Finally the Pens seem to be clicking. I guess you can say better late than never, but that's what it looks like after the Pens went 3-0 this week. Coach Terrien and Ray Sherro have taken alot of heat during the year, but it looks as if Sherro made the right call with the decision to axe Terrien and name Bylsma interim coach.
After this solid week, the Pens are 5-1-1 under Bylsma, capturing 11 out of a possible 14 points and catapulting themselves back into the playoff mix. Not only the record is impressive, but the Pens seem to have taken to the more aggressive up and down style under Bylsma, and it definitely fits their current personnel better.
Notes for the week
wed: Pens beat the Islanders 1-0 behind a solid performance for Marc-Andre Fluery
thurs: Pens acquire Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangardi from Anaheim for Ryan Whitney
fri: Pens beat Blackhawks 5-4 in a thrilling game. Young talent everywhere for both teams. It was great to see the Pens get to play against Toews and Kane. Kunitz shines in his Pens debut with a goal and an assist and Malken nets the OT winner
sun: Pens dominate Dallas 4-1 Fluery plays well again and Malken has another big game
Fluery goes 3-0 in the week stopping 82 of 87 shots. In two of the games, the Pens limited the opposition to 21 shots. The Pens will win alot of games if they can do that consistently. In the Chicago game they allowed 45.
Stall and Satan have scored in back to back games. This is crucial, if both guys can get hot and provide consistent scoring, it can only help the Pens.
Powerplay still not great 2-13 during the 3 game stretch.
Malken led the team with 5 points during the week
Crosby didn't play during the week, nursing a sore groin.
I like what I saw this week, but I'm not sold on if it's enough to make a long run in the playoffs. I like how the team has responded under Bylsma and think they will just get better. I still think another move is needed, but if management doesn't feel like they can get back to the finals, then I wouldn't pull the trigger on a rental player. Any move must help for at least next year as well. Milan Hejduk?
On a side note, the Devils got back Martin Broduer this week and he looked great. 3 games, 2 shutouts and only 2 goals allowed in the 3. Talk about a major acquisition at the the deadline.