Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's (Finally) A New Season

Today is the second day of training camp for the Penguins. Today also marked the beginning of individual ticket sales for Pens games. I was up at 9:30 am waiting for Ticketmaster to release the tickets promptly at 10:00 am. I wanted to buy tickets for 2 games: the home opener and home closer. I had a slight problem with my purchase - I tried to order tickets for each game simultaneously using 2 tabs in my web browser, which apparently the Ticketmaster website doesn't like very much - and in the 5 minutes it took for me to figure out that it wasn't working, the home opener was sold out. Well, at least as far as getting 2 seats together. After all, I can't go without my husband! Or can I??? (Just kidding!)

So I while I was unable to get tickets to the October 6 game against the defending Stanley Cup champions, I was able to score tickets to the April 2 game against our cross-state rivals! And with my husband's access to his company's Mellon Arena luxury box and the owner of my company offering me the chance to purchase some of the tickets to the games he can't go to from his half season plan, I will most likely be going to more than one game this season. And I promise you I will take some sweet pictures (and probably have some funny stories) for you! :)

Back to the Penguins' training camp. Just before it started, Sidney told the Associated Press that he's fully aware of and comfortable with the high expectations that follow an incredible season like the last one:
Crosby understands a lot more is expected of these Penguins, even if it might not be until the playoffs.

"There's expectations, whether it's individually or as a team," he said. "But if you look back to last year, our focus was getting off to a good start and proving ourselves as a young team. It's only a year's difference and we have to keep doing that."
Another fact from that same article: Saint Sid still hasn't decided whether or not he will be using a Reebok stick this season or staying with his trusty Sher-Wood.

Now, I've got an update on Crosby's foot injury:
Sidney Crosby: Fully Recovered From Foot Fracture - 9/14/2007 12:58:54 PM

Crosby has completely recovered from a foot fracture suffered near the end of the regular season last year, according to GM Ray Shero, Fox Sports Radio 970 in Pittsburgh reports.

Shero said that it was a matter of timing with Crosby, meaning that he had to rest the foot over the summer, which he did. While it's a bit hard to see Crosby scoring many more than the 61 power-play points he put up in 2006-07, there's no reason why he can't increase his numbers at even strength. Last year the organization struggled to find complementary linemates for the superstar. This season Petr Sykora and perhaps Gary Roberts, among others, will get a crack alongside Crosby.
WHEW!!! I feel a lot better now.

And finally, at the opening scrimmage, Crosby scored twice. One of those goals was a penalty shot facing netminder John Curry, a 23-year-old undrafted rookie from Boston University. Curry spoke of the experience to The Citizens Voice:
Minutes after he entered an intrasquad scrimmage, the 23-year-old undrafted rookie from Boston University had to face a penalty shot.

The shooter was Sidney Crosby.

The defending NHL MVP stickhandled in on goal and deposited a shot over Curry's right pad and under his blocker.

"It's a fun experience, I guess, until he buries it," Curry said. "I've got to get used to situations like that if I ever want to play in the NHL. I don't have to stop Sidney Crosby every time, but I've gotta be ready to make those types of saves.

"I'm not satisfied to get scored on so I can tell my friends I got scored on by Sidney Crosby. That's not what I'm here for."
Uh, welcome to the big leagues, Johnny!!! (Full details of the opening scrimmage game can be found here.)

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