(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers who hated them the most. Here is B.D. Gallof, New York Islanders blogger, fondly recalling the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Penguins. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
By B.D. Gallof
"I'm always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I'm listening to it." - might or might not have been Zdeno Chara
Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the annual Penguins Eulogy. If someone who is still mourning the Bruins sweep happens to miss this, no worries. I can pretty much guarantee there will be one this time next season.
So, kind folks, please have a seat. You will see clearly, there are lots of them. The bandwagon emptied quite a bit after the first two loses at home The rest seemed to mutter their way off that plank in a grim stupor once Gregory Campbell hobbled himself right into the hearts of NHL fans.
You have to wonder if Sidney was taking notes.
Speaking of which…. let's just dive right in, shall we?
Let’s be honest here… it is likely the Penguins bandwagon is about the only thing that has ridden through most of these hillbilly fans’ trailer park. What else do you do in Western Pennsylvania… be an Edmonton Oilers fan?
Pittsburgh, jokes aside, is a pretty princely hockey town. With such heroes like Mario Lemieux, who is in my mind, is one of best players to ever play this game. It has to be one hell of a boon to have this hero one of the owners.
He threw one hell of a pool party Cup celebration back in 2009. Wonder what he’ll throw this year?
These days, Penguins fans have Sidney. To me, he is a far cry from the golden years. But don’t tell that to Pens fans…
Once upon a time, Pittsburgh Steelers broadcasters invented a now sports-universal term “terrible towel”. Pittsburgh hockey fans and broadcasters have also invented a term, likely unbeknownst to them, called the "terrible contradiction."
It is the terrible contradiction of a rough and tumble blue-collar steel town whose hero is also a whining, griping, yapping, diving, melodrama queen of a diva.
The Pens fan base seems to bend over almost completely backwards to ignore the obvious issues with what is a talented, yet clear and obvious to the rest of the world, a knucklehead of a player.
It’s really been sad to see the amount of denial the home fans have here. Aside from the 10 percent of the hardened core who at least can acknowledge some issues here, this is a namby-pamby audience of superiority-complex afflicted hillbillies with blinders on all the negatives.
Most of their fans cheer their team thinking that this is the shining example of the new NHL… likely with Gary Bettman alongside them… as Sidney ducks fights, or fights with gloves on… or better yet, waits for others to hold down opponents so he can pitch a fist at an unprotected testicle.
The greatest hilarity of all is the obliviousness and selective observations they make as they watch city after city and team after team hate on their “hero” and chalk it up as a simple case of jealousy.
But if you look at those young players coming into their own -- oh, let’s use John Tavares, also contending for MVP, for example -- the type of derision aimed at Crosby is something Tavares will never see.
How is that possible? This causes their little brains to smoke and eyes to dim like Johnny Five in “Short Circuit.”
Pens fans will deny this just like everything else for their king.
Before Pens fans huff and puff over this in the comment section let’s just change the subject to this season, which really is a delicious reminder of Hockey Improvement 101:
Don’t keep adding to your strengths, address your weaknesses.
All that offense that the Penguins added at the trade deadline did not make them better. Instead, in the first round, you saw the NY Islanders coaching staff see clearly the Penguins’ definitive weakness and tried to exploit it. Too soon for that rebuilding Isles team to take advantage of it, but certainly showed everyone but Ottawa how it could be done.
Penguin’s forwards don’t like to get hit. And the players hitting them are big, like the bruisers of the Bruins, it unraveled them like Amanda Bynes trying score a dime bag in downtown Pittsburgh after dark.
The defense of the Penguins was a sore spot. GM Ray Shero knew this last summer when it was clear they wanted to upgrade that defense with Ryan Suter and address a need for leadership at forward with Zach Parise.
Yet, to everyone on the planet except HockeyyInsiderr, they lost out to Minnesota.
Instead, during the short season they made deals for Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrow, Jussi Jokinen and glorified defensive pylon in San Jose’s Doug Murray.
A guy who can’t get even 20 minutes a game; you know, like that Brian Strait guy.
Instead of getting skill on an already skill-needy defense, they opted for size, and added to what already was a wealth on their offense.
What I find amazing is how Penguins fans never seem to see this coming. That versus a physical and – this is important -- BALANCED team like the Bruins, it was clear their deficiencies would come out.
The Isles trouble was the mere warning shot, as the Bruins calmly strode in and stepped on the Penguin’s throat.
Pittsburgh was and remains a terribly unbalanced team. It was easy for the Bruins to chop it down, leaving Zdeno Chara ask Sidney the obvious question.
“Hey, do you like apples?!?!?”
(As a reminder to the Pens fans who will post a litany of complaints about the author in the comment section, “Wyshynski” has two “y’s” and one “i”.)
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