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.