Saturday, March 31, 2012

GTOPG: Oh, that pass; Pens Win 5-3 (and some non-Pens items)

By Finesse (follow me on Twitter)

There are a lot of guys in the NHL who can rush the puck into the offensive zone on a power play.  And there are a lot of guys who can make tape-to-tape cross ice passes.  And there are even a lot of guys who can catch those passes on their strong-side and bury it in one smooth motion.

But when your team has the three best guys at doing each of those things, you get this.

It's not the most beautiful goal of the season, but it is illustrative of what having a healthy Sidney Crosby can do.  Look at the 4 Buffalo players in that clip.  They're either mesmerized or paralyzed by Sid and he's not even in a scoring position.  They know he's going to pass.  Sid knows he's going to pass.  Ryan Miller knows he's going to pass.  Still, they can't do anything about it.

And that's what the other 7 Eastern Conference playoff teams are going to be thinking in two weeks.  They could play their best hockey.  They could get all-world goaltending.  They could have a perfect game-plan.  But there's a good chance it will all be for nothing because of one simple truth.  They can't do anything about this.

More thoughts on the Pens and much more after the jump...

- This game is why we weren't that bothered by the back-to-back losses to the Islanders.  Those Isles games had the feel of a Mystery, Alaska game.  The Pens were the big bad Rangers.  The Islanders were the pesky young kids who just lost their virginity.  The Pens didn't want to be there and were only playing because someone told them they had to.  They expected to win, but looked a little frustrated when the clearly overmatched opponent tried just a little too hard for what should have been an exhibition.

- We've come a long way with Matt Niskanen.  What a welcome addition back to the lineup.

In non-Penguins news...

- The Caps get their best player back tonight as Nick Backstrom returns from a concussion.  We hope that they lose, of course, but this is good news.

- Pitt won the CBI tournament, the equivalent of hitting the Mega Match number last night and getting $2.  It's easy to make fun of that tournament, but we'll leave that to someone else.  Jamie Dixon did the right thing by accepting this invite and then coaching it as if it was the NCAA tournament.  The fans clearly bailed on Pitt this year.  Dixon didn't.

This is what college basketball coaches should look like, and most of them do.
- Sean Payton is appealing his season long suspension.  I will be rooting for him, mostly because I don't care at all about bounties but also because Washington county's own Roger Goodell is becoming a dictator.  He probably drinks his own urine for energy.  Here's a really interesting story about Goodell's hypocritical decision to penalize the Cowboys and Redskins for breaking no rules.

- Jason Whitlock writes like Ron Cook if Ron Cook boasted about "speaking truth to power" (Ron Cook boasts about "dictating non sequiturs to his assistant") but this column about Kobe Bryant makes a lot of sense.

- Let's just start the playoffs already.  Go Pens.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to hear Nisky get a shout-out.

    Regardless of the team's effort or investment, the major issue during the Isles games was that the Pens had rookies on two defensive pairings. The Isle's second like destroyed us because there was no second defensive pairing to match up. Strait's been okay, but Despres just looked lost.