PenguinsExperience.com - A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Thursday, February 05, 2009

Recap: Penguins 4 - Lightning 3 [OT]

If, in October, someone had told me that one of the season's biggest highlights would be an overtime victory against Tampa Bay, I would have laughed. Of course, I also would have laughed if someone told me the Penguins would be in a desperate race for the finals playoff spot with Florida and Carolina.

But both of those things are true.

Evgeni Malkin is the best player on this team. Sidney Crosby is an amazing talent with great vision and skill. He's the kind of guy who will work as hard as he can every single game. But no one on this roster can take over a game like Evgeni Malkin can. The commentators during the game were right, it was like watching Mario out there.

This was one of those games that makes me want to throw out $150.00 for Malkin's jersey, despite the fact that I still hate the Penguins RBK Edge jersey design.

It was actually a pretty pathetic game. The Penguins once again spent the majority of the game being outplayed by a team they should have easily dominated. They seem to always struggle against new goaltenders and last night was no different. As the second period ended I truly believed Mike McKenna was going to get a shutout in his first full NHL game. I've been a Penguins fan for almost 20 years and I was ready to give up on the team. But Evgeni Malkin proved me wrong.

"I'm mad because we're losing." - Evgeni Malkin
That's exactly right. The Penguins shouldn't be down on themselves, they shouldn't be sad, they shouldn't feel hopeless. They should be mad. If you look at the talent on this team, even with all the summer defections, you see a team that should definitely be in the playoff hunt.

This was a great, character-building victory. It will be incredibly hard for the Penguins to build on this, since they face Columbus, Detroit and San Jose in their next three games, but that is exactly what they need to do.

Last night proved that the season isn't over yet. Maybe the boost from this game, combined with the challenge of facing two of the best teams in the West, will cause the Penguins to up their game and finish the season strong. Maybe they'll make the playoffs. Maybe Malkin will win the Hart Trophy.

After last night those things don't seem so impossible anymore.

23 comments:

Giants said...

Evgeni Malkin is definatley not the best player on the Penguins. Sydney Crosby is way better than Malkin, and the stats and recods will show that.

Pittsburgh Penguins Tickets said...

Congrats to Penguins and love the story

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