Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Regular Season Game 29: Did You Guys Hear That Crosby Didn't Play?

Maybe he lost a bet. Maybe he's not a fan of pants. Either way, I'm embarrassed that I even saved this in my photobucket to post it here.
In case you didn't see it on NHL Network, ESPN, TSN, Twitter, NHL Home Ice Radio, CNN, or nih.gov (not 100% sure on that last one) Sidney Crosby sat out this game and is out indefinitely with what some are calling "post-concussion symptoms." Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, who were both game time decision, suited up for the Steel City Aquatic Waddlers.

1st Period

Pittsburgh 1 Detroit 0; 19:55- Malkin from Neal & Orpik
Neal digs a loose puck out from the front of the net and banks a pass off the sideboards ahead to Malkin. This is an intelligent pass, as it avoids the charging Henrik Zetterberg to Malkin's left. Malkin picks up the puck and carries through the neutral zone.
Malkin has two options on the 2-on-1break; pass or shoot. Stuart has taken away his passing lane, but leaves him with a great deal of room to shoot. Jimmy is square to Malkin, but he can't stop the snap shot. Howard gets beat far side with only five seconds left in the period.

2nd Period

Pittsburgh 1 Detroit 1; 16:01- Datsyuk (9) from Bertuzzi (8)
The Wings pick up a neutral zone turnover and choose to dump and chase. Bertuzzi is the first one in the offensive zone, and he makes a smart read here. Instead of chasing behind the net, he cuts across the crease to pressure the puckcarrier on the other side.
Bert's hit separates the puckcarrier from the puck, and he's able to collect it along the sideboards. Cutting off the opposite side of the net shows some #TuzziSmarts, and is also full of #TuzziSwag. Bert sees Pavel at the top of the faceoff circle and hits him with a backhanded pass.
Datsyuk stickhandles for a second before seeing a ludicrously small opening to shoot. He waits for the defender to drop to one knee before putting a backhand shot through the guy's legs and over Fleury.

3rd Period

Pittsburgh 1 Detroit 2; 5:15- PPG Franzen (14) from Datsyuk (21)
Detroit is at the beginning of a powerplay. Pittsburgh takes possession of a loose puck and it looks like they'll clear. Staal heads up ice to be ready for a breakout pass. This pass, however, never comes. Datsyuk bats the puck out of the air and turns to carry it back into the offensive zone.
 Pittsburgh has two defenders back. One steps up on Datsyuk while the other stays back. Pavel reads the defender and passes to Franzen as the defensemen steps up.
Franzen has a lane between two Penguins and takes the shot. Fleury misses it and Detroit gets the technical game-winner. Holmstrom is camped in front of the net, and while it looks like Fleury can still see the shot it can't be easy to have Homer butted up against you like that.

Pittsburgh 1 Detroit 3; 15:36- Cleary (6) from Conner (2) & Helm (4)
Detroit strips the puck in the defensive zone and carries up ice on what looks like a 3-on-1. Staal gets back but he never catches up to or gets inside position on Cleary, so technically it's still a 3-on-1. Conner has the puck on the wing and has a great opportunity to pass when his defender stops and starts to break down into shot blocking position.
Cleary simply has to lift the puck to get it past Fleury, who isn't in position to stop this.

Pittsburgh 1 Detroit 4; 19:54- EN Cleary (7) from Zetterberg (14) & Kronwall (7)
Cleary picks up a clearing attempt from Zetterberg and skates it from the defensive zone up to the offensive zone. Malkin is back and drops to block the shot. Cleary just skates around him.
The aftermath.

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