Saturday, October 31, 2009

Game #14 - vs Minnesota Wild

Game 14
Wild (4-9-0, 8 pts) at Penguins (11-2-0, 22 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Two good defensemen. Burns can be excellent on the offensive attack while Orpik is more of a defensive guy.

Why does it matter?
Minnesota is the home of GM Chuck Fletcher and coach Todd Richards, both out of the Penguins system. They're trying to build in a fashion similar to Pittsburgh.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The Pens earned two points with a late rally last night in Columbus. The team has been amazingly good (and probably lucky) in the early going this year.
  • Wild - The early season for the Wild has not been kind, but they did have a nice win over the Rangers last night at home.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Wild win back to back games for the first time this season?
  • Can the Wild win on the road for the first time this season?
  • Can the Pens beat a team they should beat at home?
  • Who will have more hits, Clutterbuck or Orpik?
Keys to the game
  • Avoid the slow start.
  • Execute on the power play.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Game #13 - at Columbus Blue Jackets

Game 13
Penguins (10-2-0, 20 pts) at Blue Jackets (6-5-0, 12 pts)

Nash is really good, but not as good as the two on the other card...

Why does it matter?
This game would have been more interesting two weeks ago when Columbus was 5-1. Now they're 6-5 and playing really poorly. This game is interesting if only to see how much the Hockey Gods can heap on the Pens before they crack.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - After blowing out Montreal on Wednesday to finish out their home stand, the Pens will face an additional test as Geno will miss 2-3 weeks. Good thing Sid is playing well.
  • Blue Jackets - As noted, the Jackets have gone into the crapper and have allowed 26 goals in the last 5 games.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Jackets rebound? They had a miserable road trip and lost the dreaded "first game back" on Wednesday. No more excuses now.
  • What will happen, especially to the power play, with no Gonchar and no Malkin?
  • Speaking of the power play, the Jackets have been terrible on the PK lately. The Pens seemed to get things going against Montreal on the PP. Will it continue?
  • Can Sid carry the load, and who will center the second line?
Keys to the game
  • Take the Jackets out of the game early. They're used to giving up a ton of scoring, so get them early and often
  • Stop Rick Nash.
  • Get some offense for Brent Johnson.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Game #12 - vs Montreal Canadiens

Game 12
Canadiens (6-5-0, 10 pts) at Penguins (9-2-0, 18 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Something a bit different for the card image today...

Why does it matter?
Montreal historically has played an up-tempo game with lots of skating, which makes for a more entertaining brand of hockey. A victory means extra tax dollars spent in Montreal to patrol the bridges...

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The Pens are struggling through their first semi-tough stretch of the season. They lost on Saturday and have put themselves in a hole in two straight.
  • Canadiens - The Habs are hot, winners of four straight at home. It's not as good as it seems, though, because three of the four wins were against the Isles and Thrashers.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Habs win against a good team? Aside from their OT wins over Buffalo and the Rangers, their other victories aren't exactly a Murderer's Row.
  • Can the Pens get off to a good start in a game after struggling to do that for the last two?
  • The power play without Gonchar? It's 1-10. Can it get better? When you watch Letang and Goligoski, you'd think it has to - those guys are good.
  • Can the Pens solve Jaroslav Halak?
Keys to the game
  • Both teams have been stingy in allowing shots lately. Whoever can dictate their style will have a big advantage.
  • Make the Habs earn it.
  • Halak hasn't faced an offense like this one yet.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Devils 4, Penguins 1

The Devils scored first in this one, and that led directly to the typical Devils snooze-fest. They lined up in the neutral zone, between the red line and (just inside) their own blue line. The Pens couldn't beat the trap on any kind of consistent basis all night.

The Pens game of forechecking and pressure in the offensive zone was a non-starter, mainly because they were unable to establish any kind of consistent possession.

If you're wondering if the game was as boring as it sounds, it was.

The Devils should be forced to start every game at a 1-0 deficit, just to prevent that soul-sucking, God-awful deadly boring style of hockey.

Next up: The end of the homestand against the Habs on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Game #11 - vs New Jersey Devils

Game 11
Devils (5-3-0, 10 pts) at Penguins (9-1-0, 18 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Two pretty good players that entered the league in the same year - 05-06.

