On Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup. And it was fantastic! While the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh celebrated with a victory parade on Wednesday (here's a great live blog via Yahoo's Puck Daddy), I think I should have been invited to ride in the parade. Why you ask? Well, I was key to the team's victory. Throughout the playoffs, I regularly managed to fall asleep on my couch during games. In nearly all of these games, the Penguins won. In the rare occasions when I stayed awake the entire game, the Pens usually lost. Naturally, I slept during the majority of the second period on Sunday night's game six. Feel free to criticize me, but after running around all day and waking up at 5:30 during the week, the couch is very comfortable around 9:00 or 9:30PM. Plus, it doesn't help when Ziggy curls up next to me so I can't move without waking him. It's a recipe for nappy time! The Penguins play exciting hockey and Doc Emrick calls a great game, but it's no match for being tired. In related news, I'm old.
What was also odd about this Stanley Cup Final was watching these games at home by myself. (This contributed to me falling asleep.) When the Penguins won the Cup in 1991 and 1992, I generally watched the games with my dad and brother. (With the notable exception of game one of the 1991 Finals which overlapped with my school's Kennywood Day. We searched the park to find radios so that we could listen to the game. I still remember one friend saying that whoever scored the first Penguins goal would be his favorite player and whoever got the primary assist would be his least favorite player. So my friend ended up being a huge Ulf Samuelsson fan but didn't like some guy named Mario.) When the Pens won the Cup in 2009, I watched game seven at a friend's house. With kids now, they are too young to watch games that start at 8:15. I also enjoy putting them to bed, so if I get them to sleep between 8:00 and 8:30, I'm not going out to watch the games. So on Sunday night, after I woke up, I watched the Pens receive the Stanley Cup alone but celebrated with some text messages with friends and family and via Twitter and Facebook. That's my life in 2016.
I know some people are already thinking about next season. There's talk about a goalie controversy between Stanley Cup Champion Marc-Andre Fleury and Stanley Cup Champion Matt Murray and if they will both be on the team next year. Will Matt Cullen retire? Only days after the Pens winning the Cup, I think it's fair to write, STOP DOING THIS! ENJOY THE FACT THAT YOUR TEAM WON THE CUP! CELEBRATE! PARTY HARD!
With that written, I look forward to the Penguins firing head coach Mike Sullivan next year. Per Jason Mackey of DKPittsburghSports.com:
Coincidence or not, the Penguins’ four Stanley Cups have been won by men who have been in their first year on the bench, men who have had strong personalities and have provided an instant jolt. “Badger” Bob Johnson, Scotty Bowman, Dan Bylsma and now Sullivan.
Great run, coach. Enjoy the celebration over the next few months. You know, before you're no longer with the Penguins in January.
I shared some pictures of the Stanley Cup celebration on Monday, but now I'm sharing more pics, videos, and articles because I want look at these over and over this summer and for the rest of my life.
Jim Shearer's Yinz Luv Da Guins:
The fantastic Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi guys at the victory parade:
And some more pictures.
Kessel's reaction to seeing this sign.
Thanks to Lowell Murray (@pghguyinva) for many of the amazing pictures.
Way to go Pens!