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Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning: First Round

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Old
04-09-2011, 10:39 PM
  #26
Jag68Sid87
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This is going seven. I am not super confident going in, but I really believe we'll find a way to win at least three games against this team. We have players who can step up, and they will have to here. I would use Michalek and Martin against St. Louis, because we kinda need Letang to provide some offense. Boucher has been using St. Louis with Lecavalier for a few weeks now, Stamkos playing with Gagne and Downie tonight. I wonder if that's how he'll play it, or whether he'll go back to St. Louis-Stamkos-Downie for Game 1. I think they're easier to match up if they split them up, because we want Staal vs. Lecavalier, all day and every day (if St. Louis is playing with Vinny). But if St. Louis is with Stamkos, then Lecavalier doesn't see Staal at all.

The one thing we have going for us is the fact this is NOT a great defense we're going up against. Jones is hurting, and Hedman has missed a few games too. Kovalev could provide some offense against these guys. Roloson has been good this season, though. And of course there's the injury factor here. Is Neal OK? He damn well better be. Will we see Crosby AT ALL? Probably not, but I hope he's in the Lightning's heads.

I am cautiously going to say we pull this one out in Game 7, but it can literally go either way.

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Old
04-09-2011, 10:42 PM
  #27
UnderratedBrooks44
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Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
So was Philly's... but it's a team that we can run and hit until they start coughing up the puck. They don't have a Detroit like defense that can pass through our set up.
True. We were also much more talented back then. Overall I think it's gonna be close, maybe even a coin flip.

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04-09-2011, 10:48 PM
  #28
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Getting the first goal is going to be important(duh). These are going to be low scoring games. With our crappy pp and great pk it should be a 5 on 5 series. I expect to see multiple games going to overtime. Some of them being rather long. I think we'll control possession of the puck for the most part and zone time. I'm just not sure we'll score enough to win. Kind of like last year against Montreal... The good news is our D is better this year and Fleury is playing better. If Sid comes back we should win. I don't think they have a line or defense capable of shutting him down. If not it could go either way.

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04-10-2011, 12:13 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by JordanStaal#1Fan View Post
Without Sid: Pens in 7.

With Sid coming back for game 3: Pens in 5.

With Sid coming back for game 4 or 5: Pens in 6.
We'll probably see Malkin before we see Crosby.

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04-10-2011, 12:22 AM
  #30
Coach John McGuirk
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Bolts in 6.

I hope I'm wrong, but that's the way I feel. Stamkos is bound to break out of his slump sometime, and our only real hope is to exploit their goaltending.

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04-10-2011, 12:28 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Iffyiffiffer View Post
We'll probably see Malkin before we see Crosby.
Im going to make the statement. Sid WILL be back. Its up to the team to get past tampa to allow enough time.

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Old
04-10-2011, 12:29 AM
  #32
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Pens in 6.

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Old
04-10-2011, 01:01 AM
  #33
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Our defense and our checking is much, much better. Pens in 5...I don't care if Sid comes back this series or not (I think we're banking on him being back next series)..but this is an easy one. Stamkos is a great player, but remember the Ottawa series Sid's first year? Sid wasn't exactly dominant...we've got a TON of veteran experience to lean on...this will be an easy series, then we hopefully get Sid back for the 2nd round and away we go

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Old
04-10-2011, 01:04 AM
  #34
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Not getting a lot of respect on the playoffs board. Not surprising given this is HF.

I kind of like the underdog role. This team was built for the playoffs. They could surprise some people even without Crosby.

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04-10-2011, 01:20 AM
  #35
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Shut down Stamkos, St, Louis, and Lecavalier, and Tampa practically has no chance of winning. Mediocre defense, mediocre goalie, mediocre bottom 6.

If we had Crosby, we would've been a heavy favorite. As of right now, it is pretty even, imo.

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Old
04-10-2011, 01:22 AM
  #36
ColePens
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Mini Analysis:


What I see so far is a solid 50/50 first round matchup between a #4 and a #5 seed. What makes this better is that it's strength vs. strength. We have Tampa's offense vs. Pittsburgh's defense. This is going to be a good series of imposing your will.Whatever team finds a way to impose theirs first will win the series.

For Tampa: Get good pressure on offense and rely on the 1-3-1 to keep the Pens from attacking the defense and finishing their hits. Pressure Fleury and try to get to the powerplay as much as possible. Make this series all about special teams. Score on the powerplay and make Pittsburgh try to catch up to you. Frustrate them with the 1-3-1 and trap them if you have the lead. They'll get frustrated into taking penalties. Case and point - last year vs. Montreal.

