We were torn when we walked into the office last night. One of our duties with the Post-Gazette's Penguins coverage is to choose a play or a moment of the game and detail what happened. Something that totally impacted the course the game took. It can be anything. A goal, a faceoff win, a save, a fight, a blocked shot. Anything.
In the first four games, it was a fairly simple chore.
In Game 1, it was Sidney Crosby's power-play goal.
In Game 2, it was Marc-Andre Fleury's (right) amazing toe save on Jeff Carter.
In Game 3, it was Claude Giroux's all-out effort that led to Simon Gagne's shorthanded goal.
In Game 4, it was Fleury diving backwards to deny Daniel Briere on a rebound off a missed point shot by Mike Richards.
Game 5 was a little bit trickier as the game was fairly lackluster and FSN Pittburgh had some technical difficulties that prevented us from getting decent looks at replays. We went with Miroslav Satan almost scoring a gift goal on an unsuspecting Martin Biron.
Game 6 was a real challenge. Do we go with Maxime Talbot's fight with Daniel Carcillo that clearly sparked the Penguins into scoring five unanswered goals? Or Fleury stretching out with roughly five and a half minutes left in regulation to deny Joffrey Lupul and to preserve the Penguins' lead?
Each moment was huge in its own right. Talbot sensed his team was falling into a hole following Briere's power-play goal. He wanted to do something and found a willing and perhaps even gullible partner in Carcillo, a former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins teammate, to put his plans into motion. Carcillo clearly won the fight but what did it accomplish in terms of momentum? The Flyers' fans were already buzzing from the Briere goal roughly 14 seconds earlier. Carcillo skated to the penalty box waving his hands upwards to get the crowd fired up which it already was. All Carcillo did was toss a small log on an already raging bonfire. He accomplished very little.
Talbot meanwhile, skate to the bench and seemingly demonstrated what he had accomplished as he held a finger over mouth as to shush the crowd. He knew what he did before the rest of us. He put a spark into his flailing squad. And the game was different almost immedately when Ruslan Fedotenko scored 14 seconds later.
But how can you quantify what that fight accomplished? On paper, all that happened was two third-line players were sent to the penalty box for five minutes.
The Fleury save meanwhile did have a tangible benefit in that it kept the Flyers down by one goal late in the third period. At the most basic level, anyone can understand the benefit of Fleury's save there. But was that save any different than some rather pedestrian ones he made against Scott Hartnell or Randy Jones later in the game? If he doesn't keep those out either, the Flyers tie the game.
To review, here is Talbot's fight:
And Fleury's save (0:42) mark:
For what it's worth we went with Talbot's fight. We figured how you start the journey is more instrumental than how you finish it.
Did we make the right choice? How would you rate the two moments? Or was there another one we didn't consider?
(Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)