Penguins 6 ‚Äì Thrashers 2
Post Game Thoughts
The Penguins have now won nine of 11, earning points in all 11 games (9-0-2). The win tied the Penguins (84 pts) with the Philadelphia Flyers who are currently 4th in the Eastern Conference with 84 points. Philadelphia (37-22-10, 84 pts) has three games in hand on the Penguins (38-26-8, 84 pts). Pittsburgh is 4-1 against Philadelphia this season
Evgeni Malkin‚Äôs five point night (2 goals, 3 assists) against the Atlanta Thrashers cooled any talk that the Art Ross Trophy is up for grabs as Malkin moved 10 points ahead of teammate Sidney Crosby.
The power play which went 3-for-6 saw Evgeni Malkin have a Mario Lemieux moment with a beautiful one timer goal in the second period from the top right circle. The coaching staff finally moved Evgeni Malkin off the left point and it paid divedends.
Jordan Staal scored his 20th goal of the season against the Thrashers hitting the 20 goal plateau for the second time in his young three year career. Staal has played his best hockey of his career over the past two weeks. When Staal plays at this level the Penguins are a nightmare to matchup against down the middle.
You know things are going well when Sergei Gonchar and Mark score on a 2-on-1
Why you can‚Äôt discount the Penguins in a playoff series against Philadelphia, Washington or Boston in the first round — Penguins have the advantage in net.
Chris Kunitz has had a much bigger impact off the bat than many people including my self thought he would. Kunitz has 6 goals, 6 assists for 12 points in 10 games with the Penguins. He has the speed in addition to the ability to win battles in corners to complement Sidney Crosby very well. Another very important part of Kunitz game is his leadership on and off the ice. He is a very likeable player in the locker room.
In 32 games at home this season, forward Maxime Talbot is a minus 9 after being a minus 1 against the Thrashers Tuesday night.
After being counted on to be the #1 option in New York, Bill Guerin is in the perfect role with the Penguins as complementary player. Guerin has done a phenomenal job of finding the soft spots in the slot. Guerin missed a couple chances in tonight‚Äôs game that he would have liked to have back.
Bill Guerin, Craig Adams and Chris Kunitz are living together until the season is over when Kunitz plans on buying a long-term residence.