Thursday, April 5, 2012

Penguins Game Day 81 - Penguins 5, Rangers 2

The Penguins bounced back in a big way with a 5-2 win over the Rangers at the CONSOL Energy Center and in doing so clinched home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres to lock up the five seed. For the most part a pretty uneventful night. Yea right.

Overall I thought the defense played a much better game and Marc Andre Fleury was really on top of his game for the first time in a while. The defense wasn’t too great to start giving up a goal to Brandon Dubinsky about three minutes after Chris Kunitz opened up scoring but they were pretty lock down after that.

Kunitz scored the first goal of the game on a redirection for his 25th of the season. That 25th goal tied a career high for a season and it was much deserved for Kunitz. He also tallied his 200th career assist on an Evgeni Malkin goal in the third period. Really solid season for Kunitz and while he still takes some horrible penalties he is a pretty valuable player.

Like I said above in the Kunitz spot Malkin scored a goal and this one was the 49th of the season. Pretty impressive seeing that he missed about eight games this season due to his knee. It was a really great setup by Kunitz who wasn’t able to catch up with a stretch pass from Crosby and Malkin was streaking down the middle of the ice with pretty much nobody around him. Pretty sure you probably should have someone on that guy. He’s pretty good.

The big story of a game was a knee-on-knee hit that Brooks Orpik had with Derek Stepan. Here is the video:

After that Tortorella went off when asked about it (via The Sporting News):

"It's a cheap, dirty hit. I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars over there," Tortorella told reporters after the game, referring to centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

"It's one of the most arrogant organizations in the league. They whine about this stuff all the time, and look what happens," Tortorella said.

"They'll whine about something else over there, won't they, starting with their two (expletive) stars."

Here is the video of what he said:

I love Tortorella because he has no filter but I think this was a little over the top. I have seen plenty of people sitting on both sides of this and it isn’t really as clear cut as some maybe want you to believe. To me it looks like he was trying to go for the body and the knees got hit. I think it was a penalty but I am not really sure he will be suspended.

Marty Biron also let it be known how he felt:

"I saw it the whole way. To be honest, it crossed my mind to just go all the way down because it was gutless and dirty.” Followed by "That guy is known for sticking his knee & his elbow out. I don’t really care what he says in defense of what he did. It was dirty."

No idea where Biron gets this “known for sticking his knee out” stuff. Yet to see any proof from anyone arguing this. The Erik Cole hit was from 2006 and that was the last time that Orpik was suspended.

Anyways you know the New York media is going to slurp this up. Nothing like being called gutless by the Flyers and the Rangers in the same week. Impressive.

Well, besides that it will be interesting to see how the Penguins approach the Flyers game on Saturday. Both teams have nothing to play for and you would expect that a few of the higher name players would take the day off in preparation of the playoffs that will most likely start on Wednesday. I wouldn’t play MAF for sure but I am not sure how I feel about playing anyone else. I would like to win but it is not the end of the world.

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