A Door Closes, Another Opens

As you may have heard, my beloved Pittsburgh Penguins lost in the seventh game of their playoff series last night, eliminating them from the postseason. For the first time in three years, they will not be in the Stanley Cup Finals. What I mourn the most is that I won’t be able to enjoy the extra month of playoff hockey I was able to witness the past two seasons. In addition to that, last night was the last ever Pens game in the Mellon Civic Arena and it ended just as it began, with a loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Sports fandom is a funny thing, and even more odd to me now that I have kids. I mean, as fans we “live and die” with our team, enduring heartaches, heartbreaks, stomachaches, and arguments for our teams. And for what? When the team won the Stanley Cup, it’s not like I got some kind of cash prize or something. And still I care.

So yeah, weird emotions today about the game last night, although not as bad as they would’ve been when I was a kid. I think I’ve matured since then, in that area at least.

To look on the bright side, I’ve been given some free time at night I didn’t think I would have. I plan on using it to resurrect my cobwebby dream of writing a novel. It’s gonna take some focus on my part, but I know I can do it. I just need to start.

Congratulations to Our Neighbors Up North

Awesome hockey themed Coke commercial

Being the resident hockey guy in my office, I’ve been asked many times about the Gold Medal game (Canada beat the USA 3-2 in overtime). My response has been that I wanted the United States to win, but I’m fine with Canada winning the game because they will probably appreciate it more and also because Sidney Crosby (of my Pittsburgh Penguins) scored the game winning goal.

I was not able to watch the game, actually, because we were making our way home from our weekend trip to Pittsburgh to visit my wife’s family. I did listen to the game on the radio, and I did in fact share an awesome high-five with my wife while merging onto the parkway at 65 mph when the U.S. scored the game tying goal with eight seconds left. Yes, I’m a multi-tasker.

So congratulations to you Canada. I hope you enjoyed having Sidney on your team for two weeks. We’ll kindly like him back now, thanks.

The Penguins Win the Stanley Cup!

What an unreal game. Maxime Talbot cemented his name in Pittsburgh sports history. Same with Fleury. I feared the Red Wings so much, but it’s even more sweet that the Pens beat them to win the Cup.

I don’t expect to be able to fall asleep any time soon and my stomach is a wreck. It was worth it. In related news, my lucky boxer shorts were 2-0!  🙂

Woooo hooooo!


Not a huge post today because I have a lot on my mind. I have a puzzle at work I’m trying to solve and the computers are not doing what I tell them to do. I hate it when that happens. Also, the Penguins play tonight and if they win they continue on, but if they do that other thing that is the opposite of win, their season is over.

So, I need a little inspiration today. Here’s a few videos I’m gonna watch just before game time:

Finally, take it Bonnie Tyler:

Hello From 3:00 AM

Hey there. It’s 3:00 AM. Yep, I’m awake. I was sleeping well until the daughter woke up. Then my coughing started. Ugh.

Yeah, these I’m sick posts are getting old. Sorry. To make up for it, here’s the waning moments of the US/Russia 1980 Winter Olympics game, the “Miracle on Ice” (at least that’s what they call it in the United States, I’m sure they have a different name for it in Russia 🙂 ):

As a side note, Herb Brooks, the coach of the US hockey team, coached the Penguins for a year in 1999-2000.

Playoff Beard

Image Source

Ok guys. We need a consensus here. Are we growing playoff beards for the Penguins playoff run? Let me know.

That’s the text of an email I sent to three of my closest friends (they were all groomsmen in my wedding) this week. We all live withing 100 miles of each other, one lives in the same town as I, but with the busyness of life rarely see each other (except for one of the guys, who plays on my hockey team). I thought this, the playoff beard, would make a good bonding experience.

Let me explain. As you may or may not know, the hockey playoffs started last night. Our favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, are again in the playoffs and again playing the Ottawa Senators. Back when we were growing up, the four of us would always gather at someone’s house to watch the playoff games together, living and dying a little with each play. Back then not all of us could grow playoff beards (unless you count me growing three hairs on my chin a beard).

It’s tradition in hockey for the players, out of superstition, to not shave during the playoffs. That’s where the term “playoff beard” comes from. It seems in recent years fans of the hockey teams have started on the tradition as well. One of the blogs I read about Pittsburgh sports posted a Ten Rules to Growing a Playoff Beard yesterday. I thought it was a funny post, but if you are easily offended by swearing you may want to not click that link.

