Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sharks @ Penguins, February 23, 2011

Following a satisfying victory in Detroit, I unfortunately was not able to celebrate with a night out on the town (probably wise for that particular locale given my manner of dress). The reason was that I had an early morning Greyhound bus with my name on it. Destination - Pittsburgh.
Most of the 8 hour bus ride (which wasn't as brutal as it sounds, since I slept) consisted of snowy views of Ohio, seen here.

My bus arrived in Pittsburgh at 3:30pm, and then I went to my hotel to check in. Not a bad view of the Pitt Tunnel and the South Side.

One PPG Place, Pittsburgh's famous glass tower (1984)

I think it's a sin to come to Pittsburgh and not have Primanti Bros. It's also a sin to come to Pennsylvania and not get Yuengling beer.

The Consol Energy Center, home to the Pittsburgh Penguins as well as the newest arena in the NHL (opened just in time for the 2010-11 season)

The amenities certainly trump those of the old Mellon Arena (aka "The Igloo").

This would be all I'd see of Sidney Crosby this evening. He's clearly afraid of me; this was my second time in Pittsburgh to see the Sharks play the Penguins, and on both occasions he was "injured." Yeah, sure.

Not the view from my seats, but rather an overview from the expansive concourse.

Left wing James Neal was traded from the Dallas Stars to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenseman Alex Goligoski. This was Neal's first game with his new club.

Kris Letang, a close second to Crosby in lust-status amongst Pittsburgh's females.

James Neal

Matt Cooke, fulfilling the community service component of his suspension. Kidding.

Ben "Reverend" Lovejoy and Tyler "2 goals forthcoming" Kennedy

My, a little smug with last night's victory, hmmm?

D-man Matt Niskanen, the other component of the Neal / Goligoski trade, was also playing in his first game with the team.

The Philadelphia Phillies have the Phanatic, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have Iceburgh. In both cases they look like Muppet rejects. There, I said it.

Marc-Andre Fleury during the anthem

Craig Adams (#27) vs. Kyle Wellwood (#20) after Joe Pavelski gets tossed from the faceoff dot

Tyler Kennedy's goal made it 1-0 for Pittsburgh early on.

Before the start of the 2nd period, the house lights wouldn't come on, prompting a 15-minute delay. For an arena named the Consol ENERGY Center, you'd think they'd pay their bills on time.

It was light enough for play to continue, if you ask me, but rules being rules, it took a team of technicians to sort out the mess.

To placate the masses, dance contests were begun. This guy was one such contestant.

Jordan Staal looks extra bored.

Joe Thornton and Douglas Murray take five

Once the lights came on, Logan Couture managed to tie the game on the power play.

Jordan Staal vs. Dan Boyle

Welcoming committee

Patrick Marleau makes it 2-1 Sharks

Joe Thornton and Logan Couture in Pitt's zone

Tyler Kennedy strikes again, tying the game with 50 seconds left. Aye carumba.

Not to be outdone in the timely-second-goal-of-the-night department, Patrick Marleau wins the game in overtime with 4 seconds remaining. WOOOOOOOOOO

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, "We would have won that game if we had Crosby, Malkin, and Kunitz," I'd be a very rich man. Adding to the Penguins injury woes was the news that Brooks Orpik was injured blocking Marleau's shot in the first period.

To makeup for the lack of boozy celebration the previous evening, I tracked down a fantastic bar (name seen on my beer) that served the appropriately-named Victory Beer. I had two kinds - Hop Devil (seen here) and Golden Monkey. The latter rocked my world.

Morning after - time for a stroll to Pittsburgh's North Side, home to PNC Park (the Pirates' stadium) and this Roberto Clemente statue.

The real reason I came to the North Side was for the Andy Warhol Museum.

Born to Rusyn immigrants in Pittsburgh, Warhol lived in the city until he was 21.

Believe it or not, that's a painting of Tom Seaver in the upper left corner.

Warhol was a mass of contradictions, but he was apparently Byzantine Catholic to the core.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of the museum was the Clouds room, where Warhol's silver, pillow-shaped helium balloons would float around somewhat like clouds. You were encourage to touch these pieces of art, unlike the others in the museum.

My hotel, the Wyndham Grand (formerly the Hilton) had an envious location near The Point in Downtown.

The Fort Pitt Museum, which chronicled the history of Pittsburgh, especially during the French & Indian War.

The Block House, the oldest surviving building in Pittsburgh (1764). After touring the Fort Pitt complex, it was time to head to the airport for my long flight home (via Dallas). My final hockey trip of the season was a rousing success! Go Sharks!

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