Not sure how many times I can repeat the same things, but here goes:
— The Pens have outplayed the Caps for the majority of the series, and deserve their 3-2 lead.
— That being said, the Pens still make it too easy for the Capitals to score, too often. The Caps’ entire offense has been based on random, isolated rushes up the ice; they haven’t managed more than a shift or two of sustained forechecking pressure ( / dumbass Penguins keeping it in their own zone when one foot from the blue line) at a time in the past couple games, and if the Pens can just grab an additional unexpected Fleury save or lucky offensive bounce, there’s no reason to believe they shouldn’t close this thing out Monday night. Remember how well they played at home against Philly when they had a chance to finish them off?? Wait, um…I mean……… rabbits are fuzzy. Teeheeheeee rabbits.
— I did quickly rush to rip on Tom Poti for his game-winning effort, but my brother correctly pointed out, if he hadn’t made a play on the puck it would’ve gone to a wide-open Crosby for a tap-in. The real blame on the goal goes to Bruce Boudreau for inexplicably leaving Sergei Federov in at defense while shorthanded to take on Crosby and Malkin. Watch the clip again – Malkin goes right around Federov untouched. I understand throwing him on D late in the game when you’re trailing, but in overtime? Mind-boggling.
— Marc-Andre Fleury was drafted with the first overall pick six years ago. We shouldn’t still be worrying on a game-by-game basis whether or not he’ll just randomly let a long-distance, untipped wrist shot in, essentially spotting the other team a goal every night. I almost get angry at him now when he follows his spastic mishaps with awesome redemption saves; I don’t like to be confused while complaining.
— In Fleury’s defense (or lack of defense…heyo!!!), Brooks Orpik was playing some serious Washington Generals caliber D on that first Ovechkin goal. Could he possibly be that afraid of challenging Ovechkin one-on-one? He doesn’t have to line up Ovechkin and run him, he just has to get a stick on him or some body position or anything other than letting him set up for his nine hundredth predictable-ass high glove side wrister of the series.
— I’m not quite pushing the panic button about Sergei Gonchar’s injury. Maybe it’s the homer/optimist in me, but we’ve gotta remember, he was probably the Pens’ weakest defensive defenseman in the playoffs to this point, and calling him the “quarterback of the power play” is like calling someone the “anchor of the Detroit Lions’ defense.” Do you really think the Pens will be that much worse on the man advantage with Alex Goligoski at the point instead of Gonchar, the way they’ve been going? Are they going to score negative times? Is Goligoski gonna turn around and throw a puck past Fleury when he’s not looking, then slash Crosby’s Achilles? I realize it’s a lot of ice time to redistribute, and Phillippe Boucher makes me nervous as hell, but I don’t think Gonchar-to-Goligoski is quite the chasm-like dropoff that some fans appear to fear, especially with the way Gonchar had been playing.
— Alexander Semin has to be injured; every time he gets the puck, he’s peeling back and looking to pass immediately, and every time he’s shot the puck, his release has been uncharacteristically slow and everything’s been blocked or wide.
— Viktor Kozlov sucks. He doesn’t hustle, doesn’t play physically, and is good for usually one or two five-second bursts of tallness-using puck possession per game, and if he doesn’t score during that span, he’s invisible.
— Caps fans apparently wanted an interference call on Phillippe Boucher in overtime just prior to the Malkin tripup. I will respond to all complaints about officiating in this series by linking this clip.
— On the FSN Pittsburgh coverage, just prior to overtime, the announcers agreed “you get the feeling that Chris Kunitz has been saving his best for that big moment…” Which is a kind way of saying “Chris Kunitz does not know what a net is anymore.”
— Think Jordan Staal and Ruslan Fedotenko recently watched the video of their 7-6 overtime win against the Red Wings from earlier this season and were like “oh wow, we’re talented, professional hockey players! Let’s do that some more!” When was the last time a Penguin just buried a puck into the upper corner the way Fedotenko did on that second goal? Maybe Malkin in like, February?
— And last, but definitely not least: Two legitimate assists for Miro Satan now in consecutive games?? Why didn’t Ray Shero sign this guy to a five-year deal when he had the chance??