Apparently there’s a bigger difference between 4th (or 5th if the Rangers win) and 10th than I thought. The Pens looked for the most part dead on their feet while the Habs routinely stole the puck off of them and made poor Fleury’s night miserable. For the first time in… a looong time, the Habs looked like a team. And they looked like a team who cared (’bout time!).
Mind you, things bad when the Pens scored first when there was a pileup in front of Price after a mere two or three minutes of play. Easy to score when the goalie has a million people on him, yes? The Pens lead wasn’t to last as Fleury wasn’t paying attention around him and he came out of the net to clear the puck only to have it stolen by Sergei who passed it back and there went Hamlrik to put it into the net. Oopsies. Second period showed just how bad the Pens PK was as they turned the puck over at the blue line which enabled Higgy to steal it and thanks to some nice manoeuvring by Koivu behind him to ensure the Pen’s defenseman couldn’t do anything, he put the puck past Fleury who was getting cranky now. Lapierre would add another goal a few minutes later when Pacioretty battled for the puck and put it in front of the net. Habs slowed down a little bit in the third and Malkin scored on the Pens PP making it close again. Thankfully the Pens then proceeded to score on themselves late in the third to help the Habs win. It was sort of a sad goal because Fleury looked to be stopping the puck with his stick but then Andrei Kostitsyn attempted to get his stick in there but replays seemed to show it was Caputi who pushed it in. Oh well…..
For the first time in… a looong time, the Habs looked like a team. And they looked like a team who cared (’bout time!). Wait… Didn’t I just say that before? Well, I just said it again. I’m still torn on whether the Habs were playing that well tonight or if the Pens were really that awful. I think it’s probably somewhere in between. In all fairness the Pens did generate some offense. And the Habs did make some silly errors that could have cost them badly. But they didn’t mainly because the Pens couldn’t do anything about it. A good team shouldn’t be allowing the opposition steal the puck off of them routinely like the Pens were allowing the Habs to do. I was going to add that a good team shouldn’t get scored on when they are on the powerplay but umm, the Caps allowed a shorthanded one tonight against the Devils and they still won so… go figure. Oh well. I liked the effort by the Habs and regardless of whether you think that all the credit should go the Pens because they were awful, the Habs needed this win. And I’m hoping that they can build on this and get back to some serious winning again.
The good if you are the Habs
- I looooved Higgy’s goal. Bonus points to Koivu for the help on that
- Lapierre’s goal was nice too
- heck, everyone’s goals were nice *g*
- effort was great. Best effort I’ve seen since…. well…… a long time
- the good side of Kovalev came out today and while he didn’t score, he looked like the guy who we all like
- O’Byrne didn’t look anything like the guy who made the ultimate mistake by scoring on his own net (okay so there was a wee bit of a mistake before the Pens scored first but whaetever). He looked good.
- no more ugly stripes… then again… I was kind of thinking that they did look kind of not so bad afterall…. I think I got hypnotized by them…. pretty stripes…. Okay fine….. They didn’t look wonderful but I bet you that they’d look great on a scarf…. Hmm….. could make up for the AllStar game one that I didn’t buy ’cause they were sold out……. hmm….. yes…. striiiiiiiiipes…..I should get myself down to the Bell Center…… striiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipeeeeeeees.
The good if you are the Pens
- Malkin scored. On the PP too.
- Game is over. Time to do some serious soul searching.
The bad if you’re the Habs
- I didn’t like all the penalties. Washington got their first two goals in their last two games on their first two PPs. If you play a team that has a good PP like that, you’re sunk if you take that many penalties. Thankfully the Pens PP stunk.
- And I didn’t like that they couldn’t capitalize on the PP. Granted they weren’t given many chances but still….. YOU NEED TO SCORE ON THE PP
- letting the Pens score twice. Bad Habs! You feel asleep and let them score. But hey, it’s hockey. Someone’s going to score at some point….I didn’t like Malkin’s goal though….
the bad if you’re the Pens
- powerplay. Not only could they not score, they got scored on. That was a completely preventable goal and I think it was Letang who messed that one up at the blueline. That’s not cool if you’re the Pens (absolutely fantastic if you’re a Hab though *g*).
- turn overs (great if you’re a Hab)
- inability to control the puck (great if you’re a Hab)
- being too protective of the Puffy Blue Penguin. C’mon… Malkin was the one who was getting beat up more than Crosby was….(yeah, like what was the deal there? The Habs hardly touched Mr. Puffy but when they did BOOM)
- scoring on themselves (great if you’re a Hab)
- defense (mad things easy for the Habs)
- offense was pretty dead for a lot of the time too (great news for the Habs defense)
- Fleury could have used a little more help (poor Habs couldn’t score more)
- Fleury should have been paying more attention when he was trying to clear the puck (ah yes, but instead Sergei gets to look good again)