Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kunitz Wakes up, Malkin Continues His Hot Play, Pens Win 3-1 Over Isles

-The Isles NEVER ever ever go away, we know that. They almost came back tonight, but Mr. Chris Kunitz decided to wake up. Kunitz was a pestering fore-checker and had his old swagger from the latter part of last year in his game tonight. He scored the 1st goal of the game off a Geno feed and Roloson shoulda had it but he was doin' some kinda dance in net.

-Kunitz's 2nd goal came off a nice saucer pass from Guerin, Kunitz gave the old shoulder and head fake and wristed it 5 hole on Roloson. 3-1 Pens. Oh yeah, you know who else played one heck of a game? Geno. He pulled a couple Cirque Du Soleil moves on Sutton and Streit and he also scored a nice goal off a Gonchar slapper to make it 2-0 Pens. Slowly but surely ladies and gents, Mr. Malkin is creeping into the top 10 in scoring, watch out.

-The Isles outshot the Pens 38-28 but this fact was NOT evident from the flow of the game. Tavares, Okposo, and Weight had numerous golden opportunities in the 2nd period to give the Isles a lead but nothing could get done. The 5 on 3 penalty kill midway in that period turned the game around. Fleury who was scrambling all over the crease tonight, stood on his head when he needed to. Shortly after the Pens killed off a 5 on 3, Kunitz wristed a softie past Roloson and the Pens were in control.

-Although I'd like to see the Pens outshoot their opponents, because that's when they're REALLY at their best, a win is a win. It was great to see the Pens dishing the body. Rupp, Adams, Kunitz, even Fedotenko and Geno were all throwing their weight around. This created turnovers and lead to some Pens goals.

-Roloson played very well. He straight up robbed Billy G at least three times and made a couple other timely saves. Frans Nielsen is a dangerous little guy isn't he? And Mark Streit is the best thing that happened to Switzerland since ummm...Roger Federer? Oh yeah, that guy. Streit's hands are comparable to Roger but nothing else. Okposo and Tavares also had good games for the Isles.

-Are the Pens back on track after a couple tough losses over the weekend? Yes and no. I mean they beat the Isles, who aren't a threat by any means. But they allowed just one goal, Fleury played well and the defense (for the most part) did a good job of taking away time and space. Fedotenko is being shopped (thank god) and he's as useless as any Pen right now. Simply does not know what do with the puck, neither does Dupuis a good portion of the time, but Dupuis is excellent without the puck.

-A day of rest and then Sean Avery and his Sloppy Seconds visit the Mellon


Monday, February 1, 2010

Stanley Cup Rematch Rd. 1 Goes to Pens, 2-1 in SO

It's somethin' about playin the same team in the Finals 2 years in a row that creates a certain animosity and energy unlike any other. The Pens had a solid 60 min effort (on the most part) yesterday afternoon at the Igloo and it was a really spirited and hard-fought victory. The Wings played without 2 key components of their team: Franzen and Holmstrom.

But that didn't stop them from getting hot performances from Datsyuk/Zetterberg/Bertuzzi and company. Helm was flying like the little sparkplug that he is and their defense helped them tie the game at 1 on a goal by Brad Stuart. The Pens dominated this game and spent the majority of it in the off. zone. Generating 47 shots on net is evidence of that.

Howard was phenomenal for Detroit. He looked as sharp as Elliot for the Sens the other night. Great rebound control and some flashy saves as well. One on Staal and a couple on Guerin. The addition of Staal to the 2nd line really payed dividends because Letestu was flying with TK and Cooke on the 3rd line. Those three had a couple terrific scoring chances and Geno's play seemed to give Staalsy confidence.

The shootout moves by both Sid and Geno were the icing on the cake. The ultimate climax to an already thrilling playoff type game. The refs were terrible and seemed to put the whistles away on the Wings players but not the Pens. Geno got called for hooking when he was skating away from Rafalski and Cooke got called for goaltender interference when he didn't even touch Howard.

The Sabres visit town tonight and the game will be on VERSUS. Miller will start vs. Johnson for the Pens. Talbot is expected to be out again, as is Kunitz.