PITTSBURGH VS. WASHINGTON
PPG PAINTS ARENA – PITTSBURGH, PA
CAPITALS LEAD THE SERIES 3-2
Good morning, Pens fans.
Here we are again for the fifth time in three years. The Pittsburgh Penguins are staring at the edge of the cliff after Saturday night’s loss.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
2016 – Eastern Conference Final
The Pengs drop Games Four and Five against Tampa and find themselves staring down elimination. They whip it out, keeping with the culture in Florida, take Game Six, come home and outlast the Bolts in Game Seven. To the Stanley Cup Final we went.
2017 – Second Round
The Caps roar back from down 3-1 in the series to tie it at 3. They absolutely brain the Penguins in Game Six, at home. The Pengs head to Washington and stun them. As usual.
2017 – Eastern Conference Final
Craig Anderson steals the show after getting lit up in Game Five, the Senators force Game Seven and the Pens get a double OT winner to send them back to the Cup Final.
What’s the point of all this? Not to give perspective on how lucky we’ve been the last two years or to make everyone feel better, it’s to tell you – put your damn shovels down and stop writing the eulogy.
We’ll talk about how good they’ve been when they’re making their way to Point State Park in a month. We’ll revel in the greatness of Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel in July when we’re drinking cold ones on The Fourth. These battle-tested sons of bitches aren’t dead yet and it would be foolish of you to start picking out a casket.
The Mike Sullivan, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel Penguins have stared the Grim Reaper in the face four times in the past two years and made that hooded bastard blink, took that sickle, turned it sideways and shoved it straight up his candy ass.
If you think this roster is going quietly into the oblivion, you don’t know this roster.
If you think the cold-blooded assassin in the net tonight is just going to call it quits after a rough loss, I’d suggest you check the shine on the two rings he has on that glove hand of his.
If you think The Russian Bear will be anything but score tonight, keep an eye on your borscht because 71 is gunning for it.
If you think Sidney Crosby is going to just let Alex Ovechkin get to the winning side of the handshake line without making him scratch and claw through hell, you’ve got another thing coming.
Put on your big kid pants, grab your luckiest Pens jersey, sit in your favorite seat and buckle the hell up. We’ve got 60 minutes of war to come.
LINES (credit: The Good Doctor Rad):
The Pens were the better team for the vast majority of the last two games. With that in mind and Mike Sullivan having last change at The Paint Can… buddy, Barry Trotz better tighten that top button, because The General is coming for necks (or the lack thereof).
It’s not about stats tonight. It’s not about processed-based analysis or what you think you know. It’s about digging deep down inside and finding out what you’re made of.