Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pens/Bolts Game 4 Preview and One of the Greatest Hockey Pictures ever

This picture is so good that I don't even feel right posting it. Make the jump over to Puck Daddy, but only after you read this. Best performance that Vince Vaughn has put up since Wedding Crashers.

On to more important things.

In case you needed a reminder of how important game 4 could be:

Turning point in that series. Big time. A lot of people point to Game 3 as the biggest game in most series. I disagree entirely, Game 4 sets a tone. If the Pens win, they've got a chance to clinch it at CEC. If the Pens lose, you have to ride through the winds of momentum. I'd show a stat about how Game 4 winners fare in the series itself, but I'm lazy.

Tonight the Pens will have to face-off without Chris Kunitz, who decided to channel his inner Matt Cooke and stick his elbow in Simon Gagne's ear. Gagne probably said something about his mom. The Lightning will be without Steve Downie, but who cares? Still not sure whether we'll see Eric Tangradi or Mike Comrie in Kunitz's spot. My gut says Comrie, since he's got playoff experience, but I'm an idiot, so whatever.

Some keys to a Pens win:

1. Stay out of the box.

This is as easy as it gets. Martin St. Louis has been lights out on the power play. Why give him the chance?

2. Fourth line creating shit.

Probably the theme of the series so far. When your fourth line outplays their fourth line by a considerable margin, you're going to win a lot of games.

3. Jordan Staal

He's had a good series, but talk about someone who's overdue for a huge goal. We'll see how he holds up without Kunitz in the lineup.

4. The same Fleury we saw in Games 1 and 3.

He knows playoff pressure. Would you want anyone else guarding the cage right now?

5. Power Play.

I'll just say it right now. If we score a power play goal, we'll win. If not, we lose. Take it to the bank.

Wild Card:

James Neal.

He's had exactly one goal since joining the Pens. To say that Neal is snakebitten is the understatement of the millenium. I haven't had blue balls as bad as James Neal since I was 17. Here are some things that have happened in the world since the last time James Neal scored a goal (March 8):

-The U.S. started bombing Libya
-Elizabeth Taylor, Geraldine Ferraro and Nate Dogg all died.
-A 9.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Japan.
-Corey Perry has scored 19 goals (inc. postseason)

Holy crap. Get it done, James Neal.

We believe. Let's go Pens.

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