Monday, December 07, 2009

Game #31 - vs Carolina Hurricanes

Game 31
Hurricanes (6-17-5, 17 pts) at Penguins (20-9-1, 41 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Why does it matter?
In name only, this is a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals from last season. In reality, Carolina has been horrible so far this year. I think it matters only in that it would be good to rebound from Saturday night with a win, and it will be a challenge to get the motor going the same way against Carolina.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Saturday night against the Blackhawks was a great hockey game, but the Pens weren't able to capitalize on several golden chances and only earned one point.
  • Hurricanes - The Canes finally earned a win after a 5 game skid on Saturday, thanks in large part to the hat trick by Erik Cole. That isn't likely to happen again, as every time Cole gets near Orpik, he seems to be obsessed with beating up Brooks and nothing else.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens get up for this game?
  • Can the Canes win their first of the season on the road? Seriously - they don't have a road win yet in 13 games.
  • I'm still looking for a shut out from a Pens goalie. Can they get one? (this question is staying here until they do)
Keys to the game
  • Don't overlook the Canes. Staal is dangerous and Legace has been excellent against the Pens.
  • Pick on Brind'Amour's line. Yes, he's excellent on the draw, but he is a -19 on the season. That's really bad.
  • Every regular on the team, except Scott Walker, is a minus player so far. That's really, really bad (like 05-06 Penguins bad).

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