It's hard not to feel a Pens second consecutive first-round exit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is inevitable.
They are not playing well. At least not in the second and third periods. Especially not in the third period!
Sunday's game was possibly the worst game I have seen this group play. They were undisciplined, careless with the puck and they became what Pens fans have come to hate about the Flyers. They were being outplayed, responded by letting their emotions get the best of them and they started playing dirty hockey.
James Neal and Aaron Asham should be suspended for going after Flyers players. Craig Adams has already been suspended for Game 4.
Now there are reports that Jordan Staal is unhappy with his role.
Put it all together, and it feels like this team that seemed on top of the world coming into the playoffs is in danger of falling apart. And this is with two of the best players in the world leading them.
I hope I am just overreacting. I hope that the Pens will take this latest disappointment as a sign that they all need to up their focus. I hope that if they are swept they will come back next season with the biggest chip on their shoulders the NHL has ever seen.
But I can't help but fear that the team crumbling in front of our eyes this postseason is just the start of something terrible.
I don't know what else to say. This series has caused me deep distress.
Of course, all that could change with a dominating performance Wednesday night. A performance where the mature, composed, skilled and smart Penguins show up. That kind of performance could lead to one of the biggest rallies in NHL history.
It probably won't happen, but what kind of fans would we all be if we didn't believe?
The path to redemption starts Wednesday.
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Redemption Song