To believe or not to believe? That is the question I posed to myself last night, as the Pens were on the receiving end of another 4-3 overtime loss. This time at the hands of Nick Foligno.
Tina was sitting in our common room watching the last few minutes of the third and overtime unfold with me. Obviously she saw my immense frustration after a really, really awful game tying goal by Brandon Dubinsky with 24 seconds left in the third period.
Then, overtime came and, although I hate to admit it, I knew the Pens were not leaving Columbus with a 2 game advantage. I said this to Tina, and then she questioned my belief in the Pens. I didn’t really have an answer because, well, I just didn’t. I generally do believe in my team, expect when they pull these shenanigans.
Every year, especially during the regular season, Sidney Crosby and the boys give me every single reason to believe that they are finally going to win another Cup.
Yet, every year since 2012 (2011 was an anomaly because Sid and Geno were out) they’ve managed to disappoint in rather spectacular fashion. It’s not like they go out in a hard fought battle, like last year’s Western Conference Semifinal between Detroit and Chicago. The Pens go out in a rather embarrassing fashion:
2012 : Yeah, that horrible series against the Flyers who were under their skin nearly every single game. Oh, and the scores were absolutely insane: 5-1, 8-4, 10-3. Of course it was against a team that they were more than capable of beating. But only if the Pens kept their emotions in check.
2013: Oh, hell yes I totally believed that this was their year. Sid, Geno, Neal, Kunitz, Letang, and basically every other member of the Pens was playing really well. And then, Marc-Andre Fleury happened in the first series against the Islanders.
We all know what happened. No need to beat a dead horse. Tomas Vokoun took over the net, leading the Pens to the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins. Which, I still can’t talk about because of how mortifying it was.
We know how it went down and not one Penguin player or Pens fan is proud of their “effort.”
2014 Regular Season: A league-leading number of man games lost to injury. Well over 500. There were highs and lows of the season, especially after the Olympics when the Pens had a few small losing streaks. But adversity is a great teacher, right?
After having the expectation to win the Cup the previous two years, it is nice not to have that pressure from the media for once. Although the Pens are considered serious competitors, by no means do they have the same high level of expectation.
2014 Playoffs (thus far): Uhhhh, I don’t even know what to say because I’m just like Pens reporter Sam Kasan:
It’s also little facts like this that have me really concerned.
And after tonight’s game, where the last two goals are actually on Fleury, I almost don’t know what to do, say, or think anymore about the Pens. But then again, this is a part of the emotional roller coaster that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The only suggestion I have is listening to “Let It Go” on repeat until Game 5 on Saturday.
Hit the reset button, come into the game with the desperation that they had in Game 4, thus leading to their victory, and PUH-LEASE come with a power play that’s capable of doing some serious damage.
So please, please, please Pittsburgh Penguins, don’t let me and the rest of your fans down. Give us a reason to really believe.
You. Can. Do. It.