Jordan Staal picked a great time to get his first points in six games and his first goal in eight as he assisted on the opening goal and then had a mo-changing moment when he potted a short-handed goal in the 2nd to tie the game up... that sparked a three goal burst by the Pittsburghers to put game #4 away. We're a little torn on J-Staal as he's shown flashes of his skill but then can disappear for stretches... but we have to remember that the kid is only 20-years old.
Back-to-back big performances for Marc-Andre Fleury as he stopped 37 of 39 shots last night to win the goalie duel and even up the series... we'll see if he can continue this on the road.
Geno & Sid were flying again as they combined for two goals and four points and Geno maintained his four point lead in the playoff scoring race... with 2+5=7 in the series so far and 35 points in the playoffs, Malkin still has a chance to reach the 40 point level which has only ever been done by guys named Wayne and Mario... pretty epic stuff.
Is Chris Kunitz trying not to score? Seriously, only one measly goal in these playoffs and he couldn't even convert into the empty net last night, although he did draw a penalty on the play but I think McCreary refused to give him the automatic goal last night to teach him a lesson that he has to bear down in those situations.
A fact that is not lost on us is no goals and only two assists in the series for Marian Hossa, this is starting to look like his old choke job from the Ottawa days when he'd run and hide when the going got tough. Granted that he doesn't have Datsyuk to play with but the Wings need more out of him and he needs to give more if he wants more money out of them.
Detroit's PP has really let them down and now sits at 1 for 9 in the series while giving up the key shortie last night to Staal. This is the same PP unit (sans Datsyuk) that led the league during the regular season with a 25.5% conversion rate.
Methinks the Avs-train is starting to come off the tracks as in the past two days they've promoted an unknown (Greg Sherman) to their GM position and then brought Joe Sacco up from the AHL to be their new head coach... this is starting to smell like the Tampa Bay debacle of last summer. Sacco's coaching record in two seasons as an AHL head coach goes something like this... 2007/08: 27th place (out of 29), no playoffs and finished 24th in goals scored. 2008/09: 26th place (out of 29), no playoffs and finished 27th in goals scored. So we're not sure what he's done to deserve a promotion and also what he can do to spark an offense that was the worst in the NHL last season.
No Pavel Datsyuk last night after there was so much talk that he was improving... we'll admit we got sucked in... we're going back to our original stance that he's only coming back if this series goes seven.
What's distracting us today? A little investigative journalism on our part...
Please take a look at these photos of everyone's favourite senior citizen, Chris Chelios... one from his younger days and one from more recently... I think we now know what happened to Michael Jackson's colour... he's donated it all to Cheli's face.