Friday, 26 June 2009

JT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NUMBER ONE!!!

Congratulations Johnny!!!
It's been a long time coming...

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

To go, or not to go (number one): that is the question...

This shouldn't even be a freaking discussion. Even if Casey Pierro-Zabotel beat Tavares in scoring in the CHL this year. Even if the most stunning season of JT's junior career was the 2006-2007 season when he beat Gretzky's record for scoring as a 16 year-old. Even if Victor Hedman had had a better season.

The draft is in two days. This is... well, okay this year Draft Day is not in the top 10 days of my year, but that's only because of March 7th-9th, May 7th-11th, and June 4th, 9th and 12th and nothing much can top those eleven days. Oh, and January 5th (when Baby Team Canada won their 5th consecutive gold), that was a pretty good day too. So, this year, Draft Day is sort of down there on the list, but it's still kind of exciting to watch all the junior players I coo over on the most exciting day of their lives.

This year is particularly exciting because there is a clear choice for number one, but NO ONE knows if he will go number one. How did this happen? It's happening because the Islanders actually seem to really like Victor Hedman. If John Tavares doesn't go number one, TSN's going to say they called it the past few months. If he does go number one, they're going to say they called it in 2006. I'm calling him to go number 2. Mostly because I think the Isles are idiots and they're going to take Hedman because they think he's more mature or some junk like that. Which will leave this as the biggest Draft-upset of the last decade or so. (Well, at least since 2003 when the Pens took Flower over Eric Staal, and that wasn't an upset so much as a decision to pick based on what the team needed more.)

When Tavares goes second overall, TSN's going to claim it knew it would happen. It's bullocks. They've been saying he'll go number one for like 3 years. So much so that I got sick of hearing all the hype and decided to go see for myself if JT was as special as everyone kept insisting he was.

Last October, I made a little trip out east to Toronto. I went to see family (ostensibly) and managed to fit in three hockey games while I was there. The last of which was the second game I watched on October 5th (the other being the second Sens-Pens game, wherein the Sens beat the Pens, scoring 75% of the games goals in the last 12 minutes of the game - the same 12 minutes I MISSED because I was booting it through Union Station to catch the GO Train to Oshawa so I could catch the Oshawa Generals game that night).

I went to see Tavares. I was shocked. When I go in with expectations, it's difficult for me to be impressed. If it meets my expectations, I'm neutral, so to make me go WOW! was a bit of a feat for JT. He did not disappoint. He scored a goal and two assists (the day after he'd played a 2-goal game). And it wasn't just that, it was watching him. He's bloody talented. He works hard. A few weeks ago he was on HNIC with the other 4 probable top-five picks. He said his favourite player was Sidney Crosby (as did two others) but JT said it was because Crosby works so hard and makes everyone around him better. JT may be awkward as hell, he may have NO natural charisma, but he's got talent and work ethic and if the Islanders don't see it, they're idiots. After all, there's a reason the Gens traded him to London for 7 draft picks...

I got this photo of JT with my Mario Penguin after the game. I think he was under the impression I was trying to PUNK him or something. In my sleep-deprived haze, totally didn't think to get him to sign my Team Canada jersey, which was in my bag, because I'd bought it THAT DAY. Didn't even think about it when he ASKED if there was something I wanted him to sign. Oops. I'm a spaz. *bows* But I got this photo. On someone else's camera because mine was dying. Which is why it kind of sucks.



In other news, today is hump-day. Not only because it is Happy Wednesday, but because today is the 43rd day since I left Pittsburgh (and my GS girls) which leaves 43 days until I see them again in Buffalo (provided I fly in on Friday, which is the plan). Before then I have about a million things to do including but not limited to finishing a remotely-publishable draft of my book, saving up enough to fly myself to the weddings I've promised to attend, smoking the GRE and paying off a few debts. Looks like I've got my work cut out for me! To the GSG: I will see you in Philippe Boucher days!!!


AAAANNNNND, because this had me roaring with laughter...


Trying to resist making any poke-check/5-hole/scoring jokes...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Summer Feature




The off-season is the worst season, so here at Peachy, we've decided to help the summer go by a little faster. We'll be counting down the days until the NHL season opens the only way insane hockey lovers can. We will be profiling our favorite boys until the puck drops on October 2, 2009.

We're going to begin with 99 days until the season starts with The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky. After that, we'll be doing all the obvious ones - the Pens, our favorite Hawks, Sens, Jackets, Flames, as well as our other favorites from around the League and the AHL, as well a few exceptional junior boys who we (mostly Mer) believe you SHOULD know about.

If you have an affinity for a diamond in that rough that we may not have thought of, please leave his or her name in the comments section.

It's going to be tough, but we'll get through the off-season together.



Monday, 22 June 2009

Sidney Crosby Came To My Birthday Party

You think I'm lying? I have the pictures to prove it...


The City of Pittsburgh knows how much I love it, so the ever lovely Mayor Luke Ravenstahl threw me a parade for my birthday. Lukey also knows how much I love the Pens, so he invited them, too. Isn't he sweet?!



It already would have been the best birthday ever if only Sid had shown up, but he's a sweetheart and brought along Marc-Andre Fleury and Lord Stanley himself. What a man!


Word got around the locker room about my birthday party, so the other boys decided to show up.


JStaal, I don't care how tall you are, if you have an amazing jaw line, how blue your eyes are, or whether or not you are one hell of a defensive forward, I am not giving you alcohol. You are still underage, sir.


Lord Stanley told his royal friend folk about my soiree, so I had even more dignitaries in attendance.




I think someone told Krisptopher that he turns us all to mush, because he came to my party ready to dance.


Le Swooon, are you trying to reach favorite status with those shorts and your killer dance moves? Well, it's working. I hope you're proud of yourself.


Mark Eaton also wants to be known as American Hero, so he made me a birthday video. Such a sweetheart.




Max and Billy were so excited to be invited to my birthday party, they couldn't help themselves. They just had to hug it out.

