Game Breakers: Pittsburgh Penguins

 

Derrick Simpson May 2

Today’s 4th and final Game Breakers covers the Pittsburgh Penguins, who take on the New York Rangers tonight at 7 PM eastern. Find out who will make the biggest difference for the Pens and why.

pittsburgh

 

 

Cardboard Brooks Orpik

Opposing players tremble in fear when cardboard Orpik line up for a hit

Opposing players tremble in fear when cardboard Orpik lines up for a hit.

   This guy does everything: Blocks shots, gets in the shooting lanes, even stands his ground on opposing players. The paper defender is a real coaches guy too, he’s never even talked back to one!

Being the team player that he is cardboard Cardboard Brooks  lays down to block a shot in practice. Not even a game, A PRACTICE!

Being the team player that he is  Cardboard Brooks lays down to block a shot in practice. Not even a game, A PRACTICE!

For those who don’t know the real Brooks Orpik is injured and the Penguins used a cardboard version of him in a practice as a joke. The rest of the article will be serious… I promise!

Sidney Crosby

The Hart trophy favourite had his fair share of struggles in round one. He was held goalless, seemed quite frustrated by Brandon Dubinsky’s antics at times and was even put on a line with Russian superstar Evgeni Malkin in an attempt to heat up the two. He faced adversity in round one, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Cole Harbour, NS native will bounce back. He is the best player in the world and always seems to come through when it matters most.

At the age of 26 Crosby already has a Stanley Cup and two Olympic Gold medals. Too bad he can't grow a playoff beard.

At the age of 26 Crosby already has a Stanley Cup and two Olympic Gold medals. Too bad he can’t grow a playoff beard.

Evgeni Malkin

The 6’3″ Russian centre lead all Penguins forwards with 7 points in the first round, including a hat-trick in game 6 versus Columbus. Malkin is extremely dangerous and always seems to up his game for the playoffs (he won the Conn Smythe for best playoff performer in 2009). If he can carry the momentum from last series to round 2 he will surely be a handful for the Rangers.

 

blackandgoldworld.blogspot.com Geno Malkin will be hoping to add to his 3 GENOS from the first round

blackandgoldworld.blogspot.com
Geno Malkin will be hoping to add to his 3 GENOS from the first round

Marc Andre Fleury

For the past couple years it seems no one has believed in Fleury (including himself) come springtime. I believe this is his bounce back playoff year. Aside from game 4 in Columbus (fluke 3rd period goal, weak overtime goal) I thought that Fleury played well. It seems like he is slowly regaining his confidence, hopefully for Dan Bylsma Penguin’s this happens sooner rather than later.

Fleury will be hoping to prove his doubters wrong in round 2

Too bad Fleury won’t be this arrogant versus the Rangers

Like what you read? Think I’m a bit off? Leave a comment below!

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

See yesterday’s Game Breakers about the Rangers here: http://wp.me/p4zyyB-5P

Derrick Simpson, All day Sportz

 

Game Breakers: New York Rangers

Derrick Simpson, May 1

The 2nd seeded New York Rangers take on the 1st seeded Pittsburgh Penguins on May 2nd in the Metropolitan division final. The Rangers will have their hands full trying to handle Crosby, Malkin and the rest of the Pens. Here’s who’ll be their game breakers while taking on Pittsburgh.

rangers

Rick Nash

The former Blue Jacket was held goalless by the Flyers during the first round (although he did put up 4 assists and had a multitude of chances in game 7). It may be because earlier in the season he had a concussion, but Nash seemed to be afraid to drive to the net and was taking the majority of his shots from low percentage areas. If the Blueshirts  are to beat  the Pens, Nash will have to make better choices when shooting and must be willing to get a little dirty.

thehockeynews.com Nash had 26 goals during the regular season, he has yet to score in the playoffs.

thehockeynews.com
Nash had 26 goals during the regular season, he has yet to score in the playoffs.

Ryan McDonagh

Ryan McDonagh is the centrepiece of the Rangers strong blueline and he will need to be on his top game to shut down Crosby and Malkin. The Saint-Paul, Minnesota native will be relied on, along with Dan Girardi, late in games to shut down the Penguins. He didn’t play his best hockey in round one (0Pts, -2), and will most defiantly need to up his game against the 2nd place team in the East.

bleacherreport.com McDonagh averaged just under 25 minutes a game and was a plus/minus +11 during the regular season.

 

 

 

Henrik Lundqvist

The 2012 Vezina winner could steal the series for the Rangers. The Swedish silver medalist can potentially shut down Pittsburgh’s top scorers and his shallow playing style enables him to save rebounds and cross-crease plays much easier than other goalies.

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images Lundqvist should be Dan Bylsma and the Pens main concern

Bruce Bennet/Getty Images
Lundqvist should be Dan Bylsma and the Pens main concern.

Keys to Winning

The Rangers can count on their defensemen  to help them win. McDonagh, Giradi, and Marc Stall are all expected to be rock-solid defensively and even Anton Stralman looked great in round one versus the Flyers. And of course their goaltending should be topnotch. Also, don’t forget about the always dangerous Martin St Louis.

usatoday.com Deadline addition St Louis had a cool 6 points in the first round

usatoday.com
Deadline addition St Louis had a cool 6 points in the first round

Weakness

I may mention special teams a lot on All Day Sportz but that’s because they really are that important to winning (especially in the playoffs!). New York is struggling in both special teams departments with a 71.4% penalty kill and a 10.3% power play. To add, the Rangers can’t seem to win while they are leading in a series. In the past 3 years, all 4 series’ New York has won has gone to 7 games.

All stats are courtesy of nhl.com

See yesterday’s Game Breakers on the Bruins here:http://wp.me/p4zyyB-5x

Like what you saw? Don’t agree with me? Leave a comment below!

Derrick Simpson, All Day Sportz