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Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins: Next Up The Canadiens!

Pittsburgh PenguinsThe Pittsburgh Penguins have had a nice little break after they clinched their first playoff series of 2010 in a 4-3 OT win in game 6 against the Ottawa Senators. Last night, the Penguins finally found out who their opponent would be and that is the Montreal Canadiens. I am not sure about the rest of you, but I made sure to watch that game and what a series it was. The first time in NHL history that an eight seeded team beat a one seed after being down in the series 3-1.

I have heard people say that the Eastern Conference has practically been handed to the Penguins. I could not disagree more. The Montreal Canadiens are riding a hot streak behind Jaroslav Halak and could pose a serious threat to the Penguins. Philadelphia disposed of 2nd seed New Jersey in 6 games and appear to be playing extremely well. The Boston Bruins are finally getting back Savard who I am sure would love to meet Matt Cooke in the Eastern Conference Finals.

How can Pittsburgh defeat Montreal? Well, Pittsburgh is a very different team than Washington. Yes, they both have young stars but that is where the similarities end. Montreal was able to shut down Alexander Ovechkin and the others but they have to change their tactics for the Penguins because Pittsburgh can roll 4 lines and have the three headed monster (Crosby, Malkin, and Staal) down their center. Hal Gill was excellent against stopping Ovechkin from shooting, but Crosby is not a shoot first player (even though he did hit the 50 goal mark this year). Crosby is a puck handling player where as Ovechkin is a pure sniper. Montreal will definitely have to change up some tactics and Pittsburgh will have to make sure to get more bodies to the net than Washington was able to.

I do feel like Pittsburgh has the advantage, but hot goaltenders can be one hell of a headache for the opposing team.

The rest Pittsburgh got was needed considering they have injuries to three players (Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, and Jordan Leopold). Leopold is recovering from a concussion suffered in game 2 of the Ottawa series and is doubtful to be back for the first or second game of this series. It will be nice to have Leopold back, but Jay McKee and Alex Goligoski have done a good job in their pairing thus far in these playoffs.

The series starts on Friday at Mellon Arena where Pittsburgh will have had 6 days of rest while Montreal will only have had 1. This can either be an advantage or disadvantage to either team. Time will tell which it is for who. If Montreal can continue to ride this momentum they could handle a Penguins team which could lack the urgency after having a nice rest. On the other hand, Pittsburgh could come out well rested and ready to play against a team that just spent a lot of energy and are exhausted from playing with a win or go home attitude for the past three games.

It’s time for some more hockey!

Let’s Go Pens!

Oh and not sure if anyone else realized it or not, but the Penguins series against the Ottawa Senators looked very familiar to last year’s first round against the Philadelphia Flyers with the exception of Max Talbot getting his ass kicked by Daniel Carcillo. The Pens went down 3-0 in game 6 on the road and came back to tie and in the end win the game and the series.

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One comment for “Pittsburgh Penguins: Next Up The Canadiens!”

  1. Congrats on the first round..I have a feeling we may be seeing your boys in the finals AGAIN!!

    Posted by PuckGalNo Gravatar | April 30, 2010, 11:25 am

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