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The Confluence

Penguins flat as a board in 3-0 stinker to Coyotes

Phoenix Coyotes v Pittsburgh Penguins

If I may, let me quote my colleague Hooks Orpik, in his post last night at Pensburgh, ‘cause he just hits the nail on the head;

“Uninterested.  Half-hearted.  Ugly.  Lacksidasical.  Piss-poor.  Uninspired.  Bland.  Disappointing.  Vomit-inducing.”

The Penguins got caught red-handed looking past the troubled Phoenix Coyotes towards tonight’s slobber-knocker against the Flyers, and it cost them.  A completely flat and lazy Penguins performance resulted in a penalty-filled game, which turned into two Coyote powerplay goals in an eventual 3-0 stinker in front of a soldout but quiet Igloo crowd.

Let’s first give credit to Phoenix, they took full advantage of the Penguins’ sluggishness, employing a Devil-ish trap that the Penguins simply didn’t want to counteract.  The Coyotes would simply trap the Pens at the red line, and the Pens didn’t want to dump the puck and establish the forecheck.  As a result, more often than not it was a Penguins forward attempting to dangle the puck and merely getting the puck stripped away for a turnover.

Defensively, the Pens weren’t skating at all, and as a result not gathering any loose pucks at all.  The frustrated Pens then resorted to a combination of hooking, high-sticking and slashing, resulting in 8 minutes of powerplay time in the first period alone.  I’m not going to point fingers at the referees, like some other teams recently did when they lost, but I won’t mention any names (Hint:  They play in our Nation’s capital).  The Pens ended up being short-handed nine times in the game.

The Coyotes got on the board first during the second half of a double-minor high-sticking penalty to Evgeni Malkin.  Ed Jovanovski received a pass from Shane Doan on the right boards, used a nice screen from former Ranger Petr Prucha and fired a slapper that backup goalie Brent Johnson never saw and into the net to make it 1-0 Coyotes at the 9:07 mark of the first period.

Back on the powerplay again midway through the second period, the Coyotes doubled their lead when Radim Vrbata put a wrister on net that Johnson stopped, but Prucha was able to bang the rebound into the net while on his backside to make it 2-0 Phoenix.

Vrbata ended the scoring with an empty netter in the final minute.

Just an ugly, ugly game.  I seriously doubt you’re going to see that type of effort tonight.  I would think just walking into the Wachovia Center tonight will inspire them enough.

Notes:
-  First off, a sincere “Get Well Soon” goes out to long time Pittsburgh sports personality Stan Savran, who underwent quadruple bypass surgery yesterday.  Of course I don’t know Stan personally, but I’ve corresponded with him a couple of times via email and he’s mentioned me a few times on his ESPN1250 radio show with Guy Junker.  He’s the best in the ‘Burgh, and I hope he’s going to be OK.
-  Chris Bourque made his Penguins debut on the fourth line, and I thought overall he did a good job, especially considering the performance his teammates gave.  Bourque showed some good speed and generated some decent scoring opportunities. He played mostly on the fourth line, but because of the multitude of penalties there were times when he was out there with Malkin.
-  The Penguins actually got five powerplays of their own, but even short-handed the Coyotes frustrated the Pens, only giving up six shots.
-  14 giveaways for the Pens tonight, compared to only 2 for the Coyotes.
-  Sidney Crosby had been doing well in the faceoff circle in the first two games of the season, but that didn’t continue last night, only winning 5 for 17 for 29 percent.  On the flipside, Jordan Stall continues his improvement, winning 12 of 13.

Fortunately for the Pens, they don’t have any time to stew on this stinker of a performance.  They’ll battle the Flyers tonight in Philly.

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, phoenix+coyotes, pittsburgh+penguins

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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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