Tuesday, 13 May 2014

A Cold Day In Hell

It started early this evening. The temperature plummeted outside of HBIC Headquarters, and then the night got progressively worse as the Penguins physically were present at the Consol Energy Center, but they never really showed up. Kudos to the New York Rangers for rallying from a 3-1 series deficit. Kudos to Brad Richards for extending his winning ways in Game Sevens. Kudos to Henrik Lundqvist who appeared to reclaim his status as one of the planet's best netminders in winning his fifth-straight Game Seven game. The Penguins, however, deserve little praise.

That's what happens when your team blows a commanding lead by scoring a mere three goals in the final three games of the series, including a pair of games on home ice. I'd use the word "pathetic", but that would complimentary to a team that literally looked like it was sleepwalking through those final three games. This playoff loss cuts deep. It's time to change the culture in Pittsburgh in a big way, and it should start Wednesday morning.

As the Rangers and their fans celebrated tonight's win to push them into the Eastern Conference Final, Penguins fans were already calling for changes. The panel on TSN, consisting of Bob McKenzie, Darren Pang, and Aaron Ward, all called for at least a coaching change, if not changes in the front office down through the coaching ranks for the Penguins. Pang even went as far as suggesting the Penguins entertain trades for Malkin and Fleury in order to build the team stronger.

What I do know is that two former Manitoba Moose coaches - Alain Vigneault and Scott Arniel - are coaching in the Eastern Conference Final. Henrik Lundqvist, who earned the player of the game award after last night's win, is looking like the world-class goalie he's known to be. Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis made it look like 2004 all over again with their chemistry. The Rangers' third-line outplayed the entire Penguins team in the last three games.

In short, this was deserved.
Congratulations to the New York Rangers for ruining my night and advancing to the Eastern Conference Final. Yes, in that order. The cold weather being called for tonight, along with snow in the forecast, isn't helping my mood at all.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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