The main thing Tampa has to do is keep this series as far away from a grind it out style game. They don't want to be dumping/chasing and crashing the boards hard. They want the powerplay flowing and Pittsburgh playing catch up.



For Pittsburgh: Rely on solid team defense and protect Fleury. Do not take penalties... or you will pay. Make each game 2-1 or 3-2 and grind them down throughout a 7 game series. Do NOT fall behind. Tampa's offense will be able to run away with this series if the Pens don't come out from the very first puck drop and play 60+ minutes every game. Grind, grind, and grind some more. You have to wear the Bolts defense down over 2-3 games by forcing them back into their zone and punishing them physically. If we can get to them w/ physicality, they will turn the puck over to avoid hits. That will also cause their transition game to slow down and hinder their offense.


Neutral zone to offensive zone: We struggled w/o Sid and Geno breaking that 1-3-1. We usually dump/chase. They take it away by sticking a guy deep in their zone. We have to exploit that last guy being so deep by getting some stretch passes or some chip area passes jetsetting ourselves into their zone on the attack. Very north/south w/ emphasis on attack/finishing hits.

Shots/dirty rebound crap goals are important. That potent offense and powerplay cannot be taken lightly. IF Tampa grabs the lead, they can walk away with this series.



Final Thoughts: This might be the easiest series to dissect. Whatever team gets to their game will win. Our defense, goaltending, and physicality has to play a huge part. Their special teams and offense has to explode. I think that's what makes this series so fun and a great match-up for one another.

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04-10-2011, 01:27 AM
  #37
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Assuming no Crosby, and I still have hopes regarding him being in this series. Remember how frustrating it was to play the Devils? As long as this team is patient, that would be how it could be for TB. Scoring the first goal and getting a lead would be key, as it always was for those Devil teams.

In any event:



Well make that wednesday, not sunday. I think. It is wednesday that the first game is scheduled, right?

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Old
04-10-2011, 02:15 AM
  #38
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Yea alot of people are forgetting just how good defensively we can be. We've been grinding out 1 goal wins all season, it seems like.

This team is ready no matter who is in the lineup which has been proven all year long.

I'm just praying for goals. 5 on 5, PowerPlay, Shorthanded. I'll take em anyway i can get em.

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Old
04-10-2011, 02:17 AM
  #39
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So who does Hedman back down from next? Iceburgh? Chris Conner? Chris Kunitz's newborn child?

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04-10-2011, 02:24 AM
  #40
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Old
04-10-2011, 02:32 AM
  #41
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just please don't make Roloson look like Hasek like in the last game...

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Old
04-10-2011, 02:45 AM
  #42
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Many posters have been saying that TB is the easiest match-up for us, but I don't think so. I don't think they are as good as they've shown this year, and I think we can certainly beat them... but it'll likely be close, and one or two players could change the outcome. If Stamkos or someone gets hot, this one could be over quick.

I like our chances at the end of the day, but it'll be tough. Stay disciplined for the love of God, and be as physical as only the Pens can be.

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Old
04-10-2011, 04:02 AM
  #43
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kind of shocked reading alot of negative predictions, a week ago i saw nothing but positive comments about this series. theres a couple keys here 1st, dont let them get in your head, stamkos ans st louis are human beings just like everybody else, and we all bleed red. on any given Sunday any team can walk out a winner regardless of injuries or circumstances. 2nd, they are SOFT, guys like SL and Stamkos have no grit, take it to them, and control the games pace with physical play. scratch niskanen because hes going to screw us by taking penalties guys like Rupp, Talbot, Staal and Dupuis being on their game, will be enough. I say Penguins in 5, I really dont think this is going to be much of a problem, not only do we have more to prove but we even have them out-coached, Bylsma is the best coach in the NHL and anything less than a series win, would absolutely shock me. (no pun intended)

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Old
04-10-2011, 04:02 AM
  #44
JordanStaal#1Fan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColePens View Post
Mini Analysis:


What I see so far is a solid 50/50 first round matchup between a #4 and a #5 seed. What makes this better is that it's strength vs. strength. We have Tampa's offense vs. Pittsburgh's defense. This is going to be a good series of imposing your will.Whatever team finds a way to impose theirs first will win the series.

For Tampa: Get good pressure on offense and rely on the 1-3-1 to keep the Pens from attacking the defense and finishing their hits. Pressure Fleury and try to get to the powerplay as much as possible. Make this series all about special teams. Score on the powerplay and make Pittsburgh try to catch up to you. Frustrate them with the 1-3-1 and trap them if you have the lead. They'll get frustrated into taking penalties. Case and point - last year vs. Montreal.

The main thing Tampa has to do is keep this series as far away from a grind it out style game. They don't want to be dumping/chasing and crashing the boards hard. They want the powerplay flowing and Pittsburgh playing catch up.



