You folks have no idea how many variations of negativity I was planning on putting in the title of this post.
The Red Wings’ stifling forecheck, their transition game, expertly having bodies in front of the net, having the Penguins on their heels, it looked lousy for the Pens for a lot of this game.
But Jordan Staal led a furious Penguins’ comeback with his 2nd career hat trick and caused the turnover that resulted in the game-winning goal in overtime by Ruslan Fedotenko, giving the Penguins an improbable 7-6 win over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Penguins at Red Wings, 7PM ET, Joe Louis Arena
Penguins, 8-4-2, 18 pts., T-5th in Eastern Conference
Red Wings, 9-2-2, 20 pts, 2nd in Western Conference
And let the hype machine begin.
Tuesday night at the Joe, the Penguins will return to Detroit for the first time since June’s Stanley Cup Finals, which of course the Red Wings won in six games.
A lot will be made of the matchup by the MSHM, it’s the en vogue story, especially with The Marian Hossa Story thrown in there for good measure.
But the Penguins should do themselves a favor; Forget about comparisons to the Wings, you’ve got more important things to worry about.
Someone keeps forgetting to tell the Penguins that they’re supposed to be playing better against the lesser teams in the league.
Nine days after the Penguins looked horrendous on their recent road trip at Phoenix, it looked like it would be a similar result tonight on Long Island against the Islanders.
However, Tyler Kennedy’s tip of an Alex Goligoski slapper from the right point sailed past Isles’ goalie Joey Macdonald for the tying goal late in the third period, and the Penguins eventually prevailed in the shootout over the Islanders, 4-3.
Penguins at Islanders, 7PM ET, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Penguins, 7-4-2, 16 pts., 7th in Eastern Conference
Islanders, 4-8-1, 9 pts, 15th in Eastern Conference
Sidney Crosby sat out the Penguins’ practice today and is questionable for their game on Long Island tomorrow night because of an undisclosed injury.
Well, um, they won.
That’s the important thing, isn’t it ??
To borrow a phrase from the late great Pirates’ announcer Bob Prince, the Penguins came within a knat’s eyelash of blowing a 5-goal lead within the last 21 minutes of the game but hung on for dear life to barely defeat the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 at the Igloo.
Oilers at Penguins, 7PM ET, Mellon Arena.
Oilers, 6-5-1, 13 pts., 9th in Western Conference
Penguins, 6-4-2, 14 pts., 7th in Eastern Conference
Way back during the 2006-2007 NHL season, Pittsburgh Penguins fans certainly had visions of offensive domination for years to come.
Sidney Crosby had 36 goals and 120 points, plus the Hart, Art Ross and Pearson trophies. Evgeni Malkin had 33 goals and 85 points, quickly establishing him as one of the league’s most feared snipers.
And then there was Jordan Staal. He burst on the scene in impressive fashion, scoring his NHL first goal short-handed in Madison Square Garden. He ended up scoring seven of his 29 goals short-handed, tying the NHL rookie record and led the NHL in that category. He also led the NHL in shooting percentage with 22.1%.
I’m here to help.
So we’re 12 games into the Penguins’ annual mediocre start of their season. Fans have been talked out of jumping off the Roberto Clemente bridge (slight exaggeration). Wild rumors are circulating about Mario Lemieux, once again, being in the best shape of his life (OK, I made that one up too).
That said, there are some valid criticisms that deserve to be leveled towards this incarnation of the Penguins. Maybe it’s in the Pittsburgh water, but the Penguins do a great impression of Adam LaRoche, who always seem to take the first couple months of the season off.
So without further ado (in a somewhat half-assed order):
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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