So much man-love, so little time.


The American Hero was spending the rest of the afternoon with his lovely wife and children, so he couldn't join us for further festivities. Instead, he sent cake....






So, my 26th was pretty much the best birthday I've ever had. Thank you, Pittsburgh. Thank you, Pens. Thank you, Lauren & Ali.





Sunday, 21 June 2009

"Don't Mind My Gun."

This is what I come home to. Seriously. My room-mate isn't kidding either; her gun is just kind of there on the floor...



There are things in this life that make you feel safe, that remind you that there is some order in the universe. Taxes are one of those things. Christmas is another. (That gun on the floor is not.)

That fifty-four year-old bottle-blonde Denny's waitress on the overnight shift is one of those things though. You know the woman I mean. The woman with the shopping network cubic zirconium earrings and the thick eye shadow and the shirt that probably fit well when she was twenty-five? Who you're nice to because it's got to suck to work 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on a Saturday night and get shorted in tips by people too drunk to calculate simple arithmetic. The one you give a generous tip to compensate for the douche-bag football meat-heads who think it's funny to leave without paying their whole bill.

Another thing that makes sense? That view from the patio that never seems to get old, no matter how many nights you watch the sun go down behind the Gulf Islands off the Pacific coast while eatting fish and chips and drinking pints of Keith's. It's the same view that, two hours later, has the city laid out beneath you like orange fireflies. A city you know won't ever be truly home, but is, admittedly, the most beautiful place you are likely to ever live. So you dance under the cloud cover to Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones and M.I.A. and hope that one day you remember that the reason you left this place was because you found someplace that was calling you, and not because you ever got tired of the bright pink sunsets and the Coast Mountains.

Then there are those boys you worked with two years ago who inexplicably remember your name. You don't remember getting along with them so well. Maybe you didn't get along so well back then, but you do now, and you end up in a booth in the pub, making Unicorn-My-Little-Pony jokes and doubled over laughing until two in the morning. Then you realize the last bus home is dangerously soon, and one of the boys offers you a ride home. Instead of going straight home, you end up in Denny's with them at a quarter to three in the morning talking about shorts films and girls and why the hell can't that be our food? And hanging out with them in a diner feels far more natural than it should. You miss having boys like this, boys to just hang out with. You miss your Eric, your real Eric, who gives the most fantastic backrubs in the world and rides a three speed road bike.

Like the boy you have a little crush on, who doesn't come with you because he has to go home and sleep. Sleep is probably a good plan for you too, but not yet. The night still feels young. Even when you get home, a little bit before four in the morning, you feel strangely energetic (yet exhausted), full of an odd peace you haven't felt since those precious days in Pittsburgh. And it occurs to you that the next 405 days are going to be a long haul, but if there are enough evenings of sunsets and patio-parties and pints of beer and silly jokes and all-night-diner debauchery, it may not feel like such a long haul after all.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Still not over this. Not gonna be for a while, either.





Intro to the best hockey game of 2009.


(Sorry to my Baby Team Canada boys, but the Pens don't win the Cup every year
and that whole five-year winning streak at the WJC is spoiling me rotten just a little.)

Friday, 19 June 2009

A Thing of Beauty





You knew it was coming, but it's still beautiful.

Tear City



Following the Faux Hawk





I had planned on doing a Following the Faux Hawk summer feature as soon as my Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated the Washington Capitals on May 13. I haven't had too much luck. Turns out, my favorite Calagarian is either a) not very interesting; or b) no one cares. I'm going with the former, beceause clearly, I care!

One would think that setting up a Google Alert for Mike Green, Washington Capitals would result in some interesting summertime news. Yeah, not so much. So far, I've learned that my dear Mikey is recovering nicely from an injury. What injury? Did he drink too much after being eliminated? Did he sit too long in his hot tub and get all pruney? Don't ask me, because I don't know. No one said. How's that for fact reporting?








What I do know is that Joel Madden Mike Green can wear the hell out of suit. While wearing the hell out of said beautiful suit, Michael had his mother on his arm. Back-up and rewind! Mike Green, you brought your mother as your date to the NHL Awards?! Did you also have a kitten on your lap during the festiviites. Stop it. I mean it. Stop it, right now.





This has been a tough week for Mikey. First, his beautiful visage was replaced on my desktop by a Stanley Cup Champion. I will be rotating desktops all summer long, so he won't be gracing my computer screen again anytime soon. I should probably learn to be more supportive, because that's just rubbing salt in his already painful wounds.

Second, he didn't win the Norris Trophy. As the envelope was opened, I crossed my fingers, scrunched my face up, and closed my eyes as tightly as I could. It didn't work. Zdeno Chara won instead, which didn't upset me entirely. He's pretty BAMF, and he gave an awesome acceptance speech. Way to man-up and thank your wife for putting up with you and bearing your children. All men should be like you.

I know you are all dying to know what Mike is up to this summer, so hopefully he does something interesting. Or maybe Caps fans and the Washington media could stalk him down for me. I'd do it, but I'll be too busy following Lord Stanley all over the world.

I never win anything, except absurd things I think I'll never win


Apparently climbing a mountain is enough to win.
Gotta love British Columbia... mostly because this was taken about 10 km from my house.
In my defence, I did have to climb up a mountain in order to take this photo.

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Yes, but we have a second and third line too.
And we have Max Talbot, the most clutch man in hockey.
And we have the Stanley Cup.


(Sorry Deets, really.)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

the one day of the year that life is not so peachy



Do you see now
how much more poetic ideas are when they aren't a poem?
I had to make a decision the other day
It was either do art or be art
I can paint a canvas beautiful
But can I myself justice?

I hope that some day I can honestly say,
that my life is my favourite work of art.

