If you Google "rollercoaster of emotions" you won't find anything about the Pens 2008/2009 season anywhere near the first page.
But you should.
Last season the Penguins made the economy look stable.
There were exhilarating wins that caused you to hug random strangers in a bar.
There were heartbreaking losses that made you punch your significant other in the face.
There were a whole bunch of games that you don't even remember.
These are our favorite games of the season.
These are in chronological order.
MAPLE LEAFS AT PENGUINS
October 18th, 2008
Bing and Malkin hit career milestones in this game, which means basically nothing.
The more important part is that Bing finally got on the board this season.
Malkin is such a beast, it's not even funny.
PENGUINS AT RED WINGS
November 11th, 2008
Sometimes the Hockey Gods like to remind us how lucky we are.
At 9:15, it was just another whatev November night.
It's getting cold again, Pens are losing, work/school in the morning looms.
At 10:00, you're walking around like its May and the Pens just won a playoff game.
Texts are flying in, you want to tell as many people as you can about what just happened.
What a great day to be a hockey fan.
What a great day to be an American.
Before we get into the bulk of the game, it simply must be said that in the SCF last year, the Red Wings had the young Penguins intimidated and made them play their game. That's what beasts do. Last night's game shows what happens when the Wings play the Pens game. Punch for punch, offense for offense, the Pens prevail. Did Hossa even play last night?
Is this redemption for losing in the SCF? No way. The Red Wings skate away from last night knowing they weren't up to snuff against a solid team in the early stages of the 2008-09 season. For a Pens team still trying to figure out what's going on it's a big win. It exorcises demons. It's a statement game.
FLYERS AT PENGUINS
November 13th, 2008
Sidney Crosby, who's trying to get out of a "slump" comes up big to tie it. Mike Richards with the egregious turnover on the play made it doubly sweet.
The Pens have won 5 in a row. We'll see where the Pens stand in the Eastern Conference on Saturday when Buffalo comes to town.
If these OT games keep coming, no one is going to be alive by March.
This was probably the best part of the game:
DEVILS AT PENGUINS
November 29th, 2008
People always say we are lucky to have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
That is true.
But we are even more lucky when they both are on fire.
ISLANDERS AT PENGUINS
December 11th, 2008
It was Sykora's night. Case closed.
In case you aren't aware, Sykora had scored two goals in a game 38 (44?) times and never got a hatty.
This game changed all that.
But the Mega Powers were working behind the scenes.
If this was your late '80s NHL, we would see at least 10 games like this a season with Bing and Geno.
There were more tricks being turned than on Penn Ave.
The powerplay gets going.
The Islanders get pulverized.
Hard to assess the defense and/or John Curry here.
When it's a runaway, game plans go out the window.
The Islanders just started getting frustrated and abandoning positional play.
But this game should serve notice as a big F-U to message-board trolls, doubters, and bandwagoners.
For every 4-1 loss or blown lead, games like this make statements. This is why you have to get through the tough games. Because games like this are fun and in some ways poetic.
Especially when it is against the Islanders.
RANGERS AT PENGUINS
January 18th, 2008
Don't look now, but the Pens have won 3 of their last 4.
Hard to believe that the Pens won an NBC afternoon game wearing blue.
LIGHTNING AT PENGUINS
February 4th, 2008
Maybe it was an omen that the Gary Roberts was there, a man widley recongized for his ability to grind out goals and play as hard as he can at all times.
Maybe the lessons he once taught were used against him.
Maybe it was an omen that Big Ben was there, a man who was comeback city all year.
But what this was, was a superstar putting a team on his back.
The Pens were dead. Season was over. Again.
A shutout loss to the Lightning? Again? At Home?
Malkin showed us what he was about.
He ignited the crowd. He ignited his teammates.
His third-period and OT performance is on the periodic table of elements.
3 points in a blink of an eye. GWG.
2 points in the playoff race.
PENGUINS AT BLACKHAWKS
February 27th, 2008
Went into the third period of this game up 4-2. We've been there before. We've been on both sides of the equation. Three weeks ago, the Pens lose this game. But the Pens are finding ways to win under Disco Dan. And without Crosby.
If we respected every team like we do Chicago, we wouldn't have a blog.
The telltale sign = zero Blackhawk photoshops in Gmail.
MAF makes 41 saves and wins the game, but he's not the first star in anybody's book.
That honor goes to Jonathan Toews. What a player.
Kunitz comes through with a goal in his first game.
PENGUINS AT CAPITALS
March 8th, 2008
Our Cap fan friends who e-mail us after games must have lost their internet access.
The silence is beautiful.
Secondly, an athiest could give a summary of this game. The Caps scored twice off of egregious mistakes made by the Penguins. No one knows what Letang did yet. Caps caught the Pens on a horrible line change. Strip those away, and it's 3-1. It's not even close. Those mistakes can be remedied. Bylsma's overall game plan exposed the Caps while putting the emphasis on his own talent. Beautifully done.
The Capitals have been lights-out all year. Good for them. But they are flailing about at the worst time of the season. Caps fans are feeling the anxiety now, and it's only accentuated by their shaky goaltending. And they also know that the one-man Ovechkin show will taper off in the grind of the playoffs. Tough time to be a Caps fan.
The Pens are on a tear. Case closed.
There are certain signs of Spring.
Daylight Savings is one of them.
Watching the Capitals lose big games is another.
Pens fans invading Washington is a third.
FLAMES AT PENGUINS
March 25th, 2008
Unreal. Three shutouts, in three straight years, on the same date.
If there's anything we're guilty of besides Googling "little boys" it's that we don't throw love Fleury's way.
We'll throw love his way he gets a shutout 'cause it's a no-brain-er.
But we always seem to forget him when he plays unreal on the way to a 4-2, 5-4 win.
And, with all fairness, Hal Gill should be the talk of this town.
He played on the more inspired games we've see from a defenseman in a long time.