Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bruins 6, Penguins 3

Ugh. Again. The second period proved to be the undoing of the Pens, as they took EIGHT penalties, resulting in more than one 5 on 3, and the Bruins scored four power play goals.

In the third period, Malone scored and then Orpik scored on a nice pass from Crosby, and it looked like the Penguins might get back into the game. But Thibault gave up a bad goal on the short side to Thornton on a 2 on 1 break. I don't remember who the defense was in the middle, but he played it perfectly, taking away the pass. Thibault was sagging back towards his cage, instead of being out to challenge the shot, and Thornton somehow put it past him. Suffice it to say that it was a highly disappointing goal to give up, as the Pens actually had some momentum.

Anyway, highly undisciplined, penalty laden hockey in the second was really pretty terrible. I'm not sure how these guys keep doing this. Maybe the next three games being at home will help them out. I'm at a loss otherwise. They just look to be a step slow, be lax defensively, and take too many bad penalties.

The only positive, other than Gonchar looking like he was playing better (he got his first goal) was that Crosby continues to show that he's our best player. He had one great sequence in the third where he levelled a Bruins player, came up ice and made a great pass (I think it was on the Orpik goal). He may hit the rookie wall at some point this season, but right now he's firing on all cylinders.


Trent said...

Ok, here's my bold analysis of who's responsible for the Penguin's miserable season:

Mario, Recchi, Crosby, Palffy, Malone, Leclair

It's real convenient to lambast the defense or PK or T-Bo, but the forwards show a complete inability to keep the puck in the offensive zone. It's a rare event to see them actually carry the puck over the blue line. There's no cycling, there no control, there's no pressure. Just consistent dump-ins, turnovers and bad decisions. Recchi's drop pass that Mario skated right past that led to a Bruin goal should be top of the video list for incompetent offensive play.

Last night, the entire first period was played in the Penguin's zone. And that was when they were playing well!

Gee, why does the D take so many penalties? An why does T-Bo ONLY stop 41 of 47 shots?

I can't imagine...

I'm not saying that our D is all they're cracked up to be. They're not. The criticism leveled at them is fair. But it's not just them. The solution is to improve the team's ability to keep the puck in the attacking zone and make the other team work a bit.

The fourth line is the only line accomplishing that. Consider that only Maxime Talbot has played every game and has an even +/-. (Or is he on the third line?)

Pronovost said...

Sorry if I double-post (or worse) -- having a little trouble with the log-in.

Anyway, that was Gonchar defending the 2-on-1.

Pat said...

Thanks for the pointer, pronovost! I thought it was Gonchar's best game so far, but that's not saying much. Hopefully he builds on this and gets it going.

Pat said...

Trent - I agree the forwards aren't doing so well. You'd think with all the skilled players they have that they'd have a little more success at controlling the puck in the offensive zone.

But, when the offense is struggling, you sometimes need the goalie to absolutely shut down the other team, and with the exception of Caron relieving Fleury against the Flyers, that really hasn't happened yet.

I think all it's going to take is one good win with a solid effort to get them going. Get a little confidence, and roll (we can hope at least, eh?)

Pronovost said...

Trent, I just re-read your initial reply and would take issue only with including Crosby on the list of offenders. If anything he at least makes the opponent play defense.

I don't dispute your overall point, though.

Trent said...

Crosby is definitely the best player wearing a Pens jersey. But i've seen the puck bounce off his stick too often.

Crosby is either trying to make plays that are too cute or the circumstances are only leaving him the most absurd options. (Which he sometimes pulls off.) It's probably more the latter. But i agree that the 18 year old is the least of the team's problems. Put a team of Crosby's on the ice and we'd win 18-0.

And sure, we could use a goalie to bail us out of this streak. But what was it, three goals in the second period last night were 5 on 3? Can't blame T-Bo for that. It's tiring blocking 47 shots. (Or 41 if you want to be a stickler.) He was the only Penguin who DIDN'T stop playing. If it weren't for him, Boston would have scored 10 goals. That's what you get (and expect) from a veteren goalie.

They gotta bring Fleury up, despite his propensity to not be the best clutch goalie. His skills still drawf those of T-Bo and Caron. And while his defensive skills might be an issue, Whitney is WB's points leader. Can't be worse than Poapst, right?

Oh, and the Baby Pens haven't LOST a game yet...

btw - Did anyone notice that Orpik's goal came from Palffy BLATANTLY stealing a puck meant for Mario to one-time? I can't help but read some meaning into that.

Pat said...

Trent - I thought that was Crosby that fed the pass to Orpik. He's the first assist on the goal. But I do remember exactly what you're talking about - Mario was all wound up and ready to let it go. Truthfully, that probably helped Orpik to have an open net - made Raycroft think a little bit (almost like a fake spike in volleyball)

Trent said...

I thought it was Crosby at first too, but then i repeated it and THOUGHT it was Palffy. Maybe i'm wrong.

Either way, it speaks volumes when someone takes the puck away from Mario to make a better play. I'm not sure which player makes it more profound: Crosby or Palffy.