- Anya




I miss you, baby girl.
Like you would never believe.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Max Talbot is Birthday Santa

Dear Kylie,
We heard it was your birthday so we decided to throw you a parade! A really big one. Thousands of people are coming out for it. And a few of your friends are coming in from out of town to celebrate with you. Oh, and GUESS WHAT? We got the Pittsburgh Penguins to be in it! And you know that big mug you wanted for you birthday? WE GOT THAT TOO!!! Don't we rock? Do you love us? Because we love you!
lovelovelove,
Pittsburgh

p.s. HAPPY 26TH BIRTHDAY KYLIEBEAN!!!




This year, a few people wanted a certain mug for their birthday. Mer, Lauren, our beloved Kristopher...


And Kylie.

Clearly the boys took our request seriously, and no one more so than the ever-clutchtastic Maxime Talbot. (Max, we really owe you some drinks. Keep scoring us goals; when we finally meet you, we'll buy you shots of tequila for every single goal you've scored us - so far we're talking at least eight shots of liquid gold, sir. At least. Seriously, keep scoring. We're buying. We're gonna get you smashed some night on the Southside...)
Not only does he score for us, he grants birthday wishes too.
Max Talbot is Birthday Santa.


Kylie wanted the Cup for her birthday, and what princess wants, princess gets. She doesn't get a day with the Cup, she gets the bloody Stanley Cup Victory Parade for her birthday. I mean, she gets an even better party than Lauren and Mer got during Games 4 through 6 of the second round (although that Birthday Weekend was AWESOME and unforgettable and life-changing as well). Except that I won't be there. WHICH BLOWS. I wish I could be there. For the parade, but more importantly, for Kylie's Birthday. She knows that the entire time I'm at work, I will be wishing I was on a flight to Pittsburgh to take her to dinner at Buca di Beppo.


Ky,
I miss the hell out of you. Happy Birthday, honey! You know I'd be there if I could be. Next year, I will be. Promise. Make sure today is the 3rd-most incredible day of 2009! (Because not much will top June 12th or May 7th...) I'm making a wish for you. Make sure you go balls-out having fun and hopefully it will come true!

Hugs and kisses and lovelovelove and Stanley Cup Victory Parades,
Mer



Sid? Time to share. You owe the birthday girl some quality time with Stan.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

How Did We Get Here?




2009 Stanley Cup Champions. Unreal.


This season has been legendary. A coaching change, the trades, the struggles, the triumphs; this season was better than a Hollywood movie.

As long as the hockey season is, each one feels like a lifetime. So much can happen in 82 regular season and 24 playoff games. Anything from injuries to personnel shake-ups can change the the course of a season from 10th place in the conference to Stanley Cup Champions.

A lot can happen in real life over 106 games, as well. If you had told me in October that I would have met people this season that I can't believe I ever lived without, I would have assumed that you consume large amounts of cough syrup, Cobra Scorpion whiskey, and Vicodin - together and quite often.

Well, here we are, two days removed from the greatest day I've ever known and I can tell you, without a doubt, that there are people in my life now, that weren't in it last season. Those people have changed my life forever.


I didn't know one single person in this photo six months ago.


Six months ago, this conversation would not have happened:




Unbeknownst to me, a Pens fan sitting near us on the lawn documented that incredible evening. Pay close attention to 7:25. I will remember that forever. ♥




I'm not even sure there are enough words in the English language to express how much this season has meant to me. Without this season, and really, the Cup run of last season, my life would be so much different. It's crazy to think how hockey can bring people together, but it truly can. People don't believe this crazy insane story, but that's ok, because I like my life crazy and insane.

All I can do is say thank you. Thank you to the Pittsburgh Penguins for making me the happiest I have ever been. Thank you to the great sport of hockey for being well, great. Your greatness is what brings people together. Thank you to the amazingly wonderful people I have met this season. You truly have no idea how much you mean to me.

Here's to many more glorious seasons of Stanley Cup runs, plotting, gong shows, and all-out ridiculousness.


These are the moments I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life...




Friday, 12 June 2009

There Are No Words For This

Today Is The Greatest Day I've Ever Known





If today isn't the greatest day you've ever known, you better have a pretty cute kid
or have a million dollars from those lottery winnings you plan on sharing with us.


One Moment




It all comes down to tonight: the blood, the sweat, the tears, the coaching change, the trades. All of it comes down to 60 minutes (hopefully not more).

Lord Stanley's Cup will polished and skated around Joe Louis Arena tonight. Tomorrow, we will be without hockey for four long months. We will be left to watch re-broadcasts of playoff games on the NHL Network until it all begins again in October.

This has been an amazing season. No matter what happens tonight, I'll remember it for the rest of my life. That being said, there's only one thing I want for my 26th birthday...


The Gospel According to Mer

CBC is our broadcasting deity.
This is why.



This is why, going into Game 1 of this series, we knew that this is our year. Because CBC decided to begin the series to the tune of Coldplay's The Scientist. Because Coldplay is forever associated with Tom Percival, and Tom Percival is our make-believe Sidney Crosby. Because we cannot, for the life of us, separate fiction from reality. So when CBC decides to make the epic intro the Stanley Cup final series to Tom's favourite band, it feels like a sign that fiction is actually way closer to reality that we thought and this is just going to be one more time when something written flippantly somehow, inexplicably, plays out in real life just like in a story.

Pens lose Game 1.
Fine.
Good thing this is a seven game series.

For Game 2, CBC decides to taunt Pens fans.

We kind of want to punch them in the jugular.

Game 3: Time for Fight Music.
We're down with that. Bring it.Crosby vs. Zetterberg factors in significantly.
Because you know, you might NOT have picked that up whilst WATCHING the first two games.

Pens. Win.
We told you to bring it...

Game 4: Proof that CBC employs SOMEONE under the age of 40.

It's like someone gave Max Talbot free reign over the pre-game video.
Editing and everything.
This is actually COOL.
Even if it is the Black Eyed Peas...
Mostly because of the sex-glare le swooon gives us at 0:52.

Game 5: CBC ejaculates prematurely.

