The Pens lost the first game of the Stanley Cup Final to the Wings 3-1. But seriously, there's no need to hit the panic button. The Wings got some, almost unbelievable, bounces for all three of their goals, especially the first two. Were we the only ones who thought this felt like the Washington series? You know, the goalie makes all the key saves and they just can't get one past him, but the bounces are plentiful on the other side. Unfortunately the Pens weren't on the receiving end of the bounces last night, but that doesn't mean it has to stay that way. The Pens did not play their best game, and they were not out-played last night. This is a far cry from last year's final. Again, let's not start a riot.
We've already seen the crap on the internet. OMG! Blame Marc-Andre Fleury! He makes a huge save on Ovechkin and you're slobbering all over him like a dog with a bone, and then some weird bounces happen and you're throwing him under the bus. You know who you are.
For once, we're livid and we're not letting it go. The Pens lost and now we've got a bunch of people freaking out. Most are blaming MAF, some are blaming others, but no matter what, the Wings got the bounces and the Pens didn't. No, the Pens didn't play their best game but they were still right there with the Wings. Yes, they lost and it sucks, but get over it and get ready for game 2. No matter how much you whine (cheese anyone?), it's not going to change that the Pens are down a game in this series. It's ONE GAME! Calm the heck down and have some faith for once. After all, how many times have you seen the Pens mount comebacks either in games or in series'? Or how many series have they came out a tad flat and end up on top of their game? Road teams are generally happy to get a split and the Pens have a chance to do just that tonight. Win tonight and we're going back to Pittsburgh with a tie series and all the momentum in our building. Sounds good to us.
(This rant is why we don't read message boards or other such things on the internets. It's infuriating.)
- The Pens kept up with the Wings, and even took it to them at times. They need to get more shots on Osgood. It will go in. We even saw on the internets where Osgood was a good, dependable goalie. LOLZ. He benefits a lot from the defense in front of him. Do we think he's horrible? No. But he isn't exactly fabulous. We have Malkin and Crosby. It's time to show him what world-class talent looks like.
- Malkin played well last night, and yes Mom and Dad were there. But that breakaway chance? Ouch. Geno, we love you, but can't you bury those once in a while? Please?
- Sidney Crosby will play better in this series. He was not bad last night, but he wasn't exactly the Sidney Crosby we've gotten used to in these playoffs. It's time to show Zetterberg who the better player is. That hit around center ice last night should've sent a message. Now it's time to perform. He will put this team on his back if he has to. After all, he doesn't want to be in this photograph again. Although that backhander he got off in the second period around a defender. Wow. How do you get that much on that shot in that situation? Ridiculous.
- Speaking of performance, Jordan Staal, please bury one of those shots! He looks nervous and sloppy, or like he doesn't know what to do with a puck. His defensive work is great and he sure knows how to grind it out. But offensively he needs to step it up.
- Orpik with free candy to old buddy Hossa. Enough said.
- Fleury needs to stay loose, confident, and keep doing what he's doing. Those bounces were not good and he wasn't entirely faultless, but he will step up and adapt.
- We have to admit we don't like all the hitting so far. We love a good hit, don't get us wrong, but it's way more physical than we ever anticipated. Yes, this is the final and you win four or you go home, but geez. We're not sure how much we liked the penalty calling, or lack thereof either.
Are you ready for game 2?