If you’re a cockeyed optimist, look at the Penguins’ situation thusly: They’re four wins away from getting revenge on the New York Islanders for what they did in 1975.
The Islanders’ comeback in the ’75 quarterfinals against the Penguins marked the second time a team rallied from a three-game deficit to win an NHL playoff series. Toronto did it first, in 1942. Philadelphia (2010) and Los Angeles (2014) have done it since '75. (For a more detailed history of the feat, click HERE.)
The video below was posted by the NHL in 2017 as part of the league’s 100th anniversary celebration. When I watched it today, I was amazed to see Ed Westfall’s goal that won Game 7, 1-0. I wasn’t aware footage existed. Seeing Westfall’s goal for the first time in many years brought all the heartbreak rushing back. It cuts like a knife 44 years later.
Let’s hope these Islanders haven’t learned from history, and are thus doomed to repeat it. It starts with the Penguins winning tonight.