HDR Photography and More by Dave DiCello

Looking back

What a season.

The Pen’s quest for a fourth Stanley Cup ended last night with a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a real heartbreaking loss.  Not that all playoff losses aren’t heartbreaking, but you just had the feeling that the Pens were just one lucky bounce away from moving on to the next round.  I do have to give Tampa Bay some credit.  They played a solid series, fueled by 41 year old Dwayne Roloson in net and by all accounts derserved to win the series.  They capitalized on chances nearly every time they got them and Pittsburgh didn’t.

The lone goal was scored by Sean Bergenheim, on an absolute identical play that they scored on in Game 6.  With Dominick Moore going around the net, he dropped a blind pass back to Bergenheim who, with Marc Andre Fleury moving to the far post, slammed it into a half empty net.  Not that the Pens didn’t have their chances.  They finished the game 0-5 on the powerplay, including a six on four for the final two minutes of the game, making them an abysmal 1-35 on the man advantage in the series.

I don’t want to talk too much about last night, just wanted to touch on it.  This has been one hell of a season with a lot of ups and downs along the way.  CONSOL Energy Center opened this year, replacing the Civic Arena, where the Pens called home for over 40 years.  Although we lost the inaugural game to hated cross-state rivals the Flyers, you could just feel the excitement in the building.  The consecutive sellout streak also rolled on, eclipsing over 200 at the end of the season.  That just shows the support and the dedication of the fans in Pittsburgh.

We hosted the Winter Classic this year at Heinz Field against another rival, the Washington Capitals, as well as being featured in the HBO special, “24/7”.  Again, the game didn’t turn out exactly as hoped, as the Pens were handed a 3-1 defeat, but that was an experience like no other.  The game was supposed to be played in the afternoon, but inclement weather pushed the game into the evening, underneath the lights, and with 68,000 plus fans screaming, it didn’t matter if there was a monsoon, it would have still been incredible.

However that game will live in infamy, as that is the game where Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion after he took a blind side hit from David Steckel that ended his season.  The injury most likely occurred during that hit, but ironically, it was a hit the following game by Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning that sidelined him for the next three and a half months, the same Lightning that just ended the Penguin’s season last night.

Sid wasn’t the only one to get hit by the injury bug this year.  Evgeni Malkin took a hard hit by Tyler Myers of the Buffalo Sabres that tore a ligament in his knee.  Jordan Staal, out the first few months after recovering from foot surgery from an injury suffered in last year’s playoffs, got sidelined again in late October by a broken hand in practice.  Mark Letestu and Dustin Jeffrey suffered knee injuries as well, and Arron Asham and Eric Tangradi both, like Crosby were victims of concussions.  The final count in man games lost due to injury was nearly 400, yet they were still able to get within 13 victories of the Stanley Cup.

All in all, it was a great season, a fun season to watch and be a part of as a fan.

About the shots in this post, all taken last night.  The top shot is one that I’ve been trying to get for a while, and I finally got it last night.  I had been trying to get a silhouetted fan waving their rally towel and I think that this one game out pretty good.  The next one is someone holding up a beer toasting the Pens, and this one will be my post on flickr today.  The next two are both from after the game, one during the handshake between the two teams after the series and the other of the Pens holding up their sticks in salute of the fans after the game.  Lastly, I threw on in there from the walk back to the car, because I like how the bokeh turned out.

One more time…Let’s go Pens.


10 responses

  1. Love the raised beer Dave, great shot (and so are the others!). Sorry to hear your Pens lost, that always stinks but sounds like a great season anyways! Jim

    April 28, 2011 at 10:01 am

    • Yeah, it was tough to see them lose, but it was a great season! Thanks for stopping by!

      April 28, 2011 at 2:20 pm

  2. Hollie

    It was not the end to the season I was hoping for either.

    Amazingly, I have a friend who is a Flyers fan (who even thought that was possible?), and he said to me, “Sorry for your Pens, they played phenomenal without Crosby and Malkin.” It was a season of accomplishment (106 points!, tying our record for away wins, and leading the NHL in the PK???), and that game could have swung either way. In hockey and in life, we must take advantage of our opportunities!

    Even with the season over, I look forward to continuing to read your blog and check out the great photography.

    April 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    • Thanks Hollie. Yeah, it was a fun saeason to watch, even with Sid and Geno out. You kept expecting them to maybe fall deeper into the playoff standings, yet they hung in there for the division lead til the end. It really was a testament to the great organization we have, and how great we are going to be next year!

      Enjoy your weekend, and thanks again for stopping by!

      April 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  3. Really cool shots. I like the OOF shot towards the end. The other shots tell a story, very well done.

    April 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm

  4. Thanks a lot Aaron, I appreciate the visit!

    April 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  5. Nice series of shots Dave, I really like the beer cup toast, well done

    April 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

    • Thanks Wiz, that’s my favorite too!

      May 2, 2011 at 6:55 am

  6. Awesome shots, Dave! Great series like Mike said, and I love the bokeh! Especially with the beer in hand 🙂 Perfect!

    May 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

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