Sunday, March 12, 2006

Penguins 2, Flyers 0

The Penguins played their best game of the season tonight, in my opinion.

The team took advantage of the chances they had, got some great play from Marc-Andre Fleury, were the beneficiaries of a little bit of luck, and killed the penalties they had to kill.

Both goals by the Pens were in close to Esche. The first one, scored by Armstrong, was a rebound that he stuffed in. He was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of his chance. The second one was a result of a poke check steal by Rita. He poked the puck away from the D (Pitkanen, I think), raced down the right side and handed the puck off the Crosby. Sid waited and found Armstrong trailing the play. He passed the puck to Armstrong, who buried the shot on the far side of Esche. Great steal, great pass, great goal.

The Pens then killed off a minor + major penalty with about 10 minutes left in the third. Andre Roy was the recepient of a cheap shot by Dimitrakos and immediately retaliated the only way he knew how - by attempting to bludgeon the Flyers defensemen with his fists. Needless to say, this was not popular with the skating zebras, and Roy was given two for roughing and five for fighting ("It's not easy... to be... me" - bonus points to anyone that gets that reference). The Pens not only killed off seven straight minutes of short-handed hockey, but I think the Flyers only had a handful of shots the entire time.

Anyway, it's great to see the Pens playing well. They've won two in a row, and appear to be building some momentum in playing their system. I'm kind of conflicted about that right now, however. I'm not sure I wouldn't rather see them finish last and have the best shot at the top pick. I guess there's nothing like winning, however, so we should be happy while we have it.

Next game is Thursday against the Devils, who I'm sure will be oh-so-happy to see the Pens again. I'm not sure yet how much I'll see of this game - it is the opening night of the NCAA tourney... though Pitt doesn't play until Friday (boy - did they get rooked with a #5 seed, or what?)

1 comment:

ees said...

I've got 50 bucks on Andre Roy being scratched next game. I thought for sure the game was over after he took those penalties. But they really showed up to play for this game.
I really liked the way Jani Rita has been playing. Points to Craig Patrick for that trade. That line fits very well together. Also, Konstantine Koltsov penalty killing has been near perfect lately, too. He is reading the plays very nicely.
I would like to see Eric Bogunieki playing again. He has excellent speed, which is something that always comes in handy.
I wonder how my draft pick is looking now?