The Penguins are becoming the best closer of series on the road that the NHL has ever seen. Tonight the Pens have a chance to close out the series against the Canadiens once and for all and once again on the road. Don’t count the game as won just yet though, Washington was up 3 games to one against the Habs in their last series and lost after the resilient Canadiens fought tooth and nail for three wins in a row.
How about a little respect for Marc-Andre Fleury. I have a friend I argue with back and forth about Fleury. He claims that the only way the Penguins can win a game is if they score 4 or more goals if Fleury is in net. While that should not be a tough feat for a team so skilled on offense, I wonder if my friend had a chance to catch the last two wins the Penguins had this series? The Penguins were out shot last game 33-25 and still won, by scoring only two goals. Fleury wins the big games and is the only goaltender left in the playoffs that has won the big one. So I say to my friend who plays D for Mahajibee, cut Fleury some slack!
Hal Gill was injured in the game on Saturday and is a game time decision for tonight’s game. He was injured when Kris Kunitz skate hit him in the leg, left the game and never came back. When questioned about how he felt for the game tonight he left the usual SS Hal Gill over detailed answer “I feel good.” If he doesn’t play, the Habs will most likely be filling in his roster spot with defenseman Jaroslav Spacek. I think Gill could skate just as fast on one leg as he does on two.
The only difference in tonight’s lineup versus Saturdays lineup is Dupuis and Guerin being changing lines:
On Saturday night the Penguins benched Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko together for the first time in this seasons playoffs and the media and everyone else gave the Penguins rave reviews for having their most complete game yet. While I believe that Ponikarovsky’s problem is that he doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body, Fedotenko has the opposite problem, he is very competitive, yet his skill level this year is just not there.
Speaking of Fedotenko, the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff roster contains three out of the only four players still playing in the NHL that have gotten the game winning goal in a game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Fedotenko, Max Talbot and Mike Rupp who got one with New Jersey the year before Ruslan Fedotenko did it for Tampa Bay.
I’m tired of the whiny little Canadiens’ fans complaining about the officiating and I’m also tired of watching the fans at Centre Bell throw their arms up all night wondering why the refs didn’t call a penalty when their player took a dive. All you read in the whiny Montreal media is that the NHL is out to get them, they claimed it all through the Capitals series and now they are saying it all through this series. I have a headline for the French Canadian Habs fans, the NHL is not out to make you lose, you are just big whiners.
Only one game of the 5 games played so far were won by the team who had the most shots on goal, and that was the game Fleury had a shutout.
The big screen will not be showing the game outside Mellon Arena tonight and it is not NBC stopping it this time. The Mellon Arena will be hosting WWF Raw tonight and the test study they did on Saturday to see if the two groups could co-exist failed, the WWF crowd was stealing the chairs that the Pens fans brought and hitting people over the head with them.
My wife Krista wanted her picture wearing a PenguinPoop t-shirt on the Gameday Poop today, she managed to get a picture at the last game with Evgeni Malkin’s brother and dad who sit right in front of PenguinPoop writer Southside Shultzie. Somehow Shultzie managed to get his big head in one of the pictures also. Evgeni Malkin’s family is the most down to earth families of a superstar I’ve ever seen.
Also at the game on Saturday I spotted over 10 Canadiens’ fans wearing capes. I was unaware that capes were back in style.
A big Happy Birthday to PenguinPoop writer Reg Dunlop – I bet you can guess what his birthday wish is!
The whole 8th place Cinderella story was fun while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end. I have a feeling the Pens are going to shellak the Halak tonight. My prediction is Pens win 7-1.
Gametime is 7PM and can be seen in HD at Bell Centre or on FSN Pittsburgh. *Versus will have the game on nationally in the states and RDS & CBC will airing the game up in the great white north eh!