Today is the first day of Hate Week in Pittsburgh. What is hate week you ask? Well for any hockey fan, it's the week where we play all the hated rival teams in the course of 7 days.
First up is the team everyone loves to hate, the Detroit Red Wings. This is sort of a new rivalry since we sort of created it by being the best two teams in the league for the last two years. Each of the regular season matchups between us has also been highly competitive and fun to watch. The Wings are fighting for the playoff lives and are coming off a weekend where they won in overtime against their rivals Vancouver. The Pens are trying to keep their division lead intact and make a momentum push into the playoffs. Now is about time we should hit our stride. Unfortunately, we are going up against who I think is front runner for rookie of the year in Jimmy Howard. He has played awesome for the Wings, putting up a 2.32 GAA and a .924 SV%. Here's some stuff for ya...
Yes, that's Penguins coach Dan Bylsma fighting with former Wing Brendan Shanahan.
On Wednesday, the feature game that they have been hyping up for two weeks on the NHL Network is the Pens against the Evil Capitals. I have grown to despise the Caps on a regular basis, although I forget that I don't like them sometimes because, to be honest, they are a fun team to watch. The two biggest stars of the NHL will be on the ice with Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. I actually get tired of all the comparisons these two get. They are both amazing players to watch. Ovie has tons of individual awards to his credit but Crosby has the Cup. That's all that matters here. The Caps are arguably the best team in the NHL and are hoping for hardware at the end. With this being their last meeting of the regular season, chances are they will meet again in the playoffs.
Finally, on Saturday, the Pens face cross-state douche bag dous-jour's, the Flyers. I love to hate me some Flyers. Regardless of how they perform or play, they are always viewed in my mind as a bunch of goons. Their team is made up of a bunch of faces on America's Most Wanted. Carcillo, Pronger, Hartnell, Giroux, Laperriere...the list goes on and on. Nothing would make me happier than a win here...except maybe 3 wins.
The Pens magic number is 6!! If they win tonight, that would be down to 3 and if the Thrashers win on Tuesday, it would be down to 1. Barring global innihilation, I think we got this.