Saturday, April 26, 2008

Penguins scramble back to take opener

24 hours after their 5-4 victory the observations were bouncing around Pittsburgh at a frantic pace, from a suggestion that Sidney Crosby dove like a penguin after a fish, to an indoor greenhouse effect that reduced the paying surface to something akin to a product made famous by 7-11.

All of that the reaction to Pittsburgh’s impressive third period reply to the Rangers early lead, taking back a three goal lead to secure victory and take a one game to none lead in their best of seven series.

The Rangers appeared to be set for a rout when they attacked early getting quick goals behind the Penguins Marc Andre Fleury, yet the Pens never seemed to panic, instead they methodically stuck to their game, slowly taking the play away from the Rangers and eating away at the three goal lead.

The Pens took over the lead with less than two minutes to play on a Crosby shot on net that was knocked into the net on the deflection by Evginy Malkin. The Rangers nearly tied it up on their own with the seconds ticking away, with Jaromir Jagr denied when his shot rattled off a post.

Crosby generated controversy for the post game and day after with a penalty call late in the game which the Rangers suggest was generated by Crosby and his “theatrical“ ways, perhaps it’s their way of paying the league back for all the interest in Sean Avery’s activities of the first series.

Regardless of their thoughts, feeding the Crosby dives theory will at least make for closer examination of his ice time, and sew a few seeds of doubt among the refs, which perhaps is what they want in order to try and counter the explosive attack of the Pens.

One thing is certain, with the New York media playing up the angle that Crosby may embellish the odd call, the Ranger fans will now have a new name and face to add to their gallery of the scorned.

The ice surface also made for a talking point post game and Saturday as both teams admitted that the ice wasn’t at its best, but things aren’t expected to improve much once the series moves to New York.

Game one offered a generous helping of offence and some fascinating momentum shifts, the talk of the diving and such just shows that this series is building up to a boil, a hot plate that is being fueled nicely by the New York media.

Globe and Mail-- The comeback kids
New York Post-- OPEN & SHUDDER
Pittsburgh Times Review-- Penguins on a roll
Pittsburgh Times Rview-- Rangers play the crying game
. Stats Pack

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