It’s time for the Penguins to stop tap dancing around and start playing hockey. Hit Somebody, get to the front of the net, clear the front of your net, hit somebody again. Start playing hard nosed, down and dirty, gritty hockey like you know how or take up golf.
The Penguins as a team have dished out more hits than any other team this playoff season, an average of 36 hits a game. Last year the Penguins averaged 30 hits a game and last game the Penguins only had 20 hits registered. Detroit and Pittsburgh have been the top two teams in average hits per game in the playoffs the last two years, there is a reason both made it to the finals twice in a row. Let’s get back to old time hockey, put some foil on the knuckles if you have to.
I’m not going to sugar coat this any more. Ponikarovsky is a wuss. He down right is a horrible excuse for a hockey player. He was brought in as a big guy who could cause some traffic in front and he is afraid, chicken if you will, a weak link doesn’t fit in and is hurting the Penguins and Malkin’s production. Bylsma needs to give him one more chance today and say either get to the front of the net and cause traffic, stop playing like a 10 year old girl, take some hits for the team or bench him the way he did Satan and Sykora for being soft last year. There is a perfectly good Eric Tangradi in the wings that will pound people, get to the net and take a beating if needed, not like the pansy ass ballerina who’s wearing a Ponikarovsky jersey. Sorry, it had to be said.
Here is the lineup the Penguins practiced this morning.
The big glaring thing I notice right away is the lack of Ukrainian players in the roster. Will Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko be benched for tonights game? This is the lineup the Penguins need tonight to win.
Two men that know how to play hockey and do not own “European carry alls”, Mike Rupp and Billy Guerin practiced and are expected to be back in the lineup this evening.
The pairing of Leopold and Goligoski does not work, and it has never worked. I think it is great that they are both from Minnesota, but they both require a stay at home defenseman on their line. Goligoski and Mckee when paired together were by far the top defensive pairing on the team in plus/minus. Something to think about.
Marc-Andre Fleury needs to stop play every chance he gets. Fleury played his best goaltending the year Ty Conklin was here and he learned to stop and hold onto the puck every chance he got, this is very important for tonight’s game because the Penguins get the last say in who’s on the ice and can match up lines every single time play is stopped. It also allows more rest for the Penguins top stars which are way better than the Habs top stars.
The First two goals the Penguins got in game 4 were a direct result of the Canadiens diving. The rule of diving in the NHL is embellishing a hit to try to get a call. Look at the first two hits in the video below and check out the flailing of the arms in the first one and the great twist and flail in the second dive. I think Habs coach Martin noticed that referee Paul Devorski wasn’t going to call the dives and cancelled diving class the rest of the game.
The Montreal fans have been whining about the referee’s when every single play Hal Gill and his protégé Josh Gorges have been clutching and grabbing and interfering every shift. As a matter of fact, I’m very quickly losing respect for the fans of the Montreal hockey club who I once held in the highest regard. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, not one other team is close to that total, yet the fans of Montreal throw stuff on the ice, boo the guy who got the game winning Gold medal goal for their country and they all wave their arms like the robot from “Lost in Space” every time one of their players falls down. I’m giving you guys a tip, free of charge: Act like you’ve been there.
The big screen will be out tonight, it’s a white out, free rally towels and the “Tailgait on the Terrace” hasn’t been cancelled because of high winds yet. I’m recommending a thermos full of hot chocolate and your favorite whiskey if you sitting outside watching this one.
Gametime is 7PM and can be seen in regular HD outside the Igloo on the big screen or in super HD inside the Igloo. The game will be broadcast locally on Versus or CBC depending on what country you live in.