Round one is in the books, and as expected, our Penguins have made it past round one, against an underdog, underrated, and undermanned Columbus Blue Jackets organization. For those who read my first round scenario, it came off as yours truly not a Penguins fan. I stressed that I was, deep down, and that ultimately I want another cup for our city.
Sadly, I need to stress this again within this piece.
The Pittsburgh Penguins unfortunately played exactly as I predicted and feared…that is, unlike the Penguins potential. Tell me how you have stars such as Sidney Crosby, Geno Malkin, and James Neal, and none are producing. Mind you, Malkin hit the hat trick in game 6, but why did it take that long?
Theres still a plethora of downplay being made by not only fans but hockey journalists within the city, and that’s unacceptable.
At least Geno got into rhythm is one. At least? Isn’t that what he spayed millions of dollars for? Don’t even get me started on Sidney. Twitter actually was trending a “where’s Sidney” trend during a game this series. Same cannot be said about our “depth” that people feared. If it wasn’t for that depth, we would have been bounced. That’s what’s frustrating though in this matter, we are having 3rd and 4th line production, some teams would kill to have. Can you imagine if we have the Craig Adams and Stepniack players scoring with our top talent? We would be such a force that if we were anything but Cup contenders, it would be an insult. It’s not that our top players are now at least producing, it’s that they should produce, are required to produce, and better produce a heck of a lot more than these past dozen playoffs games.
Flower, has improved. He did have a bad experience in game 5. Not a bad game, a bad experience. In defense, a goalie does do what he tried in the third period. 9 times out of 10, its successful HE had no defensive help and was trapped. A bad bounce later were tied. Now yes, a 6 year old could have stopped that overtime shot, but I digress. What has been seen by Fleury is any indication of how bad it can be, I will take his heavily upgraded performance within this series. HE stole games, and stole back my respect as a starting playoff goalie.
Special teams have had little to be special about. This was a force for the Pens and a reason why they were so successful during the season. Why the drop off? Why the lack of execution? Where are the top guys?!?!?
It was addressed yesterday evening that the Penguins are going to face the New York Rangers. Penguins’ fans all around were hoping for that team because it’s the lesser of two evils. NO ONE including myself wanted Philly, rightfully so of course. THE Flyers have beat us mentally so bad, from on ice, behind the bench and even in the stands, there would have stood little hope of the Penguins being successful. May I use an old saying though? Be careful what you wish for. The Rangers are no cop out of a weak opponent. The Rangers are a scary team. After all, our season series with them was split at 2 wins and 2 losses. Once you hold off wide spread offensive talent, you have to get past Lunquist. What better way to shoot ourselves in the knee, than go from our top scores not scoring, to facing King Henry to break the slumps….good luck. HE is more determined than ever and those players that deserves a championship one day. I am sure he wouldn’t mind it being 6 weeks from now.
The Penguins have advanced, as predicted. Not necessarily as expected but nevertheless. The Penguins will not make it past the second round unless things are changed. I hope they have used this time wisely BYLSMA MADE HIS ADJUSTMENTS, and the Penguins are well rested, because if round one proved anything, it’s that we are not ready as a team to make a championship run. We have things that need worked out, and I hope we aren’t working on our golf swings in 2 weeks’ time.

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