And Now, For Something Completely Different

I missed a day of class, so I am writing a make-up post. I normally wouldn’t talk about sports because they generally don’t appeal to me (except for hockey) and don’t have much relevance in the course, but this is a fun opportunity to shake things up a bit.

On May 26th, the New York Times posted an article in the sports section discussing the Stanley Cup playoffs (hockey). Over the past few months, teams from across the United States and Canada face off against each other for the coveted title of Stanley Cup champion. In high school, I was enlisted by my best friend to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins even though I’ve only been to Pittsburgh once in my life.

The article, written by Chris Adamski, is titled “The Stanley Cup Favorite Penguins Aren’t Counting Their Chickens,” so it immediately caught my eye. The fourth paragraph features a quote from team captain Sidney Crosby talking about how difficult it is to win the Stanley Cup two years in a row. This makes sense, as throughout the playoffs and the regular season players earn injuries. For example, goalie Matt Murray suffered from a lower body injury for the first few rounds of the playoffs, Sidney Crosby had a concussion that took him out of a couple of games, and Kris Letang has an issue with his spine that has kept him off the ice for the entire playoffs.

The Penguins just won round 3 against the Ottawa Senators, which brings them to the Stanley Cup final; if they win, this will be the fifth time the team has earned the Cup. According to the article, since 1967 only two teams (the Montreal Canadiens and the Edmonton Oilers) have won the Cup at least five times. This would put them in elite company.

I have some comments to supplement the article from the Times. The Predators have largely cruised through the playoffs, while the Penguins had a more difficult time getting to the finals. Multiple injuries and a reliance on a single goalie made the road to the Stanley Cup quite difficult for the Penguin’s return to the finals. Through the third round of the playoffs, the team largely relied on elite goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to keep pucks out of the net. In game 7 of Round 2, Fleury earned the team a shut-out (2-0) against the Washington Capitals. However, after a disappointing period Fleury has been benched in favor of the younger Matt Murray (who is also quite skilled). As of writing this blog post, the Penguins have beaten the Predators in the first game of the finals in a 5-3 game. (Yay!)

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