What the Penguins accomplished tonight during an efficient dismantling of an overmatched Rangers team can be interpreted in different ways. You could say that this was a powerful message sent by the Pens to the top team in the East that, "Uh, hey, excuse us, but uh, you aren't the top team in the East anymore." Or you could take the overly-cautious jinx-avoidance route and say that this was just another game, a solid road win against a divisional opponent. But like most things, the truth is somewhere in between.
|Consider us knocking on wood until June.|
But the grounding part, and something we can't lose sight of, is that this was just one game. The Rangers, much like the Islanders in November, were no shows. I had a friend sitting at center-ice in MSG and he said the crowd was dead and was indiscriminately shouting at the Rangers, "Do something!" What it is about Sid's comeback games that make the opponent disappear, we have no idea. But disappear the Rangers did, although you can be sure that you won't see that next time these two teams play.
|Visual evidence that someone other than Marian Gaborik played for the Rangers|
So ultimately we take away a few things from this game. First, the Pens seem determined to bring Sid along slowly, and that's smart. He played 16 minutes and had 1 assist (though it should be changed to 2 -- he deflected the shot from the point on Dupuis' goal). Second, Molinari should give Kris Letang a courtesy Norris trophy vote for that performance.
|"I wear many of da different chapeaus for dis team."|
Again, this is just one game. Our two feet are firmly planted on the ground. There's a long, long way to go. But we see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's very bright.