Well, the end of the 2010-11 season for the Pittsburgh Penguins is officially over. After a very tight game last night, they lost the series to Tampa. It was one of the best games in the series; the Pens just couldn’t find the net behind Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson.
As I wound out last night after watching the handshake and the stick-raising to the fans at Consol Energy Center, I realized this was a season of “what if…” I’m actually proud of my favored team for putting together an exhilarating run after January’s misfortunes. They could’ve just packed it in and settled for “next year-itis.” Instead, I watched a group of guys pull together and make one fantastic second-half of the season.
I’m sure everyone plays the ‘what-if’ game after their team of choice bows out. So indulge me while I do the same. Continue reading
[This was originally a guest post at pittsburghpenguinsblog.net in October 2009 before the season began, but had disappeared a while back and I'd never grabbed it. I happened to find it today during my lunch break and am reposting it here before it disappears again. I'd wanted to post it originally back at the end of the 2009-2010 season, so I suppose better late than never. Enjoy. -BHR]
The first time I ever stepped foot into the hallowed Igloo, it was 1995 and I was attending my first-ever Penguins game. Granted, it was a preseason game against the Rangers – not to mention the first real date with my then-girlfriend-now-wife – but it was still a moment I remember keenly in my mind of hockey memories.
“Do they open the dome at all?” I’d asked. Because that? Would’ve been the ultimate cool. A Pittsburgh winter night, with outdoor hockey? Awesome.
Alas, my thoughts disappeared less than a moment later when my then-girlfriend laughed at me. A lot.
Back then, it was the Civic Arena. (Still is, depending on my mood when I’m watching a Pens game.) And back then, it was already one of the oldest venues still showcasing the coolest game on ice, with one of the hottest franchises. I’d mourned the loss of the old Chicago Stadium only months before, having been a frequent visitor there to watch the Blackhawks play. Now, I was walking in another historic hockey building. Continue reading