Pens Have No Reason To Fear the Sens

After a very sluggish performance from the Pens in Game 1, there is still no need to panic. Yes, the Pens lost Game 1 at home, but their history over the past few playoff seasons shows that their record away could actually be in their favor. Since the 2008 Playoffs, the Pens record away is as follows:

  • 2008 5/9 (55%)
  • 2009 8/13 (61%)
  • 2008-2009 13/22 (59%)Due to the stats above and how much Penguins hockey I watch it is very easy to see the Pens coming back to Mellon Arena for Game 5 with a 3-1 lead in the series. They have proven to be able to turn it on at any given point and showed that in the third period last night.
    Some Sens fans may have a lot of optimism in the play of the Senators last night, which they should, the did a great job in the neutral zone and were able to kill the Pens momentum before it built up too much. However, even though the Pens ended up losing, they had a lot of momentum building at the end of the game and will be able to carry that over to Game 2 on Friday.
    Now, the question is who needs to get going for the Pens? Their X factor last year was Max Talbot, although he does not look the same this year. My guess is Chris Kunitz. He battles hard for loose pucks and plays the game with passion, if the Pens need a spark it will come from his physical play in the offensive zone. Kunitz looked very good last night and very physical. Also, Malkin continued right where he left off in the playoffs last year, he has a whole nother level when the playoffs come. This is great news for the Pens since he had only a decent regular season. Crosby was shut down for most of the game but still managed to get 3 points. My prediction for key pens players in Game 2 are as follows:
  • Crosby: 6 shots, 1 goal, 3 assists.
  • Malkin: 7 shots, 1 goal, 1 assist
  • Gonchar: 4 shots 1 goal, 1 assist
  • Kunitz: 3 shots, 2 goals, 0 assists

Some people are calling the game Fleury’s fault last night. Let’s clear this up. Just because he allowed 5 goals on 26 shots does not mean all 5 were his fault. The Rutuu game winner was a 2 on 1 where he had to move left to right. He appeared to have the puck, but it somehow had eyes. It was a difficult save for anyone in the league to make. Chris Neil’s goal which went high and on the short side is the only one he really should have had. The 3rd goal was a flat out fluke (although they seem to follow him around in the playoffs) Also, the goal by the 19 yr old (not a sens fan so I dont really remember his name, sorry) Fleury could not find the puck. It came from the blue line with Gonchar and, i think, Spezza in front. The puck hit off Gonchar and never made it to Fleury, went out to Fleury’s left and before he could scramble over he was beat. He did the right thing by staying square to shot, unfortunately, the shot never made it through.
Maybe a biased opinion here but I thought Fleury was slightly better than Elliot last night. Looking at the goals, Fleury caught some bad bounces while most of the goals on Elliot just appeared that he was flat out beat. Maybe it was some playoff butterflies, but he looked shaky, and should have looked shaky too.

As long as the Pens can find a way to get 30-35 shots on Elliot they should have no problem winning this series 4-1, and at the very least 4-2. I cant see this being a 7 game series, either way.

Its going to be interesting to see how both teams come out Friday, I assume the Pens will jump on the attack and that the Sens will try to capitalize on turnovers in the nuetral zone.

Game 2 Pens win 5-2.

Game 3 Pens win 3-2 (could go either way… score 3-2)

Game 4 Pens win 3-1

Game 5 Pens win 2-1, possible OT

Game 6* Pens win 3-2

I guess we will find out Friday night. Until then, GO SENS GO –> LET’S GO PENS!!!!


15 Responses to Pens Have No Reason To Fear the Sens

  1. leafy says:

    Hard to figure out anything after 1 game. I still think the Pens will take it. BUT if they lose Game 2 as well, could be trouble.

    The Habs just won in OT. I've got to give Montreal credit. They've completely taken away the odd man rushes from the Caps.  Most of Washington's goals come off the rush and the powerplay.

    But Halak is the key. As long as he's this good, and the Caps make defensive mistakes, this is a series.

  2. pensfan29 says:

    Agreed, Montreal did a great job tonight.  Ovechkin, 0 shots?!?! Wow

  3. lafleur10 says:

    LEAFY on another thread on here the thread that asks for your prdictions,didn't you prdict the habs would get swept?i know there were a few people that thought that,i will say that if we win game 2 and go home 2-0 the caps are in deep trouble

  4. HABSSTAR says:

    You know I would almost sooner leave Washington with a 1-1 split.  The Habs go into Montreal up 2-0 in the series I guarantee they get blown apart in the first game in Montreal and the momentum in the series shifts to the Caps.  Call me paranoid if you want. lol

  5. leafy says:

    Yup I was off on that prediction. But then again, I'm off on most predictions in these playoffs so far.

