Cook’s Stanley Cup Final 2017 Diary: Game 5

6:23 PM: Hi, hello and welcome back to the Stanley Cup Final! We move back to Pittsburgh tonight with the series tied 2-2. The Nashville Predators took advantage of home ice the last two games to get their minds right. Pekka Rinne looked like Pekka Rinne again. Freddy “Hockey” Gaudreau became a household name & continued the string of rookies scoring game winning goals in this series. The Preds dominated both games for the most part while the Pittsburgh Penguins looked like a team on the ropes. They looked like the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of NBA Finals games. Momentum is definitely on the Preds’ side heading into tonight…

But we’ve seen the Penguins recover from this type of adversity before. They’ve been in this situation more times than they care to remember, and more often than not they’ve come out on top. If the trend of the home team winning games continues, they’ll win tonight and will only need one more win. It’s all right in front of them.

I will be unavailable for live-blogging duty for Game 6…because I plan on being there in person. So here’s hoping tonight’s edition is the last installment thanks to two Preds wins!

7:36 PM: Just got word that I won’t be going to Nashville for Game 6! Well that’s definitely not the start that this night needed.

7:49 PM: Playoff Colin Wilson is warming up for the Preds. Here’s the lines:

Forsberg-Sissions-Aberg

Arvidsson-Fisher-Neal

Watson-Jarnkrok-Smith

Wilson-Gaudreau-Zolnierczyk

That fourth line…ye gods. That dog will hunt right there.

8:08 PM: So weird to see open road in front of an arena, isn’t it? Nashville didn’t have any of that going on.

8:17 PM: The Pittsburgh crowd should be interesting tonight. I’ve never doubted Pittsburgh fans’ dedication…I’ve doubted their sanity & decency at times, but they do get behind their teams. They’ve been hearing about Nashville fans all week and will be looking to even the score on that account.

8:20 PM: All I know is that the anthem singer wasn’t Dierks Bentley.

8:21 PM: We have a catfish sighting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

19:10 1st: A shot by Sidney Crosby goes off the post. Ryan Ellis heads to the box. Advantage Pens early.

18:29 1st: Justin Schultz with a slap shot from the back through the legs of Austin Watson & Rinne makes it 1-0 Pens. People are excited in the Burgh.

17:46 1st: Roman Josi & Bryan Rust go sailing through the net. Pens are pushing.

17:41 1st: Patric Hornqvist & Mattias Ekholm are already getting at each other. There must be a woman involved somehow.

16:04 1st: Announcers point out how there’s a lot of room between Pekka Rinne’s legs. I should probably avoid further comment.

13:17 1st: Well, Rinne was nowhere near the net on that goal by Rust. Top shelf, where momma hides the cookies. Pens are looking to put this one away early.

9:54 1st: Pittsburgh finally does something wrong by putting too many men on the ice. Preds have gotten more offensive time the last couple of minutes so a PP goal here would be big for momentum.

7:54 1st: No PP goal, nor was there really any threat of one.

4:45 1st: I’m currently wondering what would have happened if home ice for this series had been determined by the NHL All-Star Game instead of record. The answer is the Eastern champion would still have home ice. But imagine if one of the West divisions had won the tournament and that dictated home ice for the Stanley Cup. That would have been nice, right?

Right?

1:32 1st: Crosby & P.K. Subban are having some difficulty with each other. Crosby with a couple of cheap shots. Pretty classless if you ask me. We go 4 on 4 for the next little while, though frankly Crosby was more in the wrong.

:11 1st: Pens capitalize off the gift from the officials with a goal from Evgeni Malkin, who has apparently woken up. Not an ideal first period, but the Preds did come back from a referee-assisted 3-0 hole in Game 1. Eventually lost, but teams learn from these things. Maybe.

1st Intermission: I don’t watch late-night television these days because I’m an adult, but the Tonight Show Superlative for Vernon Fiddler was spot on.

Fire Mike Milbury now, NBC. That gutless piece of shit has no place on television. I mean, honestly. His take on Crosby cheap-shotting Subban was “He had it coming.” Seriously. That’s what NBC wants representing the sport? This washed up asshole talking shit about P.K. Subban because he doesn’t look like what a hockey star should look like? Come on guys. It’s 2017. I know politics has gone backwards, but hockey doesn’t need to as well.

20:00 2nd: Juuse Saros is in goal for Nashville instead of Pekka. My goodness.

18:41 2nd: Conor Sheary makes it 4-0. Looks like we’re resting up for Game 6, doesn’t it?

13:00 2nd: Not much of note going on except people on Twitter (myself included) railing against NBC for keeping that goon Milbury employed.

11:58 2nd: Phil Kessel makes it 5-0. I’m really tempted to call it a night as soon as possible and get some sleep.

Yup. Time to go ahead and pull the plug on this one. Since I’ll be home for Game 6 I might be back then! As for now, I might as well get a regular night’s sleep in.

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