by Jan Snyder
Hello, fellow hockey fans! Here we are again starting the 2010 Playoff Season. I haven’t talked to some of you since that glorious June night when the Pens took the Stanley Cup. I’ve missed you and I’m glad we’re together again in cyberspace.
So Game One is history. Let’s all take a long, deep, cleansing breath and softly repeat: “Fleury will be fine, Fleury will be fine, Fleury will be fine.” Feel better?
Losing Game One isn’t the best way to start the road to the finals, but that’s what happened so we’ll deal with it. Despite the frantic push for a goal at the end of the game, the Sens won 5-4 sending the Pens home to ponder Friday’s game.
Let’s look at the bright side, shall we? Geno was awesome and Lord knows we need that from him to go very far. His two power play goals and one assist plus his physical play added a ray or two of sunshine. Scoring two power plays goals each at 13 seconds into the power play has to mean something – I just can’t figure out what! Maybe it signifies that Billy Guerin will score twice 71 seconds into a power play?
Sid was held down, but still managed three assists and we know he’ll work through whatever d-men the Sens put on him. Gologoski had a pretty good game, Max was involved picking up an assist and what about Craig Adams scoring his first goal in 112 games? The Pens managed a couple of slightly different looks on the power play and scored a couple of times, something else we’ll need as we move ahead.
A few other players need to step things up a bit but again, it’s only Game One. I liked how Coach Bylsma put it – it’s a Race to Four. Four games in four series and you take home Stanley. Let’s think of it that way and it’s a little easier to deal with.
Ottawa played well, even our old friendly rival, Jarkko Rutuu scored a goal. Alfredsson was quiet but that could quickly change. Their goalie, Brian Elliott, had a couple of rough patches too. Things will even out over the course of the series.
Since I was forced to watch the game on Versus instead of Fox Sports Pittsburgh, I heard different announcers than many of you. And I have to take exception with one comment that I heard during the telecast. I believe it was Billy Jaffe who said the Pens had to buckle down and not “feel entitled” to win the Cup. Maybe Jaffe has spent a little too much time in Pittsburgh over the past few days and has confused another Pittsburgh athlete with the Pens. No, Billy, that athlete with a feeling of entitlement plays for the Steelers. I’m sure the Pens know that a repeat of last year’s performance will take a Herculean effort from every man on the roster. I don’t think any of them are expecting another team to “allow” them to win. No referees are going to “give” them any breaks. They will go as far as their talent, hard work, and determination take them with no sense of entitlement.
Let’s look ahead to Friday and Game Two, another White Out Night at Mellon Arena. Will Sid score? Will Fleury bounce back? Will Carrie Underwood come to the game?
Whatever happens, we’ll talk about it again on Friday night.
What was your take on tonight’s game? Talk to me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
LET’S GO, PENS!