The team was wearing black and blue with lightning bolts all over, but the team that played to win last night against the Pittsburgh Penguins was not the same team I’ve watched stumble feebly around the ice the past six years.
I settled in for the game with the hazy thought that watching my team beat the Penguins would be nice, but if I had to bet money, I’d have to put it on the Penguins.
Well…guess this was one of those rare moments that I am wrong (ahem…no comment on that, Gary).
Dan Ellis stepped in for Smith in the goal in the first period, which I didn’t watch. Ellis earned his paycheck by stopping shot after shot in the second and third periods.
My little guy, Marty St. Louis, earned his check too last night. After watching Marty get checked and batted about like a play toy, even Gary, who generally prefers to make fun of Marty and crack short jokes, was cheering, “C’mon, Marty, score on them and make them pay for checking you.”
And that he did, scoring twice to help bring the Lightning to a 5-3 victory last night.
It was the first game in a long time I felt like a real hockey team was in Lightning uniforms. And so long as Sidney Crosby takes the ice for the Penguins, then a victory over them will always be more delicious than any other. Last night’s game reminded why I love hockey so damn much in the first place.