It’s about those four power play goals. Five-on-five the Canadiens were a better hockey club than the Penguins in game one of the Eastern Conference semi-final last night in Pittsburgh.
Defending that power play will take up much of Jacques Martin’s time between now and gametime tomorrow afternoon.
Habs penalty killer Tom Pyatt, who has hardly played like the rookie he is in this year’s playoffs, was on the ice for two of those four Washington power play goals. You’ll never get anything in-depth from the close-mouthed Martin, but Pyatt had some things to say about what the Canadiens are facing in this round.
This from today’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette –
“You don’t want to give them too much time. They’re dangerous with the puck, and anytime we can put pressure on them and be aggressive, we have to.”
According to Pyatt there are similaries to the Washington power play.
“Pittsburgh’s kind of the same thing because they have lots of firepower on their power play. You’ve got Gonchar back there [at the point]. It’s kind of like Mike Green. You’ve got to be aware of him taking shots. He’s really good with the puck. Your head’s always got to be on a swivel on the PK, knowing where their shooters are.”
But there are differences as well, as Pyatt and the other penalty killers found last night.
“Pittsburgh’s more unpredictable. They like to change things up. They’ve got guys that change positions. Crosbyt can go to many positions on the power play. He’s always moving around. It’s up to us to adjust to what they do, and feed off that.”
Easier said, than done. But nothing is easy in the playoffs.