Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Penguins 3, Lightning 1

You know they can't keep this up.

The Pens, thanks largely to Chris Kunitz, had a two goal lead after two periods again.

The third period turned into a bit of a shooting gallery for the Lightning, who put together several extended stretches in the offensive zone. Though the Dolts didn't have a huge number of shots, they did have some really good pressure. With a few bounces, this would easily have been a completely different hockey game.

That's the biggest thing I worry about. They Pens are hot right now, there's no doubt. The problem is that they've been unable to put games away (with the exception of the Dallas win). They also let teams come at them in the third period, which makes things more exciting than they need to be (and also won't hold up in the playoffs).

The hope is that they're learning how to play aggressively and how to pace themselves.

The fear is that they're going to run into a team where they cannot build a lead and get into trouble.

Fleury played well, as did the defense around him, I thought. The most encouraging part is that despite being under siege in their own zone for extended stretches, they didn't panic and didn't take a penalty (or ice the puck, for that matter). They stayed composed and kept working. That's a great sign of maturity for this team.

Great to earn two points tonight on the road in what could have been a trap game.

Next up: On to the Panthers' Den on Thursday night. Huge game.


Will said...

I agree with what you're saying about the Pens not being able to keep this up, but I do take some comfort in knowing that a 2 months ago they probably lose this game. Now, even not playing great, they are beating teams that they should. That's not good enough to win a playoff round, but I think it can get us in. We'll see if GMRS makes some moves tomorrow to help keep the team going. Any predictions, Pat?

Pat said...

You know, unless I get the perfect deal, I might just stand pat at the trade deadline if I'm the GM. If you can pick up a two-way forward for cheap, then maybe... but otherwise, this team just got Gonchar back and they're on a roll. I want to see what they can do.