GAMEDAY 80 – ISLANDERS

 

7:30 PM
 
Mellon Arena
 
Listen to the game at [WXDX]
 
Know the Enemy:
 
 
 
This is it.
Yes, there will be other hockey games in Mellon Arena.
If all goes well, we'll still be watching the Pens play there in June.
But this is the final regular season game in Igloo history.
This is our chance to say goodbye.
Goodbye to the only home we've ever known.
 
It's been the home of Penguins hockey since day one.
 
Apps and Kehoe and Pronovost.
Bathgate and Boivin and Horton.
Francis and Mullen and Coffey.
Lemieux and Jagr.
 
Bowman and Johnson and Brooks.
Lange and Lascheid and Barbaro.
Patrick and Shero.
 
Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and Staal.
 
It's hosted opera and wrestling.
Sinatra, Elvis and the Beatles.
 
But it's always been the Penguins home.
And so tonight we say goodbye.
And thank you.
 
 
 
It's kind of funny. Going back through our archives we found a post from the night before the slots license was awarded.
It's from all the way back in 2006. Jesus, where the hell does the time go? [award the slot license for]
 
We made our last trip to Mellon on Tuesday. Talking to a friend, he brought up a good point. Being there now is like just waiting for an old friend to die. Just listening to people talk, sharing stories about their experiences on Tuesday was so cool.
 
You start thinking about going to the Mellon as a kid.
That excitement you felt. That big time Muppet Babies live performance you saw back in 90. Kermit was all business. The guy that played Fozzie the Bear probably dropped acid before the show.
 
Then you think about your first hockey memories. 91' being in the building when the scratches were announced, and 66 wasn't listed against the Bruins. And that noise that followed when Mario emerged from the tunnel.
 
You think about all the jobbing you did.  Like buying one Igloo club ticket and then passing it back and forth between four people until everyone was in the Igloo club.
Or how you jobbed the student rush lines.
 
We'll never forget the time we had to make fun of Jeff Reed, but we almost had to nix it because some kid covered pimples wouldn't leave us alone because he overheard us talking about what we were going to do.
 
 
And how about all the other great signs over the years.
Jesse White State Representative, 46th District sent this pic along, and it is posted in his brilliant remembrance blog.

Vintage Stoosh on the right.

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And what about the more offensive signs:
 

  • Thank you Mellon for the Cotton Candy Guy
That voice will never travel as well in CEC.
  • Thank you Mellon for the Villains. You made us hate
  • For the John Barbaro. His voice was all you had for three hours.
  • For the bounces, like this one.
 
 
  • Thank you for carrying the Chants. "1954," "Cammmm Warrd," "MVP," "Go Home Flyers," "Mario."
  • Thank you for all those hot chicks we got to brush against in the cramped spaces.
  • Thank you for Cotton Eye Joe.
  • For the white outs.
  • For the overtimes and the game sevens.
  • Thank you for the nachos.
  • For aisles marked with chalk.
  • For Sudden Death.
  • For Jimmerson.
  • Thank you for being home.
picture 7
 
 
The Islanders have given us plenty of pain over the years.
Glenn "Chico" Resch and David Volek come to mind.
We won't let them ruin tonight.
 
Sarge and Geno will play.
Kunitz will not.
 
Projected Penguins Lines:
 
Pascal Dupuis – Sidney Crosby – Bill Guerin
Alexei PonikarovskyEvgeni MalkinRuslan Fedotenko
Matt Cooke – Jordan Staal – Tyler Kennedy
Craig Adams – Max Talbot – Mike Rupp

Sergei Gonchar – Mark Eaton
Brooks Orpik – Kris Letang
Jordan Leopold – Alex Goligoski

Marc-Andre Fleury

 
Marty Biron will be in net for the Islanders.
Hopefully the Mellon crowd will find a good way to say goodbye to him.

"I can remember because the roof was round and white and pristine. It was like playing in a cloud. Imagine, it's almost like you're playing in the Vatican. It was very unique."

Gene Ubriaco

"You hear about this building when you're younger and you see some old pictures. I hope they won't get rid of it because it will only be history. It should stay here."

Max Talbot

"It's an atmosphere you have to be in to really be able to describe it. The crowd seems like it's right on top of everybody, and they're so involved in the game."

Sidney Crosby

"’m going to miss the old Mellon Arena. Coming here in this room, for whatever it was intended to be, I think it’s a great dressing room and I feel there is a lot of history here and memories, good games and bad games. Those are the memories that I’ll miss going across the street. I know that it will be great over there and I can’t wait to get there, but there’s a lot about this building that I’m going to miss. "

Dan Bylsma

 

 
 
 
The NHL Network is going to air the pregame ceremony in the United States.
 
Stadium Journey visited the Mellon Arena:

"Few people can honestly say they’ve had a bad time at Mellon Arena, whether the Penguins are trotting out perennial all-starts or giving away tickets like hotcakes.  The building has great acoustics – it was built for the opera, remember – and it gets extremely loud during important games.  With the smaller-sized seats and steep stairways, you get the sense that the crowd is really on top of the ice… Pittsburgh hockey fans are savvy, enthusiastic, and usually go heavy on the Iron City Beers.  They will applaud a good shift, pound the glass during a hearty round of fisticuffs, and always seem to find the right moment to unleash a “Let’s Go Pens!” chant."

 
 
 
One more time, before Elvis leaves the building for good.
 
 
Do it.
 

Go Pens.
 

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