Thursday, February 21, 2013

Penguins/Flyers and Great Regular Season Hockey Games

Hockey is a great game, hockey is entertainment, hockey is a release. All of those things and more are why people watch the game. I know I am a Penguins fan and I write about them on this blog and I am pretty passionate about them when I watch them but really when I watch games it is for a release. I want the Penguins to win every game but if they lose you hope the game is entertaining and fun to watch to at least make it worth it. When you sit down to watch a game you don't have to worry about what type of day you had or what you have to do tomorrow or all the things that went wrong. For about two and a half hours you get to lose yourself into a game where you don't have to worry about anything.

Last night was one of those times where you just lost touch with reality as you were watching a game. As you watched the Penguins and Flyers play a hockey game you probably couldn't tell the person sitting next to you what day tomorrow was, you were fixed on the TV because if you blinked you might have missed the play that changed the game. It is what is so great about sports and why hockey is one of the best sports in the world.

Last night the Penguins lost. That sucks. They lost to the Flyers. That sucks even more. If you can get beyond the fact that the Penguins lost and you were looking at it as any other hockey fan that turned on to NBCSN last night you have to be pretty pleased with how the game went. If you can't get past the fact that the Penguins lost then just think of those times where you turn on a game where you have no vested interest in. Maybe it's a Sharks/Stars game or a Kings/Blues game but when you are watching that game you want all the aspects of the game to show up and you want to see excitement. That is what last night was. Just awesome hockey.

I mean even though it sucks to watch how can't you watch the highlights of the game and get chills when Brandon Sutter wraps around and ties the game at five? You might knock the CONSOL Energy Center for not being loud enough but that place was absolutely rocking last night.

Now I am talking about regular season games. Playoff games are always going to carry a little bit more weight because you aren't guaranteed another game after game four, in some instances, so those games by nature are going to be more memorable. Typically, in non lockout seasons, there are 82 games so they blend together a little more. To have a regular season game be remembered it has to be pretty amazing.

This got me thinking about how many regular season Penguins games that you look back on and say "wow, that was an amazing game." Sure you might say that after your run of the mill win but a game where you actually recall that win for years to come. I am not sure if last night is going to be one of those wins but it is sure up there for me. What other games do I remember? Well, thanks for asking.  

The first game that comes to my mind, and a game that I think was really similar to last night, came November 11, 2008 when the Penguins visited Detroit for their first meeting with the Red Wings after losing in the finals a year before:


This was pretty much a Jordan Staal coming out party where the Penguins made numerous comebacks and finally had Staal scoring the game winner in overtime when he Paval Datsyuk'd Pavel Datsyuk. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when that happened and it was awesome. Another game that you can remember what you were doing was when the Penguins beat the Bruins 6-5 in overtime when Bill Guerin scored with 0.4 seconds left in the game to send it into overtime before Pascal Dupuis won it.


What a game. Jay McKee and Mark Eaton scored in the same game. Like, you can't make that stuff up.

So while I was able to whip up a few regular season games that really stand out it isn't something that happens all the time. Last night was one of those games, I think. It was truly outstanding and I couldn't even watch any of the other hockey games later that night because it wouldn't be able to match up.

The Penguins lost, but enjoy what you saw that night. It was that good.

What are some of your memorable regular season game? Leave them in the comments.

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