Friday, June 6, 2008

Over for another year

(Photo from Pensblog - don't know where they got it)
The SCF are now over, and Detroit has won the whole shebang. Crosby came so close to scoring a tying goal, with 1 second left in the third, but it wasn't meant to be this year.

Congrats to the Wings, they deserved it. I couldn't help but smile when I saw Mike Babcock's boyish grin yesterday on OTR. He looked like it was the happiest day of his life, and I'm sure it was one of them.

It was heartbreaking to see the pain on the faces of the Penguins after that game. It was their first trip to the big dance and they truly believed that they could win. They saluted the crowd before leaving the ice, but it should be us saluting them. They showed more heart and courage in the last two weeks than imaginable, and I am damn proud of that.

Some people are now looking back at what happened in the SCF and how the Penguins played, and criticism is being thrown around like free candy. I understand that the media has to talk about what went wrong, and what went right, but why do some 'fans' feel the need to tear this team apart??

It really gets on my nerves to hear fans criticize the Pens for not winning the Stanley Cup this year. They put the blame on the coaches, on Malkin, on Sykora, on Crosby, on Sydor, on [fill in the blank], but they are blind to the great things that came out of this series.

I believe wholeheartedly that this team did the best that it could. We must think about how young this team is - the top three centres are 21 and under. We need to think about how young Marc-Andre Fleury is, and how young other guys are. We need to consider the fact that most of these players have not been in the SCF before, and there is a huge learning curve there. I am willing to bet that this team was nervous and tried to do too much for a good chunk of the series. Nevermind the physical issues - it's the nerves that will get you because it makes it harder to make decisions under pressure.

I am also willing to bet my life that these players and these coaches have learned a great deal from this series. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and I'm sure everyone now knows what they should have done in this situation or that. They did their best at the time, and now they know what they could change. This knowledge does not come from a teacher - it comes from experience.

It is, stupid..for fans to gripe about how Malkin didn't play well until the last game, or how MAF let in a couple of soft goals, or how MT was outcoached by Babcock. They managed to win a couple of games, didn't they? They were also playing a team that was much more experienced - a team that wasn't as 'old' as everyone thought.

I say give the kids a lot of credit for their season and for making it as far as they did - because no one really expected them to be in the SCF just yet. And no one expected a SCF berth given the poor start to the season, or the injuries.

Last year the Pens were ousted from the playoffs after just 5 games, and look how far they came this year after gaining that little bit of experience.

Imagine how much better they could be next year...


DaBich said...

I couldn't have said it better, Ashley.

I am sooooo looking forward to October :)

Sarah said...

Now now Ashley, don't get ahead of yourself. Next season is a whole new season :P lol.