This is one of those 'neither the time nor the place' moments.
This is worthy of Game 7. Only not. It's kind of too cheezy.
CBC clearly did this two games too early, because they were scared they wouldn't have another shot, and clearly they thought they had something better for Game 6.
Someone needs to give them a lesson on the virtues of patience and faith.
And timing.

Game 6: Do or Die.
This is how you do epic.

Again with the taunting.
At least to a decent song this time.

Game 7: ???
Thing is, if the CBC intro is to a Coldplay song (especially Viva la Vida), this Cup is ours.
Hell, this Cup is ours no matter what.
That's probably the most self-confident things I've ever said that I had no right to say.
Only when Brooks replies to a question of why the Pens think they can win by saying "What makes you think we can't? Give me a good reason why we can't" I feel completely justified.

And so, in this manner, we enter Game 7:
Some of you are religious. Please don't be offended by this; it is meant in the most respectful, semi-sacrilegious manner possible.

After this manner, therefore, pray ye:

Our Owner, who art in Mellon,
Lemieux be thy Name.

Thy Cup-run come.

Thy will be done,

In Joe as it is in Mellon.

Give us this day a power-play goal.

And forgive us our cross-checks,

As we forgive those who cross-check against us.

And lead us not into bad turn-overs,

But deliver us from failure.

For thine is the Cup-run,

the championship, and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.



and in Mario...


and in all the Pens... ever...


It's your time to rule the world, boys...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

I had a dream...

Admittedly, it's not nearly as epic as Martin Luther King's, but for me it's pretty much the bee's knees as dreams go this week.

Game 7
I am at work (that's realistic at least) watching on the big screen (also realistic)...
1-1 tie until the dying moments of the 3rd.
Then, the messiest play of the series...
and Dupuis scores.
Or is it Fedotenko?
No one knows.
No one cares.
Pittsburgh erupts like Vesuvius on August 24th, 79 C.E.
Only with less life-suffocating ash, and way more cheers and beers and revelry.

No one should lose three game sevens.
Especially not Petr Sykora.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Game 6 Summary

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Tonight was the greatest night of 2009. So far.
Friday's going to blow it out of the water.
Friday.
Oh man!

I'm sorry, is there anything else that needs to be said?

Is there anything else that CAN be said?

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Do or Die. Again.

My dearest Pittsburgh Penguins,
It's do or die tonight. Again.
We lose tonight, we lose the Cup. Again.
We watch them raise it in our house. Again.

Which is why it won't happen.
I know this because I can see it in your eyes. It's a little shakey, but it's there. That resolve. That dream. That fear that it won't come true.

You can dream about anything you like, but in every person's life there comes a day when you have to decide how much you want that dream, how much you need that dream to come true. For some of you, that day is today. Dreams are wonderful inspiration, but nothing drives you to avoid failure like real, tangible fear that failure may actually occur. Keep your dreams close, but keep your fears closer.

There's something to be said for fear. For being in a do or die situation. Fear is powerful; I think we underestimate its power, its potential. We assume that fear is an innately negative thing. It doesn't have to be. It's powerful, but it doesn't have to be debilitating. Like any kind of energy, any emotion, you just need to know how to harness it. Any emotion can be transformed into a temporary superpower. Fear is no different. Fear that you will lose. Fear that this is it. Fear that you won't get another chance to win. It's different from desire; desire is not laced with desperation and reckless abandon. Desire doesn't produce NEED. Desire can't be need. But fear can become need. Fear, the right kind of fear, breeds need.

The Stanley Cup is yours, but you can't just want it -Detroit wants it too- you have to need it. You have to fear not getting it. Let yourselves need this. Let yourselves fear not getting this. Turn that fear into something powerful.

Go out and make them pay, make them quake in their skates. Go out and show them what you're made of, what you're really made of. Go out and push game 7; if Washington did it, so can you. Go out and win, even if it means prolonging this hell for another three days. What's three more days of hell, for a lifetime of heavenly memories?

Life is short. You may have another shot, but there's a slim chance you never will. Slim, but real. Accidents happen. Ligaments get torn. Players get put on waivers.

There may never be another Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. There may never be another third period of an elimination game. There may never be another crucial power-play. There may never be another last shift of the game. There may never be another shot. There may never be another chance to make sure you never have to say "I never won the Cup."

Don't waste this.

ever yours,
Mer

p.s. If you have a chance, baby, score me one!

Because, apparently, the universe thought today COULD get more stressful


but...

wha??

I DON'T understand... WTF???


must you forsake me thus?






I have to stop. Fer serious.



From a post on February 20th: Scenario #1. Ottawa's front office trades someone to Calgary for Dion Phaneuf. (BAHAHAHAHA!!!) Her Royal Puckness Elisha Cuthbert completes the trifecta of blonde bunnies chilling rink-side at Scotiabank Place like it's the new Playboy Mansion... Oh, and the Sens get a rocking defenceman who might actually score a few goals or something...

*Mer pauses to revel in a momentary lapse in reality wherein the Sens front office makes even one marginally logical decision and Ottawa has some semblance of a defensive strategy... sigh*


For the record? I know how insane this must seem. And how insane I must seem for thinking that what I write has any bearing on reality. Explain it though. Please.

Monday, 8 June 2009

We Will Not Go Quietly Into the Night

So, back in the dark ages when I was a competitive rower, our coaches used to make us write out these race plans for erg competitions. You don't need to know what an erg is. You just have to know it's an evil bastard of a machine that we did our winter training on, and that when we raced, it was usually so hard we made ourselves sick. In hockey-speak, it's like when Herb Brooks makes the US Olympic team skates suicides in 'Miracle.' Only this wasn't punishment, it was just our winter training.

The women's coaches always made us write out these unbelievably detailed race plans. Like what start we were going to use (1/2, 1/2, 3/4, full) down to how fast we were going to go from the 1250-metre mark to the 1375-metre mark of a 2000-metre race (1:05 split). You know how long it takes to row 2000 metres (standard race-distance) on the erg? Between 5 and 9 minutes, depending on how good you are. When you split it up into 125-metre segments, it means you've got like 16 chunks of time to worry about. Sixteen chunks in less than ten minutes is just too... ugh... too much thinking.

