Thursday, February 12, 2009

Big W For the Pens

I was awfully pessimistic heading to the Igloo for last night's game. And really who could blame me? The Pens are middling along in the lower portion of the Eastern Conference and after losing at home to the second best team in the West they now had the best team in the West coming to the Igloo, too.

But the Pens stood up to the Sharks. Perhaps the most surprising, and maybe most impressive, thing was that the game was played exactly how the Sharks probably wanted it to be played. At least as far as the Sharks O against the Pens D is concerned. The Sharks were cycling like Lance Armstrong early in the game. Thankfully Marc-Andre Fleury was fresh of some gymnastics classes, as he spent the period standing on his head. To come away with a W against San Jose has to be a huge confidence booster for the Pens.

But, to borrow a gimmick the Sports Guy loves to use, Winston Wolf would be sure to caution us, "Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet gentlemen." And yes, I just watched Pulp Fiction this past weekend. Does it inspire hope in the players? Hopefully. Does it give the fans, especially those in attendance, hope? No question about it. But how relevant is it? Not really that relevant.

The 2 points were key. We are very much still in striking distance of a playoff spot in the East. Coming away with another goose egg in the standings would have allowed the pessimists to start tossing a little dirt on the 2008/09 Pens' season. But the Pens still have serious work to do. They need to start more consistently beating the teams they are supposed to. Next on the docket are road games at Toronto and at the Islanders. Anything less than 4 points is something of a disappointment. If the Pens are going to get back into the hunt they need to beat anyone below them in the standings every time they play. That is followed up with a home game against Les Habitents. They are 6th in the East right now and that's another game the Pens would love to have.

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