Pens are in a bad position. Regardless of where you stand in the divisive argument of whether or not the series is over, everyone can agree that the Pens are in a bad position. But the situation is obviously not without precedent.
Pens are in the position now where they need "a moment." It will be something big that simply keeps the Pens alive for the time being but the true significance of it won't be recognized until the series is over. It may be something that doesn't even happen on the ice (see: Yanni in 2009).
It's all about the momentum swing. And we've decided to take a look back at all the instances dating back to 1990-1991 where the Pens were involved in a 2-0 series deficit being overcome. The Pens actually have a solid number of 2-0 series comebacks. And they have won a series after losing the first two games at home.
Looking back at those 2-0 Pens series, you can identify an exact moment where everything shifted. Read More.
1991 — Bruins vs. Pens, Wales Conference Finals
Our recollection of this series is meaningless compared to how One From The Heart documents it. We were 7 and 8 years old. So instead of us relaying how we feel, just watch the series in One From The Heart:
Start at 2:15 mark.
— Coming back home for Games 3 and 4.
— Ulf's hit
1992 — Caps vs. Pens, Patrick Division semifinals
Same deal as the Bruins series. Would rather let Earl Mann guide us through the series.
THE MOMENT: Combination of a couple of things:
— The Pens came back home.
— The big "moment," though, is Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman knowing how to fix the situation by identifying the the Pens' weaknesses and fixing those before worrying about anything else. He instituted that 1-4 delay. The simple fact the this video has multiple players talking about the coaching strategy means it was a big deal.
1996 — Caps vs. Pens, Eastern Conference quarterfinals
This series is easily the most comparable to what the Pens face currently. Pens lost first two games at home. Both teams proved they can put goals on the board. It has to be said that this was a 2/7 matchup, though.
Found some articles.
Interesting wrinkle in this series was that the Caps coach, Jim Schoenfeld, pulled flash-in-the-pan goalie Jim Carey in favor of Kolzig after Carey shit the bed in Game One. Kolzig started Game Two, but then Carey started Game 3 at home. Makes no sense.
Game 4 speaks for itself.
Gotta at least take a look at the cup of beer thrown on the ice that led to Joe Juneau fumbling the puck on his penalty shot against Wregget.
If this doesn't get you pumped for Game 3, nothing will. Mike Lange. Jesus.
Series recap from Baltimore Sun
THE MOMENTS: Obviously Nedved's goal in Game 4 after the Pens had already built momentum on Carey's confidence being shattered. Honorable mention is the Beer Incident.
2000 — Flyers vs. Pens, Eastern Conference semis
We looked at this series last week. And maybe this one is most comparable to the Pens current situation considering it also involved the Flyers.
— Game 3 OT goal by Delmore.
— And then Primeau:
2009 — Caps vs. Pens, 2009 Eastern Conference semis
This series is still fresh in everyone's minds. It will be a bulletpoint for Pens fans who see this 2012 team coming back.
— Pens coming home
— Letang OT goal in Game 3:
The first thing the announcer says: "Pittsburgh stays alive!"
2009 — Wings vs. Pens, 2009 Stanley Cup Finals
If the Caps series is a bulletpoint, this series is a battle cry.
THE MOMENT: Looking back, it almost has to be either PP goal in the third period of Game 3 or Jordan Staal's shorthanded goal in Game 4.
And we know the Wings came out and smoked the Pens in Game 5, but can you honestly look back at anything else that changed the series? Maybe it was the fact the Pens were coming back home. Old Mellon Arena gave us all one final push.
So, it can be an overtime goal, a coaching decision, or just something that lights a fire under the team. Maybe Bylsma covers the walls in the locker room with news clippings before Game 3. Maybe someone like Craig Adams is real jammed up about these first two games and guarantees a series win. Maybe it will be a disallowed goal somewhere at a crucial time.
The moment may seem small and meaningless at the time, and we won't know when it will happen or if it will happen. But the Pens need it.