Saturday, December 19, 2009
Fleury Shines As Pens Down Sabres 2-1 In SO
They tried to run him over, get in his grill, and get him off his game. Everything but the last part worked last night in Buffalo. Gaustad (above) should throw himself off a bridge if he doesn't make the US Olympic team. Or maybe throw Brian Burke off? Either works. But he not only leads the league in faceoff % (64.3) but he's a big body, can skate well, has soft hands, and is defensively responsible.
Back to Fleury, he was dynamite yet again. And speaking of Olympics, with the way Flower is playing right now how do you not consider him the starting goalie of Canada? Well maybe because his competition is some guy named Marty Brodeur, yes true but still it's worth a look. You listening Stevie Y?
Fleury had a number of big saves that kept the game knotted at 1-1. Grier was stoned on a breakaway and then all three shootout participants were sent home packing. Fleury's poke check during the shootouts is a sight to see, he's always looking to disrupt the shooter and challenge him rather than sit back. Letang went to the backhand this time, he scored a forehand goal in Philly on Thursday, and the Pens improved to 6-0 on the shootouts for the season.
This game could've gone 3-1 either way. The Sabres and Pens both had numerous chances to take the lead on a PP but nothing could get done. Former Pens goalie, Patty Lalime was sensational. He's not Ryan Miller, but he was pretty close to it tonight. Geno seemed frustrated all night again and took a couple stupid penalties as a result. Where was Fedotenko? I swear you see this guy one game and it seems his scoring slump has ended but no, instead he dissappears again. Dupuis had the puck roll of his stick like 5 times, whatever.
Dear Santa, for Christmas can I please have another 1st line winger not named Kunitz and another 2nd line winger preferably not named Fedotenko? Pleaseee. And by Santa I of course mean Ray Shero, and usually when I'm thinkin somethin or your thinkin somethin, Ray's thinkin that exact same thing...or close to it.
The Pens have this confidence and swagger about them which was unseen the past couple seasons. Even when things aren't going too well, you know it's not over, and you're still confident that they'll win this game. This type of confidence and sometimes even cockiness can be seen down through the lineup. The Sabres have this pack mentality which made it very tough to create any room in the offensive zone. Even Kunitz's goal was a bit whacky and Lalime made a mistake.
Lindy Ruff will still be coaching the Sabres when we've all got grandkids and we're tellin them that the Sabres made it to the Finals one year ('98) believe it or not. As long as Cindy Crosby and Ovie rule the East, their won't be no Cup for the Sabres. Give Ruff credit the team has a lot of solid role players: Grier, Kennedy, and Ellis. And they play his system to a tee.
See ya tomorrow night as the Division rivals visit town, the New Jersey Diablos. Yes they're boring and Parise is on a cold streak but they've beaten us twice this year by a score of 4-1 and they still have Brodeur, oh yeah that guy, right. Talbot didn't look great in his return to the lineup, but it's better than what Godard can bring. Eaton was injured on a collision with Grier last night and he should be out a couple weeks. Marty School uhhhh will be back in.
-IN CHRIS KUNITZ WE DON'T TRUST