Friday, June 12, 2009

Stanley Cup Finals Game 7: Pens v Red Wings (W 2-1)
2009 STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe this? Let's pause for a second to take it all in... Our Boys are playing in a Stanley Cup Final Game 7 - their 106th game of the 2008-09 season. It is without a doubt the best time to be a Pens fan.

Oh, what a feeling!!

Now let's talk GAME 7s: The away team hasn't won a Game 7 in any sport that has best of seven series (baseball, basketball, or hockey) since 1979 when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Baltimore Orioles. History suggests that the Red Wings are the favored team, but the law of averages suggests it's about high time an away team pulls off a Game 7 win. So which one is right? Which one is an accurate prediction of tonight's outcome? The reality is that in a Game 7, all bets are off. (Haha, except the one I have with KCJacoby...)

It all comes down to tonight. Winner takes all.


First Period
You had to know that the hockey gods were smiling upon us - Game 7 was the 87th game of the 2009 postseason. Muhammad Ali was in the Joe to watch the game wearing a Red Wings jersey. The refs barely called anything. Detroit came on strong early, but our Boys kept cool heads and weathered the initial storm. The first penalty came when Stuart was called for slashing Geno's stick, but the Pens didn't score on their power play. I can't say enough about how each member of the Pens pitched in and played spectacular hockey tonight. The period ended with a 0-0 draw.

Second Period
An early turnover by Stuart went right to Geno, who quickly got the puck to Superstar (← and HOW!) for the first goal of the night. [Pens 1, Wings 0]

A dreadfully weak penalty to Staal was negated by a coincidental penalty to Holmstrom. Neither team scored on the ensuing 4-on-4. Sid then took a monster hit from Franzen. His leg was pinched up against the board, and it was clear right away that something went horribly wrong. He slowly left the ice hunched over and headed for the dressing room. We didn't see him for the remainder of the second period.

Kuni made a great play to take the puck and clear it out of the Pens' zone up to Superstar for a 2-on-1. Superstar = CLUTCH. In other words, he patiently waited for his opportunity and shot that puck up and over Osgood for his second goal of the night. [Pens 2, Wings 0]

The Wings came back at us with a late period surge, but they didn't make a mark on the board.

Third Period
Siddo was back on the bench! Eaton took a penalty. An icing call against the Red Wings was ignored, but they still didn't score on their advantage. Siddo evidently bargained with the coaches to let him go out for a faceoff (which he won), but he didn't stay out long. He was clearly not doing well. It would be the last shift of the game for our young Captain. Later, Ericsson scored the Red Wings' lone goal. [Pens 2, Wings 1] At that time, though, there were just over 6 loooooong minutes left on the clock - plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong. They didn't, but they came awfully close when a Wing hit the crossbar behind Flower. But, as they say, "almost" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. With 1:17 separating our Boys from the Cup, Detroit called a timeout then pulled Osgood in favor of the extra attacker.

Every second felt like an eternity. To their credit, Detroit didn't quit until the clock told them they had to. They came at us with everything they had, but it wasn't good enough. The clock finally made it to 00:00 and the Pens realized they had just become the 2009 Stanley Cup Champions!!!

Geno was named as the 2009 Conn Smythe trophy winner!!

Commissioner Gary Bettman (who was booed mightily by the fans at the Joe) presented our Captain with Lord Stanley's mug.

Then the beautiful trophy made the rounds:

Someone special got his hands on it for a third time, this time in a suit rather than a sweater:

And the man that guided the way finally hoisted the ultimate prize:

Siddo shared a priceless moment with his little sister Taylor, his mom Trina, and his father Troy:

Then the Boys had some fun with the Cup:



What a season. What a team. What a feeling. I am honestly so elated right now that I don't even feel like I've been up for more than 20 hours. I don't know if I'll ever sleep again!! This is so, so, so amazing.

We wanted it soooooo badly last year, and after that crushing loss, we wanted it all that much more this year. Now that we've got it, I just don't even think there are words in the English language to describe how good this feels and how thankful I am. Sidney with that Cup in his arms, skating and cheering and kissing it... Geno, Guerin, and Jordan crying... Flower and Tanger hugging... Superstar shining... WOW. We have been blessed.

Congratulations, Boys. You've earned it!!!!!!!!!!!!

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