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Around The League – A Fans View!

In the First Edition of Around The League, I’m going to Focus on the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Penguins, for years have invaded our beloved Nationwide Arena, and cheered as loud as they do in the CONSOL Energy Center.  But this year is different.  Now both teams are in the newly formed Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference, and its almost guaranteed to turn into an ugly border war!

The Penguins, winners of the Stanley Cup in 2009, boast a very large payroll and a roster jammed packed with All-World Players.  Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and James Neal, to name a few.  So far this season, they have not skipped a beat in terms of play.  Boasting a 7-2 record, scoring 31 goals through 9 games, they are sitting atop the Metro Division by 3 points, ahead of Carolina of all teams.  The CBJ/Penguins Rivalry starts on November 1st in Pittsburgh, and then the teams turn back around and play in Columbus on the 2nd.  A pair of hard nosed, gritty, hard working teams, playing each other on back to back nights, yeah I’m guessing this is going to be a nasty 2 games.

This series is focused on the fans.  I wanted to get their perspective on how they view a budding rivalry between their team and the CBJ.  Or if their team is a Western Conference team, how they feel about the Jackets leaving and heading East.

I had a chat with Heather S., A die-hard Penguins fan.  She LOVES her team, I mean REALLY LOVES her team.  She lives in Baltimore MD, YES that Baltimore, very close to the hated Capitals.  But she has Pittsburgh roots, and from what I gather, she’s not stopping that anytime soon.  So I sat down with her and talked to her about her team, from a Fans View. Enjoy!

FTC: How long have you been a Penguins Fan?

HS: My Dad tried to get me into liking hockey for a long time! It took me about 10 years but I finally caught on, and have been a fan for about 7 years now. The Penguins have always been and always will be my team!

FTC: Who’s your favorite Player?

HS: My favorite player? I can only pick one? haha This is a tough decision, because I absolutely love Geno (Evgeni Malkin) and Sidney Crosby BUT I’ll go with Sidney. He is a phenomenal player and watching him play is inspirational. He truly loves the game and no matter what injuries come his way, he fights to get back on the ice as soon as he can.

FTC: So You’re a Crosby fan? lol Why do you like the Penguins so much?

HS:  I love the Penguins for a lot of reasons. Mainly because my Dad has always been a Pens fan, and I’ve spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is hands down my favorite city. I guess you could say my love for them just came naturally. They are a very classy organization and how can you hate a team when they are  owned by one of the greatest players to play the game, Mario Lemieux?

FTC: How do feel about the NHL being realigned, moving the CBJ into the East?

HS:  I’m kind of excited about the realignment. Our division was tough before this year, and will be even more challenging for years to come! I see a new rivalry brewing between the Pens and the Blue Jackets since the two cities are so close together. Could get interesting!

FTC: It’s going to get nasty for sure!  Who do you think is Pittsburghs biggest rivalry?

HS: I would say our biggest rivalry is the Philthadelphia Flyers. Talk about two teams that hate each other! It’s a rivalry that will never die, and I’d say it’s one of the biggest rivalries in the league.

FTC: What do you know about the Columbus Blue Jackets?

HS: What do I know about the Columbus Blue Jackets?  Hmmm not a whole lot…I know they made one heck of an attempt at the playoffs last year. I think a lot of people counted them out, but they definitely left an impression. I didn’t start paying too much attention to them until my recent trips to Columbus in the past year and now I have a pal that’s a big fan of them! I think they are going to do well this year…but not as well as the Penguins! :-P

FTC: Yeah your friend sounds kind of cool! (wink wink) Do you attend any Pens/Caps games?

HS: I have yet to attend my first Pens vs Caps game, but I’ve been looking at tickets for next months game in DC! Should be interesting since my boyfriend is a Capitals fan! I might have to leave him at home.

FTC: Yeah I can see an argument starting there, you two may need to drop the gloves!!

HS: We both know who would win that one!!

That was a fun conversation I had with Heather.  She is as die-hard a fan as you will ever meet.  Lots of luck to her and her Penguins, but I hope we beat them every time we play them.  Obviously I have to root for my CBJ!  She understands that…I hope!

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