Monday, May 4, 2009

the playoffs have ended. the war has begun.

"C'mon boys, team meeting."
After the game this evening Billy Guerin stuck his head into every player's hotel room and announced this. He didn't hang around to see if anyone was listening, just pimp strutted away and knew they would follow him like the bitches they are.

This is why we aren't worried about the series.
We know what this game led to.
Pay attention.

Guerin's room was dimly lit and smokey from the cigars he was lighting and passing around to anyone who wanted one. Dupes takes one, because with a beard like that you aren't allowed to decline cigars. Gonch takes one, looks it over, and approves with a mildly impressed nod. Petr Sykora grabs it out of his hands without even looking him in the face. Talbot and Malkin wander over from their room, cheap cigars already lit in their mouths. Guerin rips them out of their mouths and crushes them on the carpet with his bare feet and hands them a new one.

"Today, you become men."

Talbot looks pleased with this idea. Malkin gapes like a fish. Billy shuts the door and turns on some music.

He proceeds to pass out an assortment of mismatched glasses. Max Talbot eagerly springs for a hideous etched glass highball. Guerin rips it from his hands and chucks it at the wall forcefully, glass shattering everywhere, making everyone stare. He pimp slaps Max without a second's hesitation and hands him a normal glass, muttering something about how it's "about fucking time you get some taste."

There is a knock on the door, and Billy goes to deal with it as the men wait, confused. He comes back with a room service cart. Whiskey, as far as the eye can see. He starts making rounds, pouring a full glass for everyone.

"How many of you have come back in a series before?"

The room is silent. Billy smells fear.

"We'll I've had enough to cover for all of you." He stops in front of Kris Letang. "You remember the 1998 Western quarterfinals? Were you even born yet, boy?" LeUnicorn is silent. "We took the first game, but we lost the next three. The Avs. You know what we did, boy?" LeHair whimpers. "WE TOOK IT IN SEVEN, BOY. NOW DRINK!"

Kris Letang throws back the whiskey, making a series of unreal faces. Billy looks accusingly to the rest of the men. They all follow Tanger's lead. Satisfied, Billy starts drinking directly from a freshly opened bottle.

The guys sit there, drinking, smoking, taking in the music. Billy is on to bottle number two. No one is talking, and he doesn't like it. There is obviously a lot to talk about. He stands. He grabs a chair, and before anyone can prepare for it, swings it at the wall, shattering it into hundreds of flying splinters and chunks of wood. As if on cue, the music changes.

Brooks Orpik stands up and walks to the bathroom, unfazed. He closes and locks the door behind him. Everyone stares at one another, stunned, until they hear it. The sound of glass shattering, repeatedly, and an animalistic scream. They wait a moment, and it stops. The door opens. Brooks emerges then, blood dripping from his hands, shards of glass still hanging from his skin. Everyone gazes at him, silent, until Staal speaks up.

"Hey man...wanna help me with the T.V.?"

Orpik nods. They lift the cheap television from the stand, throwing it against the door. They proceed to throw it around the room, Feds joining in to help end its life as they stomp on the various parts.

Gonch takes his cigar and his drink over to the sliding glass doors to the balcony, surveying a beautiful skyline of our nation's capital. He pauses, takes a thoughtful puff of his cigar. He walks back inside and punches a hole in the wall. He stares at the hole he created. "Goddamn this country."

Sykie sits with his glass, surveying the action. He finishes what he has left in his glass and then grabs a full bottle off of the room service cart, pacing as he throws it back, considering the game, the series, the season. He swallows heavily. He sets his focus on the bedside table lamp, walks over and kicks it with soccer-like follow though and a loud scream.

Guerin stands on the balcony, listening to the mayhem in the room happily, a bottle of Jack in each hand. Crosby, who had been drinking slowly in the corner of the room, unsure if he wanted to be a part of this, stares at Evgeni Malkin for a moment. Geno is systematically deconstructing a dresser drawer, creating some sort of rusty-nail-studded plank of wood. He doesn't ask questions. He sees Guerin on the balcony, sees the empty bottle in his left hand. He feels every frustration, every retarded interview question, every uncalled penalty flash through him at once. He runs up behind Guerin, grabs the bottle, chucks it as far as he can into the parking lot. "EAT MY DICK, WASHINGTON," are the words that erupt from his mouth, as if he'd wanted to say it his entire life. They hear the glass shatter and a car alarm goes off. "What the FUCK do you want from me? This is what you people MADE me, and now you hate it?! Go FUCK yourselves."

