Heading into last night’s game against the Hurricanes, Sidney Crosby held the playoff scoring lead by one point over teammate Evgeni Malkin. Crosby had his sixth first goal of a game (tying an NHL record) and added an assist. The two points were not enough to retain the scoring lead, as Malkin had three goals and an assist to take over the top spot. All three goals coming from within five feet of the net. Just like the early 90′s, Pens fans are once again blessed with being able to watch two of the best players in the world. When either one of them puts their mind to it, they are virtually unstoppable. And ‘put their mind to it’ is what they have done so far. Also, just like the early 90′s, the supporting cast has done plenty to put the Pens in their current position. Name any facet of a team that can win a Cup, and the Pens have shown it all. Goals by defensemen, goals by fringe players, solid checking, quality penalty killing, timely powerplay goals, clutch goaltending, and of course, the Superstars leading the way. We have heard plenty about the resiliency of the Hurricanes and Saturday night we will find out more about it. Even if they can win both home games, that would still leave them a best of three series, with the Pens having home ice advantage. The Penguins overcame that deficit against the Capitals. I don’t see Carolina doing that to the Penguins. The Penguins have enjoyed the challenge of winning on the road and will continue to do so. At the least, a split is in the cards in Raleigh. The Pens will be a little closer to the Stanley Cup. That’s the view from E-11.
Note: The stunt Bayda pulled at the end of the game is like throwing in the towel.
Note: I’m tired of hearing how resilient Carolina is. The Penguins have six ‘come-from-behind’ wins — the most in the NHL.
Note: Penguins are 10-5, Carolina is 8-8.