Penguins fans starting to feel the pain

Commentary

PITTSBURGH — It’s a double whammy spring for Penguins fans.

Not only did they deal with the disappointment of their team’s second-round playoff exit, they had to watch Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals skating with the Stanley Cup.

Ouch, that hurts.

The last hope for Penguins fans was that the Vegas Golden Knights would win the Final and allow Marc-Andre Fleury to win for the third straight season. The Capitals have ex-Penguins, too, but Brooks Orpik isn’t nearly as warm and fuzzy as Fleury.

Face it, though: The Capitals were the best team in the playoffs. They won on the road, they came from behind consistently, and they finally exorcised the Penguins demons that had annually ruined their postseason.

Nobody knows what might happen with trades, free agency and salary cap juggling, but there’s no good reason to think the Capitals can’t win again next season.

In the meantime, they’ll have their multi-continental Cup parties, they’ll probably have a huge parade, and a lot of beer will be spilled in the celebration of their first championship in 44 seasons.

They earned it.

It doesn’t mean the Penguins can’t win again, but remember what happened when their three-peat attempt was scuttled in the early 1990s? They were shocked out of the ’93 playoffs by the lousy New York Islanders and didn’t get back to the Final again until 2008.

Ouch, that hurt, too.

At the risk of sounding like your third-grade teacher, savor success when it comes because you never know when it will take a powder and stay away a long time. Or something like that.

In the meantime, all hail the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals.

For a lot of people? Ouch, that hurts.

Not so special

It’s probably just a coincidence, but …

Since AT&T SportsNet cooked up that deadly-dull special on Josh Bell’s homemade hitting workouts, it seems like Bell gets about one hit a week.

No thanks

This era of self-absorbed behavior hit a new low with Terrell Owens’ announcement that he will skip his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

He thinks he should have been voted in previously, so he’d just as soon skip the whole thing now.

So the chance to thank coaches, mentors and teammates who helped his career means nothing. T.O. is PO’d, and that’s all that matters.

No surprise?

The Pirates are two games under .500 this morning, which is right about where their talent and experience levels say they should be.

The thing that’s confusing about this is the breakneck path they took to the current record. They started the season 11-4. Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Cubs dropped the Pirates to 5-16 in their last 21 games.

If you get to two games under .500 the conventional way (win a couple, lose three, repeat, repeat, etc.) it doesn’t feel as jarring. But an extended skid like this, which has a number of ever-changing culprits, feels a lot worse.

Sean Rodriguez has become this year’s John Jaso. Some fans are convinced that his removal from the roster will magically change everything. It won’t, but guys with unconventional hair and sub-.200 batting averages seem to be easy targets.

The Pirates are scrambling for answers right now, but that doesn’t mean they’re doomed to continuing the recent .238 winning percentage, either.

They need better performances, and they need them in a hurry. But there’s still more than half of the season left.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com.

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