It’s something we see all the time in sports – confidence. When it comes to the playoffs, sometimes confidence comes out in the form of guaranteed wins. While Messier’s guarantee years ago is one of the more memorable ones in the NHL, the Penguins are clearly confident heading into Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Tampa Bay.
In separate statements, both Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist guaranteed a win in Game 6 and a return to Pittsburgh for a pivotal Game 7.
“I believe in my team. I believe in myself,” said Malkin according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com. “We’re coming back to Pittsburgh (for Game 7) for sure.”
With virtually the same message, Hornqvist said that there was “no doubt” in his mind that the Pens would be headed back to Pittsburgh for an opportunity to secure the series at home.
The Penguins have outscored the Lightning 7-6 in the two games in Tampa Bay this series – splitting the two games.
While Tampa will certainly use this as motivation to get the job done in Game 6, their head coach Jon Cooper fully understands why the Pens players guaranteed the win.
“What is he supposed to say? ‘Ah, we’re done? We’re just coming down here for a formality?’” said Cooper according to Frank Seravalli.
With that in mind, the Lightning will be looking to close out the series come Game 6, while Malkin, Hornqvist and the Pittsburgh Penguins will surely want to back up their strong words.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.