Fighting another day.

Here’s the thing. I don’t know how much more of this I can possibly take before my heart just gives the hell up and explodes.

Tying the game in the last 30 seconds?

Triple overtime victory?

I have a headache today that would have a rhinoceros begging for its mommy and this Bruegger’s coffee that chased down those four Advil is doing nothing to alleviate it.

This morning at the bus stop a woman in her early fifties who I never would have taken for a hockey fan — I mean, cross-stitching and cat-raising maybe, but not a hockey fan — saw that I was reading the PG and was all, “Did you see that? So stressful! And Gonchar! Does it say in there what’s wrong with Gonchar?!”

[blink]

The bus was emptier than usual and quiet, too, as I imagine lots of Burghers are just like me. Real frickin’ tired. Saucy is all, “Girl, we cannot keep this up. These late, tortured nights.” And this morning, may God Jedi this coffee right out of my hands if I’m lying, I saw a pigeon on Fifth only half-heartedly pecking at a baby bird. I mean, he wasn’t even aiming for the eyes.

But it’s a GOOD kind of tired. It’s a winning kind of tired.

I just want to say this and I’m not saying this because we’re going to lose tomorrow or anything. I’m saying this because I feel these things in my heart.

1. If we do not win the cup this year, what last night’s game proved is that our boys deserved to be in the final more than anyone. Despite what NBC, Versus, and the rest of the world might think. Which brings me to:

2. NBC, Versus, and every anti-Penguins network/sportscaster can kiss my ass, and according to T&A, all of our asses.

First, whenever they’re doing game summaries during the game, they only show the hits that the Pens are taking. Never/rarely will you see a hit a Red Wing took at the hands of the Pens. And I’m pretty sure Brooks Orpik has got some hits in there at some point.

Also, did you notice in game three I think it was when that annoying bald guy that they SO VERY ANNOYINGLY place in between the teams’ benches was all, “Here between the benches, I can tell you that there is a very different atmosphere right now. Over there on the Red Wings side, as you can see, they are calm, composed, collected, assured in THEIR IMMINENT and DESERVED VICTORY [camera pans to the Red Wings staring into the ice not doing much of anything], while over here, the Penguins are anxious, nervous, loud, desperate, and frustrated because THEY SUCK HAIRY GOAT BALLS [camera pans to the Pens who are staring into the ice not doing much of anything].”

I paraphrased some of that. I’ll let you decide which parts.

Anyway, I know I’ve said this a lot this week, but I have to say it now. That bald guy can bite me.

3. Remember what I said about Maxime Talbot looking like Jesus? Jesus DOES save, y’all. And he does it with 30 seconds to go.

4. What I said last week was true. We don’t need to be the better team, and let’s be honest, we were outplayed last night. But our boys. They found a way to win. Which brings me to point number 5.

5. These guys of ours. Young, old, taking speeding pucks to their already broken noses and then coming back out to take some more. (Which, Ryan Malone’s already high-priced stock SKYROCKETED in my portfolio last night. Stratosphere.)

They are warriors.

There is no better word than the image that that word flicks to my mind’s eye. They fight until there is no fight left and then they dig down somewhere deep to a place that most of us don’t even have in our hearts, and they pull out more fight.

As a wussy scaredy-cat that had to turn away from NBC occasionally because it was getting to be too much, I can’t comprehend that kind of tenacity.

It’s a beautiful thing to see.

But not as beautiful as seeing Sidney Crosby lay his hands on the Stanley Cup.

And that’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

EDITED TO ADD:

Reader Ralph pointed out this similarity and I had to do a side-by-side to see for myself:

I think I’m going to call Pierre McGuire “Turtee” from now on.





59 Comments


  1. John
    June 3, 2008 7:49 am

    One of the greatest hockey games I’ve ever seen. There were at least 10 times when I was positive the Wings would finish the Pens off, but they couldn’t. Fleury was gold. Sykora called his shot. Now game 6 looms. Will last night’s epic win mean anything in the long run? Beats me, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if the Wings come out really flat tomorrow.



  2. Justin
    June 3, 2008 7:56 am

    The annoying bald guy is former Pens Assistant coach Pierre Macguire. Even so… I agree he’s annoying between the benches.



  3. Mimi
    June 3, 2008 8:02 am

    And hey, um, Pierre? It’s ORPIK, not ORPEK.



  4. Bill
    June 3, 2008 8:06 am

    Just do what I do turn down the sound on NBC and turn on the radio to 105.9 and listen to Mike Lange and the “Old 2-9er,” Phil Bourque call the game. The delay between the action on the TV and the radio is under a second which is negligible and you don’t have to listen to the bald guy between the benches.