For Pittsburgh: Rely on solid team defense and protect Fleury. Do not take penalties... or you will pay. Make each game 2-1 or 3-2 and grind them down throughout a 7 game series. Do NOT fall behind. Tampa's offense will be able to run away with this series if the Pens don't come out from the very first puck drop and play 60+ minutes every game. Grind, grind, and grind some more. You have to wear the Bolts defense down over 2-3 games by forcing them back into their zone and punishing them physically. If we can get to them w/ physicality, they will turn the puck over to avoid hits. That will also cause their transition game to slow down and hinder their offense.


Neutral zone to offensive zone: We struggled w/o Sid and Geno breaking that 1-3-1. We usually dump/chase. They take it away by sticking a guy deep in their zone. We have to exploit that last guy being so deep by getting some stretch passes or some chip area passes jetsetting ourselves into their zone on the attack. Very north/south w/ emphasis on attack/finishing hits.

Shots/dirty rebound crap goals are important. That potent offense and powerplay cannot be taken lightly. IF Tampa grabs the lead, they can walk away with this series.



Final Thoughts: This might be the easiest series to dissect. Whatever team gets to their game will win. Our defense, goaltending, and physicality has to play a huge part. Their special teams and offense has to explode. I think that's what makes this series so fun and a great match-up for one another.
I agree with everything you said, but I'd like to point one thing out. When is the last time an offensive team got to its game and beat a defensive-minded team with a hot goalie? Honestly, I don't remember. The key to this series is simple: MAF. If Fleury plays up to his ability, we are gonna win. If he's not, then, we're done. I know putting all the pressure on one man is unfair, but that is how it is.

TB is gonna get their fair share of PPs and we are gonna grind them down. Those two things are a given. Our ability to keep games 2-1 or 3-2 rests on MAF's shoulders.

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Old
04-10-2011, 04:05 AM
  #45
TheDudeAbides
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Also dont forget, we have something they dont, and its initials are MAF. dwayne roloson is 40 and hasnt been very consistent this season, i dont expect him to be consistent in the playoffs either.

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Old
04-10-2011, 04:07 AM
  #46
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Minus Buffalo, this is the easiest match up we could've gotten. They've scored 14 more goals this year than us, 14!!! With Crosby (let alone Crosby and Malkin in the line-up) in the lineup we would've covered that spread easily. Either way, we're a harder working team with a MUCH better goalie and defense..both of which will shut own their streaky offense. We're tested and ready for the long haul and anyone that thinks we're not is being silly.

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Old
04-10-2011, 04:15 AM
  #47
UnderratedBrooks44
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Originally Posted by ScOrpik View Post
Minus Buffalo, this is the easiest match up we could've gotten. They've scored 14 more goals this year than us, 14!!! With Crosby (let alone Crosby and Malkin in the line-up) in the lineup we would've covered that spread easily. Either way, we're a harder working team with a MUCH better goalie and defense..both of which will shut own their streaky offense. We're tested and ready for the long haul and anyone that thinks we're not is being silly.
I think they can certainly win this series and if they don't I'll be unhappy with the season but that last part is ridiculous. You think a 5% PP is built for the long haul?

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Old
04-10-2011, 04:33 AM
  #48
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With no shootouts isn't it a lock now that the Pens will not win much in the postseason ? Honestly I hope TB just plays as aggressively as they did for half of the game vs Carolina. Teams were playing the Pens new game too much instead of taking the play to a team that can't score much now. Pittsburgh went over 1 month at one point with this current lineup or close to it without winning a game in regulation.

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Old
04-10-2011, 05:48 AM
  #49
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Also the Pens can not take dumb PIMs and let Steve Downie get in their heads.
Buddy u r soooorite. Downie will b a pest and try to get under the skin of Orpik & Letang. U can c it a mile away. Downie will try to be like Maxim Lapierre from the Habs last season....I wanted to jump thru my TV and punch him!!

But ya, we dont have the offense to beat these guys I think. As much as I hate to say it, Tampa in 6 or 7.

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Old
04-10-2011, 08:27 AM
  #50
Gustavo Fring
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Originally Posted by ScOrpik View Post
Minus Buffalo, this is the easiest match up we could've gotten. They've scored 14 more goals this year than us, 14!!! With Crosby (let alone Crosby and Malkin in the line-up) in the lineup we would've covered that spread easily. Either way, we're a harder working team with a MUCH better goalie and defense..both of which will shut own their streaky offense. We're tested and ready for the long haul and anyone that thinks we're not is being silly.
Exactly.

I don't understand the apprehension at all, this series is a no brainer, Pens in 5, maybe 6, because of the bolded parts.

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