Winning ugly over Carolina


Greetings, hockey fans.

= If you had tickets to this evening’s game between the Penguins and Hurricanes, you didn’t see the most entertaining game of the season. However, you should be proud of your Penguins. With the $17.4 million of salary currently out of the lineup, better known as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins didn’t appear a good bet against one of the league’s hotter teams. But they played exactly how was required. They were sound defensively and did an excellent job killing penalties. It might not have been pretty – OK, it decidedly was not – but remember these two points in April when the Penguins are competing for a top seed in the East.

= Jordan Staal is quite a hockey player. I lost track of how many outstanding defensive plays he made during the game’s final minute. If you ever come into contact with one of those people who think the Penguins should trade Staal someday, please show them the clip of the final minute against Carolina. He made so many wonderful defensive plays in that stretch, and it’s that kind of ability that wins in the postseason.

= Wow, was that a boring first period. At one point, Rob Rossi almost punched his computer. Oh, wait, that was in the third period. Nevermind. Wrong story. Speaking of Rossi, he’s going to be quite warm at Heinz Field tomorrow. It helps to know equipment managers.

= Marc-Andre Fleury remarkably has emerged as a candidate for the Vezina Trophy after an awful October, but he sure does have trouble recording shutouts. Has there ever been a goalie who lost shutouts late in the third period more than Fleury? Poor guy. A note about Fleury: He has allowed more than three goals in a game only three times all season. That’s impressive.

Well, this game probably doesn’t deserve anymore talk. If you’re going to the Steelers game tomorrow, stay warm and enjoy. Rossi and I will talk with you again Tuesday when the Islanders visit town.

You stay classy, Pittsburgh. (Unless you’re dealing with a Jets fan, of course.)

– Yohe