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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gary Roberts Is The NHL Version Of Chuck Norris

Let me explain this. Before Game 3 I was talking to Gopher. During the intro of the NBC coverage they showed a group of Pens fans standing outside the igloo waving signs that simply read "WWGRD."

I immediately started cracking up. Gary Roberts is by far one of my favorite players on the team. How can you not get excited about a 42-year-old guy totally destroying opposing defenders? It got me to thinking about other older guys who can still bring the pain and the first guy that popped into mind was Chuck Norris. I made the comment to Gopher "Gary Roberts is the NHL version of Chuck Norris," at that time.

It seemed innocent enough and we shared a chuckle. Then it happened. There was a commercial featuring Mr. Norris during one of the commercial breaks. In my severely altered state of consciousness it started to make sense. As if I needed even further evidence of the above title, Roberts delivered.

In the third period with a 2-1 lead, Tyler Kennedy got smoked in the corner making an outlet pass. The Pens dump the puck into the corner and who else but Roberts comes flying into the play out of nowhere and absolutely kills Andreas Lilja. I start freaking out and yelling "GO CHUCK NORRIS!" Then, Adam Hall picks up the loose puck and banks it into the net from behind the goalline to give us a 3-1 lead. I went nuts and now I want one of those WWGRD signs for my basement collection of Penguins stuff.

For further proof of this idea taking off and becoming something bigger, go to youtube and search for "WWGRD," kick back and enjoy what you see. There's even one of a few Roberts fights with the "Walker Texas Ranger" theme playing in the background and a video description saying exactly the title of this post.

As for the game, who called Darryl Sydor being inserted into the lineup? Me. I wish Hal Gill was the one taken out of the lineup instead of Kris Letang, but I'll live for now. Once again Gill was atrocious, taking 2 stupid penalties and getting away with two other stupid ones.

For the most part I was happy with how we played. The first 15 minutes were nothing to write home about and i think both the Pens and the fans were very tentative to see how it would play out. Then Brad Stuart makes an awful turnover that led to Sid the Kid scoring the first Pens goal of the series and all of a sudden you could see something change. The Pens had life, the fans had life and they started to play their game.

Pucks got deep, we used our cycle to generate the best chances we've had all series. If it wasn't for the horrible sound of iron I wouldn't have had to chew my nails down to the cuticle in the third period. Now we have a chance on Saturday to tie this series up and make it a best of three. Detroit has blown a 2-0 lead once already in the playoffs against Nashville and almost blew a 3-0 lead against Dallas. It would not be surprising to see the Penguins head back to Detroit tied 2-2. The only way that happens is to play with confidence like they did in Game 3. If they come out hitting and playing their game, they will get their chances and have a shot to tie it up. If they allow Detroit to dictate the play and pace of the game as they did in Games 1 and 2, this series is all but over. Simple as that.

One final note: The only good thing that may have come out of Gill's stupidity is that it appeared as if Tomas Holmstrom re-aggravated a nagging back injury. He did not play another shift after the incident late in the third. Time will tell if he's good to go for Game 4. My guess is that he will suit up because the man is a warrior. I have a couple words of advice for Holmstrom should he come across this post. Ask yourself this Mr. Holmstrom, "What Would Gary Roberts Do?"

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