Why does it matter?
It's an early divisional game against the Devils. Isn't it always gratifying to get a lead and make the Devils come out of that miserable trap?

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The Pens gutted out a tough win last night over the Panthers.
  • Devils - The Devils started slowly but have won 5 of their past 6 games and are 4-0 on the road. Zach Parise is hot right now, with 6 points in the last three games (4 + 2).
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens force the Devils out of the trap?
  • Does the team need Godard tonight? I'm going with no, considering Mike Rupp will probably be fired up to play his former team.
  • Can the Pens take advantage of their chances on the power play and get in Marty's head?
Keys to the game
  • Jersey has almost no scoring from the blue line (no goals by a defenseman yet this year).
  • Contain the Devils at even-strength.
  • Keep going after Brodeur.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Penguins 3, Panthers 2 (OT - SO - 1-0)

It sure looked early like tonight was going to be a repeat of the Coyotes game. The Panthers were having success in frustrating the Pens. The Pens took two penalties and were down 2-0 coming out of the first period.

The Pens started to turn the tide during the second, but weren't able to make a change in the scoreboard. Fortunately, thanks to some great saves, Brent Johnson didn't let it get any worse.

Then the third period started and the Panthers handed the Pens FIVE power plays, including some extended time with a two-man advantage. The Pens capitalized to make it 2-1 at the very end of the two-man opportunity. They couldn't do anything else on the PP, however. To change things up, they took a penalty and put Florida on the power play. It worked, as Sid and Geno teamed up to tie the game short-handed. It was Sid's first short-handed goal in his 300th game.

Both teams had some chances late in the third and through the OT, but it came to the shootout. Sid made Vokoun look bad (which wasn't easy tonight) and Johnson stood tall, giving the Pens the win.

Sid and Brent were the MVPs for the home team, no doubt.

It was a nice debut for Skoula, who played just over 17 minutes. Borque chipped in with some solid ice time as well.

Next up: New Jersey visits the Igloo tomorrow night.

Game #10 - vs Florida Panthers

Game 10
Panthers (2-5-0, 4 pts) at Penguins (8-1-0, 16 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

You'd think I'd check the schedule ahead of time to scan images. You'd be wrong.

Why does it matter?
The Pens only loss of the season was in the front end of a back-to-back. Time to learn from that mistake.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Still winning, but now without Sarge.
  • Panthers - Florida has been really inconsistent this year so far. They have nice wins over Philly and Chicago, but have looked pretty bad the rest of the time.
Questions to be answered
  • Which Florida team will show up?
  • Can Brent Johnson get some support this time?
  • What will happen to the power play without Sarge and how good is Skoula?
Keys to the game
  • Florida's special teams have been bad. The only saving grace is that they don't take too many penalties. The Pens need to exploit this.
  • Get Skoula up to speed. He'll be an important part of the defense now. He didn't just play tons of games the last few years - he played about 20 minutes per night.
  • Don't look ahead to Jersey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Penguins 5, Blues 1

Totally missed the game last night. I have DirecTV, which doesn't carry Versus right now.

It was nice to see the box score (and highlights).

A few quick thoughts:
  • I can't remember seeing the Pens get so many chances in transition this season. Either the Blues aren't used to it, or the Pens are getting better at generating them.
  • They kept the penalties to a minimum, tying their season low with having to kill only two penalties.
  • 12 shots for Malkin with 11 more that were missed? Can those numbers be right?
  • That goal post early by Winchester could have sent the game in a different direction.
  • Hopefully Gonchar isn't hurt too badly.
Next up: Friday night at home against Florida.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Game #9 - vs St. Louis Blues

Game 9
Blues (3-2-1, 7 pts) at Penguins (7-1-0, 14 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Two solid NHL wingers that came into the league in 03-04.

