Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lightning 1, Penguins 0

The Pens looked good last night, for the most part. They were beaten on a turning backhand shot that was perfect. They had several excellent chances, but couldn't seem to beat Sean Burke (more of a credit to Burke than a criticism of the Penguins). The play was fairly evenly split, and even when the Lightning were keeping the play in the Penguin's end of the ice, the defense was pretty good, which is to say that the Lightning didn't have tons of high quality scoring chances.

If the Pens can take this quality of play, add a few more skill players (like Malkin, for one), they're going to be fine. The work ethic is there. The system appears to be there. They're usually staying in games, and showing the ability to come from behind when needed. They just need a bit more talent. You can really see now what Craig Patrick thought he had at the beginning of the year, when he had Palffy, Recchi and Lemieux. If those three were inserted into the team now, I think the results would be different. Of course, the changes that the team went through are what made them who they are today, so I'd have to say that my own argument is a bit specious...

Anyway, as I've been saying, I'd rather see moral victories and a guarentee of one of the top two picks in the draft. Next year, the Pens won't care if they went out on a winning streak, but they might care if they were able to draft Kessel...

Sidney Crosby was injured last night - an undisclosed lower-body injury. He returned in the third period, but his minutes were somewhat limited. He said that there was swelling involved and that nobody inflicted the injury upon him, so I have to guess that he sprained an ankle.

Next up for the Pens is a game Tuesday night in Philly. I know I said I'd rather see moral victories, as opposed to actual wins, but I'm setting that sentiment aside for Tuesday. I hope they kick the tar out of the Flyers.


ees said...

All the usual things about the game, yada-yada-yada. I was thinking, Ryan Malone has, what, 19 goals this season, he has played very well despite his slump earlier this season. He has been working very hard on both ends, it will be interesting to see what becomes of him next season.
As much as I want us to lose right now, I'd have to say just not to Philly, also. Plus, Marc Andre Fleury owns that team.

Pronovost said...

The Blues beat Edmonton tonight (Sunday) so that helps a little.

The Pens actually are fun to watch lately. Although, I'm always a little suspicious of teams that hit their stride once they're out of contention. (In this case I realize the Pens were out of contention before Christmas.)