Wednesday, 13 May 2009

This Is Beginning to Frighten Me Slightly

You know how sometimes you say silly things like "Please score in the last minute!" even though there are five minutes left and you're down one goal and if you lose this game, you lose the Stanley Cup... you've done that, right?

Even if you didn't, I did. And then Max Talbot scored with 35 second left on the clock. And Pens fans were given the most epic SCF game in recent franchise history.

For a long time, I chocked that up to a miracle. I don't remember asking for another goal like that in the regular season this year, although I'm pretty sure I did. I don't know if I can't remember because the stakes weren't as high, or because none of my requests were ever granted, but in the past three weeks, it has become clear that someone is listening.

Possibly Max Talbot and Kristopher Letang. I may also be losing my mind. But, in my defence, I have witnesses to each of these almost unbelievable anecdotes.

Round 1, Game 2
Pens vs. Flyers

Kylie is at the game. Mer is watching it on CBC. Ky send Mer photos because she is awesome.
She also gets "Letang = le swooon" on the the JumboTron.
Mer misses it because she is cleaning the bathroom. (Seriously.)

During the third period, the Pens are down 2-1 in the third period.
Mer sends Kylie the following message at 18:21 Pacific time:
Dear Le Swooon,
Score me one baby.

Kylie threatens to text THAT to the JumboTron. Thankfully they only do that during intermissions. (Thankfully Kylie also forgets that there will be a full intermission if the game goes into overtime... which the game does eventually...)

Then, whilst discussing how only Ali and Lauren are allowed to know how pathetic Mer is, Kris Letang lets one rip from the point. It bounces off Geno's stick and into the net. Letang gets the primary assist. (No shit.) Mer = Stunned. Not a goal, but a point's a point.

Kylie sends Mer the following message at 18:33 PT:
I gave Le Swooon your message. An assist will have to do.
He said, "Je t'aime, Mer!"

A running joke is born.

Round 2, Game 3
Pens vs. Caps

Mer misses the entire game because American Airlines and Chicago O'Hare suck ass. She relies on updates from an assortment of men who feel compelled to tell her the score since she's wearing a Malkin t-shirt. (Best wardrobe decision ever, p.s.) She's wearing the shirt because the Pens dropped the first two games of the series for which she was wearing her Sykora jersey, and Malkin hasn't scored in five games. She bought the t-shirt last year during playoffs as a show of support for Malkin when he was in a slump THEN. That night he scored and the Pens refused to touch a honking bloody trophy in their dressing room. She's hoping for a goal tonight. Nothing big. Just some reassurance that Geno's still kickin'.

And so, she sits in the departures lounge, hoping against hope for a Malkin-goal and the nearly impossible:
Please let Kris Letang not be broken. And, if he plays, let him score or something.
Just to show Mike Green who's boss? Wouldn't it be wicked if it was a game winner or something?
That'd be sweet!

And was it EVER. Mer had no clue that Letang had never scored a playoff goal before. Way to be extra swooony, Kris, and score your first-ever NHL post-season goal it in such a fabulously, OT-clutch-fashion...


Round 2, Game 5
Pens vs. Caps

A bunch of girls are sitting out on the lawn outside Mellon Arena. The game is in DC. The lawn is packed. The Pens are up 4-3 with maybe seven minutes to go in regulation. People are making predictions. Everyone wants and insurance goal.

Mer doesn't really think about what she's saying:
You know who hasn't scored in a while? Max Talbot.

About two minutes later, Max scores the goal that finalizes the Pens' win. Mer giggles and jumps to her feet with the rest of the crowd. A few of the girls stare at her like the sky is falling behind her and shake their heads. One of them asks if she could please call a Kris Versteeg goal later that night. Mer sighs, it doesn't really work like that. Unfortunately.


Round 2, Game 6
Pens vs. Caps

Dear Baby Jesus, help me, this is scary.

The big three (the three eldest girls in said group) get tickets to Game 6. They are over the moon. The Pens are going to win the series and they are going to be there. It is a Whit-Out. They get free t-shirts and towels. They can hardly breathe all day for the sheer anticipation. It begins to rain around 5 p.m. They thank the heavens they got tickets to the game. About eight thousand, seven hundred and fifty-eight times. There are insane winds. There is pouring rain. There is freaking HAIL. They are let into the arena shortly before 5:30 p.m.

Mer is slightly enraptured with the Ghetto-fabulousness that is the Igloo. She takes photos. She watches warm up and takes a couple more photos. Mostly she stares at Kris Letang and laughs at how he really doesn't warm up much. He just hangs around the net. Like in DC. It's his thing. It's too friggen' cute.

Mer wants an Epic Game. She got the Close Game she wanted in DC in March: 4-3 on a shoot-out. The first of five (?) consecutive games that ended that way. She has a feeling she'll get an Epic Game. She also has a feeling that Philippe Boucher will prevent the apocalypse. Just to prove he can.

The game is great. The Pens score first. (Go Grandpa Guerin!!!) The game is tight, tied for most of it, and never more than a one-goal game. At the beginning of the third, the game is tied 2-2. Mer leans over to Kylie and says in a silly, almost sing-song voice:

Dear Kristopher,
I came all this way to see you score. How about you get on that?
lovelovelove, Mer

Kylie laughs. Play resumes. Within 90 seconds the puck is flying down the ice towards Varlamov's crease and Mer knows something is about to happen. In fact, she knows exactly what is about to happen. She just can't believe it. It's too insane. And yet it happens:

Kris Letang scores.

Kylie turns to Mer with a look that cannot be described properly in any language. Mer is jumping three feet in the air, screaming her lungs out even though she's already killed her voice completely. She cannot stop laughing. She's pretty sure she's hallucinating.

In the thirty seconds before the end of regulation, Boucher cocks up some Capital or another's attempt at a shot on goal and keeps the game tied. Barely anyone notices him averting the apocalypse.

The Pens lose in overtime, but that's not the point. (There is still Game 7.) The point is that Letang scored. And Boucher blocked that shot. And Mer is beginning to be afraid of saying silly things in case she's used up her luck and inadvertently curses her team. She is also afraid of asking for a win tonight. It doesn't really work that way. It has to be instinctive. She can't be thinking about it. Only now she can't help BUT think about it.

It's all effed up. 39 minutes until the puck drops. Mer's losing her mind. There is only one solution, and it is NOT more cowbell: it's soup and sour-dough bread. She'll go eat her nervousness like Derek Roy.


ali said...

Oh man -- the Derek Roy comment -- hilarious.

I don't know what you were saying tonight, but Kris Letang's goal wasn't to shabby. haha. Quite lovely in my own humble opinion.


Lauren said...

Happy freaking Wednesday, indeed!

mer said...

I just realized that Max's goal that I called was game 4, not 5. We were on the lawn for both those games; it was a big happy blur for me :)