Why does it matter?
The Blues are a solid team with veteran leadership and good young talent. It's a good test for the Penguins.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Yeah, still rolling. No chinks in the armor other than the lack of scoring on the power play.
  • Blues - Two wins against Detroit to start the season (overseas) and then three straight losses before a nice road shutout against Anaheim... these guys are inconsistent so far.
Questions to be answered
  • The special teams will be key tonight, especially the Pens PK vs the Blues PP. So far this season, if the Blues score on the power play, they win. If they don't, they lose.
  • Can the Pens exploit some of the younger Blues at even strength? Berglund and Perron have struggled early.
  • Can the Pens continue to get the balanced scoring that is winning them so many games? This really is the key to a successful season, I think.
Keys to the game
  • Keep the Blues off of the power play, and kill the chances they get.
  • Roll four lines and exploit the Blues lack of depth on the third and fourth line.
  • Keep Fleury in net - he's in the zone right now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Penguins 4, Lightning 1

This season cannot continue to be as easy as the Pens are making it look.

It simply doesn't happen.

So far, however, so good.

The Pens dominated the Lightning in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate, and the score wasn't close.

There was a bit of drama when the Lightning closed the gap to 2-1 on a power play goal by Stamkos, but the Pens answered less than two minutes later to push it back out to a two goal lead.

Jay McKee put on a shot blocking exhibition tonight, and the Pens as a team put on a "beat on Steve Downie" exhibition, which was really nice to see.

There were a few things to point out tonight that could use some work:
  1. The Pens had a chance to blow out this team and didn't do it.
  2. Along those lines, the power play had extended time on the 5-on-3 late in the second and was unable to score.
  3. Giving any team 7 power play chances isn't good, but the last three of those came at garbage time after the 4th goal was scored. I agree with what Bob Errey said - he felt the refs were just evening things out.
Next up: The Blues come to the Igloo on Tuesday night in the first Versus game of the year. Hope the contract squabble with Direct TV is cleared up by then...

Game #8 - vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Game 8
Lightning (2-2-2, 6 pts) at Penguins (6-1-0, 12 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Two players that are both a minus for the season - pretty surprising, no?

Why does it matter?
It's a Saturday night game at the start of a nice home stand. The Pens need to get off to a good start and beat a team they should beat.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - This team has been rolling, though they usually find a way to make the games exciting. The four game road trip was a huge success, as 4-0 on the road is great no matter how to look at it.
  • Lightning - They had their first two wins of the season prior to going into Ottawa and getting smoked, 7-1. Nittymaki has both wins, while Mike Smith has all four losses.
Questions to be answered
  • The power play, except for one game in Toronto, has been absent. The Lightning have been bad on the PK, allowing at least one goal in every game. Can the Pens get the PP on track against a bad Lightning PK?
  • Will the Lightning switch to Nittymaki? Smith sure seems to be struggling right now.
  • Can the Pens stop Ryan Malone? He has 6 goals already this year, including a hat trick against Carolina.
Keys to the game
  • No mental letdowns - the Coyotes took advantage of a team not ready to play prior to the road trip.
  • Get the power play rolling.
  • Keep Fleury in net - he's in the zone right now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Penguins 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT - SO - 2-1)

The Canes came out hopping tonight, and you had to think the first road loss might be at hand. The Pens, however, didn't feel the same way and acted like a team that has won the Stanley Cup. They didn't panic and weathered the storm.

The Canes continued to press, and probably got a bit too caught up in it. Ruutu laid a big hit on Letang, and one of the Canes D got caught pinching. That allowed #17 to walk in on Cam Ward and do his best #71 impression. I highly recommend seeing the goal if you missed the game. It was excellent.

#71 put the Pens on top 2-0 early in the second, and the Pens seemed to lock it down in cruise control. Going into the third, you really didn't feel like the Canes were interested. That changed when Ray Whitney deflected two third period shots and scored twice to erase a two-goal deficit. You don't like to see that as a Pens' fan, but there was little Fleury could do on either one.

Both Ward and Fleury made an astounding save during the third. Ward kept the deficit at 2-1, while Fleury made sure the score remained knotted at 2-2.

The Pens dominated the chances in OT but couldn't beat Ward.

In the shoot out, Sid beat Ward and Kunitz won the game going five-hole. He was the first Penguin to try it during the shoot out.

