pop culture, pittsburgh, and potpouri
Monday, June 2, 2008
Holy H -E -Double Hockey Sticks!!!!
We witnessed one of the greatest displays of epic sports battles and competitive will tonight. It was the third longest game in Penguins history and arguably one of the greatest Stanley Cup Finals game ever. The Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in game four 4-3. Ryan Malone played nearly an hour just himself leading his home town team to a heroic Hollywoodesque victory. Just as the Detroit fans began to count down the third period and the NHL big wigs began polishing the Stanley Cup the Pens sent a message loud and clear that they were not going anywhere and that this series is far from over. After discreetly being out shot, out hit, and out numbered (Pens lost Gonchar) the Pens managed to muster that inner Ironman like a Gladiator in a Roman Colosseum or Jens Pulver hanging in there during the fifth round of his fight against Uriah Faber to somehow gain the upper hand in a third overtime to take the win and keep their head above water. The Pens took an early lead in the first period with a Hossa goal followed by Hull (which was really credited to the Red Wings who actually knocked the puck in). The Red Wings tied and took the lead in the third period. The Pens pulled Fleury (who BTW stopped 58 shots 24 of which were in the overtime- Holy Cannoli!!) with 40 seconds left in the game. The Red Wing fans began cheering and counting down. What they didn't know was that they were counting down to one of the best last minute season saving goals and sudden death overtime wins for the Pens not the Red Wings. Maxine Talbot squeezed the puck past Osgood with half a minute left, silencing all of Detroit and bringing to life most of Pittsburgh. This was without a doubt one of the most euphoric feelings that I have experienced in my life. The game was all tied up beginning the a 300 style sudden death overtime that showed the grit, guts, and gull of athletes at their best. Tired, bloody, beat up, and bruised both teams fought and continued to fight through two overtime periods leading to the third and final overtime. The first overtime was dominated by the Red Wings, but by the second overtime the youth of the Pittsburgh team showed through completely reversing the situation with Pittsburgh dominating making the Red Wings look like they were down by two games in the series. Like the Battle of Kruger, the Penguins continued to fight literally dragging each other back and forth down the ice. After approaching the Versus commentators and proclaiming that he was going to score and win the game, Peter Sykora did exactly that scoring his third career game winning sudden death goal and the 32nd shot on Osgood of the night. This game had everything that a Hockey fans and Sports fans love. This is why people play sports. This is akin to the million dollar jackpot that convinces people to keep gambling. This will be a game that every Pittsburgh sports fan will talk about for years to come. Win or lose the cup, the Penguins have shown their true colors and athletic will as a team. Even if they lose the next game, they still won this one showing Detroit and the world what kind of warriors they are. The Pens come home Wednesday to play game 6. Hopefully the Red Wings are tired and somewhat frustrated. The Pens may be able capitalize on this win and take this momentum all the way through game seven. This may be the turning point that will allow David to slay the Goliath. Incredible!!