Sunday, May 31, 2009
Stanley Cup Final Game 1
Seeing as the Rangers weren't playing, and the game itself was covered by most everyone, I will limit this to some firsthand stuff I saw and experienced. I gotta say, it was one helluva game/night.
*For the first time in my life, I was outright star struck as Stevie Y walked past me after the game. Presidents, mayors, athletes, rock stars ... first time ever. He just has a presence, it was impressive. He had been perched in the press box but no fans were able to get autos or even speak to him before being ushered away. No, I wasn't one of them.
*On the Red Wing legends note, Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay dropped the ceremonial puck. While I didn't see Gordie again until after the game, Terrible Ted was just sitting in the concourse signing copies of his book talking away and taking pictures. A very nice gentleman. I didn't approach Gordie as he was surrounded by people.
*While the fans did get into the game - and released a massive roar when that hometown Abdelkader kid scored - there is no place like the Garden. We were just as loud for our first round game and we chanted more throughout the game. There were many more "Let's Go Pens" chants through the first two periods than there were "Let's Go Red Wings."
*Then again, the in-house entertainment people didn't do all that well to help. And I thought the Garden was bad with the Chelsea club music! It was almost all techno all the time with the rare appearance of Kiss or Kid Rock. That was, until the end of the game when they busted out the 80s mix.
*As for the arena itself, Joe Louis isn't that impressive once you get past the banners. Inside the arena itself, it looks like a red Nassau Coliseum with the same layout and types of seats. Outside of the bowl proper it is like a warehouse. The concourse was dimly lit and the building looks like any of the other thousand of industrial buildings in the area, just with big steps and an octopus on one side.
*Evgeni Malkin's parents were rock stars. They weren't sitting too far from me and during the first intermission they were mobbed by Pens fans. And they entertained every one of them, which was impressive.
*Even more impressive was a jersey I saw - Joel Kwiatkowski. Dude played one game for Pittsburgh. One! I wish I got a pic, dammit.
*A quick game note, which I gotta mention, is that I now officially heart Darren Helm. He is just like Blair Betts, just with more offense. All he does is hustle and play rock solid defensively. And he is probably the fastest skater I've ever seen, even quicker than Rico Fata (remember him?).
*His teammates are just so smooth that it is sickening. Even with Pittbsurgh pestering them, the Wings never seemed to get flustered. They just moved the puck and moved the puck and were quite remarkable as they took Game 1 - and they didn't even play their best!!
*The icing on the cake that was the night was not the result (nyeh nyeh Cindy lost) but with eight minutes left in the game during a break they played the now iconic Stanley Cup commercial on the big board. Total awesomeness.
One down, three to go!