Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Big time win

After being in such a rut and in a tough environment the Penguins dug deep and played well. Taking two points from a divisional opponent is huge. Especially Philly.

  • The Penguins played a perfect 1-2-2 system for the first half of the game. They were pretty patient, they laid back and didn't force the issue too much. In short, it looked like they were listening to the coach's adjustments to buckle down and play smart, not at all like a team that is out doing there own thing.
  • Was the crowd often chanting "Crosby sucks!" or "Cote sucks". Maybe it was just our Center Ice feed but what is the Philly organ guy doing playing that rhythm in the first place? The standard Flyers chant is the riff that the Rangers use, so shame on the Flyers people for drumming up vile directed towards one player.
  • Not that it bothered Crosby, with his two assists and several other great chances along the way.
  • Paul Bissonnette had a good night back in the show too, albeit in brief work. Biz Nasty worked over Aaron Asham in a fight and threw a puck to the net that Tyler Kennedy got into the net for a huge first goal for the Pens.
  • Matt Cooke stepped into a tough role as the other guy of the Crosby/Evgeni Malkin line and did very well. Sure the forechecking and physical prescence is a given but obviously the conversion for the go-ahead goal helps. And Cooke made a terrific play on a 2 on 1 with Crosby; after Sid fed him the puck Cookie passed it back right on the tape for a slam dunk. Apparantely 87 is too acquainted with the likes of the playmaking abilities of some of his previous linemates like Andy Hilbert, Ryan Malone, old ass Mark Recchi, Colby Armstrong and Pascal Dupuis because Sid didn't finish.
  • 25:34; that's the time on ice that your third star of the night Kris Letang had. Of course he had 5 powerplay minutes but Letang is gobbling up minutes at even strength as well. The next step for the young defensemen? Getting those heavy shots that are going *just* high onto the net.
  • It looked like it could be another one of those nights for Marc-Andre Fleury after Simon Gagne's hard dump in jumped over his stick and right to Mike Knuble for the game's opening goal. But credit Fleury for settling down and the Pens defensive effort to help steady the ship for a 27 save on 29 shot performance.

Now back to home for a huge game against Alex "Dead wood" Semin and the suddenly slumping Capitals. Of course more on this tomorrow.

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