The other day I caught a catfish, and as I placed it in the cooler, the barb on its dorsal fin jabbed me straight through my hand. It bled, and a painful stinging followed that lasted for several hours.
Undisturbed, I continued to fish, despite my wife's plea to go back to shore and apply an antiseptic. I chuckled as I explained to her that we'll be getting even tonight when that fish is coated with breadcrumbs and baked in a 375 degree oven.
The Penguins got "stung" by the Wings last Saturday, but I believe they'll be getting even after tonight as well. In fact, they've been stung for the past 12 months, as this game marks the one-year anniversary of watching the likes of Osgood and Zetterberg raise the cup before the Penguins faithful. Talk about a painful sting.
Herein lies all the motivation they need to not only win tonight, but carry serious momentum to game seven so the Red Wings' fans feel this year what Penguins' fans felt last year.
I believe they'll accomplish this. I have faith. I have Reagan optimism. My optimism is not rooted or blindly lead by the black and gold that runs through my veins, but a genuine belief that these Penguins are the superior team. They are a team that more closely resembles the Pens of the early 1990's than those of 2008.
The Penguins tonight have to show the fans and the hockey world what they're made of. I believe they'll begin the game with guns blazing, and hopefully continue the barrage of shots on Osgood until the Stanley Cup is loaded up and sent to Detroit.
Never underestimate these Penguins. Tonight, their strength manifests itself in desperation and revenge. Tonight, I believe you'll see a Penguins team playing as if their season depends on it, because it does.
The Red Wings are like catfish, they feed on just about anything you throw at them, including penalties and turnovers. They also sometimes feed on the bottom, taking dives and drawing penalties as well as cheap shots on Sidney Crosby.
The Penguins, however, have been stung by their barbs once and know what it feels like. Tonight, they'll have those catfish "on ice." It's time to sharpen the fillet knife and preheat the oven.