Category: Game Preview
Let me begin by repeating my wish to Commissioner Bettman: Get the Penguins and Capitals in the same division again. It’s a downright travesty that these two teams (and fanbases, while you’re BS’ing) who have a complete disdain for one another (I don’t like to use the word “hate”, but feel free if you’d prefer) don’t play each other more than four times a season.
But, as it’s currently scheduled, it is what it is. Tomorrow will be January 21st, approximately 50 games into the regular season, and only now will be the first meeting of the year between the two former Patrick Division rivals.
It’s the first time the two teams have faced each other since a 6-2 blowout at the Phone Booth on May 13th in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped a breakaway by Alex Ovechkin in the opening minutes, and the Pens didn’t look back.
From CBC’s Jim Hughson:
If the NHL realized what a big event it is when the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Vancouver, maybe they’d have them pass by more often than Halley’s comet. Then again, if the league is trying promote the event by creating a scarcity, they’ve done a brilliant job.
Since he was drafted in 2005, this is just the second time Sidney Crosby has toured western Canada and it’s the Penguins’ first visit as Stanley Cup champions. So Crosby will be the marquee player, but few are talking about the fact there are two Hart and Art Ross candidates in the game. Three if you include defending scoring champ, Evgeni Malkin. Henrik Sedin is leading the scoring race, having a much better season than Malkin, and is every bit as valuable to the Canucks as Sid is to the Penguins.
According to Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com, Pens captain Sidney Crosby will return to the lineup for tonight’s game vs. Carolina after missing Saturday night’s contest vs. Chicago with a sore groin.
According to Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will miss tonight’s game vs. Chicago with an apparent groin injury.
A Confluence tip of the hat to Ozman51 at Smilin’ Like a Butcher’s Dog for this great video.
LET’S GO PENS !!!!
Barring overtime (don’t know if I can take that, honestly), we’ll have a Stanley Cup champion this time tomorrow.
We’ve all read just about every Game 7 story known to man. Doesn’t matter if it’s hockey-related or not. Doesn’t matter if it was from someone who never wrote a hockey story before just now.
Just a very short note, with a few bullets on what could be the Penguins’ keys to the Cup:
For whatever reason, I read Damien Cox’s article in the Toronto Star this morning, and his opening phrase just hit the nail on the head in my mind:
“In shocking fashion, the champs have taken a standing eight-count.”
However, staying with the boxing analogies, while I certainly concur that the Penguins have knocked the Wings to the canvas in knotting the series up at two games apiece, I can’t help but wonder:
Are the Wings merely playing Rope-a-Dope ??
The first was Game Six vs. the Flyers in Philly with the Pens up 3-2. The Penguins did not want that series forced to a seventh game, even if it was at home. They won 5-3 and closed out the series in enemy territory.
Then came Game Three at the Igloo vs. Washington with the Caps up 2-0. The Pens won 3-2 in OT, won Game Four as well and eventually blew out the Caps in Game Seven, again in enemy territory.
The Canes’ series really didn’t have a pivotal game, maybe Game Three in Raleigh (but we all know they won solely because of my playoff beard in attendance).
Tonight’s Game Four is the latest Game of the Year for the Pens. Win tonight, unlike last year, and all bets are off, we’ve got a series. Lose, like last year, and for all intents and purposes, it’s over.
Sorry for the lack of a recap. Another doubleheader, this time of the twi-night version. By the way, is there anything that pisses you off more than someone telling you the score of a game you’re TIVO’ing ??
Anyway, the Stanley Cup Finals are starting to really confuse the hell out of me. Arguably, the Pens outplay the Wings in at least one, possibly both games in Detroit, but end up losing both. Then they head dahn to the Igloo, watch the Wings outplay the Penguins in Game Three, but the Wings lose.
That aside, the Penguins’ 4-2 win over the Wings in Game Three, of the “must win” variety obviously, is all fine and dandy. But if the Penguins don’t not only match,
their performance in Game Four, they most likely will not escape it with a win, and thus, be in a hole they most likely will not be able to overcome.
Some other random musings:
As I speculated in Game Two’s recap, it’s looking like Penguins’ defenseman Kris Letang will be scratched tonight in favor of veteran Philippe Boucher. Boucher was practicing today on the left point of the first powerplay unit. Letang has looked awful shaky when the Wings’ forecheckers are bearing down on him.
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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