Tuesday, November 19, 2013

CANCEL THE AUTUMN PANIC. Pens win, 3-1

Several good things happened in this game.  Malkin notched two assists and, more importantly, played with confidence.  Crosby scored and, as usual, could have had like 5 points.  A guy no one ever heard of scored.  Brandon Sutter played with burst (who knew?).  The Pens got better as the game went on instead of following their more predictable pattern of petering out when they don't experience early success.

But most important was Fleury.  The save he made on Andrew Cogliano is why he was drafted first overall and why he's been to the Cup Finals twice.



That's an incredible save, and it's not even a lucky one.  It was perfect form, he stopped it with confidence, and he bounced right back up.  He wasn't covering for his own mistake.  It was just an awesome save that not every goalie can make.  It was the play of the game, if not the play of the season.  What a save.

(The combo of Orpik's pinch, Malkin's backcheck, and Martin's defense of the 2-on-1?  Let's not discuss those things the morning after a win).

For the collective panic that many have experienced, and are still experiencing, in light of the Pens' relatively unimpressive play recently, remember:

The Pens are in first place in their division.  Only three teams in the East give up fewer goals per game.  Only one team in the East gives up fewer shots per game.  Only two teams in the East average more shots per game.  And, if you're into the possession metrics, the Pens are the best possession team in the Eastern Conference.

If you're worried about the Pens not scoring enough as a team, remember:

In 2012-13, Boston was 8th in the East in goals per game.  In 2011-12, New Jersey was 9th in the East in goals per game.  Right now the Pens are 5th.

Finally, as a quick nod to anyone (the one Anonymous guy) who thinks we don't call out Crosby when he makes a bad play, here's Crosby's defense on Getzlaf's goal:

1 comment: