Kovacevic: A pause to applaud Penguins’ achievements … because they sure won’t


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Anthony Angello celebrates his first NHL goal Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena. - GETTY

At 9:38 p.m. Tuesday, the final horn sounded.

Within a second of that, the scoreboard over the PPG Paints Arena ice, the one capped by Penguins 5, Maple Leafs 2, showed the Metro Division standings with the victors officially perched at the top upon overtaking the Capitals.

Within a couple seconds of that, the home bench emptied to tap the mask of Tristan Jarry while the visitors slinked away.

And within, oh, a few minutes of all of the above, both teams packed bags, pushed equipment boxes and embarked on a path that'll see them meet again in less than 48 hours in Toronto.

That, as they say, is hockey.

But that's also why, it says right here, all that we're witnessing in this most wonderful of winters in our little corner of the NHL world just might not be getting appropriately appreciated. Not on the outside, and not even on the inside.

Mostly because there just isn't time.

"I think the most important thing for us is to just keep going," Sidney Crosby told me when I'd broached this afterward. And even as he answered, he multitasked by offering a friendly nod to a departing acquaintance in the distance. "It's gotten us results. We believe in the way we play, so ..."

He looked up and smiled.

"Sitting back and admiring it, I don't think that's gonna do us any good at any point."

Watch the whole exchange to see what I mean:

Looks like he's got somewhere to be, right?

Well, he does. They all do.

And yet, fleeting as all this can feel for them, futile as it'll be if they somehow fall to this same sickly opponent Thursday night, that won't stop me from pressing pause for more of a macro view. With no need at any stage to light the applause lamp:

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