Geno makes it look easy, Cookie in jail like Weezy.

As my dad might have said back in the early 80's when Larry Bird and the Celtics beat Magic and the Lakers, "hot damn!" That's right, hot damn. The Pens have now won their first four games after coming off the All Star Olympic Break. And for a team where the majority of players sat two weeks while their superstars played against the worlds best, they sure don't look rusty and/or tired. Matter of fact, they almost look like a different team. Players like Dupuis and Adams (more Dupuis though) are finally stepping up to the plate and hitting homers. It's absolutely the right time for them to do so, no question about it.

A quick comment on the guy I call"The Chameleon." Why do I call Dupers that? Because he does a great job at blending in with his surroundings. He's typically a fourth liner but has been sprinkled in on the other three lines at one point or another this year. And while he is really only bottom six talent-wise, he does a decent job when he's called to play top six. Tonight was one of those times where he shined really well. He's primarily a demon forechecker who plays the boards real well but doesn't have the best hands. When he shoots, you can tell this easily. But today he used his talent to his advantage by skating to lose pucks and playing the front of the net...and he was rewarded.

Okay, onto some other topics, like the game.

The game started off a bit slow and the Pens played fairly sloppy and Orpik, Eaton, and Feds all found their way to the box. Fortunately they escaped the first period while the PK remained strong. Oddly the Pens outshot the Bruins 10-3 in the first, it just didn't really look that way on the ice.

Period number two provided offered slightly more excitement to the viewer, though it too reminded me a bit like watching a NJ game. Random stat: Patrice Bergeron owned the Pens in the faceoff circle winning 13 of 18 draws, though Mark Savard (hereafter referred to as The Victim) only won 6 of 18. It was Blake Wheeler who was the first and last Bruin to find the back of the net. A somewhat debatable goal in which Wheeler pulled the puck out underneath a sprawling Flower. Though it wasn't without some retaliatory help from the hockey gods. Five minutes after Wheeler did his thing, Dupers returned the favor. Taking a pass from Crosby behind the net and jamming it past the left pad of Thomas left the Bruins in dissarray. Karma's a bitch.

With the third period starting fairly intensely for the Pens as usual, they took the lead early on a fake pass/shot by Geno. Coming off a nice drop pass from Poni, Geno did his usual I'm-a-superstar-and-you're-not move which works about 15% of the time, and in this case it did, lifting it just over the left pad of Thomas (again, the left pad). Poni created the play nicely and then went right to the net as he said he likes to do. Quite honestly the shot by Geno wasn't anything special, should have been a routine save, but hell, we'll take it. I mean, it was the game winner.

After that the game was overshadowed, as you know, by the Matt Cooke hit on Mark Savard. Shown below, you can see where Cooke pulls a Mike Richards and lowers the shoulder into The Victim.

Now I love Cookie and his perfected agitation style of play. At times he does do things that can be rendered a bit dirty, but as E.J. Hradek once told me, there are no angels out on the ice. With that said, I'm not defending Cooke. These types of hits have to stop happening in the NHL. You never want to see a guy sprawled out on the ice like this...Will he get suspended, absolutely. Should he, absolutely. Was it intended, likely not. Did Cooke intend to hit Savard hard, yes, but did he intend to hurt him, doubtful. Nevertheless, he will be suspended for a few games. I'm guessing since he's a repeat offender he might get a full 5, but we'll see.

In the end the Pens held on to win their fourth straight. They'll be resting up for 3 more days until they embark on a 5 game road trip beginning in my town, Raleigh, NC. In their last visit to Canes Country it was early in the season and Kuni won the game for the Pens in a shootout. I was there with my oldest daughter screaming LET'S GO PENS...good times. The Canes have been hot lately and are oddly only 8 points out of the playoffs. I'll be there for this one on Thursday equipped with Disco Dan on my chest. Look for me in the crowd.

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