My close friends that read the site keep asking: "How in the hell haven't you written anything about the Pens playoff run starting tomorrow?! You manage to write 5,000 words on decade old Penguins videos during the summer, and yet you can't comment on the beginning of what we all live for? YOU CAN'T WRITE AN ARTICLE ABOUT PLAYOFF HOCKEY?!?!"
Well, we're on the eve of the 2008 NHL Playoffs, and I still don't know what to say. I don't know what to say because playoff hockey makes me sick to my stomach. I literally feel ill during many Penguins playoff games, both when they are losing and winning. I scream at the refs for every call they make against the Pens (which I never do in any sport; I consider myself a rational sports viewer that understands the calls go each way). I unconsciously leap into standing position on every rebound. The end of each period feels like finishing a marathon. If you asked me for my name and phone number during the third period of a game, I either a) wouldn't know or b) would punch you in the face on reflex.
Last year against the Sens, these moments existed, but by Game 5 there was little excitement. Ottawa moved the puck better, they were more experienced, they controled their blue line, and they won. This year is obviously a different story, and I don't think I need to explain why. Malkin has more at stake. Hossa has a reputation to remake. Crosby has a story to pen. And Roberts...well, his story will always be one primarily concerned with blood spilling.
For all of you who have waited through the years of Sivek, Koltsov, and crew, this is your time. It's your time to completely immerse yourselves in the soul-satisfying euphoria that is a Cup-contending hockey team making a run. It's your time to remember everything good, bad, and great that the Penguins have brought you...
May 25th, 1991.
June 1st, 1992.
"The number two overall pick goes to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, which means..."
Get a good night's sleep everybody. Because by tomorrow night, your stomach will feel a little tighter. Your hands might be a little sweaty. The world will be a different place. And you'll realize that there is no better feeling that seeing the puck drop in Mellon Arena for some playoff hockey.