by Tony on 06/02/13 at 11:51 AM ET
Pretty damn entertaining hockey game, I must say.
The Penguins 3-0 loss to the Bruins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals wasn't due to their opponent outhustling and/or outworking them.
It was just a good old-fashioned, hard-fought game that saw the Bruins capitalize on their chances, while the Penguins simply could not do the same.
Sure, you can nit-pick numerous individual scenarios that may have contributed to the overall tone of the game, but like I said, for the most part, it was merely the Bruins taking advantage of what was presented to them. Good road win for the Bruins, give them credit.
You just know that the Bruins were giggling their collective arses off in the 2nd intermission after the Penguins' seemingly annual display of frustration boiling over in the playoffs. This time, Evgeni Malkin decides to drop the gloves with Patrice Bergeron, while Sidney Crosby decides to get in the
facechest of Zdeno Chara then Tuukka Rask. It was as if Scott Hartnell gave the Bruins a peptalk before the game. Oh sure, the fight did take the Bruins' best faceoff man off the ice for 5 minutes, but more importantly it also took a very lethal part of the Penguins' powerplay off the ice when the Pens have the man advantage heading into the 3rd period. Advantage - Bruins. How many years have to go by before the Penguins realize that the "get in your face" game is NOT how they win games?
- Tomas Vokoun wasn't razor sharp last night, but let's hold off talk about putting Marc-Andre Fleury back in there. Goal #1 deflected off Paul Martin's skate. Goal #2 rebounded high and was smartly banged in by Krejci. It also didn't help that Kris Letang tried to poke at the puck like it was a pinata. And on Goal #3 the Penguins defense left Horton left wide open. Just my .02, but I don't think that merits a switch in goal. That said, I also wouldn't be shocked if HCDB made the move, either.
- Rask certainly didn't "steal" this game for the Bruins. He did, however, make several quality stops in the 3rd period that may have changed momentum and gotten the CEC crowd back in the game. And let's be honest, he was the benefactor of 3 or 4 shots that clanged off the post, as well as a shot from Malkin that trickled through the crease.
- And finally, Matt Cooke. It's already been announced that Cooke will not receive further disciplinary action as a result of hit along the boards to the Bruins' Adam McQuaid. Was it a penalty? Absolutely. Did it warrant a major and a game misconduct? That's arguable. But let's look at this in McQuaid's point of view. There is no doubt that McQuaid looks back and sees Cooke coming for him. Repeating, he knows Cooke is coming, and he knows Cooke will not be getting any benefit of the doubt from the referees. So McQuaid, smartly, prepares himself for the hit, goes into the boards, and once again, smartly, goes down and stays down. So instead of a 2 minute boarding penatly, Cooke gets 5 and a game. McQuaid returns to the game at the 9:30 mark, missing 8 minutes of game action. Meanwhile, James Neal receives a similar type hit from Brad Marchand near the end of the 2nd period. Marchand only gets 2 minutes for boarding. That said, those penalties didn't decide the game.
The Penguins don't need to reinvent the wheel in order to bounce back in Game Two. Perhaps the rust has now been shaken off and some of those shots that have been clanging off the post and trickling though the crease will find their way into the net on Monday night.
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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.
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