Saturday, October 10, 2009
Pens Torment Toronto in 5-2 win...Colton who?
-Brian Burke did a lot of re-modeling for the Leafs over the off-season, and none of those acquisitions really made a difference tonight in Toronto. Komisarek, Beauchemin, and Orr were only mentioned when it came to fights or some post-whistle skirmishes. Sid and Geno were dominant and the whole Pens team seemed to play inspired hockey tonight on Hockey Night in Canada. They were forechecking, creating turnovers, blocking shots, playing physical, and taking advantage of stupid Toronto penalties by going 3 for 3 on the PP.
-The last time the Pens played at Air Canada during the reg. season they lost 6-2 and coach Michel Therrien was fired the next day. The tables have turned as the Pens play a much more aggressive system now under coach Bylsma. The Pens can easily roll 4 lines and not be afraid to get scored against. Even Godard can somewhat handle the puck. The Flyers 4th line the other night was terrible and Toronto's can only cheapshot or spear people (Letang).
-The Pens played their most complete game of the season by limiting the number of penalties: 1. And taking advantage of their power play opps. Sid had a nice rebound goal in the 2nd and a nice deflection goal off Geno's slapper to give the Pens a 4-1 lead after 2. Cooke added his 100th career goal in the 1st, congrats. And Geno with his stick on the ice hunted down Ian White, stole the puck, and quickly dished it to Staal who roofed it top shelf for a 5-1 lead in the 3rd. Geno and Staal are finding that chemistry they had only two years ago when Staal netted 29 goals. With the way Craig Adams is playing alongside Cooke and TK, putting Staal back up to the 2nd line isn't such a bad idea.
-In the post-game interviews, the Leafs mentioned it was the composure that cost them the game. 4 penalties isn't too bad boys, you just have no one on your team who can create offense consistently. Grabovski, Hagman, Poni, are all skilled guys but in spurts. Pens killer Jason Blake was invisible as was Stajan. Nice to see Orpik running around nailing people left and right, especially Luke Schenn. Funniest clip was of Brian Burke watching the Anaheim (his old team)/Boston game from his box. I think he was wondering how he can get a Getzlaff, Perry, Ryan, or Selanne over to Toronto somehow.
-Sure Toronto is a tough team to play if you can't score goals when you have PPs. If you wanna drop the fisticuffs, the Pens can do it. Adams, Godard, and Rupp all had fights tonight. Rupp's was awful against Rosehill. Rosehill speared Tanger earlier in the game and cross-checked Gonch as well. How did the Pens respond? By scoring a PP goal, :). Toskala was not sharp tonight, the defense was quite stingy and the offense was non-existent for Toronto, maybe that's why they're 0-4 on the season.
-Watching this game made me think of all the useless players the Pens had 2 years ago: Christensen, Oullet, Petrovicky, Recchi, Taffe, and Sydor. A couple of those guys were decent at times, but not as consistently effective as this group of Penguins, think about it. The Pens were 1-4 against Toronto last year, it's nice to set a different tone for this year's series against the "new look" Leafs.
Stats of da night:
-Jay Mckee had a game-high 7 blocked shots
-The Pens were 54% (34-29) on the faceoffs tonight
-Crosby was 64% (17-25) on faceoffs
-Gogo lead the Pens with 23:08 of ice time
-Day-off tomorrow then another gritty affair against the Senators will await us on Monday night. Kovy scored his first as a Sen tonight, uh oh?
IN VESA TOSKALA WE TRUST