Thursday, April 11, 2013
Penguins Game 41 Recap - Penguins 6, Lightning 3
-This was another game between the haves and the have-nots. The Penguins were the ones that pretty much had/have everything and the Lightning are the team that has some talent but just can't figure it out. This game was close for the first two periods before the talent won out and the Penguins took it to the Lightning with a three goal third period leading by as many as four goals.
-Jussi Jokinen. Man. Dude has just been on fire since coming over as he scored twice more and assisted on another. What most people talked about when he came over was that he could win big time faceoffs. What got lost in the shuffle is that he does have the gift of some speed and still has the ability to find the open man. He is going to be really good when the team gets healthy and he is playing on the third or fourth line. Man.
-Pascal Dupuis scored his 20th goal tonight. The Penguins have only played 41 games and Dupuis has scored in damn near every other game. You might call it a contract year season or just finding some good fortune but he has been unreal this season. Not sure he will be back this year but some team is gonna throw some crazy money at him.
-How truly underrated is Kris Letang? His first game back after missing the last six and it was like he never left. He took what was a pretty average power play and made it nearly unstoppable and was nothing short of outstanding tonight. I keep harping on what he brings to the table but I honestly don't think that Penguins fans appreciate what he really does. His skating can't be matched and he is just one of those guys that just had the gifts. Truth be told if you came up to me and told me that I could only have one of Letang or Evgeni Malkin I would take Letang. Call me crazy, I don't care.
-Speaking of Malkin it looks like he is really starting to find his gear. He scored a nasty goal tonight and had eight shots on goal in under 19 minutes. He hasn't hit his stride yet but when he does watch out. It's coming.
-The Penguins power play was scary good tonight. They got six power play opportunities and scored on three of them. In the Pens' previous 11 games they had three power play goals, total. Letang is a huge part of that but things looked really good tonight. I know Tampa Bay is bad but the Penguins have had much less production on the power play against worse teams.
-The Penguins penalty kill was scary bad tonight. The Lightning had four power plays on the night and the Penguins killed only one of them. Now this really isn't a huge problem seeing that they scored six goals on the night but this can't turn into a problem.
-Outside of the penalty kill the defense was really outstanding. The Lightning only had 19 shots on goal tonight and never had more than eight in any single period including only four in the final frame. I will take that.
-Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla just keep getting better every day they are with the team. A really great thing to see. Douglas Murray will often get overlooked but he has been much better than I thought he would be.
-After the night is over the Penguins are five points up on Montreal who currently sits in the second spot. Montreal has a game in hand on the Penguins but the Penguins currently have five more regulation wins over Montreal with that being the first tiebreaker. With only seven or eight games left that is a lot of points to make up and I am getting to the point where I would be pretty shocked if the Penguins didn't win the East.
-With all the games played early in the season the Penguins will get some off time. They play on Saturday and then not again until Wednesday. They match up with Montreal on Wednesday and Boston on Friday. You want to see who will win the East you will want to tune in on Wednesday and Friday. Wear your big boy pants.