I do have some thoughts about this game, but I'll let Pens coach Michel Therrien speak for me, via some quotes from the AP article.
Sounds like there will soon be some unhappy campers in the Penguin's locker room. I'm wondering who will be the high profile scapegoat... you know there has to be one, right?
"It's unacceptable to start a game like that on our heels," Therrien said. "That's not being professional to show up like that early in the game. For the rest of the game we were OK, but were behind the 8-ball. The guys need to become warriors, it's pretty simple, guys that will go in there and battle and battle and battle. That's all I'm asking.
"They know how I feel," Therrien said. "It's got to stop. If you keep doing the same thing over and over and over, there's going to be a consequence. I have a feel for who's the warrior, who wants to win. I've got a pretty good idea right now."
Back to the game review, already in progress.
The Pens did come out flat, and certainly weren't helped by Thibault allowing three first period goals. Yes, there were defensive breakdowns. Yes, he was somewhat screened on at least one goal. But for crying out loud, all of the shots were from 20 feet away. No one was near him jamming the puck in. There were no sharp passes across the ice requiring him to move laterally. They were all decent shots, but they were all saves that I think Fleury would have made. I'm not sure why he didn't play tonight. Biron was alert enough to play a second game in less than 24 hours. Fleury would have until Friday to recover too. In fairness, Thibault did settle down a bit, but the Sabres missed a wide open cage several times in the first and early second period, or the score would have been much worse.
Recchi missed the third period with a groin injury. This is becoming problematic, though I guess it's not a total surprise. I think we're witnessing a changing of the guard before our very eyes here in Pittsburgh. The goal scorers tonight were Crosby, Ouellet and Surovy. No Lemieux, Leclair, Palffy, Recchi... this could really help the team in the long run. If they get some positive contributions from the young guys, get the team on a roll, and allow the older guys to stay fresh and healthy, the team could be dangerous later. Of course, there needs to be a meaningful later to talk about, and right now it's not looking too good. The team is looking better, though, especially in the third period tonight.
Edit: Quick update - Tarnstrom must have been injured as well - he only played four shifts and logged three minutes of ice time.
On a side note, I just watched Friday Night Lights, a movie about giving everything you have no matter the outcome. I'm about to watch Slapshot. Which movie better typifies the Penguins? Hmmm....
Next game Friday night at home against Philly. I'll be at the game with the wife and her family! Maybe I'll get ambitious and take some pictures...