2000-2009: Top Moments

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2000-2009.  What a bizarre decade.  There was no Year 0.  We know.
Throughout December, we’re compiling random top-whatever lists.

To start off, we wanted to look at the best of times.
The top moments of the decade, in no real order.  Jump.
If the YouTubes start getting jacked, just reload the page.

RIC JACKMAN PHOENIX GOAL
Toward the tail end of the 2003-2004 season, the Pens were in the throes of a 19-game losing streak.  The season had long been over.  There was nothing left to fight for, but you still stayed up past midnight to see if the Pens could pull it out against Phoenix:
KASPARAITIS GOAL

We’ve written about this goal like 30 times.
Still never gets old.

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Amidst the Pens unreal run to the Eastern Conference Finals on Johan Hedberg’s back in the same year that Mario Lemieux returned, the Pens went to Buffalo for a Game 7 in the Eastern Semis.  The Sabres jumped out to a 2-1 lead early in the third.  Robert Lang tied it for the Pens just before Father Time showed up.  Then it went to overtime…

 

2007 OTTAWA SENATORS SERIES
In the Spring of 2007, the Pens reached the playoffs for the first time since 2000.  Despite sharing a nearly identical regular-season record with the Senators, the Pens were huge underdogs in their first-round #4-#5 matchup.  The Senators defecated on the Pens in Game One.  But the Pens came back in Game Two.
Watch Gary Roberts at 2:50.
Jesus we loved that man.

The Pens would go on to lose the next three.  Season over.  Might not seem like a big moment to a lot of people, but this comeback win has resonated with us.  It was the birth.

PENGUINS LAND CROSBY
July 22, 2005 — The first time since D3 that you cheered when someone said, “Anaheim Mighty Ducks.”   Because of the lockout during 2004-05, you probably had lost touch with some of your hockey friends.  Cellphones were lighting up everywhere on this day, though, mending lost friendships.  Just a glorious day.

TALBOT AND SYKORA’S HEROICS IN GAME 5

The Pens were simply outclassed in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.  The Red Wings had been here before; some of them many times.  The Pens breezed through the Eastern Conference, and by the time they got their legs under them in the SCF, this series was over.

But the Pens weren’t going to roll over in 5 games.  Max Talbot scored late to suspend Detroit’s Cup celebration.  And after adslksdas minutes of overtime, Rob Scuderi took a stick to the face, and the Pens jumped onto a 4-minute PP.

Enter Gonchar.  Enter Sykora.

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY DEBUTS

In the summer of 2003, the Pens drafted MAF 1st overall.  They said F it, he’s starting opening night.  All he did was stop 46 shots and a penalty shot.  The Kings outshot the Pens 42-3.   It was a glimmer of hope.  The seed that would eventually grow into the 2009 Stanley Cup was planted on October 10, 2003.

There is no video documentation on the Internet to prove this game even happened.

WINTER CLASSIC

In the early stages of Summer in 2007, random message-board postings were sprouting up all over the Internet, talking about a potential outdoor game that was to be put on by the NHL.  Another week goes by, and more reports start making their way across the Internet that the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres will be squaring off at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

On July 27, 2007, we had found a YouTube (since removed) of a clandestine cameraphone video that captured the outlay of an NHL rink on Ralph Wilson’s turf.  LINK. Wow.  Good old Kenny Melvin in the comments section.

Fast-forward to January 1, 2008.  A light snow falling.  The perfect snow-globe picture the NHL wanted.  And the ending all Pens fans wanted.

If you were lucky enough to be there, it was so surreal to see that goal light come on like 8 seconds in.

BURIES IT RETURNS

In early December of 2000, Lemieux announced his intention to return to the NHL and the Penguins after over 3 years away from the game.  Jay Caufield became a cult icon when it was discovered that he was the one whipping Mario into shape.  Mario was ultimately the first person to Ask Jay.

Then came the night — December 27, 2000.  No one cared that the Pens had won some shit game in Buffalo the night before.  The entire sports world had its eyes on the Mellon Arena this night.  Buries it buried it.


PENGUINS WIN CUP

This just happened.

UNDISPUTED #1:
LEMIEUX ANNOUNCES NEW ARENA

March 13, 2006.

After being mushroom-stamped by politicians since he had taken over the franchise, Lemieux had seen enough.  When the arena dealings got down to crunch time, Lemieux and his Group were on Orbitz booking flights to every city that wanted an NHL team.  Pics of Lemieux in a hard hat outside the Sprint Center made you kill people.  But it was all just a charade.  Right?

Lemieux has always been an enigma when it has come to the media.  He’s been ridiculed for reaching out to the media only when he wants something or when it will benefit him.  Who cares.  He’s a beast.

The decibel level blows out a mic at 0:20.  And for good reason.
Happiest day of our lives.
And top moment of the decade.

HONORABLE MENTIONS
EDZO WILL SEE YOU IN THE PLAYOFFS
hahahahaaaaa

MOROZOV CREST

RICO FATA’S SICK GOAL
go pens
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