Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ugly game, bizarre ending...At least Pens Win

Just remember, these two points will look the same in the standings as a 5-0 win in April. Surely by that time the details of this game will thankfully most likely be buried. And for good reason..

  • Down 3-1 with about 25 minutes left the Penguins were able to pull a comeback that they've watched so many other teams try to do to them. Though Dany Sabourin wasn't really bad, he wasn't really stellar either in the game kicking out rebounds, pucks zooming by his glove (most just missing).
  • Shots were 18-1 in the third period. It was almost if the Pens woke up with Jordan Staal's great effort to make the game 3-2 before heading to the lockeroom for intermission. Obviously you could see the Pens felt like they could control the play, work hard and eventually pop in a goal.
  • How about that Matt Cooke/Mike Zigomanis/Tyler Kennedy line? Joey MacDonald might have had dreams last night of those three buzzing around, controlling the puck, cycling, cycling and then scoring.
  • Kennedy imparticular had a solid night, 6 shots on net, 2 goals. He's a big time player.
  • Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each grimaced through 24:14 of play. Though the big boys seemed to be skating well, shooting well and passing the puck with some zip, it's clear that neither is 100% right now and something is just a little off. Despite saying that, each are still creating several scoring chances a game for themselves and their linemates but it is a little unsettling to see them out there and clearly not at full strength.
  • Blocking shots was a huge storyline of the night too; Pittsburgh got 32 shots through but the Isles were able to block an astonishing 29 more. Pens defensemen combined to have 18 total shots blocked, compared to just 6 they got through to the goalie. Still, have to give NYI and specifically Andy Sutton (8) a lot of credit for being human shields out there. Sutton's a player we haven't always had the highest opinion on as a player, but he played big minutes and was as good as we've ever seen him last night.
  • After being on the ice for the Isles 2nd and 3rd goals, Mark Eaton only got three more shifts in the last 2 minutes of regulation and none in OT. Rough night for the usually steady Eaton.


  • The NHL's shootout is a gimmick and the bizarre ending of it de-credited any good will it may have built. For those that didn't see it, the Pens were winning 1-0 in the shootout, final round for NYI to score or go home. Trent Hunter comes in, shoots the puck and it disappears somewhere in the myriad of pads that goaltenders wear these days. Sabourin's momentum carries 95% of his body completely into the net, the refs close in to see where the puck got caught up.
  • It's somewhere in Sabs' leg pad. No one can be quite sure, but given that Sabourin's legs were at one point almost entirely in the net up to his skate, it's reasonable to say goal. Nothing can be said definitively or conclusively, of course, since the puck is not visible. But surely the rubber was behind the line for a second or too.
  • But since the initial call was "no goal", or perhaps more accurately "we have no idea if it was a goal" video review can't conclusively over-rule and award a goal so game is over. The shootout gimmick looked even more cheapened tonight.
  • Somehow it would have been more satisfying if they just credited that goal and then let the Pens use Crosby, Malkin or shootout whiz Kris Letang to score an undisputed game winner.

But what's done is done and the Pens will take these two points and move on to an away game in Michigan against some random Western Conference team. That game won't mean very much, will it?

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