Monday, December 21, 2009

Game #37 - vs New Jersey Devils

Game 37
Devils (25-8-1, 52 pts) at Penguins (25-10-1, 52 pts)

Mellon Arena - Pittsburgh

Why does it matter?
The Pens have been unable to solve the problems that the Devils present this year, dropping two decisions by the same score of 4-1. This is an important divisional match up with the current top teams in the NHL.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Five straight wins and the power play looks to be waking from it's slumber.
  • Devils - Four straight wins with generally stingy defense. The exception was Brodeur being yanked in Atlanta and the Devils rallying to win the game.
Questions to be answered
  • Can the Pens beat these guys?
  • Can the Pens get on the power play? The Devils PK can be susceptible if you can get them to take penalties. Speed is the key.
  • 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
  • Score first! This is hugely important to keep the Devils from sucking the soul out of the hockey game with that stupid trap.
  • Avoid turnovers in the neutral zone. This is what Jersey preys on - they forecheck heavily to get you to make mistakes. It's sort of like the Pens, but with more life-draining ability.
  • Find a way to stop Parise - he averages 4-5 shots per game, and 13 of his 15 goals are at even strength.

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