Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Silence Of The Pens...Brodeur Sets Shutout Record, Devs win 4-0
Congrats to the greatest goalie of all-time Marty Brodeur for setting the record for shutouts with 104. He passed Terry Sawchuk, who ironically got his 103rd shutout against the Pens, but that was way back when. Marty was sensational tonight as the Pens threw everything at him.
The wraparounds, shots to the pads, gloveside, top shelf. Fail fail fail. The Devils improved to 3-0 against the Pens on the season, scoring 4 goals in each of those games and not giving the Pens any chance to taste victory. What to do? Going into the playoffs this is not a good problem to have and Bylsma has failed to come up with a proper game plan against this type of team.
Under new coach Lemaire the Devils take the fewest penalties in the league, play smart offensive hockey and flawless defense. The key is scoring the first goal, but that didn't happen. Fleury lead in four softies but the sloppy defense wasn't doing much to help. Fleury shoulda been pulled after the 2nd goal by Bergfors because you know when Fleury starts letting in softies it becomes a snowball effect.
Granted, Fleury has been playing a lot of games against tough opponents and has performed spectacularly in all of them. Why not put Johnson in there while the game is not yet out of reach? Dean McCammond is seeing 1st line duties for the first time in his career. The former Sens forward was once headshotted by Steve Downie and now he's back and playing some spirited/rejuvenated hockey.
McCammond, Elias and Parise was the only threatening line for the Devils yet some of the other guys chipped in for goals. Brodeur's rebound control is a sight to see, as are his puck handling skills. There were no 2nd chance opps. and even though the Pens had 35 shots, they didn't seem like legit chances. Credit Marty and his defense.
What gets the Pens going in games is that emotion or hatred. They can't seem to find any of that when they play the Devils. They seem lethargic and unfocused. Clarkson wasn't in the lineup and I know he could've given the Pens some life but he's also an effective player, as is Zubrus and Martin who also sat out last night.
The Pens still got some good efforts from TK, Geno, Sid, Guerin, and Rupper but "snipers" like Fedotenko are still coming up empty. How long will Shero wait? Geno is very frustrated and it's because of the lack of a consistent scoring winger. Heck Sykora did better than Feds and he's the weakest player in NHL history. Ray Whitney, Brad Richards, and Mike Ribiero are guys Shero should target as the March 1st trade deadline approaches.
Staalsy took a puck to the nose and it was bleeding like non other. Great to see him play the 3rd period. TK looked good with Geno and Feds/Dupuis last night. He was cutting to the front and making his signature move but nothing to show for it unfortunately.
The Sens visit town Wednesday night and the Pens will definitely look to inject some fuel in the fire with scrappers Carkner, Ruutu, and Neil arriving.
-IN NIKLAS BERGFORS WE TRUST