Even though the road trip wasn’t a total success, at least it ended on a positive note. They needed to acquire a minimum of five points on the trip and that is exactly what they did. After one of their worst performances of the year in New Jersey, they played maybe their most complete game of the year in Boston. Fleury got his first shutout, becoming the 49th goalie in the NHL this year to earn one (29 goalies have two or more shutouts). The Penguins became the 30th and last team to register their shutout. Now the Penguins are looking at seven of their last eleven games at home. The road games are next week at Detroit and Washington, and the final weekend of the season at Atlanta and the New York Islanders. The first two are playoff warmups, the last two are against teams whose playoff hopes should be gone by then. This schedule should afford the Penguins the opportunity for a strong finish and a great deal of momentum going into the first round of the playoffs. The Pens should get 15 or 16 of these final 22 points, and that should be enough to win the Atlantic Division and the second seed in the East. That’s the view from E-11.
Note — The Boston media gets the award for having the least class of any group of sports reporters ever. I suppose they should have expressed some anger toward Cooke, but a wanted poster and a bounty???? Wasn’t that already done in Slapshot?
Note — The New Jersey Devils have two hockey teams — one that plays against the Penguins and one that plays against the rest of the league. Or maybe it’s the Penguins that have two teams — one that plays against the Devils and one that plays against everyone else.
Note — Strange that Goddard was all of a sudden healthy to play against Boston — but was he really needed? Five shifts and three minutes 31 seconds at the expense of not dressing Talbot — I don’t see the value.
Note — There are no quotes from Steigy this week — his broadcasts annoyed me so much, I watched most of the last two games muted.