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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pens Lock Up Atlantic Division, Conference Up Next

Long have I waited for this day. The Penguins hand delivered an Atlantic Division crown to me on the eve of my birthday. Talk about a great gift, what else could I possibly ask for?

This is the first division title for the Penguins in 10 years. The only thing that has yet to be settled is if we will be the number one seed in the Eastern Conference when the playoffs begin next week. Here's how that will happen for us, if my math is correct and I think it is.

The Penguins now have 102 points with one game remaining in the season, which will be Sunday against the Flyers. The Montreal Canadiens have 100 points with two games remaining, meaning both teams can finish with 104 points. If this happens, the Penguins will win the conference because they would have more total wins which is the tie breaker.

This means to me that if the Canadiens lose tomorrow night to the Sabres in regulation, the Penguins will clinch the conference. At that point the Habs could only finish with 102 points, which would tie them with the Penguins and we already discussed the tie breaker. This could be the best birthday gift the Penguins have ever given me and really it wouldn't take much.

My father used to get me tickets to the Penguins/Bruins game that was closest to my birthday and you know what? They never won during my childhood. I think I'm about 1-10 while watching the Penguins in Boston lifetime and that one win came last March. I still can't believe they won that game.

As for tonight's game, I'm too giddy to even really type anything here. They fell behind twice and 1-0 and 2-1, but the powerplay was absolutely on fire tonight. All four goals were scored on the man advantage and they were 4-for-6 on the night. This is what you want to see out of your hockey team heading into the playoffs. They held the Flyers to 1-for-5 on the powerplay as well.

Solid special teams are a huge factor in winning the Stanley Cup and the teams that get hot going into the playoffs are the ones who eventually win the thing. I would venture to say that the Pens are catching fire right now as they are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

Sidney Crosby seems to be getting more comfortable with Marian Hossa and if that's the case and you're not a Penguins fan, that has to scare the daylights out of you. Just knowing that the Pens have two lines that can score at will and two other lines that will grind you into dust and who have been known to put the puck in the net as well, has got to make opposing coaches have nightmares.

Either way, I'm getting ahead of myself. We have another game yet to play in this regular season and potentially have a chance to determine who we will face in the first round of the playoffs. Personally I am kind of torn about who I'd like to see us play in the first round. I really don't want to see the Capitals right now, they scare the life out of me with how well they've been playing lately and they are only one point behind Philly for the final spot. Though, I would enjoy ending Philly's season and having them miss the playoffs because of us. I could also stand to see us knock them around in the first round and march on to the second round of the playoffs through them.

Final notes: Fleury was named the NHL second star of the month after going 9-1 in March. If the Pens don't have anything to play for on Sunday, I would rest him up for a couple days and let whatever happens happen as far as who we will face in the playoffs.

1 comment:

Apryl DeLancey said...

You must be celebrating your brains out!