Monday, October 11, 2010

GTOPG: Pens 3, Devils 1

By Poise

It's always extra satisfying when the Penguins can pull out a solid road win for a Columbus Day afternoon game.  This was the type of game that makes you sleep better tonight.  We cranked out our first win of the season and broke a seriously depressing 6-0 losing streak against the Devils.  Our defensemen made the game's most significant offensive contributions, and Brent Johnson reminded us how solid and confident a backup goaltender we have.  A few thoughts about this afternoon's game and what this means for you:

Zombie Fest: I think the guy on the right is my Orthodontist
  • Brent Johnson - How nice was it to watch Johnson go behind the net and effectively trap a loose puck and get it safely to out from behind the net? 
  • Craig Adams - While Craig Adams certainly doensn't score many goals, what he lacks in offensive firepower he more than makes up for in ability to insert himself in compromising situations and come out swinging.  
    • Finesse: Craig Adams won't just take a grenade for you, he'll make out with her at the bar.
  • Paul Martin - Paul Martin has got serious offensive ability, including a deceptive slap shot and an amazing decision making ability.  Finesse nominates him as the point man on the power play, and his performance tonight is certainly compelling evidence. 
  • Zombie Fest - This past weekend was Zombie Fest in Pittsburgh.  This is a festival where you dress up like a zombie and hang out and have brunch downtown.  Pittsburgher's love dressing up like zombies, but not as much as they like dressing up as animals.  Speaking of which, shout out to Boomer the Dog Boomer the Dog.
  • Diet Mtn Dew - Just wanted to remind our readers that Diet Mtn. Dew now comes in the following flavors with utterly unreal names: Supernova, Voltage, Typhoon, Crave, White Out, Flair, Ultra Violet, and Distortion.  If anyone out there ever wants to write a guest post for GTOG, the above referenced nicknames are all available.  Apparently they are doing some kind of taste bracket thing over at Mtn Dew headquarters.  Don't know much other than that, by my money is on Voltage pulling out the lead on Supernova.  Anyone want in on this action?
Liquid Diabetes?
    After the jump, read Finesse's thoughts on today's big win

    • Why not Paul Martin on the first power play? There are two things you want in a point man for a power play: a big slap shot, and good decision making. Neither Letang, Gogo, nor Martin has an A+ shot, but Martin has shown that he is the best decision maker on the blue-line by a mile. I'll take that steadiness any day.
    • I see a real dilemma brewing when Asham is healthy. Eric Tangradi is playing well enough to stay on the team when Asham returns and that leaves the Pens with one extra forward. I see three candidates for healthy scratch based on performance over the first 3 games of the season: Max Talbot, Mike Rupp, and Pascal Dupuis. Talbot is one of our favorites, but watching him with an objective eye will reveal to you that he isn't really producing much of anything right now. Same goes for Mike Rupp. As for Dupuis, it seems weird to suggest scratching a first-line winger, but when your first-line winger is actually a fourth-line winger, it makes a little more sense. There is no reason that any of these moves have to be set in stone, so I advocate a rotation among those 4 guys. And for the question of who plays with Crosby if Dupuis sits, 6 years of Sid's career has proven it probably won't matter.


    1. I agree the forward situation will become tricky when Asham comes back. A lot of people are assuming Tangradi will be sent down to the AHL, because he doesn't have to go through waivers, but it would be a shame to lose him while he is doing well in the NHL. Your plan sounds okay to me, rotating a few people. It's also possible that by then someone else will be injured.

    2. I can't get enough of watching so many of our defensemen jump up into the play and carry the puck deep into the offensive zone. They have the skills and most of our forwards are sound defensively, so why not? Love it.

    3. I am far less worried about our forward configuration than I am about our defense at this early stage (has anyone noticed that Mark Letestu legitimately belongs on this team?). The line combinations will stabilize; the significant thing I see is tremendous play so far by both Crosby and Malkin. That will translate into points soon enough. I'm also encouraged by the play of Tangradi, which I did not expect.

      I'm really worried about the injuries to Orpik and Michalek, which may not be minor. GTOG's microscope is going to be on Alex Goligoski. It's time to determine if he can be a dependable presence on the blueline, and despite his flashes of talent, I have my concerns. I'll be posting on this late tonight or early tomorrow.