Friday, May 10, 2013

Deja vu, Penguins Averting Disaster?

Isles overwhelmed from the start...
Hounded to the brink of an imposed summer, the young New York Islanders know that even though their hockey season has faded to perhaps it's final days, they came achingly close to spinning this series toward the unthinkable.

They could have and they did outwork the Penguins for long stretches. They could have and they did dictate tempo to their precise advantage throughout the first four games. But all that time, they knew there was one element that if it became critical they could be lethally vulnerable, and it became critical last night.

The Islanders just don't have - can't have- the kind of maturity necessary to deal with bursts of Penguins brilliance.

The Penguins thus have taken the upper hand in this series, but it is far from over. Once the Islanders got through the Penguins strong start last night, they showed the tenacity and resilience that have enabled them to win two games against an opponent with a serious in talent.

This was written in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette referring to the fifth game of the series between the Islanders and Penguins...twenty years ago EXACTLY. Game five of the Patrick Division Finals took place exactly 20 years ago today on May 10, 1993.

The Penguins tallied three goals in the first 108 seconds of the game and won game five by a score of 6-3. With a three games to two lead in the series, the highly favoured Pens seemed on their way to defending their two Stanley Cups.

Of course the Islanders would see things differently by winning game six 7-5 back home and then stealing game seven on David Volek's overtime winner. Could it happen again two decades later? We shall see.

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