  5. Ralph Kramden
    June 3, 2008 8:06 am

    Pierre Macguire?

    Looked more like Dana Carvey’s “turtle turtle” character in “Master of Disguise.”

    The term “annoying” fits him well.



  6. Maria
    June 3, 2008 8:24 am

    Oh lord, that game. When the Red Wings took the lead in the third I started a very vicious cycle of crying, swearing, screaming OH MY GOD MAX TALBOT I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES!!, having near heart-attacks everytime Detroit had a shot in overtime, feeling like I was going to vomit, crying and screaming some more, and then FINALLY, at almost one o’clock in the morning, scaring my dog so badly with my shrieks of victory that she still wouldn’t come near me this morning.



  7. back in the burgh
    June 3, 2008 8:24 am

    The Pens rock. There were more heroes last night than can be named … Fleury is a goalie God. Malone is unreal tough. Gonchar playing in the final PP hurt. Sykora calling the shot. Amazing game. Amazing Pens!



  8. joey
    June 3, 2008 8:31 am

    Y’know what…who cares about Malkin….Ryan Malone is a Hockey God, and Fleury is a stud. Malone’s post-game comments were just so…awesome….meh, just rebroke the nose…no big deal…it was already broken…

    Back to reality: I felt like puking for about 2 hours straight, there. Are the pens trying to make Fleury a god, or are they actually going to play defense and challenge the wings? The number of quality shots they were allowing last night was ridiculous.



  9. Displaced Burgher
    June 3, 2008 8:54 am

    I think Petr Sykora has cemented his spot as a Smokin’ Hot Burgher.



  10. Kristin
    June 3, 2008 8:54 am

    First of all, GO PENS! Amazing! I was so extremely tired last night but there was no way I was not going to watch the whole, entire, LONG game. If they had lost after 3 OTs, I was going to hurt someone. On ESPN they said that was the 5th longest game in Stanley Cup finals history.

    I think ‘back in the burgh’ summed up all the glorious playmakers last night who all deserve a standing ovation (Fleury, Sykora, Malone, Gonchar, Talbot). They rocked it out. I also wanted to add go Geno! He assisted on that last goal. So maybe he’s getting his groove back??

    Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Red Wings lose tomorrow night. Not to say they will (and dear Lord baby Jesus I hope they don’t), but who wants to win the Stanley Cup at the opposing team’s arena? Especially the Igloo!



  11. Allison
    June 3, 2008 8:56 am

    It was so amazing. My respect for Malone skyrocketed. He should be the next Smokin’ Hot Burgher.

    Same with Fleury. And Sykora. And Gonch. And the whole team.



  12. unsatisfied
    June 3, 2008 9:00 am

    what. a. game.

    I’m stuck here in blackhawksland for work and got back to my hotel room when the game was 1-0 pens and somehow stayed up until the end — and still made into the office here at 7am.

    anyhoo, my girl and I watched it virtually by phone — and, she totally called talbot’s tying goal as I was thinking, “ugh”. that’s why she’s good people.

    hossa — finally getting a pens goal in motown.

    hall — gets his 2nd crazy-ass-deflection goal of the series.

    malone and gonchar — amazing. I wonder if mickey fixed malone’s nose in the locker room like he did rocky’s.

    fleury and sykora — even more amazing.

    nbc announcers — can blow a goat.

    edzo — how do you think he feels watching this? actually, I don’t give a flying fudge.

    those two dorks in the bottom left corner of the screen during the between-period reports — sit down, ya douchebags.



  13. In Sewickley
    June 3, 2008 9:14 am

    Ya gotta watch the game in true Pittsburgh style — Mike Lange up, NBC/Vs. douche bags down.

    Even though Comcast (probably) purposefully delays the broadcast so you hear Mike Lange’s play-by-play about a second or two before seeing it.

    Any time the bald dude came in between the benches, we all created things that we thought he was saying. :)

    GO PENS!



  14. Stephanique1
    June 3, 2008 9:16 am

    I didn’t think it was possible to have that many mini heart attacks in one night.

    Fleury is a star.

    Pierre is a douche.



  15. deebee
    June 3, 2008 9:18 am

    Thank Woy I have the day off and can spend it deciding who to self unite with Malone or Sykora. Maybe I’ll just go with Gonchar. House cleaning,laundry,picking up my In-laws at the airport well now that going to have to wait.

    LET’S GOOOOOO PENS!!!!



  16. bucdaddy
    June 3, 2008 9:35 am

    Reminded me of when I used to like hockey. Reminded me a lot.



