To say that tonight is a big game for the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans would be an understatement. Forget that the Penguins were favorites to win the Stanley Cup, the Philadelphia Flyers are their biggest rival and are on the verge of sweeping them in devastating fashion. Losing tonight would be an embarrassment of Pittsburgh Pirates proportions. I am holding out hope that this Penguins team is talented enough, even with missing a handful of key players because of suspension, to somehow find a way to turn this around. They have two of the best players in the world, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and a goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury that has taken them to two Stanley Cup Finals. At some point the great players have to play great, right?
One player who was unquestionably great was Mario Lemieux. You probably wouldn’t know this story unless you are from Pittsburgh but back in December 2002 local sports shock jock Mark Madden said that he’d donate $6,600 to the Mario Lemieux Foundation if Mario were to ever score off a faceoff. Lemieux was aware of this challenge and that very night against the Buffalo Sabres went out and scored off the faceoff. This happened in the third period and ended up being the game winning goal. I show this video as a testament that great players can do great things. The Penguins have to win four straight games including two on the road in order to keep their Stanley Cup chances alive. I believe that Sidney Crosby is cut out of the same cloth as Mario Lemieux and has the ability to do unbelievable things. If Sid were able to lead the Pens back from this deficit, that would indeed be unbelievable.