Monday, December 20, 2010

Penguins 6, Coyotes 1

So what happened?
The Pens were both lucky and good while the game was close. After that, they were in cruise control.

The Pens converted on their first power play chance of the night to get the game going in the right direction. After that, they took four consecutive penalties, with the Coyotes power play doing everything right except for putting the puck in the net.

The key play of the game was Shane Doan taking a really dumb penalty during the Coyotes fourth power play in the first period. It negated the power play and put the teams at even strength (4 on 4). Two seconds later, Sid won the draw going forward, creating a two-on-one. He got the puck over to Geno, who buried it.

The Pens added some insurance markers, but they really dominated the game from that point forward.

Who scored?
Letang (6), Malkin 2 (12, 13), Crosby (27), Cooke (6), Conner (3)

The Good?
  • Just about everything, but my top item worthy of praise tonight was the penalty kill. They'd allowed a goal in seven straight games but managed to (somehow) weather the storm tonight in the face of 8 chances for the Coyotes. It wasn't pretty, and they got some help from bad ice and broken sticks, but it worked.
  • A five point night for Geno and three more for Sid.
  • Not sure if this is "good" or not... but EVERY player for the Pens played on the penalty kill. All of them. Seriously. Even Asham and Kennedy... Rupp and Letestu... Engelland... wow.
  • Great work by Flower during the first period especially to stone the Coyotes until the Pens could get things going.
The Bad?
  • Taking four penalties in the first and then the extended five-on-three debacle late in the second. Fortunately it didn't hurt the Pens, but those are seven penalties you can't take, and most of them were mental mistakes.
  • Hopefully Taylor Pyatt isn't hurt. Engelland hit him with a KO punch.
  • Scottie Upshall is annoying to watch when he's not on your team. I remember when he and Hartnell were on the Flyers together... boy that was aggravating to see as a fan... I can't imagine what it was like to play against them.
The Ugly?
  • Keith Yandle, early in the second, doesn't make the easy play to get the puck out while on the PK. He decides to try to kill some more clock and trips on his own feet behind his own net. Faster than you can say "dumb", the puck is in the back of the net courtesy of Sid and Geno. Really ugly for Yandle. I know he doesn't get a minus for that, but boy he sure should.
Any Surprises?
  • The shenanigans between Shane Doan and Matt Cooke (they bumped after the game) were surprising in the sense that we don't see much of that from Cooke against teams from the East. He and Doan must not like each other from way back.
What's their record now? Any important move in the standings?
The Pens are now 22-10-2. They are three points behind the Flyers for the lead in the Atlantic division and the NHL.

Who's next?
A day off and then back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday is the warm-up act as the Panthers come to Consol.

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