Today’s music video is There Goes The Fear by Doves.
Game two of a three game road trip tonight as the Florida Panthers hope to trip up, slow down, the surging Pittsburgh Penguins just as they did Monday against the Philadelphia Flyers. I would imagine that a game like this for the Pens is an easy one to take for granted. Unless you look at some recent stats of the Panthers which will impress anyone. Even me!
* Three consecutive games in which a starting goaltender has been chased. Could Marc -Andre Fluery be the fourth?
* 14 goals in their last three games.
* Winning five of their last seven games.
*Evgeny Dadonov’s energizing the entire team with his skill and play. Geno has four points in his last two games, and scored a beauty Monday night against the Flyers.
For as much as Pittsburgh might take this game for granted, the Panthers must continue to play the way they’ve been playing over the last two games. The proverbial putting their foot on the gas pedal is something that has been evident for a change in the last two games, and will be a necessary tool tonight. Scoring by five different players on Monday was pleasing to see, and not only that, but what looks like a smart move by coach Peter DeBoer, the line of Marty Reasoner, Evgeny Dadonov and Shawn Matthias seems to be clicking quite nicely. Could this be labeled the REM line? Reasoner has been one of the most surprising and productive pickups of the offseason and is on his way to a 38 point season which is a number he hasn’t seen in years.
I’m expecting Tomas Vokoun gets the call tonight with Scott Clemmensen getting the call tomorrow against the Sabres. Vokoun is coming off his fourth shutout of the season and a game where his defencemen complimented his play well by making smart decisions and being in the right place at the right time. Monday night against the Flyers, Florida not only played the perfect road game, but kept their composure in a building and against a team that can instantly turn the tide the other way.
As for Pittsburgh, they too are coming off a five goal victory Monday night at the hands of the Phoenix Coyotes. Geno Malkin who has just come back from injury had himself a five point night, and Sidney Crosby not only set up both of Geno’s goals, but scored one of his own. According to the TSN gameday preview both players are hot.
Crosby is leading the Penguins in goals with 27, assists with 30 and points with 57. He’s also currently the NHL leading point getter. Containing him is a tall task and I’m very curious to see who gets that job. Be on the lookout for defenceman Kris Letang, who is creative offensively and has 10 points in his last 10 games. Goaltender Marc- Andre Fluery is 9-1-0 in his last 10 games with a 1.50 GAA.
This game has hype for Florida written all over it, if they can play like they did Monday. Winning here in Pittsburgh against one of the hotest teams in the NHL raises confidence of everyone in the room. Staying focused and taking it to the Penguins are the keys to this one. Outskating and outhustling the Penguins is crucial as Pittsburgh can score in bunches, and is a hard working team themselves Florida is 12-4 when scoring first, and that would be a nice way to start. Play with your heads up, as Matt Cooke will be prowling for someone.
The game also has trap written on it as well. Although the trap can swing either way here, as Florida can’t be overly confident and needs to forget Monday from a celebration standpoint. The Pens need to stay focused themselves and not take this game lightly, as they could be looking ahead to their matchup in Washington Thursday.
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