I guess wow is really the only word that can describe last night's craziness in Detroit. For those of you who actually work and couldn't stay up for the end, Petr Sykora netted a goal halfway through the third ovetime to lead the Pens to a 4-3 victory in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Oh yea, I forgot the mention - Sykora told NBC on-ice reporter Pierre McGuire that HE would be the one to score the game winner, and I'll be damned if the SOB didn't pull it off. He also had the game winner a few years ago in a five overtime playoff game for the Ducks, so my man got some experience at this.
By the way, calling your goal in hockey is pretty much like calling your shot in baseball; something that doesn't happen often and is done correctly even less often. All I know is if we end up winning this thing, that will be known as "The Goal" for a long, long time in our fair city, and Petr Sykora will be a local legend on the level of the Bus and Mario and Franco - it was that big of a goal.
One thing that has to be noted is Max "my man" Talbot, coming through with the tying goal with 35 SECONDS LEFT!!! Wowsers that was huge. Everyone, and I mean everyone, thought the Wings were less then a minute away from raising the Cup, and sure enough, the Talbot's second swipe at a puck laying on the right side of the crease found a way into the back of the net. Needless to say, it was the biggest goal of his young career.
It was also a great game for coach Michel Therrien, who put Talbot (huh?) on the ice as the sixth attacker when we pulled Fluery. When asked about it, Therrien said he had a hunch about the Talbot and that's what he went on. Once again, WOW. Of all the people we could have added as a sixth man, I'd say Talbot is about 6th or 7th on that list. Good call, Mikey boy...
It was a gritty performance, with the only disappointment being Malkin's lack of a goal, but hey, we'll take a win any way we can.
The real hero last night (besides Talbot and Sykora) was Marc-Andre Fluery. He saved 55 of 58 shots and was playing on his head most of the night. This is truly the best game he's ever played, and I'm sure it's one that will build the youngster's confidance even more going into Game 6.
You're the man Sykora...
I'd also like to commend Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Malone for playing through some absolutely excrutiating pain. Malone took a Hal Gill Slapper to the face, "exploding" his nose and forcing him to leave the game whilst spewing blood; he was back in minutes. And Gonchar slid into the boards (ala Sid the Kid) and slammed his shoulder into them, causing him to leave the game in the third period (not overtime, period), and, as you can prolly guess, his next shift was in the third overtime on that fateful powerplay where we scored. He couldn't even raise his arms enough to shoot, but his passing and presence was enough to warrent his mention.
I just talked to Diego and he agrees - it was the best game either one of us had ever seen, and something we'll remember for a long, long time.