The Elbow staff
PITTSBURGH, PA – As Nashville prepares to face off against Pittsburgh in their first Stanley Cup Final in team history next week, they have been the recipients of overwhelming support from neutral fans throughout the league.
So much so, that several Penguins players have admitted that the immense bandwagon support for their opponents – and lack of neutral support for them – has begun to hurt their feelings.
"We're people, too," captain Sidney Crosby told reporters this morning. "We see all the great support the Preds are getting, and to be quite honest, it's hurtful."
"We've worked incredibly hard to get here, we've won as many games as they have so far in the playoffs. They're no more deserving of support than we are."
Forward Chris Kunitz was seen talking to himself and walking in circles around his stall on Saturday, before going into a team meeting to address the matter.
"Are we the Pats?" He was overheard asking. "Are we really the Pats? We're not the Pats."
According to team doctors, Jake Guentzel and Olli Maatta have both been inconsolable since fans around the league jumped on the Nashville bandwagon after they clinched the western conference last Monday. Both players have spent the last week in therapy.
After being administered adrenaline shots prior to the last two games of the Ottawa series, they were happy enough to play, however their status for game one of this series is not yet known.
"Most of the guys are pretty downtrodden right now," head athletic trainer Christ Stewart said. "Hurt feelings have taken their toll on other teams in the past."
"We saw the reaction from several Blue Jackets players in the first round when our guys went around telling them they weren't real rivals of ours. It just devastated them."