“I hate to say I told you so.” Words clearly spoken by someone who was not a hockey fan, so I would like to formally extend an I told you so to each and every early season doubter of the Penguins. Naturally I am referring to one of my previous articles when the Penguins were playing absolutely heinous hockey earlier in the season. I mean at that point I would’ve rather had 4 single pieces of linguini on the ice with a lone ravioli in goal. But now, after a simple coach switch, these linguinis have become the top tier team that they should be. And after Zatkoff’s performance in last night’s tilt, he is certainly no ravioli. I mean the kid absolutely stood on his head, not to mention the fact that it was his first career playoff start and first start in general since February. He absolutely held down the fort especially when at one point in the period the shots were 12-3 favoring New York. I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous at first, but after the first period I had complete faith in the ravioli. And the .945 save percentage for a playoff debut against the Rangers really speaks for itself.
Hornqvist had a hat trick. Need I say more? Absolutely unreal. The chemistry on the team has been unbelievable in the past couple months, even with the injuries throughout the team. This brings me to my next point. The guys they bring up from Wilkes-Barre consistently fit the system and they’re not just placeholders. They come up and give the team some serious depth. Tom Kuhnhackl has really stepped it up recently though. Especially last night with a goal, a couple hits, and he drew a few much needed penalties.
The team went into the playoffs winning 14 of their last 16, which I attribute a lot to Crosby stepping it up. He was a bit nonexistent towards the beginning of the season, but he finished up with 85 points. 3 Points and plus-3 on the first game, oh sure. I’m not going to go into detail about how the penguins absolutely have cleaned house in the last month, I’m sure you all know. Basically, I feel extremely confident in the playoff outlook for the Penguins based on last night.