TAMPA, Fla. -- There's bogus urgency, and there's bona fide urgency.
Or "desperation," as the hockey boys casually call it.
That's what Sidney Crosby called it for maybe the bazillionth time in his hockey life when I brought up the Penguins' blah beginning to Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final Friday night, one that finished frantically but still in a 4-3 loss to the Lightning at Amalie Arena:
"You need to have that desperation level," the captain would say. "You really do."
That's never been more evident in these Stanley Cup playoffs, to both extremes, than with the first 40 minutes of this one: The Penguins would use their speed and skill to pretty much do as they wished ... but only when they wished. Most of the rest of the time, they spent on silly cross-ice passes, stupid penalties, turnovers at the Tampa Bay blue line, concessions in their own zone and all sorts of other messes.
Until, of course, it dawned on them that they were in deep doo-doo.