Monday, January 11, 2010

From Russia With Love...Pens Defeat Leafs 4-1

The Pens badly needed a spark tonight in Toronto, thankfully that came in the form of defenseman Sergei Gonchar. Gonch had 2 goals and his presence really set the tone for the game. The Pens didn't play perfectly and midway thru the 2nd period the game looked pretty even and you couldn't tell who was dominating.

But off a nasty Geno feed, Gonch ripped a slapper home and made it 2-1, or did he? Play didn't stop as the puck went through the net so fast it came out and Ponikorovsky was hauled down on a breakaway attempt. Penalty shot pointed the ref, but wait didn't Gonch just score? The refs made the call upstairs and it was easily seen that Gonch's shot did indeed go in and therefore no penalty shot. The crowd went wild, as did Steigy and Bob.

The Leafs got a power play from that crazy set of events but they couldn't score. Kessel was all over the ice tonight and he'll be a welcome addition to team USA in the Olympics. He was flying, as was Pens killer Jason Blake, and Lee Stempniak. The "Monster" or Gustavsson was strong in net but the Crosby goal was awful. Sid had one stick on the puck and the Monster went for a poke check, oops! It went 5 hole and the Pens were then up 4-1.

Gonch's calming presence and the way he carries the puck up into the Off. zone on the PP is immeasurable and no one on the Pens can do it like him. Letang is getting there and Gogo has good speed, but no one has the shot that Gonch does. His slapper is a rocket, and he had 2 of them today where the Monster had no chance to save either.

Fleury had yet another terrific comeback game in stopping 42 of 43 shots. The Toronto shots are mostly terrible attempts and are easily stopped yet their in top 5 in the league for shots per game. Brian Burke will surely be unloading his flood filled roster of UFAs in the next coming months. Poni, Blake, Hagman, White, and Stajan will be the first to go if any.

The Pens needed a win badly and Gonch's return surely lit a spark in the hearts of the Pens. When will Feds and Dupuis stop being complete mishaps on the ice? Pretty ridiculous to watch those two just fail to capitalize on legit scoring chances every game. Even Mike Milbury on the Hockey Night preview made fun of Geno's wingers he's like there's Rupp and who's the other guy? Capalli?

Tomorrow's game will be on VERSUS as the Pens visit Minnesota, FU direcTV


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