Series Recap: Halfway Home, Pens going to ECF, Will Play Boston

The Pens won this series the way we would have expected them to win the first round. They were clearly the better team and they proved it in every aspect of the game: Tomas Vokoun made the saves that he needed to make, the defense kept the Senators from reaching, let alone controlling, any dangerous spots in the d-zone, and then there’s the offense. Goodness gracious that offense. The Pens are the first team in decades to advance to the Conference Finals while averaging more than 4 goals per game. And it’s not like they’re doing it against scrub goalies. After John Tavares nobody was more responsible for the success of the Islanders than Evgeni Nabokov and Craig Anderson set the pace for GAA and save percentage during the regular season. What else can you say?

Even more impressive is the way they’ve been scoring. Or should we say the ways. They’ve scored via amazing individual efforts, through amazing puck movement and possession, and through hard working forechecking efforts.

The Pens played a complete game in every game of the series and there’s no way to expect anything different moving forward. Next up for the Pens will be the Boston Bruins and there will be no shortage of media manufactured drama. What will happen between Jarome Iginla and the team he shunned, the Bruins? Will this be the last opportunity Jaromir Jagr ever has to gain an edge over the team he made his name with, the Pittsburgh Penguins? Does it matter? Probably not.

This is going to be a fiercely competitive series and those storylines probably won’t play a big role. Whats going to matter is goaltending, defense, and which system can break through: the Bruins’ systematic forechecking offense or the quick strike potential of the Penguins. What happens, no clue. Can’t wait to watch though.


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