Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pens 1 - Oilers 0 After One...

The home team again came out strong against the Pens, and again the Pens took a few shifts to settle in. The Pens did manage an early PP, which produced the only goal in this one. Pens moved the puck exceptionally well with the man advantage and scored on a great one-timer from Letang (his first goal of the season) from the left point.

The Oilers speed up front and their active defense has caused problems for the Pens in the first. Like the Vancouver Canucks, the Oilers move the puck very well offensively and were making quick, crisp passes  and using their speed to get the puck in behind the Pens defense. The Pens would do well to adjust and take away the Oilers speed advantage through the neutral zone.

The Pens committed a number of undisciplined penalties in the first, including going down two men for a short period. The Oilers again moved the puck well and kept the Pens PK chasing, especially below the goal line. If it were not for Brent Johnson's brilliant goaltending, the Pens perfect PK record would easily have at least one blemish.

For the second, the Pens need to keep their discipline and avoid giving the Oilers any more man advantages. Standing the Oilers forwards up at the blueline is proving risky, as the Oilers have been able to get in behind the Pens defense and produce some chances. It may be worth having one defender back off deep just a bit as a precaution. The Pens have been playing aggressive defense but this has been opening up opportunities for good passing, especially cross-ice. The Pens need to be extra careful not to over-pursue the puck carrier and get pulled out of position. It's been a nail-biter through one so far...

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