My Prediction

Bruins 10, Pens 7.
Actual: Pens 5, Bruins 3.
Record in predicting winner: 30-23.

Even Strength Offense: B

The pens continue to play more transition that puck possession hockey. They are not generating nearly as many shot attempts as they were earlier in the season. Maybe Bylsma has actually tweaked the Pittsburgh Penguin Ice Hockey model. Either that, or they have just strayed from the system. Last night, only the Asham goal resulted from play in the offensive zone. The other two goals were off the rush.

Even Strength Defense: D

Still way too many quality scoring chances allowed. The three goals all resulted from defensive breakdowns. Martin was in early season form, being on for all three goals. he got undressed by the immortal Benoit Pouliot on the first one and was nowhere to be found on the last one. Let’s hope Niskanen isn’t hurt too bad, or they could be in trouble back there.

Power Play: A

They were about to get an F because the 5-on-3 had done nothing. Then all of a sudden, Neal picked up some trash and scored. Then Sid knocked home a beautiful Letang pass, and suddenly all was well in the world.

Penalty Kill: A

They only had to kill one penalty, and they did it with ease.

Goaltending: A-

Johnson actually played a very solid game. His leaky defense forced him to make a ton of good saves, and he came through for the most part. You really couldn’t blame him for any of the goals. And once they got ahead, he kept the Bruins at bay.

Overall: B

They played a much more solid, though far from perfect, game. They took advantage of their chances, though it was against a backup sieve. And they allowed far too many chances that Johnson was forced to stop. But in the end, they did beat a top team on the road, and that felt good after the Philly debacle.

And now, the rest of the story…

Sid: P

For punk. He made a dumb blind pass 10 seconds into the game, but atoned for it with two goals and an assist. Take that, Mike Milbury.

Geno: F

Can you believe he attempted only one shot all night? That is unacceptable. He did pick up a second assists on Sid’s power play goal, but was otherwise invisible.

James Neal: A

They seemed to target him all night long for some reason. But he shut them up with the goal that put them ahead to stay.

Kris Letang: A

His embellishment got them a 5-on-3 that basically won the game. Oh, and he did have three assists.

Tyler Kennedy: F

Seriously, is there a reason this guy is in the NHL?

Milan Lucic: A

For ape. He looks like something out of the caveman era. Acts like it too.

Minus Machine Update

Player This Game Season
MM4 0 -4
Non Minus Machines -2 +71

Icehole of the Game

Andrew Ference needs to get on with his life’s work of saving the planet. His play sure isn’t saving the Bruins. He went after Neal and got him to fight. How he didn’t get an instigator for it is beyond me. It was the classic case of a worthless POC taking another team’s star off the ice. Isn’t that what the instigator is for.

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.