Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Holy Cr#%&p! What a Game.....

Geno (Evgeni) Malkin finally woke up somewhere in the third overtime after midnight last night and provided the critical assist to Petr Sykora to give the Penguins a 4-3win in a thrilling 3 OT victory over Detroit. In a game that some of the talking heads of sports predicted as a mere formality for the young Pens, they mustered the will and the fight to force one more game, ensuring that the dominant Wings didn't take home the Cup last night. Even though they were outshot for most of night and suffered several injuries resulting from the intense physical play, this team hung in there for more than 4 hours in what was one of the most exciting games I've seen in a long time! It was way past my bedtime, but had I not been so tired, trust me there would have been Pinot Noir all over the couch after that last goal...

I was hearing Patrick Roy comparisons this morning on the radio when describing Marc-Andre Fleury's un-freaking real performance last night. For all the new fans, Roy is a legendary former NHL goalie who was an incredible player with a hot temper. Easy on the eyes too! Back to Fleury, who was an absolute rock star stopping 55 goals during the course of the game...cheers to you for a fabulous game!

Apparently the Pens sport T-shirts under their jerseys that display the word "sacrifice" in several different languages. And sacrifice they did! One of my favorite Pens, Ryan Malone, took a shot to the face (he already has a broken nose from a previous game), went back to the bench to plug up said profusely-bleeding nose and returned to the game promptly to continue delivering body checks as if nothing ever happened. And former Capital Sergei Gonchar was also playing injured after sliding into the boards late in the game. Even if the Pens don't win the Cup, their performance last night was a valuable lesson for hockey moms, young players and coaches alike. Even when the chips are down, your opponent is bigger or smarter than you and you think you have no more fuel in the tank, you never give up trying! That's a lesson I've learned in my "middle" age from the "school of hard knocks" and I think that sports gives young players so many opportunities to learn some of these key life lessons earlier in the "game."

So a big fat toast to the Penguins for keeping it alive for another day and bringing it home to Pittsburgh for Game 6 on Wednesday. I wish I could toast with an adult beverage but considering I was up watching until 1 a.m., I think a double shot of espresso is more like it! Should the Pens win on Wednesday, the series is tied and is anybody's game. I hope that all the players on both teams get some much-deserved rest and kudos to all of you for such an exciting and hard-fought contest!

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