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Penguins Lay An Egg: A Goose Egg, Ironically

This photo basically sums up the entirety of the Eastern Conference finals.

This photo basically sums up the entirety of the Eastern Conference finals.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were the supposed favorites going into the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins. The Pens were the highest scoring team of the regular season and feature two of the most prominent superstars in the world. They easily locked up the No. 1 seed, with several game to spare in the regular season.

Despite the broken jaw suffered by star center Sidney Crosby weeks earlier, Pittsburgh looked poised to cruise through to the Stanley Cup finals this season. Their last obstacle was that gritty, mean team from Beantown. Certainly not pushovers in any sense of the word, but the Pens easily handled the Bruins in the regular season in 2013.

Explanations for the sweep range dramatically.

You can put all the blame on the Pens. Their high octane offense has a major flaw that they cannot, or will not, address—it frequently creates turnovers that become prime scoring opportunities for the opposition. The only thing they have in goal right now is a huge question mark.

Some of the personnel decisions made my coach Dan Bylsma were questionable at best. And for some reason they decided to trade in shots on goal for aggressive checking. They didn’t outscore or outshoot the Bruins, but they definitely slammed into them a whole lot more.

Or you can give all the credit to the Bruins. They didn’t get a lot of buzz during the shortened regular season, but their No. 4 seed was very indicative of the team they are. Solid, steady, and completely unshakable. Probably the least likely team in the league to be intimidated by the Penguins star power.

That being said, their coaching was fine. Their offense was pretty good, but helped out by the Pens poor defense and goaltending. Their defense was relentlessly aggressive. But, eat your heart out Tim Thomas, it was the goaltending of Tuukka “Brick Wall” Rask that won the series for the B’s.

This guy must be a witch or something.

This guy must be a witch or something.

As a Pens fan who watched every devastating game of that series, the astounding impenetrable Rask left me slack-jawed every minute of every game.

It was stunning. If I didn’t hate him so much right now, I might consider sending him a card that said: Thanks for ruining my life, jerk.” Which I imagine he’d take as quite the compliment coming from a Pittsburgh fan.

Seriously though, after scoring 13 goals in their last two games against the Ottawa Senators in the previous round, the Pens were held to just four measly goals in three games against the Bruins. And to add insult to injury, the were shut out in both Game 1 and Game 4.

What a way to cap off a promising season.

The Penguins were considered favorites to with the Stanley Cup this season, which didn’t work out. Now instead of spending the summer getting drunk with Lord Stanley’s silver trophy, they’re going to have to address some very serious issues.

It’s tough to imagine that the team will be back completely intact this fall. The biggest changes might be behind the bench and in the net. Only time will tell though.

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