Recap: Alex Pietrangelo comes up big with an OT winner, Blues win 3-2 on the road
Computer problem is fixed and work decided that I didn’t need to be there tonight so I got to watch the game. Another shitty holiday weekend is looking up after all. The Blues won in a thriller tonight in Pittsburgh.
- The Blues kept Sid the Kid off the score sheet again tonight. In 6 career games against St. Louis, Crosby only has 4 assists and has never scored. The Blues are only one of 4 teams that Crosby has yet to score against.
- I know I sound like a broken record player but the 4th line managed to impress again. Sterling played really well. I liked him on the power play (why not? Nothing else works). He had an assist which was taken away due to the fact David Backes forgot that this isn’t soccer on his kick in during the second period. Also, Scott Nichol recorded his first goal as a Blue on a blistering shot from the slot that had the speed to break a stick and still have enough momentum to deflect off the stick and right over the shoulder of Marc Andre Fleury and under the bar for a beautiful first goal.
- Speaking of the second period, what in the hell happened around the 12 minute mark when everyone went crazy for a few seconds. After Ian Cole, who played a decent game considering he was stuck with Malkin all night, ran over Brian Elliott there was some pushing and shoving that started it all. After the Sidney Crosby pushed David Backes into the corner as if he was asking to get another concussion because Backes would have killed him. On the ensuing faceoff, Evgeni Malkin was lined up across from Barret Jackman, they were pushing and shoving, Malkin slipped, Jackman got a penalty……. Ummmmm why? This doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that the Backes-Crosby minors made it 4 on 4 and after Jackman’s penalty, the officials decided it should be 5 on 4 then instead of 4 on 3, which in fact was the right call. The question then becomes, why in the hell did all 4 officials miss the fact that they were dropping the puck 4 on 4? NHL officiating at its finest once again.
- Jamie Langenbrunner finally did something. He swung his stick and accidently hit the puck. Lucky for him it went in. Yay.
- Within 15 seconds of the Blues last 3 goals allowed I have said out loud that we are about to give up a goal. There is no reason that it should ever be that obvious that we are slacking and chasing the puck that much to make it that clear we about to do something bad. Stop doing that
- Alex Pietrangelo is a stud. The OT winner was very similar to the Johnson winner in last year’s OTW vs. Pittsburgh. A cycle play along the boards and a perfect pass to a d-man that was pinching into the play leads to a beauty and 2 points for the home team. Pietrangelo had a bad giveaway that led to the first Pittsburgh goal but he was a madman offensively most of the night and made up for his mistake in a big way.
- Brian Elliott is a work horse. He needs more starts. In the 9 starts he’s made so far this season, he is 8-1-0 with a GAA of 1.48 and a save percentage of almost 95%. He has yet to give up more than 2 goals in any appearance so far this season. That is unreal. Keep it up and if Halak can keep improving, we could be a force to be reckoned with in the West.
Other Random Thoughts: Pittsburgh celebrated their 25 millionth fan. Since their inception in 1967 the Pens have a total attendance over 25 mil for all their regular season and post season games. This was the game to send them over that milestone. Kinda cool I suppose. Wonder where the Blues are?
The 3rd period was freakin intense! Aside from the fact the Blues almost gave away another 2 points by a sloppy third frame, there were a combined 32 shots on goal in the period. Lots of back and forth action.
This is a rough stretch for St Louis. 3 games in 4 nights, 7 in 12 and lots of travel in between now and then. This is an important little stretch but this could be tiring times.
Preview Review: Well as usual I was way off on everything again. First of all for who’s hot.. Alex Steen and Sidney Crosby. Both had excellent games but no points between them. They did manage to account for 7 of the 76 total shots in the game, but big props to Steen who played a ridiculous 23+ minutes and still gave it all until the final buzzer.
I also thought the Blues who seemed to taper off in the 3rd period last night would come out looking flat and Pittsburgh would win in a walkover. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. It was actually the exact opposite. Tight game, and the Blues actually started strong outshooting the Pens 13-4 in the first period.
My 3 Stars:
1. Alex Pietrangelo- GWG, 28 mins, 3 SOG- From the first Blues power play I saw Petro was hungry to finally get a goal (hadn’t had one since the last game in Oct.), he was firing everything from the point on the power play. After the weak pass across the middle out of the zone that led to the Sullivan PPG I didn’t think I could overlook that and he wouldn’t be one of my stars. After the read he made that led to the OT winner (and looking over the minutes he played), he is no doubt the man that deserved this spot
2. Marc Andre Fleury- 40/43- MAF would have been the only other person that deserved the number one spot but unfortunately for him the Pens couldn’t get it to a shootout for him, where the shooters probably coulda got it done for PIT. But still, Fleury played a hell of a game, faced a ton of shots and stood on his head a few times to keep some pucks out. Even got a little physical at times. Great game for one of the best in the league.
3. Evgeni Malkin- 2 A- Even though the Blues win the game, the Penguins still get 2 of the stars. Malkin was always around the puck. Anytime I noticed anyone making a nice play, it was Malkin. Luckily Ian Cole was able to stick with him and keep him from scoring but number 71 still managed to get 4 shots on goal and had 2 helpers.
Fun Fact: The Blues are really good at playing 3-2 games. This is the 3rd game in a row that has ended 3-2 for the Blues. 5th this month, and 7 of them total in their 21 games. In those 7 games, the Blues are 3-2-2
If I missed something or if you have something else to add, let me know down in the comments. Or as always feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org