by Tony on 04/21/11 at 09:45 AM ET
It has been almost painful watching James Neal do literally everything except score goals for the Penguins.
After last night, it’s all good James.
Neal’s wrister from the right boards, from a bad angle, got past Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson at 3:38 of the second overtime to give the Pens a 3-2 win and a 3-1 series edge. The Penguins can eliminate the Bolts Saturday afternoon back in the ‘Burgh.
- Brooks Orpik on Neal after the game: “What he’s endured the last 48, 72 hours….. A lot of guys wouldn’t be playing”. Pure speculation on my part, but could very well be that the hand/wrist injury Neal suffered late in the regular season is fairly significant.
- Marc-Andre Fleury just keeps on keeping on, doesn’t he? Only giving up goals on a fantastic play by Martin St. Louis and a mad scramble around the net in the closing minutes of regulation, MAF continues to make life very difficult for the opposition.
- Said I won’t speculate on Crosby, but with the Penguins one step away from Round 2, it’s going to be interesting to see if Sid continues with his no-contact status for much longer.
- Stat O’ the night: Jordan Staal won 82% of his offensive zone faceoffs, including the faceoff that led to Neal’s game-winner.
- I’m so damn confused by the headshot policy. Immediately after Max Talbot gets hit in the head and into the boards, a handful of NHL commentator “experts” proclaim so confidently “that’s a clean hit”. How in the f@#k can a shot to the head be “clean” nowadays? What has happened to getting headshots out of the game?
- Speaking of that issue, and after the multitude of relatively-light disciplines handed down by the NHL recently, should be fun to watch Matt Cooke finally get unchained. To a certain extent, of course.
- How many damn times will the Penguins get called for goalie interference after they’ve been clearly been cross-checked into him?
- 40:32 of ice time for Orpik. Good thing the Penguins have the day off Thursday.
- Another good sign: Eric Tangradi fills in for Chris Kunitz, and leads the team in hits with 5.
- Great showing by Penguins fans in Tampa last night. Some were estimating Pens fans outnumbered Tampa fans 60/40. Not sure about that, but great to see for Pens fans, and woeful for Lightning fans.
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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.
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