Going into last night's showdown between the Penguins and the Red Wings I had pretty easily convinced myself that it was, despite all the hype surrounding the game, 1 out of 82 games the Penguins will play this season and nothing more. I'm not one of those people who thinks beating a team in the regular season after they beat you in the playoffs the season before is any kind of revenge, so that angle was lost on me. It was 2 points just like any other game.
Somewhere in the third period last night that all changed. The Penguins came back from 5-2 and 6-4 defeceits in the third period on the road against one of the best teams in the NHL. That counts for a lot more than just two points. This will be one of those moments that this team can look back on for the rest of the season and remember that even when they are down, they are never out of a game. Even under some of the worst possible circumstances.
Here are my thoughts on the game:
- Have to start with Jordan Staal. The way he played in the last 10 minutes of the third and OT was a dominant a performance as you will ever see from any player. Jordan made himself a lot of money this offseason with this game. And it was not lost on me that #11 had the game of his life on 11/11 and set up the OT winner with 1:11 remaining.
- Red Wings fans are a joke. Nice of them to show up in time for the second period.
- Letang and Goligoski both looked really good to me. They did not have mistake free games, but they both looked really poised down the stretch.
- I know he had 2 assists, but really... did Marian Hossa even play last night?
- Mike Zigomanis may be the pick-up of the year. His dominance on face-offs can not be overhyped as it is a big boost for the Pens both in the defensive zone and on the power play. If he doesn't win that offensive zone draw at the end of the third I'm writing about a 6-5 Detroit win right now.
- Red Wings fans are a joke. This game was so big and such a statement while they were winning, but as soon as Fedo sent them packing in OT it was just another regular home game against some random non-conference team.
- Marc-Andre Fleury was much better than the numbers tell. The Hudler goal was the only one he had any chance of stopping. The bottom line is that right now if MAF can see it he is going to stop it 99% of the time.
- Red Wings fans are a joke. They love to go on and on about how good Datsyuk and Zetterberg are defensively and all the turnovers they create and then turnaround and dismiss Staal picking Datsyuk's pocket in overtime as lucky or a fluke. Just watch Zetterberg flop around on the ice during the Pens' 5-on-3 goal and then explain to me how great he is defensively.
- I have never been happier watching one of my fantasy goalies give up 7 goals.
- Hearing Hossa getting booed on his "home" ice was priceless. Penguin fans definitely had the edge at "The Joe" last night.
- Red Wings fans are a joke.