By William R. Eller
The City of Pittsburgh lives and breathes sports; the Steelers,Yes; to some extent the Pirates; but most importantly The Penguins. Each year we live and die on an eighty-two game schedule and then hang on tight in the playoffs. This season along with these first round Playoffs are no different.
At the beginning of this 2008-2009 season Penguin fans like you and I just assumed that the Playoffs and the Stanley Cup finals were a given, even after key personnel losses. After all we walked through the playoffs last year and after game two of the finals we hung toe to toe with the champs. Though the Pens struggled for most of this season, and as a result many fans turned on them. Complaints thrown at players like Staal, Satan, Fleury, and even Crosby, but most of all head coach Michel Therrien. We yelled and booed, cursed and screamed but most of all we lost faith in the coach and the organization. After November we realized this “cakewalk” through the NHL wasn’t happening as first predicted, and thoughts of who will the Penguins draft to play with Crosby began. Just when you all started to lose faith...the change was made, and interim coach Dan Bylsma was hired. Finally the team began to play hard, to look good, and started to win consistently.
Now in the playoffs the Pens have start out strong with a huge win in game one. We struggled a bit but eeked out game two. Game three was a hard fought loss and game four the brought with it thrill of being able to close out the our arch enemies. That's when most of us felt that it was over..."The Flyers are done, who’s next?" The radio shows were all about whether we can beat Martin Broudeur or Cam Ward. Marc-Andre Fleury became the hero for the Pens, maybe even the single reason we win the series.
Riding that high, the Flyers karate kicked us in the face.
What I am trying to say with this story is simply this: Take a breath; slow down; and more importantly have faith in our Penguins. As long as the eighty-two game season is, the playoffs are even longer (at least they feel that way). Don’t get too high when Scott Hartnell acts like a clown and we win. And don’t get to low when we go 0-forever in a series. Instead of using all your emotion on the ups and downs of the penguins these playoffs, use that energy toward hating something like the "Love of Mike Richards" or better yet, fire off 10 to 20 emails towards NBC and their advertisers about the Big Screen in front of the Mellon.
Today at 3 pm grab your ice cold beverage and a bag of Doritos, turn down the NBC sound, sync up Mike Lange on WXDX and watch us whip up on those cry babies.
LETS GO PENS!!!
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