Monday, November 07, 2005

Penguins 3, Rangers 2 - withstanding the storm...

So the Pens went out to a three goal lead, scoring once each period. None of their goals were on the power play, but they were all good goals. Lemieux one-timed a gorgeous pass from Gonchar for the first one. Crosby took a nice pass and made a great shot that beat Weekes. Palffy took what the defense gave him (eh? Is this a football blog?) and snapped a low shot off the far post from the right circle area.

Of course, disaster almost struck. Palffy missed on a penalty shot (he's now 0-4 on penalty shots in his career, if I remember the stat correctly). That started to turn the tide. If I'm the Pens there, I almost don't want the penalty shot - I'd rather eat two minutes off of the clock...

Caron then got beat by a slapper with some screeners in front. The second goal was Caron trying to clear the puck, but he did so up the middle of the ice. It was a bad mistake, and the Rangers capitalized. The Pens then did everything the needed to do, including killing off a 2 minute penalty with about four minutes left.

All in all, it was a great win. The Pens played a great road game. It was a little troubling to see another team stage a third period comeback against them, but that's a minor quibble. I think they'll learn the killer instinct as they start to win more games.

The win moved the Pens to .500 on the road (3-3-3), not couting the overtime losses (I guess you can't really count them when talking about winning percentage, can you?) and gave them a winning record in the division. Most importantly, they're not in last place in the division anymore - that honor goes to the Islanders.

One other thing - was anyone else ready to jump through the television and yell at the announcer who was pronouncing Caron's name as CARE-on, instead of car-ON? Drove me nuts. Almost as bad as Barry Melrose always calling Alexei Kovalev by "Alex", or Kov-a-lov.

Wednesday we're at Atlanta, and then back home on Thursday. Let's go Pens!

10 comments:

Pronovost said...

For some reason I wasn't too worried down the stretch. This game just had a different feel. Although, was anyone else surprised to see Poapst on the ice with 30 seconds left?

A year or two ago I heard a patient and seemingly reasonable explanation on the Kovalev/ov issue. Think it was the Rangers announcers. They insisted that it's pronounced "Kovalov," at least back in the motherland. Can't remember the details, though.

Anonymous said...

I think that this was a huge win for the Pens. They had so much momentum going into Boston and Bam, they looked like it was the first game of the season. I also wanted to chime in on Crosby. For all the hype this guy had coming into the season, to be playing this well is unreal. He is the ONLY reason that the Pens scraped out a few points in the early games.

Did you guys see the hitting that was going on during last nights game? There was a point when 3 rangers and 3 pens were all up against the boards thowing punches and some clean hits too. I could not beleive that the refs let it go, but I was glad to see it. As were the 18000 hockey fans in the arena. For all the talk of the NHL being too soft, it was a good look at how aggressive hockey can be legal and really fun to watch.

Vinny said...

I wish I had your confidence, Pronovost. I was at The Garden last night and a sick feeling came over me when the Rangers scored that second goal. It felt like a matter of when, not if they were going to tie the game up, which, after the fantastic play of the Pens the first two periods, would have been a colossal disappointment.

I was particularly impressed by the penalty killers last night. Admittedly, their job was made a bit easier by the power play ineptitude demonstrated by the Rangers, but they still deserve praise for their efforts.

And, like "Anonymous" said, the amount of hitting in last night's game was quite a surprise. Orpik's hit on Hossa that preceded the Rangers' second goal was particularly brutal.

I think last night's game is a great example of just how wrong those who say the rule changes have ruined the NHL are.

Pat said...

I'm going to go with you, Vinny, with the "sick feeling"... wish I had more confidence, but we've seen it several times before this season...

I do think some of the Rangers ineptness on the PP was due to the amount of pressure put on by the Pens on their PK...

Pronovost said...

Vinny, you may not have seen this since you were at the game and it happened away from the puck, but during the last Rangers PP Recchi accidentally hit Jagr with a high stick in the chops. No call. The type of break Our Pens haven't gotten very often this season.

Trent said...

Pronovost, i was at the game, and i saw that high stick and cringed. For once, a break went our way.

As for your comment about Poapst being on the ice in the last 30 seconds... You know, i wish i had an opinion on him but i NEVER notice him. I can't tell you a thing he's done all season, and i can't say that about any of the other defensemen. So i gotta believe he's doing ok. (Has he even taken a penalty?)

I'll spend my time watching Whitney. Now THAT'S a defenseman!

And can anyone explain why on earth Crosby is on wing?

Vinny said...

Agreed, Pat, on the pressure applied by the PK unit.

I actually did notice Recchi's high stick on Jagr. And even if I hadn't, the outrage of the Rangers fans around me (including my brother) would have alerted me to the fact that something happened.

That was an obvious situation where a penalty should have been called, but I found it amusing that, for all the complaints about there being too many penalties in NHL games, that Rangers fans were crying foul and looking for a penalty every time a Pens player made contact with a Ranger or put a stick on them.

I'm with you, Trent. I'm really liking what I see from Whitney thus far. Looks like he's here to stay, which probably spells doom for Rob Scuderi, he of the team low -6 rating (among defensemen). Speaking of which, in response to Pronovost's comment about Poapst, he's actually tied for the team lead in +/- with a +3 rating. That could have had something to do with him being out there during crunch time. He, Orpik and Whitney are the only defensemen with + ratings.

Oh, and Crosby was the talk of the town last night, everywhere from the escalators on the way out of MSG, to the urinals at Grand Central, and on my train ride home. Methinks I detect some jealousy amongst Rangers fans.

Pronovost said...

I would have lost a lot of money if someone had bet me that Poapst was tied for best +/-

Normally when I notice him he seems shaky. Apparently I'm not paying close enough attention.

Did notice that Mario is a team-worst -7. Somehow I doubt that any of his teammates tease him about it.

Trent said...

If we want to talk about envy, i got one name for you: Ovechkin.

Could you imagine having him and Crosby on the same team as rookies?

Pat said...

Trent - hopefully next year when we get Malkin over here we'll be feeling the same thing...