Similar to before Game 7 against the Capitals and Game 4 against the Sens, lots of Penguins fans found themselves staring down the Monongahela from the top of the Liberty Bridge prior to Game 5 last night. And just like after those other two games, these same people are prancing around today already scouting out the weather forecast for Tuesday and deciding what jerseys to wear at the parade. Sad.

I’m not here to say I think the Penguins are going to lose Game 6 Sunday night in Nashville (I actually feel quite the opposite). All I’m saying is that people need to temper their goddamn expectations. In playoff hockey, a win’s a win and a loss’s a loss. Doesn’t matter if you win by 1 goal or 20 goals. All it means is you won a SINGLE game (CC: Detroit Red Wings, 2009). Not the next one, too. Now, if the Pens come out on Sunday like they did last night, there’s a very high probability we’ll be witnessing that smurf Gary Bettman hand over Lord Stanley’s Cup to Sid for the third time in his career. But before we get all hyped up to boo the shit out of that asshole, I’m not so sure the Pens can replicate that exact level of play they displayed last night.

Let me be clear for a second. The Penguins flat out DESTROYED the Predators in every facet of the game last night – offense, defense, goaltending, puck battles, noogying.

You name it. The Pens dominated it. Hell, even Ron motherfucking Hainsey got himself in the mix.

I’d like to acknowledge the fact that Hainsey straight up dumped in all of our mouths last night. The guy has been the equivalent of a human garbage can for 23 games this postseason, yet he decided to show up in one of the most pivotal games of the entire year. Big game Ron was out there delivering bone crushing hits, avoiding defenders like Houdini, and putting pucks in the back of the net. I probably owe him an apology for dogging him all postseason, but in all reality, he’ll most likely turn the puck over 72 times in Game 6 when the Pens are up a goal in the 3rd period. So no, there won’t be any apologies today.

Back to Game 6. All the Penguins need to do is play another full 60 minutes somewhere close to last night’s, and it’s safe to say they’ll be crowned Stanley Cup champs for the second time in 365 days. Pretty surreal, to be honest.

A few final thoughts here:

  • Sidney Crosby is turning into a goddamn villain and I love it. This is a wild statement, but I think we’re witnessing him play the best hockey of his entire career right now over these past two games.
  • If Malkin and Kessel play again like they did last night, there shouldn’t be a problem scoring more than one goal in Nashville.
  • Matt Murray will start Game 6 even though another WPXI poll will reveal 70% of Penguin fans want Fleury to start (on a side note: who in the fuck even votes in WPXI polls anyways).
  • P.K. Subban sucks.
  • So does country music.
  • The Stanley Cup will be in Bridgestone Arena on Sunday night, and the Pens are the only team that can win it.