Oh Where Oh Where Is The Stanley Cup . . .

Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: Beer, NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Sidney Crosby Hoists The Stanley Cup During Pittsburgh's Championship Parade

Sidney Crosby Hoists The Stanley Cup During Pittsburgh's Championship Parade

JUST GETTING STARTED:  After the Pittsburgh Penguins upset the mighty Detroit Red Wings to shock the hockey world just one week ago, well everyone except the Pens and their fans, the Championship parade has come and gone, but the party is just getting started . . .

There’s been Stanley Cup sightings all over the city of Pittsburgh and I can’t wait to discover what the players do with it over the summer . . .

Seriously, how unique is this trophy?  Could you imagine Ben Roethlisberger riding his motorcycle through the city streets with the Lombardi Trophy slung over his shoulder like a boombox in the eighties?  Or Ryan Howard chillin’ at a Subway waiting for his 5 dollar footlong with the Commissioner’s Trophy on the counter?  Or the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy (NBA Finals – betcha didn’t know what it was called) left behind in a Colorado hotel room?  

Neither can I . . .

GROUNDED FOR LIFE:  Beginning on a 12 year old’s photo sharing site and ending up in an email chain, bloggers and the national media soon got hold of the private photos from Mario Lemieux’s house party.  I feel terrible for the young girl that made a mistake, which I am sure she is paying for, and out of respect for the team and their privacy, will not post them myself . . .

But they looked like they had a well deserved BLAST!  

Which brings me to some interesting facts, travels and “doings” of the Stanley Cup:

  • A “Cup Keeper” goes through 24 pairs of white gloves a season
  • The winner of the Stanley Cup gets 100 Days to do with it what they please – with a chaperone from the Hockey Hall of Fame, of course . . .
  • Babies have been cradled by the Cup
  • Champagne, beer, fruitloops and ice cream have all been consumed from the Cup 
  • Pet dogs have even eaten out of it
  • Scott Neidermayer, with the New Jersey Devils at the time, took the Cup on a helicopter, landing on a mountain in British Columbia, got out and hoisted it at over 9,000 feet high
  • Brian Rafalski of the Detroit Red Wings auctioned off an hour of time with him and the Cup with the proceeds going to a single mother in Wisconsin, who was battling Cancer
  • It has been to children’s hospitals, boys and girls clubs and military bases
  • Several Russian players have brought it back to Moscow, parading the Cup through Red Square
  • The Cup has also traveled to Alaska and London among many other places, it’s passport is a worldwide database
  • Baseball stadiums across the country, strip clubs, and Chicago’s famous Billy Goat Tavern, have all seen a glimpse of the three-foot trophy
  • The Cup has seen its share of TV studios including ER, Monk, Regis & Kelly, The Tonight Show and of course, The Late Show
  • Teemu Sellanne of the Anaheim Ducks took it back to Finland and dropped by a Sauna, heating up with the Cup for just a few moments
  • And of course, it’s widely known to have found its way to the bottom of Mario Lemieux’s pool

This year?  Maybe it will just take a quick dip.  I guess the Stanley Cup deserves to be handled with care by uniformed trustees wearing white gloves after its summer tour of recklessness . . .

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We’ll Meet You In The Schoolyard, Baby . . .

Posted on June 10, 2009. Filed under: NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

For all the marbles on Friday night in Detroit . . . That’s how announcer, Mike Lange of the Pittsburgh Penguins, closed out the game Tuesday night as the Pens held on for a 2-1 win over the Red Wings. 

Then he had to change his pants.  Well, maybe . . .  

Like the rest of Pens fans, who were glued to their seats, or locked in a half standing, almost ready to jump out of their skin position, going to the bathroom wasn’t an option.  I’m sure some almost shat themselves over the last minute and a half of frenzied attack action from Detroit that had the majority of the Steel City screaming “NONONONONONONONONO!”

Whew, that was close.

