Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pens Face Scuderi and The Kings Tonight!...Defeat Ducks 4-3 on Tuesday

-Pascal Dupuis has a nasty slap shot coming down the wing, well his slapper from the point is just as disgusting. The Ducks game was very weird in that the Pens went 0-5 on the PP but still managed to score 4 goals. All 4 goals were scored a good distance away from goalie Jonas Hiller, who struggled mightily. He should've stopped the Rupp shot, Letang's goal had plenty of traffic, as did Gogo's and Dupuis' goal. Niedermayer was very quiet in this game and I think age is starting to catch up to the future hall-of-famer.

-Corey Perry on the other hand was dynamite in the contest. He's big, has soft hands, and is excellent around the net, a la Ryan Smyth/Malone. He had 2 goals and even Crosby praised Perry's play after the game. Perry is under strong consideration to make Team Canada, his 17 pts (10g/7a) will only help his cause. Perry's linemates Ryan and Getzlaff were just as dangerous in the offensive zone. Both are big bodies who can skate, pass, and shoot better than any line in the NHL. The Pens were running around their zone the last couple minutes and it was all because of this line's incredible cycling.

-Lupul didn't play as well as he usually does against the Pens ( he played for Philly last couple seasons). But his linemate Koivu was a pain in the ass. On his goal he cross-checked Orpik and no penalty was called. But later he was robbed by Fleury. Selanne was quiet tonight, after all he is 39. Among good Pens were Gogo, Rupp, Crosby, TK, and Cooke. TK made his return and his hustle and tenacity created several good scoring chances and lead to the Gogo goal.

-Tonight the Pens will face an old friend named Rob Scuderi. Scuds left the Pens for better weather and bigger money. No one blamed him. He made an extra $2mil by stopping Franzen's shots in Game 6 of the Cup Finals last year. Must be nice. The Kings are 9-4-2 and are in 4th place in Western Conf. They are young, big, and offensively talented. Veteran Ryan Smyth leads the group of young forwards who include Doughty, Kopitar, Brown, Johnson, Simmonds, and Frolov. Kopitar has been the hottest King thus far with 24 pts (11g, 13a) and Smyth's 8 goals have also been a nice addition.

-Smyth was acquired from the Avs over the off-season for Quincey and both players have benefited from new environments. Enigmatic Russian forward Frolov is always a scoring threat, if he shows up. He's known to have off nights which has lead to him being a healthy scratch for a couple games this season. The Kings have a dynamic defense and Doughty is one of the best PP quarterbacks and he can hit. Crosby's close friend Jack Johnson also plays physical as does veteran O'Donnell.

-Although the Pens top 2 lines might be weaker in terms of talent right now, the Pens 3rd/4th lines have a clear edge to the Kings 3rd/4th lines. Rupp has 4 goals, TK has 5 goals, Dupuis has 3, etc. Our 3rd/4th lines can skate, hit, and score. The Kings have Stoll and Handzus for some type of offensive flair and their not all that great. Quick has been solid in goal for the Kings and the Pens will have to crash the net and create traffic just as they did in Anaheim.

-Rupp needs more ice time IMO. His role for the Pens is much different from what it was for the Devils. He was counted on to be an enforcer, in Pittsburgh that's Godard's job. For a 6'5 guy he can skate fabulously. He finishes checks and creates a lot of space for himself with his big frame. Bourque has gotten better each and every game but with Talbot and Geno coming back soon there's not much room for him on the roster.

-See you at 10pm on FSN, Penguins Fans First!

-Lineup will be same for Pens tonight, Fleury in goal vs. Quick

Pens (12-3-0) 1st in East Conf. vs. Kings (9-4-2) 4th in West. Conf.


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