I hated race plans. Race plans meant having to pay attention when you're racing, it meant thinking. I don't like thinking when I race. When you have to think AT ALL, you start to think about how much effing pain your legs are in, and how your lungs are burning, and how you're only about a quarter of the way through the race and you already want to die. I hated thinking; I'd rather just close my eyes and pull hard until the clock runs down to zero.

I was always jealous of the guys. Their coach let them have simple race plans. Their race plans looked like this:

START
GIVE 'ER


That was it. That was their plan. And you know what? It worked. The guys did well. And when I finally told my coach to shove it and had that as my race plan, I pulled a personal best (by 14 seconds, which is substantial in rowing terms).

So that's all I have to say to the Pens. Tomorrow night, this is your game-plan: win the face off, and then just give 'er.

That's it.

Well, not quite it. Obviously you have to score and stuff. Geno, Sid, Staal, Letang, Gonchar; you guys are our boys, you guys can score. Talbot? You are a beast. You need to be the most clutch you can be. Gill and Scuderi and Eaton and Orpik have to be the best defencemen on the ice. And Fleury has to forget everything, and just play the way we all know he can play. He needs to be a beautiful butterfly, a beautiful butterfly (if you get that reference, I love you). And he can be. But mostly, your game plan can be pretty simple. Something like this:

WIN THE FACE-OFF
GIVE 'ER


If you do, you can win this.
If you don't, you'll lose.
You want it? Go get it.
It's all yours boys.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

FINE! If THIS is the way you want to play this game, then you better be ready to deal with the effing consequences!

This is retarded.
I can't believe I'm writing this, let alone posting it...


My dear, lovely, retarded Penguins,
When I wrote "I'm not asking for anything specifically tonight", I didn't mean you were at liberty to forego scoring COMPLETELY. For the love of Lemieux, what in the name of all that is sacred was that? Honestly? Are you trying to make this MORE dramatic than it absolutely has to be? Were you confused as to who was supposed to score tonight? Were you under the impression that I wanted to witness that epic failboat of badness? Did you figure that since you hadn't been blown out in a game so far this post-season, NOW was the time to check that off the Post-Season To Do List?

Seriously. I'm pissed. Really, REALLY pissed.

You know that commercial Sid? That one about you never wanting to be in that photo of you losing the Cup ever again? I do not want to come home to this email ever again:

Mer. Sweetheart. You cannot go another game without calling goals. No one knew who was supposed to score tonight, so no one did. You must call the games from now on.

I can't deal with being the reason you lose. I started calling goals for fun. FUN. Selfish, silly, FUN. Not because I believed it had any ACTUAL bearing on reality, of all inconceivable things. Mostly, it was for my own damn entertainment, and that of my lovely hockey girls. Now, it seems to be a fucking REQUIREMENT for me to psychically assign goal scoring responsibilities for the evening. Even if it's mostly just a joke. It doesn't feel like one when I get emails like that.

Thing is, if you want to play at this game, then I sure as hell hope you plan on listening on Tuesday night. I'm not giving you guys another night off. You know why? BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLY TWO MORE NIGHTS YOU COULD POSSIBLY HAVE TO SHOW UP TO WORK THIS SEASON, SO YOU BETTER EFFING SHOW UP ON TUESDAY NIGHT OR YOU'RE FIRED.

And then you WILL be in that photo again. And I won't cry when I see that commercial; I'll snub my nose and scoff at you for being all talk. And that may be the worst insult I can dole out.

Don't think for a second that you're getting off easy on Tuesday. If you think you can coast in Game 6, you are higher than Mike Lange on game-day goodies. You are going to freaking bring it, and you are not going to whine about it. You could have sealed Detroit's fate tonight. You could have made them scared. You could have made this EASY on yourselves. You could have taken the lead in this series. Instead you balked and gave them a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Final. Again. Just like last year. Only last year, you WON game 5. Remember? Remember how Max scored with 34 seconds on the clock? And how you played nearly 50 minutes of OT before Sykora scored the goal he CALLED? Remember? Do you? Because tonight it looked like you didn't.

I'm not going to be nice. I'm not going to say inspiring things. I am not making any more bloody analogies to Beethoven. Clearly that fell on deaf ears anyways.

So, here's the plan: Go home. Get some sleep. Get laid if that's what you need. Stay the hell away from the Cobra-Scorpion Whiskey. Go to practice tomorrow, and don't think for a second that you can bring anything less than your A-game TO PRACTICE. You're going to have to bring something better than your A-game to Game 6 or you are going to lose the Cup. On home ice. AGAIN. Then, go listen to "Show Me What I'm Looking For" by Carolina Liar a few times.

I'll tell you what I'm looking for on Tuesday night, okay? I'm looking for you to shoot out of a canon and make Detroit wonder what's hit them upside the helmet. I'm looking for a couple first period goals. I'm looking for Mark Eaton and Kris Letang to play the best defensive games of their lives. I'm looking for Rob Scuderi to justify our desire to resign him for way more cap-space than we can really afford. I'm looking for Sidney Crosby to prove why he's such a big deal. I'm looking for some quintessential Geno Malkin. I'm looking for the twenty-somethings (24, 25, 26 & 27) to just plain GIVE' ER for every single second they are on the ice - if they all do, one or more of them is bound to score. I'm looking for a reason to believe that you can win us Game 7. In Joe Louis Arena. Where, so far, you've been out scored 11-2.


Now go listen to "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" and shape UP, or tap OUT. We don't want to watch you lose, but we, your fans, can only do so much. After all, you guys are the ones actually playing the game. You guys get the fame, the fortune, and the championship rings if you win. You get to drink 7$ bubbly out of the Stanley Cup. We get nothing but bragging rights and wicked memories. And you get those too. So, do this for us, so we ALL get those bragging rights and memories. You owe it to yourselves but, more importantly, you owe it to us. Big time. After all, the only reason you have a job is because we buy tickets.

