The Pens continued their incredibly impressive defensive play last night, shutting out the Montreal 5'10" Guys With Goatees Canadiens, 1-0. Fleury was strong, Vokoun was strong, and the post was strong. Pens have given up 9 goals in the last 9 games.
Now the bad news.
Fleury looked like he got pretty banged up last night when Tyler Kennedy tripped and seemed to push Fleury's neck in a very weird position. He stayed in the game for the next 47 seconds, so at least that's something. Hopefully it's just a sprained neck/whiplash situation and not a concussion. But even if it is a concussion, it doesn't mean he's out for a year and a half like Crosby was. The Pens got pretty pissed at Brian Gionta for allegedly tripping Kennedy into Fleury and while Gionta certainly knew what he was doing, it still takes a guy falling over to cause the injury. We'll say this -- if that was Sid and not Kennedy tied up with Gionta, Fleury finishes the game. Not a lot of fault here, it's just hockey.
There's also a report from Renaud Lavoire from RDS in Canada that Kris Letang has a broken toe. That's not good, but with absolutely no medical credentials whatsoever, I think he can play through it. Or as Artistry said this morning, "DO NOT WORRY ABOUT THE TOE."
Evgeni Malkin still hasn't returned after a week of speculation that his return was imminent.
There are only 14 games left in the season. It's time to get healthy. This is a stacked lineup with all-hands on deck. The Pens have been relatively lucky injury-wise so far this year, probably as part of an evening out of fortune after 2011. Everyone should be treated cautiously.
More notes after the jump...
- It's nearly impossible to have a takeaway on Brenden Morrow's performance last night. We all thought James Neal was average when his centers were Dustin Jeffrey and Mark Letestu (not coincidentally, James Neal looks pretty average now that Dustin Jeffrey is his center again), and Marian Hossa took at least 10 games before he got comfortable. Morrow didn't look like the best skater, but he has a Sean Avery/David Clarkson type face so you know the opposing team hates him. That's worth something.
- The Canadiens are a legit team. If the Pens have all guns blazing, it's unlikely that they can keep pace (who can?), but they definitely have a lot of guys to worry about in a playoff series. Michael Ryder will -- WILL -- average at least a goal per game in any playoff series between these two clubs.
- World-class shot from Crosby. World-class pass from Kuntiz to spring him.
- Tyler Kennedy really wants to be on the playoff roster, as evidenced by him dropping the gloves in the first period. This is a great development -- TK needs pushed. A content and entitled Tyler Kennedy sets world-records for useless stickhandling. A motivated Tyler Kennedy busting his ass for 12-15 minutes a night on your 3rd or 4th line can swing a playoff series.
- Tanner Glass is really not good. The best thing we can say about him and his 0 points on the season is that he's due.
|Really uncomfortable with Morrow taking #10 from Glass.|