Thank you, Sergei, for not only stating the obvious, but also not smacking Pierre up side his bald head for asking such an idiotic question. (Yes, my irony light is shining brightly.)
From Dave Molinari's article Penguins again start at elimination in today's Post-Gazette:
"Sykora put the exclamation point on a performance that, regardless of how the series plays out, will rank among the most inspired -- and inspiring -- in franchise history."
"But the Penguins didn't win only because Sykora found a way to score his first goal in nine games."
"They won because:
- Max Talbot pushed the game past regulation by scoring 34.3 seconds before the Red Wings were supposed to begin celebrating their 11th Cup.
- Marc-Andre Fleury found a way to reject 55 shots, including a left-skate stop on Mikael Samuelsson that rivals any big-game save made by a Penguins goalie.
- An underrated defense corps found a way to overcome the absence of its cornerstone, Sergei Gonchar, who missed about half the game with an apparent back injury before coming back to assist on Sykora's winning goal.
- Ryan Malone didn't think that having a Hal Gill slap shot slam off his already-broken nose was reason to skip more than a shift or two.
- Brooks Orpik put his body in front of 10 shots and threw it into at least five Red Wings.
- Evgeni Malkin showed a few flashes that suggested he might be morphing into, well, Evgeni Malkin.
- Ryan Whitney, after a mostly forgettable season, turned in 50 minutes and 46 seconds of excellence in what might prove to be his coming-of-age performance as an elite defenseman."
"And the Penguins won because so many gave so much for so long." - Dave Molanari, Post-Gazette, 6/4/08
On to game six. I work the evening shift tomorrow, they can play as long as their little hearts desire and can stand.
I'll be watching - and cheering - and making my neighbors nuts.