Big Lead Sports Bar



No, not those Wings!

Yes, Penguin fans, the day has finally arrived. Our beloved boys of winter will finally take the ice to do battle with the more-experienced Detroit Red Wings at 8 PM tonight.

Experience, as you know, is what wins cups. And you have to lose one before you can win one. Just ask Barry Melrose, who will tell that to anyone who puts a mic in front of him. So we probably shouldn't even bother to show up.

But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Penguins aren't going to simply roll over and die at the mere mention of previous champions like Pavel Datsyuk, Chris Chelios, or Kris Draper. It certainly didn't mean much when they were knocking players like Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan out with relative ease in previous rounds, did it?

Sure, this is the first series of the 2008 playoffs where the Penguins start on the road. But let's not confuse them with the road-weary Boston Celtics; while their only two losses of this playoff campaign have come away from Mellon Arena, they are a more-than-respectable 4-2 on the road. A split in Detroit and two wins at home could have the Penguins skating for the clincher as early as Game Five.

So the time has come for predictions. I'm going with the Pens in six and really going out on a limb by picking Sidney Crosby as the Conn Smythe Winner (followed closely by Marc-Andre Fleury).

Thoughts, predictions, memories of Wings? Feel free to go on the record below.


From Mike V:

Couldn't let this pass. Some sportswriter from Dallas gave his "analysis" on the Pens/Wings matchup. The 7th paragraph is really great, as he describes the Pens having young players like "Colby Armstrong" on the team and mentions our 10 year run as one of the worst teams (ah, going back 10 years would include playoff years in 99, 00 and 01 (conference finals that year), not to mention a playoff year in 07; Maybe he should have played it safe and left it at 5 years.

From Beej in LA, far and away the clubhouse leader in Pens links throughout the playoffs:

The last time the penguins won the Stanley Cup:

1. Bush was in office

2. Clinton was running

3. War in IRAQ

4. Giants won the Super Bowl

5. Dominic Hasek was the backup goalie

From the PG:

Can the young Penguins win Game 1 or 2 on the road? [Molinari]

Armstrong will be watching -- with mixed emotions [Cook] ... and might I add, I understand it must be rough for Colby, but I can't imagine Atlanta being real thrilled with all of these kinds of interviews.

Penguins Notebook: Except for ticket demands, it's routine trip for team's travel [Molinari]

Between the Lines: The Penguins vs. Red Wings matchup [Molinari]

Red Wings' fans uphold tradition that really stinks [Finder]

From the Trib:

Pens must steal one game on road [Rossi]

Penguins, Wings will learn to loathe [Starkey]

Pittsburgh fans compose odes to Pens

Destiny leads Pens to Cup

What if Penguins hadn't drafted Fleury?

Hometown kid Malone set to make history

Puck possession could lead to victory


44 reasons why you should watch the Stanley Cup finals

10 Great 1-2 Duos

Our annual Cup finals primer [Burnside]

Wings' Franzen out for Stanley Cup finals Game 1

Levy & Melrose preview

Sid the Savior? [Cox]

Keys to series [Hradek]

Fleury vs. Osgood [Hradek]


Roberts steams after being told he won't play Game 1

Is Crosby the key to an exposure-hungry NHL?



Anonymous said...

Please tell Beej in LA that he's wrong.

The last time the Pens won the Cup, the Redskins had just won the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXVI was played in Jan of 1992; Pens won in June.

Nonetheless, I see where Beej is going with this and will be sure to quote his list tonight at the bar.

Jim said...

Don't forget that the Gulf War ended in February 1991. I wouldn't quote that list if you're talking with non-Pittsburghers, because they'll probably call you out on the inaccuracy. But as they say, don't let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Anonymous said...

He's right.

Beej, your history is about as accurate as Hillary's.

All the best evading the sniper fire.

Anonymous said...

Hey david & J...