Didn’t write anything about Game Four for a while because I really didn’t have anything new to add to the series; it just seemed like no matter how well the Hurricanes played, the Pens just kept this air of inevitability around them, and when that Max Talbot goal fluttered past Cam Ward’s glove, I think we all knew where this one was headed. It just wasn’t Carolina’s series, and I know that statement is served dripping in molasses-thick cliche juice, but this sentiment was overwhelming from about Game Two onward.
Carolina’s defense played terribly. Cam Ward was a nonfactor. Ray Whitney was a nonfactor. Eric Staal was a nonfactor until it was way too late for anything he did to matter (and this picture before Game 4 made the entire series worth it).
I thought Fleury played a pretty solid game after his WTFey first goal, even though any remotely questionable Fleury play still results in between 3 and 5 instantaneous texts to my phone from friends; I feel like I subcribed to the Sprint “Fleury Worry Mobile Updates” service inadvertantly. Otherwise, Crosby and Malkin are still awesome, Crosby’s linemates are looking a lot more competent than they did against Washington, the special teams are resembling decency, and the defense played a lot better in the second and third periods of this game.
Let’s bring on the Red Wings!