If you've been paying any attention at all to the Sid-era Penguins, then you undoubtedly recognized at least two hallmarks of this team on display last night.
First, if Marc-Andre Fleury isn't tested early in a game (eg. he's faced less than 2 or 3 shots and we're 15 minutes into the game) you can rest assured the next one is going in. That's who he is, and we love him because of it and in spite of it. Last night, Dallas had a total of 5 shots in the first period. But guess what? They scored 16 minutes in.
Second, there are some games where the Pens are losing for long stretches but are playing so well that you don't care about the score because you know -- yes, you actually KNOW -- that the Pens are going to come back and win that game. Last night was that game. The Pens were playing so much better than Dallas, had the puck for so much longer, and had so many more quality chances that to lose this game would have undermined pretty much everything we ever thought we knew about hockey.
On Kunitz and a few more things after the jump...
- There's a website called The Art of Manliness that is dedicated to reminding men how to be men by, for example, wearing a suit and picking up a massive anvil.
I have no idea whether this website has ever done a feature piece on Chris Kunitz, but if they haven't, the site should be shut down immediately for incompetence. What a game by Hands. He had a nifty deflection called back for a dubious high-stick-on-the-puck and was whistled for goaltender interference to negate another goal for apparently making it too difficult for Kari Lehtonen to not stop a puck that had already bounced in off his own defenseman before Lehtonen even reached for it. Though neither of these two goals counted, they illustrate a more general point: Chris Kunitz is a rabid baby panda. He will lure you in with his delicate touch, then rip your head off.
|Kunitz at training camp weigh-in|
- I don't recall hearing Alex Picard's name called once in his 12:42 of ice time. That's another great sign.
- Geno played a more responsible game last night, pushing pucks back deep into the offensive zone when he ran out of real estate out by the blue line. If he cuts out just one or two bad plays a game, Neal-Malkin-Sullivan will be even more unstoppable.
- If you haven't noticed by now, we think the Pens were fantastic last night. It would have been nice if the crowd at Consol had taken notice of that and actually cheered loudly, showed up on time, and stayed for the whole game. Baby steps.