Rushing to the Aid of a Foe’s Fanbase in Their Hour of Need

Being the high-road breed of hockey fans we are, we are called in this hour of anguish for our rivals to the North and West to traffic in empathy, commiseration, and sportsmanship. The black and gold partisans may not return the courtesy when they’re playing the role of spectator to our Cup challenges years hence, but no matter. We will elevate ourselves above the urge to gloat and belittle whilst our foe’s fiendishly follicled followers sip stale-tasting Iron City and sulk on runner-up status.
We must resist any and all temptation to raise discussions of the Annointed One’s perhaps taking up residence in that ignominious realm of career-long Stanley-less Stud. He’s young of course, and the likelihood is strong I think that he’ll vie again deep in spring for his name’s engraving. Only a rat, then, would recite a roll call of legendary names knowing no raised arms, ever, at season’s end — names like Jean Ratelle, Marcel Dionne, Adam Oates, Darryl Sittler, Gilbert Perreault, Brad Park, Bernie Nichols, Dino Ciccarelli, Michel Goulet, Mike Gartner, Dale Hawerchuck, Jeremy Roenick, Dale Hunter, Peter Stastny, Pierre Turgeon, Trevor Linden, Peter Bondra, Rick Middleton, Cam Neely, Pat LaFontaine.
Not to be a Negative Nick, but it is certainly true that return Finals engagements are not guaranteed. Unforeseeable forces like ill-timed injuries and white-hot playoff goaltenders — who can forget the rookie Dryden shocking the dynasty-forming Bs in ’71? — can wreak havoc with the best-laid roster assembly. But now is not the hour to reference this, while our counterparts stare blankly before domination’s path.
We ought to remind them of the lessons surely to be gained from so valiant a run through the spring season, and that with nearly 10 players inked for next season how Penguins’ management has merely a Herculean — and not necessarily impossible — task in reassembling a top-tier team to compete in the mighty Atlantic division.
What is to be gained at this hour from articulating, in shallow self-interest, mean-spirited metaphors — you know the type, commonly composed on message boards of bile, the sort that would liken the Penguins’ competitiveness in these Finals’ games to that of an arthritic, three-legged poodle at the Vicks’ Saturday night dog brawl. A seriously sick schadenfreuder — and these cretins do exist — might hasten to add, toy poodle, too.
Additionally, do Pens’ fans need to be reminded now of Evgeni Malkin’s missing-in-action meagerness in these Finals’ games, of how Harry Houdini himself never carried off so mystifying a disappearing act? I think not.
Marc-Andre Fleury can hold his head up high for injecting a fleeting sliver of hope late last week among the fanbase. That ultimately he failed as a young netminder in the Finals whereas Carolina’s Cam Ward shined as a rookie between the pipes on hockey’s biggest stage — and without a glut of superstars in front of him, it bears mentioning — is of little bearing.
There ought not now be any mention of how a team that spent nearly a decade drafting at or near the very top of successive drafts must seize glory’s opportunities in its early dawnings, as star contracts commonly become fiscal burdens and impossible renewals as free agency eligibility arrives earlier each year. Certainly it would aid the cause of this club were it on the receiving end of lavish luxury box revenues, and not instead a tenant in a rink that should be torn down. Fortunately on this front, the remedy rink is but a couple of years away. There is in Pittsburgh today a core that must suffer the shearing off only of two or three expensive, supremely talented parts very early this offseason.
Obviously, it does no good either to reference the mortgaging a hefty portion of the present and the future as required by acquiring the rental player Marian Hossa. Time — perhaps a decade’s worth — will soften the sting of young Shero’s shipping off two young and productive roster players and two no. 1 draft picks, in exchange for Hossa’s dozen goals. Many of them, however, were pretty.
Let it be said that with respect to Michel Therrien’s tactical adjustments — the in-game ones most particularly — that the Penguins’ bench boss has the look of good health about him, and that there are, indisputably, coaches in the league who dress worse than he does, and that there is every reason to believe he’d be a cheerful companion at a summer barbeque. How often have you read such commendation emanating from this keyboard, directed at this organization, during the young lifetime it has tormented?
I write wanting none of your in-box clogging admiration for my magnanimity in this moment. Place this file in the annals of sudden, heroic Glasnost if you must. But know that there are limits to such aid and comfort of the enemy. For instance, I still have one more Versus-NBC broadcast of a Pens’ game to endure.

