The Next Goal: Lord Stanley

Last night the Pittsburgh Penguins qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs.

It feels a little bit sweeter knowing that half the world didn't think we'd make it, doesn't it?

Right now we don't know who the Pens will be playing.  In fact, we might not know until Sunday.

Whoever it is, chances are we'll hate them.  If it's a team like the Flyers or the Capitals the hate is already there.
A playoff series against either of those teams will just fuel the fire.

Hatred for the Devils has cooled recently.  Don't worry, it'll come back if it needs to.
The first time Brodeur makes a ridiculous save on Crosby or Malkin will cause us to remember.

The Carolina Hurricanes?
Remember Cam Ward's first career start?
He stopped both Crosby and Lemieux in a shootout.
We can find a way to hate them too.

Standing in between a team and the Cup definitely leads to hatred.

We don't have to tell you how incredible the Stanley Cup playoffs are.

You're here, so you already know.

Besides, there is no fitting way to put into words the outstanding highs and the crushing lows that come with the greatest tournament in pro sports.

Last year we didn't see too many lows until the Finals.

This year will probably be different.

The team will be prepared.

As for us, when we think of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, these are a few things that come to mind:

Footage from last year is in there so that we remember it.

Highs and lows.

The Penguins will collect donations for the Pittsburgh Police "Fallen Heroes Fund" tomorrow night.

Empty Netters looks at how teams with more than one 100 point scorer have done in the playoffs.

Faceoff-Factor wonders if playoff experience will help the Pens this year.

Keith Ballard's hit on Malkin is up for's "Fans' Choice Hit of the Season".

The last home game of the regular season is tomorrow.

Go Pens.