We knew this game was coming. Not just because all win streaks must come to an end, but because the Kunitz-Malkin-Neal line was carrying too much of the burden, and the rest of the forwards were doing very little. That's a formula for the occasional 8-game win streak, but it's not sustainable long-term. One loss isn't going to ruin our optimism about this team, but it does afford us the opportunity to voice the concern we have been openly suppressing during the win-streak: the Pens rely WAY too heavily on one line.
|This may have been his 11th consecutive minute on the ice|
Thoughts on the actual game after the jump...
- Brent Johnson is getting a lot of praise for his performance. It's deserved, because he did exactly what a back-up goalie is supposed to do: Keep us in it. He's not expected to steal games like MAF did the night before. Beej saved his job by stopping 23 of 24 shots, but the goal he allowed was a perfect illustration of why he doesn't start in this league. Notice how he overcompensates and slides about 5 feet out of the net anticipating a quick shot from a streaking Clarke MacArthur.
- We've always liked Beej. He competes out there, and he's capable of big moments and big games. But he's also has plenty of moments like this. Brent Johnson is a back up goalie because Brent Johnson likes to go swimming.
|Swimming, swimming, in the swimming pool...|
|"Sometime I like to do da swim too"|
- Matt Cooke has been plenty noticeable this week, scoring a goal and generally infuriating the Maple Leafs, their friends, and their families. If he's finally found that elusive middle ground between Lady Byng and Billy Tibbetts, that's great news for the Penguins.
|Lady Byngly Tibbets|
- Very encouraging to see the defense bounce back after an abysmal performance on Tuesday. We have the horses to hold the other team to 2 goals or less on most nights. We don't know why it doesn't happen more often.
- Big time showdown in Boston on Saturday. Get out the measuring sticks. Go Pens.