Yesterday was our Semi Annual Blackhawks – Penguins game at the United Center (I say semi because for some reason the NHL thinks it makes more sense to play teams in your division 6 times a year than play a home-and-away with every team in the league). The depleted Penguins forced Overtime with a Brent Sterling goal late in the 3rd period but weren’t able to put away the game while on the power play. The Hawks won the game on a Patrick Kane shootout goal with all other shooters getting stopped. For the game being the only matchup all year of the past two Stanley Cup champions there was little hype for the game and it didn’t really feel like a big event. Nonetheless it was good to see the Pens go down to the wire even if they didn’t get the full two points.
A lot of people aren’t a fan of the NHL’s use of the shootout to settle tie games, I’m not one of them. I like the idea that a regular season hockey game has finite amount of time and the Shootout is always entertaining. I’m just hoping since Patrick Kane won the game he celebrated at Stanley’s agin.
This weekend was my annual hockey trip which took us to Boston for the Penguins – Bruins game at TD BankNorth Garden. The Pens have been coming off a rough stretch since Crosby has been out but they have recently been able to string together a couple of wins, Saturday being on of those wins. Boston looked sloppy throughout the first two periods and then scored 2 goals within 1 minute in the third period. Eventually Jordan Staal put the game away with a goal in the 3rd marking the first victory for any of these sports trips I’ve taken.
After the game we headed out for the Steelers – Ravens AFC Championship game where we verbally assaulted during the first half of the game. Finally with things not looking good we made a decision to move to the Boston Beer Works near the arena where everything turned around and we were treated with the respect of champions.
We covered a lot of ground throughout the trip. Some of us ended up walking more than 2 miles home because the Boston cab system is in shambles. Seeing the Pats lose while we were in Boston in conjunction with the Pens and Steelers win was considered a sweep of the city. We had several interactions with locals who thought it was their god given obligation to confront us. We also came across several people who for some reason or another wanted to leave their parties and join ours. And in conclusion a large variety of beer was consumed from the following establishments:
The rest of my photographs are here on Flickr.
This past weekend I ventured into the heart of Snowmageddon for the Capitals – Penguins game on Sunday morning. This trip was planned this past spring with no intenion of there being anything near 2 feet of snow on the ground. Early in the week we started to get word that the weather was going to be bad and then like clockwork my Saturday morning flight was canceled on Wednesday afternoon. I looked into a couple different options, Train from Chicago to DC which sold out and earlier flights were already booked or canceled. I ended up booking a train from Penn Station in New York to Washington on Saturday morning (6:45am). Then I got a flight to New York for Friday night. I got in around 10pm and proceeded with the following schedule:
10pm – Blondies
Midnight – McAleer’s Pub (ie the Krull bar)
1am – The Dead Poet
3am – The Dublin House
4am – The Green Kitchen
5am – Back to Jim’s Apartment to Shower
6am – Penn Station
7am – The Northeast Regional heading to Washington
11:30am – Union Station
To say the above was challenging is the understatement of the decade but this was just the beginning of a Epic Journey. Once we got into Washington Jim and I made our way to the Metro system and took the train out to Depont Circle where we came upon this seen:
The Escalator of Doom was not running and was covered in snow. To say this was a large escalator is an understatement. This has to be at least one of the largest and steepest escalators in the Western hemisphere. It’s 188 feet of pure burning pain but who’s counting. Needless to say it took every once of will power and agility to summit. Once we got to the top we were greeted with our first taste of Snowmageddon. From this point we began our march to the hotel down the middle of the snow covered streets.
As fate would have we actually had a relatively easy journey into the city. Meanwhile after a failed attempt to get their truck out Josh and Tom began their journey from Alexandria, VA to Washington on foot. On the Road:
All told I’m think they walked over 6 miles and there were only minor incidents of cannibalism. I think when Jim and I made it in to Washington the ball was clearly in their court. Would I have walked 6 miles in two feet of snow on the open road to see the Caps – Pens game? There is no way to ever know but they did.
The game was about as intense as a regular season game could be. The Pens gave up a 4-1 lead to fall in overtime when a questionable high sticking was called. At least they walked away with a point. Below are my pictures from the the rest of our expedition in the Nation’s capital: