Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pens Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: v. Flyers, Game 5

This series against the Flyers has been so unlike anything else going on in the playoffs, that I had forgotten what normal, tense, edge-of-your seat hockey playoff games are like. So, just by glancing at the 3-2 final score (in favor of the Pens!), you should be able to tell that this was not a massacre or ass-beating like the previous four games had been. And I definitely felt that difference in the last ten minutes of the game.

Funny, last game I spent the final ten minutes rationalizing with myself that there was no possible way the Flyers could score seven goals to get into the double-digits in the final half-period. This game, my restless leg syndrome (self-diagnosed) was out of control. I was torn between watching and not watching. I was having an anxiety attack, but I was also having a lot of fun.

Early into Friday's sunset on Corey's balcony.
Friday was a beyond beautiful day in Pittsburgh. It was in the mid-to-upper 70s. The sun was out. Everything (after 5:30 p.m.) was wonderful. We listened to the first period of the game while sitting on Corey's third-floor balcony on the front of the building where we both live. The sun was setting, Corey was grilling, and we were following along with Mike Lange as our guide.

While we were up there, a couple of my favorite neighborhood familiars walked by beneath us. One family who lives up the street with several little kids and a dad who is often seen running behind them while they learn to ride bikes up and down the sidewalks. The other is the blind man who I hear tapping his cane at least once a day walking down Gross. I love these comforts of home. I wonder sometimes if my neighbors see me leave with my bike every morning for work and think: "oh, there's that neighbor girl who rides that bike everywhere..."

Sun setting over Friendship Park.
For the second and third periods, we walked down Gross to Liberty and crossed the street and entered Lou's open door. We set up camp, got a few pitchers, and had a blast until we all started watching nervously as the Pens held onto their 3-2 lead in a third period where the Flyers looked beyond determined to take the game at least into overtime. (Game-winning goal scored by the best lil Piggy on the planet: KENNEDY!!)

Lou's might quickly become my go-to favorite local bar.
After the game, Allie and I walked to Brillobox on a slight adrenaline high resulting from a mix of excitement over the win and ire for a certain Sixers-wearing clown in the corner of Lou's who basically thought we were the dumbest. Sadly for him, we are not. But, everyone's entitled to their own opinions on those things. We were trying to catch the Delicious Pastries/Triggers show upstairs, but it was sold out. We hung out at the bar with friends having drinks and laughs. And then, you know, Gus Van Sant walked in and sat a couple stools down from us.

It was an odd night, with many performances of the "Margarita Dance" enjoyed. The Pens gave themselves another opportunity to prove they are better than the stinky Flyers. And they gave us another opportunity to plop down on another stool in another bar where they hopefully will chant and hoot and holler as loud and as well as the crowd did at Lou's.

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