Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cardiac Kids Stage Another Amazing Comeback...Win 4-3 in SO...Wild Visit Tonight

-This whole comeback thing started way back when for our good 'ole Pens. It was 2 years ago on Thanksgiving Day when Jarko Ruutu scored the SO winner in Ottawa to cap off a 2 goal deficit. Since then the Pens have lead the NHL in comebacks, most happening in the 3rd period. Last night in Columbus was no different. Steigy and Bob were resigned to a Columbus defeat somewhere at the 5 minute mark of the 3rd, but all of a sudden the newly formed 2nd line (Bourque-Staal-Fedotenko) came out with one of the best shifts in the game.

-On the shift, Skoula had a couple quality shots from the point until the puck took a crazy carum off the boards and went to a wide open Feds who buried it into the open cage. 3-2 Jackets was now the score. 39 seconds later the Crosby unit came out and was just as determined and spirited as the Staal line. Crosby was behind the net and he found Gogo alone in the middle of the Columbus zone and Gogo took his time waited for goalie Mason to move to the right and he snapped it top shelf to the left, unstoppable.

-From my girlfriend falling asleep to me screaming in the middle of a dorm lounge, this game just got real exciting. It was Deja Vu all over again for the Jackets who witnessed a Pens comeback from a 3-goal 3rd period deficit last year. This one was a lot sexier though. The Pens loooked down and out but they kept plugging away even while being down by 2. Each line came out hitting and causing a tenacious forecheck. Guys like Rupp, Adams, Cooke, Staal, Dupuis were all pounding the Columbus D-men with vicious hits.

-Bylsma constantly talks about investing in the 3rd period and wearing teams down. This was exactly that. The Pens kept plugging away with quality shift after shift. Even without Geno, TK, Gonch, and Talbot the Pens still stole 2 pts from the Columbus on Mischief Night. This Mischief Night thankfully didn't involve my rearview mirror getting broken or my car getting egged. Under Hitchcock the Jackets seemed to retreat and trap with a lead, rather than do what Bylsma/Babcock/Torts do and that's attack. It's not easy to hold down the Stanley Cup Champs, even with 3 minutes left in a game.

-The game was kinda funny because there were several bad penalty calls by the Refs and a bunch of bounces that weren't going the Pens way. Kunitz had his 2nd straight game with a goal and he almost had another had it not been for an unlucky bounce. Crosby had 2 assists and was all over the ice. His shootout goal was stopped by Mason but the puck kept trickling past him and for some reason he didn't put his glove down to stop it. Johnson is 6 for 6 on the season in stopping SO attempts. It helps that both Vermette and Nash nailed the glass instead of getting a decent shot off.

-Tonight the Pens welcome some old buds into town. Wild head coach Todd Richards used to be head coach down at WBS before he got the asst. coach gig down at San Jose. And Petr Sykora used to be a game 5 Stanley Cup hero in Detroit before he learned how to break his stick on every shot attempted and skate slower than Hal Gill. Skyora will play but Bouchard and Johnsoon will not. Havlat is still not at 100% and the Wild have been struggling mightily. They are 4-9 on the season, but they did have a nice 3-2 win over the Rangers last night.

-Scoring is an issue for this team, not goaltending. Backstrom is as solid as they come but if Belanger and Koivu are your best players, that's a little bit sad. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher was an asst. GM to Ray Shero the past couple seasons. All in all, this should be a fun game and one that the Pens should win. It's Halloween, the Wild played last night as well, and there WILL be a tango tonight between the Boogeyman (Boogard) and Godard (Godzilla).

-Pens (11-2-0) vs. Wild (4-9) at 7:38 pm at Mellon Arena

-Fleury will start vs. Backstrom

-Kennedy will play tonight, Conner will sit
as will Geno, Talbot, TK, and Gonch.



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