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Entries with the tag: montreal canadiens

The Day After:  Game Seven debacle highlights many questions for Penguins

As Paul teased me about last night on Twitter, my playoff beard was gone not five minutes after the final seconds had ticked off the old barn’s clock in the Penguins’ 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Canadiens.

It was arguably the worst performance in recent Penguins playoff history.  Forget about it being Game Seven and all, that just magnifies how the Pens stunk up the joint.

But it really was a microcosm of the Penguins season, when you think about it:  Poor goaltending, poor defensive positioning, poor power play, et cetera, et cetera.

So I’ve got about a zillion questions racing around my nimble brain, I’m still a little fried from last night.  In absolutely no particular order, I’m just wondering:

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Congratulations to the Canadiens

Kudos to the Habs after a fantastic Game Seven and series win over the Penguins.  Well-earned.

A post-mortem after a pathetic Penguins Game Seven effort will be posted in the next day or two.

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Penguins would be wise to heed Herb Brooks

Not very much on the line Wednesday night, eh boys?

Forget about everything that’s happened leading up to tomorrow night’s Game Seven between the Canadiens and Penguins.  Forget that the Pens have blown leads in all three of their losses.  Forget that Jaro Halak has continued his magical roll for a second straight playoff series, even though the Penguins have dominated play for the majority of the series.

All that is irrelevant now, it all boils down to one game.  One game which if the Penguins lose on their home ice at stately Civic/Mellon Arena will close it forever in stunning fashion.

So this morning, the spirit of Herb Brooks paid me a visit and reminded me of the speech he gave his USA team in the 2nd intermission of the 1980 Gold Medal game vs. Finland, which they were losing 2-1:

“If you lose this game you will take it with you to your f#$king graves.”
As he started to leave the locker room, he stopped, turned around and added, “Your f#$king graves.”

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Habs/Penguins Game Seven tickets on sale Tuesday at 2pm

From the Penguins:

The Penguins will host Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night at Mellon Arena.

Approximately 1,500 tickets for Game 7 will go on sale Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Fans are encouraged to order tickets online at http://www.ticketmaster.com Ticke.ts also will be available for purchase at the Mellon Arena Gate One Box Office, all Pittsburgh area Ticketmaster locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000.

For additional playoff information, please visit http://www.pittsburghpenguins.com

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Penguins lethal in series clinchers on road

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Kevin Gorman:

When it comes to closing out a playoff series with Dan Bylsma behind the bench, the Penguins have the Montreal Canadiens right where they want them in their Eastern Conference semifinal.  That would be on home ice.

The Penguins have won five playoff series under Bylsma, all by clinching on the road — at Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina and Detroit last year and Ottawa this spring - and he hopes to keep it that way.

Owning a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, the defending Stanley Cup champions can advance to a third consecutive conference final with a Game 6 victory over the Canadiens at 7 p.m. Monday at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

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Fleury outduels Halak to put Habs on the brink

Pittsburgh Penguins Fleury makes big save against Montreal Canadiens in NHL Eastern Conference semi-final hockey series in Montreal.

Marc-Andre Fleury can sometimes drive Penguins fans bonkers with his inconsistency.

For all of the relatively soft goals that Fleury is known to give up from time to time, he just as often stands on his head and performs among the top goaltenders in the NHL.  As an example, for as bad as he looked in last season’s 5-0 blowout in Game Five of the Cup Finals against Detroit, he was that much better during Game Six and Seven’s 2-1 victories to hoist the Cup.

The latter was the case in Saturday night’s Game Five at the Igloo as Fleury stopped 32 of 33 Canadiens’ shots, propelling the Penguins to a 3-2 series lead.

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No outdoor screen at Igloo for Monday’s Game Six

From the Penguins:

The outdoor screen in front of Mellon Arena will NOT be in operation Monday night, when the Penguins play at Montreal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Mellon Arena is hosting WWE’s “Raw” on Monday at 8:15 p.m., and the event is expected to draw a near-sellout crowd.

 

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No bonus points for dominating play for Penguins

The ice was shifted towards the Penguins’ offensive zone for the vast majority of Thursday night’s Game Four.

A steady and bruising forecheck.  Cycling the puck virtually at will at times.  Beating the Habs to loose pucks.

But unfortunately, this isn’t figure skating for the West German judge to give the Penguins a 9.8.  This is hockey.  More specifically, this is playoff hockey.  For as good as the Pens looked in the Habs’ zone, they’re for whatever reason failing at the most important part, that being of course scoring more goals than their opponent.

