Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Game #45 - at Boston Bruins

Pittsburgh Penguins (20-17-7, 47 pts) at Boston Bruins (21-19-4, 46 pts)

The Bruins are coming back home after a road loss to Buffalo. For once, the Penguins are in the city of another team, waiting to play them. Seems like that's always happening to the Pens.

The Pens, along with the Bruins, have played the fewest games in the NHL (44). They each have at least three games in hand over the teams in front of them (except for New Jersey), which is critical since they are just a few points out of the playoffs right now.

The Bruins have the second ranked power play in the Eastern Conference, but that's a bit misleading, as they are near the bottom of the NHL in power play chances. They simply don't draw many penalties. They Pens, by contrast, are third in the NHL (though they're only 15th on the road).

The Bruins have been struggling recently, going 2-6-1 in their last nine games. Several of the games haven't been close. The Pens need to jump out early and often against these guys, to keep them in their losing pattern. This is demonstrated by the stats - Boston has been outscored on the season by 29 goals!! They actually have an advantage in the first period, but then have been outscored drastically in the second and third periods. They've allowed more third period goals than any team in hockey.

Bruins blog - check out WickedBruinsFan - Jaci writes a TON! I wouldn't be surprised to see a game preview up for the Pens game - always neat to see the other side.

I'm looking for the Pens to find religion again and get on a roll heading into the All Star break. These are critical points they can earn, and critical points they can deny to the teams nearest them in the standings.

Let's Go Pens!

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