Saturday, May 2, 2009

Pittsburgh Penguins/ Washington Capitals Game One, Round Two

You Dropped a Bomb on Me – Gap Band

by Jan Snyder

It’s Saturday night, time for a little dancing – this song fits after the game this afternoon. The Pens’ power play was the bomb – and not in a good way. In a bad, bad, way, in a no power on the power play way, in a too fancy and not enough shooting way.

In a nationally televised game showcasing the top three scorers in the league, these teams were the center of attention. Sidney Crosby, the center of attention for the Penguins, started things off nicely with a goal in the first period, but the Caps quickly answered that one when David Steckel beat Fleury.

With only seconds left in the second period, the Pens gave the home team a five-on-three advantage and Alex Ovechkin proved why he gets so much attention in Washington when he positioned himself well and scored.
In the second period, the Caps played tougher, but Mark Eaton was able to score to tie the game up going into the third.But early on, Fleishman scored to make it 3-2 and the Caps hung on to win the opening game of the series.

The Pens had never faced young goaltender, Varlamov, but he didn’t give them much and stopped Sid from scoring on a wide-open net. Unbelievably, Varlamov dropped a bomb of his own when he was able to reach his goalie stick out and stop what looked to be a sure goal for the Kid. Neither team played badly, but both looked like they were still feeling each other out and trying to see who would set the tone.

Watching the game was so much more enjoyable without having to hear Cap fans chanting, ala the Flyers fans, other more than a wonderful “Let’s Go, Caps”. They were a lively, loud crowd and made the game more fun. There were some Pens’ fans scattered in the crowd – but not as many as usual because owner Ted Leonsis is up to his old tricks again. Remember several years ago, he found a way to block anyone calling from the 412 area code (Pittsburgh’s area code) to buy tickets and kept his own building somewhat empty, even though Pittsburgh fans were perfectly willing to buy his tickets and plop their butts in his seats.

This year, he’s done it again. Even though people in Pittsburgh were on the Caps mailing list, if they called to buy a two-game package for games one and two, they were told by ticket agents that Mr. Leonsis didn’t “allow” them to sell tickets to Pens’ fans, according to an article by Dave Molinari in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. These days he has no trouble selling out the arena, but back when he started this, there were many, many empty seats, which he seemed to like better than having Pens’ fans in them.
Also security seemed to be under better control behind the benches after the Tortorella bottle-tossing incident.

If you happened to see the shot of Mario Lemieux during the game, you noticed that he was sporting quite a nice playoff beard - much more robust than the ones he tried to grow during his playing days. He’s not just supporting his team though; he’s also helping his Foundation.

The Mario Lemieux Foundation is running a program called “Beard-a-Thon” during the playoffs. Fans can grow beards and others sponsor them to raise money for the charity. If you are “follically challenged”, you can even build a beard! Visitors to the website can check out the beards and vote for the best. So far, more than $50,000 has been raised for Mario’s foundation. Visit for more information, to sponsor someone, or to add your own beard into the mix! Other teams still left in the playoffs are participating too.

That will be one way to pass the time until Monday night, Game Two. Same place, different time, and hopefully, a different result. Next time I say the Pens’ power play was “da bomb”, hopefully it will be in a good way!

No comments:

Post a Comment