I'm breaking my own rule of blogging within an hour of the end of the game. My emotions run high, my language is sailor-like, and I become fixated on one point. Tonight, that one point is our continued inability to respond when the going gets tough.
I'm not just talking about going goal for goal with the Cup champs (though that would be nice), but simply showing a bit of courage and heart when your team needs it. Sidney Crosby knocked our captain out of the game for a few minutes and we answer the call by letting him stroll through the crease with the game winning goal. He and Malkin continue to have FAR too much space in our zone.
How many different times tonight did Malkin gain the zone with Sutton giving him a shove into the boards? Don't shove him, take his fecking head off! He is a sack of shit that gets a free pass and the only way to set him straight is to clean his clock. Remember Leopold? Do that again. We have the size on the back end with four bruising defencemen, so tell me how come Pittsburgh looks like the far more violent team? They get the big hits on every shift, save when Neil and Ruutu muck it up.
I will acknowledge our injuries to the 'finishers' but will never use it as the reason we're down 2-1 in this series. We've had plenty of chances to bury goals and we've had plenty of chances to deliver a series-changing bodycheck. Nobody wants to do it. Nobody.
Jason Spezza, this isn't your first rodeo. Jacques Martin is not going to put you in the press box. Pick your game up and do better. Do a better job backchecking, since you've been on the wrong end of most Pens goals. Do a better job gaining the zone since your stickhandling isn't working. Do a better job of hitting the net, since your goal scoring ability is being neutralized by average defencemen. Your task isn't easy - you're playing against either Crosby or Malkin at all times. But you are one of the most talented players in the league and you need to remind us why you are the highest paid player on the team.
Mike Fisher, I'm happy you scored but don't settle there. You were our leading goal scorer this year but you have looked lazy on puck battles. I'm not sure if the wedding photos are coming up, but it is time to start bruising it up here. Get dirty and show why you were chosen to wear the A.
All I want to see on Tuesday night, apart from a big win, is this team to show that they are so much stronger and that they care so much more than those old flops of the past. Right now, I see two douchebags walking all over us and we're scared to lay a finger on them. Bury the effing head in the ice and go score a goal! If they call you for charging (horseshit), then shake it off and go after them again. Don't let these two players get any more airtime than we're already being subjected to hearing. I'm already watching the game on mute. Find your hearts! Tonight was pathetic, but you've got Tuesday to respond.
Ups and Downs: Week 11
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