Lat night was a night that I will remember for along time. This is a pretty bold statement considering the season is just hitting the quarter way mark. The game was up and down the entire time. I do not think I yelled that loud when the Penguins were making their run last year. Nothing can explain what I am willing to be the entire Penguins fan base felt last night as well as the Penguins themselves.
Lets not forget to mention here too that this loss for Detroit has to hit them hard. After giving up the first goal to Sidney Crosby Detroit commanded the game. It looked like a game of boys playing against men. Detroit smothered the play, and the Penguins had to result to dump and chase tactics that were not working at all.
The Penguins looked like they were going to get run through by the Red Wings, and for about 45 minutes of game time they were. Then somewhere somehow the Penguins found the flame that they needed, and number 11 Jordan Staal stepped into the spotlight.
The Penguins losing 5-2 at one point in the third period came alive, and at times looked as if they were possessed. With only :30 seconds left in the game the puck came to the stick of Staal who managed to turn his defender around, and snapped a shot that caught the back of the net tying the game at six a piece.
In overtime the Penguins were not able to convert on a four-on-three powerplay, which while I was watching seemed to be the worst thing that they could do because Detroit came right back down the ice and were back on the attack.
After Detroit winger Pavel Datsyuk turned up the ice with the puck I had an uneasy feeling that Detroit might get one because they had their top line out on the ice at the time. Then out of no where a great back-check by Jordan Staal leads to a two-on-one odd man rush with Ruslan Fedotenko.
A perfect pass, and a pretty one-timer lead to Chris Osgood having no chance at making the save, but did lead to Pittsburgh leaving Detroit with two points when two points seemed impossible only half a period earlier.
Last night should have been a wake up call to the rest of the league that the Penguins are not affected by a Stanley Cup hangover, but that they are ready to make their run at the cup again this year, and that they are poised to raise it as well.
I learned a lot from the Penguins last night. First off they can hang with the best. There is no doubt I hope in anybody that Detroit is not the best team in the league. They are just an amazing team overall with talent all over their roster. The Penguins proved that they too are the best with this huge victory.
Secondly the Penguins showed perseverance last night. Many teams would have thrown in the towel last night when down 5-2, but Pittsburgh kept their skates moving and slowly but surely climbed there way back into the game, and moved on to a victory.
Another part of the game that I was happy to see, but not really happy to see was that the Penguins do not need to rely on Marc-Andres to win games. Fleury clearly had an off game giving up six goals, but his teammates rallied behind him to score seven.
Now it is not something that I am happy to watch, but hey it is good to know that if one of the Penguins goalies are having a bad game against a great team like Detroit that the offense will pick up the slack and carry the team the game.
All in all last nights game should be an instant classic, and it was good that it was on versus last night, because that gave everybody the opportunity to watch two titans clash at Joe Louis Arena.
The Penguins will have one more meeting with Detroit on February 8 of next year where this game will have a lot more behind it, because teams are going to pushing for playoff births and top seeds. That game should be just as intense if not more than last nights game.
After February 8, the Penguins will have to wait a few more months to see if they and Detroit will meet up again to see who will raise Lord Stanley's Cup.
Lets Go Pens.