When Mario Lemieux or Double J would hop over the bench, you couldn't help but get to the edge of your seat. It's an intangible feeling to describe. Any time 66 or 68 was on the ice, something could happen at any given moment, and you wanted to be ready for it. Sidney Crosby, in all that he's done, has never done that for us.
He does now. Even something as simple as the first time he touched the puck in this game. He had speed through the neutral zone, confronts the D-man, performs a spin move, and gets off a backhand that had more velocity to it than a Rob Scuderi slap shot.
But more importantly, you cannot take for granted what his second goal did for the Pens. The game was 2-1, and Atlanta was owning the period, save for a Pens PP goal. Enter Bing. He splits the Atlanta D, buries it, and makes it 2-2 late in the first period. Completely changed the game.
Pens regained their shit after that and went on to cruise to a 6-3 win.
Now the Pens head to Long Island. A chance to pick up 2 more points.
Drew D., CO, Kyle city, E-Skee, healthyscratch4
Remember when Marc-Andre Fleury kept letting in the first goal on the first shot? It doesn't anymore. Pens weren't ready, and some dude had an unreal chance in the first 10 seconds of the game. A nonchalant blocker save by MAF, and you could settle in.
Cooke gives some payback to Holyfield.
Cooke took unlimited penalties in this game. Nothing called on that one.
But then Holyfield puts one home. 1-0.
Letang was in sleep mode on that play.
Thrashers were all over the Penguins. Completely dominating. Pens got a temporary break from that when a Thrasher falls, and Kunitz has to get tripped. Pens don't waste time on the PP.
The thing about Letang now is this: He makes a joke defensive play, but then comes back and makes a big-time play (plus those defensive lapses aren't as prevalent as they used to be.) He somehow keeps the puck in after the Thrashers looks to have an easy clear. Then he makes a sick pass to Crosby, although it looked like he fanned on it.
Crosby bank. 1-1.
YouTube in the stands.
Gives a good idea of how sick Letang's blue-line save was.
25 games in a row with a point.
Then it was back to the Thrashers owning the ice.
And the Pens have to take some penalties.
First, Malkin went off. Had to take the penalty to save a breakaway.
Dupuis almost kills Pavelec with a shot.
Craig Adams does a figure-skating move and misses the empty net. Penalty kill is nuts.
Then Cooke goes off. Not good times. Two of the last three games, Cooke has went off to make it a five-on-three. Granted, the other one was shooting the puck into the stands.
So the Pens have to kill a 5-on-3.
They kill off one.
But then Big Buff gets an open look from the point. Can't let that happen.
What a shot. 2-1.
David Morehouse stunned in the background.
Defazio isn't pleased, either. Check out the look on Letang's face.
Before you knew it, Pens were going back to the box.
Goligoski this time. Buff drew the penalty.
Pens kill it.
It looked like the Pens were gonna go into the intermission down a goal.
Crosby didn't want it to happen.
Goligoski feeds him with a nice pass on the fly.
Bing to the net. Goal. 2-2. Scary stuff.
Far left. NRA hat. Love it.
Rivals the fist pump by Winter Classic "A."
Period Recap: Pens somehow end the first period tied at 2.
No idea what the score would have been without MAF being sharp.
Pens came out in the second and never looked back. They started destroying the ice. It was a slow death for Atlanta. Pens started wearing down the Atlanta D.
Letang tried to beat a Thrasher to the edge but tripped over his hair again.
Malkin started making shit happen.
Pens had a PP coming, but Asham evens it up at the last possible second.
Orpik goes to the box for something.
Matt Cooke and Craig Adams go on the hunt.
Cooke with a nice feed to CFA in the slot. 3-2. Shorty. Snipe job.
As EricP says, when it's a CFA goal, it's bar-down or it doesn't count.
Pens kill the rest of that penalty.
Atlanta gets caught with too many men. Disco bought the call. He was flipping out about an earlier missed call. Paul Martin almost cancels the Winter Classic on a give-and-go from Malkin. Killed.
Period recap: Craig Adams isn't always great.
He's just great when he has to be.
Atlanta probably had all these unreal plans from the third period. Andrew Ladd was probably making speeches. Big Buff made some promises. Atlanta has been making comebacks all year probably.
Sidney Crosby wrecked Atlanta's comeback wagon about five seconds into the third. Some defenseman made a terrible decision, and Crosby burned him. He gets the puck to the front of the net. Kunitz knew where to go. 4-2.
Atlanta was stunned. Stunned.
Matt Cooke feels the need to take a hooking penalty after that.
Then Letang shoots it into the stands. Pens have to kill another 5-on-3.
Craig Adams kills penalties like his life is on the line.
Michalek blocked at least four shots.
Cooke takes another penalty shortly after just to fuck with everyone. Killed again.
At some point in the third, Asham smoked Holyfield into the boards.
Atlanta looked scared in third period. Not sure how else to say it.
If there is one play that shows how bad-ass the Pens are, it was the Test Tube goal. Some dude tried to pull all this fancy shit on Test Tube, but Tube just basically runs him over and buries a goal. 5-2.
Some great faces in the background.
Then the Pens officially put the game out of reach on a delayed penalty call. Crosby sneaks onto the ice as the extra attacker. Long shot from the point. Goal city. 6-2.
Everyone thought it was Crosby's goal, but replays show Matt Cooke touched it.
People threw their hats. Can't blame them. Pack mentality. Plus who cares.
Thrashers get some joke goal. 6-3.
Atlanta came out and played the best road first period you could ask for.
Then they just died.
Atlanta wasn't even in the same building.
Go back to the Southeast Division. Jokes.
Matt Cooke screws up everything.
His line for the night: 3 penalties, 1 goal, 1 assist.
Jordan Staal close to returning? Rumors of tonight on Long Island.
When does Marc-Andre Fleury start to enter the Vezina convo? Red hot.
John Curry is the backup goalie. Does he go tonight? Is Beej healthy?
Sonata commercials will not stop.
The one Miller Lite commercial features who appears to be Rufio. Look it up.
Crosby in the 2010 calendar year:
86 games played. 67 goals. 77 assists.
Easily more excited about Pens-Caps on 24/7 than this Islanders game.