"We're not going to get too down about one loss and not too excited about one win that's the way it is. It's just going to be good to come back on Thursday night." --Brad StuartWell, sadly I won't be back to see it but I am happy to have seen three great games in the Stanley Cup Final. Should they go seven, perhaps I'll hit it up but as of now, my experience at the pinnacle of pucks is over. It has been a wild season and one that I will sum up once the Cup is raised but that is another day. Here are some thoughts on tonight's action as the Penguins held serve, winning at home 4-2 to cut their series deficit to 2-1:
*The music director in the Igloo is a metalhead and it is awesome. White Zombie, Motorhead, Ozzy and opening with Slayer ... I rocked out. It was sooooo much better than the typical techno fare that the Garden provides. However, the Pens used the annoying old Gary Glitter "Rock and Roll Part II" as their goal song, which is pathetic. I guess that is one thing that the Garden has that can't be beat.
*Like you guys are going to feel bad for me, but the auxiliary seating they had for some of the media, myself included, was terrible. Obstructed view, ridiculously tight seats with a makeshift desk pinned into the same row and virtually no wifi signal. Detroit was much more accommodating and comfortable - they put the desk on the row in front. Perhaps the Pens didn't want to give up three rows worth of revenue, what with the new building on the way.
*Disappointingly, there were just a few old jerseys spotted in the building, aside from Lemieux. I caught just a Zarley Zalapski (awesome) and a Tom Barrasso (booooo). There were numerous Rimouski Oceanic jerseys though. Can you say "bandwagon" boys and girls?
*On the same note, the fans here really dislike Marian Hossa. But, frankly, I am not sure many know who or maybe which one he is. When Hossa touched the puck it wasn't like the whole place boos - some people started and then it grew louder each time, usually around the same time Hossa gave up the puck. He was underwhelming thus far and it is only a matter of time before Where's Marian? signs start popping up in this place.
*And I understand why they had Super Mario drop the ceremonial first puck, but c'mon - how corny. Yes he is the only legend the franchise really has who is recognizable to the fans but still, the guy owns part of the team! Roethlisberger would have been better and maybe even Jagr - could you imagine that?
*Verizon sponsored a tee shirt giveaway in addition to the rally towels. It was the first time I saw a white out in person and I have to say that it looks kinda ridiculous. Is this a way to sell more jerseys? Who do they think they are? Winnipeg? It is annoying to look at and I wonder why they continue to do it.
*Chris Osgood had his stick get stuck in the door coming out for the start of the game and I had a terrible deja vu feeling it was a Legace moment. Luckily, it wasn't. He played a pretty good game and couldn't be held accountable for two of the three goals he allowed.
*Ericsson looked fantastic while playing alongside Nik Lidstrom. When he was back with Brett Lebda, not so good. Either he feels more comfortable with Nik (who wouldn't be) or he just isn't that good. Mike Babcock seemed to juggle his defensive pairings a bit as he constantly played catch-up to the Pens' line changes. As we learned all to well watching Tom Renney's Rangers this season, messing with personnel during the action rarely works out and it ultimately cost Detroit the game.
*In the first period when Orpik was called for interference the play continued and, after puck came out of corner, Zetterberg was still along the boards and was hammered with cross check to lower back. The Penguins absolutely hammered the Wings with cross checks all night and the deciding call of the game - the Ericsson interference - was a dubious call (given the standard of officiating set thus far in the series).
*For the statheads out there, the Wings were outhit 36-17 with Chris Kunitz providing 11 of Pittsburgh's pushes. The Penguins blocked 18 shots while the Wings had just five ...
*During the first intermission I caught was a mid-20s blond lady walking the concourse with her boyfriend. Why is this notable? Well, she was rooting for the Red Wings with a Datsyuk jersey tied up beneath her ample boobage, she was wearing a jeans microskirt with a red thong intentionally sticking out above it and bright red five inch heels. Damn. Guys were going 'Booooo!! Oh, wow' left and right as they first saw the jersey, then noticed who was wearing it. She was quite the show stopper - sorry I don't have a better pic.
*Did I see it right? Versus dumped out of their post-game coverage to go to that awful Sports Soup, just to go back to do a post show after it was over? Is that ridiculous or what?
Well, that's about that from Pittsburgh. Thanks for tuning in folks. Don't tune out as I will continue to do some coverage of the rest of the series from afar while keeping my eye on the Blueshirts as they head into the draft and free agency.