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hockey: well, that's that

And our season is over. Goods:
* We barely scraped into the playoffs, but we went head-to-head against the best team in the league (by points, anyway) and fought them every inch.
* Every loss was a one-goal loss. We held them to two goals per game for all four of their wins, the second time in NHL history a series has been won this way.
* We did this with one top four defenseman, a bottom pairing, a seventh D, and two AHL call-ups.
* Fleury was spectacular. Apparently #fleurydeservedbetter was trending in Pittsburgh last night, and it wasn't a lie.
* We fought SO HARD. We made mistakes, and the Rangers made us pay, and we took so many more penalties than we should, but my gosh, we left it ALL on the ice. It's too bad we couldn't get another bounce or two go our way, because history is going to remember this series as NYR trouncing us 4-1, but SO MUCH is missing from that metric.
* Now we get to go heal.
* Next year: Letang, Maatta, Pouliot. Think about that.

Bads:
* That Lovejoy trade isn't looking any better than it did to start with.
* That Perron trade looks a lot worse than it did to start with.
* Poor Ehrhoff. Don't think he got out of this season what he'd hoped.
* Flower deserved better. Yeah.

That's a lot of good mixed in with the bad, but I'm still so sad that this how we went out. I'm going to keep being sad for a while.

I'm collecting post-game and post-season links that I think are worth reading (ie, not stupid).
ECQ Game 5 – This is the end. Pens lose 2-1 (OT), lose series 4-1, by Meesh Shanmugam
Losing always hurts, but the Penguins didn’t lose their “composure”, didn’t have to deal with a Fleury meltdown, and did keep the series close despite what a 4-1 series loss may suggest. These are all valuable memories and lessons moving forward for the team. For once, they will go into the next postseason not with thoughts of how they failed, or blew it, or melted down. Next postseason will be built from a hard-fought series despite not having the necessary pieces to win. In a transition year, the Penguins may have built a foundation for another franchise upswing. There are plenty of reasons for hope next year.

Penguins Season Ends With Fourth 2-1 Loss to Rangers, by Angie Carducci
A team that went into a month-long freefall down the stretch and snuck into the playoffs by beating the league’s worst team on the last day of the regular season found a way to compete within a goal of the Rangers for five consecutive games.

Penguins - Rangers - Game 5 postgame, by Seth Rorabaugh
-This was the best they could do. These Pittsburgh Penguins put everything they could into this series. They darn near played it perfectly within their limitations. But they were extremely limited. When Taylor Chorney, Brian Dumoulin and Scott Wilson are in the lineup instead of Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff and Pascal Dupuis, the same expectations simply can not be met. Yes, injuries happen to every team. But they simply crippled this team.

-One of the real shames of this brief but fierce five-game battle is that the brilliance of Fleury in this series will nearly be forgotten. He was the main reason this team got into the playoffs and he was the only reason they had a sniff at even beating the Rangers in any of these games. With two consecutive sturdy playoff seasons under his belt, there should be not doubt in his status as THE franchise goaltender for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game 5 Impressions: Rangers 2, Pens 1 (OT), by Sam Kasan and Michelle Crechiolo
My biggest takeaway from Game 5 is that the Pens truly did leave it all out on the ice – especially in the third period and overtime. And while I know there are no moral victories in the playoffs and the fact remains that Pittsburgh’s season is over, with their backs against the ropes they fought valiantly and put forth one heck of an effort to try and extend this series. </a>

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

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