Archive for the ‘Playoffs’ Category

The Next Level!

April 26, 2009
The last two Penguin games have been heart stoppers. It seemed that we forgot how to play our style of hockey. I was actually worried about the series simply because we let them take control. Then, out out nowhere, our hero emerged. Was he on the first line? Nope. Second line? Nope again. Third? Wrong again. It was our hometown favorite Max Talbot to the rescue. It is amazing what a simple fight can do for a team. And they want to take fighting out of hockey? This is the definition of why it needs to stay in!

In game five at home, we played great in the first period, out shooting the Flyers 15-5 and getting all kinds of chances. Unfortunately none went behind Biron. The spirits were down and the Flyers scored one more in the second and two in the third to clinch it. We were outplayed and outmaneuvered in the second two periods. We somehow forced ourselves out of that game. We let them win that battle. It was at home as well. It shouldn’t have happened. The battle we can lose, but not the War!

Game six started almost the same way, although we looked much better. The Flyers got two quick goals in the first though and one early in the second and it looked like game five all over again. I was scared to come back to Pittsburgh for game seven. I know how I felt last year when other teams were not able to close it out and forced into it. I felt that they weren’t Stanley Cup quality. That is just how my mind works. I feel if a team can’t close it out soon after going up three games to one or none, they won’t make it to the finals. I am glad the Pens didn’t give me that thought.

At 4:21 in the second period, we were down 3-0. Every minute before that mark in the second, we looked like we were done. We looked like we were going to lose and deservedly so. Then Max Talbot got on the ice and started talking to Daniel Carcillo, an ex-Penguin for Wilkes-Barre. He used to play with Max down there. Now, as far as fighting goes, you don’t typically fight when you are up 3-0, simply because you could possibly, win or lose, give the other team some momentum. When Max asked for the fight, Carcillo was hesitant even though he wanted to, but with some encouragement from the bench, he agreed. This was the best example of a player being a bonehead. Max may have been beaten in that fight, but what happened afterward with the team was nothing short of amazing.

In a matter of 14 seconds after the fight, Evgeni Malkin crashed the net and Ruslan Fedotenko push the puck in past Biron’s right pad. He finally broke the ice after a game and a half of not scoring. It also looked as if it broke Biron’s will to play on the level he had been previously. Before the period was up, we had Mark Eaton and Sidney Crosby scoring in a similar fashion, batting the puck out of mid-air into the net after a juicy rebound. If you do the math right, we tied it. If the Flyers truly deserved to win this one, they wouldn’t have let that tying goal in.

Just past two minutes into the third period the clincher happened. Malkin skated into the zone and it looked like he pushed their defense back, without actually touching anyone. He then had a nice little dish to Sergei Gonchar who wound up and fired his signature slap shot into the top left corner of the net. Biron didn’t have a prayer. They let the Penguins control the ice. That was all she wrote aside from the hard fought empty netter by Crosby in the end. We won the game and clinched the series, now we wait for our next opponent.

Now, back to fighting. I am a big proponent of fighting in hockey, but only a certain kind. This was it. It was the type that comes with passion and emotion. Now I have said that I didn’t like the ones right after the faceoff, but in this case, it was right. I guess it is circumstantial. What I mean is that when you send your heavyweight guy out that is know to be a fighter and the other team does as well, it isn’t an emotional fight. It is just their jobs and doesn’t have the same effect. Now, if the great hockey minds can figure out how to control the difference, that would make it great!
Just to let you know, Boston won its series as the first seed, so if the Rangers knock off Washington today, no matter what, Boston would face them and we would get whomever wins between New Jersey and Carolina. If the Rangers eventually lose the series against the Caps, then we would play Boston. I don’t care who we play, but think of this…the last two times we played Boston in the Conference Finals, we won and went on to win the Stanley Cup!

Let’s Go Pens!

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Going Into Battle

April 21, 2009
Now let me start off about the bad luck I brought upon our team. I am here to apologize for that. I was forced to go to drill for the National Guard and couldn’t wear my lucky Lemieux playoff sweater. I knew that the chances of us winning while these two circumstances were in place was slim. I just wanted to apologize to all the superstitious fans in Penguin Nation.
Tonight is the night to take back the series. We need a big win in Philly to go up three games to one. We want to win this in five. It would be good for us to finish them early so we can prepare for our next opponent.

Boston looks to be wrapping up Montreal, Washington decided to show up finally, but in the wrong city, and the Devils are still ahead in theirs. It is hard to determine whether or not my predictions will come true, but only time will tell. For the record, I predicted Boston, New York, and Carolina would win their series, oh, along with Pittsburgh.

This is going to be a battle once again in Philly. We got a little scrap happy in the last game and it drew us out of the style we play. We forgot how to play defense as well. This has to change. It has to change tonight!

“Veni, vidi, vici.”
(I came, I saw, I conquered)
– Julius Caesar

“Come on you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?”
– Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly
“I have not yet begun to fight.”
– Captain John Paul Jones

“Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower
“No good decision was ever made in a swivel chair.”
– George S. Patton

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”
– Colin Powell

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.”
– Norman Schwarzkopf

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure.”
– Colin Powell

This isn’t the time to worry whether or not we can win, it is a time to worry about how bad we are going to beat them!

Let’s Go Pens!