Big Lead Sports Bar


Koz: Clinched!



by Koz

The Flyers came in with a game plan – be physical and beat up the Penguins.

The Penguins came in with a game plan, too – score goals and clinch the Atlantic Division.

The Pens claimed their first division title in 10 years by converting four of their six powerplay chances. The goal that sent Elvis to the exit was scored on the sickest deflection I have ever seen. Sidney Crosby took a slap pass from Sergei Gonchar and deflected the puck between his legs into the net. Crosby also scored earlier during a 5-on-3 advantage and was the game’s #1 star.

The Flyers were out for blood the whole game, but they were the ones who walked away bleeding – literally and figuratively. It’s one thing to be physical; it’s another to be completely out of control. The Pens’ two-man advantage was made possible by the Flyers completely losing their minds after a whistle and attacking Crosby for absolutely no reason. It was a helluva game to watch with a playoff feel, but it was even more enjoyable to see Philadelphia imploding by their own design.

The Penguins can clinch the Eastern Conference’s top seed with a win against Philly on Sunday or a Montreal loss in either of their two remaining games (vs. Buffalo and Toronto).

Credit to the Penguins organization for a classy end to the home season with the “Shirts Off Our Backs” promotion. I’ve been in attendance for a few of these, and it’s just awesome to see the players and the fans having a good time together. Hopefully this is a tradition that never ends. The Penguins organization continues to be leaps and bounds ahead of the other teams in town for fan appreciation.

I’ll give credit to the fans for showing up as well. This season was the first full sell-out season in franchise history. Now it’s time to be LOUD in the playoffs.

Stat of the Week: Hal Gill was -5 in his first three games with the Pens. Since that time he’s +11 (according to TSN broadcasting the game on NHL Network).

Bonus Stat of the Week: Marc-Andre Fleury is 10-1-1 since returning from injury.

If the playoffs started tomorrow… we’d play Philadelphia. But they don’t. So let’s not worry too much about this. Teams the Pens won’t face in the first round are New Jersey and probably not New York. Other than that, it’s too close to call right now, but the candidates are Ottawa, Boston, Philly, Washington, and Buffalo.


Robert Ullman said...

I'm thinking the coolest thing would be to just eliminate Philly from the playoffs on Sunday...Much as I'd like the Pens to beat them in the playoffs (and they would beat them), I don't want to have to watch four to six more games of this goonery.

The Duke from Dukes Court said...

We all love Hossa, but Gill and Dupuis have both done a fantastic job helping the Pens since they joined the team at the deadline.

Funny how no one is talking about Crusher or Army anymore.

The last time the Pens made trades with this level of impact at the deadline was when we got Ron Francis and Ulf from the Hartford.

Unknown said...

I don't think it is a coincidence that the year you decide to blog about the pens is the year they decide to be awesome. With great power comes great responsibility.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

This year's playoff run is going to be so much better than last, and the main reason is more veteran leadership than last year, plus the young guys have another year under their belts.

domski43 said...

It looked like the rough stuff brought out a very focused crosby, he has an extra gear and it looks like its snapping into place at just the right time. The flyers are one of the top power play units and the pens shut them down...the 4 on 3's were impressive. This great goaltending will have to keep up.


pxbrgdude said...

Speaking of crosby,if you want to check out that awesome redirect I have it posted on youtube
If you haven't seen it check it out because we all know it won't make it on Sports Center.

Robert Ullman said...

In all fairness, and it kills me to say this because I do think EspN stinks, the Crosby redirect goal was the Top Play on SportsCenter Wednesday night. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't've believed it either! Maybe it's because Levy was hosting...

pxbrgdude said...

yea maybe I should have found out if it actually made sportscenter or not. I've noticed hockey has been getting a little more coverage with the playoff race and all. I wish I would have seen that top ten plays.