Sunday, October 21, 2007

Winning In Washington

A win is a win, and you take one when you can get it so it's nice to see the Pens win at home---err the soft "away" friendly confines of the Verizon Center.

Some thoughts:

  • Sidney Crosby is still "Gretzky-ing" (more assists than the other guy has points) his nemesis A-Hole, as Crosby had the primary assist on the game winner, while A-Hole was not much of a factor. Caps fans will point out his shots (which were all from the outside) or his hits (not of much merit).

  • The Penguins were playing there third game in four nights and it showed at times. The Caps did well with puck possession and there were several times when they controlled the play for long stretches.

  • But the Penguins had some good cycling shifts too. Colby Armstrong had a very solid game and worked the puck low very well. Same for Jarrko Ruutu and Georges Laraque too.

  • Marc-Andre Fleury was awesome, finally having a good game. He played like he played last year when he played well: being aggresive to the angles, not afraid to move around and moved confidentially and with a purpose. Definitely good to see him play well and quiet the false rumors from Canada that say Mr. Shero is looking for a new keeper.

  • The Heavyweight Champion of the NHL shall remain around Laraque's waist. Donald Brashear lost his helmet and took several lefts to the back of his skull. Credit Brash though for hanging tough and then surprising BGL with a shot that knocked him down at the end. Still, I judge hockey fights on who I'd least want to be. I'd rather take 1 Brashear right (his first one hit helmet) than take about 6 or 7 BGL lefts to the skull. The folks at seem to agree, as 71% score the fight either a draw or a win for Laraque.

  • For probably the first time since a wrestling match against one of his brothers, Jordan Staal got in a fight. The feisty Matt Pettinger easily handled him, but Staal atleast answered the call; either in the shift he high-sticked a Cap (possibly Pettinger, it was near the boards and I couldn't tell. The refs didn't call the infraction for whatever reason, so Staal had to answer the Code. Good man.

  • One under-rated night: Sergei Gonchar. He played well defensively with his stick, got in a few rushes, put the puck on the net and generally neutralized A-HOLE.
  • Old Man Recchi was terrible. He looks notably slower, pucks were rolling off his stick left and right and overall just didn't look like he belonged out there. I'd much rather see the healthy scratch victim Erik Christensen out there.
  • The "White Out" was weak. Real weak. Not just because of the many Pens fans, but most the Caps fans that were there didn't even wear white. Poor showing, but what did you expect.

It's good to be 4-3 and get some confidence for a young goalie. Gotta be happy for that.

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