Monday, February 18, 2008

Game #60 - vs Florida Panthers

Florida Panthers (27-28-6, 60 pts) at Pittsburgh Penguins (33-21-5, 71 pts)

Jokinen is always a Penguins killer.

Malkin is one point behind Ovechkin in the scoring race. That's amazing.

The Panthers are fighting for their playoff lives. They're four points out of the last playoff spot as well as first place in their division. They're also not very good. The Southeast division really blows this year.

On the road, the Kitty Cats play a more wide open game. They've scored 88 and allowed 92 in 32 road games this year (compared to 74 and 80 in 29 home games), so expect a game with more offense.

The Panthers have been no further than two games over .500 at any point this season. The power play has been a strength, but other than that, the Panthers have been astoundingly mediocre. This is a game the Pens should win.

Crosby won't play yet. I'm hoping he's not rushing back. He needs to take his time and let things heal well enough. The Pens are almost certainly going to make the playoffs, and they need him in top shape for said playoffs.

When I was going through the stats looking for something to talk about in this preview, I saw an interesting one. I always had the feeling that out shooting your opponent was devalued by hockey pundits. The Pens are 14-7-1 when they out-shoot the opposition - that's a .636 winning percentage. They're just 19-14-4 (.514) when they are out-shot by an opponent. Maybe this one is more important than we realize...

Let's Go Pens!


neill said...

I cringe every time I see Crosby out there practicing. I hope the team has enough sense to make sure he is 100%. Like you said, they're gonna make the playoffs, so what's the rush in bringing him back?

Will said...

After watching Max and Hall come back too soon from injuries and have to take more time off, I can't imagine the Pens will let Crosby back before he's ready. I think it's great he's practicing and skating, but I bet we don't see him play for at least another week.