Friday, November 04, 2005

Game Night - Game #14

Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins

Pittsburgh - 3-5-5 - 11 pts - Last in Atlantic
Boston - 6-5-4 - 16 pts - Third in Northeast

The Pens have won three of their last four games. Boy, doesn't that sound weird? They're actually on a hot streak. The broadcast on Thursday night did a nice job of showing some of the things they're doing differently, like supporting the puck when forechecking. What I took from the example was that they were selectively bringing in the third offensive man on the forecheck to help keep it down low (and start cycling). Leclair was the example they showed, and of course, he's a professional at it from his time with Philly.

Boston has a hidden stat. They're undefeated (in regulation) against anyone not in their own division!! They are 5-0-3 against the Atlantic and Southeast divisions. They also haven't lost in regulation since October 20th (right before the last time they played the Pens). They've also been holding their opponents to low 30s in shots during that time (only Toronto had more - 37 - in a game won by the Bruins).

The Bruins continue a streak of opponents with a somewhat weak power play. In their last three games, they've gone 1-17. Conversely, their PK has been excellent, allowing only one goal over that span.

They'll miss Brian Leetch, who is out with an injury that sounds similar to the one currently that has Tarnstrom sidelined. Other than that, it's the usual cast of characters that we've seen a few times already - Thornton, Samsonov and Murray. Both goalies have been playing fairly well, with save percentages close to .900 and GAA in the low 3s.

This will be a tough game for the Pens, but another one that they ought to win if they hope to build towards a winning record. The Bruins are tough on home ice... heck, they've been tough for us on any ice so far this year. A win would get us within one game of .500. It will be interesting to see if Edzo keeps the same scratches he's been going with (ie, if he keeps Jackman on the sidelines), and keeps Caron between the pipes. They have three games in four nights next week, so you'd figure something will eventually have to give at least between the pipes.

1 comment:

Trent said...

I was watching the Anaheim/San Jose game last night and, let me tell you, i think they're working under completely different rules on the west coast. I wouldn't describe it as clutching and grabbing (bad) but loads of battles were allowed. (good) Whereas the Pens get called for brushing up against an opposing players (Orpik), this game had bodies flying everywhere. And no calls.

And just now, i'm watching the Devils/Rangers game and someone pulled the EXACT move for which Crosby was called for interference late in the Carolina game. No call, no reaction. Just a good fight for the puck down low.

I can't help but think that the referees (and the league) are making their own adjustments to the new rules. I truly believe that the new rules will stick, but i think they realize that they have to allow the battling that makes the game so great.