Many of the Penguins players will be facing their favorite childhood team in a game seven playoff game that they’ve played over and over in their younger heads scoring the game winning goal for the Canadiens. It’s time to trample the ghosts of their childhood heroes, it’s time to spit in the face of 100 years of hockey history, It’s time to get down and dirty.
To win tonight’s game the Penguins defense has to be aggressive, not passive. Attack the Montreal players before and all the while they are coming into the zone. Montreal has great snipers but they are all small, get in their face and hound them, stop letting them get in close enough for a good shot. Block the shots. The defense needs to do more than bend over, they need to lay down or dive if need be.
Hit Somebody. In the three games the Penguins have won, they have averaged 31 hits per game. In the three games they lost they averaged 23 hits a game. Brooks Orpik didn’t even register a hit last game and the Penguins as a team only had 20 total hits. The Pens averaged 36 hits a game in the Ottawa series.
Get to their net, get in front of their net, poke Halak a few times. Adams is the only Penguin player that has touched Halak all series, take Halak off his game, rattle him a little. Put the shots on net, stop worrying about picking corners, if there are Penguin players in front just get the puck there and let them get the puck into the net.
Today’s Lines, Ponikarovsky is back in, Letestu is out:
Who cares if the Montreal Canadiens were the first team the Penguins played at the Civic Arena, the Penguins were the first expansion team to beat an “Original Six” team, that was in the Civic Arena and that team was the Chicago Blackhawks. That will be the fitting end to the Igloo, Crosby picking up the Stanley Cup for the Penguins on the Civic Arena ice.
I’m sure coach Bylsma has his game plan set but tonight is about the hockey you can’t teach what the players need to do tonight in one afternoon skate, game 7’s are what it is all about. So get out your rally caps, your good luck charms, sit in your lucky chair, it’s going to be a fun one.
Tonight’s game is a must win for a chance at history. A team hasn’t gone to the Stanley Cup finals three years in a row since the Edmonton Oilers did the first year Mario Lemieux was in the NHL, 25 years ago. All of the Penguins that have worn the uniform skating on the Civic Arena’s ice have built their own history, have their own ghosts and tonight as fans it’s time to awaken them the way only Penguins fans can.
It’s Crosby Time!