fully healthy player would.
  • Sidney Crosby is the best hockey player in the world and it is a mindblowing experience to watch him play in person. It was the 2nd time I had the chance to see him and I hope many, many more games are in Sid's and my future.
  • Brenden Morrow plays for the Pens like he never played for another team ever and puts his heart and energy on the ice. Probably he should even take it a bit more easy to use more his experience and smartness to further improve the results, but I really like him.
  • I want to hug Iggy and Iggy to hug me one day.
  • Jussi Jokinnen knows faceoffs - it's really cool.
  • Watching Kris Letang skate is still such a pleasure.
  • I love watching my man Douglas Murray defending the room around Flower with his life (and back, shoulders, elbows and whatever it takes). That is some physical, defensive perfomance in front of the goal we missed quite a long time. He also takes more and more responsibility. Douglas was extremely pissed when the first Islanders goal happened when he was out on PK. When the next PK came up he talked to all other defensemen on the ice like the boss and put them (it at least looked like that) in place. This PK was killed easily. He seems to also get along very well with Tanger although this is the most opposite defensive pairing you could think of. 
This team has it all. Now they need  to make it happen!  LET'S GO PENS! 

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