Well, as they say, tonight is do or die for the Penguins season. Will they pull off a historic win? We can only hope, and if this playoff run is any indicator, then the Penguins have a fighting chance to come back in a surprise burst of offensive glory, at least once more, and give us all hope of a game six with their ability to keep in the game.
The Wings are a scary team, and they have proven it over and over in this series, showing the fans why they topped out the league this year by a cool 11 points. Pittsburgh has stood up, gotten beaten down, bruised, but not out, and if the killing blow does come tonight then at least we can say they put up a fight and maybe, possibly, finally stop hearing about this team's inexperience. No one ever stops learning, but does getting to the Cup finals count as enough credibility to get them out of the nursery? When does a young team just become a team?
I don't have much to say about game 4, and if you look around the blogosphere, most people have already said it: the Pens should have had that game. They put pressure on, they made Osgood wake up and work for his saves, but sadly, fate was against them (as was the clock) and they couldn't seal the deal. Was it defense, lack of scoring, should Fleury be fed to the wolves for that awful save on Hudler? Or, perhaps, should Pens fans look at the big picture and realize that while the Penguins aren't beating back the Red Wings with a magnificent show of force, they're playing in the Stanley Cup, their first appearance in over 15 years and barely two years after they were scraping the bottom of the entire league in points. Do or die, win or lose, sink or swim, creamy or chunky, the Penguins are a team that their fans can be proud of, should be proud of, and they have given us a series that will be talked about for years to come.
Of course, Penguins fans would be a hell of a lot happier if we could talk about our team's magnificent comeback win against the titan Red Wings, how the Penguins offense exploded for a 5-4 all-out overtime battle in game 5 with a hat trick by Malkin to silence all his critics and secure a long and lucrative contract with Pittsburgh, thus ensuring the powerhouse duo of Crosby and Malkin on the tag line for years to come.
Hey, if you don't dream big, why dream at all?