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The Confluence

Off Day Notes:  What a weird series this is turning into…

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,

but exceed

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:

- The more I watch him, the more I’m convinced that Mike Babcock is the NHL’s version of Phil Jackson.  And I mean that as a compliment.  The only thing that is missing from his oh-so-subtle way he conveys how the Wings are not getting the calls is a wink of the eye.

- Sure was a good thing that Kris Letang wasn’t a scratch last night after all, eh ??  I think even Chris Osgood would agree that Letang’s slapper was of the soft variety, especially going short-side, but it was good to see him get on the scoreboard, at a crucial time nonetheless.

- Outside of the game itself, the crowd was roaring when Le Magnifique strode to center ice to drop the ceremonial first puck last night.

- Marc-Andre Fleury was solid, if not unspectacular, in goal last night.  Both goals Fleury gave up were not soft at all, although unfortunately for the Pens Franzen’s goal came after an unlucky deflection right to his stick.  It was exactly the performance that the Penguins needed from Fleury.  Don’t give up any soft goals, stop the basic shots, and give your teammates a chance to win the game.

- Big hitting night for the Pens.  36 hits total, led by Chris Kunitz, who was credited with 11.  Brooks Orpik was only credited with 5, but it sure looked like he had about 10.

- Sidney Crosby has not been lighting the lamp just yet, but he’s drastically improved in his faceoffs as the series has gone on.  Last night he was 12 for 19.

- Speaking of Sid, perhaps if he doesn’t continue to attempt to force passes to his wingers, as he did early in the game to Bill Guerin and again late in the game to Kunitz, he’d have at least one or two goals by now.

- 18 blocked shots for the Pens, including a big one from Evgeni Malkin preserving the one-goal lead late in the game.  That’s compared to only 5 for the Wings.

- Malkin just keeps on chugging along, now with 33 playoff points.  I also really like the chemistry that he and Ruslan Fedotenko have gotten.  They’re really blending well together on the ice, along with Max Talbot, who had a huge game last night.

It’s eerily similar to last year, where the Pens won Game Three also.  The Penguins need to make this year different though.  They need to maintain the intensity that they exhibited in Game Three to ensure they come away with another win in Game Four.

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  Tags: detroit+red+wings, nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins


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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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