Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Taking in a game at Consol

My friend Jim has been a season ticket holder for the Penguins for a few years now. He's a big man, at about 6'-3" and 260 lbs roughly, and used to be a recreational league ice hockey goalie. As a result, he got his seats right on the end line by the net so that he could study the Pens goalie for 2 of the 3 periods of the game. At Mellon, he was 3 rows off the glass.

This was my first game at the Consol Energy Center. DB~ and I toured it with our friends this summer, though. I was wondering how his seats would transfer to the new arena. Turns out -- exactly the same seats. It was like we never left Mellon...except it was brighter, cleaner, wider concourses, and better food. But other than -- totally the same, right down to a lot of the same people in his section.

It was like they picked the seating area up from Mellon and plopped it into Consol.

The Pens played the Islanders tonight and won 3-0. The Islanders may be my least favorite team to watch in the NHL. They have no interesting players (their version of Crosby, John Tavares, is kind of a bust to this point) and no real style to their game. It's like a team full of 3rd and 4th liners. And for the first 59 minutes and 44 seconds, this game reflected that boring, grinding type of game.

And then we got to see the hockey equivalent of stumbling upon Bigfoot making sweet love to the Loch Ness Monster....a goalie fight!

With 16 seconds left, a 5 on 5 scrum developed after pretty boy (and pretty big bust) Rick DiPietro interfered with Matt Cooke, causing Cooke to crash to the ice. The scrum ensued, but ultimate team guy Brent Johnson (playing for Fleury tonight) decided to defend his teammate. He skated to center ice and crossed it, ensuring that he would be tossed out as a goalie, whipped off his mask and motioned to "go" with DiPietro.

In my opinion, DiPietro thought they were just going to lock up and dance for a minute or so. Johnson had other ideas. His idea was to land a left hook squaw on DiPietro's jaw. He went down to the ice like a ton of bricks; in fact, Johnson held back from delivering a right overhand while DiPietro was on the ice.

The place erupted and the video replay crew showed the fight at least 3 more times, sending the crowd to a fever pitch. Johnson was tossed out and Fleury actually had to come in for 15 seconds (he stretched out and everything).

It was just an awesome sight to behold. A goalie fight. I have never seen one live and may never see one again. Unfortunately, as I was pulling my camera out to take a picture of the goalie fight, Jim knocked the camera out of my hand due to his excitement level. It crashed to the ground and may be broken. Waaa waaaa. The picture above is from my phone, which Jim did not manhandle.

PS - I had the beef brisket sandwich from the 2nd floor Smokehouse area. Pretty strong sandwich. Not as good as delicious roadside meats, but very acceptable.

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