Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mario LaMew Gave Me Poison Ivy

by Jan Snyder

Hello, again, hockey friends! Several months have passed since we last talked that lovely night in June when the Pens beat the Wings and brought the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh. How was your summer?

Mine was one of diet and exercise (damn, those playoff donuts!) with the goal to lose 15 pounds by the time the season started. Just days away, I’m down 14, so I feel good about that.

I enjoyed Wimbledon and the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, made it to a couple of baseball games and lots of concerts, including Kid Rock, Def Leppard, Nickleback, and Creed. But mostly, I missed hockey. Watching the guys have their turns with the Cup was fun, but nothing takes the place of the game.

Just last week, I developed a red, angry, itchy rash on both arms. Turns out that my cat, Mario LaMew, must have walked through some poison ivy plants, escaping without incident himself, but then I picked him up and the nasty stuff got all over me. Since I’m allergic to almost everything outside, I know I didn’t touch any poison ivy plants.

But even “scratchin’ like a hound” won’t keep me from boarding a plane on Thursday to be in Pittsburgh for Opening Night! How great it will be to see the Stanley Cup banner raised in Mellon Arena? What fun to see Stanley at the game. And of course, the play itself will be great as the Pens take on the rival New York Rangers.

The next night, through the auspices of my daughter and son-in-law (Jen and Jim), I’ll get to be in on their picture with the Stanley Cup as we celebrate its return to the city after 17 long years. We’ve missed you, Stanley, welcome home!

The somewhat new look New York Rangers will be led into town by their fiery coach, John Tortorella. He’ll bring with him the always loveable Sean Avery, a new addition tough guy, Donald Brashear, and scoring threat Marian Gaborik. Avery is nursing a knee injury but hopes to play in the ‘burg.

Unfortunately, Crosby left a pre-season game in Columbus the other night with a groin injury and didn’t make the trip to Detroit for the last pre-season game. Hopefully by Friday night, he’ll be ready as will all the others. We’ll miss the guys who have left since last year, including Rob Scuderi, Petr Sikora and Hal Gill, but we’ll trudge along without them and wish them well in their new surroundings.

There will be plenty of challenges this season, just like always. The Pens will now have to face Chris Pronger several times both in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. New faces in new places are popping up everywhere – we’ll see what impact they have on their new teams.

So it’s almost time…I’m ready, are you? Our sport is back and all’s right with the world.


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