Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pens are the favorites, clinch the East with 3-2 win over Boston

By Finesse

By any advanced statistical measure, the Bruins dominated the game against the Pens yesterday.  By traditional measures, like discipline, beastmodeness, and final score, the Pens came out on top.

There's so much to say about so many people from this game, but we'll be brief.

Beau Bennett proved he belonged on the playoff roster several games ago; now he's just getting better every night.

For all the trades Shero has made, picking up Tomas Vokoun may still be his best.  Pens are probably out of this game in the first period if Brent Johnson is in net.

Matt Cooke is deep inside Boston's heads.  Very deep.  Sean-Couturier-showing Malkin-a-picture-of-Couturier-having-sex-with-Geno's-girlfriend-while-he-repeatedly-punches-Geno-in-the-head-after-the-whistle deep.  As long as Cooke stays out of the box, which is hard for him to do even if its solely because of his reputation, this is invaluable.

There's no way Jaromir Jagr looks forward to playing a 7-game series against Crankshaft.

Letang had a rocky game overall, and showed several flashes that must give Shero pause about offering him a $7 or $8 million/year extension.  But you have to pay a premium to get guys who can bury it like he did on the game winner.

And finally, speaking of burying it, Jarome Iginla's tie-breaking goal early in the third period was arguably the biggest fist-pump moment of the year so far.  But maybe his biggest contribution came from his fight against Nathan Horton.  Horton appeared to have injured his left hand, possibly seriously, in the tumble to the ice.  When the Bruins were in the mix for Iginla at the deadline, the word was that he'd be taking over Horton's job on Boston's top-6.  He may have taken Horton's job after all.

Still not sure we realize how big of a deal it is that this guy is on the Pens.
The Pens have clinched the number one seed, which is exactly where they should be.  Since starting the season 3-3, the Pens are 31-7.

At the beginning of the season when the Rangers, Devils and Bruins were getting all the buzz in the East, it was nice to not be the favorites for once. But now that there's no choice, embrace the fact that the Pens are the favorites.

Because they should be.

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