So, going into Game 6, you do NOT get to be cocky. You do not get to be an effing superstar. You do not get to be a hero. You do not get to put this behind you. You get to move on. You get to play another game. You get to redeem yourselves. But you do NOT get to forget about what happened in Detroit. You do not get to forget that next game IS do or die.

If you know what's best for your emotional and psychological well-being, and your pro-hockey careers, you better listen up. And when I say you're going to score on Tuesday night, you better fucking score. Mess with me, and I'll have you traded to Philly. Got it?

I still love you, but if we were married, you'd be sleeping on the couch tonight.
Mer


p.s. Max, seriously. You do not get to be cocky. Confidence is sexy; cockiness makes you as bad as Ovechkin. You want to retain superstar status? Go out and score a goal worthy of your ego. I made you cookies...
You get them when you deserve them.


And my sweet little le swooon, I don't know what to say... just keep giving 'er, I guess? You're my superstar. You get all the hugs you want, pronto. lovelovelove, M.

Ode to Game 5

Game fives have this tendency of being epic. Not all of them are, but enough of them have been to make me wary of asking for anything spectacular. That said, I can't ask for this game NOT to go into overtime, because I have the feeling that if I do, it will end in regulation, as a regulation loss for the Penguins.

So I'm not asking for anything specifically tonight. Well... as much as I can restrain myself from asking for anything... I want a good game. Pittsburgh needs a good game. A strong game. A balls-out, no-holds-barred, give-'er-all-you-got game. Our defence needs to be tight. Our forwards need to be incredible. Flower needs to be in his zone.


Oddly enough, more than needing to win, we need to play well. Sure, a win would be preferable, but playing like crap is not an option; the Penguins need to play WELL tonight, because it is easier to have confidence in a strong loss than in a lucky (flukey) win. A win is a win is a win, don't get me wrong, but a GOOD win is even better. I don't want any soft goals. I want lots of chances and clean shots and execution. I want us to play the best hockey we've ever played. I want us to prove why we're going to take this. I want Detroit to DREAD coming back to Mellon Arena on Tuesday night. I want them to begin to lose their cool. And the second they do, because they are going to lose their cool, we'll know we've got it.

It's only a matter of time...




And, a now-almost-requisite note to Kris and Max:

Mes chers favoris!
Honestly, I don't even know what to say anymore... you two are the bomb! Just keep playing the way you've been playing and you've got this. But you already know that. I know you two won't let this end in anything but victory. Well, you two, and Sid and Geno and Scuderi and pretty much anyone who hits the ice for Games 5, 6 and, potentially, 7. You guys have come too far to do anything but win this.

Game 3 was the first evidence that Detroit just doesn't have what it takes to beat you guys. Game 4 was like a airtight legal argument to support the evidence given in Game 3. Detroit has a system. You have said "Eff your system, how about we play ours?" and it's working. Osgood's tantrum the other night was probably the single most heartening thing I could have asked for. I know this is longer than my usual notes, but it's harder to summarize things when I'm not just asking you to score (although, you know, if one of you wants to score the game-winner tonight, I'm all for that too). You've proven you're as good as Detroit. Now it's time to show everyone that you're not just 'as good', you're better.

Take a deep breath. Let your minds go quiet. You hear that? That thrumming in your chests? Hear how all the hearts in your dressing room are beating in 22-part harmony like a symphony of win? That's because you are all instruments, playing specific parts in an incredible composition, orchestrated by master craftsmen. And the master craftsmen are you. All of you. All of you together.

Screw playing like a well-oiled machine; go out and and play like you're all necessary parts of a single, greater, organic whole. A single, greater being with a single, greater purpose than scoring individual goals. A whole that needs all of you playing at your peak in order to succeed. The rest of your lives may be insignificant sonatas and arias; make tonight that brief moment in the symphony that no one EVER forgets. Make tonight the beginning of the glorious finale. Make tonight the Ode to Joy.

I'm making you those penguin cookies I promised. Don't let me down boys. More importantly, don't let yourselves down. You've been waiting your whole lives for this. Go out and play your little hearts out.

l'amour fou,
Merise


You are the monster. All of you. Together.

Friday, 5 June 2009

IS THIS REAL LIFE???

Flashback to 12 hours ago... with afterthoughts in red.

A win tonight, makes everything and I mean EVERYTHING possible. AND HOW!!!

So, here's what what needs to happen. Someone (I'm looking at you Brooksie) needs to deal with Zetterberg for like 30 seconds, so Sidney Crosby can score. No clue if Brooks came through, but SOMEONE dealt with Z, because Crosby scored. Thank you, Captain Fabulous! Geno needs to just keep doing what he's been doing. First period. Opens scoring. Booyeah for Mama Malkin's borscht! Geno, this is why your shirt was the first item of Pens gear I ever bought. Same with Staal and TK. They are SO over due for some sweet goals off the rebound. Or on the PK. Whatever. I'm not too picky. Wait, did I just call every single Penguins goal in this whole effing game?

Omigod, I did. The scariest thing is that what I called above is ALL I called. Well, that and Kris Letang continuing to play amazing defence and trying to convince Hal Gill to do the same. I have no clue if he did, since I missed all but the last nine minutes of the game, but, for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume he did.

I need to get some air... I need to remember to breathe for the rest of playoffs...


Also, anyone willing to bet against me being able to call something as nuts as the goal that wins the Pens the Stanley Cup? Because, I think I'm going to try... I'm willing to negotiate terms...



Oh, and to my lovely Quebec Boys? Max, even though you didn't score tonight, you are still a superstar! Lovelovelove. And Kris... what can I say? Keep it coming baby, keep it coming. I'd stop writing you boys these silly notes, except that every time I do, you do as I ask, so I have absolutely no incentive to stop until you boys are kissing a giant silver mug and I'm dissolving in a tsunami of ecstatic tears (in all likelihood, at work).
lovelovelove,
Mer

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Do or Die

I will be missing Game 4. Hopefully the Pens will pull what they pulled last time I was unable to watch (actually, the only time so far these playoffs I missed a game), and win the game. Last time I was praying for Geno to get out of his scoreless slump, and for Kris Letang to score (I didn't even know if he would be playing).

