Monday, June 1, 2009

Pens Fans: Stop Crying

Let me preface this by saying that I am not the biggest Pens fan. People that know me, know that I am a baseball and football guy. I used to watch a lot of hockey in the late 90s and early 00s when the NHL was on TV more (ESPN, NBC). But I think I understand a little hockey though, I'm certainly not to the level of the Florentin's on this site, but I do know more than the bandwagon losers that become experts when the playoffs role around. Make sense?

So after the Red Wings won game two, everybody's status on facebook was some form of complaint about the referees. I watched two local sports shows around midnight, one on KDKA and the other on WTAE. Every call was about how bad Fleury is and how Crosby "needs to step it up." Are you serious? Here are a couple of facts. Whether the officials would have called ten more penalties or zero penalties, the Pens would still be down two games. If Fleury would have played better, he's not perfectly sharp nor terribly bad, the wings would still be up two games. If Crosby had 3-4 goals as opposed to zero, the series would still be the same. A couple more facts, Nicklas Lidstrom has been better than any Penguins defensemen, and Pittsburgh cannot solve Detroit's "New Jersey" style trap.

Even with all that said, this series is far from over. Last year's tilt went six, and the Pens have looked a lot better this time around as opposed to last year. Secondly, Bylsma can avoid the Lidstrom Zetterberg matchup against Crosby at home. Finally, Osgood is not as great as people think. He can be rattled and beaten. Last night Pierre Mcguire said that teams are not really in trouble in a series until they lose at home. He's right. Washington was up 2-0. People look at stats like teams down 0-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals are only 1-31 to win the series. That stat can turn into 1-32, but it can just as easily move to 2-31 direction. Things can sometimes regress to the mean. No baseball team came back from 0-3 in the playoffs until it happened when the Red Sox beat the Yankees. No team beat the Patriots in 2007 until they, actually, lost.

If the Penguins win on Tuesday we have a whole new series with Thursday being a monster game. If the Red Wings win on Tuesday, it is probably over, be we are certainly not there yet. In the meantime, quit crying and complaining about the referees and certainly don't bash guys like Fleury and Crosby, it's simply ridiculous. Don't stoop to the level of Philadelphia fans, be calm, educated Pittsburgh fans, and you might be real happy tomorrow night.

No comments: