Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Best. Game. Ever!
What a game. What a game! The Penguins asserted their will early, jumping up to a 3-0 lead. I remember thinking early about the goal that bounced in off Wisniewski's butt in the last game, and thinking it would be great if we got a GOOD bounce off Wiz's butt. No. It bounced right to the Pens, and Adams comes down and scores a shorty to open the scoring. The Pens continued to exert their will, and ended up going up 3-0 before 12 minutes were done in the first period.
With the officiating continuing the absolutely brutal trend of the last game, Neal gets whistled for his second interference call in consecutive games for checking the guy with the puck after a prior brutal call by the officials. According to NHL rules, a clean hit after a lousy call is called for interference. But the CBJ capitalize, and get one on the board before the first period is over, making it 3-1.
The game slogs on until a little over half way through the second period, when the Penguins Stempniak gets whistled for a double minor high sticking call. Shortly thereafter, the officials determined that Sutter lofted the puck over the boards, and the CBJ were awarded a full two minute 5 on 3. In spite of great pressure, the CBJ were only able to score one, so the score at the end of two periods remained 3-2 Penguins.
Personal confession. I have watched so much brutal hockey in that arena, that at times I forget about hope. Fortunately, the players could care less about my neuroses, and believe in themselves. Sure enough, with 24 seconds left in the third and the goal tender pulled for an extra skater, Brandon Dubinsky buries a goal to tie the score at 3 all. To say that the building erupted would be a masterful understatement. The CBJ kill off the last 24 seconds, take a break, and come out in the first overtime on fire, and Foligno (see the back of the Jersey I wear. YEAH!!!) buries a shot for the game winner. Four unanswered goals by the CBJ and they have their first home playoff win in franchise history. More importantly, Jarmo and John Davidson now know how loud Nationwide Arena can really be.
I've had season tickets since the 2006-07 season. This is the best game I have ever witnessed in Nationwide Arena. The crowd met the same kinds of challenges that people faced in Game 4 against Detroit, but in this case the team came back and won the game in dramatic fashion. The team was rewarded with the thunderous ovation that they richly deserve. This one was a beauty.
The series is tied 2-2 on the strength of four 4-3 games. Too weird.
This team continues to show its great resiliency. Now its a best of three series. Funny things can happen.
This team continues to lift us up with great moments. Well done. Well done indeed.