We're finally here. Seems like absolutely forever since Tuesday. I haven't been this excited for anything since my first, second, and third children were born.
Game 7, Friday June 12th, 2009 . A day which stands before us all as a day which will go down in history as one of the greatest series in all of NHL hockey. The subplots involved in this years Stanley Cup rematch are nearly incomparable to past years. Crosby, Zetterberg, Hossa, Malkin, Osgood, Fleury. These are names which have become so associated with NHL hockey that non-hockey fans now know who they are.
I'm nervous. You're nervous. The coaches are nervous. The players are nervous. But this nervousness is not anxiety. No. Its anticipatory. Its stressful yes, but good stress. What will happen? This is the game every player and fan dreams about. This is as Max Talbot said, a game which you pretend about when you're playing in your driveway. Game 7 - Stanley Cup Finals. You'll forever remember what you did this morning - afternoon - and evening for the rest of your lives. You'll be telling the story of this game to your grandchildren.
To me its almost surreal. Its practically unreal. I mean, we were just here. 2008. Then Hossa and Malone left, and no one thought we'd be here again. No one...not even me.
Me, I keep thinking about what happened since October 2008. I remember watching TK score the first goal of the season in the first 40 seconds against the Senators in Stockholm like it was yesterday. I was working out, doing some push ups to rid myself of the nervousness/anticipation for the upcoming season. I remember having high hopes in November only to drastically lose them by the end of December. I remember the All-Star game with Ovechkin and Malkin finally making amends. I remember the day Therrien was finally axed and Bylsma took the helm. I remember listening closely to the trade deadline, seeing if we'd pull off another Hossa-esq trade. I remember the minute I read Billy Guerin was a Penguin (YES!). I remember wondering, who will win the Art Ross? Malkin, Ovie, Crosby, Datsyuk (Datsyuk, meh). I remember the Flyers. I remember the Capitals. I remember the Huricanes. Yes, I remember. So don't you. And now we're here? This week I've pinched myself several times wondering, is this real? Are we here again? Yes, Damian, we're here again.
This year is different remember?
This year we know so freshly what it was like to lose the Cup. Sid's not going to be in that photo again, remember?
Oh, yes, you're right, inner-monologue-me.
Okay then, finish this post and go back to the readers.
Sorry about that folks. Nevermind what I have to say. Get your Pens gear on and get ready to head home from work. Hang out with Pens friends, raise hell with all of them. Grab your pislner or lager, lucky jersey or hat and sit back and watch our boys bring The Cup back to Pittsburgh.
May the Pens be with you.