It's hard to put into words how it felt taking in this game at CONSOL.
There was an eerie feeling surrounding the entire thing. It felt like an out-of-body experience.
But then it happened.
With about 5 minutes left in the second, the Pens put home their 5th goal.
And a familiar chant was echoing in the arena.
OSGOOOOOOOOOOOD, OSGOOOOOOOOOOOOD, OSGOOOOOOOOOOOOD.
In those moments, CONSOL became home sweet home.
The game itself was nothing but positive.
Only one game in, but you can see the level of play in this year's training camp is high.
Granted, it was the first game in the new building, and everyone was flying because of it.
More about the game and the CONSOL game experience in a second.
First, anthem pics return:
Bobbi with the first anthem pic. Good times.
Fleuryous, Nicholas, Brendon
Tucker G., Andrew D., Molly M.
John G., Matt S., Heath C.
We probably missed some late stragglers.
It's training camp for us, too.
The night started off on a somber note as the Pens honored John Barbero.
As loud as everything was two seconds before, you could hear a pin drop.
It will hopefully be repeated on October 7th.
If there's one thing we want to pass on to you about the experience we had at CONSOL, it would be this: Get there early. Because your brain will spend 10 minutes trying to comprehend where you are, and your senses pretty much shut down. Your extremities will be tingling.
Bedlam when the Pens came out:
Hopefully this police-siren business was just an experiment.
Which brings us back to the level of sound in this place.
It is immense. There's no way to describe it.
It will not be an issue.
The Wings dressed a basic lineup...and Todd Bertuzzi. No Datsjoke or Homoberg.
Obstructrom wasn't in the lineup, either.
Pens started with Malkin-Crosby-Dupes.
Chris Osgood was in net for the Wings.
He looked totally unprepared,
And without a defense in front of him, his true colors shine through.
Mike Comrie wasted no time and scored a nice goal batting a puck out of midair.
Overall, Malkin-Comrie-Tangradi looked like they could explode at any moment. But they didn't.
Crosby scored some goal.
He sat out the third period with a hip flexor. Nothing serious.
Boulerice beat the shit out of Aaron Downey.
Tony from The Confluence hunted it down.
On one of Ryan Craig's first shifts, he got butt-punched all over the ice.
All he did was come back and score two goals in the game.
Brett Sterling scored a goal by getting to the net and putting his stick where Crosby could see it.
The big incident of the game came at the end of the first when Franzen skated into Orpik's knee.
Grabbed this pic from PHT.
Some other quick things:
--It is going to be impossible to send Mark Letestu to the minors. Guy is everywhere.
--Michalek is going to be better than anyone could have hoped for. He is like Scuds, but with wheels. 6 blocked shots.
--MAF didn't really have to do anything. Defense was shutdown city. Hutchinson ain't bad.
--Wilkes-Barre is going to be nasty this year.
--Mike Modano's nickname should be "The Recession." He's slow, and he's not getting any better.
Some details about the CONSOL experience.
-Make sure to read all of the signs in the arena. It's a new place, and it gets confusing. But guess what? You'll be too busy taking everything in that you'll just wander aimlessly. If you're looking for the esclators on upper bowl, just remember that they're tucked away from the main concourse walkway. Anytime you come to a clearing along the concourse, look to the outer wall of the arena for the escalators. Is there only one place in the arena to find the escalators? Who knows. It's all a blur.
-Overheard some people making snide comments about how the concourses are crowded between intermissions.
Yeah, there's 18,000 people in the building. Expect some jam-ups.
-Everything has a sponsor. GNC sponsors the Penguins' penalty kill.
If it helps the Pens financially, good.
-Cellphone reception is kind of spotty. Rumors of this being fixed.
-And finally, probably the most important thing.
According to the Pens P.A. man, Zbynek Michalek is pronounced: Zi-ban-ick Muh-kye-lick
-Unveiling new Rinkotology game today.