Thursday, April 28, 2011
Stairway to a Game 7 exit. Tampa moves on.
It ended the way it should have. The power play. The bane of the Pens fans existence for the past four months. Remember when we whined about how Mike Yeo ran the PP? If only we knew.
If you're looking for a scapegoat, the reason as to why there's no round two for us, it's the power play. We ended the series about 1-100000 on the PP. Very little flow. I could also jab Bylsma for playing Kovalev over Tangradi, but that seems a bit useless at this point.
Three Stars of the Series for the Penguins:
3. Arron Asham
Given his playoff pedigree, maybe we should have expected this from Asham. Big time goals, and he was a physical presence throughout the series. He (likely) won't be back next year, but let us not forget his contributions.
2. Craig Adams/Max Talbot
It was impossible to choose between these two. Max Talbot was his old playoff self. There were no Game 7 SCF heroics, but he played an admirable series. It was as if he knew every shift may be his last as a Penguin. If he goes elsewhere in the offseason, this city is forever indebted to Max, and we'll love him no matter what.
Craig Adams. I don't even know where to start with this guy. If I were a hockey player, I'd want to mirror my game off of Craig Adams. He does everything the right way, and will lay down his life for his teammates. There's a reason that Adams has a couple of Stanley Cup rings. He's a winner through and through.
1. Marc-Andre Fleury
He was our rock all season long, and he played well enough to win Game 7. Period.
Honorable mention: Jordan Staal, Mike Rupp
CEC was pure bedlam last night. But if you're the drunk who stood behind me last night yelling "Hit him!" every time a Bolt touched the puck, stop coming to games. Seriously.
Sure, it didn't end the way we wanted. We'll be depressed for a while, but eventually shrug it off and start going to Pirate games. But the truth be told, there was a certain beauty in the way Game 7 played out. People always say that sports are a distraction from everyday life, but that's not the case. Sports are a visual representation of it. When it comes down to it, we've all been exactly where the Penguins were last night: trying and trying, but failing and failing. After all, life is just a test that we all inevitably fail, whether by our minds or by our bodies. There's no shame in losing. Things like this are seldom a pleasant journey, but always an important one. Just as we learn from our mistakes and shortcomings, they learn from theirs. And just like us, they will have new opportunities and new stories, just waiting to be written.
Let's go Pens.