Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Fleury! Fleury! Fleury!

I remember about a year ago how people, both fans and analysts, were saying how Marc-Andre Fleury was going to be nothing more than an average NHL goaltender, he couldn’t get his head into the game etc. etc.

Well, where are all these detractors now? You have yet to hear one single Fleury basher since this season started. In fact, those people haven’t even had anything to complain about. Despite a sub-pat December, Fleury played very well in the first two months, so it wasn’t held against him. Now he has gotten back into form for January and is one again making save after great save.

Fleury was the guest on In the Slot today on XM’s Home Ice (which if you don’t have, it’s the equivalent of Center Ice for the radio). Both Phil Esposito and Todd Lewis had good remarks, claiming he was the most underrated goalie performance in the NHL. I would partially agree, but judging by his vote totals for the all star game, I wouldn’t quite say he is going unnoticed.

But I would agree with them that Fleury is a major reason the Pens are where they are. He makes great saves every game and has kept them in more than a few. I also agree that what he is doing for the team is being over shadowed in the media by not only the Crosby, Malkin and Staal, but also the arena situation.

So let us cheer on our star goalie who is just old enough to drink as they do at the Igloo

Fleury! Fleury! Fleury!


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pens Make it 4 in a Row

The Pens were finally able to beat the Panthers and gain their fourth win in a row, and are now 6-0-1 in their last seven games.

Crosby had a single assist, and sadly no highlight goal (how great is it we're expecting those every game now?). Marc-Andre Fleury played nearly out of his mind, saving puck after puck in jumbled messes in front of the net. How he saw the pucks to save them, I do not know. He deserved the shutout and the first star. Granted he had some luck, and was bailed out a few times by his defensemen, but dont all goalies need those?

Michel Oullet was the only Penguin player to register more than a point, and did manage to hit the net often tonight.

The Pens are making a very strong case for the playoffs, as they have been playing very well as of late. Whether they can keep up this consistency is another thing, but if they do the rest of the league will be watching them closely.

Three Stars:
1) Fleury
2) Oullet
3) Whitney

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Wild Wild West

The Pens went two for two in their west road swing, beating the Coyotes 7-2. The game was fairly close up through most of the second until the Ryan Whitney scored on a power play from a Georges Laraque penalty. After that, it was all Penguins.

It was an entertaining game (at least until that point for Yotes fans) with quite a bit of hitting going on. Josh Gratton decided to start attacking Ronald Petrovickyand got himself over twenty five minutes of penalties with a fighting major, instigator, ten minute and game misconduct.

Crosby had yet another highlight reel goal as he turned, and began falling as he roofed the puck over Michal Telqvist. These goals are becoming almost a nightly occurance. This kid is just sick. Meanwhile, Michel Oulett couldn't manage to hit the net three feet away while standing (I will touch on him in a later post).

Mark Recchi matched Crosby's four points, and was the subject of an interesting point from the Pens announcers. At the time Recchi was drafted, the Pens three young stud forwards, Malkin, Crosby and Staal, were two years, a year and a half and half a year old respectiviely. That's pretty funny and amazing in it's own right.

Next game is Tuesday night against Florida, whome the Pens for some reason can't figure out. Even with Roberto Luongo gone they still do not play well against this team.

Three Stars:
1) Crosby
2) Recchi
3) Jovanovski


Friday, January 26, 2007

Pens Win in Shootout

In their first game back from the all star break, the Pens beat the Stars in the shootout and claiming a 4-3 win. Marc Andre Fleury, who normally has problems with breakaways and shootouts, stopped all three shots from Dallas, including Jussi Jokinen who is one of the most feared players in the shootout.

Mark Recchi got two goals, the second being his 500 career goal, so congrats to him on that feat. Crosby also had two points.

Three Stars:
1) Recchi
2) Crosby
3) Halpern