Holy Cow, Pens.
I love you guys, you know that. And I love the exciting games. But for the love of all that is holy (and for the love of my fantasy team), could you please stop giving up massive numbers of goals? Thanks.
The Penguins are doing well these days. They continued a win streak into five games, being generous enough to allow the Flyers to have a point as they went into a shootout tied at 4-4 after leading 3-0 in the second period. Why isn't hockey the world's most popular sport? You do not get this kind of excitement from anything else.
The sleeping giant appeared to have awoken on Tuesday in Detroit, as Jordan Staal scored a hat trick and an assist to win the game in OT. He was shut out tonight, though. Sweet Dreams, Jordan. Kris Letang remains pointless this season and remains right up there with Staal as prime trade bait. Coach Therrien gave him a chance tonight to get one in the shootout and his attempt was weak and very unlike him. Fortunately for both these guys, it's still early in the season and there's time for them to pull something out of their hats.
All in all, I'm most impressed with the team play of the Penguins. The defense could be tighter, sure. They depend on Marc-Andre Fleury to do most of their work on them, as evidenced in how differently they play with Dany Sabourin in net. I'm sure that will be addressed in the locker room and in practice ongoing. These guys need to be reminded that even the best goaltender needs help now and then.
The biggest improvement from last year continues to be faceoff wins. Mike Zigomanis, I can't say enough about this guy. He's a great addition to the team, both for winning tons of faceoffs, and for having an awesome name. Zigomanis! That is a beautiful, beautiful hockey name.
Offense in general continues to improve, with passes tightening up, puck control coming along, and finally, finally, some shooting. I don't find myself impotently screaming "SHOOT! SHOOT YOU LOUSY BUMS! SHOOOOT!" at the television nearly as much this season.
A five-game win streak is pretty good, even if some of them were scary wins that were nearly losses. And I can't say enough about that outstanding win in Detroit on Tuesday.
Let me just get this out of the way. Inspired by Steigy talking about how everyone was out there on the ice, whacking. I couldn't find the clip I wanted, so this one will have to do.
Errey-Otica has been spotty the last couple of weeks, due to the west coast road trip, a game on Versus, and my pre-holiday knitting taking more of my attention during games than I like. Bob has been kind enough to take some notes for me, though. These were from last week.
"Sidney Crosby, when he plays with the right guys, he's gonna explode!"
"You can't discount the fact that Souray's got a big rifle back there."
"That's the advantage you have when you have that big gun in the backside."
Tonight brought us Errey between the benches again. While one of the Flyers was prepping his stick for the shootout, Errey made some priceless comments. I'll leave them to your imagination. They're probably not suitable for mixed company.
Until next time-GO PENS!
(No, I'm not sick of this commercial yet. Shut up.)