Five home games into the 2010 playoffs and the Pens are 2-3 against inferior opponents. Hopefully this is a trend that will not continue. It took three wins in Ottawa to advance to the 2nd round. In order to advance to the conference finals, the Pens will now have to continue their excellent road play. In order to keep the series rom going the full seven games, they will have to win at least twice at the Bell Centre. In order to win the series at all they will have to win once there. It didn’t have to be that way.
The Penguins did not use the same approach to game 2 as they used in game 1. The best way to beat the Canadiens is to hit their defensemen every time they touch the puck. They accomplished this in game 1. Not as much in game 2.
If you allow the Canadiens to build a box around Halak it is very difficult to score. The shots get blocked. When the puck does get through to Halak, and there is a rebound. There will be more Canadiens than Penguins in front of the net . This makes it tough to get second chance opportunities.
When you make their D retrieve the puck behind the net, they can’t build as big of a box. Knock the defenseman off of the puck. get people to the net, and the chance of scoring a goal increases.
The strategy for game 3 is simple. Hammer the Montreal defense. Don’t turnover the puck. Don’t take stupid penalties. The Pens know these things. I think that they will do them.
That’s the view from e-11.
Note. I wonder if the Pens have ever won a game when 87 was scoreless and a minus 2. Someone else needs to step up on that rare occasion that Crosby does not have his A game.
Note. I don’t care who centers the 3rd line. Talbot must play with Malkin. If those two play together and click like they have in the past. It won’t matter who centers the 3rd line.
Note. I am not blaming Fleury for the loss. Somehow he has to get his save % above 90.
Note. As usual the officiating has been inconsistent around the league. A player gets pushed into the goalie and gets called for interference. Many dives have been called. The worst dive of the playoffs wasn’t called when Orpik touched Camellerri. That penalty led to the game winning goal. Too often the refs don’t see the whole play and they make a call any way.