Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Bruins lead series 1-0
NBCSN, CBC, RDS - 8:00 pm/et
Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
Like it or not, the Pittsburgh Penguins got frustrated in game one. After starting the game very strong, the Pens were unable to score. Regardless of why you think that is (the Pens' play, the Bruins' play, the goal posts, luck, the Hockey Gods, etc.) it's hard to deny the fact that the team became frustrated by the fact that they weren't scoring. That's why you saw things like Sidney Crosby purposely bumping into/elbowing/striking Tuukka Rask at the end of the second period.
Speaking of Crosby, he had a subpar game (by his standards especially) in game one. The Pens will need his skill, his focus and his leadership in game two. They'll also need to keep their minds on the game and focus on playing good hockey, regardless of anything else that is happening. If, midway through the first period the Boston Bruins transform into the aliens from Space Jam, the Penguins will need to focus on playing hockey. This team has more than enough leadership. At last count, the Pens had 323 current or former captains in the line-up. They'll need all of them tonight.
This is not to say that the Penguins are a bad hockey team or that they're a worse hockey team than the Bruins. In fact, it's the exact opposite. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a very, very good hockey team. They are a team that has the ability to take over and dominate opponents. They have offensive weapons that most teams can only dream of. They have leadership and experience. With all of those skills, it's easy to see how they should be able to defeat the Boston Bruins in this game and in this series. But it won't be easy. The playoffs are rarely ever easy. We saw that in round one against the Islanders. Reaching the Stanley Cup Final takes the right mix of skill, attitude, desire and even some good luck. Sometimes things won't work out your way. Talented teams are able to overcome those things.
The Pens will need to avoid getting away from their game no matter what the Bruins do, what the refs do, or what the game itself does. They can't allow bad luck or missed chances or an annoying opponent to cause them to lose their focus.
If the Pittsburgh Penguins play as good as the Pittsburgh Penguins can play, they can win this series. They'll just have to actually do that.
Game One: Bruins won 3-0.
What we said in our recap:
The Bruins and Pens, the last two Cup champs from the East, finally got down to business in Game One, and it was fun. It's gonna take some type of series to live up to the hype generated by a long eight-day layoff, and we're off to a pretty good start. Crosby and Chara chirped eached other and had a Wrestlemania-like showdown at the end of a wild second period. Malkin and Bergeron fought. There were big hits, a Matt Cooke controversy, and some damn good hockey.
One post here, another post there. The Pens dropped the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals for many reasons, but those reasons shouldn't be raising any red flags.
Know Your Enemy: Days of Y'Orr
What they're saying:
This is all of the usual fan rhetoric that happens when their team loses. Same goes when Boston loses. Suddenly it's everyone's fault but their own team. How about this...the Penguins out hit, out shot and basically out played Boston in Game 1 and lost because the Penguins tried to be the Bruins. You can pinpoint the exact time when Pittsburgh lost their shit and it was after the second period.
But Saturday is over. Nothing carries over from playoff game to playoff game and Boston could get their doors blown off tonight and everything that happened Saturday night gets washed away.
It took Tuukka Rask playing out of his fucking mind to keep the Penguins at bay and he's going to have to do it again, especially if Boston continues to take stupid penalties. When you watched the beginning of the game, the Bruins took dumb penalties because they couldn't keep up with Pittsburgh's skating. Speed kills the Bruins. Pittsburgh decided to stop skating and try to out muscle Boston - if they continue skating it could be disastrous tonight.
Pittsburgh Penguins Lines:
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Boston Bruins Lines:
Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Nathan Horton
Patrice Bergeron - Brad Marchand - Jaromir Jagr
Rich Peverley - Chris Kelly - Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille - Gregory Campbell - Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski - Johnny Boychuk
Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid