A couple of times a season we like to sit behind the bench. Sure, it's a trade-off. Obviously you aren't going to get the perfect view of the game that you'd have 20 rows higher, but it does provide a great look inside the constant flurry of activity between coaches, players, officials, trainers and equipment guys. That was particularly true in this game given the unreal nature of the closing minutes. Check out our photos from the game and the Pens morning skate after the jump.
***** Morning Skate *****
We lucked out and, by a happy accident, received passes to the season ticket holder skate along with our game tickets. New Canes coach Kirk Muller, unaware of the event, cancelled his team's practice session, but most importantly we were able to watch the Pens take the ice for their morning workout.
However, before that happened, fans were treated to a Q&A session with Chuck Kaiton, the radio voice of the Hurricanes, and legendary Pens play-by-play man Mike Lange. While the Q&A was entertaining (featuring the two broadcasters doing impersonations of each other), the best part was getting Mike to pose for a quick photo with the lucky sock.
This lucky young man was the recipient of Dan Bylsma's stick at the end of practice. Coach had skated along the glass holding up the stick and quite a few kids were pleading their case for why they should get it. Disco came up to the bench and handed the stick to knitting lady over the glass to give to the boy in the photo. This is pure speculation, but we wondered if he thought it was our son. Kid was pretty cool, but he belonged to the guy sitting behind us. In any event, it certainly made his day.
As Sid was making his way off the ice, he stopped for a little game to see if he could bat a puck into the net from outside the gate. Of course he got it. May have been a few dollars changing hands on that one.
***** The Game *****
Oh yeah, right, there was a game that night as well.
No cause for alarm. I'm sure Tony G is simply going for his line-up card.
Not sure why but each time I tried to get a good photo of the brothers Staal, Jordan's image was nice and clear while Eric was fuzzy, distorted. Maybe Eric is evil and that is blocking my camera? I don't know.
When Flower isn't playing, he becomes Johnny's biggest fan.
Engo took a tough hit and gingerly made his way off the ice.
CFA was on fire. Even Sid was asking him for pointers.
Wait, maybe Flower was Sid's biggest fan.
Arron Asham scored to put the Pens up 2-1 in the third.
The Pens played the final minutes with a packed house in the penalty box, at one time including three of their top penalty killers.
With the Canes goalie pulled, they enjoyed a 6-on-3 advantage.
The Pens were able to kill it off in the final seconds, securing the 3-2 win.
Above is just a selection of our photos from practice and the game. Check out the full albums below.
Morning skate: Pens @ Canes: