Friday, May 24, 2013

Penguins ECSF Game 5 Recap - Penguins 6, Senators 2


-Things didn't really change much as the Penguins came out early and often to dominate Ottawa again and now they have a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals to face off against either the Boston Bruins (probably) or New York Rangers (probably not). -The feel of this game at the onset was that Ottawa didn't really have "it" and the Penguins took advantage by scoring a goal 6:25 into the game and then followed that up with a power play goal 7:38 into the second period. The Senators actually carried play for about a six minute stretch in the second period but all-in-all the Penguins were in complete control. It really left a lot to be desired for someone watch that might have wanted to see a more competitive game and while that would have been nice I think I can wait for that for another series.

 -Kris Letang really had a strong overall game. After a really putrid first period of game four Letang turned it around in a big way. Tonight he netted the Penguins third goal on a really nice play on 4-on-4 and sniped Craig Anderson high glove side. That pretty much ended the game even though Ottawa made it a two goal game a little later I really don't think the result was in doubt. Many people are going to point to Letang being paired with Mark Eaton as a sign of when Letang settles it down and I can't really argue with that. Letang did take some chances that could have cost the Penguins but he is a high right, high reward player and tonight he was high reward.

 -He might not show up in the scoresheet but Matt Cooke has had one hell of a series. In the first period everything the Penguins were doing well Cooke was right in the middle of it. There has been much talk about the type of player Cooke is and while most think he is just some goon that can't hack it he showed tonight why he isn't a good and why he is a guy that every team needs if they are going to make a run at the Stanley Cup. He was all over the ice and wreaking havoc as he consistently was beating Ottawa defensemen to the puck in their own zone. While Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said Cooke should be playing in the CHL and guys like him should be out of the league I would suggest he takes a look on his own bench at Chris Neil who was a complete embarrassment tonight.

 -Come to think of it that whole entire third line was really good tonight. It was probably one of their best performances in the postseason so far and while I talked about Brandon Sutter not playing up to snuff he had a really nice overall game tonight. Tyler Kennedy continues to be outstanding and the depth of the Penguins was on display and it was dominating.

 -James Neal might have been sparked by the first goal he got of the series and if that is the case for the rest of the playoffs then you better watch out. He netted a hat trick tonight was was filthy sick every single time he was on the ice. On his second he took a puck about five feet away from Anderson and used his unreal quick hands to beat him for the fifth goal of the game and then he scored the sixth goal of the game on a toe drag that left Erik Karlsson looking for his jock on the ice. That is what a great goal scorer does.

 -Anderson got roasted again. This time for a six spot and while he didn't have even good defense in front of him he was bad in four of the five games of the season. He was probably the best goaltender in the league during the regular season but this series he was just flat out bad. Again, the defense didn't help him in the least bit but he never came up with any big saves in a game other than game three.

 -The Penguins scored 47 goals through the first 11 playoff games. Whoa.

 -The Penguins struggled a good bit with faceoffs at times in this series but today they totally dominated. They won 40-of-69 total and Sidney Crosby won 21-of-31 chances. That is what we call dominating.

-All told this was exactly what you probably should have expected. It is extremely hard to sweep and team but what we saw this entire series was the Penguins on one level and Ottawa on a significantly lower level. Really great to see the Penguins come out and dominate a team they should have.

-Like I said before now the Penguins wait for the end of the other Eastern Conference Semifinal game. I don't think it really matters which team they play as I think each presents its own problems and matchup advantages but I wouldn't mind if the Rangers won a game or two more and they could beat each other up some. I am past picking teams I would rather play because it seems like every time I do that it turns out bad. I will say that whomever the Penguins play in the conference finals it will be a much more emotional investment from me, and from other Penguins fans in general.

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