Stanley Cup Champions 2009 – Pittsburgh Penguins

What a magnificent end to a crazy season.

Maxime f’ing Talbot.

During a season where the Pens played some of the worst hockey imaginable, where they had to fire their coach mid-season (a move that never works) after a horrible game in Toronto, going down 2-0 in two series, having an at time horrendous power play, a goalie giving up incredously soft goals, with their star and captain going out due to injury in a Game 7 on the road (where no one had won since 1971), the Pens did it.

I have never been so happy to be so wrong.

The season started off badly, with the loss of a bunch of talent and an injury to their best defenseman.  When Hossa signed with Detroit at lesser money, many Pens’ fans were outraged, but, to be honest, his explanation made sense.  He had a better chance at winning the cup with Detroit.

Then after a decent start, the team started to stumble.  A team with Crosby and Malkin…you wouldn’t think they couldn’t score, but they couldn’t score.  Fleury showed signs of brilliance, but was uneven, and gave up the odd goal when trying to play the puck.  Finally, in what seemed a move of total desperation, they fired the coach and brought in Bylsma from the minors.  There was no way this would work.

Then they went on the streak that got them to the playoffs, even getting home ice against the Flyers in the first round.  Which was nice, but there was no way they would advance.  Sure enough, with a chance to win on the road, they went down 3-0 against the Flyers, and then Maxime f’ing Talbot decided to get his ass kicked by Carcillo in a fight.  Totally pointless.  5 goals later, on to the second round.

Ovechkin and Crosby went toe to toe.  The Pens went down 2-0, and looked hopeless.  Save of the year against Crosby in game one, no less.  ESPN talked about the Caps as the future of the league.  Then a bounce shot of the ass in OT and they were back in it.  Up 3-2 at home with a chance to win, and they blow it.  Game 7 on the road.  No shot.  And Fluery stones Ovechkin and the Pens crush the Caps.

They face a Hurricanes team that overcame two ‘better’ teams to make it to the conference finals and are spent.  The Pens go ga-ga and sweep into the finals.

At this point, I’m telling people that I’m ‘cautiously optimistic’ in order to watch the Red Wings jump to a 2-0 lead in the series.  Malkin loses his mind at the end of Game Two and it seems hopeless.  Then the Pens win two at home, never easy.  Hope raises its head.

And then the Pens get just crushed in Game 5.  To say it wasn’t close is an understatement.  Fleury gets chased for Garon, and you might as well put me in the game.  I’m swearing at friends about my cautious optimism.

And then Jordan Staal steps up when it was needed.  Always (in my mind) the under-achiever, he makes it happen in Game 6.

Going into Game 7, I thought there was little hope they could win.  Last time a road team won was 1971.  Last time a road team won in any of the major sports (the Pirates) was 1979.  They bring out Ali in the 1st period and I’m thinking St. Peter in a Red Wings jersey is next.

And then, Maxime F’ing Talbot.  Two goals, unreal.  Going into the third period, I’m thinking ‘Just hang on.’  Detroit scores with 6 minutes left, and I know, I just *know*, they will tie it to get to OT and then win.  And Kronwall hits the post.  And there’s an empty net and the Pens can’t for the life of them clear the zone.  And when they do, they can’t get the winner.  And they can’t win a faceoff.  And with seconds left, they lose the faceoff, and the shot comes in, and the rebound goes to Lidstrom with a wide-open net, and….Fleury makes the save.  And they won?  Really?  Holy s%^t, we just won the Cup.

You couldn’t script this season and make it seem reasonable or believable.  They shouldn’t have won, but they did.

Obviously, I’ve been watching numerous replays of various parts of the game, but one thing stands out.  Crosby is handed the Cup by the Commish.  He starts to skate around with it, and the shot shows this big burly guy in the lower level in a Wings jersey, flipping him the double bird.  I remember last year, I feel your pain, brother.

Maxime f’ing Talbot.

Stanley Cup Champions 2009 – the Pittsburgh Penguins.


posted on Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:31 AM Print
# re: Stanley Cup Champions 2009 – Pittsburgh Penguins
6/15/2009 9:21 AM
Oot, oot, aboot, oot. Round bacon. Oot, aboot.

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