Somewhere deep down in the bowels of CEC, Mario Lemieux is pacing back and forth with the thought of the Eastern Conference Finals haunting him. Somewhere in some Pittsburgh high rise, Sidney Crosby wakes up screaming with nightmares of Tuukka Rask stopping pucks. Somewhere else, in Russia, Evgeni Malkin wears a cod piece and goes fishing.
I actually don't know if any of these things outside of Geno going fishing actually happen, but tonight is the first meeting of these two teams since the Penguins were embarrassed by the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals. One could also make the case that this current Pens team isn't as good as last year's Pens team. They're currently without James Neal, Beau Bennett and Rob Scuderi (who was injured in the game vs Toronto). Also, don't forget about ex-Bruins Chuck Kobasew, who will now be out for an extended period of time.
But they're still one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Look, say what you want about Crosby. He's a bitch, he's a crybaby, he whines and for some reason he put out a video and tried to target Chara as to intentionally punching him in the jaw but he's fucking dominating so far this season. Dude leads the league in points (20), is second in assists (12) and sixth in goals (8). Do I think the way he goes about his shit off the ice is a problem in Pittsburgh? Maybe, but there's no doubt he brings it on the ice.
Except in the Conference Finals.
But the Penguins can be beat, especially by the Bruins. If Boston wants to win this game, they need to do what they do best – grind Pittsburgh down. It's cliche, I know, but Boston deployed a trap style of defense in the Conference Finals that Pittsburgh couldn't shake free from. Could Claude deploy that tonight? No idea. I'm not sure shaking up your system for one game is worth the two points this early in the season. Then again, two points is two points and since Toronto looks legit this early on, you grab them when you can.
Either way, Crosby is going to have a hell of a time trying to shake off Patrice Bergeron as much as Patrice Bergeron is going to have a hell of a time keeping Sidney Crosby in check.
It should be a pretty good game tonight, except that it's on NBC Sports Network which means we have to listen to Pierre ballwash the Penguins for three hours.
Also, fuck baseball.
There, I said it.
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Reilly Smith – Patrice Bergeron – Brad Marchand
Carl Söderberg – Chris Kelly – Jordan Caron
Shawn Thornton – Gregory Campbell – Dan Paille
Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg – Dougie Hamilton
Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid
Puck Drop: 8pm EST
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
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