This year has been a strange year. Teams that we wouldn’t have even thought could make it to the playoffs are now playing in the finals or sitting somewhere knowing that they beat the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. Yes I am still bitter and if anyone is like me, we all want to play Montreal next year.
Every year you want to play the team that beat you the year before.
If you aren’t a Penguins fan, go ahead and leave, because that is what I write about.
Let’s go back to 2007 when Ottawa beat the Pens in the playoffs. The Pens were just excited to be in the playoffs in the first place. It put a bad taste in their mouth to lose against them.
Now fast forward to 2008 and the Penguins are again playing Ottawa. They still felt the sting of losing to them the year before. The Pens ended up beating them and then going through to end up losing to the Detroit Red Wings.
Now to last year.
The dream year.
If 2009 would have been the last year in the Mellon, there would be a movie being made right now.
The Penguins in January of 2009 had been completely shunned. Everyone knew they wouldn’t make it to playoffs. They were a team in 10th or 11th place. Do you realize how hard it is to get up in the standings in a short amount of time?
Enter Dan Bylsma. Enter Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz. And definitely enter Craig Adams. Adams is a player every team needs. He was picked up off of waivers. You got to wonder if Carolina is kicking themselves for letting Adams go. He never gives up on the puck or the man. He puts his body down to block shots and sticks up for teammates.
All of that for a cheap price.
It gives me chills to remember the 2009 playoffs.
Starting off with the much hated Flyers. I think playing them first round prepared us for the rest. There were fights. The infamous Talbot-Carcillo fight that is seen on billboards, it seems like. There were dirty plays…from both teams.
It was exactly what it should have been. Two teams doing whatever they could to make it to the next round. That fight in Game Six with Philly up by three goals in the second period is what changed that series. Pens win Game Six and the series.
Now on to what felt like the main event. The Capitals and Penguins rivalry was all talk with the media. Fans think that the rivalry really picked up with Ovechkin-Crosby. But it was started because of Malkin-Ovechkin. When reports surfaced of Malkin and Ovechkin’s dislike of each other, everyone’s mouth started watering.
Hockey isn’t what it used to be. Yes there are fights but now it’s just to get your team going.
With the newly found hatred between the Capitals and Penguins, fans got on the edge of their seats during the game.
It was January of 2008 if I remember correctly. Crosby was out with his ankle sprain. The Capitals were the visitors in the Mellon.
Evgeni Malkin had the puck, going behind the net with his head down. That was all she wrote. The next thing we all see is Ovechkin flying into the wall.
It was definitely a sight. There was of course shoving right after and the rivalry was born.
Pens win in seven games. You see that and you think what a game that Game Seven must have been.
How many goals did the Pens score again? And the rest is history. Literally.
And now here we are. Gearing up for the 2010-2011 season when the current season isn’t even over.
But I’ve had enough of watching the Flyers. The Hawks are my team from the west and it will be bitter sweet to see them win it out this year.
I hate the Flyers. If you are a Penguins fan, you hate the Flyers. And if you say otherwise…you aren’t a Penguins fan.
The Flyers have sailed at the bottom the entire year and their fate was set in a shootout win over New York.
Do they deserve to be in the Finals? I would love to say no. But as a hockey fan, yes. If this was ANY other team, I would be pulling for them. But it’s the Flyers…
Anyways, to sum it up, the Penguins in the 2009 playoffs were magical. Something you see out of a movie. Something you should see out of a movie.
This year was supposed to be the two youngsters against each other.
The young Blackhawks against the young, but experienced, defending champ Penguins.
That wasn’t the case. And of course when the Penguins were ousted by Montreal, the media drooled at the stories they could make up.
“Trade Malkin” was the biggest idea from the media. And the fact that even Pittsburgh media thought it would be better to trade Malkin just proved that they will do just about anything to get someone to read their work.
But the comments they received were something to forget about.
I couldn’t finish most of the comments because I was embarrassed for them.
Hopefully Geno read the comments and realized how much support he does have from the fans. He didn’t have his best year. It’s hard to live up to being Conn Smythe trophy winner and scoring champion.
But he’ll get back there.
But now it’s the simple question: Do the Pens have a right to want revenge? Do they need a redemption year? Well yeah. They were looked at as the next best dynasty.
The one thing I do know they need to work on and what Coach Dan probably spoke about in every news conference.
They would have one good game and then lose by four the next.
Fleury didn’t have a stellar year. Defense was blah. The best winger on the Penguins was a 39 year old. Do I think the Pens will make it to the Finals next year? Of course. This is a team that hates to lose. I’ve never seen a sport so competitive than hockey is. Now if only the rest of America could see that.
The Penguins will come out flying next year. As will the Capitals.
Both teams have a lot to prove to the hockey world. There isn’t much Sidney Crosby can do anymore. If he doesn’t win the MVP award I would be shocked.
They need to change the way they describe the award if he doesn’t win it.
The MVP award is given to the player who has been a benefit to his team both on and off the ice.
It’s the first year in the Consol against none other than the Flyers.
They play Washington in the outdoor Winter Classic.
How excited are you for the 2010-2011 season?