The first thing that comes to mind after having watched the Pens get 41 shots on goal tonight is; what is going to happen when more of these many opportunities start going in the net? The Penguins are shooting the puck with great frequency. It just seems that the shots are not going in with as much frequency as everyone would like. It is just a matter of time before they start finishing opportunities more often.
Still, having outshot the Canadiens 41 to 21, one would think that the Pens had the game in hand. Not so much. This game went down to the very end before it was decided. In fact, Montreal was robbed of what should have been their third (and tying) goal when the referee blew a quick whistle during a scrum in front of Fluery. The Puck was clearly loose. The Pens got a huge break on that bad call.
It was great to see Goligoski back in the line up. He should really help the Pens to start hitting on all cylinders. Soon Kunitz will be back and Pittsburgh will have it’s full complement of players back on the ice. They have done well during the injury plagued period of time. Kudos to the guys who filled in and picked up to keep things on track while we had so many players out of the lineup. Special acknowledgement to Martin Skoula. He was instrumental in keeping the ship on course.
It is hard to stop talking about the powerplay. It is abysmal. I think the coaching staff should throw away any notes and plans that they currently have. This thing needs to be completely redesigned. The PP went 0 for 5 tonight. There is no excuse for having such an anemic powerplay with the talent they have on the ice. At this point, shouldn’t the coaches be willing to try something completely different. Why have we not seen Rupp on the PP at all, for example. It seems to me that he could be a strong presence in front of opposing goalies. Maybe a guy like Tyler Kennedy should be given a chance on the first unit. Maybe things will get better now that Goligoski is back. As Krundle mentioned in a post; why not move Malkin back to the point. It seems crazy to have both Malkin and Crosby working the side boards. I am not sure what, exactly, needs to happen. I do know that something must change.
- Did anybody else notice that Malkin has been real hesitant to take big shots since his return? I know he did take a couple of slappers tonight, but overall he has not been taking those big slapshots. I would have to think that maybe he is still hurting.
- During the broadcast, it was mentioned that the Pens lead the league in hitting. That’s impressive!
Here is looking forward to seeing it all come together for the Pens in the near future: possibly against the Flyers.