Monday, April 23, 2012

Final Thoughts On A Disappointing Series

It's over. A valiant run at an improbably feat ends as just that, effort. Nothing more. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades and that saying goes tenfold for a team like the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Philadelphia Flyers disposed of the Penguins rather easily on Sunday afternoon after letting the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup climb back into it.

Game Six was over before it even started. Claude Giroux lead his team to a victory and he did it by running right through the opponent's leader. After the opening faceoff, he crushed Sidney Crosby with a clean hit near the benches. Then just 32 seconds into the contest he fired a laser past Marc-Andre Fleury. That would be the smallest deficit that the Penguins would have to face in this game. It was never close.

The worst thing that the Penguins could have possibly done for their fans is win Game Five. I say this because it gave everyone hope. In fact, I stated after that game that I had no doubt that they would win the series. Hope did nothing but make it hurt even more that they lost. Reasons for why they lost are a discussion for another day. Right now, I want to talk to the fans of this team that were all over message boards and social media websites saying "good season, Pens."

You're wrong. Plain and simple. This was not a good season. If you call arguably the best team in franchise history losing in the first round of the playoffs a good season then you must be entirely too into Pittsburgh Pirates' season starting because that is where you are setting your standards. This season was an abject failure. You're fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

The Flyers were the absolute worst match-up the Penguins could have possibly drew in the first round. And I still think it is absolutely absurd that the New Jersey Devils get an easier first round match-up than two teams that finished ahead of them in the division because of the NHL seeding system. But that is still no excuse. The Flyers were the team that were placed in front of the Penguins. Great teams stand up to it. This team was not a great team.

Eventually, I will write a season review that will talk about some of the reasons for why the Penguins lost this series and failed as a team. But first people need to realize what this was. The Penguins have lost three straight playoff series. Montreal in '10, Tampa Bay in '11, and now Philly. The first two of those can be somewhat understood due to circumstance. This one can't be. It is a failure.

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