The Penguins rode a hot powerplay, some terrible discipline, and a couple of questionable 5 on 3s to beat a listless Leafs team. Much like the last encounter with the soon-to-be KC Pens, the Leafs were tied early and proceeded to try to one-up each other with mental errors and boneheaded plays while the referees occasionally chipped in with some help (ie. giving O'Neill a penalty for chirping but ignoring Crosby's whining after every whistle). Poor Raycroft received no help from the team in front of him, who never really looked like wanting to win the game, and he was kind enough to give Aubin a run-out so that he could be grateful for having spent the first two periods on the bench. The Leafs did not stop fighting (literally) until the last whistle (it was more like four wrestling matches with a grand total of 2 punches thrown) but they never really threatened and M-A Fleury made great saves when needed.
Pittsburgh's citizens and officials better get excited about this team because it would be a shame for the fans to suffer through the recent dismal teams only to have this squad disappear. Many of the goals were of the highlight reel variety with Crosby, Malkin, and Staal showing that they are more than hype. Mark Recchi must feel like he has won the lottery when he lines up alongside the former two on the powerplay. Tonight was the 7th straight sell-out so that bodes well for the future of the franchise.
In the other half of the BoO, the sens rode their hot stick Dany 'I Don't Need Spezza' Heatley as he added two goals. On the scoresheet it looks like Boston had a bit of a discipline and offence problem as well and Toivenen kept the game closer than it should have been. Also, Shubert will be receiving a letter from the NHL for his Buffalo-like theatrics.
So Ottawa further solidifies itself above the playoff race morass in which the Leafs continue to wallow. Thoughts, insults, jokes, and hopes heading into the all-star break in the comments.
My first hope: That the BoA is better than the Mellon Massacre I just watched.