It’s a little scary to start a new series, especially when the previous series was like blindly reaching into a grab bag filled with candy and bees. And the Sens are playing the game that the Isles used to psychically sway us to go for the bees, which doesn’t help calm our nerves.
However, a new series is a new beginning. Sid has been sick against the Sens, so it’s exciting to imagine all of the possibilities. The boys learned a hard lesson against the Isles, and this is the standardized test to see if we were paying attention to those lessons. You know what to do, boys. If all else fails, just fill in the little bubble next to “C,” for “C”heck the shit outta ‘em until they bleed.
The Sens celebrate the beginning of the series by vomiting everywhere and earning a penalty for general grossness (it’s 2 minutes, check the rules [don't]), setting the stage for the penalty-laden game we were all sooooo excited to see.
Malkin makes a shot and gets robbed by Anderson, but ends up picking up the pieces and sending them to Paul*Mart, who makes sure the puck finds its way behind Anderson.
Anderson has to scramble through a few shots and it’s starting to look like we might have our balls in their mouths, but they remind us that it’s Never That Simple and get one behind MAF before we can start our acceptance speech for Awesomest Bitches Who Never Sweat It.
In order to put us back where we need to be, James-always-looks-out-for-us-Neal picks some pockets, gets it to Kunitz, who does this sexy little cross-crease number that Malkin picks up and softly delivers home. It’s elegant but inherently sexual, like peacock in heat.
Some really horrible vomit happens in front of Koun, where we are almost certain that something Bad will happen, but through some skin-of-our-teeth scrambling we shut it down. TK comes away with a penalty for something we can’t care about, which is okay, because we kill it.
In the final minutes of play, we manage to get into a 4-4 for various crimes against humanity. The clock ticks down until the Sens get up on a few short seconds of PP. They thank us by sending the gift of a really amazing turnover that lets us get it out of the zone – the last seconds of opportunity before the intermission trickling like so much semen from their palms.
The second period is confusing, but a quarter of the way through it the main thought is “how does anyone, ever, get by without Paul Martin?” It’s a real question. We can’t figure it out.
Because life is a confusing and scary place sometimes, the Sens go up on the PP because…a linesman pushed Malkin over? Is that the reason? Because that is a thing that happened. We understand why that would be hard for the Sens, thus making them deserving of a power play. We’re happy for them. Really.
After the Sens squander that opportunity, the Pens end up on the PP again because everyone is catching penalties like early winter snowflakes on their tongues (or early spring snowflakes, in Pittsburgh) and the Sens forget that Sidney Crosby isn’t the only player on our team. Always a mistake.
We go into the third 3-1 and pimp struttin’. Being cocky is a better look when you’re actually earning something.
The third is confusing and scary for a bit, especially when KTang – who was doing everything right in theory – was at fault for a mean turnover that ended in opportunities for the Sens that we would rather not look at. He and Conacher get into it and both of ‘em end up in the box because the benches looked lonely. 4-4 again. And then Neal goes to the box because why not and the Sens are back on the PP. Penalties are the most boring thing in the world by this point and Dupes is like no thanks. Special teams are kind of the name of the game, so why not just act like it isn’t happening. Shortiecentral with a gorgeous top shelf.
Karlson, who has been channeling Shamu as his spirit animal, sees to it that Neal is in the box again. Splish splash. Eat a dick, we kill it. Keep ‘em coming, foolishness. The way these special teams look, we can’t really find a way to care less.
The white towels start swirling in the last minute. Let’s Go Pens is the sound in the air. Penalties happen because lololololol yeah. People get tossed. None of it matters. Before you know it your phone is buzzing with that helpful little reminder. 4-1, Pens.
Obviously this is not a sign from the universe to get comfortable. There are no such signs in the world of hockey. If you are seeing them, check your carbon monoxide detector, because you are experiencing some serious issues. However, it’s nice to have the first game safely in your pocket and the comfort of a solid 60 in your mind.
It’s a long road and we’ve been lucky enough to have a full tank of gas and some open highway in front of us. But as Zoe and I have learned, that horrifying, backwoods, fog-shrouded, Kentucky road bridge can show up at any time in the night and send you into a screaming panic. Never feel safe. Never get comfortable. It’s the playoffs, bitches. Keep your heads up.