A little Saturday morning LSAT logic for you.
There is a difference between a Huge Game and a Huge Opportunity. Every Huge Opportunity is a Huge Game but not every Huge Game is a Huge Opportunity. For example, Games 3 and 4 in this series were Huge Games. Absolutely enormous. But Game 5 today is not only Huge, it's also a Huge Opportunity.
If there has been one glaring weakness of this Pens team post-The Decimation, it is the inability to finish things off, whether it is a particular game (see Games 3 and 4) or a particular team (see Atlantic Division title). (For those unfamiliar, "The Decimation" refers to Super Bowl weekend, when it started becoming apparent that Sid was out long-term, Malkin blew out his knee, and Ben Roethlisberger ran the Donovan McNabb 2-minute drill.)
It would be unfair to say that this Pens team lacks the cliched "killer instinct" because they are not nearly as talented offensively as they were in the past 4 years. We're sure they try to put teams away. Instead, maybe they just lack "killer instinctability." It's a real thing.
So today's Game 5 is not a must-win, but it is a Huge Opportunity for the Pens to reap some tangible benefits from how hard they have been working and how well they have been playing without their top guys. A loss doesn't mean they will lose the series. But a win? Huge.
Bring the house down. Go Pens.
Big podcast coming after the game. Stay tuned.