Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pens 4 - Flames 1 After Two...

What a difference a period makes! Pens come out a completely different team in the second, attacking the puck with authority and establishing a strong forecheck. The Pens simply overwhelm the Calgary defense and Kiprusoff is all over the place trying to keep the firing squad at bay. Pens get plenty of net front presence and pound the Flames for 4 goals. Pens drove hard to the net with the center drive, while the puck carrier showed great patience in finding the defender high. Absolutely great period of offensive bravado from the Pens, overshadowed only by...

The Flames total loss of composure. Calgary, frustrated in the second by the ability to get anything going, resorted to cheap shots and dirty play. Alex Tanguay blatantly runs Marc Andre Fleury and gets called for 2. Curtis Glencross takes one too many liberties with Evgeni Malkin and Geno responds by dropping the gloves. Thankfully for the Pens, the officials quickly jump in between the two. Geno clearly had reason to go after Glencross, but the game was so far beyond the Flames at that point it wasn't really worth the effort. Hopefully, Geno was able to release some of the frustration that's clearly been mounting since the season started for him.

The worst by far was Corey Sarich's blatant head-hunting on Matt Cooke. Sarich skated across the defensive end and came up high with the shoulder/elbow and made contact with Cooke's chin. Cooke was blind-sided by the hit and, although he didn't drop to the ice, Cooke was clearly dazed. Deryk Engelland immediately skated down and jumped Sarich, both players getting double minors as a result. Matt Cooke did not return to the ice in the period. It's not known the effects of the hit, but Cooke was concussed for certain. His return in this one appears unlikely, but the likelihood that Sarich will get some facetime with Brendan Shanahan is all but certain. Cooke has a troubled past, but was trying hard this season to put that behind him. It's clear the rest of the league isn't ready to forgive and forget: Cooke is still a target.

Goals by Kennedy, Niskanen, Adams, Malkin. Total domination by the Pens.

Hopefully the Pens can put this one away with no further incidents.

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