As a fan, when your confidence in your favorite team's goaltender is waning, you tend to overanalyze every goal that he gives up and look for reasons to blame him. He's already sort of in your personal dog house, so it's easy to look to him as the scapegoat. Last night Fleury was unspectacular, but the same could be said for every one of his teammates.
The game started with two fights and about 74 penalties in the first 3 minutes. If you weren't yelling "kill him!" at the screen during the Cooke/Richards fight, then you aren't a Pens' fan. And if you aren't rooting for Engelland to stay in the big leagues over Lovejoy when Michalek returns, then you haven't been paying attention. As Biz Nasty put it on Twitter last night:
What did I tell u folk about engeland. The man is a beast. I said he's top 10 in the league. Agreed?
But what did all those fights do to help the Pens win? Who knows, but as explained below, at least Paul Devorski was happy. Some thoughts:
- I was stuck watching the Philly broadcast and they mentioned at the beginning that Fleury has given up the first goal in 7 of his last 18 games. That's a remarkable statistic. It's easy to say this in hindsight, but why did he get the start? BJ has close to the best numbers in the league and we just put him on the shelf for a week? I know the long-term plan is to get Fleury's head back on straight, but we have all season for that. It's ok, though, because one move can change the world.
- Sid, Geno, Letang, and Goligoski need to be a little less casual with the puck on the Power Play. Sid has a ton of confidence in his passing ability, for good reason, but he is often trying to thread the puck through someone's skates across the blueline and it's been intercepted, or at least kicked out of the zone, too many times to count. We should be generating offense from the corners and below the goal line where people simply can't take the puck off of Crosby.
- Speaking of the high risk nature of the power play, I'd like to reiterate my call from probably the second game of the year to get Paul Martin on the first power play unit. You don't need to have world class offensive ability to be a good power play quarterback...you just have to make good decisions. It can't hurt, right?
- There was word late last night that VH1 is giving Paul Devorski a reality show called "The Paul Devorksi Show." The premise is that he goes to crowded events that are designed to focus on other people, but he finds a way to insert himself and become the center of attention. In the first episode, he goes to a Bat Mitzvah and gets the family to lift him up in the chair during the Hora while poor little Erica Goldstein stands by shellshocked.
|Don't worry, I'm here now. Notice me!!!|
- I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of bias on behalf of the Philly broadcasting team. They were highly complimentary of Sid, Geno, and everyone else. I'm kind of speechless.
- Kris Letang continues to impress (you know, except for the turnover on the shorthanded goal) and as GTOG contributor Poise puts it, "Letang is GTOG'ing right now. Although I think the Pens should take a class on Powerplayology at CCAC."