Thursday, April 19, 2007

Game 4 Was a "Must-Win," But Game 5 Really Means It This Time


I've been struggling to write a piece on game 5 tonight, but its kinda hard today. After finding every possible way to lose in games 1, 3 and 4, its hard to find legitimate reasons to keep watching. Blowouts hurt, because early deficits lead to stuff getting thrown at the t.v. Close games hurt, because afterwards, its like, "why did I get so excited and worked up? I just got so disappointed." Still, the black and gold blood flows through my veins, so games 1, 3 and 4 mean nothing to me. They are in the past, exactly opposite of where Lord Stanley sits. In honor of the future, and the slim possibility that the Pens make it out of the series alive, I will focus on all the positives that the Pens need to take into game 5.

So the game will be in Ottawa tonight. The Pens won their only game in the series in Ottawa, so that's a plus. I have never been a true disciple of "home field advantage" and the "effect of the crowd" on a game (unless said game is in Pittsburgh), but there is something special about going to another team's home, and really sticking it to their fans. Trust me, with all the sticking-to that Pittsburgh has gotten from the Sens, I can't say I'd mind really blowing out Ottawa tonight. While the Pens only had 24 shots last game, they still made it seem like there were more biscuits put on Emery. The Pens were able to keep momentum in the offensive zone, but Emery did a great job of stopping (nearly) everything the Pens threw at him.

Another positive: the sign at the top of this post. What is Bryan Murray's deal? Does he honestly have to dislike everything? I feel like if I was hanging out with Mr. Murray (which would never happen, mostly because of his weird lisp) and I offered him free money or something, the dude would probably find some reason to get mad at the Pens for it. His current bitch is that Gary Roberts is playing too physical. Except Murray would say that Roberts has been too "phythical."

Laraque's playing time has been real shady. I mentioned that he needed to play in game 4. I stand by that opinion, and feel that he should be in game 5 as well. This is like if the Steelers picked up, I don't know, Duce Staley, and didn't use him for 3 seasons (Oh wait...). The Pens played Nils Ekman, who played 2 out of the Pens' final 29 games, and he already mentioned that he will be ready for game 5. Uh, remember the way the Pens excelled down the playoff stretch? Didn't they mature to the point where they were actually competing for the Atlantic division lead (which they held, momentarily) and the #2 overall seed in the East? Was Nils Ekman in the lineup? No. Georges Laraque was in the lineup.

This game 5 analysis has started to shift from positive to negative real quick. So I'm gonna watch game 5, and support my team like it was any other game. The Pens have rallied from a 3-1 deficit before. And the coach pf the team they're playing this time has a lisp. So even in a 3-1 pit, there's still some hope for our Pens.

Something must be done about the recent 0 for 9 Power Play drought. With the talent on this Pens team, 0 for 9 is inexcusable.


No comments: