My Prediction

Pens 3, Blues 1. Record in predicting winner: 17-9.

Even Strength Offense: B

They generated a fair number of chances throughout the game, but more so in the first half. Elliott was strong for the Blues in keeping the Pens to only one goal. That came by Sullivan, who batted home a rebound of an Engelland shot.

Even Strength Defense: D

They allowed way, WAY too many grade A chances. How many cross-crease passes can they allow in one game? The lone ES goal was a product of a brutal center ice giveaway (Cooke and Jeffrey?).

Power Play: D

They notched one in four chances, which is good. But they also gave up a shorthanded breakaway that led to the penalty shot goal by the Blues. Except for maybe one brief flurry, they looked disorganized all night as the Blues really pressured the puck. It didn’t help that both Geno and Letang seemed off their games last night.

Penalty Kill: A

They allowed only four Blues shots in three power plays.

Goaltending: A+

Marc gets the rare A+ for his superb effort. I lost count of how many spectacular saves he made. I think there were three just in overtime. He flat stole these two points for them. After the pens went up 2-0, their defensive play really slipped. But Flower bailed them out time and time again. Have you ever seen so many toe saves in one game?

Overall: B+

They beat a quality team on the road. But make no mistake, this was Fleury’s win. The Pens played a very solid first half of the game, then really relaxed as the Blues just took it to them. At least they got it to a shootout, where they’re pretty good and the Blues aren’t. Thus, the winning streak goes on.

And now, the rest of the story…

Geno: C

He seemed a little off last night. Must have been looking forward to the All Star game.

James Neal: A

He sniped another one. This run of his is just unbelievable.

Kris Letang: F

Not a good night for him at all. He looked lost.

Chris Kunitz: A

He’s becoming money in the shootout. Maybe he needs to be in instead of Letang, who has sucked this year.

Paul Martin: A

Look, I’ve been very critical of him. But lately he’s been the player I thought they were getting. He’s skating the best since he became a Penguin, and that’s allowing him to be aggressive. I will have no complaints if he keeps playing like this.

Steve MacIntyre: F

Proved his worthlessness once again by skating only 3:52, taking a worthless penalty, and deterring none of the crap St. Louis was doing.
Ken Hitchcock: F

He has brought the Flyer mentality to the Blues. That is, commit penalties on every play because they can’t call ‘em all.

Striped Buffoonery

How the hell did Gord Dwyer ever advance beyond reffing peewee games? Good god, he was simply awful last night. James Neal gets slashed behind the knee, which is a dangerous and painful play, and Dwyer decides it’s a dive. You have got to be kidding me. How about if Dwyer lets Neal demonstrate that slash on him, and then tell Neal he dove.

Bibsy’s Creative language

On Mark Howe being injured by the metal rod that used to be in the net: “It went up the backside of Mark Howe.”

“I bow to Mr. Fleury. I bow down to you right now!”

EFGT

Hmmm, any of the saves Fleury made on cross-crease passes.

Icehole of the Day

Vladimir Sobotka. That was one nice sucker punch he threw, then he just being a jackass the rest of the game. oh well, he came up in the Boston organization, so what do you expect?

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.