Apparently, the Penguins needed some kind of an emotional event to allow them to play hockey better. Maybe they were just not emotionally invested in game 1. Is that the reason for the lackluster play? The Pens got emotionally invested in game 2. The Sutton hit on Jordan Leopold sparked that emotional aspect of the game.
The Pens, who already seemed to be attempting to pick up the physical play in game 2, took it to a new level as the game progressed. Sutton’s hit on Leopold propelled the Penguins physicality. Still upset about the Sutton hit, Max Talbot took it upon himself to instigate a fight after the first period had just ended. Max was determined to fight someone. After prodding Zack Smith repeatedly, he found a willing combatant. Max’s fight seemed to get his team fired up for the second period.
Though I hate to see Leopold getting hurt, I am glad that maybe the Pens found a reason to “hate” the Senators. Maybe now, we will see that next level of play we all have been waiting for.
- I gotta say, Kris Letang has taken a lot of heat for his inability to hit the net. (deservedly so) He couldn’t have found a better time to acutually hit the net. For me, he has a new slate. Let’s hope he can find the net with more frequency as these playoffs progress.
- Brooks Orpik didn’t seem to have trouble finding his emotional game. From the beginning of the game he was a wrecking machine. He led the team with 9 hits, but it was more than that. He was looking to plant people in the third row with his hits.
- I have said this before, but it was a big problem last night; the Pens, as a team, have to get better at shooting. They missed the net on countless opportunities, there were at least five attempted shots that players fanned on and when they do hit the net, it is right at the goalie. The good news coming from this is that they generated a lot more opportunities last night.
- Crosby……what can you say? A big goal to tie the game up, a game saving defensive play to knock away a puck that was going into the Pens net and strong play everywhere in between.
- Fleury, Fleury, Fleury! That was not the way to start the game. That is the kind of goal that can just kill the morale of a whole team. Kudos to the Pens for not letting that get them down. Kudos to the team for protecting their goaltender for the rest of the game and kudos to Fleury for standing tall the rest of the game and not allowing another goal.
Keep the momentum going, boys!