The Penguins may or may not win the Stanley Cup.
But if they do, they may reinvent playoff hockey en route.
Last night’s Chicago-Detroit and Los Angeles-San Jose games were excruciating to watch. (Boston-New York Rangers was a comedy of errors.) Block shots, grind, throw pucks at the blue paint, hope to get lucky.
You can try to fabricate reasons that made those games exciting. They weren’t. They were close, but that’s not the same thing.
Now, consider Wednesday night’s Penguins-Ottawa game.
Mistakes were made. Some things were not done strictly according to system. But the Penguins scored SEVEN GOALS, and each seemed better than the last. Jarome Iginla and James Neal were blasting the puck. Chris Kunitz was off to the races. Sidney Crosby dangled Chris Phillips to death. Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis hooked up for a Grade-A shortie.
Two goals in 40 seconds. Then, three goals in 105 seconds.
That’s the kind of hockey I want to watch.
Jonathan Toews, everyone’s fearless leader, took three penalties in Chicago’s loss to Detroit. He bitched about each of them. He made his team shorthanded, then rattled them in the aftermath.
Here’s how hockey’s totem pole shakes down: There’s Sidney Crosby, and then there’s a bunch of other guys. They only made one.