Last night I was very PANIC! AT THE DISCO. I feel a little better this morning , so allow me to re-edit my thoughts.
Blue Jackets: 4; Penguins: 3 [Series tied 2-2]
Listen, Fleury has been the Penguins’ best player all series. Sometimes he is their only player actually playing. So much has been said over the years about his fragile confidence that I want to sucker punch a sportscaster in the junk. Last night the Penguins played a great 20 minutes, followed by what felt like a 40 minute penalty kill. So after an endless amount of this:
There was a single, slow motion, crash zoom moment of this:
With 24 seconds left in the game and a 1 goal lead. And then overtime. And then the Penguins lost. Series tied.
There is no reason, no why. But if I had a dollar for every time I yelled, “STAYINYOURNETFLOWER!” I’d be blogging from a private island where Chris Evans brings me cake between rounds of shirtless push-ups. So there is also no surprise. It’s a flabbergasting and inexplicable mistake, I don’t think Flower himself would argue against that.
Yet it was made by the man who’s been holding everyone else’s crap together for nearly four games. I hate that this happened to Flower – it’s like a bad rumor making itself true. His job is to make saves, not carry the team. If those things are one and the same sometimes, so be it. Blame falls far and wide for how the Penguins even ended up in this situation. In that way, Fleury is lucky. If Scuderi had made a mistake this costly? Riots. Letang? WAR.
That it’s Flower is both the best and worst thing for a team that has no choice but to rebound Saturday night. Fleury will get a chance to prove, in real time, that he is not the fall apart mess people say. He’s a great goalie. The damage is done. We’re asking him to forget it and move on so let’s do the same, yeah? Let’s have faith, and please don’t let it be the delusionally misguided playoff kind. If these guys need their backs against the wall to win battles and outplay their opponent, well they’ve got their chance. (#PensInSix)
Stars: 4; Ducks: 2 [Series tied 2-2]
On a night when Ryan Getzlaf was out with an upper-body injury and Teemu Selanne was a healthy scratch, Game 4 in Dallas promised to be exciting. Like final whistle line brawl exciting.
The Ducks were unhappy after Game 3, where they felt the Stars were running Ryan Getzlaf because of his injured face. [link] Dallas’ Ryan Garbutt broke the leg of Anaheim’s Stephane Robidas in a play for the puck [Garbutt apologized, Robidas accepted: link]. There’s history now and bad blood. The Stars scored four unanswered goals and the Ducks are in a bit of a panic after being ousted in the first round last year. Regardless, all fights should have streamers.
Jamie Benn had another goal. That’s all you really wanted to know, right?
Blackhawks: 4; Blues: 3 [Series tied 2-2]
It wouldn’t the Blackhawks if it didn’t take overtime. They blew a two goal lead in the first. The Blues had plenty of chances to extend their lead but could not convert. Brian Bickell tied the game with under four minutes left in regulation. Then in overtime, which they’ve needed three of the four games in this series, Patrick Kane:
Because Jess is a good person who loves the Blackhawks, she wanted to be sure you didn’t miss Captain I’m Fun Now doing post-game press in his booty shorts [video].
Now all of these series are new again. They’ve done the homework, there are no surprises left. Chicago and Dallas are on the upswing while Pittsburgh could certainly use a fresh start. Everyone knows exactly what it will take to win a Best of Three. Give yourself a day (two if you’re the Penguins, whose practice this morning was cancelled) and when this resumes we will fight not to the death. No no, our losers have to watch someone else steal their dream. As always we fight:
Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues