What a Game!

By far, the best game of the season. For the past three weeks, I haven’t had too much to cheer about – Yankees getting rejected by Cliff Lee, Giants packing it in, Knicks losing at home to the Celtics and Heat, and the Isles losing every game. It’s sad to say that last night’s Islanders / Penguins game was the highlight of my 2010 season as a sports fan. With Sidney Crosby’s 25-game point streak on the line, the Islanders denied Crosby and won the 2-1 in a final shootout. Having thought DiPietro was done for the season a week ago, it was awesome seeing him back in goal playing his best since the 05-06 season. To be honest, when I was headed to the game, I had no intention of seeing an Islanders victory. All I wanted was for the team to play hard and not back down against the best team in the NHL. What I saw was the strongest defensive effort all season. The three fights in the game (one which was DiPietro taking on left-winger Chris Kunitz of Pittsburgh ten seconds before the end of regulation) only made the game better. You could see the frustration from Pittsburgh, especially after Crosby’s streak was broken. The Coliseum was out of control, which is weird to think about, given the Isles are second to last in attendance in the NHL. Even though 4,000 out of the 14,500 fans there were Penguins fans, the place was rockin’ at the end. It was a gritty match that allowed the Isles to make the top headlines for the first time since probably the 2001-2002 NHL playoffs. Isles take on the Red Wings tomorrow night in Detroit. Winter Classic is at 1pm New Years Day on NBC.

Also have to admit – Penguins fans are the most respectful fans I’ve ever seen. When I first walked into the Coliseum and saw Malkin and Crosby jerseys everywhere, I said to myself, “Here we go.” I thought they were going to be obnoxious like Rangers fans, who treat the Coliseum like it’s a home game. Pittsburgh fans, on the other hand, respected the Coliseum and only cheered when their team performed well. Definitely my “Shout out of the Week” goes to Pens Nation.

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