Sunday, October 22, 2006
Pens top Blue Jackets 5-3; Power play is getting scary good
Well, once again, the Pens didn't exactly put a nail in the Blue Jackets coffin until late in the game, but a win is a win is a win.
And now that the Pens aren't playing teams that aren't ranked in the top 5 in the entire NHL, they're doing what good teams do, they're winning.
Special teams once again were the key, the PK did a great job again, considering that the refs had their whistles bolted to their lips (for both teams that is).
But the power play, specifically the first unit, is becoming, well, scary good.
You can tell the chemistry that Crosby and Malkin are quickly developing is making that unit absolutely lethal.
Just read their comments about each other from last night's game;
"As soon as I crossed the blue line, I saw him," Crosby said of Malkin. "It was just a matter of waiting for him to come over and get open. He made a great shot. Quick and accurate."
"He's the best player," Malkin said. "I knew this pass was coming."
Now that Malkin is here, Sid has slid up higher in the slot, and as a result is shooting a lot more, which is never a bad thing. Even if Sid is not shooting, then Gonchar is getting the puck on net (or in the net), and that is leaving Sid and Geno to go to the net for the rebounds.
And how about that Jordan Staal ??
If I'm Ray Shero, I've gotta be pulling my hair out deciding whether to send this kid back to Junior.
However, Shero may have had his decision made a little easier when the Pens' version of Gerry Cooney, that being Ryan Malone, appeared to have broken his wrist in his scrum last night. Malone is expected to be out six weeks.
Forgive me for sounding sympathetic, but can you say blessing in disguise ??
Now Staal's other teammate that is awaiting his fate, Kristopher Letang, in my opinion, should be on his way back to Juniors. While his being right-handed is a bonus, it should be a pre-requisite to staying with the big club. I believe Kris will be headed home after the next two games, and either Oprik will be activated, or Noah Welch will be recalled. Let's not forget also that Eric Cairns is close to be coming back as well.
Now that the Pens have won a couple games in row, let's see if they've learned anything. The Devils quickly return back to the Igloo on Tuesday. Hopefully the Pens will recognize their lackadaisical play from their previous meeting and will come out flying.