Hockey After Heart Attack: a Quick-Hit Synopsis on the Penguins' YUUUUGE Game 7 Victory by @DXTraeger - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Hockey After Heart Attack: a Quick-Hit Synopsis on the Penguins' YUUUUGE Game 7 Victory by @DXTraeger

"...Where Insomnia and STUPID OVERTIME STRESS Hit the Ice."
(Welcome to "Hockey After Dark," a late-night recap of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Topics will include scores, injuries, controversies, the Twitter-verse, and random jokes at the expense of the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals– especially their FANS!  I strongly encourage clicking on the links, they might have candy them!*  *Links do not contain candy)

So earlier tonight, I tried to comment along with Game 7.  I had grand ideas of snarky comments and pop-culture references, but simply TOO.  MUCH.  STRESS.

The following is me giving up on the idea, along with a visual representation of my moods as the 3rd period, 1st OT, and the 2nd OT progressed:

10:12 PM (10:20, 3rd):  Chaos.  I'm pacing.  I'm in the fetal position.  I'm swearing.  I'm making irrational wagers with God.  I'm making one-sided deals with the Devil.

10:24 PM (5:50, 3rd):  Schultz scored on the power-play.  The rest of this will be a recording.

10:26 PM (too much time left, 3rd):  Pacing.  Terrified.

10:35 PM (too much time left, 3rd):  Ottawa scored, Pacing.  Terrified.
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SEVERAL HOURS LATER...

This is me, minus the weird Penn Gillette beard thing and sans what I can only imagine was a ton of tequila.
 and then...

 
"....then the stress kicked in.  And my shoes started to squeak."

 ...and THEN...


Pretty much spot-on.
Jeebus.  H.  Creezy.

Some quick notes on the game...

     -Craig Anderson nearly pulled a Ken Wregget/Dwayne Roloson.  He was tremendous in the final two games of the series, and the Penguins are lucky to survive.
     -Viktor Stalberg failed to clear his own end on a cross-ice pass immediately prior to the Kunitz goal, and failed to mark Kunitz in the high slot.  Kunitz was his responsibility, and Stalberg had to suffer the indignity of watching his man score the Game 7 2OT winner.
     -Olli Maatta had some brilliant stretches, and he had some AWFUL stretches.  Fortunately, this seems to be a confidence problem and not an utter lack of skill.
     -After some first period anxiety, Ron Hainsey played an anonymous game, which is to say that he played well.
     -Conor Sheary had the energy, and perhaps more importantly, had the legs.  Which makes you wonder...
     -Do the Penguins have a depth edge because they've been forced to play so many bodies during the playoff rush?  Pittsburgh can insert a number of forwards and defencemen into the fray without a significant drop may help offset any fatigue issues the team is facing.
     -Bryan Rust could have had a hat trick.  His play in Game 7's is ridiculous.
     -Matt Murray was solid, and ultimately justified Mike Sullivan's decision to switch from Marc-Andre Fleury. 

Some things that I loved...

     -the usher in blue that was high-fiving fans and giving abbreviated fist-pumps toward the players after Kunitz's goal.
     -watching Erik Karlsson lose, especially after mocking Sidney Crosby giving instructions to his teammates
     -knowing that Eugene Melnyk (can't be bothered to spell check his name, sorry/not sorry) was bested AGAIN by the Pittsburgh Penguins
     -watching Dion Phaneuf lose.
     -the Penguins' power-play converting once again

Some things that I wasn't too crazy about...

     -the Penguins were utterly unwilling to shoot the puck through traffic.  While I understand the threat of disastrous deflections leaving to odd-man breaks the other way, Michael Scott was right: you miss all of the shots that you never take.
     -the usage of Scott Wilson.  He's a niche offensive talent, which is to say that he scores goals and that's about it.  He brings a physical edge that most of Pittsburgh's other forwards lack, sure, but that's not the Penguins' game, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him as a healthy scratch against Nashville.
     -the officiating was brutal, again.  The men in stripes missed a blatant Too-Many-Men, countless high sticks (most of them Penguins high sticks), about a bazillion holding & interferences from Ottawa, and maybe the Mother of All Trips by Evgeni Malkin in overtime (diving into a player's legs is NOT a legal play)

BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?!

It means that the Penguins will commence their Stanley Cup title defense in just a few days against the Nashville Predators.  Pittsburgh will have home ice advantage for the Finals, and will have a chance to (finally) claim the Cup on home ice.

 





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