Saturday, April 03, 2010

Game 78 - vs Atlanta Thrashers

Game 78
Thrashers (34-32-12, 80 points) at Penguins (44-26-7, 95 points)

Why does it matter?
The Thrashers are playing for their playoff lives, and their schedule looks to be preventing them from getting into the playoffs. After today's game, they play the Devils and Caps before finishing up with the Pens again, this time in Atlanta. That means they'll be desperate to earn two points today. That's actually good news for the Pens, who need to find a way to match the intensity of their opponent. That has been lacking in their game for a bit now.

Also, the Pens are all tied up with the Devils with each team having 5 games remaining. They cannot finish in a tie, because the Devils would win the tie breaker (since they've owned the Pens this year).

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - A very lethargic effort against Tampa resulted in a shutout loss.
  • Thrashers - Recent losses to Carolina and Toronto make it seem like they're not ready to get into the playoffs.
Questions to be answered
  • What is the mental state of this team? Are they ready for the post season?.
  • Will Geno and Sarge return? It looks like they'll play today.
  • Which forward do you sit? Mike Rupp? Max Talbot?
Keys to the game
  • Get into the game early. I don't know if a fight would help, or just hitting anything that has the puck, but they have to do something to get into it.
  • With Sarge back, get some production out of the power play. The Thrashers have been excellent on the PK lately, so this will be a good test.
  • Look for Sid when there's a chance to score. The Rocket Richard trophy would be nice.

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