by Tony on 06/07/09 at 02:14 PM ET
It’s easy, and convenient now that you mention it, to lay the Penguins’ horrendous 5-0 implosion at the feet of Marc-Andre Fleury.
After all, he let five pucks by him after only 21 shots on goal.
But now that 12 hours have passed, and everyone’s not so incensed, take a closer look:
- To be sure, Fleury is not to be fully exonerated here. He gave up a few, shall we say, questionable goals. But in his defense, Cleary’s goal knuckled off the stick of Orpik, Kronwall’s glanced off Matt Cooke’s stick, he was completely screened on Rafalski’s goal, and Zetterberg’s goal deflected off Orpik’s stick (again). That said, teams that desire to win the Stanley Cup simply cannot afford to have goals against them like that, regardless of how they go in.
- Speaking of screens, arguably for the first time in this series, the Penguins defense failed to keep Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom away from Fleury. No, it didn’t result in any goals from those two, but it sure caused Fleury problems that he hasn’t really had to face in this series.
- Still on the defense, they allowed Niklas Kronwall, that’s defenseman Niklas Kronwall, to skate in alone towards Fleury, getting there too late before he got enough on the puck to get it past Fleury.
- Evgeni Malkin, 1 shot. Sidney Crosby, 1 shot. 22 shots on goal total, led by Sergei Gonchar’s four. That’s not going to get it done, doesn’t matter who you’re playing.
- The retalitory penalties were embarrassing to watch as a Penguins fan. Nothing is gained by that crap, nothing.
But ya know what, it doesn’t matter whether it’s 1-0, 5-0, or 15-0, it’s still only counts as one loss.
The schedule now allows the Penguins to come home and take advantage of their raucous crowd (minus the big screen outside, unless you drink the Kool-Aid of a certain self-absorbed anonymous blogger) and their last line change. You can’t ask for better circumstances for the Penguins to tie up the series and force a Game Seven.
There’s been a lot made already of the benefits the two day break is going to do for the Wings. But now, with an embarrassing loss in their rear view mirror, it gives the Penguins extra time to work on the adjustments that the Wings have now employed.
It’ll be interesting to watch over the next couple of days if HC Dan Bylsma makes any lineup changes in practice.
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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.
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