If there's one thing someone could teach a Penguin, it's balance. The penguin demeanor is one of awkward shuffling. A penguin often looks like a man rushing out of the toilet with his pants down to his ankles as he darts to a nearby room to get some reading material.
Shut up, we've all been there.
So if there was anything the Penguins could learn on this night, it was balance. Coach Michel Therrien needed to be reminded of balance early on as he put his two stars together on the top line, leaving the other three void of any potency.
Conversely, coach Carbonneau had balance on his mind, and composed four lines that stood out because of their familiarity. And for the first time in a long time, the team felt like an old shoe. Kovy reunited with Plekanec and Big Andrei. Higgins and Koivu guiding the young Dagostini who exploded onto the scene with them when he was first called up. Pacioretty, Lapierre and Little Sergei makes intuitive sense. A fourth line used sparingly to throw its muscle around.
Balance, stability. It all made sense. And the cows came home. The jitters seemed to evaporate and the players responded to Carbonneau's coming to his senses with poise and determination. They played with a sense of direction. With the weird line combinations taking a night off, the players settled down and they all contributed evenly.
Kovy's line didn't look like a bunch of world beaters but they weren't erratic. And they kept at it, with dividends to celebrate in the third. The two rookies, Max and Dagger, made it look obvious that Carbonneau must keep them in the lineup, for these are NHLers not AHLers. Lapierre's confidence is now soaring and he is now the reliable spark maturing into a creative forward, propelling my man feelings to new heights. And last night, it is said right here that Sergei played his best game of the season, because it's far easier to have two hands on your stick when a thumb belonging to one of those hands is not firmly embedded up your ass. Bravo Sergei for using your dexterity for other purposes.
Nice job showing the coaching staff that Lang and Latendresse may not have to be the focus of gut wrenching nostalgia. Nice effort by Carey although it is written here that his game still needs some work. Nice work by the coaching staff in reuniting old friends. I haven't seen this much balance since the Jenga competition at the World Cup of Nerdiness.