Saturday, November 19, 2011

Game #20 - at Florida Panthers

2011-12 Game 20

Pittsburgh Penguins (11-5-3, 25 points) at Florida Panthers (9-6-3, 21 points)
These retro cards have a nice look.  Garrison might be the best defenseman you've never heard of.
Why does it matter?
The Panthers are surprisingly good this season - they're currently tied with the Caps for the lead in the Southeast division.  This will be a challenge for the Pens.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Too many games getting behind the eight ball early.  It cost them on Thursday in Tampa.
  • Panthers - It was feast or famine on their two game road trip with an impressive 6-0 shutout of the Stars followed up with a 4-1 loss to the Blues.
Questions to be answered
  • Why has Florida lost five of its seven home games?  They're just 2-2-3 at home this year.
  • Can the Pens avoid the slow start and score first?  They're playing with fire by getting down by multiple goals on a regular basis.
  • We'll probably see Richard Park tonight, and that means Steve MacIntyre will sit, but who do you pull if you want to put Dustin Jeffrey into the lineup?  My money is on Aaron Asham, or maybe TK if they want to bring him back slowly.
Keys to the game
  • Special teams rebound.  The power play is going through a minor power outage the last few games, and looking tentative while doing so.  Get things back on track on both ends.
  • Watch out for Jason Garrison.  Seriously.  He's a defenseman who averages about 24 minutes per game and he has seven goals in seventeen games.
  • Score for Paul Martin.  He's had a few shaky moments recently, but he doesn't deserve his -10 rating.  Get some goals with him on the ice and turn his season around - defense is the strength of this team right now, and he's a key part of that.

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