Needless to say, Pittsburgh is in quite the hole. The frustration level from the boys when the take the ice has to be at an all-time season high. Hockey fans are burying them. The media is burying them. Hell, even the home writers are over-exagrating the road to go....Take the writer that former Steeler crazyman Greg Lloyd once called "Bozo the Clown", aka Bob Smizik. Smizik, perhaps distracted by his happy vengeance against Mark Madden (not that MM deserves to get off the hook). Take part the article he wrote, optomistically titled in part "Penguins in panic mode" (emphasis ours):
If they want to bring home the Cup, the Penguins now face the daunting challenge of needing to win four games of five, with two of them on the road, against a team that has thoroughly dominated them.So the Pens couldn't hypothetically win all their 3 home games and then take just one (game seven) on the road to take the Cup? Steady, Smizik, steady.
Before anybody gets to far ahead of themselves, the important thing for tonight is just getting that first a goal. Forget about a goal, just the first one tonight. As you probably should know, the Pens plan on playing veteran Darryl Sydor and scratching rookie Kris Letang but they'll probably ease Sydor in for about 13-15 minutes tonight.
Watch the forward pairings. Coach Therrien might stack things and bump Evgeni Malkin to top line left wing with Sidney Crosby and Marian Hossa and then jump Jordan Staal (who's played great this post-season) into the second line center spot between skilled players Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora. Of course, this opens up more problems because Staal has played well in a shutdown role. Sticking him on a scoring line means the likes of Maxime Talbot, Tyler Kennedy and Gary Roberts might have to match up against Detroit's top guns, who won't have to be focusing on containing the Crosby/Hossa line like they have been so vigilantly during the first two games.
So the faithful shouldn't throw in the towel just yet. Crazier things have happened and these guys haven't said die yet. In the vein of the Pensblog we're going to stoop to the low of putting some form of good luck image below (hey we're desperate but not without hope).