Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rangers 2, Penguins 1

Optimism?

Is that what you draw from losing your fourth game in a row?

In this case, I have to say yes.

The Pens dropped their fourth game in a row tonight. They fell to six games under .500. Yet they are starting to play like a team that has more than one line that can contribute.

They got solid play from Fleury in net. In two games, he has stabilized the goalie position. He makes saves he's not supposed to make. He instantly makes the defense better.

The players seems to be working hard every shift. Leclair is playing like he's on fire. Recchi continutes to skate hard. Christensen continues to show signs of improvement... why, oh why, isn't he on the power play? Once Crosby gets back to full strength, this team will have several varied offensive threats that all seem to be clicking well right now, and that's without mentioning Lemieux.

Palffy got hurt, evidentally. He didn't play after the first period. That would be a real kick in the gut to this team if he were out for any extended period.

Anyway, I'm more optimistic now than I have been any time this season so far. Am I nuts?

3 comments:

Trent said...

Totally nuts. I was at the game and I thought the Penguins were demoralizing. Mario probably checks more than anyone else. wtf?

There's no urgency, there's no passion, there's no effort. The team takes constant penalties, but they're always shit calls: Holding the stick, holding, a little hook. It's never born from aggressive play. It's never borne of taking it to the other team, taking the body, working your butt off.

It looks like every pass is to a player's backhand. I don't get it.

Does the D know what a one-timer is?

The power play sucks more than words can describe.

I stand behind my previous argument: The Pens' problem is not the D, it's the O. The offense sucks. They can't score, they can't pressure, they can't control the play. I was shocked that the scoreboard read 36 shots because Lundquist was rarely under pressure. Those 36 shots are all no angle shots, dinks into the chest or pucks that roll to the goalie. They've scored 7 goals in the last 4 games. Appalling.

What has Palffy done this season? Recchi? At least Leclair puts one in every now and then. And when is the last time Mario was on the scoreboard? I know he's been sick, but it's been a long time.

If your goalie holds them to 2, you sure as hell better get a point out of it.

All hail Sid, but his passing has been less spectacular as of late. That has nothing to do with his foot. He's hesitating more instead of just making the first reaction pass. Maybe he's getting tired. But he still puts a greater effort in than anyone else. Christensen is second. Fleury is the man. Everyone else is crap. EVERYONE. I hope Malone is injured because the only other explanation is he's a lazy bastard. He's the poster child of subpar effort. And i was a huge Malone fan last season.

Let's hear it for Patrick for not doling out the contracts to over eager players like Malone and Orpik who have only one promising season under their belt. Consistency gets the bucks.

Will said...

Wow! I maybe watching on TV and live makes a difference on how the team looks bucause like Pat, I watched on TV an thought they looked good. Well, not good like a playoff team good, but good like a team who actually looks like that are trying. Fleury was solid in net. The first goal he let in deflected off 2 pens and trickeled past him. The second was kinda soft, but not too bad. LaClair is playing like a machine and even Malone is staring to mix it up and show his physical side.

I think the last two games, even though they lost, were good for the Pens. They are starting to look like a real team. A good example of this is when they scored their first goal last night. The must have had the puck in their end for 1 min or more. They were scraping and fighting to keep the puck in the zone and it paid off with a goal. That was one of the few times this season I have seen them do that. Too bad it did not get them a win.

Trent said...

btw - The first goal against Fleury happened because his stick was held. It was real minor, but if you look at it again, he was moving to slide his stick across against the ice to block the puck but it was tied up by a Ranger stick.