A Great Day for Hockey

Stop looking at the clock. It’s almost time to drop the puck.

Last summer, I walked out of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit after the Penguins were humiliated 5-0 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

I was wearing my Evgeni Malkin jersey.

The entire city of Detroit was in my face.

"It’s over," I muttered, shielding myself from the spittle and beer that was being hurled in my direction.

I gave up. And that is why I am not a professional hockey player.

Mario Lemieux, on the other hand, sent this text message to Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma as the Penguins were stewing on the plane back to Pittsburgh, down 3-2 in the series and looking altogether hopeless:

We are a family and in this together. We don’t need anyone that is only with us WIN or TIE. I really think this is our year. Let’s forget about tonight … It happens. We will win Tuesday and win the Cup Friday.

There were many easy stops to hop off the bandwagon this season: when the power play was clicking at about 4-percent; when Alex Goligoski forgot how to tie his skates; any time Marc-Andre Fleury went to collect a puck behind the net. But the true fans, the ones that have carried The Igloo for five decades, they never gave up hope.

If you sat at work or school all day with a knot in your stomach, it’s understandable. But by 7:05 p.m., you better pull yourself together and remember Mario’s text message to the team before last year’s Game 7:

This is a chance of a lifetime to realize your childhood dream to win a Stanley Cup. Play without fear and you will be successful! See you at center ice.

Are you ready to jump through your television yet? If not, watch this video by cinematic genius Chris Benson. We will win. We will win.


Categories: Pulling No Punches