The hockey playoffs are underway and heating up, I am reminded of the last Cup the Penguins won a few years ago. I had, as always, followed that great playoff run, each game, each night…all of the gritty-will-not-be-denied effort that team displayed. As the intensity grew each round, as my playoff beard grew itchy, the weather got warmer and I could watch the games with the doors & windows open, hearing my neighbors screaming at their TV, just like I did. In the first round, hero Max Talbot started a fight in a blowout loss to Philadelphia and we regained momentum. It was a good couple of months.

Hours just before game 7, I was headed home after work and picked up an ice cold case of Stella; I already had the Jagermeister in the freezer and the Red Bull chilling in the beer fridge. All set. I got home, ran the case of beer to my fridge in the basement, opened all the windows and doors, and then ran upstairs to let our new puppy outside. Unfortunately, he had shit all over himself and his kennel already. I was so stressed rushing around cleaning his kennel, and then giving him a bath before the puck dropped. I made it just in time; I always do a lucky Jagerbomb prior to any playoff game, and then give a good pull on my first beer. As the game went on, I was sweating bullets in my jersey and as we had the lead in the final minutes, my nerves were shot. Then in the last seconds, as Fleury dove, I did too…off the couch, but then…total elation, we did it!

The Stanley Cup is arguably the most difficult team championship to win, and I firmly believe that, no team is judged an underdog, anyone can get hot in a 7 game series, round after round. Enjoy these playoffs and do a shot for me & remember: you’re never to drunk to celebrate from the seat of your pants after falling off the couch trying to stop a shot in tight…to be a champion.

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