Well, we're busy here trying to get the house ready for a visit by the in-laws, but the wife is kind of weary, so she's the special guest blogger for the day... which is just as well, because I wouldn't have had anything nice to say about last night. We'll see if she does...
Hmm; Pat didn't mention that "the wife" was weary because she had surgery two days ago, but he and I can discuss that later. . .
Speaking of weary, we turn our attention to the game last night. Despite some stellar scoring - Palffy's gorgeous nearly end to end run (btw, I could understand Melichar's assist, but Jackman's? He was in another county developing that play), the beautiful Lemieux-LeClair-Crosby setup, and Christiansen's blistering shot - the Pens still fell flat against their cross-state nemeses, the Flyers.
Again, there were some individuals who I thought really worked it hard and well, such as Recchi, Melichar, Christiansen, maybe even Koltsov, the overall play certainly in the last half of the game was limp and uninspired. Maybe I don't know enough to see when they would be "pushing", but they definitely didn't look like the game was on the line, even when they still had plenty of time to work with.
Things that need to be mentioned:
1. Thibault. Sigh. I feel for the man, but this can't go on. He let in a poor one - maybe the third goal? But his play deteriorated after being hit by the Knuble shot. If he was hurt, he needs to say so and get out while the team can still win. If he wasn't, it makes the continuing demotion of Fleury even that more glaring. I could understand starting him, but I can't justify finishing him.
2. The officiating seemed, for the second game in a row, to be inconsistent at best. Ticky-tack at times, blind at others, which does not help the Crosby griping from the Philly Cryers. As if there is not enough to hate Philly about, their coach's comments proved that they are thugs both on and off the ice.
3. Back to weary. As a loyal Pens fan, I am weary of inconsistent effort and a lack of desire. I really like Edzo, but somebody needs to light a major fire. Yes, the goal-tending was disappointing, but that doesn't relieve the rest of the team from their responsibilities. Losses like these are more palatable when it is obvious that the whole team gave it's best. Teams out there are tough enough without giving them an edge.
Thanks , Pat!