Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pens v. Habs Game 3 Preview

So the series goes back to the Bell Biv Devoe Center. Montreal fans haven't been this excited since Michael Buble opened for Celine Dion.

It's the always pivotal game 3, the one that usually defines the direction of the series. The Pens are without Jordan Staal, the Canadiens without Andre Markov. The bearded "Bell" advertisement on the boards is a game-time decision.

In order for the Penguins to shift the home ice advantage back to Pittsburgh, a few things must take place.

1. The shots need to even up. It may be odd, but Fleury and Halak are very similar goaltenders; both are at their best when they are having constant action (See: Game 1- Halak faces 20 shots, lets in 5. Game 2- Fleury faces about the same and lets in 3). The Pens rather need to focus on taking good shots. Don't be the college kid at the bar downing shot after shot of well whiskey. Be the guy with the Johnnie Walker Black. Sure it's less shots, but you're still taking the best shot.

2. No brainless penalties. The Habs play a tough 1-2-2, with subtle holding and interference throughout. Let them. Be patient. Don't let frustration get the best of you (when that happens see: Marty McSorely)

3. More Crosby and Malkin production. Crosby was far too frustrated in Game 2, and Malkin is another invisible game away from getting his face put on the side of milk cartons.

Final prediction: The Habs come out the first 10 minutes hopping, likely scoring the first goal. Midway through the first, the pace slows down, and the Penguins dictate the play for the rest of the game. Big night from one of the role players: Kunitz, Dupuis, Talbot.

Pens win 4-2. The Habs tuck their sacs back and remember that they're the 8 seed.

Go Pens.

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