From the coach, to the goalie, to the players, who is to credit for this season being so great?
It’s been used again and again, but it might be time to consider that this is the unlikely story. I’m sure most fans put their heads in their hands when Sidney Crosby was out and then Evgeni Malkin was too. But somehow this team pulled together. The longest losing streak was four games at the end of February.
That’s pretty darn good.
Who should the credit go to? Dan Bylsma is getting consideration for coach of the year. Marc-Andre Fleury’s name has been thrown into the player of the year discussion. He deserves to be there. They both do.
Fleury has held the team together since the injuries started piling up. Without a good goalie, a team is
This team, without its top players, has managed to keep itself in running for the top spot in the conference.
It seems silly now to think that questions about Fleury’s play arose at the start of the season. Brent Johnson over Fleury seemed the logical choice. But he came out of the slums and is playing like the Stanley Cup champion he is.
Will his play be enough to lead the Pens to another title?
I guess it depends on who they play. Four points remain up in the air for the team.
The season finishes after games Friday and Sunday. If they take both games, the point total of the season will be 106. That’s not bad.
Not bad considering something always seemed to jump in the way. Not bad considering the uncertainty still surrounding Crosby’s return.
I expect the strategy for the Pens to be “take one game at a time.” If they try to do too much, or overthink what they are trying to do, it could spell disaster.
Regardless of how this season ends, whether it be in the first round, second round or with a Stanley Cup, Pittsburgh fans should be proud of every member of the team. A true team pulls together when things could fall apart.
The tenaciousness of this team is something fans can talk about for many seasons to come.
If it ends up with an underdog story of perseverance and victory, great. If not, don’t chastise the team that did more than anymore expected of them.