by Tony on 05/02/10 at 06:59 PM ET
What a difference a game makes.
Less than 48 hours after a fairly dominating 6-3 win in Game One Friday night, the Penguins reverted to their cutesy past in Sunday’s matinee Game Two at the Igloo, and as a result dropped a 3-1 decision.
They were awarded 39 shots on goal, but easily could’ve had 50. But they were also awarded nine giveaways, but probably could’ve been awarded at least fifteen. Needless to say, it was a very frustrating game to watch.
Combine that with a strong bounce back performance from Jaroslav Halak, and all of a sudden instead of what looked to be a relatively easy series may now be a real barn-burner.
NHL.com in it’s recap used the term “heroics” in describing Halak’s performance. Meh. Don’t get me wrong, he was quite solid. There were several flurries that could have easily resulted in goals, but Halak never had to make the spectacular saves that he had to make against the Capitals.
But for whatever reason, the Penguins seemed to be satisfied to pass up chances to get pucks on net with decent scoring opportunities in order to hold onto the puck and attempt to force the puck for a pretty one-timer or deflection. The vast majority of the time that only resulted in turnovers. The culprits were many, ranging from Bill Guerin to Sergei Gonchar to Kris Letang to Evgeni Malkin to Sidney Crosby.
- Reading some negative remarks on Marc-Andre Fleury. While Fleury has certainly had his shaky games thus far in the playoffs, today was not one of them. The first goal was due to poor defense by Brooks Orpik, the second a result of a fortunate bunt by Mike Cammalleri and the third simply a nice wrister to the top shelf again by Cammalleri. If any of those were to be considered shaky, I would say perhaps the third one, but Fleury did not lose this game for the Penguins.
- Speaking of negative remarks, hearing it as well this afternoon is Evgeni Malkin. While I don’t completely agree with everything that’s being said, I will concur that Malkin’s defense has not be up to his usual level for quite some time now. He’s been doing “drive-by” defense, looking to stab the puck away from the opponent, and 99% of the time it’s not working, resulting in Malkin getting out of position.
- Alexei Ponikarovsky has been doing a decent job in the physical play department, but anytime he wants to chip in offensively, be our guest.
- I don’t give a rat’s ass whether you want to call Matt Cooke dirty or not, he’s playing some great hockey right now. Cooke’s line, along with Max Talbot and Pascal Dupuis were easily the best Penguins line today. That alone should tell you something about the Pens’ performance today.
Anyway, it’s now to Montreal for Game Three, where it’s sure to be rocking. I actually expect a much better performance now that the Penguins will be away from home the next two games.
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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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