Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Penguins 4, Devils 3 (OT)

That was an excellent win. They way they arrived at the win was not all that excellent in the later stages of the third period, but the win was excellent nonetheless.

The game winner by Gonchar in OT was a beautiful goal, and was the type of play I've been expecting to see more of this year from the highly skilled Penguins. Hopefully this will get not only Gonchar going, but the team as well. They are very talented and a boost of confidence would do them wonders.

The second straight third period collapse was almost fatal. We almost didn't get to OT. The goal that made it 3-2 was a complete fluke, and was exactly the type of thing you'd expect to see in a Pens game lately - it went right off of Odelein's skate and was, of course, credited to Mighty Mouse. The tying goal was a poor rebound given up by Caron - he had no chance to stop the follow-up, but he created his own mess. Kind of like the pitcher that makes an error that leads to runs in baseball - the runs aren't technically his fault (as they're unearned), but he made the mess to begin with. Caron did make a few nice saves down the stretch to make sure the Pens would get to the overtime period.

Whitney and Christensen played well, and should be good additions to the team if they can stick around.

Interestingly, Ric Jackman was a healthy scratch. He's been one of the better scoring defensemen in the league this year. Edzo must have seen something he didn't like.

It was really nice to see the Devils have to play from behind. We're so used to seeing them get a lead and go into their trap, slowing the play down and making the game deadly dull. It was really nice to see them have to scrap and fight (mostly unsuccessfully) for the third period. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to win in regulation so they didn't get a point.

2 comments:

Trent said...

Hoo Ha, we got a win! And not just a win, a great win.

Now i live in nyc, so i know that Jersey isn't experiencing an Edmonton-quality cold snap. As a matter of fact, it's quite balmy. So aside from perfect ice, i can't explain why the Pens were skating as fast as they were, but the whole game was a blur. I can't believe it's the same team.

The Pens looked great, the D played solid, the skating and passing was excellent, the callups performed as expected. Boy, Christensen has some nice wheels, something that's in sore need on this team with the new rules. I want him to stick.

I think Caron played great. He wasn't too tested and, sure, he bungled those two last goals, but he gave the team the backstop performance they've needed. We all know the team is fragile and the whole D collapsed on those two goals. Caron bounced back in OT and survived a barrage that led to Gonchar's sick goal.

Talk about a back breaker. Brutal.

And let's hear it for the always impressive fourth line. Two rookies have been the bedrock of the team and they got rewarded with a pleasantly timed, short-handed goal. The first of the season. Which is why Edzo had them on the ice for the final minute of regulation.

Most pleasant surprise of the night: Mario had his best night of the season, 5 points against Altanta notwithstanding. He was flying out there, skating, backchecking, moving the puck. He was a presense everytime he was on the ice and he worked to make things happen. He wasn't finishing or racking up the points, but he looked so much better than any other game this season. Maybe it was just taking a bit longer for his old engine to start churning.

Pronovost said...

I can't remember who had the puck for NJ with about 12 seconds left, near the net and to Caron's right, but I thought for sure he was going to score. Why wouldn't he score, the way this season has gone? But he sent it over the net instead. Caron went down early, too.

Nice to finally catch a break.