Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wild 5, Penguins 0 - Have we hit bottom yet?

I almost stopped watching this game. Watching the snow fall outside would have been better. I made the mistake of turning the game back on for the third period... and I was hypnotized, but not in a positive sense. It was like watching a train wreck - your eyes could not be averted.

The Pens were outshot 28-11 in the first two periods. This was a shutout where the winning goalie wasn't even one of the three stars; that's how bad the Pens offense was. They didn't possess the puck. They didn't use what speed they had. They didn't seem to know how to attack the trap that the Wild were employing. As a result, they only had a single power play, and that was at garbage time in the third period.

Thibault didn't play poorly, but he didn't play well. The Wild scored one minute into the game on a breakaway by Gaborik. It was a bad turnover by Endicott that allowed the breakaway, but you NEED your goalie to make that save. The way the team has been playing, that would have been a huge lift. To his credit, he did stop Gaborik on another attempt later in the period.

I only have a few other notes about the game:
  • I thought a few players played well, Hussey and Talbot in particular. Talbot was hitting everything that moved all night long.
  • I have no idea why Christensen isn't playing more. Errey commented on that as well during the telecast.
  • Fleury needs to be playing every night, until he drops. The team is different with him between the pipes - just look at the last three games versus this one. I know it's not fair, but it's the way things are right now.
  • Marian Gaborik really played well. He was on a different level tonight.

It doesn't get any easier - Saturday's game is against the Avalanche.

1 comment:

Trent said...

This is turning into a situation that is going to seriously threaten the team's ability to get a new arena. It's time for a coaching change. Edzo's shiny, happy, positive attitude ain't cutting it with a bunch of under-producing veterans. They need passion behind the bench and Edzo never shows any, just that blanched look of fear and exasperation. With a team this bad, i want some heads to roll. I want benches on the ice. I want fights with journalists. I want calling out shitty efforts. I want something that's going to get the players' attentions, damnit.

This all started with the game in Philly. How the hell did Edzo and the team let that game go unanswered? How were there no fights? How were there no checks? How was there no energy and effort?

Whatever the reasons, it has continued thru this game. The listless, passionless, tired, almost bored effort night after night.

Gee, i'm watching the Wild go after Orpik at the end of the game. You think that's not a tight team? Do you think that that doesn't breed loyalty and a willingness to go to the mat for your teammate?

Do you think that that didn't come directly from Lemaire?

You can even tell with the way forwards don't skate back for the breakout pass. When was the last Penguin sustained cycle down low that they had? They can barely connect passes. No support, no teamwork, nothing.

Edzo's gone by January. I love the guy. I want him to succeed. But the team needs a change.

A fish rots from the head.