June 9, 2016 § Leave a comment
One win away.
Hockey’s greatest prize could be awarded tonight. If the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks, they’ll have won the Stanley Cup Finals in 5 games and become the champions of the best sport on earth. They will have proved their detractors wrong and reaped the rewards of their mid-season surge. The best team in the entire league from January on, they “went 33-12-5 in the last 50 games of the regular season and are 15-7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs”. – nhl.com
Not that I’m overly excited or anything.
I was listening to the Marek vs. Wyshynski hockey podcast yesterday (which is fantastic and I totally recommend it) and they were saying how they don’t feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth of Finals hockey, because even though the games have all been so close in score, they really haven’t been that close in play. And I just laughed because it’s true, but I’m a fan of the team that’s doing well, so I don’t mind at all. Trust me, I love a good competitive hockey match just as much as anyone, but I’ve seen the Penguins blow too many leads to wish for it in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
So tonight, you know where to find me: nervously shredding a napkin between my fingers as I sit at the Cafe with Jeffrey and Pete. Pete will be making all sorts of sarcastic comments about the Pens’ power-play. Jeff will be muttering that no lead is big enough. But underneath all the tension and nerves, we believe in this team. They’ve accomplished so much under Mike Sullivan’s coaching. They set up in the offensive zone with confidence. They aren’t scared to make stretch passes. They win the battles along the boards (a HUGE part of why they are up 3-1 in this series has been their play along the boards). And they’re actually GOOD at back-checking!
Jeff just texted me to let me know he’s going to have the game on the projection screen in the party room tonight. 200″ of playoff hockey, spread across the wall for us. The Stanley Cup will shine like a diamond when NBC does their inevitable shot of it rolling through the hallways. “The Stanley Cup is in the building” – I can hear Doc Emrick saying that so clearly. Yes it is. And we all know who deserves it.
Come on, Penguins. One more win.