"Good job, kid." Billy hands him his other bottle and heads back inside. Sid takes a swig and grimaces at the view.
Back inside, Geno is going ape shit on anything he can reach with his tetanus-ridden plank of doom. Garon and MAF are destroying every shred of artwork they can find. Cooke and Boucher are smashing the desk into pieces with their fists. TK and Eaton are punching through the windows. It is beautiful.

Adams looks around the room. He nods towards Gill. "Help me get the mattress." The two of them flip the mattress off of the bed, and the other guys rush over to help. They lift it on it's side and manage it to the balcony, where they heave it over the edge. For a moment, there is calm. They all stare at one another, panting. Letang takes another swig from his recently refilled glass. Malkin clears his throat. Orpik rips a shard of glass from his hands. Guerin slides something out of his duffel bag and into his pocket.

Max Talbot breaks the silence. "Let's go burn the fucker."

In the parking lot, the air is think with smoke. All of the guys are running back into their rooms, returning with game-used sticks, good luck charms, player manuals, tossing them onto the fire and screaming into the night. Talbot and Letang throw on an armload of unreal shirts. They burn brighter than magnesium.
Chris Kunitz disappears from the group, backing silently out from the light of the fire. Meanwhile, Eric Godard walks up behind Tyler Kennedy in a pimp suit.

"Whatcha guys doing?"

"Burnin' shit."

"...can I help?"


TK hands him the leg of the office desk from the room. Godard chucks it heavily at the fire. He steps back and smiles. Everyone cheers.

From above, they hear Kunitz scream "heads up!" They hardly have time to move out of the way before the entire dresser frame hits the fire, sending soot everywhere before being engulfed in flames. Next, the headboard lands heavily. Everyone is getting burnt by the flying embers. Like they give a shit.

Crosby takes off his 2009 playoff shirt and tosses it onto the fire. The guys notice, and everyone follows suit.

"This isn't the playoffs anymore, boys! This is war!"

The group screams. Guerin staggers up alongside Crosby and raises his bottle in the air. "Did you hear the kid?! THIS IS FUCKING WAR!" Everyone screams again.

Crosby laughs a "damn straight." He paces a little, the fire between himself and the rest of the group, which Kunitz has recently rejoined. "We can't let everyone else tell us how we're playing. We know what we're playing like, and we know we can do better than this. But we also know what we're doing right. The power play doesn't suck! We scored twice tonight! But you guys need to be behind me and you need to be behind everyone else. You don't win games because whoever the media is focusing on this week is on your team, you win because you want it. You're better than anyone else in the world at what you do. So fucking do it. The media will no longer hold reign over this series. We will."

Guerin breaks out the bottle in his pocket as everyone screams for Sid's inspirational speech. He makes rounds, pouring shots into everyone's glasses. They realize, settling down, that it is his storied Cobra Scorpion Whiskey. They all fall silent as they stand there with their shots. Guerin raises his glass.

"To the greatest sport ever played."

They all raise their glasses to the night sky, and proceed to knock back what is perhaps the most foul liquid known to man.

Talbot, drunk on hard liquor and power, runs to Guerin, looking crazed. "I wanna eat the snake man, I wanna do it."

Guerin grins and tosses him the bottle. "You have become a man."

On their way back up to the rooms, Kris Letang looks around nervously at some of the other guys. "We're gonna get killed for this, guys, aren't we?"

Rob Scuderi takes a swig from his bottle and looks at everyone from the corner of his eye. "No we won't. I've got it covered."

This night will never be heard about again.


Allison said...

so amazing....
i really didn't believe anything could make this loss go down easier... but that scorpian whiskey sure helped.

[ and plus 500 to the both of you for the bit about the etched glass;) ]

meecrofilm said...