This time, I have no clue what to pray for, so I'll pray for what I always pray for: I just want the Pens to win. I'll be popping up to the pub periodically to check the score. It'll be on TV up there. Not unlike being updated by the random guys in O'Hare.

I hate that I'm missing the game, not just because I hate missing Pens playoffs games (because that's kind of a given), but because this game is Do or Die. It's not an elimination game, not technically, but it might as well be. Tonight, the Pens can either do what they did last year, lose, and psychologically seal their fate, or they can do things differently, win, and make this series a real series, instead of a slightly altered version of last year. Every single sports writer has been treating this series like it's a bit of a joke, an addendum to David's unsuccessful attempt to beat Goliath... forgetting, of course, the end of that parable wherein the little guy overcomes great odds to win.

Why does everyone seem to characterize the Pens as the little guy, anyways? Is it the team's perceived (and admittedly, actual) youth in comparison to Detroit's experience? Or is it the fact that they lost last year? I think most people would claim to believe the former while denying how much the latter is influencing their conclusions. Problem is this: creativity. Detroit is a safe bet. The odds are in Detroit's favour, if only for the intangible, psychological upper hand they hold after having hoisted the Cup in Mellon arena last year.

Why is it so difficult to imagine the Penguins winning? Sure, the Pens got off to a lousy start last year, and were shut-out until Game 3. That was bad. By ANYONE'S standards. But then they came back in Game 3 and won on home ice, and fought hard for the rest of the series. The Pens lost Game 4. By one goal. Then they forced the Wings into TRIPLE OVERTIME in Game 5, and won. Everyone smelled a comeback. Pens fans wanted a comeback. We didn't get one, but the Pens didn't get blown out by the Wings in Game 6 last year. No, the Pens lost by one lousy goal. A different save and there would have been OT. One goal and we would have gone to Game 7.

We lost the first two games again this year. Not a good sign. But we scored. Good sign.

We won Game 3. Good sign. With two goals from Max Talbot and one each from Gonchar and Letang. Even better sign.

But this means that tonight is do or die. Tonight can break the pattern we seem to be stuck in. Tonight, the Pens can make this, to steal the old phrase, "a whole new series." Tonight they can win themselves the Cup.

They will have to win two more games. The series may go to seven games. But, if the Pens win tonight, I will be willing to bet anyone pretty much anything that the Pens will win the Stanley Cup this year.

I am willing to make this insane statement because a win tonight changes a pattern, it eliminates the repetitive nature of this series, it resets everyone's expectations. A win tonight is like how in Game 5 of the second round, the Pens broke the pattern of the first goal-score's team losing. A win tonight is a giant FU to superstition.

A win tonight, makes everything and I mean EVERYTHING possible.

So, here's what what needs to happen. Someone (I'm looking at you Brooksie) needs to deal with Zetterberg for like 30 seconds, so Sidney Crosby can score. Geno needs to just keep doing what he's been doing. Same with Staal and TK. They are SO over due for some sweet goals off the rebound. Letang needs to keep in whatever frame of mind he's been in for the past two weeks, maybe he can give Hal Gill some pointers?

The Pens need to play balls-out tonight, as if this is the elimination game. Because, in a sense, it is. If they lose this game, this series is not necessarily lost, but if they win, I feel like they will hit the ice for Game 5 in Joe Louis Arena and they will take that game like they took Game 5 last year. And nothing would make me happier than for the Pens to come back home for Game 6 up a game.

Tonight, the pattern changes.
Tonight, it's do or die.
Tonight, we win.




Dear Max and Kris,
Mes chers, I'm adressing this to you because you listen. So, please tell the rest of your team something for me... Boys? You can do this. We know it. You know it. Time for Detroit to know it too. Je suis vraiment desole que j'vais manquez le match, mais vous savez bien que j'vais penser d'accune autre chose ce soir.
l'amour fou,
Merise

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Top 5 Reasons I Lovelovelove My Job

5. My bosses (Captain, Fish and someone I will refer to merely as The D-man) love me. Enough to give me hugs that involve my feet leaving the ground and me spinning... I'm 5'8" and I'm not a twig; spinny hugs take actual effort.

4. I work in a KITCHEN. Nuff said.

3. (...or not...) A kitchen attached to a pub. A university pub. Where Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final will inevitably be playing on the 'big screen' -ie. a 10'-square projection screen- tomorrow night while I'm on the clock. This is Canada after all, we broadcast the Cup Final no matter who the hell is playing. And people watch the Cup Final no matter who the hell is playing. I also get an accumulative hour of time off over the course of my 8-hour shift... which, tomorrow night, may be taken all at once (if The D-man will let me get away with it) so that I can catch the whole third period. Or I'll just have to find a lot of dishes that need taking back up to the pub...

2. There is a boy who may need a 'le' title... we shall see if he is worthy...

1. Apparently 15 minutes before the end of my shift is Beer O'clock. After 7 hours and 45 minutes in a kitchen that's hotter than Hades, I am SO not turning down a free pint of Keith's...

When Stupid People Say Even Stupider Shit...

You know what we love?
We love people who miss the point.

Puck Huffers is hilarious. They sound high half the time, but we love them for their cutting witticisms and their attack on Chris Osgood's black hole of a belly, and the fact that they suspect (as we might) that Max Talbot is a Blingee in the sunshine in the manner of Robert Pattison in Twilight. Only hotter. And with clutch-goal-scoring. And without the shitty one-liners (okay, he's totally got those down, but coming from him they're charming). Also, they invented the best drinking game known to man-kind.

