Reason: I don't watch the NFL but 2 times a year. Once is AFC/NFC championship games and the other is the Superbowl. As such, today's once of them.
Anyway, the Pens won today and that's all that really matters. A quality performance by just about everyone stunned the Filthadelphia fans once again. According to Whistler's pregame stats that makes it 5 in a row in the Wachovia Center. Its one thing to win at home, its quite another to win and see the Flyers fans wallow in disgust after chanting "Crosby Sucks" over 100 times. Just a thing of beauty. And beating the Flyers with Sid having no shots on goal is a very good sign.
With Beej starting in net over Fleury, I'll admit, I was a little worried. I had no intention of rhyming there but it does work. While Beej has had bouts of solid play he has a tendency to foil under pressure. After the first goal from Carter, my anxiety started to build. Beej doesn't pin the post the way Fleury does. Sure he thought the puck was on the side of the net, but Flower just has that knack for protecting the corners. After that goal Beej did his thing. I became a believer. He stopped the next 26 and rightly earned the 3rd start spot.
I can't believe I'm saying this but the Pens have scored 6 times on their last 12 power plays. Two goals today proved that there is progress and they have been working on changing a few things up. Though its not going to end up statistically spectacular, the Pens need to get in a grove the latter half of the season and carry it over into the playoffs. Last year they were 20th in the league, so its not like much has changed. Either way when you have a man advantage you should score at least 20% of the time, at least...
On to the topic of the night: Gonch from the point. Seems to me that the power play hinges upon this very thing. While puck movement is crucial to open up the ice and get some men out of position, ultimately the
Pens are best suited when Gonch fires a bomb from the point. It should be mandatory that every power play Gonchar gets two shots from the point. Taking into account the very last one which Cookie tipped in, the puck streamed through 3 players legs to end in its final resting spot, behind Emery. Not sure about you but in my opinion the shot from the point seems to create more activity (and chances) than all the puck movement combined.
The defense certainly did a much better job at keeping guys out of the slot. Though Philly wasn't without their chances. A couple times I had my head in my hands only peak up and take a deep breath. Not to mention giving the Flyers 9 power play chances is one that goes in the "bad-things-we-did-tonight" column.
That's about all I have tonight. I will mention solid efforts by Crosby, Malkin, Fedotenko, and Staal. Feds was the one out of the ordinary for sure, but if anyone needs to get his mojo back its him. Sid almost made the city of Philly eat their hats with that steal and bomb off the post. Malkin had what is now known as "Geno's Sexy Moves." Nick Johnson did stellar work for an AHLer in such a physical game. A game like this makes Shero very happy.
And I actually hope that in the scrum below Cookie bit Ashole.
Rangers tomorrow. Unfortunately we have to see Sean Avery. More idiots. At least Sid will be excited.