Tuesday, June 9, 2009


ABOVE: Rocky Balboa sizes up Detroit's Ivan Drago. The monstrous Drago says, "I will break you," but I'm betting the house on Rocky in this one.

There is one big question in the mind of every Pittsburgh sports fan today: Can the Penguins drag themselves up off the mat one more time in their epic battle with the Detroit Red Wings? (okay I lied) Can they possibly win game six and throw this crazy series into a game seven death match at Detroit's Little Shop of Horrors?

ABOVE: I get a severe headache every time I have to do this, but it's a gift that I owe to mankind and most especially to Pittsburgh sports fans because you need to know.

Recent history seems to favor the Penguins in this one, but as we all know, being able to get up on the other team is critically important. Not necessarily scoring an early goal, but not having an early goal scored on you.

It's Marc-Andre Fleury time.

ABOVE: Fleury is planning on butchering some octopi in game six at Mellon Arena tonight. If the Pens don't win the cup in Pittsburgh next year, it will mean that in the entire history of Mellon Arena that the cup was never won by the Pens in this building. That in itself is good reason to build a new one.

Fleury had a superb game four and exuded confidence during and after that contest. However he allowed a soft goal to Dan Cleary after the Penguins offense had misfired on several opportunities including a power play with zero shots. When a game is hanging in the balance, this is when championships are won or lost. No doubt Fleury will be tested early and often. I'm sure that Detroit is thinking that if they could once again strike first that they could take the emotion out of the crowd and leave the Penguins reeling. Expect both teams to come out with tremendous energy and desire to get that first goal. as a result, there will be a great number of scoring chances in those first ten minutes.

However, after the initial jousting session cools, both teams will settle into a more defensive mode. I'll be surprised if there is more than one goal scored in this period and I think that Sid will get it.

ABOVE: Proving once again that he is the best tenant in the world, Sidney will get his landlord's team to game seven in another gritty performance (Sid almost looks like he was in grade school in this picture).

The second period will be a tense defensive struggle throughout. Shots will be down and scoring chances will be rare. There will be no scoring in this period. So with the score 1-0 Pittsburgh after two periods, the tense Mellon Arena crowd will settle uneasily into their seats.

Detroit will dial up the pressure and the shots will increase. Fleury will hang tough and finally, with around five minutes, their defensemen now pinching, Gino Malkin will cut loose from Brian Rafalski and unleash a slapshot from inside the blue line that stuns Chris Osgood and gives the Pens a 2-0 lead.

As the appreciative crowd celebrates and exhales for the first time all night, Detroit will mount a furious rally with Osgood pulled that will not result in a goal for either team. As the horn sounds the end of the game, the crowd will thunderously chant, "WE WANT THE CUP, WE WANT THE CUP". Final score 2-0 Pittsburgh.

The Pens will circle the ice raising their sticks to the delerious fans, saluting them for their loyalty. They want the cup too, but they'll have to go back to Detroit to get it.

So Marc-Andre will throw a shutout against the mighty Red Wings, just three days after probably the worst loss of his career, shutting up his critics.

ABOVE: The Penguins (played by Rocky Balboa) look pretty dapper in this black and gold robe. I've got to get one of these! Coincidentally I have gone by " Stallion" for many years, so it would make the perfect Father's day gift (hint, hint, wink, wink)!!!

And so what will the Pens do in game seven you ask? Give me a break, I've already got a headache from this much prognostication! This is a FREE site you know!!! You'll have to come back on Friday to find out.