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Bruins/Penguins Game 1:  Not a Shocking Result

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.

Some observations:

  • 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 face chest 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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Comments

MoreShoot's avatar

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.

I didn’t really think the Pens tested Rask much at all. After two periods I think I was verbalizing something like “maybe shoot something more than two inches off the ice”

But I don’t think you should play down the “Bruins just took advantage of their chances” line. That’s something any team has to do and the Bruins seem to do better than most.  Pens are gonna want some dirty goals in close and it ain’t gonna be easy if the Bruins can slow down their entries and hold fort in the slot.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/02/13 at 12:22 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

I found it funny that one of the NBC dopes, I think it was Milbury, said Iggy was brought into Pittsburgh to help quell situations like yesterday when the pens were attempting to goon it up. I guess Mike never watch any of the series where the Flames would constantly goon it up against Detroit when they were down in the game or series with Iggy leading the way.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 06/02/13 at 12:46 PM ET

Avatar

I was pretty pleased with the first two periods for the most part, Tony.  Actually got to go to the game live, which was an awesome experience other than the result.  Both teams looked rusty, which is to be expected.  Passes were a couple inches off, lots of guys fanning on shots, but Rask did play well.  He made the saves he had to.  Other than the Krecji line for the Bruins, none of their other lines had many chances.  Lucic was none existent for the most part.

Can’t believe people want Fleury in, and I’ve always been a huge supporter of his.  Vokoun was fine.  Couple breakdowns and bounces and it’s a different game.  In the end, Rask will have to take 4 of 7.  Not saying he can’t do it, but we’ll see.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 06/02/13 at 03:11 PM ET

calquake's avatar

Was it a penalty?  Absolutely.  Did it warrant a major and a game misconduct?  That’s arguable.

Cooke has now entered the rarefied atmosphere that Tomas Holmstrom once occupied.  Once in that area you will get all kinds of “reputation” calls which may or may not be warranted.  Live with it, there’s nothing you can do aboot it.  Still I’d rather have penalties assessed against my team than goals waived off.

Posted by calquake on 06/02/13 at 03:17 PM ET

Tony's avatar

PFIB,
    Listen to HCDB’s comments and see if it sounds like MAF will be back for Game 2…. Starting around 2:50…..

http://downloads.penguins.nhl.com/audio/130602Bylsma.mp3

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 06/02/13 at 03:21 PM ET

Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit's avatar

I found it funny that one of the NBC dopes, I think it was Milbury, said Iggy was brought into Pittsburgh to help quell situations like yesterday when the pens were attempting to goon it up. I guess Mike never watch any of the series where the Flames would constantly goon it up against Detroit when they were down in the game or series with Iggy leading the way.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 06/02/13 at 01:46 PM ET

He said Iggy and Morrow were brought in to lead and keep the goonery to a minimum, which I find amusing since it is up to their Captain to be their leader. Crosby was defiantly doing some ill advised taunting of Chara.

Crosby is very lucky Chara didn’t put the hurt to him. Yet.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Kate from Pa.-made in Detroit on 06/02/13 at 04:43 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Crosby is very lucky Chara didn’t put the hurt to him. Yet.

Chara realizes he can’t wreck the FOTG and so does Syd, which is why Syd was so bold.

Posted by MoreShoot on 06/02/13 at 05:30 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 06/02/13 at 04:21 PM ET

Sounds like Vokoun.  Fine with that.  He wasn’t an issue last night.  I’m just shocked that I heard that last night and from others around message boards last night and today.  Vokoun has played well enough that he deserves another chance even on an of night, and I don’t think last night was an off night.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 06/02/13 at 06:09 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

It seems that the Penguins have this shocking lack of leadership and mental toughness, even after acquiring Morrow and Iginla. Crosby, et al still don’t understand that it’s more effective to lead with class and steadiness, not reactionary, adolescent garbage.

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 06/03/13 at 01:57 AM ET

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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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