    After watching the first game, I think this is a series for a couple of reasons. One is Halak. Two is that Washington plays a unidimensional game…they try to do everything run and gun style, but that's so easy to shut down in the playoffs. They have no grinding game to speak off. Then throw in their defensive blunders and you realize they could be beat.

  6. cam7777 says:

    Let's not forget though, that Ovechkin seemingly no-showed this game.  I'm sure the Habbies did a good job shutting him down, but Ovechkin won't be shut down again.  No shots?  You can't realistically expect that again.

    We always knew if there was going to be more than 4 games, it would be because of Jaroslav Halak, and that was pretty much the case tonight.  I'm pretty confident the Capitals will still take this.  The top seeds are all still favorites in my books, except for Phoenix.

  7. Magleaf says:


    if you are a healthy or injured scratch on a team that wins the cup do you still get your name put on it?

  8. lafleur10 says:

    your right,but we weren't given any respect ,alot of people thought that it would be a mismatch and a sweep by the caps, we proved that it won't be and we will make it very tough for them.infact i predicted it would go the distance(7 games) maybe i'm wrong on that but it'll be fun no less

  9. JoelJoel says:

    Not completely sure, but I believe you have to have played at least one game in that year's playoffs… unless you're a backup goalie; then you just have to sit on the bench for one game.

  10. jpmac says:

    Frankly, Fleury played like garbage.  If he keeps that up, the pens will be gone in 6 tops.  I'm glad you predict the Pens to win the next 4 games straight.  Pittsuburg is not as good as you think, and Ottawa is better than you give them credit for.  

  11. pensfan29 says:

    Frankly, only one goal was actually Fleury's fault.  Someone that has never played goal would not be able to know that though.  All you see is the scoreboard and shot total, watch the game!

    The Pens will get momentum rolling tonight and Fleury will be stellar. 

    Defending Stanley Cup Champs, and they arent as good as I think?  Ive watched all 83 games this year, pretty sure I know how good they are.

    Ottawa did surprise me with how well they played, but Elliot was shaky.  He had more than one goal scored on him short side, and now Michalek is out, the Pens can definitely win the next 4, it may be bold, but its far from unthinkable.

    Look for a 5-2 win tonight from the Pens

    BTW: It's Pittsburgh not Pittsburg!

  12. hockey_lover says:

    I think you are both too far to either side.

    Fleury certainly didnt play like "garbage" but he didnt play "well" either. He was merely average.

    If the Pens are to win this series, he needs to be better. Plain and simple. However, the whole team (save Crosby and Malkin), didnt really play that well. Defensive zone coverage was horrible.

    I said this before the playoffs started .. if the Pens want ANY chance of making out of the 2nd round, they NEEEEEEED to tighten up in their own end. If they dont, it wont matter how good Fleury is, they will lose.

    I still say they will win this series but MAN, some guys HAVE to step up.

  13. DannyLeafs says:

    I think the thing that could really bode well for Pittsburgh this year is Crosby's play. I know he has always been great, but I really think he is at another level since the Olympics. Everyone was saying that he was better than ever before the Olympics, but I was a little more critical, saying that while I think he is working on improving a specific part of his game, he hadn't really shown (yet) that he could put it all together. I did believe that he would, but I am just saying earlier in the year when he wasn't on pace for 100 pts, and he had more goals then assists, I didn't think that he was at his best, but he was going to improve. Personally it seems to me that he is playing better than he ever has, and last night might have been the best game of his career.

  14. leafy says:

    There's something not right about Pittsburgh's play. They don't seem to be generating quality scoring chances, except sporadically with Crosby's play. They did not play like this last year.

  15. DannyLeafs says:

    I have to say I was really surprised by Montreal's play in game 1. They were better defensively than in any game I saw this season. I thought this would be a good series to watch just based on each teams style. Montreal plays a higher risk game than most people think, they rely heavily on their goal tending to bail them out when they make mistakes. Don't take that as a jab at Montreal, I say if you have a goalie good enough to play that way, it can be a winning strategy. If Montreal continues to play this way, then we have a series, I am not saying that I like Montreal to win it, but it will be interesting. The thing that is worrisome for Montreal however, is that Ovechkin was  a complete no show for game one, and they still barely won. It was basically picture perfect execution on Montreal's part, but it could still have gone either way. I don't see Ovechkin being contained all series, so Montreal is going to have to play even better than they did in Game 1 if they want to win it.

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