It's not often when the team that is supposedly the Stanley Cup contender is getting booed at home loudly and with a lot of frequency in only the second home game of the season.
But that's exactly what happened at the Consol Mausoleum last night, as the "inferior" New York Islanders skated circles around the lackadaisical Penguins, 4-1.
That makes 3 losses out of 4 for the Pens, with only a 2-1 shootout win in Ottawa this past Sunday the exception.
Whereas the Penguins' performance in the home opener last week vs. Toronto could be attributed to being "flat", although I'm incredulous how you can come out flat in your home opener, I don't see how that term can be used any longer.
It's beyond flat now, it's a frickin' mess.
NOTE: Only North American IP's can listen or watch:
After the bump, an interview with Sidney Crosby on HNIC Radio. FYI, It's auto-on.
Gotta keep telling yourself, it's only four games, it's only four games.
For as fantastic a feeling it was for the Penguins to open the season with not only two victories, not only two road victories, but in Philadelphia and New York, only to then turn it 180 degrees in disappointing losses against Toronto in the home opener and last night in Winnipeg, it can be very frustrating to say the least.
But four games into the start of this unusually late-starting season, it should not be the barometer in terms of what kind of team this Penguins group will end up being.
Because frankly, at this point, it's becoming increasingly difficult to determine just what Penguins you're gonna get.
From ESPN New York's Katie Strang:
From the Penguins:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired a conditional draft pick from the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Carl Sneep, it was announced by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
As I mentioned when we got the blog back up and running, I'm not going to do the game preview/recap thing anymore.
There will be exceptions, and after the embarrassing display the Penguins (and the soldout crowd) put on last night in their 5-2 loss to Toronto, this is one of them.
It began this past Wednesday night, when the Penguins held an intrasquad scrimmage at Consol Energy Center. Tickets were free, as was parking. Concessions and Penguins merchandise were either free or had significant discounts. With approximately 2,000 fans still waiting to get in the building when the seats filled, the Penguins opened up the luxury seats to accommodate them.
But when it came time to broadcast the game on Root Sports Pittsburgh, at least on my DirecTV feed here in Virginia, the channel showed that the game was being blacked out.
Whether it was due to technical issues, policy issues or someone simply dropping the ball, the game did indeed come on midway through the second period.
Oh, by the way, the Penguins averaged a 6.7 rating for that game. For an intrasquad scrimmage.
But the frustration continued as the regular season commenced.
From the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins website:
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced today that they have signed defenseman Mark Eaton to a professional tryout agreement (PTO).
Eaton, 35, spent the last two seasons with the New York Islanders, where he posted one goal, six assists and 18 penalty minutes in 96 games.
The fifteen-year pro skated four seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2006-2010 after being signed as a free agent on July, 3, 2006. Eaton compiled 31 points (7G-24A) over 218 games for Pittsburgh. He notched four goals and three assists in the 24 playoffs contests as the Penguins claimed the 2009 Stanley Cup.
From The Hockey News' Ken Campbell:
So how does an organization manage expectations when both the immediate and long-term futures look so retina-burning bright? You don’t, according to Penguins GM Ray Shero, who sees that sort of thing as just a bunch of white noise.
“It doesn’t mean a goddamn thing to me,” Shero said. “I don’t think as a group, as a team, as a coaching staff, we ever look at expectations. It’s just somebody’s opinion. I don’t think our group pays any attention to it. If someone says the Rangers are the favorite to win the Cup, does it bother our group? It doesn’t bother them at all.”
Plus, it’s easy to carry the weight of expectation around when you’ve already accomplished so much with what you have. This is not an upstart here. It’s a group of players that is experienced far beyond its collective age and the ones who haven’t been at the top of their craft are on their way there. With Malkin’s talent and the kind of chemistry he has with Neal, it’s easy to envision the latter as a future winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy. And as far as Letang is concerned, he was well on his way to making a run for the Norris last season before he was injured.
About The Confluence
Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.
Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.
I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes. I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.
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