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Pittsburgh Penguins: Don't Count this Team Out Just Yet

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 04:  Evgeni Malkin #71 and Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins sit on the bench against the Detroit Red Wings during Game Four of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 4, 2009 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Mike ShelapinskyContributor IJune 9, 2009

Think back to February: the Penguins had a 27-25-5 recordthey were 10th place in the East with 59 points.  It was time to count the Pens out.

Along comes "Disco" Dan Bylsma, turns the Pens around and leads them up to fourth place.

Apr. 25: Pens and Flyers, Game Six in Philly.  The score is 2-0 Flyers starting the second period.  The Flyers score a third goal up four minutes and six seconds into the period.  Thinking about counting the Penguins out?

Max Talbot hops onto the ice and fights Daniel Carcillo.  Max loses the fight, but it sparks the Pens to five unanswered goals.

Early May, Washington D.C: The Pens are in a tough 0-2 hole coming back to Pittsburgh for Game Three.  It's all overCaps win the series, right?

Game Three goes into overtime and Kris Letang scores the game winner.

The Pens went on to win Game Four and Five, but Washington wins Game Six.  The teams are going back to Washington for a Game Seven.  The Caps are ready to "Rock the Red" with a hot goaltender. The Pens don't stand a chance...

Midway through the first, the Pens strike for two quick goals.  At the beginning of the second period, they score another quick two.  Out goes that "unbeatable" goalie, playing less than half the game.

Fast forward to May 30 and the beginning of the Stanley Cup Final.  It's Pittsburgh and Detroit, a rematch of last year's Final.  Detroit wins the first two games at home, leaving them with five games remaining to win two more games.  Most speculate that Detroit will take at least one in Pittsburgh and go back to Detroit and finish it off in Game Five.

The Pens get some help from an unlikely source in Game Three.  Max Talbot scores twice while Evgeni Malkin assists on three goals, leading the Penguins to a 4-2 win.  Crosby and Malkin run wild in Game Four; They could not be stopped and the Pens go on to win 4-2.

Game Five was awful to watch for Pens fans.  They were outplayed and took too many bad penalties.  Now, is it time to write off the 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins?

Think back to February, think back to Game Six in Philly, think back to the Washington series, and think back to the beginning of this series.  In those situations, did the Penguins fold and accept defeat?  These Pittsburgh Penguins are not done with the season. 

The Stanley Cup will not be taken out of its case in Pittsburgh.

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