  17. Allison
    June 3, 2008 9:37 am

    I’m calling him now…I’ve just self-united with Marc-Andre Fleury.



  18. BagitTagit
    June 3, 2008 9:38 am

    From 10 minutes left in the 3rd period till Sykora’s goal in the 3rd overtime that was a life-shortening-elongated-version of the Bettis’ goal line fumble, Roethlisberger’s shoestring tackle play against the colts.



  19. PittinDC
    June 3, 2008 9:52 am

    Ugh, I can’t stand that bald guy!! They need to get rid of him. I also think its annoying how he changes his tie color every time they are in a different city. It seems so lame to me, for some reason.

    But GO PENS!!!!



  20. Amazon woman
    June 3, 2008 10:02 am

    Because I’m tall, I’m going to self-unit with Hal Gill. Nobody’s picked him yet and I could see us engaged in some hot nasty roughness and then hitting Eat-N-Park afterwards for a Grand Slam.

    I am so proud of this team it is beyond words. I just want to make them a big vat of wedding soup and some pierogies to show my gratitude.



  21. pghinhamptonroads
    June 3, 2008 10:02 am

    i couldn’t agree more about the announcers! there was a moment when they were comparing the amount of time the various players had played and when they talked about the penguins it was all “OMG… so and so played for 31.35 minutes” as if that is SOOOO much. then they go to detroit and for THE SAME amount of time (or near to) they said “so and so ONLY played for 31.36 minutes.” it was at that point that i called home to the parents back in pitt and was all WTF?! i’m glad that i was not imagining things!



  22. johnny
    June 3, 2008 10:06 am

    Poor Pierre McGuire. Compared to a terrible Dana Carvey character. Ugh!

    I’m a lifetime Penguins fan and I find the NBC/Versus coverage to be tremendous. There seems to be a lot of imagined anti-Pittsburgh bias. The Red Wings are a skillful team that finishes their checks and attacks the net. All of the coverage they receive is certainly deserved. GO PENS!

    Great job, PittGirl!



  23. Renatta
    June 3, 2008 10:07 am

    Suggestion: turn down the tv volume and turn the radio on to the X. Though “annoying bald guy” unfortunately pops up on the screen, you don’t have to listen to his dumb ass. I actually shouldn’t say that because I never listen to him and don’t know what he talks about, but just seeing him between the benches angers me. Plus, you get to hear Mike Lange telling Sidney Crosby to “slap him silly,” as he did in game 3.



  24. deebee
    June 3, 2008 10:12 am

    Mmmm wedding soup!



  25. Hoosierburgher
    June 3, 2008 10:13 am

    So, not to sound completely like a major r-tard, but while being able to watch the last few games out here in Indiana, I can’t help but giggle every time the announcer says Dupuis’ name. It sounds like the poor guy has such a bad speech problem! I mean, I know that is the player’s name and all, but just hearing it all the time from the announcer makes it a little more funny.



  26. Lisa
    June 3, 2008 10:14 am

    During the three OT periods, I declared my love for Marc Andre Fleury so many times that I’m pretty sure he is now my self-united husband. Love can not even begin to explain how I feel about his performance last night.

    And to those white-gloved, cup polishing minions who thought they’d be able to unload the trophy last night. Keep it right there in Detroit…in a safe place. We’ll be back to claim it!!



  27. Chad
    June 3, 2008 10:26 am

    How about some love for Ryan Whitney?

    50:46 of ice time. That’s 5:22 more than the great Nicklas Lidstrom, and 7:04 more than the next closest Penguin (Rob Scuderi, 43:42). He was on the ice pretty much every other shift from the time Gonchar went out until the end of the game. He was a +2, had 3 shots on goal, was on for the Sykora game winner, and played like an absolute stud throughout. Great positional D, riding guys to the outside, making crisp breakout passes, making the smart play to get the puck out of the zone, meshing seamlessly with three different partners.

    He didn’t get a point, and he didn’t make any big hits, so he’s been mentioned by almost no one in the aftermath of this game, in much the same way his smart, steady contributions are overlooked and/or devalued most of the time by most Pens fans.

    Fleury? Unbelievable.

    Hossa? Brilliant.

    But with all due respect to Sid (wonderful as always) and Max (fabulous both on the ice and off, working hard and keeping everybody loose) and Jordan (rock steady, as always) and Ryan Malone (broken nose? what broken nose?) and Jarkko (great energy in the OTs) and Geno (great time for a great pass) and Peter (beautiful shot, and all the better for the call) and all the rest of his gutty, gutsy defenseman, Ryan Whitney was one of the biggest reasons the Pens hung on through those OTs and won that game.

