Home > Eastern Conference, NHL, Playoffs > Are My Pens Nearing The Off-season?

Are My Pens Nearing The Off-season?

A few days ago Pens fans were sitting in their living rooms thinking this series was about to be over. A few weeks ago Pens fans were cheering on the Habs and the Bruins so that a) Washington would receive the early exit we all think Ovechkin deserves and b) that with a Sabres loss we would play Montreal. Montreal would be easy. They were arguably the worst team in the playoffs in not just the Eastern Conference, but the league itself and last series was all about what Washington didn’t do right?

Apparently not. While the Pens have yet to trail in the series, the Habs have forced their second game seven of the post season with their 4-2 win last night. Unbelievable. What is it going to take? I am going to warn you right now that you may catch some bias out of me through out the rest of the post, but I am a Pens fan and the fate of my team is in the hands of a 60 minute contest. My season could end, and as much as I love the sport, it ending this way could potentially ruin the remainder of the post season for me.

Say what you wish, we’ve danced with Lord Stanley for the past two consecutive seasons and he even went swimming in Mario’s pool, but just because we have had those two chances, does not mean we are any less deserving, or that as a fan you don’t want to see your team get there again. Anyone who says that it is someone else’s turn wouldn’t feel that way if it was their own team, and if they tell you otherwise, part of them is lying.

So in light of my team’s season being on the line, I bring you some keys to win. Some you may have heard, some you may not agree with, but I assure you if you take a second to think about why I could possibly feel that way, you will get where I’m coming from. Alright, here goes:

  • More From Sid and Geno

Our superstars need to step it up, more. We all know this, we all have been saying this. There’s no doubt in my mind that they are frustrated. One goal by Crosby in the series may silence the critics for a nanosecond, but there needs to be more. Not just from Sid, but Geno as well. While I stood outside in the freezing cold rain like weather Saturday, taking in the game on the Outdoor Screen, everyone and their mother was going on about how great Geno played. Am I the only one who disagreed? The fancy stuff is the kiss of death. We love seeing it in the regular season, and every once in awhile in the post season you want to see that phenomenal out of this world kind of goal, but if it isn’t working the first three times you try it, try something else. I believe it is called keeping it simple in the hockey world.

  • Solve Halak

Halak is not invincible. There is a reason why he once lost his starting job. Every goaltender has holes, you just have to find his. His chest, is not a hole, try to remember that. Ask Flower what happens when you shoot at his chest, its probably one of the easiest stops he can make providing he can control the rebound.  The idea this entire series has been to crash the net, trashy goals. Find where he is most vulnerable, his weakness, and capitalize on it. It doesn’t matter how many shots on goal you have if you can’t find the back of the net.

  • Third Line Presence

I want to see more from TK (Tyler Kennedy). Staalzy, Cookie, and TK work great together, don’t get me wrong, and despite how I feel about TK personally, I think the best part about him is how hard he goes every shift much like Dupuis. This line hasn’t produced enough this series. Last night it felt like a lack of communication. TK would handle the puck well but when it came time to set something up the idea would fall apart. Not what we are used to seeing from what has been known as one of the best third lines in the NHL.

  • Speed vs. Size

MTL may be smaller, but they have speed. The Pens need to stop the Habs from gaining that speed into the zone.  Camalleri is at his best on the rush? Slow him down. No one left in the playoffs has the offensive fire power that the Pens do in Crosby, Malkin and friends. The Habs are not goal scorers, their best line is between the pipes. Stop them from spending too much time in your end by using that big body presence. The Pens are bigger, go for the body before the puck, and then concentrate on getting things done on the other end of the ice.

  • Desperation

The word you hear like it is going out of style throughout the playoffs. Montreal is desperate. They are desperate to be the team that took out not only the best team in the league, but the defending champions. I saw a commercial yesterday that said the Habs look to make history while the Pens look to repeat it. How badly do you want to repeat? Everything you can think of needs to be tried on that ice. Sid has been saying all along that he doesn’t think he should change anything about his game. Now might be the time to make some changes, as a whole. We are known as the team that comes up big when it matters, lets show them why.

Game Seven is tomorrow night. It’s win or go home for both teams. I don’t want to see my team go home, I’m not anywhere near ready for hockey to be over. We’re back at Mellon Arena, which means no extremely loud Bell Centre crowd (though I do hope I can experience at least one game there in my life time), its just the Pens and the Habs on the ice and a little bit of who wants it more. LETS GO PENS!!!

  1. Shannan
    May 11, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Well said, Sara! Although I agree we could use more from Sid and Geno, it’s nice to know that we have the backup of our role players to also put points on the board. It shows how well our team works together when our big scorers are having a streak of little or no-scoring games. But I have great faith that we will pull together in Game 7. GO PENS!!!!

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