Friday, January 20, 2012

Game #47 - vs Montreal Canadiens

2011-12 Game 47

Montreal Canadiens (17-21-8, 42 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (25-17-4, 54 points)

Cool card.  These are similar to the Upper Deck Masterpieces that were out a few years back.

Why does it matter?

This is the last game against a crappy opponent for about a month.  The upcoming scheduled is much tougher, so the Pens need to make hay while the sun is shining on them.  The Habs are struggling with their offense.  The way the Pens have controlled the flow of the game lately, I don't see that getting much better for them.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Malkin (and his line mates) have been carrying the team during this four game winning streak.
  • Canadiens - They're just 4-10-1 since December 13th.  They've lost four of the past five games overall.
Questions to be answered
  • Can we get some offense from one of the other lines?  Richard Park has two big goals recently, but no one else does.  I'm looking at... well, anyone, really.  Cooke?  Dupuis?  Tangradi?  Kennedy?
  • Will Brent Johnson get another chance to right the ship tonight?  I'd say it's likely, given that the Pens played last night, and will also play at 12:30 on Sunday.
  • Will anyone go after Pacioretty?  This is the first meeting since he concussed Letang with is blindside hit.
Keys to the game
  • Stay out of the box.  The Habs power play has been really bad, but they're like a wounded animal.  You stay away from that.
  • No let down.  The Rangers game was big, and the Caps are looming on Sunday.  Don't look past Montreal.
  • Get Johnson going.  Assuming he's in net, the Pens are going to need him at some point this year.  He's had a rough time so far - get him on the right track with solid defensive play.

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