Posted: June 4, 2013

Are the Pittsburgh Penguins toast?

Last night the Pens fell 6-1 to the Boston Bruins. They have now been outscored 9-1 in the series and are down 2 games to none and going on the road.

Those facts are daunting enough, but the sounds of sobbing coming from Pittsburgh would have me more concerned if I were a Pens fan. Equally disturbing are the smirks of glee coming from Zdeno Chara and Boston.

This series is far from over and things in hockey can turn on a dime, just ask the Red Wings who had a 3-1 lead on Chicago. But unless Sidney Crosby starts acting like a captain and less like a whiny 6 year old who had his ice cream taken by his big brother, they are done.

Crosby’s comments after Game 1 …

“They’re letting a lot go out there, and the more it gets like that, the more it’s going to escalate. You can only control and channel that stuff so much. You keep letting guys do that stuff, you’re just going to push the envelope. That’s something we obviously want to stay away from, but it’s kind of a natural thing when it gets like that. It was just hard to gauge. Interference calls where you barely catch a guy, and then you’re allowing punches to the head. Are we going to play, or are we going to call those little things once in a while? It’s hard to get a temperature on the game when that stuff is going on. Then you let a few of those go and everything starts getting out of hand.”

I would say that Boston has successfully gotten Pittsburgh off their game. Pittsburgh’s only chance to win this series was going to be to outscore Boston. The Penguins weakness is in goal. Vokoun and/or Fleury cannot match Rask. But I thought they could overcome that with their scoring prowess.

However, if Sidney and company are more focused on the officiating, then they have no chance. Crosby cannot score if he is bumping and elbowing with Rask. Trying to goad Zdeno Chara into a penalty is playing right into Boston’s design.

Pittsburgh needs to focus on putting the puck in the net. Let Boston play all the pushing and grabbing games. Let Matt Cooke stand up for Pittsburgh honor. Crosby, Malkin, and company need to be above that, because if they come down to play Boston’s game, this series will get even worse for Pittsburgh.

The puck is in your end Sid the Kid. What are you going to do with it? Go to the net with it or pass it and go complain to the ref. If you are going to complain, at least take lessons from Mario first.

As a hockey fan, I hope you decide to play hockey, because the end of hockey season means I have to start watching baseball, at least until football starts.