We will debate and analyze the third round collapse in 2013 for years to come. The ugliness of the lockout left such a bad taste in my mouth (again I may be over-looking the vodka) and forever hung an asterisk of explanation behind the season. The mass of talent the Penguins gathered for a run at the cup was awe inspiring. The wealth of talent was almost embarrassing. Obi-Wan Shero gifted us with the likes of Jokinin, Murray, Morrow and ‘future hall of Famer’ Jarome Iginla. We Pens’ fans were giddy as children on Christmas morning.
I remember the first interview I heard with Brenden Morrow. He waived his no-trade clause to be a Penguin and, even though he was leaving his role as captain to serve under a 25 yr. old kid, was happy to play a role in helping the Pens win the cup. I swear, if you look back at that interview you can watch his pupils turn into mini Stanley Cups.
The biggest surprise of the spring, (ignoring that time Brooks Orpik broke Sid) was the last minute acquisition of Iginla. The drama of Iggy forsaking Boston for Pittsburgh was a jaw dropping moment (no pun intended). In retrospect, it may have been that gluttonous move that angered the Hockey Gods.
Seriously. What if they were gifting him with his cup by allowing Boston to win him? Obviously the Hockey Gods intervened to lift the Bruins past the Leafs. How else do you explain the Leafs elimination and subsequent cancellation of the Cup Parade in Toronto, again?
What if Shero’s demonic seduction of Iginla angered the Gods so that they focused their wrath on the Pen’s golden half season? The people of Boston were justified in booing ‘Future Hall of Famer’ Jarome Iginla every time he touched the puck. That display of fan anger clearly destroyed his game. If Boston couldn’t have him, no one could.
What if the Hockey Gods, in a moment of sadistic revenge, sent the puck shot by the least likely villain sailing straight to the jaw of ‘arguable the best player in the world’? Sail…
What if Sid healed so well and managed to foil their plans so, one by one, they stole the game of each key player starting with Marc Andre Fleury? That’s what happened, after all. One by one the Penguins lost their game until by the third round Geno’s pucks found only pipe and Sid’s stick refused to make magic.
The only plausible explanation for the Penguins not hoisting the cup in 2013 is that Ray Shero angered the Hockey Gods.