Do not trust skimming slash fiction to predict game performance.
If you want to get it right you have to actually read them.
If we had done that, we could have known. All of those stories? Happy endings (both meanings applicable.)
Thus, the Blackhawks actually came to the game happy and in love with one another, all problems resolved.
Goddamn our aversion to thoroughly reading shitty fanfics.
We should have seen this coming.
Before we get started, we'd like to mention this:
A new all-Pittsburgh sports talk station has been created.
Before you think this is too shameless, let us inform you that one of the hosts is Rick Tocchet, and if we all behave REALLY WELL, we may be able to speak with him.
So clean your rooms and take out the trash, because if this opportunity presents itself, we need to be worthy of it. We'll put a link up for it in the sidebar.
Now, without any further shameless promotion, let's have the awards.
MOMENT YOU REFUSED TO LET YOUR FAITH FALTER THIS EARLY IN THE GAME
MAF is on fire in the first half of the period.
It's looking just like you knew it would - our team thriving despite the gaping stab wounds.
HALLO, DO YOU HAVE SOME-ZING TO SAY? BECAUSE. I DO NOT THINK THAT YOU HAVE ANY-ZING TO SAY. NO?
Shortly after the magic is all happening, Jordan Hendry comes up with the perfect plan to distract our favorite flower.
He immediately sets to trying to shatter some glass, so that the shards will cover the ice in a festive rainbow display, distracting MAF, who - at moments - has the mental capacity and attention span of a raccoon.
He succeeds in messing up some glass, but not the way he would have liked.
Unfortunately, the very thought of what could have happened is filling MAF's head like a slowly inflating giant balloon.
Things get dangerous.
Pucks are flying and MAF is somewhere else.
Somewhere like this.
We can't blame him.
Toews, desperate to show us that he's good with more than just balls, passes the puck over to Sharp, who has this to say about the events that followed:
Little known fact: When men bang on the glass at the United Center, they are actually signaling to the players that their "services" wil be available to the players after the game.
B T DUBS BETTER GET SOME BLANKETS TO KEEP THOSE EXTRA SEATS WARM.
The experience puts MAF back into balloon-less reality.
He's all over the last part of the first, when the 'Hawks control the puck action for wayyyy too long.
We get on the PP towards the end and try to make up for what has been happening, but intermission snakebits it for us.
Half a powerplay is almost as useless as half a medallian - you can't even use it to escape the Temple Guards.
But we're in it to win it anyway.
Let's do this thing.
SECOND PERIOD HERO
After snapping out of the previous balloon animal haze, MAF is all prepared for what is to come.
MON PETIT CHOU HALLO I SEE YOU HAVE RETURNED TO ME LOLOLOL
A brutal number of shots are launched at our favorite puck-seducer, and he stands tall.
If we were still in Fayettenam, we'd have driven right down to the card shop boys to rub the second period in their Fleury-hating faces.
BIGGEST RELIEF / MOST AWESOME
With the score the way it is and the timer the way it is, we're not feeling too happy about it when Craigsy gets sent to the box for hooking.
Can it be?!
WILL IT BE A SUPERSTAR BREAKAWAY SHORTY?!?!?!
Seeing as Max Talbot scoring on a breakaway during a penalty is basically our favorite "FINISH HIM" moment, we're pretty excited to see him take off towards the other end of the ice, even if it is technically a 1 on 1. Following along, however, is recently-freed Matt Cooke, making it a 2-on-01. Talbot does something amazing, which is to say he displays some sort of patience, and passes the puck over at just the right moment for Cooke to be able to sail it into the net.
We're almost in tears.
It's the type of situation we invent in our minds when we get depressed, and here it is, happening in reality.
What lucky people we are.
This is all that happens in the second period, as far as we are concerned.
Tie or no tie, we leave this period feeling pretty fucking awesome.
Bryan Bickell, who the press wasn't even paying attention to, shatters the dreams of children everywhere by somehow putting a puck into our net in the first blinks of the third period.
This is what you did, Bryan Bickell.
I hope you are goddamn happy.
MOST TERRIFYING AND ADORABLE END TO REGULATION
MAF holds on like a hero for the rest of the period, stopping some things that we aren't quite sure science can justify his stopping.
With him holding it up at one end of the ice, we just pray that our ragtag team of pure heart and rookie bloodlust can put something into the net at the other end.
The wait as long as humanly possible, just to keep us on the edge of our seats, and finally Brett Sterling picks up TK's rebound and tries his damndest to escort it into the twine.
Our President is 12 years old, apparently.
We love it.
AWARD FOR SENDING THE MOST PEOPLE TO BED CRYING
The Flower is seriously all over overtime.
We can't get over this game being so close when he has been on fire all night.
He locks it down for five minutes, and then all we have to do is hope and pray for the best on the shootou-
OH SHIT WHO THE FUCK ARE WE GOING TO PUT IN FOR THE SHOOTOUT WHEN HALF OF OUR PLAYERS ARE DEAD?
We all start sobbing immediately.
Dupes and Tanger try their luck.
Luckily none of the Blackhawks have any luck eith-
SERIOUSLY THIS BLOWS YOU GUYS.
The President trys to match him, but his helmet is in the way.
We are distraught.
This is just. not. fair.
PENS 2, WORST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD 3
OUR NEW PERSON OF INTEREST
Bryan Bickell, that sonofabitch.
ALT THREE STARS
So this kind of blows.
But hey, this is hockey. Sometimes things get messy and you are playing with the bloody stumps of what your team used to be.
This is what being a Penguins fan is all about.
When we're winning the Cup in a few months we'll look back on this time and smile.
Because we are the Penguins, goddamnit, and we are Never Losing Again.