Once again, DeSmith was in the saddle for this game, as the Penguins went up against the Bruins in Boston. Tukka Rask is out with an upper body injury ~5 days ago, so Daniel Vladar is in net. This is his 3rd game as a Bruin, and he is undefeated. The Pregame coverage discussed how hard it has been for the Penguins to win at TD Garden arena. Last time was Nov 2014, in an OT win. Yep, 2014 P.C. (pre-Covid). On the up-side, Brandon ‘Colt-Train’ Tanev was back, after missing the last 6 games.
Sully immediately started his game plan, as he tried to keep the Crosby line away from the Bergeron line. He tried to put the McCann line against Bergeron. Mears mentioned that this is Sully’s 8th year as coach. EIGHT! I would have guessed 6 years.
There was a lot of back-and-forth play in the first 5 minutes of the period, but no real promising chances on either end. Mears informed us that Boston had the number one face off team, and penguins are 20th, which means Crosby is gonna have to use all his tricks. The camera catches a quick glimpse at the Penguin bench, and the horror of a brown slug, sitting on Letang’s upper lip. Potash popped on the screen and blah, blah about mustaches. Back to the bench were the horror seemed to be contagious, as the bench looked like a casting call for a “Debbie does Dallas” homage.
With 10 min left in the first period, Austin-Reese had a good look at the net, but whiffs on the shot. The Bruins get a powerplay, after Dumoulin does …something; I missed it or it was just a phantom play. Anyway, Bergeron got to DeSmith, but shot it wide. At the 6 minutes mark, the Bruins string together a couple plays, but Casey and his defenders were able to block them.
The best play, that never was, occurred when Ceci took a pass from Math, and send it around the boards to Rodrigues. ERod somehow inhabits the body of Kunitz 2016, gives a slap pass to Jankowski, who inhabits Gonchar 2008, and sends a puck on the tape of a flying Aston-Reese. Unfortunately, Reese could not score, but if he had, someone would have got a back tattoo of that play. Rust had a nice play, where he stripped the puck, in our zone, and turned it into a scoring chance. Unfortunately he shot it the puck high.
1st period Summary:
- Most noticeable, and threatening line was ZAR-Gaudreau-Tanev
- The transitions from our zone into the neutral zone is so crisp. Penguins are working hard on not letting the pucks get too deep
Sully must have given everyone the ‘Kool-aid’ speech, because I haven’t seen jump like this in the 2nd period, in years. The first line comes out looking like gang-busters with a couple of looks on net. Then McCann gets a breakaway, but Vladar saves it. Aston-Reese finally got the puck to go in, after he gets a cross ice pass from Tanev. He was able to get a stick on the puck, despite having a Bruin draped on him, like a cheap suit.
The goal seemed to wake up the Bruins, as they started getting chances too. However DeSmith was always alert and ready. Frederick went after Letang, probably offended by his facial hair too, but the ref breaks it up. McAvoy rubs out Austin-Reese on the boards, causing cheering in the building. Austin looked a little shaken up but continued to play. A 2 on 1, on Math, but he did a good job in taking away the pass, so that Casey could stop the shot.
Then, MATH. DAMN. Enough said.
The game got a little chippy after the 2nd goal, as Austin seem to ruffle a couple of feathers after a hit. End of period.
2nd period Summary:
Lauzon took a penalty that put the Penguins on the power play early in the 3rd. What’s that, Kristopher LeTang wants a one game suspension? Since it worked so well last game, Kris wanted to go 4 on 4, but stupid Marchand ruined it by taking a penalty. They called holding on Kris, and … well, ‘you-know-what-u-did’ on Marchand. The power play continued, but it was useless.
Crosby gets a 2 on 1 and actually shoots the puck, but he misses glove side, and hits the glass. A 2nd Bruin defender headed to the locker room, after an errant pass. Somewhere at the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd, Carlo was injured, and left the game. I’m sure you were broken up about it.
The Bruins finally got on the board after Marchand beat his man to the open side. It looked like Rust missed his assignment.
Zooker had a lot of side altercations during the game, so he decided to get back at the Bruins, on the board. He took a backhand pass from Kunitz 2015-Rodriguez, and scored on an empty net.
What a great way to respond after a goal against. Guentzel took time to pee on the corpse of the TD arena, with an empty netter. It was an R-rated scene, so I cannot post it.
- Casey ‘Hairless-Cat’ DeSmith: before the games started, he was 4-1, with 0.80 GAA, in his last 5 starts. After the rat goal, I could feel how pissed he was, that he got scored on. If he could have punched Marchand, he would. Shoot, if he did, he would probable get a raise
- Best complete game so far. Against a weak defense line, this game would be 6-1
- Tanev was flying, chippy, and a lovely addition
- Rodriguez may just make it
- Defense did great. I cannot think of anything that really stood out as a bone-head play
- Hopefully we can do it again in 2 days