Things that sucked about the last game? The Hurricanes won. Cam Ward played like Elohim for nearly a whole game. The Penguins were basically inept defensively for chunks of the game. Brent Johnson continued to be pretty bad. The Penguins tied it up in the third only to give it right back.
Three games this week, so we will have a decent amount of action, if nothing else.
Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (10-4-3) vs. Colorado Avalanche (8-8-1)
Where: Consol Energy Center
When: 7:30 PM EST
Channels: Versus, TSN2
The Avalanche have had pretty good results despite some underwhelming numbers. They are just six points behind the Penguins while also being 10th in goals for (49) but 24th in goals against (54).
For their part the Penguins are 8th in goals (51) and 9th in goals against (40). The Penguins are tied for fourth in terms of goal differential. And that is easily why they are up on the Avalanche. It also shows how the Avalanche have overachieved a bit. The Penguins are +16 when compared to the Avalanche, that should translate into more than a six point lead in the standings.
And that is one reason I think the Avalanche are pretenders. Another reason is that Semyon Varlamov has been playing the lions share of their games. Our old pal is sitting 32nd in save percentage and 33rd in Goals against.
He just hasn’t been the same since the Penguins exposed him in the playoffs, huh? It’s amazing how the next big thing so often turns out to be nothing more than a big flop. Especially when solid players like Marc-Andre Fleury are so often lambasted. Now I was tough on Fleury at the beginning of last season, thinking Johnson should play more, but there was never a question who should be this teams top goaltender.
Enjoy what we have in Fleury, he is still getting better.
The Penguins beat the Avalanche in their only game last season, a 3 – 2 overtime victory.
Jordan Staal was big in that game, leading the Penguins in TOI, netting a goal and adding an assist. Nick Johnson and Kris Letang added the assists.
Joe Vitale also notched his first NHL goal in that game with Brett Sterling and Paul Martin assisting.
Tyler Kennedy got the game winner in overtime with a powerplay goal, Jordan Staal picked up his second point while assisting on that goal, former Penguin Alex Goligoski picked up the secondary.
Speaking of former Penguin Nick Johnson he was also involved in the games only fight.
Nick Johnson vs. Ryan Wilson
Nick Johnson should have taken his helmet off. No “fighting” with your visor on son!
Safe to say he will probably remember that on…. well maybe not.
Gotta get two here. Mediocre team, home game…. it won’t get easier on the road in Florida.