Penguins

Kovacevic: It’s a day for every fan to savor, front to finish, heart and soul

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Kris Letang laughs while skating with a few of his teammates after the formal session Sunday morning. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sports are supposed to make you smile, even though it might seem they seldom do.

For every athletic achievement that makes you marvel, there's a mistake, whether mental or physical, that will disappoint or anger.

For every smart play or astute application of Xs and Os, there's a butchered call by the referee, a vicious foul, a gruesome injury, all manner of stupidity and ugliness that makes you wonder why you watch.

Even away from the field of competition, for every personnel move that you'll applaud, there are countless others in the speculative stage that you anticipate, you dread.

It's a mostly miserable existence, isn't it?

Because for every magical moment that brings you out of your seat ...

... there are so, so many more seasons that suck out your very soul:

Not today, though.

Not on this special Sunday.

Because this, my deeply disturbed but completely committed friends, is the day that your Pittsburgh Penguins, your favorite hockey team, your favorite players shoot toward the ultimate goal. This is the day that the great Sidney Crosby, the great Evgeni Malkin and their mates take to the ice at Bridgestone Arena, faceoff at 8:22 p.m., with a chance to clinch the Stanley Cup in Game 6 against the Predators. This is the day they'll log their 49th playoff game in a two-season span, most in the NHL's 100-year history.

This is the day Carter Rowney never could have dreamed would be coming just ... what, a couple months ago?

Listen to the kid after today's morning skate:

This is the day that one of the most remarkable, resilient teams in a city's long, rich sporting history can be rewarded, figuratively right alongside you.

And it's for this reason, not all the regular-season overreactions, not all the trade-deadline angst, not even -- gasp! -- the Las Vegas expansion draft, that you endure all the rest. It's for this occasion. It's for this opportunity, not just the outcome.

In that spirit, then, I humbly offer the following six reasons, in descending order, to believe Game 6 will be your big day:

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