The thought’s crept from my unconscious and into my head like some kind of paranormal harbinger whereas watching our final two video games. Might the Penguins win the Stanley Cup?
Yeah…I do know. Loopy. In the event you’d instructed me I’d be pondering this manner even a few weeks in the past? I might’ve mentioned you have been nuts. In any case, we didn’t win our second sport in regulation till February 14…almost 1 / 4 of the best way into the season.
This bunch seems to be channeling our 2015-16 Cup winners. Eerily so. Proper right down to a slumping famous person. Appears inconceivable now, however Sidney Crosby was doing his finest pre-hot streak Evgeni Malkin imitation again then. He had a grand whole of two objectives and 9 factors after 18 video games. Bear in mind?
Heck, at that stage Bobby Farnham had extra objectives than Sid. That’s proper…Bobby Farnham.
A number of people, together with yours really, have been asking if No. 87 was washed up.
Our current classic is even patterned after the ’15-16 squad, with a pronounced emphasis on pace. And each golf equipment skilled fairly a little bit of turnover throughout the offseason whereas including a high-profile top-six winger (Phil Kessel and Kasperi Kapanen).
Following three straight losses to open the ’15-16 season, we heated up with 9 wins in 10 video games. Regardless of our success, we didn’t look good. It was no nice shock when the wheels got here off and the axe fell on coach Mike Johnston.
Even after Mike Sullivan took over, issues didn’t flip round instantly. We misplaced our first 4 video games beneath the newly minted coach and went 6-7-4 in his first 17 video games.
Then we caught fireplace. The remainder, they are saying, is historical past.
I assumed we resembled these Johnston-era Pens throughout the first dozen video games this season. Even once we gained, we regarded crappy. We couldn’t win in regulation to avoid wasting our souls, ceding treasured factors to division foes. Then we went by means of a win one, lose one stretch. We couldn’t string two strong video games collectively.
If not for the exceptional resilience we’ve displayed from day one? I shudder to suppose the place we’d be.
Now…abruptly…issues are beginning to jell. We’re heating up and looking out like an actual hockey staff. We’re getting contributions from up and down the lineup, to not point out strong netminding. Even the fourth line’s been satisfactory. Maybe simply as necessary, a palpable bond appears to be forming among the many gamers.
No, we’re not excellent. Not by a protracted shot. However neither are our division rivals.
Boston has a murderous prime line and Tuukka Rask however no scoring depth. Washington is hard and expert however gradual. Philly is having consistency and goaltending points. The Islanders is likely to be probably the most full staff within the division, particularly enjoying Barry Trotz’s structured type. However we’ve had our means with them.
If our boys get wholesome? We might be a formidable opponent. Much more so if GM Ron Hextall finds a means so as to add an influence ahead and a bodily defenseman.
Again to my unique thought. Every time we’ve gained a Cup, I’ve simply had a sense. Just like the vibes I’ve gotten recently.
In case you’re questioning, I do declare to have a bit of ESP. Enter the WABAC machine with me and set the dial to Saturday, December 23, 1972. Fifteen on the time, I stepped into the Radio Shack at South Hills Village to hearken to the Steelers sport (house video games weren’t televised again then). We trailed the Raiders, 7-6. Fourth and ten, ball on our 40-yard line. Twenty-two seconds left to play.
After which it hit me…actually like a bolt from the blue. We’re going to win.
I instructed the girl standing subsequent to me. Then got here announcer Jack Fleming’s name.
…And Bradshaw, again and looking out once more Bradshaw….working out of the pocket, searching for someone to throw to, fires it downfield, and there’s a collision! It’s caught out of the air! The ball is pulled in by Franco Harris! Harris goes for a landing for Pittsburgh!
Sure, the “Immaculate Reception.”
Thoughts you, I’m not promising a Cup simply but. However these emotions are starting to stir…
*You should definitely take a look at Rick Bukers books,
out there at TriumphBooks.com,