And because of that, we’re down to a best of three series, sports fans.

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Habs/Penguins Game Five tix on sale Tuesday at 10AM

From the Penguins:

The Penguins will host Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, May 8 at 7 p.m. at Mellon Arena.

Approximately 1,500 tickets for Game 5 will go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Fans are encouraged to order tickets online at http://www.ticketmaster.com Ticke.ts also will be available for purchase at the Mellon Arena Gate One Box Office, all Pittsburgh area Ticketmaster locations, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1.800.745.3000.

For additional playoff information, please visit http://www.pittsburghpenguins.com

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Malkin needs to come alive

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ron Cook:

“I know I’m not scoring,” Malkin said, meeting the question head on. “People are a little bit maybe mad ... “

Not yet, they aren’t.

Malkin gets more of a pass in this town than, say, Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who will spend today and Tuesday reading and hearing how he was thoroughly outplayed by Montreal goaltender Jaroslav Halak in the Canadiens’ 3-1 win in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Mellon Arena even though his teammates had a couple of bad breakdowns in front of him.

But it will get ugly for Malkin fairly quickly if his scoring drought continues.

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Perplexing Penguins hand home ice to Habs in Game Two loss

What a difference a game makes.

Less than 48 hours after a fairly dominating 6-3 win in Game One Friday night, the Penguins reverted to their cutesy past in Sunday’s matinee Game Two at the Igloo, and as a result dropped a 3-1 decision.

They were awarded 39 shots on goal, but easily could’ve had 50.  But they were also awarded nine giveaways, but probably could’ve been awarded at least fifteen.  Needless to say, it was a very frustrating game to watch.

Combine that with a strong bounce back performance from Jaroslav Halak, and all of a sudden instead of what looked to be a relatively easy series may now be a real barn-burner.

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Staal done for the year after tendon surgery, per RDS

UPDATE 10:58:  Per RDS via HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman tweet, Staal is done for the year after tendon surgery.


I always wonder whether Mike Yeo has ever read any of my criticisms of the Penguins’ power play.  I do know that some of the Penguins’ staff and players do read some of the Pens blogs, whether they read this one, aaah forget it.

So as one of Yeo’s more harsh critics, I have no recourse other than to tap my stick after a four-goal performance with the man advantage in the Penguins’ 6-3 win in Game One over the Canadiens.

It was arguably the most dominating the Penguins have been on the power play since the early 2000’s, when their 1st power play unit was Lemieux, Jagr, Lang, Kovalev and Straka.

But the win aside, both the Penguins and the Habs could be shuffling their lineups after potentially significant injuries to significant players.

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No big screen at the Igloo for Game Two

Here we go again.  From the Penguins:

Penguins fans will be able to watch Game 1 tonight and most of the remainder of the Penguins-Canadiens playoff series on the outdoor screen in front of Mellon Arena.

However, the Penguins are not permitted to show Game 2 on the outdoor screen Sunday afternoon in accordance with league broadcasting rights.

All other games of the best-of-seven series will be shown on the outdoor screen.

 

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Can the Canadiens keep this up against the Penguins?

We’ll soon find out, won’t we.

Can’t help but tap your stick to the Habs.  What an impressive all-around performance in their huge upset over the Capitals, from containing Alex Ovechkin, to once again exposing the defensive fraud that is Mike Green, to the incredible stonewalling from Jaroslav Halak.

But unfortunately for Montreal, they don’t award any bonus points for it.  For as impressive as they played against the Caps, they must do it all over again, and this time it’s against the Champs.

Let’s take a look at some of the key points (I’m a little rushed, excuse the brevity):

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Canadiens/Penguins TV Schedule

From the Penguins:

The Pittsburgh Penguins open their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday at 7 p.m. at Mellon Arena.

Game 2 will be a matinee tilt on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Mellon Arena.

The best-of-seven semifinal series then shifts to Montreal for Games 3 and 4 on Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. and Thursday May 6 at 7 p.m.

If necessary, Pittsburgh will also host Game 5 on Saturday, May 8 at 7 p.m. and Game 7 on Wednesday, May 12 with a time to be determined.

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Penguins pound Canadiens for third straight win, 3-1

The Penguins’ gameplan going into tonight’s 3-1 win over Montreal was pretty clear from the start:  Finish your checks.

