Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1

The Pens are going back to the Stanley Cup Finals!

How likely did you think that was before the season?

How about when Michel Therrien was fired?

What about when they were down 2-0 to the Caps?

It happened, and it was all due to their own effort and hard work.

This game was another perfect example of the way the Pens have reinvented themselves.  Crosby and Malkin did the little things, Fleury made the big saves and the team played as a whole.  Carolina just didn't stand a chance.

Kudos to Eric Staal tonight - he played like a man possessed.  As I type this, I'm listening to the talking heads at Versus talk about how "so much was made of the Staal vs Staal match up" - I think that was the least interesting story of the series (and, hey, Versus guys - you were the ones that made so much of the Staal match up).

Fedotenko has started to show us why he was worth signing.  Shades of Alex Kovalev maybe?  Not in terms of style of play or skill set, but rather in that he was regarded as a disappointment in the regular season and is now coming through in a big way.  He was in the right place at the right time again tonight, with his stick on the ice to tip in a cross ice pass from Boucher.  The D have to stop that pass, by the way - there's no way that should have been able to get through.

Can we stop using completely misleading stats to talk about the Hurricanes now?  Paragraphs like this were always annoying during this series (from the ESPN recap of Game 7):
He [Ward] had been 5-0 in elimination games for the Hurricanes, who were on the losing end of the handshake line for the first time since 2002, when they lost to the Red Wings in the Cup finals. In their only other playoff appearance in that span, they won the Cup in 2006.
What is the important part of the previous paragraph?  You come away with the feeling that Cam Ward is awesome, and that the Canes were really tough to beat.  How about a paragraph that talked about the fact that the Canes were qualifying for the playoffs for just the second time in the last 5 seasons?  How about mentioning that as awesome as Cam Ward (obviously) is, he was the starting goalie on those teams that didn't make it?

Anyway, enough about the Canes.  They were a decent team that was flattened by a better one (or at least a hotter one).

The Pens are a freight train that is rolling a full speed right now.  They look like they're ready to collide head-on with another powerful machine from Detroit.

Are you ready?

Next up: TBD

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