Monday, January 25, 2010

Shut out twice - and now it gets harder

It feels like we've been here before. Coming off back-to-back shut outs - needing something to get us going.

You know exactly what we need. We need goals. We could certainly use some hitting too. Accountability would be nice. Sticking up for one another would be a welcome addition. Team defense, anyone? And some toughness, as long as we're asking would brighten things up a bit as well.

In short - we need to really get out there and beat somebody. Anybody.

The thing is, tonight we're not playing just anybody:

Who The Hell Are We Playing? The NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins. They are 32-20-1. That puts them in 4th place in the NHL East. They're 6-4 in their last 10. They're better than we are.

Primary Skaters: You know this. They've got this guy named Crosby who has 33 goals already. And this guy named Malkin with 34 assists. And the team's plus-minus champs are of course.... Matt Cooke (?) and Jordan Staal (?) who are both +13.

In Net: The first-name-hyphenated Marc-Andre Fleury has a .908 save percentage and a 2.60 GAA. Brent Johnson is 2.68 and .913 in 15 appearances.

Scoring & Defense: The Penguins have 168 goals already. We have 135. On the other hand, they've let up 150 to our 141.

Special Effects: The Aquatic Birds score only 15.7% on the PowerPlay. We're better, though not good, at 18.9%. Pittsburgh's PK runs at 82.1% and we're, again, better at 85%. So, oddly, we dominate here.

Scheduling Conflicts: We had yesterday off, while the Penguins played and won. So they're more tired

Probable Lines: I don’t know – Tortorella will be shuffling away as the team has been shut out for two straight games.

On Defense: We'll go with our “best” six.

In Goal: Hank played less than half a game before getting yanked on Saturday - so he figures to rested enough to start here.

Dave Puck Predicts: I don't like predicting losses. So I'm flat-out not predicting this game. But you know I'll be rooting for the Rangers.

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