This is a true story. This happened. Wednesday, we ride together. On majestic steeds. To the gates of victory!

Annie S said...

This is fucking AMAZING. You know it actually happened.

When I was in college and we were doing a play, about ten minutes before every performance, we (the whole cast and no one else, not the director, stage crew, or anyone) would have a primal scream, of sorts. We would stand in a room in a circle, turn off all the lights, shut our eyes, hold hands and squeeze and relax them, and hum lowly. Someone (a different person every night) would stand in the middle of the circle and give a rousing speech, saying that this was our show and we were going to blow them away and give them a night they would never forget, like we were going into fucking battle. Every so often he'd tell us to bring it up a level, and we'd hum louder. Finally, on the count of three, we'd all shout at the top of our lungs,


Then we'd be ready to kick ass.

That's what this reminded me of, though on a much huger scale, obviously.

PS, fun fact: Peter Laviolette went to Westfield State College, and was the speaker at my graduation. He's a nice guy.

wrap around curl said...

They will rise again. Like phoenix from flames...

jon7alt88 said...

quite possibly the most epic post ever... i feel no fear for Wednesdays game after that scene.

lyssa said...

This has got to be the best thing I've ever read. You've really outdone yourself. And I am now completely pumped and ready for Wednesday. Hell FUCKING yes, we got this.

Kat said...

*stands up and starts the slow clap*


jamestobrien said...


wmh said...

this is amazing. i am ready for wednesday now. fuck washington, crush their souls!

utterfrivolity said...

This is the single most inspirational thing I've read in my entire life. And I know, deep down in my heart, that every word of it is true. Particularly this part:

Gonch takes his cigar and his drink over to the sliding glass doors to the balcony, surveying a beautiful skyline of our nation's capital. He pauses, takes a thoughtful puff of his cigar. He walks back inside and punches a hole in the wall. He stares at the hole he created. "Goddamn this country."I don't know what I'm going to do with all this inspiration. All I know is, I might be sent to DC next week for business. Should this happen, I will savor the opportunity to sit in a Washington sports bar and watch the Pens demolish the Caps.

Vanessa said...

Holy Shit.
That was BEYOND epic. BEYOND.

Candy Man Fan said...

I feel as though I can take on the world after reading that. our boys will win this series, there will be blood. epic.

DrEvil2791 said...

Possibly the greatest thing I've ever read. It needs to be Wednesday right now. Holy shit, I'm about to break apart my desk.

1wingangel said...

Easily the most amazing piece of literature I've ever read. Hilarious to energizing to tear-inducing golden motivation...

Too many favorite excerpts to mention.

How do you ladies always know EXACTLY what the Pens need?

Instant favorite post ever. This must be in the Best Of section.

Absolutely PUMPED for Wednesday. You know the boys are bringing it.

I need to dismantle something violently. I'm so crazily inspired by this to do something. Incredible.

Pens_Addict said...

I'm sitting in campus computer lab gasping, laughing, practically crying from it's sheer brilliance! What's even better... I had some people stand behind me and read it too when they saw what site I was on!

I have no fear no going into Wednesday's game! No fear at all!
Blood will be spilled, faces will be hit, all hell shall break loose and the fury that is the Pittsburgh Penguins shall reign supreme once again!

We can take this series back, we can beat the ever-loving hell out of those Capitals, and we will go on to reclaim that blasted cup!

Nysha said...

Greatest fucking battle/rally cry/post ever. I seriously do hope this story somehow makes it to the Pens. So they all know that their real fans don't give a fuck what the media things; that we still know what they're capable of.


Crosby really does need to scream all those things. I honestly think it would make him feel better.

And your characterization of all of them is just so perfect. It's everything I could hope for them to be like, and more.

KD said...

I have never felt so inspired in my entire life.

mer said...

you know it happened.

eyebleaf said...

Wow. This is some motivational shit.

I was going to ask whether you Pens fans would agree that Chris Kunitz is kind of an asshole, but it doesn't even matter anymore, after reading this ...

Looking forward to Wednesday.

Ashley said...

uhm..i know they lived this, but could we possibly send this to them? if they relived this experience moments before the actual game, can you imagine the consequences?

