Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better days ahead

One of these days, I'm going to learn to lower my expectations for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rather than a dozen-plus pucks and a full book of cards, I need to become more realistic. Or, ask for the day off from work so I have more time.

Sadly, it goes beyond the Penguins' Big Four: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and, to an extent, Jordan Staal. Of that group, only Fleury, who's quite the animated character, is the most approachable. The others? Forget it, I'm afraid, when there's a crowd of hounds.

Yesterday's trip for the Penguins, limited to the team's morning skate, severely tested my philosophy that one autograph is better than none. Though another dozen autographs were added to the collection, including the trio of pucks shown above from defenseman Phillippe Boucher, it was disappointing to once again whiff on Crosby.

Oh, well, they'll be back in April. Maybe I'll have better luck then.

I have myself to blame, somewhat, for the omission. Rather than join a pack of hounds who ran to an underground parking garage to intercept the Crosby Express, I held my ground. As a result, I missed out. And because of an overzealous valet, so did those who ran.

As for the others, I was simply too slow for the short time, measured in seconds, and few autographs that Malkin and Fleury did sign.

While it's understandable that Pittsburgh's top-shelf stars would employ such extreme measures and attitudes, I couldn't get how this trickles down to teammates. Mark Eaton and Kris Letang, the only Penguins I got to to sign cards, picked the darkest part of the images.

C'mon, guys, there's no need to be schlubs.

Thankfully, the day wasn't a total loss, as these items joined the collection:

~ a Team Russia puck from Sergei Gonchar;
~ Hockey Bay hero Ruslan Fedotenko on a Penguins puck and a Tampa Bay Lightning photo collage;
~ A third autograph on the work-in-progress right-handed goalie glove project and a Penguins puck from Mathieu Garon; and
~ Getting a "kick" out of legendary announcer Mike Lange.

Don't forget, either, to check out the Penguins gallery. In light of the day, I tried something a little different.

No comments: