Detroit leads series 2-0.
So from where I'm standing, tonight is the Game of the Year for the Pens. If they win, they have a chance to go back to Detroit with the momentum and a series tied 2-2. If they lose, the series is effectively over. It's a huge swing either way.
The Igloo should be a madhouse tonight. The fans really need to get behind the Pens and support this team.
Of course, our lovely local paper, the Post-Gazette, is taking this chance to take shots at the Pens:
"Is it too late to pick the Detroit Red Wings in three games?" - Ron Cook - 5/27/08
"History suggests the Penguins have very little hope of winning the Stanley Cup this season. Reality suggests they have absolutely none, unless they can figure out how to make some radical changes during the rest of the series." - Dave Molinari - 5/27/08
"No one should be surprised by what has happened to the Penguins in the first two games of the Stanley Cup final, nor should they be astonished if it happens again tonight when they meet the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 at Mellon Arena." - Bob Smizik - 5/28/08Feel free to read the articles to make sure I haven't misrepresented the tenor by taking quotes out of context. As the saying goes, with friends like these...
Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe it is the job of the beat writer (Dave Molinari) to capture the spirit of what is currently happening. There are also no rules for what a columnist can take a position on. It just seems odd that Don Cherry can say the Pens will win Game 3 while our Pittsburgh writers are busy helping to dig the graves for the Pens.
Anyway, the game itself is the story. Desperation time has set in. The Pens must win. Fleury must be stronger. The Pens must avoid mistakes at even strength. They must find a way to score on the power play.
Sydor seems likely to play. I'm not sure who you sit. I hope it's not Letang - next to Gonchar, he's one of the few that can carry the puck. He's the most likely suspect, though.
Let's Go Pens!