Winner Take All

Another series, another seventh game.

The only difference is that the Penguins have flipped roles in this series.

In round two, the Capitals dominated play for the majority of the series, but were stymied by a goaltender who just wouldn’t let anything past him.

This round, the Penguins have been the ones carrying the play.

This round, Craig Anderson has been the goaltender stealing games.

Let me be clear about something:

The Penguins played just as well in game six as they did in game five.

The only difference was Craig Anderson.

Anderson stopped 45 of 46 shots, and many of them were high quality scoring chances.

He boasted a .978 save percentage and carried his team to a game six victory.

The Senators aren’t even in the same class as the Penguins, but all it takes is a hot goalie to negate that fact. Well, that and some atrocious officiating.

What was the point of having referees out there on Tuesday?

They sure as hell weren’t there to call a hockey game.

Queue the, “Oh, Penguins fans are such whiners. It’s playoff hockey!”

I’ve got news; your version of playoff hockey is garbage.

Why should the game be called differently when the stakes get higher?

It’s the same game all of the time. Call it that way.

It’s a huge reason why the NHL will always remain a minority sport in the US.

No one wants to see Marc Methot and Tommy Wingels muck it up.

They want to see skill.

Actually, they just want to see the sport of hockey.

I had to check the TV guide to be sure I wasn’t watching Wrestlemania.

If I can find ten missed penalties and make them into gifs, the problem is not me being a whiner.

The problem is this league’s officiating system needing a complete overhaul.

And it wasn’t even that the referees didn’t see all of these penalties.

They seen them. They just let them go.

How do I know? Because they called tacky shit like this against the Penguins.

I would love an explanation as to how a wrestling move is clean but this is a penalty.

There’s no explanation.

The referees wanted to have no impact on the game.

A Senators¬†player could’ve pulled out a loaded handgun and shot someone and they probably would’ve looked the other way if the powerplays were even.

Both teams were given three chances on the man advantage.

The officials were dead set on giving each team the same number of powerplays and looking the other way on any other foul that occurred.

I don’t like to blame the referees for losses.

They took control of this game and they handed it to the Senators.

Trevor Daley’s goal that was called back was an absolute joke.

“He pushed Anderson in by his pad!”

No, hardly at all did he push him in.

That’s a garbage call in a high stakes game.

Even if he did push him in, how are you going to call that off but permit players to commit full blown assault on the game’s biggest star without a single penalty all night?

So not only did the referees take away one of the Penguins goals, but they gifted Ottawa a powerplay on the Hainsey ‘bump’, in which they scored.

Mark Stone is a scumbag, and he’s shown it multiple times this series.

Why does he keep doing stuff like this? Probably because there’s no repercussions.

Honestly, why would the Senators stop doing this sort of stuff if the league encourages it?

But wait, there’s more…

 

Craig Anderson was great and he’s a big reason why the Senators are playing in game seven tonight, but I won’t sugarcoat it the referees handed that game to Ottawa every chance they got.

If you’re just going to give each team an equal amount of powerplay opportunities and turn a blind eye to¬†legitimate penalties, then don’t even bothering showing up for game seven.

Penguins fans have every right to be pissed.

The Penguins players have even more of a reason to be infuriated.

I think that describes my mood today a lot better than the usual nervousness.

I feel cheated, angry, and vengeful.

I hope the Penguins feel that way too.

I hope they come out and rout the Senators tonight.

I hope they punch their ticket to their second straight Cup Final, because they deserve it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there’s never been a team that I’m more confident in when it comes to showing up and performing in big games than Mike Sullivan’s Penguins.

What the Penguins have done this season and in particular these playoffs with a depleted lineup is nothing but admirable.

No matter what happens tonight, this team has proven they’ve got a championship caliber attitude.

The Penguins have a few advantages tonight, and you can feel confident knowing them.

They’re the better team. They dominated the last three games.

They’ve got the experience of being there before. They were there last round and they stepped up big last season against an incredible Tampa Bay Lightning team.

They’ve got clutch role players like Mr. Game 7 Bryan Rust and Nick Bonino.

They’ve got the star power in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel.

They’ve got a masterful tactician behind the bench in Mike Sullivan.

Anything could happen in a game seven, even a fluke like we just saw in game six, and that’s what makes them so scary.

But I believe in this team, and so should you.

Let’s grab that Prince of Wales Trophy again tonight, literally.

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