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Author Topic: Round Two: Pens vs Caps  (Read 6080 times)
PghSteel-43
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« on: Apr 28, 2009 at 21:44 »

Here we go...

« Last Edit: Apr 28, 2009 at 21:49 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
Brinker
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 28, 2009 at 22:28 »

 :clap:well done
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 29, 2009 at 08:23 »

Pens' first three games to be televised nationally
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The first three games of the Penguins' second-round playoff series against Washington will be televised nationally.

NBC will carry Game 1, set for 1:08 p.m. Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington. Versus will have Game 2 at 7:08 p.m. Monday in Washington and Game 3 at 7:08 p.m. Wednesday in Mellon Arena.

Games 4-7 are scheduled to be shown on FSN Pittsburgh.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09119/966312-100.stm
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 29, 2009 at 22:14 »

I really can't blame anyone for picking the Caps to win this series considering how we have played against them during the regular season. They are a damn good hockey team, plain and simple, but that doesn't mean they are unbeatable. No team is unbeatable, but I can't fault or blame others for picking the Caps.

IMO and if I were the HC, I would put our third line on Ovechkin's and have Cooke just pound away at Ovechkin for the whole damn series. Hit him and get under his skin. This is where Cooke earns his money. The third line plays a good defensive game, pin them up against Ovechkin's line.

Eitherway, if we plan on winning this series, one aspect of the game that we need to install is checking the hell out of Ovechkin on a regular basis. We have to play him physical for seven games straight if need be. Set the tone early and throw the body. Kunitz, Cooke, Orpik....these guys need to set the tone and let these jagoffs know that they can't simply take free hits at Malkin/Crosby and get away with it.

« Last Edit: Apr 29, 2009 at 22:19 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009 at 12:40 »

I could definitely see us lining Staal and co. up against Ovechkin.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009 at 13:41 »

Any prop bets on how long it takes NBC to find a "CAP THE PENS" sign in the crowd?
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2009 at 18:04 »

If we had anything resembling a PP, we would have taken game one today.  Special teams bite us in the ass as pretty much expected.  :rolleyes:
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009 at 09:44 »

Regaining power (play) not so easy
Sunday, May 03, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON -- All things considered, the Penguins probably should feel pretty good about being down just 0-1 to the Washington Capitals in their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series. The way their offense -- specifically their lame power play -- is functioning, they should feel lucky they're still in the playoffs at all.

Really, there's something seriously wrong when defenseman Mark Eaton has more goals than first-line wingers Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz combined. The great Sidney Crosby and Eaton were your Penguins goal-scorers in the 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Capitals yesterday at the Verizon Center, Eaton's goal his third in the seven games of this postseason. That's not just more than Guerin (2) and Kunitz (0), it's more than second-liners Ruslan Fedotenko (1) and Petr Sykora (0), third-liners Jordan Staal (0), Tyler Kennedy (2) and Matt Cooke (0) and offensively gifted defensemen Sergei Gonchar (1) and Kris Letang (0).

Actually, Eaton has more goals than everybody on the team but Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

That's pretty sick.

That also has to change.

Certainly, the power play has to find a little juice before Game 2 here tomorrow night. There's no gentle way of putting this: The Capitals' four players outworked and outplayed the Penguins' five and did so consistently. The Penguins wasted all five of their power-play opportunities, getting only a total of six shots. Not only did they do nothing to generate any momentum, they gave a huge lift to the Capitals and young rookie goaltender, Simeon Varlamov, 21, who will be that much tougher to beat in the games ahead because of the confidence he took from this one.

The power play wouldn't be such a worry if this were just a one-game outage. But it was nearly as awful against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round. It's now 4 for 37, including 0 for 17 in the past four games and 1 for 24 in the past five.

That's really sick.

"We just have to get back to being simple," Kunitz said while taking out his postgame frustration on a stationary bike. "Create some traffic in front of the goaltender, put the puck on the net and bang it in."

If only it were that simple.

"If you look at the guys on our power play, there's no reason but to be confident," Crosby said, sticking up for the boys. He did acknowledge, though, "At the end of the day, you need to win your battles. At times, we didn't do that."

As always, Crosby showed up to play and did everything he could to win the game. His goal on a beautiful wrister gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead just four minutes-and-change into the game and made you think that, maybe, just maybe, they could get in the kid goaltender's head.

But, no.

Not on this day.

Not with this offense.

Give Varlamov credit. Playing in just his 13th NHL game, he made the stop of the playoffs, stealing Crosby blind with a stick save late in the second period. But, be careful now, don't give Varlamov too much credit. He faced 36 shots -- "That's a pretty good number," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said, also defending his boys -- but he had few other tough saves.

It didn't help the Penguins that Malkin was a mysterious no-show. The game's other two superstars -- Crosby and the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin -- played hard and played well, Crosby with a goal and six shots and Ovechkin with a goal and nine shots. But, for some reason, Malkin didn't take part in their little one-upmanship competition. He was practically invisible with just two shots.

But I'll give Malkin his rare bad game. It's reasonable to believe he'll play lights-out tomorrow night.

It's hard to feel so confident about Guerin and Kunitz.

It's not as if they haven't had their moments in these playoffs. Guerin scored both of his goals in Game 2 against the Flyers, winning it in overtime with a 5-on-3 goal. Kunitz tormented Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen with a couple of big hits, setting a nice tone for the series.

But there's no doubt the Penguins need more from those guys. They were brought in at the trade deadline to score goals on Crosby's line and on the power play. They have not met expectations to this point.

"The big thing is I still have a chance to contribute," Kunitz said. "It's not like we're on the other side of the fence, out of the playoffs. I can't look down right now, I have to look ahead. But I know part of my role is to provide some offense."

Tomorrow night wouldn't be soon enough for Kunitz to start.

You know the harsh truth as well as I do.

Eaton can't carry the Penguins forever.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09123/967313-87.stm

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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009 at 10:02 »

I pretty much agree with Cooke's entire article except for these three remarks...

Quote
It didn't help the Penguins that Malkin was a mysterious no-show.

Mysterious?  I wouldn't go that far.  He set up Sykora twice and Fedotenko once and the opportunities were blown on all three chances.  It's not his fault he doesn't have the supporting cast on his wings.  If two of those three chances go in the net, we are talking about a Penguins win and that "mysterious no-show" would be one of the stars of the game.

Quote
But, for some reason, Malkin didn't take part in their little one-upmanship competition. He was practically invisible with just two shots.

I agree with Cooke to a degree on the amount of shots taken.  I think it's time for Malkin to realize that he doesn't have the talent on his wings and I also think it's time for Malkin to just let the puck rip.  Eitherway, it's hard for me to completely blame the guy for not shooting enough when he has wingers wide-open.  It's not like he's passing up excellent scoring opportunities in order to pass.  If you watch the replay's, the passes were the right decisions.  At this point though, he's better off just putting the puck on net.  That's pretty sad and pathetic, but what other choice do we have? 

Quote
It's reasonable to believe he'll play lights-out tomorrow night.

It's not reasonable to believe that he will play lights-out tomorrow.  It's not like Fedotenko or Sykora will magically start netting goals left and right.  Malkin is in the same situation that Crosby was in before Shero went out and grabbed Kunitz and Guerin.....he has his stick and puck, but nobody to play with.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009 at 10:07 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
PghSteel-43
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2009 at 19:33 »

Varlamov is playing UNBELIEVABLE.

Dude is the only reason why game two is not 4-1 Pens through two periods.  The kid is and has been standing on his head.  Just one of the reasons why I preferred not to play this team in the second round.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2009 at 19:41 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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