Really, we feel you can define the whole season by the nonsense at the trade deadline, because that's how everyone is going to define it, and that's what ultimately built the team that we got for the playoffs–the team we were "ride and die" with til the bitter end.

We have to wonder how much of the Bruins' fan/media jobbing is true–how much of the "Bruins being the better TEAM but the Penguins just had BIG NAMES" stuff is true.  In our bitterness, we have to think that it kind of is–but of course, we also want to place the blame on the men doing the work, not on the management (certainly not our lord and savior Rejean) but on coaching, general ineptitude, entitlement, and perhaps a team-wide shortage of fine port with which to ruminate.

All of these are moot points now.  What happened is this: we lost, and it was really pretty god damned embarrassing, especially for what was the most potent offense in the NHL playoffs since Chris Chelios was in swaddling clothes or whatever.  Man, we choked.  We choked real hard.  And a team identity beyond WE MUST CHALLENGE THEM WITH OUR SKILL AND SPEED AND BALL GARGLING 2.0 probably would have helped.

We're not bitter, of course.

We loved this team to death.  (perhaps our love is what killed them.)

We loved Jarome Iginla and Brenden Morrow's chances at a Cup.

We loved the low-risk trade for a high reward (and a little extra Something in our loins) that came from the Douglas Murray acquisition.

We loved the happiness, the high flying, Sid being his superhuman self (well, until that fateful week in early June), every time Gene did something stupid like say "fucking hell" and smashing his stick on something before going out to dominate the next shift like it never happened, we loved Fleury's regular season stats, James Neal in general, and Vokoun standing up to make weird saves, and Paul Martin's enormous ballsack, and all those moments that god died, and Joe Vitale's perfect face, and Pascal Dupuis (oh god Pascal Dupuis).

We could say every single name to dress this season and say something amazing about our love for them and it wouldn't be enough to express.  It wouldn't satisfy the surreal feeling that is rising within us as if from a chasm.

Really though, we just weren't hungry this year.  We weren't hungry enough the last four years.  Which makes sense of some kind, because we approached each game as if it were written in the stars, rather than part of our spirit quest to find what the fucking stars said in the first place.

No more stars, you guys.  BREAK THE PATTERN.  Breaking patterns is a concept very near and dear to our hearts this year, and we urge you to take up the sword and slay any pattern that stands in the path of your personal progress.  You could proceed out of habit–or you could make bizarre and terrible mistakes.

We feel like this season was the Pens' bizarre and terrible mistake, undertaken on a whim out of animal desire and carried through to the anticlimactic plane crash on the fucking beach.  We died this year.  There's no real rhyme or reason to it.  We didn't lose control, or break down, or lose our killer instinct, or get too damaged to carry on.  We fucking died.

And it's in death that you find rebirth, right?

Kiss this goodnight.






imageclean shaven Sid.  cut down in his prime.  God we'll miss your fucked up lower jaw.

We know there could be a lot of changes.

But we'll talk about them when they happen.  When they're for sure.

If there's one thing we know it's not to try to set Rejean's alarm clock for him.  He'll beat you to death seriously.

If you want an official, grown-up prediction about the SCF, you can look here.

We're not even sure we'll watch it, because we're too full of love for other things in our lives that don't piss us off, i.e. things that don't involve the prospect of potentially having to root for the team that employs Patrick Kane.

Don't put yourself through bad shit on purpose.  Just remember the good times.  They were really, really, really good.

And as we are reborn, so we will be again.  Death is a beginning.

Go Pens, jerks.



About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.