Phlyer fan after the final buzzer
There's something about the Pens and an afternoon game that makes me nervous. The guys just take some time to warm up when playing during their regularly scheduled nap-time.
The first period was exciting.... the way falling down a really long hill full of boulders is exciting. Three goals by Philthy in the first period did not look good. They were taking advantage with numbers for the most part, drawing the Flower out of position and then planting it in the empty net. I'm here to tell ya, I was all ready for a game 7 and the ensuing ulcer when Marc Andre Fleury and the Pens got a severe case of comeback-itis.
So... the second period starts, and it's not looking much better. Until Maximus puts on his duking mitts and goes after the recently suspended Carcillo. It seemed like Mad Max lost the fight, but something about his willingness to drop the gloves and go after the Philthy bad-boy lit some kind of fire under Geno's butt, or maybe it was the 'Shhhh' that Max gave the crowd on the way to the box, I don't know, and I don't care. Malkin starts beating on the goal-door, and Feds is there to bang in the left-overs. More 'scrumming' (translation: tag-team wrestling) and more people get to sit in the box of shame.You could feel the change but weren't quite ready to put away the hara-kiri knives just yet. Then 2 minutes later Eats, of all people, scores on a 3 on 1 breakaway. 10 minutes after that Crosby whacks one out of the air at the goal mouth and it was a brand new game at the beginning of the third.
In the third, Sarge didn't wait too long to put in the game-winning goal and then it was REALLY Tums-time. Let's face it, the guys have had trouble sometimes holding a lead, and Flower had already been bitten for three. But The Tower of Flower Power really turned up the intensity a big notch in the third, making several great saves and one 'Oh my God how the hell can a human move/bend like that?' save on Lupul with just 5:39 left to go in the game.
That one will go into the scrap book.
For the cap-off goal El Capitan refused to give up on an empty netter that first bounced off the side of the cage. He corralled it back in, whipped around the net, and with Cookie making room, buried it (and the Phlyers) into the back of the net. Then there was the strange, almost speed-ball type of calm/hyper-tense waiting period until the final buzzer sounded and everyone could slump back into their couches and freak out their neighbors by screaming 'YES!!!!!!' Then there was the sweet picture of rubbing the Phlyer's fans faces in it by making their team walk the 'handshake line' right in front of them. Sure it'd be sweet to have that at home, but there's an evil thrill in having it done to them, in front of them. We wouldn't be human if we didn't feel it. For a brief second I almost felt sorry for the fans, but then I slapped myself. 'This is Philthy! Screw 'em!' We wouldn't be Yinzers if we didn't feel that.... By the way guys, you can keep the sign.
Get Ziggy With It: Even with the phenomenal face-off upswing of El Sid (63.5% and 99 FO wins, leading the Play-Offs) the Penguins miss the presence of Mike Zigomanis at the dots. Leading the League at the time of his injury Ziggy was a point of confidence for the Pens when facing a draw in the defensive zone. But now, instead of sitting at home on his injured butt, Mike visited the Children's Hospital's Oncology and Adolescent wing with the team around Christmas and was hooked. He's been back several time to visit with the kids, have his picture taken, sign autographs, and talk about both his own, and the kid's experiences in hospitals. No one knows what next season will bring. Free agency and salary-cap aside, I don't know if Ziggy is the kind of player the Pens can use next year, but I do know that he's the kind of man they can use on the team.