Thursday, February 21, 2008

Game #61 - at Montreal Canadiens

Pittsburgh Penguins (34-21-5, 73 pts) at Montreal Canadiens (33-19-9, 75 pts)

Kovalev has 7 points in the last 4 games.

There aren't many teams the Pens are looking up at in the standings, but the Habs are one of them. I think the Canadiens, while they have a playoff spot locked up, are at a disadvantage against the Sens, Devils and Pens in the standings. Here's why:
  • They have one more game played right now than any of the other three teams.
  • They have 9 overtime losses, which while they are great for earning a point, don't help you in a tiebreaker. Wins matter in a tie, and the Habs have fewer wins than the other three teams as well.
The Pens must win this game, however, to keep the pressure on the Habs. If they finish the season tied with the Habs, they'll need this win to get the higher seed via the tiebreaker. It would really suck to finish fifth again.

The Habs are lethal on the power play (over 25% at home!), so it's imperative the Pens don't take stupid penalties. This may be the weak point for the Pens in this one - they're one of the worst teams in the NHL at killing penalties on the road, with just a 77% kill rate. Blech.

Stay out of the box, boys!

Let's Go Pens!


iceolate said...

Great blog you have here. Gonna have some video highlights of the Montreal game? Looks good man.

Pat said...

iceolate - Thanks for the kind words. I'll have the video highlights up tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on when they're available.