Thursday, March 29, 2007
The morning of May 22, 2001.
The sun broke through our curtains; the smell of playoff hockey waking us up.
That's the last time we uttered the phrase: "Huge Pens playoff game tonight."
By 11:03 P.M. that evening, it was over.
An exhausting season finally wrecked by the much-hated New Jersey Devils.
Six long years ago.
So much has changed.
Everything has changed.
Playoff Penguins of 2001
No clue why Hrdina was on this line. But it was solid.
Jaromir Jagr -- he was dying alive, but he was still scoring. 52G 69A 121P
Hrdina was mud.
Mario was Mario.
What a line.
Alexei Kovalev was disgusting -- 44G 51A 95P
Marty Straka -- 27 G 68 A 95P
Robert Lang -- 32G 48A 80P
In all-time Pens history, this line has to rank in the top 5.
Now, this is where the lines get foggy. But we figure someone reading this will know.
This wasn't a line for sure.
Stevens played 17 games in the playoffs.
Morozov was a joke.
And Josef Beranek had something to do with the tying goal in Game 7 in Buffalo or something.
Jobbers R' Us.
Rene Corbet was solid.
Wayne Primeau was sound.
Kraft was a farce. If you bought his jersey, you don't know what's going on.
Darius Kasparaitis -- Bob Boughner
As solid as NHL D-men could be at that time.
Andrew Ference -- Janne Laukkanen
Laukkanen looks like he knows he's the man.
Ference was serviceable; a couple big goals in those playoffs.
Ian Moran -- Hans Jonsson
Ian Moran was shaky.
Hans Jonsson was "consistently inconsistent"... according to Mario Lemieux.
How did we not throw up when they were on the ice in a big situation?
Johan Hedberg -- J.S. Aubin
Moose was out of control.
The 2001 Playoffs were a magical mystery tour.
Every series took years off our lives.
Marty Straka was surreal.
Here he is stealing the puck from a certain Capital defenseman and scoring the game winner in Game 6 Overtime:
Straka was one of many heroes in the legendary 7-game series between the Sabres and Pens in the second round.
We all remember Lemieux tying Game 6 late.
With Straka scoring another overtime goal to send it to Buffalo for Game 7.
And of course:
The Bryan Bell " mmmyyyeeeaaahhh! "
And then besides taking acid before the second period of Game 2 against New Jersey, the Pens had nothing left in the Eastern Conference Finals.
- Jordan Staal was 12. Crosby -- 13. Malkin -- 14.
- Sergei Gonchar was a Capital.
- Mark Eaton was still 5 years away from discovering his powers.
- Mr. Roberts' neighborhood was in Toronto.
- Mark Recchi was a Flyer.
- MAF, Talbot, and Army were in Juniors.
- Malone, Orpik, Whitney, and Scuderi were still in college.
- Melichar was just starting his Penguins career.
- Laraque was a second-year player for the Oilers.
- Ruutu was your average jobber for the Canucks.
- Nasreddine was working at Chick-Fil-A in Robinson.
- Ouellet had 40 goals in juniors.
- Lord Therrien ran the Habs.
- Ray Shero was getting people coffee in Nashville.
- Mike Yeo was most likely banging your mom in 2001.
Early 2001 Events
- January 11 -- AOL and TimeWarner merge.
- February 11 -- Three Rivers Stadium is imploded.
- February 18 -- Dale Earnhardt dies.
- March 29 -- Pensblog Adam gets first pubic hair.
- April 9 -- Pirates play first game in PNC Park.
- April 15 -- Joey Ramone dies.
- Hotmail was the shit.
- South Park was in its 5th season.
- You could still go hang out at the airport.
- Having an AOL screen name was huge.
- If a hot girl talked to you on ICQ, you threw up on yourself.
- Google's plethora of web tools didn't exist.
- People thought Osama Bin Laden was a dish at Pasta Bravo.
- High-definition TVs were in their infancy.
- Satellite radio had about 20 subscribers.
Movies that came out in 2001:
Napster was huge.
The gayness emanating from the backstage festivities at these concerts is only rivaled by the events that take place in the 2006-07 Ottawa Senators locker room.
Britney was unreal.
Tons of great albums. Too many to list.
Everyone likes different music.
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