+ Jordan Staal, first line minutes, playing like a first-liner.
+ Fleury, Despite giving up 2 goals and an average rating, made a lot of crucial saves.
+ Martin, I thought he played very well positionally
+TB, Philly, both losing tonight.
+ My first +/- thread. Don't hurt me
- Team defense - Lovejoy's pinch, among other plays, leading to quite a few 3-2, 2-1, and seemingly good chances. Fleury stopped most of them. Can't do that vs. good teams in the playoffs.
- Caps winning
+ Michalek: I'll admit I only saw this guy less than 10 times before Pittsburgh acquired him, but he's the glue of our entire defense. A lot of props go out to Letang, Orpik, Martin, and the rest of the gang... but Z is the reason our defense is so good. His recovery is great. His first pass is great. He keeps his shot low. He blocks anything coming his way. I just love Michalek. An absolute steal for $4M.
+ Kennedy/Kunitz: What else can I say? You guys know how much i love these two wingers. They are playing great together. Speed, tenacity, patience, good quality chances, two way play. You name it... they do it.
+ Talbot, Dupers, Conner: This line is finding their rhythm at the right time. Two struggling guys finally said enough already and are proving their worth to the team.
+ Fleury: He is our ticket to the second round. After that, we'll need Sid to come back. My heart will crumble if we leave Fleury out to dry in the postseason. He deserves a Cup for his play this season.
- Neal: Lethargic game. He needs to bring it for the postseason. This is the time we need him best and maybe we'll get Sid back.
- Letang: Something's been wrong with #58 as of late. He's making terrible mistakes and he doesn't look as strong out there as he did earlier in the season. I wouldn't be shocked to hear him getting surgery or something after the season because there's no way the switch was turned off that quickly. He's very weak right now on the ice and it's hurting us. We need him to be our star on the back-end.
- Letestu: Another guy that's just not the same since his injury. He's really struggling to regain form.
- Lovejoy: Engo, please. #5 out-performed #6 all season long.
Letang is an interesting case. I've been on said case for a long time now but he had an exceptionally strange game tonight. Just didn't really make an impact at all. He never rushes the puck with authority without our stars. I don't get it.
people coming in here late who were at the game 'til the end can attest to this better -- but on the radio postgame show, bourque said cooke received a pretty warm reception from the crowd during the "shirts off our back" deal.
crosby and tangradi apparently joined cooke on the ice in suits to hand away their jerseys.
Our "1st" line is going to be tough to watch until Sid's back. I'd rather them just stick to the formula and see if Neal and Kovy can build something going forward. Much more seamless transition with Sid just plugging in on that line and letestu either bumping talbot off 3rd or centering 4th.
I was at the game and half read the GDT but I don't think I saw mention of this. On the Steckel goal, the linesman was calling icing all the way down the ice and as soon as it crossed the line he waved it off. That's why Lovejoy had the bad giveaway and why he did the whole "WTF?" arm raise thing. It doesn't excuse him fully for the weak pass, but there was a reason why.