Many have wondered how James Neal has been so good at terminating goaltenders these past two seasons. The above photo, taken Friday night, may provide some of the first evidence of what has long been suspected among fans. The high-scoring Pens winger appears to be, in fact, part man, part machine. Outside, living human tissue - flesh, skin, great hair. Underneath, a hyperalloy combat chassis - micro processor-controlled, fully armored. Very tough.
Anyway, PensKnittngLady was otherwise engaged Friday evening so I went with a buddy of mine to Century III Mall in West Mifflin to get some stuff signed by the cybernetic organism and teammates Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and Simon Despres.
Check out all of the photos from the signing after the jump:
Cyberdyne Systems model T-18, a.k.a. James Neal, really enjoyed the "Wanted" poster of him and Geno, so much that he whipped out his cell phone to take a pic of it.
Also got Neal to sign this famous "Buffalo" pic from last season. Duper would add his autograph a bit later.
After what seemed like only a minute, and probably was, it was time to move on to the NHL's top scoring defenseman, Kris Letang. It's really no secret that he's one of my favorite players and so, naturally, I generally can't manage to put two coherent words together while in his presence. Luckily, that doesn't impact his ability to deliver a superb autograph.
Duper is always one of the coolest guys on the team to interact with and tonight was no different. While signing the "Buffalo" pic, he asked why Knitting Lady wasn't there, seeming concerned by her absence. I assured him that the Pens current 7-game winning streak and undefeated record in March were not in jeopardy, that she would be at the game Saturday cheering on the Pens from behind the net. He seemed genuinely relieved by this news.
Finally, it was time to move on to young defenseman Simon Despres, who provided on of my favorite photos of the evening, a pic of him signing the pic of him holding Knitting Lady's sock. Someday, he will sign this pic, and I will take a pic of it when he does. I think you can see where this is going.
All in all, not a bad way to spend a Friday evening before back-to-back weekend Pens games.