    After a season of some inconsistency, he’s been their most consistent defenseman in this series, and he produced one hell of a defining moment last night.



  28. Pittsburgh Tom (in NJ)
    June 3, 2008 10:33 am

    I had a good feeling that the Pens would tie after I saw them showing them setting up the cup. That was too much bad karma to show the cup being readied for presentation before the game was over.

    I watched most of the game at a bar/restaurant, but it was closing as the second OT ended. I had to hurry home and managed to only miss two minutes of the 3rd OT. The plus side of making it home was being able to hear the post-game interviews. The sound was turned down at the bar. I couldn’t hear any of the announcers or the in-game interviews until the 3rd OT.



  29. Jennifer
    June 3, 2008 10:40 am

    I think my experience mirrored Maria’s! This morning I too have a headache that would bring a rhino to its knees and just don’t care!

    Seriously, I about wet my pants at least 20 times during OT. And if I could punch Pierre right in that stupid face of his I would. When they took out the cup with 5 minutes to go and started to polish it, everyone in the bar was screaming and booing. That’s why I love this town! Never Give Up! Never Surrender! Pens Rawk!



  30. Maria
    June 3, 2008 11:00 am

    Just thought I’d share some office quotes with you all regarding the game:

    My (male) boss: “I told my wife I was leaving her for Fleury. She’s okay with it.”

    Female coworker: “How is it that Malone looks even hotter when his nose is swollen and bloody?”

    and, my personal favorite:
    Intern: “SUCK IT DETROIT!”

    I’m still on Cloud 9 from that game. Also, has anyone self-united with Ryan Malone yet? I know he’s married and has a baby, but that’s only a minor detail ;)



  31. deebee
    June 3, 2008 11:16 am

    Maria go back and check out the pics Pittgirl posted on March 26th. YUUMMMYY!!

    Ryan I would take get care of your broken nose.



  32. Annie
    June 3, 2008 11:40 am

    Just got lunch at the Bagel Factory on Ellsworth. One of the guys who works there said he just came from bringing the Pens some breakfast. He said 12 of them were hooked up to IVs. They were so dehydrated from last night!



  33. spoon
    June 3, 2008 11:43 am

    this has been a rough day to try and stay awake.

    1) NBC’s hockey coverage(lookin at you Edzo and Pierre McGuire) has a hardon for the Red Wings that could stop a fan.
    2) Malkin got a point to get out of the slump. Watch out Detroit.
    3) In one game this generation now has their own “The Save”, “the Shift” and “the called shot”. I think the Greatest Games DVD series may need revised.
    4) HOSSA HOSSA HOSSA HOSSA! It’s just fun to say
    5) Ryan Malone needs to have PG mine craigslist for a new nose.

    For reasons why Detroit has taken so many penalties I go to Johnstown Chief’s owner Joe McGrath “I was coachin’ in Omaha in 1948 and Eddie Shore sends me this guy who was a terrible masturbator, you know, couldn’t control himself. Why, he would get deliberate penalties so he could get over in the penalty box all by himself and damned if he wouldn’t… you know… “



  34. thebellgirl
    June 3, 2008 12:11 pm

    Marc-Andre deserves a PittGirl adoration post all to himself!



  35. xena
    June 3, 2008 12:22 pm

    “This morning at the bus stop a woman in her early fifties who I never would have taken for a hockey fan — I mean, cross-stitching and cat-raising maybe, but not a hockey fan — saw that I was reading the PG and was all, ‘Did you see that? So stressful! And Gonchar! Does it say in there what’s wrong with Gonchar?!'”

    PittGirl, now see what you’ve got to look forward to. We 50-somethings did our hockey apprenticeship under Mario Lemieux. Trottier. Kevin Stevens. Rick Tocchet. etc. We are very interested, but we self-united years ago with one or more of those guys. (In my case, Trottier.) I know you have been doubly traumatized by your birthday and last night’s game. But you will be smokin’ hot in your fifties and you will know what it takes for a fan (not to mention a team) to make it through the Stanley Cup playoffs. There is nothing like it.

    I will confess to cat-raising. But anyone who mistakes me for a cross-stichin’ granny will get a warrior princess ass-kicking.



  36. Pensgirl
    June 3, 2008 12:58 pm

    Mimi, about the only thing that annoys me more than “Or-peck” on those broadcasts is when Edzo says “Pasqual.” It’s Pascal, pay attention!

