My Prediction

Devils 5, Pens 2.
Actual: Pens 5, Rangers 2.
Record in predicting winner: 27-18.

Even Strength Offense: A

It wasn’t exactly Pittsburgh Penguin Ice Hockey, as they generated only 59 shot attempts at Uncle Fatty. However, 44 of those were on the net, and most were of high quality. I don’t have access to the “scoring chances” stat, but it must have been incredible. It was a totally dominant performance, and they managed to beat the old guy four times. Cookie scored twice, once on a great pass from Sid. Neal zinged one past Uncle Fatty off a draw on his and Geno’s patented play, and “Duperstar” (to make it clear, I hate the nickname, but I use it to mock Steigy) blasted a bad angle slapper past a sleeping Brodeur.

Even Strength Defense: A

There were a couple breakdowns that led to goals. The first was more of a coaching/power play issue. They got caught with Sullivan on the point after the power play, and Niskanen got caught way deep. On the second one, Niskanen and Engelland kind of got lost in their own zone. But who cares, as the defense as a whole allowed only shot ATTEMPTS the entire game. That’s just incredible.

Power Play: A

So THAT’S what Sid can do for the power play. You know, the whole “eyes in back of his head” thing? What a brilliant pass to Geno for the one-timer.

Penalty Kill: A

They allowed only two shots in 6 minutes of kill time. Another awesome performance in a string of them.

Goaltending: A

Flower gets an A just for staying awake. There was nothing he could do on the first goal, and little on the second one.

Overall: A+

I don’t know that a team can play mush better against a quality opponent than the Pens did yesterday. This was just total domination offensively and defensively. They struggled to beat Uncle Fatty early, but they just pumped one great chance after another at him until he wilted. I have to say, the Pens are scary good right now. They are just clicking on all cylinders, and they have turbo boost to boot. The big question will be can they sustain this level of play for another 3 months?

And now, the rest of the story…

Sid: A

Too bad he can’t score goals, as he was robbed several times by Uncle Fatty. But he made up for it with three more assists.

Geno: A

He was mush better than against the Rangers.

James Neal: A

He’s trying to put the Mr. October thing to rest.

Kris Letang: A

To be honest, I didn’t notice him

Matt Cooke: A

Two games in a row going for the HT? That couldn’t have anything to do with his new center, could it?

Minus Machine Update

Player This Game Season
MM4 +2 -3
MM7 0 -1
Non Minus Machines +3 +56

The non-MM +3 was all Orpik.

Root Sports: F

The picture quality the entire game was absolutely horrendous. Maybe it was something in Jersey, I don’t know. But when the picture is so bright it’s unwatchable, there’s a serious issue. Then, they missed a big fracas because they had to run some Miller Lite ad.

Uncle Fatty: A

That might have been one of the best games I’ve seen a goalie play in a 5-goal effort. he made so many great saves that I lost count.

Striped Buffoonery

I’m giving this to the linesmen. They absolutely blew two icing calls. They admitted fault on one, but the other, where a Devil first could have played the puck, then dummied it as he skated back, was a total joke. Too much green beer, I guess.

Bibsy’s Holy Creative Language

I guess he’s been watching Batman or something.

“Holy track meet!”
“Holy trickery!”
“Holy statement!”

Icehole of the Game

He was a big man, challenging Tangradi. But as soon as Engelland showed up, he wilted.

Monk Moment

The cross-ice blind pass by Sid right in Geno’s wheelhouse.

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.