The only thing that makes Penguins sadder than global warming is losing in the second round of the playoffs.
Alas, and alack, my beloved Penguins lost last night 5-2, to the Montreal Canadiens (Les Habitants), thus losing the series 4 games to 3. It is the first time in 3 years the Pens aren't advancing to the Cup Finals. And I am a very mopey Shadow today.
Montreal, probably celebrating another stupid Penguins turnover that led to an easy goal.
As much as I want to curse Matt Cooke for taking stupid penalties, or Malkin and Crosby for disappearing, for Leopold, Dupuis, Talbot, Kennedy and Staal for going MIA, Gonchar for his tissue-soft defense, I have to give ultimate praise to the Habs who played their ass off: Gill and Subban, who shut down our scoring line; Cammaleri, who was unstoppable; and Halak, who made great save after great save.
Which, of course, brings me to my greatest criticism. Our flaky goalie, Mark-Andre Fleury. This kid is an enigma, and you never know what you're going to get. Are you getting the Game 5 Fleury who stoned everything in his path? Maybe. However, during this series, you were more apt to see the softest, pansiest goals that just squibbled in because of his lack of concentration; including three more last night.
Pictured: Wide open Fleury, with a slow-rolling puck that defied physics and got behind him...
The Vancouver Canucks lamented their shitty goal-tending by posting a Craigslist ad putting Luongo up for sale, I think, with minimal modification, it can be used here:
“Sulking, belligerent and grossly over-rated goaltender who can’t stop a beach ball, seeks new gig... Goalie will play for hair gel and $7.5 million. I will be golfing tomorrow and every day for quite some time. You can still reach me on my hotline: Mark 1-MAF-SUKD.”
Of course, no one accuses Mark of being a bad teammate, or a poison in the locker room, but he was vastly outplayed this series, and, like Tom Barrasso before him, you never know if you'll get brilliance (e.g., enough net-minding to win the Cup), or average, regular season performances. And, in the end, that's just not enough...especially when our best scorers decide that they want to take an entire series off and put too much pressure on MAF to be brilliant.
A young Mark-Andre Fleury prepares for his goalie practice...