It Is What It Is

Justin K. Aller

Time to face facts, folks.

Sigh.

I have to say, if these playoffs were happening in my younger days (I turn 50 in October, start thinking about my present), I would have already smashed my remote against the wall. In fact, probably repeated the process.  That's how excruciating it is to watch your Pittsburgh Penguins nowadays.

But over the years, as I've gotten older, and as I tell my youngest son, who's 20 and just finished his sophomore year in college, that I no longer get overly pissed off about my fanaticism with the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.

Oh sure, Bob Nutting's cheapskatedness (I know, I know, not a word) regularly drives me up a wall.  And the Steelers horrendous drafting is now coming back to haunt them, probably for at least a couple more years.

And yes, even after the Penguins most likely get eliminated again, whether that'll be versus the Rangers or in later rounds, it simply doesn't phase me like it used to.

Because, frankly, there's always next year, I tell myself the nights my teams get eliminated.

Geez, I sound like a Cubs fan.

Just saying that in my view, for whatever that's worth, I've resigned myself that this is a team, albeit with some world-class talent, that has significant flaws, and it's those flaws that will most likely prevent them from winning the Stanley Cup without some upheaval.

How much upheaval is, of course, up for debate.  It's a Penguins bloggers dream, is it not?  Objectively, I don't think any aspect of the organ-i-zation should be exempt of scrutiny and evaluation.

The roster needs some major tweaks.  The Penguins need better depth in their bottom six forwards.  Their defense is wildly inconsistent.  Marc-Andre Fleury has turned out to be merely a better than average goaltender.

Is the coaching staff to blame for the Penguins' mind-numbing lack of intensity in the playoffs?  It's a legitimate question, I'm not sure.  But HCDB's ho-hum repeated responses to the Pens' lack of effort through these playoffs to date is troubling IMO.  Now, I fully acknowledge, as has been pointed out to me on Twitter, that it's very well possible that HCDB has lit into his team on numerous occasions in this playoff run.  But even if he didn't, does it warrant a firing after the merciful end of the year?  Who knows, probably not.

And let's not forget GMRS.  Yes, I must've tweeted "In Shero We Trust" 20 times over the years.  But for all the great trades that have wound up to be steals in the Penguins favor, there have now been several drafts that have resulted in painfully few forwards to the NHL roster.  Again, will it result in his firing in the offseason?  Highly doubtful.

But one thing's for sure:  There needs to be change.  Somewhere.

I'm not going to get into the minutia, such as whether Sidney Crosby is healthy, or the Penguins' disregard to crash the net and stay on the perimeter, or their continuance to play Globetrotter-style.  We have plenty of talented bloggers that no doubt will get into that in much more detail than I care to do.

Simply put, it's time to acknowledge their flaws.  They'll last however long (or short) they last, and we'll move on.

I'm sure some will say I'm not a "real fan" and all that bullshit.  Whatever.

There's always next year.

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