I’d say they executed that plan very well, as the Pens were awarded with 45 hits on the Habs, playing on the 2nd night of back-to-back games after playing last night in Montreal vs. Columbus.

Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin and Sergei Gonchar scored for the Pens, while Max Pacioretty had the lone tally for the Habs.

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Crosby’s hat trick fuels Penguins over Habs, 6-1

I wonder what all those self-appointed “experts”, the ones who were asking what was “wrong” with Sidney Crosby this season, are saying now ?

Crosby scored his third career hat trick on the third anniversary of his first one in Philadelphia, while the Penguins had a dominating performance tonight in a 6-1 win over the Canadiens at the Igloo.

Chris Kunitz got off the schnide in a big way, with a goal and assisting on all three Crosby goals.

The Penguins are now 10-2 on the season.

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Two shortys lift Penguins over Habs 3-1:  Face Flyers in 1st round, home-ice TBD Sunday

Tonight’s 3-1 Penguins victory over the Canadiens in Montreal was certainly nothing like last year’s snoozefest finale in Philadelphia, where the Pens pretty much mailed it in. 

Max Talbot and Kris Letang both scored short-handed goals on the same penalty kill midway through the third period, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for the win.

Tonight’s win sealed a first-round playoff matchup with their busom buddies from Philadelphia.  The Penguins will now become Rangers fans, for just one day.  If the Rangers defeat the Flyers tomorrow in Philly in regulation, the Penguins will clinch 4th place in the Eastern Conference and home-ice advantage in the Flyers series.

Evgeni Malkin scored the first goal of the night for the Pens and won the Art Ross Trophy as well.

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Gonchar’s blast give Penguins big 5-4 win over Canadiens

Sergei Gonchar’s presence in the Penguins’ lineup had been paying dividends already, before tonight’s game vs. Montreal.

The Penguins’ powerplay, with Gonchar as the quarterback, is moving the puck much more confidently and getting better shots on goal.

But it was Gonchar’s hard and, more importantly, accurate shot that provided the game-winner for the Pens at the 7:18 mark of the third period, giving the Penguins a huge 5-4 win at the Igloo tonight vs. the Habs.

The Penguins’ win, combined with the losses by both Florida and Buffalo and the win by Carolina, kept them in 10th place in the East but drew them only four points out of 8th place and now five points from sixth place Montreal.

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Caputi’s 1st NHL goal not enough to bail out Penguins, lose to Habs, 4-2

The Penguins will fly home tonight to a jubilant Pittsburgh after their 6th Super Bowl Championship parade today.

Or, should I say, jubilant until they got home and watched the Penguins go winless on their three game road trip after another disappointing 4-2 loss tonight in Montreal to the Habs.

The sole bright spot tonight for the Penguins was the NHL debut of Luca Caputi, who like his boss Mario Lemieux 25 years earlier, scored on his 1st shift in the NHL.  Scoring alone would have been great enough, but it was a dirty goal in a scrum in front of Habs’ goalie Carey Price, the type of which is sorely needed by the oft-soft Penguins.

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Here’s your Penguins trade:  T.J. Kemp to Montreal for 2010 7th round pick

From the Penguins:

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TRADE T.J. KEMP TO MONTREAL IN EXCHANGE FOR CONDITIONAL 2010 DRAFT PICK

        The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded defenseman T.J. Kemp to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a conditional seventh round draft pick in the 2010 Entry Draft, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.

        Kemp, 27, has played 22 games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season.  He has posted nine points (one goal, eight assists) along with 22 penalty minutes.

        The 5-11, 197-pound defenseman has split the past four seasons between the Peoria Rivermen, Iowa Stars, Milwaukee Admirals, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Manchester Monarchs, Springfield Falcons and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.  Kemp has appeared in 174 career games in the AHL, registering 93 points (14 goals, 79 assists) and 126 penalty minutes.

        The native of Pickering, Ontario signed with Pittsburgh as a free agent on July 8, 2008.

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Greetings from the Great Green North…. Pens/Habs notes

Greetings from a balmy NW Pennsylvania.

So much for any snow, had a record-high of 61 degrees here yesterday.  And I forgot the sunscreen.

I took care of my Timmy’s fix first thing this morning.  Tim Horton’s opened it’s first store here in Meadville in September with another store due to open in the spring.  The coffee is just addictive I tell ya, gotta bring some back home with me.  It didn’t help that a severe thunderstorm rolled through as I was there and flipped my dozen donuts over, but miraculously, they all stayed in the box.

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