Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pens, and GTOG, bring home a winner from Montreal

By Finesse (follow me on Twitter)

On the way back into the United States from Montreal today, my U.S. Customs declaration card asked me to declare the items I was bringing home and how much they are worth.  I was tempted to write "winner" but you can't put a value on that.

The Pens beat the Canadiens 7-6 on Saturday night in a game that I attended and that reinforced everything positive and negative we feel about this team right now.  Crosby is other-worldly, Brandon Sutter scores big goals, Chris Kunitz's contract may be the best bargain in the league, and Kris Letang's offensive ability in the transition game is unmatched.  But, unfortunately, Thomas Vokoun is unraveling, Letang is far too frequently a liability defensively, Brooks Orpik's recent performance has made us all a little more understanding of that time Michel Therrien moved him to the left wing, and, generally speaking, teams score at will against us.  We knew all of these things coming in.

In a way, last night's game, in addition to being an instant classic, was also a relief.  Since Sid has returned from his concussion, the Pens have played a lot of games just like last night -- world-class offense, terrible defense, and porous goaltending.  Unfortunately, all of those games were against Philadelphia and we lost them.  Last night showed that if we can't fix the problem of being too easy to score against, and a solution does not seem to be on the horizon, at least we know we can win 7-6 instead of losing 6-5.

More thoughts on Montreal and the game Monday morning, plus a Pens-podcast after the Tampa game.

In the meantime, let's all keep Artistry and his expired passport in our thoughts and prayers.

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