I have nothing against the Pittsburgh Penguins. I respect the team. I think the coach is amazing, and a nice guy. They have my Tanger. Heck, even my high school mascot was a penguin (don’t ask, we were college prep and got the mascot from a book publisher — i.e., we were nerds who got our asses kicked).
But what I hate about the Penguins is scheduled to turn up like a bad penny on Thursday night against my Rangers: Crosby.
No disrespect to Pens fans out there who love him. I don’t know who you are — all my friends who are Pens fans hate him. But I’m sure you’re out there, and though I don’t understand you, I think a peaceful coexistence is possible.
Except on this Thursday. And any time we (Rangers) play him in the post-season. Then it’s gloves off.
Here’s the thing; I think he’s a crybaby and a girl (wait, that reflects badly on me), gets away with penalties no one else would because they won’t call them on him, and is the best embellish-er out there. Still, I could ignore that. To each is own, and all that, and I’m sure Cindy fans could point out to me all his lovely qualities.
But no one — I repeat, no one — messes with my Hankie. Just so Cindy knows for Thursday. Fair warning. I made Tim Thomas a blind man in Photoshop, I can mess you up.
This is the best video ever:
I love this. Even the Pens announcers say he bought the penalty. (btw, Lundqvist chirping at Crosby is NOT unsportsman-like conduct. And hitting a goalie IS a penalty. Sid was sent to the sin bin for this one). See, you don’t mess with my Hankie. He’s got his blue Swedish eyes on you, #87, so no Hollywood dramatics please (did you see the look on Sid’s face? jeez).
I predict lots of penalty calls on the Rangers, as they won’t be afraid to check Crosby, and the refs won’t be afraid to call them on even the slightest bump. Here’s a quote from the NY Times: “It’s always fun to go up against the best player,” Hagelin said. “We just have to make sure all our emotion is in the right place and it doesn’t lead to us taking penalties. We have to treat every guy like we treat everyone else — get in their face, block shots, hit them hard and clean.” We’ll see if the calls are clean. At least it’s at the Garden, so that may help.
If I’m Malkin, I’m hating this return. With Crosby out, he’s had a chance to shine and really lead his team, as the captain they deserve. I think he’ll win the Hart Trophy (though Stamkos is still in it, I think Steven will get the Rocket Richard and Geno will get the Hart), if Crosby doesn’t figure out a way to steal all his thunder. Malkin’s an amazing player.
Lundqvist is still a possible scratch Thursday, due to flu, and Del Zotto and Captain Callahan are also day-to-day because of injury. We need them back for this game. I may have to sacrifice a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Desperate times, y’all.
On another note, Kris Letang is also looking like a return from injury on Thursday night. Not that anyone has noticed amid all the OMGCROSBYISBACK hoopla, but mon amour Tanger has been skating with the team and feeling [looking!] good. He was out five games for “concussion-like symptoms” after a Dallas hit, and if he still feels good on Thursday, he’s in. Which is great for him and the Pens. And for my viewing pleasure.
But no matter. I will still be screaming, “LET’S GO RANGERS!” and texting Nikki furiously throughout the game. Standings aside, this is a huge game.