    I actually watched the vast majority of the game on mute last night. Being that I’m in Maryland, I can’t just turn on the radio – I do pull up the X on my computer but it’s 30 seconds behind the TV so I only use it to hear Mike’s goal calls and to listen to the intermissions. On mute obviously you don’t hear the whistles, but if you’re an experienced enough fan you can get by without them for the most part.

    My favorite thing about this team is that every single last one of the players deserves to be (and surely is) somebody’s favorite. They all contribute. When one falters, the rest stand up. When one succeeds, they all treat it as their own. There are no prima donnas, no locker room cancers, no deadweight, no lazies, no bad guys.

    I said this yesterday, and I’ll say it again: they deserve a parade regardless of how the series turns out. This season, they’ve earned one.



  37. Stacie
    June 3, 2008 1:33 pm

    AMEN BILL! Turn down the tube and turn up some LANG! Michael Michael motorcycle



  38. khazan
    June 3, 2008 1:38 pm

    Watch the replay of Sykora’s goal on the NHL site….. the entire Detroit crowd stays in their seats except for ONE PENS FAN that jumps up and raises his arms over his head. It’s beautiful, it really is.



  39. Chad
    June 3, 2008 1:53 pm

    Amen on all counts, Pensgirl.

    Amen!



  40. Mrs Pitsberger
    June 3, 2008 1:57 pm

    I was pissed this morning while, when watching highlights on ESPN, some complete idiot actually said, “Jarkko Ruutu” and pronounced it like “Jar – (as in a container used to store pickles) Co.”



  41. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    June 3, 2008 2:16 pm

    I feel for all of you in the Burgh! At least us fans on the west coast could get a decent night’s sleep. As for NBC, here’s a tip — if you have digital cable with a dvr, you can pause the tv until it synch’s up with the radio. For you out-of-towners, stream the X audio and Mike Lange from your computer and synch it up the same way. You still have to see the bald little douche, but you don’t have to hear them.

    As for little old ladies, I spoke with my 88 year old grandma today and she said she went to bed after the first OT because she just knew they would win it, but there was no way she was going to be able to stay awake for it.

    What a game! Let’s Go Pens!!!!



  42. shouldBworking
    June 3, 2008 2:24 pm

    Since we are all self-uniting, I call Kris Letang. Even though he’s been benched, he’s still mighty fine.



  43. maxtalbot
    June 3, 2008 2:25 pm

    PittGirl rules. That bald f*cker was complaining about a penalty on Cleary for goaltender interference in the 2nd OT. And he said, and I actually am quoting here, “I hate that penalty. I hate that they called that penalty,” (then, in a softer voice), “It’s the letter of the law …” And then he mumbled something even douchier. You said it, Mr. Clean. It is the letter of the law. The last thing we need is for referees making rulings based on perceived intentions, f*cknuts. I promptly muted my TV. I cannot abide that tool.



  44. Mitch Cumstein
    June 3, 2008 2:41 pm

    What are the rules on same-sex self-uniting? I’m straight as hell, but that was some seriously goalie-ing by MAF last night.

    That game was wayyyyy to exciting to care about the announcing. But Turtle Turtle is an annoying mofo…that picture comparison had me giggling like a little school girl.

    And I agree with whoever said we’re being too sensitive about a perceived Detroit bias. Detroit rocks. They’re just so bland, our boys got mad heart. And no one, not even Ryan Malone, has more heart than Talbot.



  45. DW
    June 3, 2008 3:22 pm

    At one point Turtee was slamming Malkin and Sykora on-air and Sykora was sitting right there beside him, glaring over his way. I was hoping Petr would spear him with his stick. If we’re lucky, an errant puck will clip him in the nose and we’ll see if he gets up like Malone.

    Words can’t describe the perfomance turned in by MAF and the entire team for that matter. Awesome.



  46. Mme.G
    June 3, 2008 3:30 pm

    Did you notice those same newscasters doing Chris Farley interviews during game 4? They asked Ron Francis “Do you remember when you won the Stanley Cup only months after being traded to Pittsburgh?” What did they want him to say? “Naw, I don’t remember that-too many stray pucks, I guess!”



  47. Jennifer
    June 3, 2008 3:32 pm

    The bar I was in was so loud you couldn’t hear the announcing. Even when it looked like all was lost everyone was screaming and cheering at the top of their lungs. When they scored everyone started hugging and high-fiving, regardless of whether they knew the person they were hugging.

    One thing I noticed though, as much whining as everyone outside the burgh is doing about unfair penalties and crap, Pittsburghers to a person give credit to the Redwings for being really, really good. Way to STAY CLASSY Pittsburgh!