by Tony on 10/08/10 at 11:53 AM ET
I was sitting around after last night’s 3-2 Opening Night loss to the Flyers in kind of a daze. For the life of me, I just couldn’t find the right adjective to describe the Penguins’ performance.
Jittery? Nervous? Erratic? Tentative? Sloppy?
Whatever the right word, it’s one game folks. Some other observations;
- I’ve already read some comments on the Penguins’ powerplay, which went 1-for-5, saying it’s just as bad as before. The bottom line of any powerplay is goals scored, of course, but if you can’t see how much better the Pens looked, I’m not sure what you’re looking at. Does it need work? Obviously. But in my opinion, you simply cannot compare the PP of the past few years, which was basically Gonchar and Malkin playing catch with each other, to the new system.
- Now I will say this about the powerplay:
Get Evgeni Malkin off the left point
. I just don’t understand the rationale. Why remove the option of having one of the best one-timers in the league on your right point and/or right half-wall? Also, Alex Goligoski has to pull the trigger eventually. As Eddie O said numerous times during his time in the Pens’ broadcast both, just get the puck on net. Doesn’t need to be fancy, doesn’t need to be 100MPH. Just get the damn thing in there.
- Lots of sloppy, no-look passes. Take your pick how you chalk it up. Of course, this includes the horrendous pass by Kris Letang that led to the short-handed goal by Claude Giroux. But Letang’s gaffe wasn’t nearly the only one. Maybe it’s just another example of how the Penguins just get too cutesy at home, especially the first game at their brand new home.
- Kudos to Tyler Kennedy for earning the first Penguins goal in the history of the Consol Energy Center. Kennedy has easily been the fan’s whipping boy during the offseason and preseason, but he played as well as just about any of his teammates.
- While we’re giving the kudos, how about another one for Eric Tangradi. Did not seem out of place at all, did a nice job at puck possession along the boards and laid out a few good hits. He deserves to stay with the big boys, whether that remains the case is still up in the air.
- Speaking of hits, the Penguins were awarded 32 hits last night. They should thank the NHL official who was giving those, that seems awfully generous. Where the hell was the physical play last night? Saw a couple decent shots by Brooks Orpik, but overall a relatively tame outing, especially considering the Flyers were in town.
- Solid performance by Marc-Andre Fleury. The three goals he gave up were very tough to defend; the tip by Briere, the deflection that he stopped, only to be tapped in by the wide-open Betts, and the short-handed goal by Giroux was simply a great move.
- Stick-tap to Sergei Bobrovsky. But let’s not get carried away. He played a solid game, to be sure, but he certainly had things going his way. How many posts did the Penguins hit? The biggest thing for me is that the Penguins never forced Bobrovsky to make a great save. Plenty of Penguins’ shots simply were shot right into his chest.
- I’m more impressed by Zbynek Michalek everytime I see him. He blocked four shots, which is his forte’, but I was also impressed at how he moves the puck in the offensive zone. Very fluid, and is adept at getting pucks on net.
- As I mentioned on Twitter before the game, really disappointed that Versus got this game and not FSN. While the Penguins had their outstanding opening night ceremony linked below, Versus showed some lame-ass band in Toronto. You know if FSN had this game, they would have showed.100% of the pregame show. The only thing Versus showed was Mario putting the Igloo water on the ice. Gee, thanks.
- Next up on Saturday night is the chance for revenge as the Montreal Canadiens visit. I’ll be there on press row, and Internet access permitting, I’ll be half-ass live blogging.
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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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