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The Confluence

Penguins, Fleury Keep on Truckin’, shutout Sabres 1-0

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, even Red Wings fans.

My son and I will be headed to Pittsburgh Friday morning and at the CEC for Saturday’s matinee against the Flames.

Solid although unspectacular effort last night in Buffalo, where Sidney Crosby’s steal led to the game’s only goal by Pascal Dupuis.  Marc-Andre Fleury continued his hot play, stopping all 30 shots for the shutout.

Other stuff:

- Fleury sure is shutting a lot of people up lately.  I know I gave him lots of criticism as well, although I’ve never been on the “Trade Fleury” bandwagon.  Let’s be clear though, it’s not that the criticism was unwarranted.  Those soft goals weren’t mirages.  So is Fleury all the way back?  Realistically, Fleury will eventually slip back to his norm of being a good goalie.  Not “elite” by any means, but good enough to lead this team.  But it’s certainly nice to see Marc-Andre get on this roll.

- Speaking of shutting people up, where are those that were bloviating how bad a signing that Zbynek Michalek was?  Sure, he’s had his defensive “incidents”, such as falling down vs. the Rangers, leading to the game-winning goal in overtime.  But he’s more than compensated with his defensive play.  I believe this stat is accurate, since his return from his shoulder injury, the Penguins have killed 40 of 42 penalties.  He has 38 blocked shots, which is tied for the team lead with Paul Martin, although Martin has played in nine more games.  He’s quickly become that image of the 2009 Rob Scuderi that the Penguins were envisioning when they signed him.

- That Penguins’ PK unit is another that is on some kind of roll.  After another stellar performance in killing off all three penalties against the Sabres, they’re ranked 3rd in the league with an outstanding 89.5% kill rate.  What I’m really impressed with is their intensity and their work ethic when they’re on the PK.  Frankly, it’s almost a playoff intensity.  Players diving and blocking shots all over the place.  As I said, very impressive.

- And yes, the power play must be discussed.  Another terrible performance by the Pens’ PP units, going 0-for-4 against Buffalo.  They now have only a 14.6% success rate, “good” for 24th in the league.  It’s been discussed so much over the past couple of years, I’m out of new topics with these guys.

Pens back in action Friday afternoon vs. Ottawa.  Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins

Comments

Moq's avatar

Apart from the Carolina game we’ve been able to reduce goals against thanks to superb penalty killing, strong defence, and good goaltending. That’s necessary without a lethal power play, and reduces the pressure on our offence in general. An offence powered mainly by Crosby, which is my primary concern for the Penguins at the moment.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 11/25/10 at 06:54 PM ET

JMK's avatar

I’m speechless.  Almost 12 hours and not one Crosby bashing post.

Posted by JMK on 11/26/10 at 12:00 AM ET

Moq's avatar

Maybe it’s because a lot of winged animals were eaten yesterday.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 11/26/10 at 09:18 AM ET

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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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