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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pens Put Flyers On Brink Of Elimination

When the game ended tonight, I was talking with Gopher and a very strange feeling came over me. I was happy and very excited obviously, but there was something very different about tonight and I'm not entirely sure why.

I was nervous as usual for the entire third period until Ryan Malone scored to put us up 3-1 and then I started to breathe just a little easier. I couldn't get too excited though since I was at work listening on a 2 minute delay over the web and was tied up with a bunch of stuff relating to the West Virginia Primary tonight.

As I was posting the story about the Penguins to our sites the feeling hit me. The nerves were mysteriously gone in quick fashion for the first time in months.

I was numb.

That's about as best I can describe it. As I wrote the headline "Pens Take Commanding 3-0 Lead Over Flyers" the magnitude of it all hit me.

We're one win away from being in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 91-92 when I was still parading around the house in my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas. Yeah, I had them, what of it? You know you did too.

Now by no means am I saying this series is over, but for the third time in this postseason we have a 3-0 lead. I'll repeat that because even I don't believe I even just typed that and it's true.

The Penguins have a 3-0 lead for the third time this postseason.

I asked for a split and I've at least gotten it. I would much rather have won Game 3 to go up 3-0 like we did than give Philly fans an added edge to get riled up for Game 4 with a chance to tie the series on home ice. You could almost hear the air get sucked out of the building when Malone tucked the puck behind Martin Biron to put the Pens up 3-1. It was almost like when Marian Hossa skated up the middle of the ice and made about 3 guys look stupid and caught Biron off-guard to put us up 2-0 early in the first.

Of course like a little kid, I'm greedy and now want to see us break out the brooms and get rid of Philadelphia quickly. I never thought that I'd see the Pens ever go on a run like they are on right now.

This is like watching the results of my latest Stanley Cup run in NHL 2K8 coming to life. After tonight's game, we are now 11-1 in the playoffs. That doesn't even look right and my head is starting to hurt from trying to wrap my brain around that thought.

Also, Sid the Kid is now the league leader in points for the playoffs. Let's not forget how impressive that is seeing as how he's played in fewer games than any of the other guys near the top of the leader-board. If you'll also notice that Malkin is only one point behind Sid.

Pavel Datsyuk (17) and Henrik Zetterberg (18) are close to Sid who's got 19, but they have both played in 1 more game so far.

Like I said, I'm just numb right now. I don't want to get too excited about being one game from the Stanley Cup Finals since I've been on the good end of a 3-0 series lead being blown. (Thanks Yankees for giving us Sox fans the ultimate bragging rights for all eternity until you guys do the same to us.)

Game 4 is on Thursday and by then we may know who the Western Conference representative will be since Dallas has been awful against Detroit who also leads 3-0.

It's kind of funny how the best series of the playoffs were in the first round when the seeding was much more lopsided. We had three Game 7s in the first round and since then we've had one Game 6 and might not even see a Game 5 in the conference finals. Didn't think that would be the case, but yet here we are.

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