Blue Jackets Blog: Jackets Cannon
When the Pens skated into the third period down 3-0, it was more than obvious that a win was likely not in the cards. At that point it was more about saving face and cutting the deficit than it was rallying for some sort of monstrous comeback.
Short staffed but hardly out-shot, the Pens are finding production from different grinders on different nights. Tonight it was Tyler Kennedy, who picked up his 10th goal of the season on the power play in the third to cut it to two. On Sunday no one could find the back of the net, while Dustin Jeffrey, Kennedy and Cooke each had one against the Sabres prior to that. If they can all get on the same page in the same game, then this team can win. It might not be the pretty way of doing it, but it's what the Pens have to work with right now.
Say all you want about the Blue Jackets, but they always play the Pens well and the game is always filled with some action. If you wondered why Eric Godard dressed for the game, you quickly saw why when Derek Dorsett and Ben Lovejoy duked it out less than five minutes into the game. Actually, it was more like Lovejoy stood in as a punching bag for about a dozen shots. Regardless, it would be that kind of game, and Godard would eventually answer the bell late in the third when he and Jared Boll faced off in what I'm generously marking as a win for God. A Matt Cooke Derick Brassard fight in the second completely the hat trick on the night.
Speaking of Cooke, he sure didn't do much to quiet down any of the recent talks and discussion about his status as a "dirty player" in the league with his hit on former Ranger (ironic) Fedor Tyutin. There's no denying that it was a hit from behind call, one that would have only gained more negative attention if Tyutin didn't pop back up so quickly. I don't know how Bob Errey could say Tyutin should brace himself for the hit, but it was an interesting angle he chose to play the puck. I'd like to think Tyutin didn't opt to have his face smashed into the boards, but I suppose that's an aspect of the game I can't relate to at all.
Kennedy now has three goals in his last four games and remains just five away from his career-high 15 set back in 2009. Given the staffing issues with the Pens right now and the pressure on the deeper lines to step up the production, I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say he skates out of this season with a new personal best. Don't think he'll get 20, but I'd love to be surprised.
Pens need a win on Thursday against the Kings. It's not a must-win by season standards, but I'm going more in the confidence column than anything else. The only thing preventing me from posting a Pensburgh Public Therapy session is definitive word on Sidney Crosby.
The deadline is approaching
The Pens will no doubt look to bulk up with some moves.
In Shero We Trust.