December 22, 2008

10 Days of Penguins Christmas: The New Rant

The year in hockey 2008 was a memorable one for the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans. As we wind down the year, we'll be taking a look at 10 of the best moments of the past year in Penguins hockey.

Michel Therrien's last visibly frustrated press conference was January 10, 2006 after a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. It was at that time he questioned whether the Penguins' goal was to be the worst defensive team in the National Hockey League.

After Saturday night's dismantling at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Therrien called out the entire Penguins team for the poor efforts of late.

You might be wondering why this is a memorable Pittsburgh moment from 2008. To me, this is the type of attitude that will start the dominoes of change within the Penguins lineup and I'm not talking about the personnel, I'm talking about the mindset on the ice.

After Therrien's rant in 2006, the Pens lost 14 of their next 15 games. His calling out of the team didn't settle in immediately, it took time. Fast forward almost three later and many of the same players on the '05-06 team are still wearing black and gold. They're more mature and coming off a Stanley Cup finals appearance.

Yes, appearance. It seems by the way the team has played that they expect games to be easy and the puck to bounce their way for an entire 60 minutes. Stanley Cup's aren't handed out, they're earned. Now, with Sidney Crosby as their captain in his fourth year, this is a critical point in Pittsburgh's season. With upcoming games against teams like New Jersey, Montreal, Boston (twice), and the Rangers in the next fifteen days, getting points won't be easy and if the lackluster play continues, they can easily find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table.

I feel that Therrien's latest rant will inspire change on the ice. This is where we will see the teams' mettle and how influencial Sidney Crosby will be as a leader in hard times; and I think it will be for the better for the rest of the season for Pittsburgh.

I Am Legend with Max Talbot and Petr Sykora
Malkin's Badass Goal Against the Flyers
Malone's Double Breaks Senators
Ruutu's Leg Kick
Pure Hockey, Outdoors
Nicklas Backstrom and His Own Goal Sinks the Caps
Malkin Lets Us Know Everything Will Be Alright

Ballhype: hype it up!

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