One morning after a big Penguins win, here's some thoughts we're thinking.
If we were in the age of Greek epics still, someone would have a 1,000 line poem about the pass Kris Letang fired over to Nick Bonino for the game-winner.
I imagine Kris Letang repeating "I win again" over & over as he completed this unreal pass. https://t.co/Vqv3VtxcvF— Allie C (@Allie874) May 31, 2016
That goal wasn't the only that the Pens defense was instrumental in creating. Bryan Rust 's game-opening goal saw Justin Schultz jump up in the play to make it a 3-on-2 rush, tap his stick to get Rust to pass him the puck and walked into the slot taking the big shot that eventually ended up as a rebound for Rust to slam into an empty net.
The adjustments that the coaches make game-to-game are always very interesting, and maybe Sharks coach Peter DeBoer's biggest challenge right now could be to figure out how to neutralize the aggressive Pittsburgh defensemen.
Matt Murray improves to 12-4 in the playoffs and was really solid again last night. Maybe it's just because there's only so much you can say about how good he's been, but it almost feels like his performance is being a little under-reported by the Pittsburgh mainstream media, doesn't it? Just feels like if a certain, affable other goalie on the the roster was authoring this run it would be receiving a lot more attention than the quiet rookie.
Interesting to hear Gary Bettman talk a little about the not-so-impending sale of the Pens yesterday, since the private and quiet Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle aren't going to give any updates. Bettman made it clear that the current Pens ownership isn't in a hurry to get out the door, which is certainly good to hear; this has to be the first time in recent memory the Penguins will have an ownership change where the exiting owner has a choice about when they sell.
Between expansion, the falling Canadian dollar, the Mellon Arena development rights and many other factors, the sale of the Pittsburgh Penguins is going to be a really complex deal, and that will take time. I guess the takeaway here is a positive one that the current ownership isn't desperate to cut ties and move on.
I didn't like that Patrick Marleau almost made it a Matt Cooke/Rule 48-esque blindside hit, but the puck was there and really that hit happens when someone 6'2" hits someone who's 5'10" and leaning over. It would be nice if the NHL punished head contact no matter what, but they do not.
The most important thing anyways was that Rust would come out of it without any issue, so we'll see how it goes.
If the Pens don't have their hottest goal scorer of the past 3 games available, they have a bunch of options, although none of them ideal. They could play Oskar Sundqvist on the 4th line and bump Eric Fehr back up to the Evgeni Malkin line (this seems like the worst move). They could use Beau Bennett on the Malkin line as well.