A Tale of Two Penguins

Like most native Western Pennsylvanians, I’m a huge fan of our Pittsburgh sports teams.  I cheered on our Steelers as they won the Super Bowl this year, I was as irate as any of our players and fans when the stupid Pirates management traded yet another of our best baseball players for more “prospects”, and I’m just coming down from the roller-coaster ride that was the Stanley Cup playoffs between Detroit and our awesome young Pittsburgh Penguins.  Living with men, I’ve come to enjoy watching most sports — but I have to say, Penguins hockey is my favorite to watch.  It’s just so fast-paced and physical.

Last year, our Pens also made it to the Stanley Cup finals, against the very same team — the Detroit Red Wings.  Well, the teams weren’t exactly the same; the core players were still there, but some of the personnel had changed.  The Penguins even had a different coach.  And the outcome — well, the outcome was a complete turnaround.

Even if you have no interest in sports, there are some interesting life lessons in our Pens journey to the Cup.  In mid-February, despite having some awesome talent on our team, we were in 10th place in the Eastern Conference and five points out of a playoff spot.  With a little tweaking (and a new head coach), the Pens were amazingly able to turn things around to secure a coveted spot in the final series.

Craig Adams, a winger we picked up from Chicago off waivers joined our team on March 4th.  If he hadn’t been picked up by anyone, his hockey career could have been over.  Instead, he took this new opportunity, played with gusto for his new team, and three short months later was hoisting the Stanley Cup, the pinnacle of success in the NHL, into the air.

Veteran player Marian Hossa was a force to be reckoned with last year.  He scored 12 goals and 26 points for our Pittsburgh Penguins.  Even though we didn’t win the cup, we realized what an asset Hossa was and offered him a reported seven-year, $50 million deal.  He kind of shocked the fans by turning down this vote of confidence and signing on with our opponent, the Red Wings, for a$7.45 million 1-year deal because he claimed the move gave him “the best chance to win the Cup.”  Talk about a slap in the face?  It’s kind of like those yoo-hoos on “Deal Or No Deal” who turn down a sure $250,000 for a shot at winning a million — or nothing.  And Marian kinda got nothing this year.

The seven-game series this year was phenomenal.  Both teams are fantastic.  I seriously believe it came down to who wanted it more.  Detroit wanted it, sure, but they had their turn last year.  The young Pens, who watched the Red Wings take victory laps around our home ice last year, “never wanted to feel that way again.”  And with a whole lot of heart and determination, they didn’t have to, at least not this year.

3 Responses to “A Tale of Two Penguins”

  1. 1 robinaltman June 15, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Et tu, Brutus? One of my best friends is from Pittsburgh and cannot stop raving about it. She’s even looking at condos in Pittsburgh for her retirement. Maybe I should just move to Pittsburgh and get it over with, already.

    Congratulations on the Stanley Cup! I’m a Bruins fan from birth. (Sorry about that.) I relive those “Bobby Orr” days all the time.

    • 2 mamaneeds2rant June 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm

      You’d love the Burgh, Robin. You’re cool enough to fit right in. And I guarantee watching a few Pens games would turn you into a Sid the Kid or Malkin fan!

  2. 3 Cyndi June 17, 2009 at 12:49 am

    I’m a football fan so I’m all about Da Bears (insert snarky comment here).

    I will admit to sort of jumping on the hockey bandwagon when Da Hawks were in the playoffs. Honestly, I’ll use any excuse to drink in a sports bar with my friends.

    I really don’t understand hockey. I have no clue what a waiver is but think it’s interesting that you got a Hawks player, and on my b-day no less. 🙂

    This is a great story. Congrats to you and your Penguins!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Add to Technorati Favorites
June 2009
« May   Jul »

Pittsburgh Bloggers

Blog Stats

  • 189,190 hits

%d bloggers like this: