Max Talbot flipped the puck to center ice as the clock ticked to zero. “Meet me in the schoolyard for all the marbles on Friday night in Detroit!” — Mike Lange put it out there as only he can and the stage is set. Personally I need the two days of rest. It should be just the right amount of time for everyone to prepare for Game 7 – the first Game 7 of a Stanley Cup Final in Penguin history. Game 6 brought out the best in the Penguins, and it surely brought out the best in the fans. Every so often, when I and 17,000 others were actually breathing, we were screaming ‘Let’s Go Pens!!!” That had to be a boost for the home team. That tells us how hard it is going to be to win in Detroit. There were some Red Wing fans in the building for Game 6, but they were not heard from. I’m sure the Penguin faithful will get as many tickets for Game 7 as possible, and if enough can get in to make some noise, it could give the Penguins a lift. Now that the Penguins have forced a Game 7 in Detroit, can they win it?
History tells us that the Penguins have very little chance of winning this game. The combined scores of this year’s games in Detroit is 11-2. Going back to last year it was 19-6. The Penguins scored 6 goals in six games and four of them came in the triple overtime win of Game 5 of last year. Overall the Red Wings are 10-1 this year, with their only loss coming in overtime to Anaheim. There have been 14 Game 7’s in Stanley Cup Finals in NHL history. The home team has won 12 of them. So with all of this being said, why are we looking forward to Friday’s game?
First of all — there is a Game 7 Friday. As a result of how well the Penguins played in Game 6, they gave themselves the opportunity to play in this winner-take-all game. The Penguins have won every series this year on the road. They have been a backs-to-the-wall team all season. In February they were in tenth place and they fought all the way back to fourth place. They led the NHL in come-from-behind victories. They came from 2-0 down to defeat the Capitals in Round 2. The talent and resiliency is in this group to win it all. If they do put it all together on Friday night, they can leave the schoolyard with ALL the marbles. That’s the view from E-11.