Let the Playoff Beards Begin: Pittsburgh Penguins Clinch Playoff Berth

WoooooSenior Writer IApril 8, 2009

PITTSBURGH - OCTOBER 23:  Brooks Orpik #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins wears a Hockey Fights Cancer decal on the back of his helmet as he waits for a face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes on October 23, 2008 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  NHL players are wearing Hockey Fights Cancer stickers on the back of helmets. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

It wasn't easy, but what has been this season?

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally locked up a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning last night in Florida. They now cannot finish any lower than seventh place in the East.

Sidney Crosby had a pair of power-play goals, Petr Sykora returned from exile to get the elusive 300th goal of his career, and Evgeni Malkin added a pair of helpers to put a little more distance between himself and Blowvechkin in the race for the Ross.

Rob Scuderi might be the best defenseman in the world right now. If you're looking for justification for that statement, just watch him play a game.

Hal Gill had a rough game last night, taking two delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck over the glass from his own zone. Both gave the Bolts a two-man advantage on the power play. Luckily, Vinny Prospal is a joke and Marc-Andre Fleury made some sweet lovin' to his goalposts before the game.

Ryan Malone broke his hand. Probably from banging on his head as images of him never playing in the playoffs again slowly flashed in front of his eyes. Tough break, Bugsy. That fat paycheck should buy you lots of beer to drink on the golf course this spring.

Every team ahead of the Pens in the standings is winning on a regular basis, so talking about possible seeding in the East right now would be a joke.

The Pens are in, that's all that matters.

After you eat ham or whatever you eat on Easter this Sunday, get the playoff beard going. And for our female readers, don't shave your legs/armpits or whatever for a couple of months. Hey, it's sexy in France, right?

Let's go Pens!