NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Penguins Playoff Mailbag: Can Columbus come back? Fleury or Murray? Kessel, hot dogs and Toronto

Dave Lozo thought the Penguins would sweep Columbus. They didn’t, so here’s a mailbag.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins did not sweep the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, instead losing 5-4 in Game 4 to set up a Game 5 in Pittsburgh. Without having seen a second of the game, I would choose to believe they lost on purpose as a way of making amends for destroying Zach Werenski’s face and scoring a goal while he was gushing blood.

In the aftermath of this loss, Penguins fans were feeling their feelings, so it seemed like the right time to a do a full-on mailbag (this is also what happens when you plan on writing a thing about getting extended rest after a short series and the team that can sweep loses Game 4 and ruins it).

So here are Penguins fans asking me things and me answering them.

This series is over. You can’t let a team as deep and talented as the Blue Jackets off the mat. They’re like a zombie or that German guy they set free in Saving Private Ryan. You have to kill them when you have the chance or they will eventually come back and kill you.

Some might say this is an overreaction to one loss to a very overrated, desperate team. Not me. This is sound analysis. I may even go to Tristan Jarry in net in Game 5 to stop the momentum, but the inevitable onslaught from the Blue Jackets is a foregone conclusion.

No matter what happens over the rest of this series, you will always have the memories of the 2016 Cup run. Not even John Tortorella can take that away from you.

Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t as good as Matt Murray. It is my understanding that the people in your fair city love the man because he’s so nice (he is!), but it still boggles my mind that he’s done what he’s done since 2009, while Murray won a Cup last year (with Fleury playing one game badly in the conference finals), and people still want to give Fleury the net back.

Fleury is at .923 through four games this postseason. You take that and run with it if Murray is ready for Game 5. Think of Fleury as a great run at a blackjack table. You’re hitting on 16 against a 20 and getting a 5. You’re doubling down with an 11, getting a 2, and the dealer is busting. You’re stacking chips. You’re feeling good.

You should get up and walk away and … do whatever Murray would be in this metaphor, which I’m confused about at this point, too. (Editor’s Note: Obviously Murray is craps. Wait, that sounds bad. Best odds to win, can play smart to mitigate exposure. Yeah. Craps.)

The thing you should be loving as a Penguins fan, besides all the wins and saves from Fleury, is this sort of showing could make him a real trade candidate in the offseason as opposed to settling for a buyout.

I am partial to this one.

It could be a lot of things. His perfectly symmetrical face. His brown eyes. His wonderfully firm butt (I’m assuming, as he’s a hockey player). His winning personality. Who he is as a person, maybe?

Or maybe his attractiveness is related to his scoring ability. On the ice. Not the other thing. Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins-Championship Parade
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I wouldn’t wish a herniated disc on my worst enemy (Pierre McGuire). They are bad. I had two in my lower back and couldn’t do anything for eight months while rehabbing, never mind play full-contact hockey. So when you hear that Kris Letang has a herniated disc so bad that it requires surgery, you should pray you never have that.

There’s pain that’s constant. You can’t lift things. There’s numbness in your limbs. It sucks something fierce.

It’s also similar to the feeling you get when Sheary flashes that winning smile. You get tingly and feel sick because you know you can never … sorry, I got lost in that previous question after a Sheary image search on Google.

Who is Syd? And if you’re referencing a TV show that premiered this decade, you’ve lost me. So yeah, you’ve lost me. (Editor’ Note No. 2: TOTALLY!)

Sorry, but that goes to former Penguins legend Tanner Glass.

Buddy, I want nothing more than to see Phil Kessel return to Toronto and bring destruction to the Leafs. I want him eating hot dogs before and after games and on off-days in front of the media. I want him to score three goals in all the games in Air Canada Centre and have hot dogs rain down on the ice. I want Dart Guy to abandon his cigarette and have a raw hot dog in his mouth to start Game 4.

Seriously though, I’m all for the Leafs taking over the league in a few years, but I want Kessel to take a victory lap through that city before it happens.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs

Playoffs!!! Hot dogs!!!

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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