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Penguins Show Heart – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Show Heart

I don’t know about you. But when Logan Couture misfired on his shootout attempt to clinch a win for the Penguins on Sunday, I stood and cheered. After all, victories have been hard to come by. So have heart-and-soul efforts.

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That’s precisely what we got against San Jose. Forced to skate with only five defensemen due to cap constraints and injuries to Kris Letang and Christian Ehrhoff, the Pens produced one of their grittiest efforts of the season. One that may mark a turning point in the team’s fortunes.

It was great to see our boys snatch the lead on a pair of first-period goals by Patric Hornqvist and Chris Kunitz. It was especially great to see “Kuny” snap a 14-game goalless streak. But when the Sharks knotted the score on second-period tallies by Ben Smith and Couture, I thought, “Uh oh, here we go again.”

With visions of another come-from-in-front loss (a la St. Louis) dancing in my head, I watched the third period with trepidation. Then came overtime and Hornqvist’s disastrous double-minor. With 3:49 of power-play time, surely the high-powered Sharks would cash in.

Or as Penguins coach Mike Johnston put it, “We had an awfully long penalty kill against a very good team.”

Remarkably, the penalty-killers rose to the occasion. In spades. Marc-Andre Fleury, with a little help from friends Craig Adams, Maxim Lapierre, Paul Martin, Rob Scuderi, Brandon Sutter, and Daniel Winnik, stymied the potent San Jose power play.

“It’s amazing to see the character that the guys showed,” David Perron said. “We fed off of it in the shootout.”

Indeed, Perron and Sidney Crosby seemed to reach back for something extra as they zipped pucks past Sharks goalie Alex Stalock.

For a black-and-gold squad that’s struggled to find its groove—not to mention an identity—the supernatural penalty kill may have provided something even more important.

A reason to believe.

*Be sure to check out Rick Buker’s books,
 
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3 Comments

  1. Pen's 4ever's Gravatar Pen's 4ever
    April 3, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Really?? Every time the Pen’s win, the Pitt media have them back on the pedastall. Then a BIG game against the Flyers and they all looked asleep and unineterested in playing a playoff type game.
    It was very painful to watch, and now with a couple of hard games this weekend and some wins from the teams below us, we could be getting close to be looking on the outside of the dance.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 3, 2015 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Hey Pen’s 4ever,

      I thought the Penguins showed a lot of heart against San Jose. I’ve been so critical lately, I wanted to give some credit where credit was due.

      And, yes, there is the die-hard Pens fan in me who hopes that…somehow, someway…they might turn things around for the playoffs. Then they serve up a stinker like they did Wednesday night.

      I know they’ve been up against it with Malkin and Letang out and only five healthy d-men. But they need to give a lot better effort than they did against Philly (and Carolina last week). It’s almost unfathomable for a team to play that poorly…especially with a playoff berth on the line.

      Speaking of the postseason, if Geno doesn’t come back…pronto…we very well may wind up on the outside looking in.

      • Jim's Gravatar Jim
        April 3, 2015 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        Hey Rick,
        Columbus is no push over. They had 37 shots against the Islanders and 15+ more shots blocked the stats showed.They are 10 wins,1 tie and 1 loss in their past 12 games.They are playing really well.Since last year’s play offs,the Bluejackets have no fear of the Pens. Even with Malkin and Letang in the line up. Then we get the Flyers again, 24 hours later. It will take a miracle for this team to beat them now. We were outclassed in every aspect of the game last week.
        So then we go to Ottawa. Their rookie goalie they called up from the AHL a few month’s ago NOW has a 16 and 1 record in the NHL.Their defense anchored by Erik Karleson is peaking at the right time.
        This is a different Ottawa team. It won’t be easy to beat them.
        Then we get the Islanders. Anything can happen in a one game series,but UNLESS MAF is the first star of the game,…we are sunk !
        They have our number as well. They too do not fear the Pens any more. You can not blame the coach…He can only work with the players he has and we are simply not a STANLEY CUP caliber team. If we make the playoffs, it will be as the number 2 seed in the Wild Card system.( Hard to imagine).
        We get the Rangers and it is over in 5 games.
        Fans still believe we are an ELITE NHL team. Were not !!
        If we do not make the play offs, then just maybe people will start to believe that the CORE of this team has to be broken up and go back to drafting properly and developing our own players in the minors and stop trying for the quick fix.
        In an interview, former Islander all star defense man Denis Potvin said that he felt the ownership / management of his era Islanders failed to trade veteran players when they should have and as a result got very little in return in the way of draft picks and younger talent.This led to their demise. Loyalty is one thing, but Hockey is a business and you need to trade players when their values are at their peak, not when they are 35 years old . I see the same thing today here in Pittsburgh. Lots of old players who were once great, but are now reaching the end of their careers.Can they still play in the NHL..yes but not on an elite level that one needs to win the CUP.
        Something will have to change !

        Another rant.


            

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