I am not that much of a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. One of my closest friend is, and she actually got me a C-87 jersey for my last birthday. It is still in my closet—never worn it, probably never will.
The Stanley Cup Finals are usually very entertaining. Personally, it is a nice moment where I can watch some hockey without worrying too much over every single thing going on the ice. An icing, a penalty, a lost face-off, an uncontrolled rebound is usually a big deal when it comes with a CH" on the front—but now, I can just sit, watch, and enjoy.
For a moment after Games One and Two, I kind of lost focus. It was going by too fast. A series sweep is certainly very impressive. But anything for more hockey—anything!
As the Wings headed into Game Five after their win at the Mellon Arena, slowly but surely I started to think about the real offseason. No more hockey before September. One more game and...well, lights out, everybody.
As in Game Four, the Penguins opened the scoring. And again, as in Game Four, the Red Wings tied the game and eventually took the lead.
One minute to go in the third, my Pittsburgh fan friend was still believing. I wasn't anymore. Last year against the Rangers, Chris Drury scored with less than ten seconds to go for the Sabres, and Maxim Afinogenov scored in OT. It was during the Game Five of the second round. It was so cool.
The Stanley Cup was on TV. I still had in mind Ryan Getzlaf jumping into Giguere's arms. The day after, they were on Jay Leno. I started to wonder who would go to the show—Osgood, Zetterberg, or Lindstrom?
But then, magic happened. Maxime Talbot tied the game with 34 seconds to go. The same Talbot who was teasing Malkin on the bench later on. From then on, you know it, I know it, my friend knows it—anything could happen.
Forty minutes of play later, everyone was still up. Screw the early waking up tomorrow, we didn't care—there was a heck of a hockey game on.
The Penguins simply did not want to give it up. And despite a few chances here and there for the Wings, Fleury was keeping his team alive. No rebounds, very alert, very sharp.
I am not taking anything away from Osgood. From his fights against Patrick Roy back in the day to the fact that he is actually shaving during the playoffs, I have a lot of respect for this goaltender. But, put in context—Fleury won the highlights of the night.
The thing is, it is always great to have some nice hockey going on. And for that, we gotta thank the Penguins.
Talbot tied the game, Sykora scored the wining goal, and we've got ourselves a sixth game back in Pittsburgh. The Stanley Cup finals are still rolling.
For how long, I don't know. But at least there will be another sixty minutes of puck-over-the-glass, faceoff outside the zone, tripping, booing, goal and replays.
After three overtimes, hockey is still on, my friends. Hockey is still on.