Another great game tonight in Pittsburgh and the Pens are now tied in the series with Detroit 2-2. Clearly, I’m very glad I was able to make the trip to Pittsburgh for the finals and lucky enough to have tickets and be a fan at games 3 & 4. I had an amazing time cheering for the Penguins and waving my towel (though I’ll never quite understand the need for giving out towels).
I think Marc-Andre Fleury completely deserved to be #1 star of the game, since he had a 94.9 save percentage and 37 saves against Detroit. I understand Crosby being named #2, since he had the game winning goal and an assist. I have NOTHING against Malkin (in fact, I bought this great “Got Milkin?” t-shirt yesterday complete with a puck being dunked in a glass of milk), but I do question the decision to make him the #3 star of the game. Yes, he had a goal and an assist, but so did Jordan Staal.
It’s my belief that Staal’s short handed goal at 8:35 in the 2nd period was the turning point of the game for the Penguins. Not only did he score the tying goal, but it was short handed! I’m not really sure how they could have skipped him in the 3 stars of the game. He is listed as the third top performer of the day for ESPN. At least he got listed there…
I find it interesting that the team shooting the most has lost every game in this series, all games have been won by two goals (perhaps that’s why Kunitz missed the empty net…), and the scores have been the same by city so far (both Detroit games 3-1; both Pittsburgh games 4-2).
As a side note… Does anyone know if they track missed empty net attempts? I don’t have time to look it up now, but it seems like the Penguins have more missed empty net goals than any team I’ve seen (in years). It’s clear that Kunitz is truly a Penguin now – he’s missed an empty net at fairly close range. Perhaps that’s part of the initiation to the team.
Saturday’s game should be amazing. It’s too bad NBC isn’t allowing the Penguins to show the game on the big screen outside. If you’re a Penguins fan, be sure NOT to record the game on NBC (or unplug the line that records that if you can – I know that’s not possible for those who have cable, but if you have DirecTV unplug the phone line) and go to a bar to watch the game. I’m all for higher ratings for NHL playoffs (especially the finals), but NBC’s reason for not allowing the game to be aired at the arena seems to be completely ratings based, so I think working to keep their ratings as low as possible is the best fans can do to show them how you feel about their enforcement of their contract.