PENGUINS – ISLANDERS SUDDENLY A POTENTIAL FIRST ROUND MATCHUP
The narrative surrounding the Penguins has suddenly changed in a matter of three or four days. Getting four out of four points against two divisional rivals you’re chasing in the standings will do that.
When the Evgeni Malkin news came down Saturday, there was this feeling among some pundits and the fan base that it was going to be a dog fight for this team just to make the playoffs. Maybe things still end up playing out that way, but back-to-back wins vs the Rangers and Islanders have now changed the discussion to getting home ice and taking second place in the division.
At least for now.
With Pittsburgh’s 2-1 shootout win over the Islanders tonight, the race for second place in the Metropolitan Division is tightening.
New York Islanders (85 points/14 games remaining), New York Rangers (85 points/13 games remaining), Pittsburgh Penguins (82 points/13 games remaining).
The Rangers at Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose their next three games, look potentially vulnerable.
The Penguins 5-3 win over the Rangers on Sunday was a big swing in standings with it now followed up by tonight’s win vs the Islanders. The art of four point games, a Rangers win in regulation Sunday and they would have been nine points up on the Penguins after that contest with little to no chance of Pittsburgh making up that ground the rest of the way.
Pittsburgh is now just three points behind the Rangers and the Islanders.
If the Rangers stumble on their West Coast swing, seven days from now a Penguins – Islanders first round playoff series could be much more of a possibility than imagined a few weeks ago.
Probability sites currently project the Islanders right now as the Penguins second most likely first round opponent, big change in a week.
Even without Evgeni Malkin, a goaltending matchup of Marc Andre Fleury vs Thomas Greiss that strongly favors the Penguins (regardless of what Greiss’s numbers are this season), should be an area that gives Pittsburgh a needed edge over a seven game series. A key edge from Pittsburgh end you have to capitalize on if this matchup comes to fruition.
PENGUINS – ISLES POST GAME THOUGHTS
What played out for the Penguins tonight in their 2-1 shootout win vs the Islanders was putting together a workman like performance against a team that played last night and Pittsburgh looked on their way to shutting the Islanders out until a Nick Bonino slashing penalty late in the third put the Islanders on the power play and Kyle Okposo tied the game.
There’s no question Bonino does some little things well that don’t show up in a box score but his season just continues to be a disaster based on the offensive ability he’s shown in the past years.
A few takeaways for the Penguins from this one:
1. Sidney Crosby is leading by example in a big way and it’s not just about the points. He extended his points streak to nine games with an assist but more importantly it’s the determination he’s playing with in chasing loose pucks and winning puck battles in the offensive zones. He’s setting a tone for his teammates and that continued tonight. Players are feeding off his effort.
2. Marc Andre Fleury was excellent in the Penguins 2-1 loss to New York last Tuesday and tonight he had that look where he was going to be very tough to beat. Pittsburgh, though, defended New York much better than the previous meeting. They were much more effective at clearing lanes in front and defended the net-front area well. Fleury could see pucks well.
3. A third meeting between the two clubs and another sign of the Penguins matching up better with the Islanders this season due to more speed in the lineup. Key areas that showed was on the forecheck and back pressure through the neutral zone that played a factor in not letting the Islanders get out in transition.
How would you guys feel about an Islanders feel about a first round matchup? IMO, it would be more favoriable in comparison to some of the other options. I think their D/goaltending is vulnerable. They have a lot of talent up front,but I think our offense can play with them, even without Malkin. I could also see us lighting Greiss up. Or Bob Greise, according to yogurt.
I think it’s a pretty favorable matchup as well. Although the scenario whereby it would come to fruition is unlikely, IMO.
I think it’s unlikely too, but it’s hard to predict anything with just 5 points separating the 2nd and 7th. I’m interested to see how the Rags do on this road trip. It’ll obviously have a huge effect on the standings, but I think it’s kind of a defining trip for them. I think it’ll give you a good idea of what they have going into things. I don’t see them as the team they were last year.
Halak can steal them a series if he is back by then
but having malkin not in the lineup its a good thing because all he does is lazy passes that becomes counter attack and takes dumb penalties in the 3rd period
You ability to prove you actually shed IQ points is fucking remarkable.
Speaking of Bonino’s tough season, have Cullen center the 2nd line Fehr on the 3rd and if/when healthy again sundquist on the 4th (not sure if any of WBS guys are natural centers that are up now). Was excited at first glance but sutter deal is looking like a bust.
Every time you trade a canadian player to an american player its pretty much a bust.just a few exemples
despres for gayjoy. Bortuzzo for cole . Sutter for Bonino
and kessel the biggest fraud
How do you trade one player TO another player? Does the American player own a team?
Glad you realized that my bandwagon fan.
at least you came forward about this trade now only if we can find who were the Droolers overthe Kessel trade this summer
and the droolers for scuderi when he was suppose to be the shutdown guy for ovechkin and teach letang some defense
Why do you care so much what other fans think?…sounds like a horrible life
Regarding the salary cap news in the “instant buzz” section, I consider myself to have an above average knowledge re: the cap, but I’m hazy at best on this section – what is the benefit to the players if they choose to NOT accept the 5% escalator? Is it more escrow withheld? What’s the thought process there?
Dont know the answer, but find it funny that Sam still gave you a thumbs down.
haha – sam also doesn’t know what “escrow” means.
He’s wondering why you’re talking about moving stairs.
He knows what meatspin.com is now, though.
canadians bringing back MT hahahahahahaha..He doesnt even have more cups than DB
He doesn’t have more cups than…me.
Remember, there are no shootouts in the playoffs and st blurry is the worst playoff ot goalie in the history of the NHL since the cup win. He is 0-7 and his save % is sub .840. Don’t get your hopes up. Speaking of greise, just another example of why you don’t have to pay 6 million for a goalie.
Yogurt doing yogurt things.
“since the cup win” —– if you have to actually type that and then keep pouring the horse manure, you are something else.
Brian or Bob Greise?
They’re probably both before his time.
Yoda you forgot to add pens barely beat islanders 3rd goalie
I’m still trying to figure out how he an be 0-7 since the Cup when he’s played 49 playoff games since the Cup. I’m also trying to figure out how he can have an .840 sv% since the Cup when he’s only had 1 playoff with with a sub .880(.891,.899,.834,.883,.915,.927) since the Cup win. It’s gotten so bad that Yoda can’t even be clueless correctly.
The guy could fuck up a bowl of cold cereal. We all know this.
We aren’t paying 6 million for a goalie.
welcome to morning tea with d