Friday, June 5, 2009

PENS FANS IN RAPTURE FOLLOWING THRILLING 4-2 WIN OVER RED WINGS. SERIES TIED AT 2-2.

ABOVE: Two more games like last night's and they'll have to change logos in Detroit. That logo from the 40s is kind of stale and cheesy anyway.

rap·ture - Pronunciation: \ˈrap-chər\
Function: noun. Etymology: Latin, raptus. Date: 1594

1: an expression or manifestation of ecstasy or passion2 a: a state or experience of being carried away by overwhelming emotion b: a mystical experience in which the spirit is exalted to a knowledge of divine things 3 often capitalized : the final assumption of Christians into heaven during the end-time according to Christian theology.

Yeah, that about sums up last night's game four of the Stanley Cup Finals in Pittsburgh last night. In fact, Pens fans will be talking about that 5:33 seconds of the second period for many years to come when the Guins scored three times during that time span.

After that house on fire formerly known as Evegeni Malkin scored on a power play early in the first period, much to the chagrin of Penguins fans both inside (17,130) and outside (possibly up to 10,000) the Red Wings climbed back into the game. The Wings' Darren Helm put away a rare Rob Scuderi turnover to tie the game. Then, at the 5:44 mark of the second, Brad Stewart slapped a double-screen shot past Marc-Andre Fleury that gave Detroit a 2-1 lead and had many in the massive crowd pulling out their Rolaids.
Immediately afterwards, an energized Red Wings team was once again carrying the play when Pens defenseman, Brooks Orpik, was called for tripping. Things were looking very dark indeed.

Seconds later on the penalty kill, Evgeni Malkin knocked the puck away from a Red Wing and into the possession of a breaking Jordan Staal. Staal managed to score the biggest goal of his young career by beating goalie Chris Osgood shorthanded to knot the game at two.

ABOVE: Rapture, thy name is Pittsburgh...especially when it involves the Penguins or Steelers. The Pirates we still have to work on.

The penalty was killed with no shots even allowed to Detroit and the bedlam then grew to insanity as Malkin and Crosby teamed up for another goal on a breakaway moments later with Crosby scoring his first goal of the finals. As if that wasn't enough, this raging inferno then had a tanker truck of gasoline dumped on it as Tyler Kennedy, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz combined for one of the most spectacular "tic-tac-toe" goals that you'll ever see. Just for good measure, Evgeni Malkin nearly scored on a breakaway in the last second of the period. It wasn't a goal, but it was an indication of just how gassed the Red Wings were and how en fuego Malkin is.

Detroit mounted some pressure early in the third, but on this night, Marc-Andre was on the top of his game. There would be no more scoring in this one as the Pens evened the series at two game apiece. Game five will take place in Detroit, Saturday night at 8:00 on the network everyone loves to hate, NBC. Thanks to NBC's policy, there will not be any "Mario T.V." at any of the remaining games. Nice.

ABOVE: Try to get one of these seats for game six. They're available for as "low" as $600 to over $3,500 at the glass. Since the SuperBowl will never be played in Pittsburgh, winning the Stanley Cup in the same year as an NFL championship could again create a state of "complete rapture" for the Pittsburgh area.

Speaking of Mario T.V, what other city do you know of that could get 10,000 people together to sit outside at night to watch a hockey game on a giant screen without any incidents? That's just Pittsburgh, where the people love their sports teams and can get along with each other too. Those people who displayed such great spirit are to be commended. You are why Pittsburgh is being called "America's greatest sports town".

Saturday night's game should determine the series winner. If the Pens win, they would be in a position to win their first Stanley Cup at home. If they lose, they would then have to pull out a game six at home and then hope to win game seven in Detroit. I'm sure that the Penguins, to a man, want to win this cup in Pittsburgh, so look for them to throw the kitchen sink at the Red Wings. Hopefully they'll "break the wings" tomorrow night.
One thing is for certain, if the Pens win game five, it will immediately rank as their third most important win in franchise history...until they win game six or seven.

ABOVE: Xray of Detroit's seriously broken wing. The "Mr. Mister" song says, "Spread, this broken wing..." but I don't foresee that happening.