I think that's all I can say. Let me try again...
Maybe I can get some other thoughts out...
Okay. I think I'm better now.
The Pens won what will likely be remembered as one of their more memorable victories tonight. This game had a bit of everything. The stars played well, including Crosby, Armstrong and Gonchar. The grinders played REALLY well, especially Ruutu. The kids played great - both Staal and Letang showed that they belonged (for at least one night). Fleury absolutely answered some questions by making 40 saves and standing on his head at times. The power play wasn't needed, but did generate some pressure. The penalty kill was exceptional.
This game showed a small sampling of the work of Ray Shero in the off season. You could absolutely tell the difference made by having players like Mark Eaton, Dominic Moore and Jarkko Ruutu.
After dumping all of these superlatives on the team, let me just make a few quick points:
- The Pens took WAY too many penalties. If they don't play more disciplined, they'll be heading down the same dark road they were on last year.
- The Flyers were not all that sharp, especially for a team that had almost 20 minutes of power play time. They had their chances, but it seemed they could never quite make that perfect setup pass they were trying for.
- Mark Recchi took two penalties in the first period when the game was still very much in doubt. Your leaders can't do that.
- It's just one game.
- Forsberg is a punk (as is Hatcher)
Having said those few things, this was a high-energy, hustling performance that bodes quite well for the rest of the season.
I took a bunch of pictures, though I'm not sure how many will turn out. I'll get some of those up tomorrow, I think.
Next up: Detroit on Saturday.