We’ve been here before

Must-win situations.

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They bring out the best in teams.  Rarely do you see a squad come out flat when their season is on the line.

That’s a good thing for the Pens, who face not only the end of their season but also watching the same team lifting the same trophy after the same amount of games on the same sheet of ice — their own.

It’s enough to make you pass out just thinking about it.  The 17,132 inside Mellon Arena will do all they can to prevent history from repeating itself.

God save the Pens.

There’s nothing extra that needs to be said to motivate anyone — Pittsburgh or Detroit.

The Wings have everything to gain.  They have the Stanley Cup champion T-shirts printed, the champagne ready and … oh yea … the Stanley Cup will be in the building.

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The Red Wings can prove once again that age isn’t a factor.  With a win, they will prove the combination of experience and skill they possess is enough to beat any team, no matter the age.

And Marian Hossa can not only succeed in winning the Cup, but can also do it against the team he decided wasn’t the right fit for winning.

The Penguins, on the other hand, should have the drive of not repeating last year’s loss — of not watching the Cup being lifted by the opponent on home ice — of not letting Hossa be right — of just not being good enough.

No speeches need to be made for tonight.  This game will be determined by just that — determination.  Whichever team has more will win.

Whichever team desires the ultimate victory more will win this game and this series.  We’ll find out soon enough.

If you ask me, it could go either way.  I’m not one to make predictions.  Being a hockey player, I’ve developed too many of the superstitious acts that we grow accustomed to seeing from our favorite players.

I try to say exactly the right words in order to keep from jinxing the situation.

Screw it.

Myself and so many others did that last year and look what it got us: second place.

It’s not about which jersey we wear (I will be wearing No. 7 Joey Mullen from the mid-90s) or our playoff beard (mine is non-existant after growing it out last year).

Neither our morning routine, nor our gameday meal is going to affecting anything.  It’s up to our boys and their desire.

Do they have it?  I think they do.

I think the Sidney Crosby is so determined to be a winner that he’ll do whatever it takes.

I think that Evgeni Malkin is so determined to prove he’s the best player in the world that he’ll throw absolutely every puck he can at the net.

I think Marc-Andre Fleury is unfazed and has the desire to prove that he can be a goaltender that single-handedly wins games.

I think Ruslan Fedotenko and Dan Bylsma know what it’s like to be down 3-2 and force a game 7 and that they’ll do everything possible to do the same again.

I think the Pittsburgh Penguins will win tonight.

I think they will force a Game 7.

And, in that Game 7, I think they have a very good chance of winning.

If it comes down to desire, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be Stanley Cup Champions.

Chris | PPT

“Avenge 6-4-08”

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