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Thread: Victory from the Jaws of Defeat! Thoughts on Pens/Panthers

      
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    Default Victory from the Jaws of Defeat! Thoughts on Pens/Panthers

    Victory from the Jaws of Defeat! Thoughts on Pens/Panthers
    November 24, 2009, 12:07 PM ET [15 Comments]

    Brian Metzer
    Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger RSS Archive CONTACT



    The venue may have been different, but the picture didn't change much. The Florida Panthers found themselves clinging to a 2-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third period only to watch it slip away -- the same way it did in an earlier game between the two in Pittsburgh.

    Though it took the Penguins the better part of 60 minutes to get the game tied up thanks to the masterful work of Tomas Vokoun, they finally cracked him for a couple of goals. As a fan of goaltenders, I always feel horrible for TV when he plays the Penguins, as he tends to finish with 40+ saves and a loss.

    I don't want to dwell on last night's game too much, but wanted to share some quick thoughts about it.

    First of all... Evgeni Malkin is an absolute beast. This kid is just getting better by the day and he wears his heart on his sleeve. There is absolutely no quit in his game, he plays hard on every shift, has an emotional edge to his game and it is hard to say that he isn't in the conversation for the Hart again this year. The team just plays at another level when he is in the line-up. Every player from Sidney Crosby to Chris Bourque just seems to have another gear when 71 is in there. Nothing showed off Malkin's insane skillset, heart and determination more than his late game shift that set up Mike Rupp for the tying goal. Malkin was on the ice weaving, creating, and passing to teammates for 2:06 before the Rupp goal. Unbelieveable.

    I am still shocked that teams leave Sidney Crosby unchecked to the right of the goaltender. Crosby scored many of his rookie year goals from that area, including his first in the league, before abandoning it for a game that kept him to the perimeter a bit more. He re-claimed the goalmouth last season during the playoffs started scoring often and hasn't looked back. Though his shot has gotten much better over the years, his hands are one of his biggest assets. He has the skill to get his twig on most pucks that come through that right goalmouth area and most of them end up in the net. I realize that the Panthers were short handed during the overtime period, but they leaving a former Hart and Art Ross winner unchecked to collect the game winner is unacceptable.

    Speaking of the overtime power play...how often do you see the linesman make a highsticking call, let alone during a huge moment in the game. Though the high stick is an infraction that pretty much gets called in any circumstance, it was just a strange turn of events.

    Tomas Vokoun would challeng for the Vezina on a better team. He possesses one of the best glove hands in the league and drives the Penguins crazy anytime that they play him. It is a rare game between these two teams in which the Panthers aren't ahead or vying for victory late based on the play of this former Wheeling Nailer!

    Derryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy are showing themselves to be NHL caliber defensemen. Sure, they might not be ready for top three duty on a regular basis, but they have done nothing that screams "I don't belong."

    How is it that the Panthers are seemingly a better team without David Booth? Strange that they would go on their hot streak without one of their best players...hopefully it continues once he is able to make his return.

    Keith Ballard can play on my hockey team any day... he very quietly does it all for the Panthers. He is a great complimentary D-man, but can man the points on the PP, kill penalties and eats a ton of minutes...all without making a ton of mental errors.

    Wouldn't Nathan Horton look great patrolling the front of the net on a line with Sidney Crosby? Just saying...

    I will be back with another update on the remaining injured Birds later today... I will also have my weekly www.networkpittsburgh.com blog up...

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    Default Re: Victory from the Jaws of Defeat! Thoughts on Pens/Panthers

    Solid article, Geno and spot on regarding Malkin wearing his heart on his sleeve. I didn't know about Vokoun playing for wheeling. That had to have been back in the mid 1990's

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    Default Re: Victory from the Jaws of Defeat! Thoughts on Pens/Panthers

    95-96 and he was a Habs prospect at the time

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    Default Re: Victory from the Jaws of Defeat! Thoughts on Pens/Panthers

    The Panthers 28th ranked PP did them in! They had plenty of opportunities and very few scoring chances! Watching those two teams on the PP/YP last night was brutal!!!

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