The power play and lack of scoring. That's it. That was the Pens' downfall.
There's no other explanation when you get shut out 1-0 in a Game 7 on home ice.
There's rumblings all over the Internet, wondering why Kovalev wasn't on the ice for the last push with the Pens up by 2 men, as if the entire game — and the entire series — boiled down to the last 30 seconds of the final game of the season. Rather than those 30 seconds, we'd rather focus on the other 44 minutes of power-play time during the rest of the game and the other 59 minutes, 30 seconds of actual gameplay.
If you think Kovalev would've scored, you're delusional. The Lightning and Dwayne Roloson wouldn't have let Jesus Christ put one in during that last flurry. Writers discussing this Kovalev situation even go to lengths to mention the fact that Kovalev scoring was unlikely, but they still use it as a reason to complain about something.
Trying to assign blame to Dan Bylsma, Todd Reirden, Chris Conner, Kris Letang, Eric Tangradi, Mike Yeo, or even Sgt. Bob is a fool's errand.
We'd proud as fuck of this year's Pens team. Case closed.
They just didn't have the horses.
Secretariat may have provided one PP goal, if that.
Pens fans are arguing with each other left and right, as all of a sudden we are not unified. Not until September. It's a brutal realization.
Everyone is upset.
This playoff run could've turned out much worse…
See: Crosby coming back prematurely and ruining his life.
See: Getting swept by the Capitals in an embarrassing fashion.
See: Tyler Kennedy winning the Conn Smythe
See: You dying in a car crash on the way to Game 3 of the second round.
For the genuine NHL fans out there, we are settling in for an unreal Final 8.
And Pens fans could be in the unique position of pulling for the Bruins in the East.