Pulling No Punches will be at Joe Louis Arena for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. If we don’t make it back from Detroit alive, or we go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it was nice to have blogged with you.
Before we hit the road – let’s break down the series up to this crucial Game 5, shall we?
“Sound of Silence” by Marian Who-ssa?
Pop quiz: How many boos did you hear for Hossa in Games 3 and 4 at Mellon Arena? You can count them on one hand, and that’s a good sign for the Pens. Hossa has been practically invisible. Hey, it’s not like his performance is a shock. Hossa had to defend his poor playoff performances for Ottawa when he was traded to the Pens last season.
The Penguins’ defensemen have to keep taking away Hossa’s time and space by stepping up on him as soon as he crosses the blue line. He looks like a frustrated man. Maybe even a man who is starting to grip his stick a little tighter now that this series is evened up, and thoughts of another embarrassing missed Stanley Cup opportunity float around in his big, bulbous head.
He could catch fire tonight on home ice, but I’m not betting on it. Once a chocker, always a choker – and it doesn’t get any bigger than tonight’s stage at the ‘Joe.
Could this happen again? The thought is tantalizing.
Lordy, Lordy, Jorday’s Shorty
If the Penguins lift the cup at the end of this series, Jordan Staal’s Game 4 short-handed goal will go down alongside Max Talbot’s Shush and Evgeni Malkin’s herculean butt kicking of Henrik Zetterberg as a defining moment. Staal’s effort may have single-handedly changed the momentum of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Penguins went from one goal down on a penalty kill, to completely dismantling Detroit in the second period.
Not bad for a 20 year old kid.
After Staal’s goal, the entire city of Pittsburgh called or texted a hockey-loving friend and said, simply:
“Are. You. Kidding. Me?!”
I said three things before these playoffs started. In case you were sleeping at the back of the class, here’s a cliff notes version:
- Forget Hossa, the Penguins are tougher this season, and better equipped to win the Cup
- To win, the Penguins will need to score the trash goals, not the pretty goals
- Sidney Crosby is the most underrated leader in the game. This team is incredibly resilient
With that said, don’t freak out if we don’t take Game 5. With this team, it is never over.
We’ll be back with a full report from D-Town on Monday.