It's pretty clear that most hockey fans disagree with the whole mashup of sports. No one likes the guy in the Steelers jersey at the game on any given night. But in this case, of course, we accept it for the sake of Pittsburgh pride.
Anyway, we're not getting into the Superbowl. Go Steelers n'at, but we're here for the hockey.
This game was weird, plain and simple. If you were looking for something to mess with your emotions last night, you certainly got it. Would we give up a win against the Sabres to have Malks not injured for five minutes? Maybe, maybe not. We have to think on that one.
Let's do some quick awards in the meantime.
MOMENT YOU DEFINITELY STILL REMEMBERED BY THE END OF THE GAME BUT MAYBE CARED A LITTLE LESS ABOUT
When the puck ended up in our twine and the Sabres started celebrating as soon as the game came on, we were almost certain that it had to be some sort of Sabres highlight reel playing that was not a part of the game. Scoring in the first few seconds of the game gives everyone an uncomfortable feeling, even when it's your own team. We just want a little warm-up time, guys.
When it isn't your team?
Then it's uncomfortable and awful.
Luckily we know these goals well, and we understand that goals in the opening seconds rarely mean anything other than some quick, lucky bounces for the opposing team.
We don't let it get us down.
THE MOMENT YOU STARTED TO LET IT GET YOU DOWN
When only a little while later Grier puts the puck in front of MAF in a relatively easily contained way and a freakish series of events land it on Engelland's skate, we're suddenly down 2-0 in what seems like a crazy flukey way.
We're hanging on strong to HOPE and FAITH, but we're starting to get a little worried that this may be one of those games where the bounces are just working against us.
A few disagreements on the ice lead us into a series of penalties for both teams, and we eventually head into the second with over a minute of power play.
Maybe things will finally start going our wa-
MOMENT THAT MADE YOU CRINGE UNCOMFORTABLY
And it's official - we can't catch a fucking break.
And neither can Malks, clearly. After a sinus infection and long-term knee issues, Malks hits the ice again, this time clutching the OTHER KNEE.
You're about to throw in the [terrible] towel.
Finally, the bounces start working in our favor, probably because the universe feels sorry for giving a hard time to the Greatest Human.
DJ Dance Party gets the puck near enough to the net that it hops in off of Connolly's skate.
You are familiar with moments like these. They are called turnarounds, and you will be taking yours now, please.
MOST LIKELY TO BE RE-ELECTED FOR ANOTHER TERM IN OFFICE
In the interest of taking care of business, our President and yours, Tyler Kennedy, sees to it that the turning point opportunity is not in vain - suddenly it's 2-2 and we can see the Sabres sweatin' it a little.
The know a train coming when they see one.
MOMENT THE SABRES SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN OFF THE TRACKS
And that is how you take a lead.
PERIOD IN WHICH WE KEPT SAID LEAD
Third period is just about keeping one step ahead.
Paul Martin acts like a fucking genius.
Conner has some nice shifts.
All in all, we hold it down.
And it pays off.
PENS 3 SABRES 2
Lindy Ruff, your existence is a mystery as old as time to us.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1) Kris Letang
Might need a haircut, but still charms us on ice.
For being a trooper, and because we miss staring at your slackjawed face with wonder.
Because we're looking for him to have another crazy power game, and maybe getting a star will pump his ego enough to get it done.
Post later tonight on truly ridiculous things.
Sunday, of course, go Stillers.
Pens are never losing again.