The Montreal Canadiens have forced a Game Seven. You have to give them credit. Once they got behind, facing elimination, they played their best hockey of the series. The Penguins were not able to create the same level of desperation. As Steigy once said, “You can’t play with desperation unless you’re desperate.” Now both teams will be playing with equal fear of elimination. This time the loser goes home.
For most of this series, the Canadiens have played exactly the way that they wanted to. Even with that being the case, the Penguins have dominated large portions of games. The reason that there is a Game Seven is that the Canadiens have capitalized on a higher percentage of their scoring opportunities. Fleury has not been at his best in the losses. He is not to be held solely responsible for them. Turnovers, defensive zone coverages, and the inability to clear the puck from their zone are all reasons for the goals against. Not scoring as many goals as they could have is not all because of the play of Halak. Some of these scoring chances have to be turned into shots that he has no chance of stopping. We have heard this call many times after a goal has been scored — “The goalie had no way of stopping that shot.” What does any of this mean as far as deciding who will win this series? It means that if both teams play their best, and the best team wins, the Penguins will move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s the view from E-11.
Note — Fleury has always been at his best after a loss. Here’s hoping he is again.
Note — Crosby is the best big game player in the league. Here’s hoping he is-in this game.
Note — It might not be a bad idea to dress seven defensemen — Gologoski for offensive situations and McKee for defensive situations. Tyler Kennedy could be removed from the lineup. He has done as much nothing as Poni and Feds. This also means that Malkin, Staal, and Crosby can take turns centering the fourth line, making it even more effective.