Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Missing Piece

As the Pens get more and more trampled and my prediction seems more and more unlikely, I would like to offer a totally unreasonable explanation for the problems faced by those youngsters from Pittsburgh.

As I looked at their sad faces on the bench and my beloved Sid's endearingly delusional determination in the press room, I realized that the Pens are really missing a very important factor in their quest for Lord Stanley's Cup.

Scoring? Discipline? Defensive responsibility? All of these are very reasonable answers, but they're not what I'm looking for.

What the Pens are missing - what Sid is missing- is...
Colby Armstrong

It was said over and over again before Colby was traded in the Hossa and Dupuis deal - Army was the "glue" that held the locker room together. Now, these boys are becoming more and more "unglued" with each passing moment in these Finals. Yes, they're talented, but they're also young and feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders. If there was one thing Army did, it was bring some much needed laughter and lightness to what could have been a very pressure-filled team.

I will admit, I have a EXTREME personal bias towards Colby Armstrong. He is in the running for, if not already the winner of, the title of "Katie's favorite NHL-er who is not a Buffalo Sabre." He is the definition of the kind of player I love - gritty and chippy, hits hard, plays far outside of his expectations, and is a great guy off the ice. When he got traded, I was more emotional than I was for Soupy. It still pains me to see that he is just as broken up about the trade today as he was 3 months ago. In a time where we often get jaded about player's attachments to a team, it's nice to see that it genuinely broke his heart to leave the Pens.

I read this article just before watching Game 2, and it made me so sad. What stung the most was seeing just how much he misses playing with Sid. I have a feeling the separation anxiety is mutual. Colby was Sid's grounding force, always making fun of him and allowing Sid to mock him right back. Seeing all the stress on Sid's face right now makes me wonder just how much he misses having someone to make him laugh and forget that he has to be the "face of the NHL."

There is nothing sadder to me than splitting up a perfectly good bro-mance

I know in the article Colby said he didn't want to call Sid because it would distract him and "he's a psycho," but I think that Sid needs his best friend right now. Hopefully, he can tell him how pathetic he thinks his beard is, but let him know that he's growing one, too.

I know that the sensible hockey fan in me says that the Hossa trade was the thing that made this run possible for the Pens. Colby is not a better player than Hossa; that I'll admit to. With Colby in Pittsburgh, who knows if they would have even made it this far. The thing is, though, that sometimes fanhood isn't sensible; it's emotional and totally irrational. I'm a fan of Colby Armstrong, and I miss him on my second favorite team. I miss celebrations like this:
So, come on, Sid, Protect the Chops, and do it for Colby.


dani said...



Katie said...

Who doesn't love Army? :(

I wish he was going along for the ride this postseason with his BFF...it makes me so sad.

Jennifer said...

Aaaawwwwww, that was so sad! :(

No wonder Sid is having a hard time concentrating on the game. He's thinking about HIS broken heart, too!

Anne said...

I honestly was shocked when Army was traded, mostly because I can't imagine it didn't go unnoticed that he and Sid were so close. I'm sure it was no accident that the guy who needed to be chilled out the most was roomed with the guy who could chill him out the best. I was really surprised that it went down, considering the thought of messing with anything Sid-related seems totally verboten in Pittsburgh. Couldn't they have tossed them Tyler Kennedy or like Adam Hall instead? I remember just being like "What? Army? Really? Wow, they must've been desperate to get Hossa."

Katie said...

Jennifer, I really think a broken heart is the only answer for Sid these days. In his press conference today, he sounded so dejected, and I really hope Colby at least tries to get a hold of him - Sid needs that now, I think.

I'm sure it was no accident that the guy who needed to be chilled out the most was roomed with the guy who could chill him out the best.

Anne, I think Army was the perfect roomie for Sid - he got him to take his mind off of hockey for probably the first time in his young life. I remember wondering why Sid took so long after the trade to say something public about it, but then my friend in Pittsburgh told me that she'd heard on the radio that he was too emotional to talk about it. :(

Couldn't they have tossed them Tyler Kennedy

Seriously! Everyone would have been happier with that move!

dani said...

I was shocked too! It's freakin' ARMY!

I can't stop looking at that picture of Sidney and Army and the cheeks! It's so cute. I want a huge picture of that blown up. I would most definitely hang it on my wall! haha

Katie said...

Dani, that picture is my favorite of the two of them - it's too cute for words. I just wish I could find a better version; then I would totally frame it and put it on my nightstand in a little frame with hearts around it. haha

And I think Colby must have FINALLY talked some sense into Sid - he was AMAZING tonight!