The Tower of Flower Power, Marc Andre Fleury, was just that tonight, making 27 saves on 28 shots as the Penguins (finally) win against the Thrashed tonight at the Igloo 3-1. On the face of it, you might think it was a 'gimme' game. Atlanta has the worst defense in the League and the Pens are loaded with offensive talent. Until you consider this, the Pens have lost the last 5 games, haven't won in the Igloo in a month (Dec 11th was the last win at home) haven't had a PP goal in some ungodly number of chances, they'd only scored one goal in the last two games and they're in the middle of a slump that has seen them slide from 4th to 9th in the Conference. There was nothing 'gimme' about this game. The Pens finally saw some reward for all their hard work and the Flower was making some awesome saves, denying every rebound chance that Atlanta could come up with. Every time you caught your breath, Fleury caught the puck. A solid performance from a team that had little expectation of a win at the beginning of the game.
Good Stuff: Two Power Play goals, including a re-direct by El Capitan, Sidney Crosby. Malkin gets a bit back on track with 3 points and Syko with another 2 goal game. (I hope it's not another 42 before he gets another hat-trick) TK and Crosby had a couple of flashes at what is possible if they actually click, Ruslan Fedotenko decking Colby, and Geno absolutely leveling Army in front of the Penguin net (sorry Raine, but it was a good play)
Bad Stuff: Pascal Dupuis disappeared mysteriously from the Igloo ( I suspect aliens). The mysterious part is not only did I not notice him leaving, but no footage exists of what happened to cause him to leave (you know aliens control the media, right?) even with the multitude of cameras at the event. Plenty of footage exists of what caused Feds to leave the ice. A one-punch drop of semi-tough Colby Armstrong in the first period. Ryan Whitney suspects that Feds cut his hand on Colby's sharpened schnoz, "That nose could hurt a hand."
The Zombie Voodoo Witch Doctor was stopped at the airport for some reason (go figure) and couldn't make it to New York. But did make it to the Igloo and performed some sort of anti-curse ceremony, I don't know the details, and I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. I'm certain the security guards will recover sometime soon. Modesty forbids me from taking any credit for the win, but doesn't relieve me of the responsibility of bailing my Zombie Witch Doctor out of jail (it was in the contract. Damn small print!). Oh well, it's the results that matter, I guess.
More to follow, when interviews and such are posted.