June is for Hockey, of course

So other than a very brief stint in elementary school, I’ve never really watched much NHL. I remember one Christmas when I was younger I got a Pittsburgh Penguins jacket and was pretty psyched, but growing up in the Richmond area, there just weren’t rinks around for hockey, let alone ice skating. We eventually did get a rink, in late high school, but by that point I had already picked up just about every other sport and had been playing for years. Other than the semester I briefly considered taking it for a PE credit (and instead opted for skiing), the sport rarely entered my radar.

Anyway, my brother just graduated from college in Pittsburgh and I got to spend a few weeks on the East Coast during this past month, and during much of it I had some quality time to hang out with him. Well apparently in his last year he’s become quite a fan of the hometown Penguins. It was fun talking to him about it, and his sudden enthusiasm certainly piqued my interest. We caught a few moments of an early playoff game at a bar right before his graduation dinner (in Pittsburgh) and I caught several more of the Stanley Cup games this week.

Anyway, like any good kid who has over 30 (40? 50?) relatives in the Pittsburgh area, I have (re-)decided my team was the Penguins. I caught several of the games this past week including an unbelievably exciting triple-overtime Stanley Cup game 5. The last 3 minutes of game 6 weren’t a slouch either. After an electrifying win in game 5, the Pens fell in the waning tenths-of-a-second in game 6, to the Detroit Red Wings. It was a hard fought series, and hopefully NBC‘s decision to air several of the final games will result in the sport gaining more fans. I know this is one of them. I look forward to the return of Crosby, Malkin, and the boys, and their taking of the Cup next year (bandwagon much?).

Pittsburgh’s game winning goal for 4-3 victory in triple overtime of Stanley Cup game 5.

Other headlines: Celtics vs Lakers in the NBA Finals. I can’t bear to listen to any further ESPN analyses rehashing past Celts/Lakers matchups from the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird era. I can almost guarantee that in the coming years the current (2008) Finals will be of no comparison to the nostalgia of the old contests.

Picture Source: NY Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/hockey/2008/06/02/2008-06-02_penguins_tie_red_wings_late_in_regulatio.html

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