Friday, February 03, 2012

Game #52 - at Boston Bruins

2011-12 Game 52

Pittsburgh Penguins (29-18-4, 62 points) at Boston Bruins (32-15-2, 66 points)

Anybody want a peanut?

Why does it matter?

The Bruins are good... really good.  They haven't lost two in a row since early December.  They're the #1 team in goals scored per game and the #4 team in goals allowed per game.  Their special teams are both in the top ten as well.  This will be a tough challenge.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - The winning streak is over following a shutout loss to the Leafs.
  • Bruins - Their coach says they're going through the motions right now.  They've traded wins and losses over the past 10 games.
Questions to be answered
  • After a game where there weren't that many good offensive chances, how will the Pens respond against the Bruins?
  • Can the Pens break the Bruins pattern of trading wins and losses?  They're "due" for a win.
  • Can the Pens get to the power play?  They earned just three trips in two games against the Leafs.
Keys to the game
  • Get traffic in front of the goalie.  Both netminders for the Bruins have been excellent on the season.  They need traffic in front.
  • Buckle up.  The Bruins bring a nasty brand of physical hockey.  The Pens can play that way, but they need to be smart about it.
  • Initiate, don't retaliate.  The zebras always catch the second guy.  Taking dumb penalties against the Bruins can be death.

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