As Pens fans continue to bitch and moan about the problems the team “suddenly” has, it seems like a good time to do some good ol’ comparisons.
From 2001-2006, the pens never finished with more than 70 points. They were consistently finishing at the bottom of the standings while at the top of the loss column.
Dick Tarnstorm (go ahead and google him) led the team in scoring during the 03-04 season with 54 points. Go ahead and read that again; that should be enough for you to feel lucky as hell right now.
Fleury is our franchise goalie and he will be for a while. That’s that. He might not be the best, but every team can’t have a Rinne or Quick. Besides, thinking back to the goalies of the dark ages, this is heaven. Aubin, Caron and Chiodo are a few that come to mind. I need to go vomit now….the chiodo dragon my ass.
Tarnstom, Rico Fata, Milan Kraft, WAYNE Primeau, Steve Mckenna, Kris Beech, Ross Lupaschuk, Ric Jackman, Dan Focht, Lasse Pirjeta, Konstantin goddamn Koltsov and Matt Hussey. Yes, his name was Hussey. This is the kind of BS fans had to see on the ice on a nightly basis. It was torture, but if you were one of the few left in the arena, it was still kind of fun.
The smallest things were considered huge accomplishment. Like, for one, the Pens had a killer Powerplay for a season. That’s what we had to hold onto.
Now we have multiple word class players on the ice every night. Players who dazzle us and push our belief of what is possible on the ice. These are things that we are ever so lucky to get to witness.
We don’t have to deal with Ivan Hlinka behind the bench “coaching.” We don’t go to the arena expecting a loss but hoping for a win. When we won, it was a miracle. Now if we lose, it’s astonishing that anyone could dare beat us.
Fans don’t like us because there is the aura of entitlement in CEC. That’s something that has got to change. It’s just not a good look. It comes from the suits in the stands and the way CEC is catered to lux suites. Not very Pittsburgh-ish.
That won’t change. It’s the way we are not, for better or worse.
Next time you think the Pens have it bad, though, think of Dicky leading the team in scoring. Or Andy Chiodo being the main attraction. Or the lights going out in Mellon.
But mainly, think of how different things would have been had the ping pong ball bounced differently July 25, 2005. We may be rooting for the KC Pens. Be happy for what you have, an NHL team, and a damn fine one at that