This entry was posted in Atlantic Division, Morning cup-a-joe, Pittsburgh Penguins. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Rushing to the Aid of a Foe’s Fanbase in Their Hour of Need

  1. Ben says:

    I too, would like to express my support by not pointing out that Datsyuk/Zetterberg have completely owned Malkin/Crosby/Hossa in every way during the Finals.

  2. buzzard says:

    I want to express my admiration of their ability to live in such a horrible place.

  3. Victor says:

    I think you’re being sarcastic.

  4. HotDog88GT says:

    I would like to express my disappointment at not being able to fully enjoy the dismantling of the Pengooins because I’ve had to endure the piss-poor coverage by NBC and Versus.
    And how would you like to be Georges Laraque? Plays 70+ games during the season and gets scratched for most of the Finals. Wonder if BB would do the same to #87.

  5. Smitty says:

    I’ve already shown my admiration by not taunting my friends who hail from that craptacular wasteland, but rather letting them cry with dignity. It’s been tough and I’m not sure I’ll make it through tonight without saying something 😉

  6. Hooks Orpik says:

    In the spirit of all this good will, I’d wish to express my support Capital blogs that still find new material six weeks after their team has been eliminated!

  7. JWJr says:

    I share the hopes of all Peeburghers that tonight will bring the end of Crosby’s I’m-stalking-your-daughter’s-elementary-school mustache. -JW

  8. Zack says:

    @ Hooks Orpik.
    Indeed, the Capitals have been eliminated. I can’t fight you there.
    Unfortunately, your comment only validates widespread beliefs about the majority of the Penguins fanbase:
    “I?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢d wish to express my support Capital blogs…”
    In the words of Ron Burgundy, that doesn’t make any sense.

  9. pepper says:

    I love Heinz ketchup!

  10. DCPensFan says:

    Really, counting them out already? Caps fans should remember their playoff history before jumping on a Penguins team that’s down 3-1.

  11. zelda says:

    Oh, certainly, the Caps fan knows what it’s like to be be bested by the Red Wings in a Stanley Cup playoff, so we can empathize with our Pens brethren. It is meaningless to complain about calls that could’ve been — as one Pens board said: “we’d sound like Caps fans if we would complain about ever call”, while proceeding to whine about calls and accuse sundry Wings of diving and flopping. Even the coach got into the act accusing Osgood of diving. No, it serves no good purpose to complain about the officiating — the officials always have the last word.
    But it seems the average Pens fan does believe in omens. First, there was the trip by Fleury coming onto the ice in game one. And, in the last game, the cephalopod flung onto the sacred ice of the Igloo may have been accompanied by a curse. Time will tell.
    Pens fans better hope that when Al swings the octopus this evening that he doesn’t fling it onto the ice.

  12. b.orr4 says:

    Well, the Pens fans can certainly hold on to the hope that if they don’t grab the silver ring this year, they should be a shoe-in to get back to the Finals next year and win it all. Of course, I would have to add that it’s only happened once in the last 25 years when the Oilers did it in 1982-83, but then again we’ve all heard the comparisons of the Pens to that Oiler team. What’s that you say? This year’s Penguins could lose three or four of their front-line performers this summer and the ’82-’83 Oilers were able to keep all their players from the previous year? Oh…Nevermind.

  13. shaggy says:

    “Apophasis” (also called praeteritio or occupatio) = a rhetorical technique where the speaker asserts or emphasizes something by pointedly seeming to pass over, ignore, or deny it.

  14. Customarily I would applaud this insightful bit of wit, but today my thoughts are with the beleagured.

  15. The Peerless says:

    Therrien is the unchallenged master of the Sears mens wear ad pose (fingers curled and resting thoughtfully on chin as he stares out into…well, somewhere).
    And the juvenile Pens seem to be going quick and quiet as well, having dropped the first two games of the Calder final to Chicago…
    ..but then again, both teams are in the finals.

  16. pepper says:

    This post should, by the way, be filed under “top-10 OFB posts of all time.”
    Bring on the Cup.

  17. LangwaywastheKing says:

    IMHO, by virtue of the fact that Versus doesn’t have Pierre (“If it’s obvious to me I better tell the ignorami watching the broadcast”) McGuire and seems to have announcer’s microphones which work properly, I’ll take the VS broadcast over NBC. However, I’ll gladly watch the Wings take out Sidney (aka Greg Louganis) Crosby in 5 on NBC tonight, and forego one last VS broadcast.

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