Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fading Youths

WARNING: What you are about to read is a rare kind word about a certain team in yellow and black. The comments and opinions listed below do not represent a sign of insanity on the part of the author, nor should they be mistaken as a permanent recommendation that anyone become a fan of said team - it is merely the recognition of recent events and nothing more.

Please do not continue if you are a Caps fan with a heart condition or prone to bouts of nausea. Do not combine with alcohol or operate heavy machinery while reading.

Scott Burnside has a very interesting piece out today about the Penguins' loss to the Senators. In it he theorizes that the team will not be able to bounce back and will likely fall to Ottawa when the two meet up in Canada's capital tomorrow night. While I tend to agree with him, I also have to give the Penguins a lot of credit.

I know. Ugh.

I jumped on their backs a bit after their lackluster performance in Game 1 and rightly so - it wasn't the type of game I wanted to see. I wasn't speaking as a Caps fan but as a hockey fan. I want to see good hockey, tough battles, tight games...which frankly is why I'm ignoring the Rangers-Thrashers series altogether.

Since then, however, the evil ones have put in a good showing against what has turned out to be an extremely tough Ottawa team. The games have been close, physical, and above all else, entertaining. Some players have disappeared in the series as so often happens (Malkin?) while others like young Jordan Staal have stepped to the forefront and really taken the team on their shoulders. It's fun as a hockey fan to watch a battle that pits the best against the best, with the occasional unscripted and unexpected hero rising from the group...and that's exactly what we've gotten in these four games.

I've echoed the sentiments of so many others all season long, sometimes even without gagging, when I've said how talented this team really is. It's actually part of the reason I dislike Crosby and all the media hype that follows him around - it's unfair to overshadow a team with so much young talent that will in a few years be a consistent contender. Crosby is good. We get it. What about the others?

So it may very well be the end of the line for the Pens, and if so it is as it should be. The NHL might have been drooling over the idea of Sid the Kid in the Finals but those of us who watch hockey religiously understand that taking a young team all the way through the postseason is an almost impossible task. Better that they take the early exit this year and use it to build on for next season.

In a few years the Pens will be ready and will be good...scary good. My only hope is that they keep their core group of guys together so when the Caps reach their level and then surpass them, we can say our team is the very best.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled Penguin-hate.


Heather B. said...

This entry was clearly written by a podperson.

Steph said...

Malkin clearly has Pavel Datsyuk syndrome (maybe it's a Russian thing?).

....ew. Did I just sort of accidentally relate my Zetterberg to Crosby? At least he and Malkin aren't perpetual linemates so I feel vaguely better. Vaguely.

Okay your crazy Pens love post is messing with MY head now too, I can't take it anymore.

Elly said...

Excuse me for a moment while I try to look up the html that allows me to put a big heart in the comments.

CapsChick said...

Oh my god! What the...? My evil twin has stolen the keys to my blog and posted something nice about the PENGUINS!! I'll sue! SENS GO! GO SENS GO! KILL THE PENS! PUNCH CROSBY'S HEAD!

(Thanks, Heather B. - you gave me a nice little out there...)

Heather B. said...

Anytime, Rebecca :-) I knew there had to be some explanation, you know?

george said...

i realized out of nowhere the other day while watching one of the games, that i was mentally willing Pittsburgh to beat Ottawa.

then i think i threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Elly said...

Oh ha ha, take the easy way out! :) I've said nice things about the Caps before! Um....somewhere, I'm sure.

Heather B: C'mon, I'm cheering for the Sabres here! :)(OLNUSUS reminded me just WHY I am last night by showing the Isles eliminating the Pens in the 93 playoffs. Jerks)

Steph said...

Oh shut up Elly you know you're REALLY just cheering Ty Conklin.

Elly said...

You really want to break out the Conks card here? Besides, Buffalo is about the one team I don't have a beef with (and Carolina, per our conversation last night. Well, anymore, I should say).

Tyler said...

Yay! Go Pens!!

Jordi said...

Pens sympathiser! HAH! AND WHO WAS THE ONE WHO SAID I WAS IN LOVE WITH STAAL!? I AINT AND YOU ARE! *runs up and down in glee*