The responses I received from my friends were all pretty funny. They all started with, “Well <insert wife’s name here> doesn’t really want me to grow a beard, but I’ll do it anyway..”. I got a pretty big kick out of that because I have the same situation in my house. So, as an act of solidarity we’re all growing playoff beards.

We may not be able to watch the games together anymore, but at least we’ll all have the solidarity in growing ridiculous facial hair together. And for the next month or so, there will be four bearded guys enjoying hockey, sending emails to each other, and most likely sleeping on the couch.

Skates Broken Again

Just a quick little update on my hockey equipment and the disrepair it’s in.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that I switched back to my old hockey skates after a little home repair and have also mentioned I’ve been much more successful since.  Well, the stupid things broke again today while I was playing and I spent half the game wondering if the blade (the metal part you skate on) was going to snap off and cause me to break an ankle.

Well, I made it through the game, and now I face a dilemma. I have a game tomorrow night. I can either skate on them, since I broke out the “Super Glue” and fixed them when I got home.  Or I can spend $100+ dollars I don’t have on new skates.  Or, I can wear the ones that are too big.  I think I’m going to use the fixed skates one more time, and hope I don’t injure myself.  If I do, I guess my next post will be from the hospital.

A Loss and a Loss

So, I woke up at the crack of 5:15 AM this morning to play in my Adult Ice Hockey game. It was 16 degrees Fahrenheit outside as well (we don’t play outside, but it makes for a cold walk from the parking lot to the rink). We lost 9-1. What a start to the day. We really aren’t that bad of a team, but we had a rough day. I didn’t play very well either.

Then, I get home and Sidney Crosby, the best player on my favorite hockey team (the Penguins) as well as one of the best players in hockey got injured last night and will be out for possibly a month or so. Just grand.

So, it was a rough start to the day, but it can only get better, right?

Senators 1, Penguins 0

Well, I’m losing my bet with Cavan so far. His Ottawa Senators won the first game of the series 6-3 against my Penguins, and let me tell you it was painful to watch. The Senators appeared ready for a playoff game from the moment the game started, hitting anything that moved, getting to all the loose pucks, and scoring just 97 seconds into the game. The Penguins, meanwhile looked adequately prepared for a pre-season mite scrimmage. The will need to be more prepared for the next game, or things will get ugly quickly. That said, it’s only one game.

I guess some joy can be found in that they Penguins decided to play midway through the third period and actually started to finish their checks and make plays happen. This led to some success for the Penguins, and I hope they learn a lesson.

I had my good friend and his wife over last night to watch the game, which seems to rarely happen since my daughter was born. It was nice to watch the game with my friend since we used to watch all the playoff games together when we were growing up. It was just like old times. I also have to say that my wife was really nice last night, giving our daughter a bath by herself (something I don’t know I could do alone) while I watched the game. Thanks honey :).

Well, Game 2 is Saturday afternoon, and I hope things turn out a little better. Congratulations to Cavan and his Ottawa Senators on their Game 1 victory.

Hockey Playoffs – A Bet

I learned today via Cavan’s blog Blurred Line that he’s an Ottawa Senators fan . For those of you who are unaware, the NHL playoffs start tomorrow night between his Senators (boo) and my Pittsburgh Penguins (yay). The Senators are the 4th seed and the Pens are the 5th seed, so this should be an entertaining series. To make matters even more interesting, Cavan suggests a friendly wager:

NHL playoffs start Wednesday for my Ottawa Senators. I’m very excited. We’re taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins which, unless I’m mistaken, are Struggling Writer’s team. I foresee some sort of bet that results in blogosphere-wide humiliation for the loser.

Hmm. What would make a good bet? How about the loser has to write a favorable blog post about the winner’s team? Also, the loser has to cheer for the winner’s team, including blog posts, for the remainder of the playoffs. Any other suggestions? Anyone else want in on the bet or want to choose sides?

Anyone who is interested in the NHL playoffs, check out John Buccigross’ column on espn.com. His columns are a blend of hockey knowledge, pop culture, and humor that even the casual fan would enjoy. As a bonus he picks the Penguins to beat the Senators.