I have to admit, this one stung a bit. I’m guessing this it sort of what it feels like to be Caps fan right now (except for that little part where this is the Eastern Conference Finals, and we haven’t been eliminated yet). The Penguins outplayed the hell out of the Senators last night, yet they have a big fat L to show for it. All because Craigy Rat Face decided to stand on his head after the Penguins ruined his birthday on Sunday. Now, we’re off to our second Game 7 in two weeks. Just a total butthole tightener.
If anything, though, maybe a few Yinzers can take a step back. Before last night’s game, all Pens fans were talking about was how they’d match up against the Preds in the Stanley Cup Final. Lesson 101 on playoff hockey: don’t count your chickens until they’re hatched (or whatever that stupid fucking phrase is). Yeah, the Pens beat the living shit out of the Sens in Game 5. But you know what? That counted as one game. ONE. That’s it. They didn’t win the series just because they played really, really well for a full 60-minutes in Game 5. People don’t seem to understand that. The Sens have been a resilient team all year-long, and people (like me) can’t respect that until they dump in your mouth the moment you think your team is going to walk all over them en route to the finals.
With all that said, I still feel confident the Pens will take Game 7. For starters, they’re home. They have a combined record (regular season/postseason) of 37-9-4 at the Paint Can this year. That’s ABSURDLY good. Second off, they’ve looked good the past three games (even if one of those turned out to be a loss). And finally, they’ve got the experience. This team has played in a bunch of huge games over the past two seasons, and if there’s one thing we can all agree on about this team, it’s that they’re extremely resilient. Mike Sullivan deserves a lot of credit here. This team has the ability to take one on the chin one game, then come back the next game and play with a short-term memory. Combine that with the fact that Matt Murray has a 7-0 record after losing a game in the postseason, and this is a no-brainer.
Pens in 7.
P.S. – If they lose, I should probably quit blogging.