Game two is always a trap. You go up two games and there's that false sense of security that starts to creep into your subconscious. You go down two (luckily not an option for us tonight) and you start having night sweats and fever dreams and you almost always find yourself yelling at people on public transit. One and one? That's like kissing your cousin (assuming your cousin is no Maeby Fünke.)
Obviously the pre-game talking point of the night is seeing Sid back on the ice. Welcoming Sid back is never like welcoming a normal player back – we don't have to worry much about his jiving with the current play – he just will.
We'll be missing Neal and Brooksy, but not as badly as a different team would miss such talent, which is something to be thankful for. You gotta count those blessings yourself, because as we all know, God is dead.
It takes less than a minute for us to score. During a particularly physical shift, the Isles don't think that covering Malks around a rebound is a worthwhile endeavor. Wut
Then, they get a slashing call, because why not.
.Malkin and Crosby are terrifying on the PP. The puck looks wild to us, but we aren't Iggy. Iggy knows what's up. He can't get it in but shuffles it to Sid.
It isn't even 5 minutes in. What is this. WHAT IS THIS.
MAF stands on his head when Malkin's line sort of fucks the dog in our end. But the Isles finally get on the board through an unfortunate series of events.
MAF's skate just misses the save.
Shortly after we go hard at a faceoff and kick it around the Isles net for a few seconds before Sid, who is lurking behind the net, sneaks in a tight angle shot (we call it "tight angle" when it's Sid, "bad angle" when it's anyone else, because we all know Sid can bend the laws of physics. Note: dat ass.)
We get a couple of penalties that are killed off with relative ease. The Malkin/Crosby/Kunitz line is looking siiiick.
We get put on the 4-4 because Hamonic starts chirping at Cookie. Hammy gets put in for roughing, and Cookie gets…an imaginary slashing penalty? It's confusing because unlike most bad calls, it doesn't even have a grain of truth. It was a call based purely on reputation.
We still have a minute and a half of the 4-4 heading into the second, and we really need to come out strong. We're looking a little frayed at the edges.
Okposo and Nisky get into it because of a pretty mild play, but really, get down with your bad selves. Nisky gets cut, Okposo seems like his nose is uncomfortable.
"I don't give two shits that my face is exploded."
-Nisky (unofficial quote) ((not real quote))
The Isles sneak one in on the near side. McDonald is a douche rocket of massive proportions, but capitalized excellently on a dump and chase with a bad angle shot. "Almost a picklestabber" Steiggy says. "Almost," Bobby clarifies. Instead of thinking about this goal too hard, enjoy that this photo exists:
Streit lands a solid hit on Sid and Iggy comes in with a massive retaliatory hit. It's adorable, but also ill advised. Standing up for your Captain is a cock-forward move, and we respect it, but the hit was clean. We kill the penalty, but just barely.
When the Isles score again, it's a long time coming with how hard they'd been taking to us. Suddenly it's 3-3 and the Isles no longer look like they got onto the wrong field trip bus. DO NOT WANT.
Tavares gets 4 for a high stick that fucked up Morrow's poor nose, but we drain it down to finish the 2nd, and make no more use of its leftovers in the third. We look a little more fluid in the third, but overall it's too many turnovers, and too much bad puck management. Somehow the Isles flipped this on its head and ended up looking like the Varsity team while we sit back and suck on orange slices in JV. Luckily, we all know how that ends eventually.
(It's not the playoffs without at least one.)
The gwg is a tragedy. Okposo gets one wide, and MAF struggles to go after it. He ends up putting it behind himself. With all the shots the Isles managed, however, MAF is not high up on our list of folks to blame this evening.
Unfortunately, this means we clocked out at 4-3. What's that? You were hoping for an easy breezy first round?
Gifs make the reality less painful.
The game, overall was uncomfortable and confusing and distressing. We looked amazing at points – the Crosby line had some really inspirational moments in particular. But in the end we mismanaged our way into this loss.
But didn't we say that's how it goes? And it's not like we had to say that – you know it. The post season knows neither malice nor mercy, only hard work. Things will be better and things may also be worse than they were here tonight. It's better to get yourself readjusted in game two than it is later in the series.
We have already learned our lesson from tonight, and we have plenty of time to refocus and apply those lessons on Sunday. We have amounts of raw talent that other teams just piss away in the trading game – we just need to find a way to file that talent to a point and shove it in the hearts of Isles fans everywhere.
Never expect it to come easy.
That isn't how we got here.
Get excited for the response.