20 blocked shots by the Pittsburgh defense, namely Brooks Orpik and the deepest digger of the night, Rob Scuderi, who played goalie without a mask, turning away the puck three times in the crease as Marc Andre Fleury was forced out of position during the waning seconds of the game when Detroit had six attackers on ice and were giving it all they had to lay claim to Lord Stanley’s Cup right then.  Right there.  In Pittsburgh.  For the second year in a row . . .

Okay, I know that was a bootleg version – but you get the idea . . .

That intense sequence, in which fingernails dug into the arms of husbands and boyfriends across the city, came after a breakaway by Dan Cleary with 90 seconds left.  He sped towards the goal with Orpik helplessly chasing, oozing with determination to score, only to be stoned by an uberconfident Marc Andre Fleury, who bounced back from a lackluster performance in Game 5 letting only one puck find its way behind him.  The defense and goaltending gave the Penguins an opportunity to go back to Detroit, to have the opportunity to win one game for the Cup.

Like Mike Lange said, “We’ll meet you in the schoolyard, baby, for all the marbles . . .”

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It’s Time To Eat Crow . . .

Posted on May 27, 2009. Filed under: NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

PITTSBURGH WANTS DETROIT:  No one in the Pens organization will say this.  So I’ll say it for them.  Bring on the Red Wings.  Even though the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t dead yet, they are excrutiatingly close to their demise and to be honest, I’d rather take on Detroit. 

Sure, there’s that sense of redemption in having the oppotunity to beat the team that beat you last year on the biggest stage in your sport.  And that would add to the ecstacy of hoisting the Stanley Cup and bringing it back to Pittsburgh.  But could it get any better than that? 

Oh yes.  It could . . . being able to wash the sour taste Marian Hossa left in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and

Marion Hossas Last Image As Penguin

Marian Hossa's Lasting Image As A Penguin

fanbase’s mouths as he choose a single year deal to play for the team that won the Cup over them just a season ago, would be a bonus.

After playing in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals with the Penguins, Hossa said he’d “definitely take less money to play on a winning team.”   So he promptly spurned a four to five year deal at over $7 million annually, that would have given him stability on a squad fresh off a finals run, featuring the league’s two best players, opting for a one year deal at $7.4 million to play for the Champion Red Wings who can’t put butts in the seats. 

I guess Detroit got the SELL OUT they were looking for . . .

The question is, did Hossa’s departure actually help the Penguins?  Would Pittsburgh have had the cash to sign more players and gain the depth and experience needed to make their incredible second half season and playofff run if they had inked him?

The addition of Stanley Cup Champions Billy Guerin, Chris Kunitz and Ruslan Fedtenko have injected a stability and calmness that has enhanced the Pens’ conspicuous “we’ve been here before” attitude that they have adopted throughout the playoffs.  They seem more confident and driven having experienced the bright lights of a deep playoff run and aren’t fazed by the magnitude of their success so far.  We’ll see if the outcome is different if the Red Wings beat Chicago tonight to make it the first Stanley Cup Finals rematch since the Edmonton Oilers and New York Islanders in 1984.  And we all know what happened then . . .

By the way, Guerin (14) has 2 more playoff points that Hossa, who has equaled the production of the other winger Pittsburgh brought on this year to play on Crosby’s line, Chris Kunitz, and not to mention Pens’ defenseman, Sergei Gonchar, with 12.    

It’s time to eat crow, Hossa.  

Or should we say, it’s time to choke on Penguin?  Pittsburgh is going to be shoving the puck down Detroit’s throat.

But I’m not bitter . . .

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That Dude . . .

Posted on May 5, 2009. Filed under: Life, MLB, NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

You know that dude . . .

No matter what type of sports fan you are, there’s that dude . . .

The dude that seems to have your team’s number EVERY time.  You involuntarily start to dry heave when you see him on TV making an amazing play.  You actually hate him.  And if he happens to get injured, you don’t feel bad. 

