The Penguins fans said goodbye to the Igloo. The Mellon Arena (which some of us will always think of as the Civic Arena) has seen its last NHL game. Though the Penguins fans were surely sad about the game tonight, they cheered at the end to support their team’s efforts and say goodbye to the arena that has been the home of the Penguins since their start in 1967. I haven’t been to all the NHL arenas yet, but the closing of the Igloo means the oldest arena in the NHL is now the Madison Square Garden (the 4th), which has been used since 1968. Though the Islanders’ Nassau Memorial Coliseum (1972) is often mentioned as the worst arena in the NHL (it’s my least favorite of those I’ve visited), it is still not the oldest. The Islanders are the only pre-90s NHL team still playing in their original home as of the start of the 2010-11 season. Clearly, a lot of the newer teams have yet to move, but the Islanders have been around since they started in 1972. Though there has been talk of a new arena for the Islanders for ages, I hear the situation is a lot more complicated than fans would like and that it’s not possible for them to get a new arena any time soon.
The Penguins were knocked out of the playoffs tonight by the Canadiens, who have taken the 2010 playoffs by storm first by knocking out the number one Washington Capitals. Now, they’ve knocked out the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
The Cup hasn’t been won by a Canadian team since the Habs last won the Cup (when they beat the LA Kings in 1993). Perhaps it’s destiny. This year’s Penguins had a lot in common with the 1993 Penguins. Everyone seemed to think the 1993 Penguins would win the Cup for the third year in a row. Instead, they were knocked out in the second round of the playoffs by the NY Islanders. This year, they were knocked out in the second round by the Canadiens, but the stories are very similar. Though more people expected the Penguins to win the Cup in 1993 than predicted they’d win this year, the Pens were the defending Stanley Cup Champions and all the pressure was on them. Perhaps even a bit more pressure than in 1993, since this is the last year the Penguins will play in their original home and this time around the Penguins hadn’t yet won back to back Stanley Cups.
I haven’t had a chance to talk to many Penguins fans about the loss yet, but I’m guessing fans will be split between wanting the Canadiens to win the Cup so their team will have at least lost to the Stanley Cup Champions and those who want to see the Habs go down, since they took out their team. Either way, this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs have been more interesting than most and in spite of seeing both of my teams knocked out, I’ve been enjoying the games. Two game 7s in the first and second rounds of the playoffs. No sweeps as of the end of the second round of the playoffs… Underdogs taking down teams many thought couldn’t be beaten (at least not yet)… This year’s playoffs have everything. I hope you’ve been enjoying them as much as I have.