Monday, February 06, 2012

Game #54 - at Montreal Canadiens

2011-12 Game 54

Pittsburgh Penguins (30-19-4, 64 points) at Montreal Canadiens (20-24-9, 49 points)

Would he look good in black and gold?  Sure, but there's no way he's coming back - who would you sit?

Why does it matter?

The Pens need to bounce back from their disappointing performance against the Devils.  The Habs are backed into a corner - they have to win now if they want to have any chance at the post season.  To this point, other than their penalty kill, they've been resoundingly just below mediocre.

What has been happening lately?
  • Pens - Remember that great feeling we all had for about 24 hours?  It was gone by the time the Pens finished their game against the Devils.
  • Canadiens - They did just shut out Winnipeg, but they had lost three in a row prior to that.
Questions to be answered
  • Who will step into the hole left by Tyler Kennedy?  Colin McDonald will likely take his spot in the lineup.  What does that do to the Shamrock Line?
  • Can the Pens get themselves going for this one after a poor effort on Sunday?  At least the Habs will let them have a bit more room to skate through the neutral zone.
  • Will anyone go after Subban after his cheap slew-foot last time?  I sure hope so.  Engelland needs to get a hold of him and not let him back down.
Keys to the game
  • Ramp up the shots.  The Pens, after putting on an offensive clinic for the month of January, are suddenly struggling to crack 30 shots in a game.  The Habs have allowed 23 or fewer in their past three.  The Pens need to get to their game.
  • Skate.  Dump the puck and pursue aggressively.  Make sure the high forward is back-checking hard.  Out work the Habs.
  • Support Fleury.  No more passes to a wide open guy in front of the net, like they allowed in the first two minutes of the game against the Devils.

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