So far, the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs has been an interesting ride for the Penguins faithful. The first game, this past Wednesday, was awesome. The Pens pretty much wiped the ice with the Islanders in a 5-0 route. I have heard people say that they would not want every game to be a blowout/one-sided. I agree with that statement, but I would certainly not mind if most of the games went that way for my teams. I get way too wrapped up in important games to go through too many nailbiters, which is exactly how the next two games played out.
Friday's game started off well, with the Pens pretty much picking up where they left off and scoring a couple of goals in the first period, most notably one by Sidney Crosby, who had been out for a month. He may have been wearing more headgear than a football player, but that kid can play. I was (somewhat happily) thinking the Islanders were in for another shellacking, although I was actually feeling a little sorry for them. Unfortunately, the Isles answered with a couple of goals, eventually tying the game and then taking the lead in the third period. I don't remember much after that, other than a lot of cussing and pacing on my part as panic started to set it in. When there was about 10 minutes left in the third period, I was so worked up, I started doing foot fires and shadow boxing (well, not really shadow boxing; we have mirrors in our den, so I was pretty much "punching" myself), willing the Pens to tie the game. My arms were starting to hurt, since they tend to get "work" only on Sundays when I swim, but there was no stopping me. But, alas, by the end of the game, dozens of punches later, my arms hurt, my blood pressure was up, and the Pens had lost.
Today, I was feeling more hopeful, knowing the Pens really are the better team. I was trying to remember what I had worn on Wednesday, hoping to recapture some of that magic, but I did not think putting PJs on at noon, knowing I was going swimming afterwards, was the answer. I instead went with one of my Pens t-shirts, hoping team apparel would work.
I did not panic when the Isle scored first, knowing the Pens lost the the last game when they scored first. But when those stinking NYers got another goal, I was a little worried. Fortunately, the Pens answered with two goals pretty quickly, and I started to feel better, cheering like a moron and pretty much scaring the kid and dog, who were hanging out, though not really watching. When the Pens got a go-ahead goal at the end of the first, I was pretty sure we had this. Unfortunately, the Isle had other ideas, as they came back to play, and once again tied, then took the lead. The kid told me I should get up and do foot fires and punching, until I reminded her the Pens lost when I did that last time. She decided we needed to sit just as we were when the Pens took the lead, but the dog would not cooperate.
At the end of regulation, I had a decision to make: Leave to go swimming now, to ensure we would have enough time before dinner, but risk missing the Pens winning. Or stay, skip exercising, but take a chance that the Pens would not emerge victorious. Ultimately, I decided we should go swimming, and hopefully the Pens would score on our way there. During the ride, I told J that I kind of wanted to pray the Pens would win, and she told me it was just a game. I had to correct her: It is the playoffs. Regardless, the Pen refused to score by the time we had gotten there, so I kept stalling, looking for any excuse to stay in the car and listen to the radio. Some guy in a truck next to me had the same idea, but he was far more disgusted than I was at that point. When the Pens got on a power play, I told J we should make a run for the pool, into the exercise room, hoping we could get there in time to see it. Alas, it was a long jog across the field, and by the time we had gotten into the exercise room and figured out which station it was on, the game was over.
But at least the Pens had won.
My arms are still sore, by the way.