Oh, man.

After a long week of hype, it begins.
At about 1:17pm, we'll all be jacked.

If you need a motivational speech now, you're crazy.

For the second series in a row, we're facing a team that is easy to hate.

All year we've heard how Ovechkin is "the best player in the world by far" and listened to Caps fans brag how they earned at least one point in every game against us this year.

The arrogance coming out of Washington has been growing all season.
In the words of China Jack, "Now is not the time to get cocky."
This is going to be a tough series, but one that we can really enjoy.

We have not read anything that indicates that any major lineup changes are going to occur.
The main issue for the Pens is going to be "Sykora or Satan."
Some last-second previews after the jump.
Seth from Empty Netters shares his thoughts. [EN]
EN Prediction: Penguins 4-2. We're not sold on Varlamov. Yet. We want to see him against a team with a legit offense. He faced 15 shots from the Rangers in Game 7 of their first round series. And New York could only muster only one in the third period. One. All due respect to the Capitals' defense, but they're never going to be confused with 1994-95 Devils. The Rangers' offensive problems were created mostly out of their own malfunctions. Varlamov is still a big question mark to us. If he can outplay Marc-Andre Fleury, the Capitals will win. But we have a hard time imagining him continuing his run against an offense like the one Penguins will throw at him.

We're not ones to make predictions, but everything Seth said is the truth.

When we thought about the Flyers series, everything ended with Goaltending.
Fleury is better than Biron. At the end of the day, you could hang your balls on that.

The same thing goes here. We've been watching hockey for a long time.
Only on very rare occasions does some uknown joke goaltender rise to unknown heights.
Yes, we saw Hedberg do it, but even he crapped out.
Plus, Hedberg probably had his driver's license for longer than a week.

Not to mention head coach Bruce Brodeau made one of the biggest coaching mistakes we have ever seen, and got away with it.


He quickly threw Jose Theodore under the bus after the first game of the Rangers series.
The Rangers didn't have the offense ablitity to break Varmalade.
What if the Pens drop two 5-spots on Varamlade? Do you go back to Theodore?
Brojoke got away with a huge coaching mistake.
That catches up with you.

Theodore was 3-0-1 against the Pens this season.

Lifetime stats? 15-4-1.
Maybe the worse thing the Pens could do is destroy Varmlade too early?

:: [STAAL TACTICS] rounds out the previews.

SNYPER with a sick shots breakdown:


Last night in the Ducks/Wings game:

What a way to start the series off.



Stephen S was busy city in [STOREBLOG].
He has updated almost everything. Go give it a look.

Some of our new faves:





Rumor has it one of the Caps Ice Girls is from Pittsburgh.
A little birdie told us this is her:



go pens