Just think what a Pens-Blackhawks SCF would be like. The last two seasons, the Pens have gotten to the Finals and essentially had to play down to Detroit's boring game. That's not to say the past two Finals haven't been exciting, but Pens-Blackhawks would be edge-of-your-seat hockey every minute of every game.
When the Pens played the Blackhawks last season, we said this: "If we respected every team like we do Chicago, we wouldn't have a blog."
After this one, we still respect Chicago, but they are jokes. Duncan Keith is a goon, Patrick Kane is annoying, and we were unaware of the new NHL rules that you don't have to call penalties on Jonathan Toews. You can really can grow to hate a team like the Blackhawks. And that is a good thing. This was almost the first time all season the good old-fashioned hatred was felt. In the end, the Pens pulled another point from the jaws of defeat. They had earned it. We aren't even pissed the Pens lost. It was the most exciting low-scoring game in 5 years. It made us glad we're hockey fans.
Another reason to be happy you're a hockey fan is Mark Letestu. He was making some pretty creative moves with the puck, setting up people everywhere. Not to mention that Disco and/or Yeo puts him out on the ice to win the biggest face-off Letestu's probably ever taken. And Letestu won it.
Letestu did more with his ice time in one game than Bourque did in all his time with the Penguins. That's why we hated Chris Bourque. Speaking of which, guess who scored 4 minutes into his debut with Washington's AHL Hershey Bears, scored the game-winner, and got the first star of the game?
xocharmedchildox, ellen, brian s, chubs, couch, kaitlin g.
matthew h, danny v, WalterFlanagan
A puck goes off the netting, but the refs let it go like it was Thunderdome.
Gonchar blasted some shot that almost killed someone.
Then Brian Campbell tried to do some spin-o-rama. Adams peed on him.
The Pens were starting to generate more and more chances.
Arguably the best was Kennedy's from the slot.
Frazier tries to give Malkin a figure-four leglock. Somehow it's not holding.
Malkin takes off the pad and gives the people's elbow. They both go off.
Letestu continued his acid trip in the second, setting up some sneaky plays.
The best came at the end when he set up Gonchar with a blind backhand pass.
What a pass.
The Pens owned the second period, but the Blackhawks got some momentum back. MAF was tested and he was solid.
At the other end, the bounces just weren't going the Pens' way.
After shaking off a rough start to the third, the Pens generated a chance every four seconds. Staal couldn't coral a bouncing puck on a backhand chance then didn't realize how much time he had to eventually put it home on his forehand. Letestu almost got the most-deserving goal in NHL history on his backhand, but he hit the post.
1:39 to play. Pens get a faceoff in the Hawks zone.
Mike Yeo draws a play up. Goalie pulled.
Staal is the extra attacker and he's out in no-man's land off the draw, all the way by the Hawks bench, right inside the blue line. Letestu gets called on to take the faceoff. And he wins it.
Malkin gets a shot off. Staal comes out of nowhere. 1-1.
Mike Yeo +1.
After that, you just wanted a point. Although, when Tyler Kennedy busted into the Hawks zone for the 80th time of the game, it wasn't out of the realm of possibility that the Pens would somehow get another one there. But they didn't.
Four-on-four is magical. The Hawks pretty much dictated shit, though.
No clue how you could smiling.
So much hatred. Go Pens.