GingerSnap said...

Oh, it is SO fucking on. They are going to destroy worlds tomorrow. I don't give a flying fuck what the media or anyone else has to say against them; the Penguins are taking this shit.


crmzak said...

COT DAYUM, that wasn't one of the most badass posts ever written or anything. Seriously, holy fucken shit. I'm in awe.

I haven't given up, but at the same time I needed to hear that. I was preparing to be a miserable biotch for the next two days, but this post changed that.

I thank you and everyone in a 2 mile radius of me thanks you.

25superstar said...

the boys are never ever fucking losing again.

holy shit that was epic.

billy g and his pimp strut FTW.

aaron said...

/sets down nobel prize for literature

/backs away slowly

srsly, burning unreal shirts?

unreal in and of itself.

go pens.

Jess said...

In the words of the great Ben Folds, "Let's rock this bitch."

jefe penguino said...


youve gotta send this to the team so they can verify the awesomeness that took place.


Jess S said...

True story. I expect there to be a headline in Washington such as, "Hotel ripped to shit."

Hello Jess. Sorry I took your name for a few weeks. I changed mine. Sorta.

Kevman7987 said...

Wow! All that was missing was putting on war paint and the decision to hunt and kill the most dangerous game... Ovechkin.

ali said...

Just incredible.

Someone said it before me -- I now have no doubt the Pens are going to win this thing...


I can't wait until Wednesday...

Raybin said...

Oh. My. GOD.

A Lightnin' Hopkins reference?!?!!

If I wasn't already an engaged man, you would have to get restraining order against me. Un. Real.

Chubs said...

@ Raybin- I'm not engaged, they might need a restraining order.

Can't say I expected a reference to burning magnesium (best part of freshman Chem lab).

Good lord, though. There needs to be a hall of fame we can put this in.

Amy said...


"Goddamn this country." I love it. I also had a blast picturing the part where the shirts come off. Of course this post is too full of WIN for me to pick a favorite part.

1wingangel said...

I actually initially pictured all of them shirtless, which made the playoff shirt-burning bit awkward.

I must have read this at least three times by now.

Amy said...

Ok. So I had this fortune cookie that said,

"Never fear! The end of something marks the start of something new."

And I was ready to cry, but then I told Jess and she was all like, "DUH. The end of the playoffs, the start of the war." And I was like, "I love you."
How's that for freaky though amirite??

Jess said...


Do it Pens.

*not the same Jess that posted above. This is my first time at this blog, but I will be back!

quiteprolific said...

me=stunned. Amazing stuff.

btumpak said...

the greatest post in the history of the pittsburgh penguins.

light some fires....

P.O. said...

very well written... i was picturing this scene going down in my head exactly the way you wrote it... makes me want to go and punch someone now.. how am i supposed to work the rest of the day??

Melinda said...

wow...just wow...thank you...tell me now though, what did scuds do. I want more of the story. Thank you for this.

Nathan said...

Jesus. I thought I pumped for the game, I come here from tPB and read this...Jesus. I need a throat to rip out, just like Steven Seagal showed me. Bring it.

SteelerChick said...

Awesome! Amazing! Incredible! If that story doesn't pump up the fans, I don't know what will! {STANDING OVATION}

gpclay said...

Well done. WIN WIN WIN, especially for the music - I read each piece until the music ended, then moved on. So full of Awesome that it's bursting at the seams.

We're going back to D.C. on Saturday tied 2-2, and we're gonna win this series.


bluzdude said...

This is the post that makes PH a legend. I'm ready to lace'em up myself. Let's DO this shit...

Stoosh said...

There is nothing I could type that would adequately do this post justice, especially in light of the way this team just played tonight to get this series to two-games-to-one. After watching the game first and then reading this post, it all makes sense now.

Rob said...


beth said...

this is amazing! my school does something simmialr to this, we scream "buck my salls" when the band marches on to the field........switch the b and s....we used to get away with the real thuing until people started listening to what the band was sayinggg........

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Puck Huffers by Kimberly Davidson and Zoƫ Hayden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.