Atlanta Thrashers At Pittsburgh Penguins
April 3, 2010


So, I'm chatting with one of my hockey buddies, Stefan, one night and just out of the blue, he's like, "You wanna go to Pittsburgh next weekend?" He pointed out that they're tearing down their old arena after this season is done, so it's one of those "see it before it's gone" things. I'm always a fan of roadtrips, so I was easily persuaded. We talked Travis, Kalia, and Ethan into going as well, purchased our tickets, and saddled up for a weekend of fun.

We left on Friday afternoon and drove as long as we could stand it before getting a hotel about two hours south of Pittsburgh. We got up on Saturday, grabbed some breakfast, and headed into town. There were five of us, all decked out in our Thrashers gear. There were 17,000 of them. It was a bit intimidating, to say the least, but we held our heads high and walked on. We overheard some asinine comments from the crowd. We got heckled by their kids. They wouldn't even tell us where Will Call was located.

Going in, I just knew we were going to get slaughtered. I was really doing it for the fun of the roadtrip and not because I was hoping to send some Penguins fans home stunned. These are the defending Stanley Cup champions, after all, and we drafted fourth overall last year. But I have to say, it was a really good game! The Thrashers led or were tied the entire game. I don't think the Pens fans were prepared for that kind of showing at all. We eventually lost in overtime, unfortunately, but it wasn't a loss to be ashamed of, by any means.

We began our trip home after the game, grabbed some sleep at a hotel in the Carolinas, and got home on Sunday. Overall, it was a very successful and very fun roadtrip. We've got some great inside jokes and memories that will last a lifetime, and we got to see Mellon Arena before it was torn down. I'd call that one a win.

Their program cover featured a previous Thrasher, Super Duper.

"Ethan, did you remember to bring directions?"

This is about what the highway began to look like after a while.

A shot of the Pittsburgh suburbs.

We're getting close!

I told Stefan to make sure he got some of the daffodils in there. I think that's the only color we saw in Pittsburgh.

Oooh. A tunnel!

The other side of said tunnel, and our first glimpse of downtown Pittsburgh.

Not Mellon Arena.

Also not Mellon Arena.

Passing a picturesque bridge.

Hahaha! Win.

And there you have it, folks. The igloo.

Back when Mellon Arena was first built, the top was actually retractable. They've since fixed it in place.

Gate One was right next to Will Call. No thanks to the locals for us finding it.

Inside the arena.

A great picture of our crew!

A look up at the dome.

Here come our boys for warm-ups!

The lighting wasn't as good as Philips Arena, so we got lots of blur.


Moose gets in the zone.

We were right up front to support our team, but some loser attendant made us sit down. Hence the low angle.

Pavs watches the action.

Oduya stops in our area.

Moose lowers the mask to prepare for battle.

A wider shot of warm-ups and the arena.

Pavelec seems a bit startled.

Crashing the net.

A shot from our seats. In the corridor, we could actually touch the ceiling.

A shot of the arena from our seats.

Ethan and Kalia brought their Thrashers spirit!

Travis is a bit more suspicious.

Stefan gets artistic.

A departing shot of the arena and final score. No game pics to speak of, as our seats were a bit too far away.

One of the very narrow corridors in this aging building.

One of the lower levels.

On our way out to the car.

Oh jeez. For real?

Fans waiting to catch a peek at the departing teams.

Now leaving Pittsburgh.

A shot of the local architecture.

A couple more houses.

Another bridge shot. As you can see, Pittsburgh is a rather industrial looking city.

Here we are the next day on our way home. Look! Dragons!

Looks like someone just tanned that hiney!

We watched Zombieland on our trip, so Travis felt victorious after getting some Twinkies.

My souvenir: the water bottle.

Malkin and Staal on one side.

Fleury and Orpik on the other.