So when they write shit like this, we just laugh and laugh and laugh. And post absurd comments about Hint of Lime Tostitos and Kris Letang's sexhair. Because really, we love their game reviews, but we don't need them AS WE WERE WATCHING THE GAME. They are mostly just an entertaining way to relive a good game or to spur on our hatred of the Red Wings. (As if that needed help...) It's pure, unadulterated, entertainment.

But some people clearly were not well-schooled in the art of irony or sarcasm. They think PH take themselves seriously. Um. BAHAHAHA! WTF? LOL! ROTFL! Yeah. Some people are idiots. We'd feel sorry for them for being idiots, except that they seem to actually take themselves seriously, which is mildly unforgivable. Hello? This is the internet. You checked your credibility at the modem, remember?

Rebuttals are fine. I wrote one a few days ago, refuting Puck Daddy's assertions of why Detroit is going to win the Cup. But I actually had a point; a COUNTER-ARGUEMENT, no less.



I wish I could be a bigger person. I wish I had better things to do (I fully don't) than to reply to some idiot on the internet. Mostly, I couldn't help myself, because they made an error so heinous that a six year-old with basic hockey history education could point it out. Close to the end of their diatribe, they claim that, and I quote, "
the Wings have had a dynasty almost every decade since creation."

Sometimes we feel sorry for stupid people, because they don't know how dumb they are. Most of the time we just ignore stuff. But then, every so often, there is some stupid person who just annoys us.
Some people need to know how dumb they are. They think they're all smart and shit; the record needs to be set straight. Today, I don't mind doing it.


Um, the Wings have had a dynasty every decade since creation, eh? Wow! That's like something I never knew! But I supposed you're totally right, because, like, in the 20s... oh wait that was the ORIGINAL Ottawa Senators. Okay but there was still the 30s... well, for two years anyhow. But DEFINITELY the forti- wait, sorry that was the Leafs that won consecutive Cups? ... my bad. Well, okay, but in the fifties, Detroit totally won four Cups in six years (50-55)! Wow, that's really something! Kinda like how Toronto won four cups in six years between 45 and 51? Or like how the Habs won for five straight years (56-60) and another 10 cups between 64 and 79, including those four, pesky consecutive Cup between 76 and 79... Riiiiiiight. That was not effing dynasty honey, that's Original Six. And wait... did they win a Cup between that one in 1955 and the one in 1996? . . . wait, they didn't? Oops! That's like FOUR decades, right?


Don't talk about shit you don't know anything about, and don't write a rebuttal to something unless you can completely annihilate their point (which, P.S., you missed anyhow) , it only makes you look like a total dumbass.

Cheers,
Mer

I'm done now.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Dear Maxime Talbot...

Screw diamonds. Your empty netter is a girl's best friend... if that girl happens to be a Pens fan... who happened to call you scoring the insurance goal... ie. well, mostly just me, actually...

Someday, you'll walk into some bar in the Southside, and some blond chick is going to come up to you and say thanks (well, she'll say merci) and buy you copious amounts of liquor. Just so you're prepared.

love,
Mer



To fully understand why this is significant, we must return to approximately ten o'clock this morning, when I was getting to a point of desperation (in life and in hockey) that I last felt... well, on June 2nd of last year during the Stanley Cup Final. Last year I got Game 5, and the most epic game-tying goal of Max Talbot's career. This year... well... I wasn't holding out for triple OT. I just wanted a win. Any win. And, this morning I was willing to promise to do a lot of silly stupid things to get one...

I would like to say, straight off the bat, that I really had no intention of actually getting Ky to get me Max's address. (I'm insane, but I'm not that insane.) It was the desperation talking... but now... well, it seems like Max wants his drunken penguin cookies, and Kris wants his hugs...

Tequila + mint chocolate chips + boredom & hunger @ 1 a.m. = Brebs & Eddie's Original Drunken Penguin Cookies
I can't find the really good photos...


Then, at about 11:30 a.m. this morning when, after finally securing employment (WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!), I went online briefly to email Ky to tell her the news (because getting a job is news for me since it was becoming a near obsession...) and I flippantly said some more silly things...


I'm really not high-maintenance... I swear...
Really, I'm not. I just want my boys to win the Stanley Cup. They want it too. It's fully a win-win scenario. And I'll manipulate the cosmos by calling goals I want to see as long as I need to, in order to ensure that it happens. And I'm not demanding... honest.
...so Max scored (good boy!) and then...

I'm blind and clearly, I need new glasses. Letang scored. Not a game winner... but I can (and intend to) argue that his tying the game back up was indirectly what won the Pens the game...
Apparently, my internal editor had punched out for the night by this point...

June 2nd is henceforth Max Talbot Day or the Official Anniversary of Supreme Clutchtasticness. He's scored me three goals on this illustrious date. I intend for this to become a tradition (and yes, I realize that that presupposes the Pens making more Cup Final appearances). I'd worry that this is an unrealistic expectation, but he listens. When I ask, he scores. Almost as often as Kris Letang. Sadly... still not winning. Until...


The Pens are up 3-2. I'm not happy. I want an insurance goal. I decide to ask Max since he's been so lovely about scoring when I beg... I mean, as long as we hold on to the one-goal lead, we'll win, but... one goal games make me nervous. They are bad for my blood pressure. (Actually playoffs are bad for my blood pressure.) And for everyone's, apparently... an insurance goal would be good for everyone right about now...

Someone, please tell me what job I can get with strange predictive talent? Whatever it is (so long as I don't have to change my name to Cassandra), I'm down...

I'm missing Game 4 because I have to work. I'd complain, but I'm pretty sure the guys will let me run up to the pub to and catch bits of the game if we can't get it on radio down in the kitchen (the joys of working for a man who has Malkin, Kunitz, Fleury and Sykora in his hockey pool). And, well, I've been desperate for a job, and I actually love the people I'm going to be working with, so really I shant complain BECAUSE GAME 4 CANNOT POSSIBLY BE THE END OF THE PLAYOFFS!!!

I love my Pens! I love my friends!! I love my life!!!