Okay - the Penguins averted disaster Tuesday night by winning the third period - and with it a playoff game to make what could easily have been a 3-0 blowout deficit into a competitive 2-1 series.
But they have to do it all over again tonight. If the Red Wings can take game four in Pittsburgh, the series could be all over by Saturday night in Detroit.
If you like the Penguins (and shame on you if you do) and you're looking for reasons to believe they have a chance, think of this: in last year's finals Evgeni Malkin was 21 years old, just one year past his rookie season, and had the flu during the finals. This year Evgeni has 3 years of NHL experience and is peaking with a league-leading 33 playoff points - the most ever for a Russian born player.
And speaking of Malkin, it was good to see the New York Times picking up on our theme from Tuesday and writing an article (by Jeff Z. Klein) all about how Evgeni is the real star in Pittsburgh - even though Crosby gets all the attention. Thanks Jeff - we like reading your paper too.
You know, it's got to be a tough gig writing for the "paper of record". That is, it's sort of like writing for the New York Post - but you gotta throw in a pile of those 20 dollar words.
Like if the Post wrote:
"Russian reporters have said Malkin's confidence is up"
The Times would translate that to (actual quote from the article):
"Russian journalists ... have also noted Malkin's increased confidence"
Or if the Post said:
"Malkin's been slammed for disappearing in games"
In the NY Times you have to write (another actual quote):
"He endured criticism for disappearing, the worst of all characterizations in hockey"
(And by the way - "disappearing" the worst of all characterizations? How about taking dives and whining to the refs when you don't get a bogus call like Sid "the crybaby" Crosby does whenever an opponent so much as looks at him the wrong way? Wouldn't that be a worse "characterization"?)
See - all you need is a thesaurus and a dictionary and you're all set. And if you'll permit me to close this entry with a few NY Times-ish 20 dollar words of my own:
"While this journalist would chose to not directly associate Mr. Klein's most recent essay as a technical or legal equivalent to an act of intentional plagiarism, I do feel, given the current circumstances that it is entirely appropriate to draw attention to the thematic similarities between the Times Thursday article and our own Tuesday submission."