-> Fleury doubters: (though there probably aren't many after today) Let this 22 year old guy learn and grow! He showed that he can play big for us when we need him to, and I don't think this performance was a fluke. He seems to play his best at the end of games when the other team is firing shots from all angles. The key is making the big save at the right time. I think he can be that type of goalie for us, but have patience while he takes his lumps. Luckily the future is bright, but he isn't going to compromise the present while he learns on the job either. We are in just about every game in part because of him.
-> On that note, Fleury CANNOT win every game. We absolutely must keep the Sens from getting 30+ shots every game. We can keep blocking shots while also hoping they miss the net so much, but what will surely work is playing more in their zone! They are shutting us down, and I don't know how we are going to generate more scoring chances and extended puck possession, but I think we will continue to get better in this department as the series goes on.
-> Lastly, it is one thing to have Crosby doing all of this at age 19, but to see Staal putting himself in the right spots at this point is also very encouraging. He has a very efficient skating style and knows where to be and when to get there. That is so key, especially on this team, which seems to lack this kind of hockey sense at times. All year I noticed that they play a north and south/perimeter game which has obviously worked (105 pts and all those goals). But sometimes they seem to cycle so well and then have nothing to show for it. They can be reluctant to pass it to the guy in the slot gearing up for the one-timer. Now Staal certainly was wide open on the third period goal, and that hardly ever is the case, but I just think they need to do this more because they are prone to going on cold streaks in terms of creating scoring chances.
The baby Pens are growing before our eyes and have proven they won't go away as easy as some may have thought after game one. One way to make up for a lack of experience is to have a lot of heart, skill and good coaching. SO EXCITING!