You know that dude.  Or dudes . . .

At this very moment, there are two players that I want to punch in the face. 

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals:  He always answers.  It’s the match up the NHL dreamed about all season.  Sid “The Kid” Crosby versus Alexander “The (puke) Great” Ovechkin in the playoffs battling for bragging rights in a well documented hate – hate relationship.  Through two games, he has responded to every goal and has matched Crosby’s 4 goals in the series with 4 of his own.  His excessive celebrating and lack of respect for his competition makes him the NHL’s version of Terrell Owens, except he doesn’t drop the puck and is leading his team, not destroying it.  I can’t stand him.   

   
 

Matt Garza, Tampa Bay Rays:  Spitface.  It seems like every time the camera is on him, he is spitting on the mound.  In between EVERY pitch.  Annoying.  Even more annoying is the fact that the Red Sox just can’t figure him out.  His ONLY two wins this season have come against Boston.  Since his stellar Game 7 performance in the ALCS last year, which earned him MVP honors, Garza has dominated my team.  In his last start versus the Sox, he engineered a 13-0 win with 10 strikeouts, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Jacoby Ellsbury got to him.  That clobbering made Garza 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA in 10 career starts against Boston.     ARGGGHHHHHH!

For now, that’s who I am hating on . . .

P.S.  Of course, you would love to have that dude on YOUR team . . . Jerks.

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Puck Off! A Rivals Rematch Begins Tonight . . .

Posted on April 15, 2009. Filed under: NHL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

READY FOR A CAGE MATCH?  I don’t pretend to know a lot about hockey.  But I do know a few things.  One of them is that the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers abhor each other.  That’s right, they hate each other so much that the word “hate” can’t describe it.  I had to dig into the vocab closet and pull out something even more nasty.  Abhor . . .

Young Penguins Fans Tell The Flyers How It Is

Young Penguins Fans Tell The Flyers How It Is

And that’s exactly how the NHL’s second season opens up in the Eastern Conference playoffs tonight.  With the disdain heavy rematch of last year’s conference finals that is sure to provoke a fight or two between fans.  Because they abhor each other too.  Here are some thoughts on what I like to call, the PUCK OFF:

The Flyers are slumping into this series having blown a third period lead during the last game of the season – played at home – against the New York Rangers, that would have given them home ice in this series.  Doh! 

The Pens are 18-3-4 since the firing of Michel Therrien and rookie head coach, Dan Bylsma, has taken the blinders off this young, offensive minded team and they are “flying” into the playoffs.  Philadelphia should be jealous . . . 

Philadelphia is healthier this year than last with their top two defensemen, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn in the lineup this time around.  That is a huge help, but is it enough to handle the talented trio of Crosby, Malkin and Staal down the middle?  

With NO apologies to Alexander Ovechkin, the Penguins have the best player in the league as evidenced by the NHL scoring title, Evgeni Malkin.  Geno is the record 13th Art Ross winner for the Penguins and not only did he lead the league in points, he also led the NHL in takeaways, creating more opportunities for his skilled offense to score. 

By the way, Sidney Crosby was third in scoring behind Ovechkin . . .

Players to watch:  Mike Richards and if he can ruffle Crosby’s feathers enough to knock him off his game.  Billy Guerin and if his veteran presence keeps the Pens even keeled and confident.  And of course, as it usually does, the play of the two netminders, Fleury and Biron, will probably decide the winner of this series.   

One of the other things I know about hockey is that the flashy Capitals’ Left Wing is a show off.  I’m waiting for someone to spear him with a stick when he skates by the Rangers bench tonight celebrating  excessively.  Jerk . . .

Oh I almost forgot a few more things: Sean Avery of the Rangers is a prick and the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell is a dirty player.  However seeing them get into it on Sunday in the waning seconds of the game as Philadelphia let home ice slip through their fingers was great and just proves Hartnell is dirty.  Avery probably deserved it for something he did previously though, because he is a prick.

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