Saturday, December 04, 2010

Game #28 - at Columbus Blue Jackets

Game 28
Penguins (17-8-2, 36 points) at Blue Jackets (14-9-1, 29 points)

Why does it matter?
The Blue Jackets are one of the surprise stories in the NHL this year, despite recent struggles. This is a also good chance to continue the development of a regional rivalry.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - 11-1-1 in their past 13 games. You know they're going to lose eventually, but the way they're playing right now, it sure doesn't feel like it.
  • Blue Jackets - The Jackets have lost four straight and are playing for the third time in four nights.
Questions to be answered
  • Based on their recent schedule and results, you know the Blue Jackets will come out with a fire lit under them. Will the Pens be ready to go?
  • Can the Pens stop Rick Nash? He had 10 goals in 11 games during November.
  • Do the Jackets have an answer for Sid?
Keys to the game
  • Roll four lines all night long. The Jackets are deep, especially down the middle with Umberger, Vermette and Brassard. Only Jared Boll averages less than 10 minutes per game.
  • Some of our wingers need to play better on the road. Kennedy is a -3 with one goal on the road, and Chris Kunitz doesn't shoot the puck as much on the road for some reason.
  • If the game is tight, the faceoff battle between Sid and Vermette will be key. Vermette is very good on faceoffs.

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