The Staal brothers will be at it again tomorrow night in Pittsburgh, as the Canes visit the Pens for what will be the second meeting of the season. Hopefully this time around, little brother Jordan can outplay, or at least shutdown his older brother Eric. In the season opener, Eric netted two goals in a 4-1 victory in front of the Carolina crowd. Perhaps it'll be a different story at Mellon.
It better be. For all intensive purposes, this is a pretty rough little stretch for the Penguins - three games in four days. Starting it all off with a loss to the Devils the other night doesn't help much either.
If you take a look at the Hurricanes, they're no doubt a force to be reckoned with. You still have the 16 year vet Brindamour to factor in to the already powerful equation of Eric Staal + Eric Cole = trouble. Having Cam Ward secure the pipes isn't exactly a bad touch either.
The Penguins are most definitely going to need to take far less penalties than the last game, especially from guys like Sykora and Crosby who are much more beneficial on the ice than in the box.
I say the approach the offense takes is similar to the approach you'd take with Brodeur - lots of shots and even more tip-ins and re-directs in front of the net. It really is the only way to beat great goalies, unless of course Gonchar doesn't mind teeing up another one from the blueline to beat the goalie glove-side. Those are always pretty too.
Some other names on the Canes you're gonna hear a lot on Friday. Cory Stillman, who has been on fire hitting from all over the place in the past 3 games. Matt Cullen, the former Ranger who apparantly did what former Rangers do best; play better on another team. And finally Justin Williams, who in six games has 1 goal and 7 assists. His only goal, ironically enough, came in his two point performance on opening night against the Penguins.
The main objective: shutdown Eric Staal, watch out for Stillman in front of the net, and lay on a flurry of shots towards Ward. I know it may seem like basic hockey fundamentals, but thus far the only game that has really worked in their favor like this has been the Toronto win, and even that was close till the emptynetter.
I really feel like this is a tough game to win, but not impossible. Ward is playing like a Stanley Cup netminder, and his offense is doing a heck of a lot to take some pressure off him. I can't say whether I think this game is going to be another scoring frenzy or not, because I don't think Ward is going to let many by. But if it does turn out to be one, then Fleury better be on his best play because it's going to be another close 10+ goal game.
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