This is another piece from newcomer Kelsey Eyes. Some of you asked what proves she knows anything about hockey. This article probably isn’t that proof, but you also asked what a girl perspective brings, and this article definitely does that… Because like most of my experiences with women, I have no idea what the hell she is talking about and yet I still managed to enjoy it.
**Note: This article is about Dustin Penner, it will contain no Tom-Foolery about Pancakes. I do not take the subject of carb-laden ingestibles lightly – I am a model, Goddamn it. Pancakes aren’t even free range.**
You love Penner. I love Penner. My Canadian grandmother loves Penner. We follow him on Twitter and marvel at a professional athlete with a sense of humour. We add his favourite EDM tracks to our workout playlists and look at endless photos of his German Shepherd, Ryback.
We also spend a crap ton of time and money reserving and purchasing game-worn Penner jerseys that he refuses to sign. But I ain’t bitter.
We want to like him, but he when it comes to actually playing hockey, he just makes it so damn hard. During our regular season, he skates onto the ice occasionally, you know, to stretch his legs, and you can hear the crowd cajole – “Common, Penner!”, “ Jesus, Penner!”. The other night at Staples, I overheard a woman powdering her nose in the ladies room tell her friend, “Penner is gorgeous as hell, but I mean, like seriously. Get it together”.
But that was the regular season, now it’s the playoffs and with it comes a Penner who is useful.
What motivates Dustin to “get it together” during the Playoffs that just doesn’t stick throughout the season?
You see, Dustin Penner is that kid in class constantly asking the teacher, “Yeaaaaah, is this going to be on the test?” He has all the ability in the world to play hockey: a large body, he can throw his weight around in a check, he’s strong, albeit not necessarily nimble, reads situations well, and can usually hustle a puck into the net in the rebound shuffle (largely due to being an enormous eye sore in front of the crease). But he lacks motivation in situations that don’t involve the heavens opening and Anze Kopitar, in flowing white robes, appearing to him and saying, “Be not afraid, for I have delivered you the Stanley Cup. Drink from it water, and it shall be really, really expensive wine and not that five dollar Korbel crap you usually drink.”
Is it the blessings of The Father, The Son and the Holy Anze (Amen)? Or does he still believe what Quick told him that one time about getting five rings… each one representing an element of nature: Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and one that randomly represents Heart. Penner would be tasked with defending the Earth from the greatest natural disasters and also teaching kids about recycling and healthy afterschool snacks.
What isn’t clear is what I’m talking about. What IS clear is that Playoff Penner is here and Playoff Penner is on fire.
He earned my attention a mere two minutes into the first period, when I saw him jostling with Ryan Reaves during the face-off. With tremendous effort he attempts to keep Reaves’ stick from receiving a pass, and then, after thwarting his efforts, Penner skates with long strides and gains huge momentum following the puck in deep. Five game minutes later, he is taking a faceoff, he is digging the puck out from a fallen Nolan, shoving Reaves, and placing himself in front of the crease for a shot on goal that, though it was saved by Elliott, still represents the kind of play we wait too long to enjoy.
Your reaction might be; isn’t that what he is supposed to do? And it should be, I agree. The post season for Penner is almost like the Magic Hour of sunset for those of us models and photographers, when there is a special quality to the light. When Playoffs set, the spark within Penner is illuminated and suddenly he is virile, swift, and confident. Every motion has an added hum of energy and force. We wait all season to see it.
I won’t give the written play-by-play of every Penner game moment, as many of us watched the game live, and some of us super-nerds watched it several times over on DVR. However, I will leave you with the last glimmer of hope that the fingernail-eating, middle-of-shift-bench-migrating Penner has left us.
So I say to Mr. Penner, whatever is melting your butter about Playoff hockey, you do you. If it’s more physical contact with other men that is getting you in the spirit of poking things and getting things in deep, you do that. If it is the intoxicating smell of leftover food on your beard that drives you, you do that too.
Categories: L.A. Kings News