by Tony on 11/11/10 at 01:37 PM ET
During the 2nd intermission, it was as if you could feel the weights being taken off the collective backs of Penguins fans. It was one big “THERE they are”. this was Penguins hockey. They had fairly dominated play for the first 40 minutes, most taking place in the Bruins’ defensive zone. They had gotten four pucks past undefeated goaltender Tim Thomas, and went into that 2nd intermission with a two-goal lead.
And then? Those weights were firmly planted right on top of our heads once again with an absolutely horrendous performance in the 3rd period, giving up five goals in a 7-4 loss to the Bruins.
But as Kevin Bacon exclaims above, all is well, isn’t it?
- Must start with the defense today. Holy hell. Some may try to pin the blame on Brent Johnson, but look at the replays again. And for those who may try to claim that I don’t equally blame the defense during Fleury’s poor start, I definitely disagree. Let’s hold on Johnson for a minute. It was the worst of two worlds for the D-men last night: In the defensive zone, they were making crucial mistakes leading to turnovers that led to goals. And in the offensive zone, their tendency to get involved with the rush turned around and bit them square in the butt-ocks.
Brooks Oprik said it best last night in talking to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, when he said “It’s not that (other teams) are doing anything. I mean, everything they get, we give them. It’s just (our) guys got to be accountable. Part of the problem is we’re not playing to the situation. I mean, why are defensemen playing like forwards when we’ve got a 4-2 lead — this is the problem to me. We’ve got enough good forwards here. We don’t need our defensemen playing like forwards when we’re up 4-2.”
- Let’s take a look at the goals Johnson gave up:
- Power play goal that began as Alex Goligoski got the puck stolen from him behind the net, leading to a pass to a wide-open Mark Recchi. Johnson stoned Recchi with a nice left pad save initially, but Recchi went top shelf to beat him on the rebound, untouched.
- Neutral zone turnover by Chris Kunitz, leading to an odd-man rush with an absolute laser wrister to the top right shelf by Brad Marchand.
- Hard wrister by Nathan Horton that deflected off the body of Kris Letang into the goal.
- Wrister by Zdeno Chara that deflected off the stick of Alex Goligoski into the goal.
- Horrible pinch by Goligoski leading to an odd-man rush, Shaun Thornton goes top right shelf.
- Zbynek Michalek gets forechecked by the 42 year old Recchi, who centered the puck to Blake Wheeler for a backhanded goal. This was the softest goal he allowed, if you want to call it that.
- Just an FYI on Recchi: In the 2 3/4 seasons since the Penguins released him, he has scored 54 goals and has 99 assists. Just sayin’.
- Penguins now 2-5 at home. Belch.
- More and more bad reviews about the ice. The NHL’s ice guru, Dan Craig, was at the CEC all day working with the techs. They laid a brand new sheet of ice after the circus left town, so perhaps it will take some time to take Mr. Craig’s recommendations into account as this latest sheet of ice matures (no idea if I’m using the correct terminology, by the way).
- Speaking of the ice, looked like Evgeni Malkin hit a rut last night, further tweaking his knee. Give him credit though, he stayed in the lineup. Of course, no mention from neither Steigy nor Errey that Malkin was already nursing that sore knee from the check the other night. Sheesh.
Penguins back in action on Friday night at home versus Tampa Bay. Should be interesting.
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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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