Penguins 4, Avalanche 1: Pens Score Timely Power-Play Goal; Sequel To “Miracle” Planned

A timely Penguin power play goal in the third period proved the difference in a 4-1 victory over Colorado last night, which…

Wait, hold on a sec.

When I typed “timely Penguin power play goal,” a squiggly red line appeared underneath the entire phrase, and when I right-clicked it, WordPress suggested “timely Penguin power play FAILURE”. Thanks for looking out, WordPress, but for once, this was not a typo; I was gonna click “add to dictionary,” but I don’t have tremendous confidence that I’m gonna need to type this phrase again any time soon.

Still, the Pens kept rolling along last night, with Sidney Crosby notching his 18th and 19th goals off the season, putting him on a ridiculous pace for 54 goals over an 82-game season. Obviously, he probably won’t keep this pace up forever, but this projection takes into account his career-worst scoreless streak from earlier in the year, so it’s not like the dude scored twice in the season opener and we’re putting him on pace for 160 tallies. Right now, Crosby is playing the best regular-season hockey of his career; he’s playing so well, we might actually stop complaining about how the Pens still need to get a winger to play with him. But seriously dude, the Pens still need to get a winger to play with him. Crap, guess we’re not totally there yet.

I want to keep a clip of the Rupp-to-Crosby goal on my phone at all times so I can whip it out whenever a busted play results in fans angrily yelling about shooting the puck. Sure, the Penguins (like every team) sometimes pass when they should shoot, but on that rush, if Rupp had shot the puck right into Budaj, which he almost assuredly would have from that angle, fans would’ve just credited Budaj with a nice save on a scoring chance, but if Rupp had tried to pass back to Crosby and the pass had missed, people would’ve been violently screaming at him for not shooting the puck, even though Rupp’s chances of connecting that pass for a Crosby tap-in are better than his chances of scoring from one foot away with Budaj right in front of him. Again, obviously the Pens (and Crosby in particular) sometimes make an extra pointless pass instead of shooting it, but that goal should stand as a reminder that sometimes, a pass that goes awry isn’t automatically a worse play than an easily-saved shot on goal.

From an Avs stand-point, the game actually seemed pretty even throughout, and as has happened several times the past couple seasons, I have trouble believing the Mellon Arena numbers that the Pens outshot Colorado 33-16. Of course, the Avs got a goal from a dude named T.J. Galiardi (and should’ve had two), and probably would’ve pulled ahead if they had just called up an even more randomly named dude from the AHL to score his first NHL goal against the Penguins. It was a pretty tightly-checked game, especially the first period, but the Pens ended up keeping things even til the third and cashed in when they had to on a power play.

Man, just typed that sentence a second time and still don’t believe it. What’s next, Chris Bourque NEVERSCORINGEVER. Hm, that was weird — I tried to type “Chris Bourque scoring” and WordPress autocorrected it…

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