  • The Canes rolled with 7 defense again, and I think it cost them. They played an uptempo game and I think they looked tired late in the first two periods and in OT a bit.
  • Walker and LaRose sure do like to hit from behind, don't they? I noticed it especially in the first.
  • I caught Steigy with "little" at least 5 times. I think only one of those was directed at TK (two went to Samsonov in the shoot out).
Next up: Time to translate the road magic back to the Igloo. The Pens open a homestand on Saturday night against Tampa Bay.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Game #7 - at Carolina Hurricanes

Game 7
Penguins (5-1-0, 10 pts) at Hurricanes (2-3-0, 4 pts)

RBC Center

Some goober forgot to scan the cards prior to traveling this week. Images will return for the Saturday game against Tampa Bay.

Why does it matter?
The Canes will be out to serve notice that their sweep at the hands of the Pens last year was a fluke. The Pens are riding high right now.

Questions to be answered
  • The Canes started off horrid on the penalty kill, but have improved in the last three games (winning two of them). Can the Pens score on the power play?
  • The Canes have allowed just 5 goals in three games at home (and less then 30 shots in all three games). Can the Pens generate consistent offense?
  • Can the Pens contain Eric Staal?
Keys to the game
  • Solid, consistent play from Fleury will be key. In other words, he should do exactly what he's been doing all season so far.
  • Stay out of the box!
  • The Canes have been dressing 7 defensemen. The Pens should dress Chris Borque and roll four lines consistently. The Canes will be worn down and won't be able to match up.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Penguins 4, Senators 1

The Senators will be a dangerous team this year. You can see they have some talent up front, even without Heatley. Michalek was a great addition. Leclaire can be sensational.

Tonight, however, they were squeezing the sticks a bit too tight. They had several golden chances and just missed. They hit several posts. They missed the net too many times. In short, they blew their chances.

The Pens, by contrast, made the most of their chances, with two goals that could be called "fluky" by Guerin (the puck took a nice strong bounce off of the end boards) and Kennedy (he barely touched it as it trickled past Leclaire).

The Pens were up 3-1 going into the third period and it became pretty obvious that the Senators lost interest in winning. That's another difference between the Pens and the Sens right now - the Pens don't seem to know how to quit.

Fleury was lucky, but he was also very good at times, making a few great saves. Tyler Kennedy (only one "little" from Steigy) had two goals and the third line played really well.

It was a nice road win by the Pens to push their record to 5-1.

Next up: one more on the road in Carolina on Wednesday night.

Game #6 - at Ottawa Senators

Game 5
Penguins (4-1-0, 8 pts) at Senators (3-1-0, 6 pts)

Scotiabank Place

Elliott isn't the starter this season, but he did win on Saturday night, as did Fleury.

Why does it matter?
Despite a bad year, the Sens are still in my mind as a rival of the Pens. The first beating in the playoffs a few years back still stings, so it's always nice to beat these guys.

Questions to be answered
  • The Sens are off to a hot start, but the games they've won were against Toronto, Atlanta and the Isles. Can they win against a better opponent?
  • Can the Pens continue their good play on the road?
  • Can the Pens stay out of the box for a second straight game? They were only there twice against Toronto.
Keys to the game
  • Both teams have allowed more than 30 shots just once so far. Take advantage of the chances you get, because there may not be many.
  • Stay out of the box!
  • The Sens have been rolling four lines pretty consistently. The Pens will have to match that, or risk being out worked.
  • Keep the top lines off of the scoreboard for the Sens - they are very top-heavy in the scoring department.
  • Ignore Ruutu.

Penguins 5, Toronto 2

Just a placeholder. I was traveling this weekend and managed to see about 3 minutes of the game.

Good to see three goals on the power play.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Game #5 - at Toronto Maple Leafs

Game 5
Penguins (3-1-0, 6 pts) at Maple Leafs (0-2-1, 1 pt)

Air Canada Centre

Two rookies who had a chance to make their teams out of camp.

Why does it matter?
It's a Saturday night in Toronto. The locals will be up for the game, and the Leafs usually give the Pens fits.

Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens shore up their penalty and PK situation? Too many penalties and a bad penalty kill will be a big problem as the season wears on.
  • Can the Pens get to Toskala early? He's been bad this season so far, but good historically against the Pens.
  • The Leafs have played two tight home games, losing by one to the Habs and the Sens. Can they get over the hump?
Keys to the game
  • The Leafs have been playing mostly even strength hockey, neither drawing nor taking many penalties. It would be to the Pens advantage for that to continue, as I think they have the edge at even-strength.
  • Stay out of the box!
  • Contain Ponikarovsky - going back to the lockout, he has been a point-per-game player against the Pens.
  • Whatever you do, don't let Jason Frickin Blake beat you - he's an official Penguins Killer.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Penguins 5, Flyers 4

I'm going to ignore the stupid stuff that happened at the end for a second. For me, the important thing is that the Pens went into a hostile environment, were out shot 34-25, gave up two goals on the penalty kill and still found a way to win the game.

They looked MUCH better than they did just one night prior against the Coyotes. I think that's due to the opponent.

Both Godard and Cote dressed, but they mostly threw each other nasty looks from the bench, because each played about two minutes.

Jeff Carter had a huge game for Philadelphia, with four points and seven shots. He always seems to stay out of the nonsense that some of the other goons instigate.

Sid had what had to be the most amazing night of faceoffs in his life, going 21-3 according to the box score.

To me, the cheapest thing that happened at the end was Richards plowing full speed into Fleury. You expect dumb stuff from a guy that can't control himself like Hartnell. I had some respect for Richards before the game. I have a bit less afterwards. I can't imagine Sid or Geno going full speed into the goalie intentionally. Very cheap.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Game #4 - at Philadelphia Flyers

Game 4
Penguins (2-1-0, 4 pts) at Flyers (3-0-0, 6 pts)

Wachovia Center - Philadelphia

Everyone talks about Sid / Ovechkin. For my money, this is the best match up to watch.

Why does it matter?
The Pens are playing the Flyers. Do you need to know any more than that?

Questions to be answered
  • Philadelphia - the hottest team in the NHL in the early going?
  • Can the Pens stay out of the box? They've taken way too many penalties so far this year, and they're not of the "you're being aggressive, so it's okay" variety.
  • The Flyers have been lighting the lamp thus far. Can the Pens slow them down?
Keys to the game
  • The Flyers have also been filling the penalty box. The Pens need to encourage that to continue... and take advantage.
  • Stay out of the box!
  • Sound defense in the 5 on 5 is imperative. The Flyers have good firepower across their top two lines.

Coyotes 3, Penguins 0

Holy trap game, Batman!

The Pens just didn't seem to have it together from the start of the game. Matt Cooke took an interference call just 40 seconds in, and that was typical of the entire night.

The Pens took 10 minor penalties, resulting in 7 Phoenix power plays. The Coyotes used the power play to get two of their goals (the third was an empty netter). The Pens, by contrast, couldn't score on the power play and seemed stubborn in their insistence to carry the puck into the offensive zone, despite what you, me and everyone else watching could see, namely that the Coyotes were lining up to make the Pens dump the puck.

The only positive we can take out of tonight is that Brent Johnson looked pretty good in his debut.

All told, this was a thoroughly disappointing effort.

Let's hope tomorrow is better.

Next up: Yeah - tomorrow in Philadelphia. They better be up for that one, or the score will be 12-0, not 3-0.

Game #3 - vs Phoenix Coyotes

Game 3
Coyotes (1-0-0, 2 pts) at Penguins (2-0-0, 4 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

If Mueller is OUTSTANDING, what does that make Geno? I'm going with SUPREME.

Why does it matter?
This is one of the games that you'll look back on late in the year if the Pens fail to get two points. It's a weaker team at home - the Pens need to take care of business, especially considering the game tomorrow night.

Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens make this one look easier than the first two games?
  • The Coyotes opened with an impressive road win, spoiling the home opener of the improved Kings. Can they keep it up?
  • Is Sid healthy enough?
Keys to the game
  • Dominate the offensive zone - keep possession of the puck and apply pressure.
  • Stay out of the penalty box.
  • Continue to execute on the power play - even though they didn't score against the Isles, I thought they played well.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Penguins 4, Islanders 3 (OT - SO - 2-0)

This one played out like the Pens were on the second game of a back-to-back and the Isles were jumping for their home opener.

Sid put the Pens in front with a nice breakaway goal midway through the first period. Things were looking pretty good, until...

The Pens put themselves in a hole on the penalty kill. The Isles scored on the two-man advantage (which is the first time I really missed Rob Scuderi) and then John Tavares got his first NHL goal on the power play in the second.

The score was 2-1 going into the third, and that's when the Pens really cut loose. They worked their butts off and managed to tie the game at 2-2. The Isles, just 17 seconds later, scored on their first shot of the period when Trent Hunter put the puck past Fleury from just inside the right faceoff circle. Flower was partially screen by Sid.

Right there, the Pens could have quit, shrugged and figured that tonight wasn't their night. That didn't happen. The penalty kill, which let them down earlier, came up huge twice in the second half of the third period, and Fedotenko scored a crazy goal that banked off of Bruno Gervais after Roloson was down and out.

OT didn't see many chances for either team, and we went to a shootout. Both Tambellini and Tavares tried to go high on the glove side with a wrister and failed. Both Letang and Sid beat Roloson between the pads.

Overall, the Pens out shot the Islanders 22 - 6 for the third period and the OT. That was especially significant because the Pens weren't able to roll the lines quite as well tonight, mainly because they were playing catch-up.

Fleury made several key saves when he needed to, including a stop on Moulson and stoning Tavares on a breakaway. He's playing really well early this season.

Great effort and great will to win from the Pens.

Next up: A team with 16 back-to-backs in a season should not have 4 days off, but the Pens don't play until Wednesday night against Phoenix.

Game #2 - at New York Islanders

Game 2
Penguins (1-0-0, 2 pts) at Islanders (0-0-0, 0 pts)

Nassau Coliseum

Two solid NHL defensemen. Did you know Streit was somehow a +6 last year and scored 16 goals?

Why does it matter?
The Pens need to keep the momentum going after their good effort last night. There's also the small matter of the NHL debut of John Tavares.

Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens use their speed to draw more penalties? They only drew two against the Rangers.
  • How much pressure will Tavares feel to score?
  • Is Sid healthy enough?
  • Can the Pens win a game they're supposed to win?
Keys to the game
  • Don't let the kids from Long Island get any confidence. They're young and talented - keep them bottled up and playing D.
  • No soft goals allowed by Fleury - make the routine saves.
  • Get on the power play and let the machine go to work.
  • Keep rolling four lines, especially on the back end of a back-to-back when the legs might be a little more fatigued.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Penguins 3, Rangers 2

A solid effort by the Pens led to a win on opening night.

It was nice to see the banner hoisted to the roof and to remember what the team achieved last year.

It was also nice to start something new.

The Pens were able to get off on the right foot against a tough team.

Things started off well for the Pens. They controlled play early and went out to a 1-0 lead on the power play. Geno deflected a shot from the point by Gonchar.

The Rangers didn't go away, and that was the theme for the evening - the Rangers wouldn't go quietly. They tied the score at 1-1 on a fluky play when the puck hit the ref on a clearing attempt.

The Pens added two in the second (Crosby and Kennedy) to hold the DTGL (Dreaded Two Goal Lead) going into the third.

The Rangers cut the lead in half early in the third, but couldn't get the tying goal.

Great effort by the Pens tonight, and some key saves by Marc-Andre.

  • Balanced play across the lines. Barring Godard, everyone played at least 9 minutes. This might be the deepest Penguins team we've seen in a long time.
  • Goligoski stepped up and answered the call as one of the top 6 D.
  • Sid didn't quite look like he was at full speed. It will be interesting to see how he's impacted by playing back-to-back.
  • Errey said he saw Godard driving a 64 Ford Galaxie XL - thought I'd show you what one looks like!

Next up: at the Islanders... tomorrow!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Game #1 - vs New York Rangers

Game 1
Rangers (0-0-0, 0 pts) at Penguins (0-0-0, 0 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Did you know the Staal boys were brothers?

Why does it matter?
First game of the season - need I say more? The title defense begins here (as does the bulls eye on their backs)

Questions to be answered
  • How will the changes made by the Penguins affect their defense? How much will they miss Scuderi and Gill?
  • Can Marian Gaborik provide some offense?
  • Is Sid healthy enough?
  • How will the second like produce after losing Sykora?

Keys to the game
  • No soft goals allowed by Fleury - make the routine saves.
  • Take advantage of chances against Lundqvist and the Rangers defense.
  • Stay consistent - the Rangers don't have much firepower - don't allow them to score because of mental lapses.