Skip to main content
Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final blog: Ian Cole

Penguins defenseman says confidence remains high approaching Game 5 against Predators

by Ian Cole / Special to

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ian Cole will be keeping his own blog throughout the course of the Stanley Cup Final against the Nashville Predators. Cole will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.

Cole, 28, is in his second full season with the Penguins. They acquired him in a trade from the St. Louis Blues on March 2, 2015. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins last season and played in 81 games, scoring 26 points, this season. 

Here is Cole's fifth entry, after practice Wednesday:

PITTSBURGH -- Make no mistake, we are feeling good about this series. 

It's 2-2 in the Stanley Cup Final and we're at home, at PPG Paints Arena for Game 5 on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). Why wouldn't we be confident?

It's a three-game series and nothing that happened in the past matters at this point. There is no advantage. It's a best-of-3 and dwelling on the fact that we just lost two games isn't going to help us at all. We just need to worry about the next game and make sure we respond the right way.

This has to be a reset for us. That's what we're thinking here. Two losses, even series. We get it. We're in this. We're right in this.

Video: Are the Penguins fortunate to be tied?

I know sometimes when a team loses two in a row in a series that it feels like that team is losing the series. We're not. We're not losing 2-2. That's obviously impossible. We're not down on ourselves. We're confident. We're very confident. 

That confidence comes from experience and winning. Think back to last year when we were down 3-2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. We had to go to their barn and win, then come back home and win. We were confident we could do it. We did it.

This year, we're down 2-1 against the Ottawa Senators in the conference final, but we were confident we could get the job done. We get to Game 7 in our building, into overtime, into double overtime, and our confidence never wavered. We got the job done.

Even against the Washington Capitals in the second round. We're up 3-1, they win two in a row and are supposed to have all the momentum. Then we played great in Game 7 and took the series.

So, yeah, we're confident. We know we have the guys to win this series. We have to keep battling, keep pushing for it. We've done it all year. We did it last year.

Video: Steve and EJ Chat Rinkside

We also have reason to be optimistic after the way we played in Game 4. Yes we lost 4-1, but we did a lot of good things in that game. That doesn't necessarily mean it will carry over into Game 5 but there is carryover as far as emotional confidence that you have going into the next game.

We know the Predators are confident right now, feeling good about themselves after winning two in a row. But we're not wavering after losing two in a row. Creating good chances and having chances to score is the first step toward doing it. We know we can score.

Again, I get the feeling because we lost two in a row, the feeling of we're down, we're scarred. No chance. It's not like that. It's not like we're down 3-1 or 3-0. We don't have an insurmountable task here. 

We have to win two of the next three games. It starts with Game 5.

Now it's about righting ourselves, trying to get the momentum back in our favor and keeping it. The ability to do that is something we can rely on going forward because we can do it. We know we can do it.

Beyond all that, I expect a great atmosphere at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday. I expect it to be a heck of a lot of fun.

There has been a lot of talk in this series about the noise in Nashville, the party in Nashville and how loud it gets at Bridgestone Arena. It is a great atmosphere but we're very comfortable at home and we know our building gets loud too.

It's an exciting time to be a Penguins fan and I think everyone in this city is on board with us. We're just very confident coming home. It's a three-game series, we have home-ice advantage and we're going to try to take advantage of that.

View More