PITTSBURGH -- For the 12,000 fans who were lucky enough to get one of the limited tickets available, (and even those who paid up to $160 to scalpers) the end to today’s alumni game didn’t really matter.
Obviously it would have been better had the Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals rather than tying them 5-5 in this politically correct-labeled old-timers matchup, even more so had former captain and current team owner Mario Lemieux scored a goal or three. But Lemieux did get a couple of assists, one of them on a goal by Rob Brown, his former linemate who might have appreciated the setup more had it come 23 years ago.
“He finally got me my 50th,” laughed Brown, who scored 49 times in his best season with the Penguins.
Mind you, no one was complaining on what late, great Penguins coach Bob Johnson would have definitely called a great day for hockey. The temperature was 41 degrees at the start, it was dry and the sun managed to pop out before it was all over.
“It was fun to be a part of,” Lemieux said. “I saw some old faces again, guys I haven’t seen for a long time, some guys from the Cup years and older guys. It was pretty special for all of us. These are memories that we can cherish for a long time."
For those in the stands though, this was less about creating memories than bringing back old ones, most notably when the Penguins showed flashes of the past by taking the lead on the power play late in the final period. Paul Coffey started things with a familiar rush, Lemieux directed traffic from the wall on his off wing and Larry Murphy quarterbacked from the point, with Ron Francis and Kevin Stevens doing the screening in front of Caps goalie Don Beaupre.
“Pretty much the same setup we had 20 years ago,” Lemieux laughed. “It looked like we knew what we were doing.”
Apparently because Francis neatly deflected the shot Murphy took after a feed from Lemieux. The Caps didn't quit though and drew even before it was over on a goal by Peter Bondra.
“What else do you expect from that guy,” Stevens said. “Some things never change.”
Even when they do.
No shootout necessary
Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:05 pm