Mitch Linsley | Dump & Change Sports | June 9th, 2017
PITTSBURGH, PA – If you have a social life, family obligations or a half functioning brain, you only watched the first period of last night’s absolute dismantling of the Nashville Predators by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Unfortunately, I watched every minute of a 6-0 blowout where Preds goalie Pekka Rinne, who was the MVP of games 3 and 4 in my opinion, sieved out, and it was ugly. He let in 2 goals on 6 shots in the first 7 minutes and got pulled a minute into the second period. Speculating after a game that saw the Penguins HUMILIATE the Predators on national TV, where Sidney Crosby whitewashed PK Subban right in front of referee Brad Meier, it’s very hard to argue the Preds could even win the next one at home and take this series to 7. Plain and simple, Nashville was demasculated (I made that word up) and the Pens made it very clear that they are the best team in the world. Who’s mans in this? This is Sidney Crosby’s mans. Sit down, be humble, Nashville.
The Penguins got it started early with Justin Schultz scoring his 4th of the postseason on the power play from Crosby and Hornqvist. It was a good shot but it’s never a good look for Rinne to let in a 4 hole goal from the point a minute into the game. Then 5 minutes later, Brian Rust shelfed his 7th on a filthy backhander from Kunitz and Trevor Daley. The period was physical, players were taking shots left and right and Sid and PK got into an actual fight. The craziest part? Crosby kinda kicked his ass and the refs just let it go, let that sink in. Then after those 2 get sent off for the period, the refs give the Pens a 4 on 4 instead of a Nashville powerplay (bullshit call I might add) Malkin undressed Rinne with 1 seconds left in the period. Poor guy, he just wanted to get out of the first period with a pulse and ends up going to the locker room down 3-0 and doesn’t see the ice the rest of the night.
Conor Sheary scored from Crosby and Guenztel 1:19 then Kessel scored his 8th from Crosby and Maatta 7 minutes later. At this point it’s 5-0 halfway through the game. The last goal of the game with less than 4 minutes left in the period as Ron Hainsey crashed the net putting the Pens up 6.
You want a hot take? Mike Sullivan coached a bad game. How do you criticize a coach who won by 6 in a finals game 5? Like this. He had NO BUSINESS playing Crosby or Malkin in the 3rd period. There were cheap shots every shift, Ellis broke Maatta’s nose with his stick, Malkin and Josi got in a fight then there was a full out line brawl with like 30 seconds left. Absolutely bonkers. Game 5 was proof that hockey is the best sport on earth. This is one of those games where hockey haters bitch and complain that the games barbaric. I say fuck off because that was some gritty, hard-nosed 70s style hockey. Only thing that was missing were players fighting fans. These teams were obviously pissed and I like the refs decision to let the boys go and get it out of their system before the long weekend between now and game 6 on Sunday night in Nashville.
Let’s go over the Crosby/Subban fight because that’s all ESPN saw I’m sure. Yes, Sid cross-checked Subban’s face into the ice like 10 times but if you look closely, Subban is holding onto Crosby’s ankle the whole time so the double holding calls makes sense now. I think letting that play go is the refs (not so) indirect way of telling Subban to keep his mouth shut and quit taking dives. I love it.
I don’t see the Pens letting up in Nashville. Crosby has his foot on the predators’ throat and with the “Cup in the Building” Sunday night, the he’s gonna snap their neck and finish this thing.