Now that we’re in the summer doldrums, awaiting the start of training camp, I’ve had lots of time to think things through.
And so it’s after a lot of thought that I’ve made a decision:
I’m stepping down.
Apologies for the redundant title phrase, fellow Pens bloggers:
“What can you say about Jagr? He’s unbelievable. He’s 39 but playing like a 20-year-old, flying on the ice. He’s so strong.”
That was Ottawa Senator and current Czech teammate Milan Michalek describing former Penguins great Jaromir Jagr after his hat trick propelled the Czech Republic to a 4-0 shutout of the United States yesterday.
But for as impressive it is to see Jagr still lighting it up, it only served as fuel for the speculation fire in Pittsburgh, as numerous outlets are reporting that the Pens want Jagr to participate in a summer golf outing that will serve as a quasi-reunion for the 20th anniversary of the 1991 Stanley Cup Champions.
Speculation is just that, but it’s inevitable that the question now becomes: Will the Penguins offer Jagr the ultimate reconcilation and attempt to sign him for the 2011-2012 season? If you ask me, I say why not?
During last week’s final media scrum, Sidney Crosby not only admitted that he suffered a setback in his recovery from the concussion(s) he suffered in January, but that “my expectation probably wasn’t that I’d play”.
So, Crosby didn’t expect to play this season. Therefore, a reasonable assumption is that Penguins’ management knew he wasn’t expected to play this season.
Which makes me wonder: Why, then, heavily publicize Crosby skating around the rink?
I guess I take consolation in the fact that all but one team’s bloggers have to write “The Morning After” article. That’s something.
Doesn’t really matter in which playoff round your respective team gets eliminated. Unless your team is the one that’s hoisting the Stanley Cup in June, you will eventually write this article, and yeah, it sucks.
But now that the emotions have mostly died down after a night of tossing and turning, I’ll attempt to look at the Penguins’ playoff loss to Tampa Bay, as well as their wacky season, in perspective.
I’m already a complete wreck, such is life.
Give me a final score in tonight’s Game 7 between the Lightning and the Penguins.
The person who correctly predicts the score will win, well, not a damn thing.
Me? I despise this, but I predicted Pens in 7 before it started, so I’m going to go 4-2 Penguins.
Let’s put this into perspective.
It’s not like Penguins fansdidn’t
know that the Pens’ offense would be sporadic (I’m being nice) without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
It’s not like theydidn’t know that the Pens’ powerplay would be woeful. Shit, they had a bad powerplay with
Crosby and Malkin.
It’s not like theydidn’t
know that the Penguins’ record vs. playoff teams was not good.
So when you really look at it, are you reallythat
surprised this series has now gone to a Game 7?
The last thing the Penguins should want is to go back home to the Consol Energy Center for a Game 7 against the Lightning on Wednesday night.
That may seem obvious - Of course they’d want to win in tonight’s Game 6. But unfortunately, there’s also a nagging trend that has continued to blossom in the relatively short Dan Bylsma regime.
For after their 8-2 drubbing at the hands of the Bolts in Game 5, the HCDB-led Penguins are now 0-5 in potential series-clinching wins at home.
Um, git r’ done tonight, boys.
The fourth win is always the hardest one to get, the other team’s going to throw everything at us, yadda, yadda…..
All the cliches aside, the Penguins could do well by winning Saturday’s matinee Game 5 back at the Consol Energy Center vs. the Lightning.
Because with a win on Saturday, the Penguins could have close to one week of rest before Round 2 begins.
Relatively speaking, getting the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs isn’t a bad draw.
Let’s face it, other than Buffalo, the Penguins’ would have had a tougher matchup vs. some of the other options in the first round, such as their 1-2-1 record vs. Montreal, 2-3-1 vs. the Rangers.
So sure, in that point of view, the Penguins will take the Lighting matchup in Round #1.
But while it might be a “better” matchup for the Pens, that doesn’t mean this will be an easy series.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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