Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Game #59 - at Colorado Avalanche

Game 59
Penguins (35-19-4, 74 points) at Avalanche (25-26-6, 56 points)

Why does it matter?
The Pens will have a chance to get back in the winning column against a team from the West. That recipe worked well for them last Thursday against Los Angeles. Unfortunately, they may be catching the Avs at the wrong time.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - New York was a city of horrors this past weekend for the Pens.
  • Avalanche - 1-10 in their past 11 games pretty much says it all for the Avs, unless you count the brief return and sudden departure of Peter Forsberg.
Questions to be answered
  • Are the Pens catching the Avs at a bad time? Consider that the Avalanche seem to have hit rock bottom, lost 9-1 on Monday to Calgary at home. I'd look for a strong rebound performance from Colorado, or some frustration at the very least.
  • Will the Pens experience with the nonsense against the Isles help them stay calm if Colorado gets desperate, or will it make them that much quicker to react?
  • What is wrong with the PK? Five goals allowed over the past two games won't get it done.
Keys to the game
  • Stay calm. The Avs are likely to be frustrated, given that only one of their losses was a one-goal game (meaning, they've been getting whipped). Nonsense is likely to follow (see Phillipe Dupuis knee-on-knee hit on Jokinen on Monday).
  • Keep them bottled up. The Avs have managed just 41 shots over the last two games combined.
  • Make Friday a distant memory. A win would go a long way towards moving the team forward from the ugliness.

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