Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Panthers 3, Penguins 2

This game, to me, boils down to two things:
  1. The Penguins showed tremendous effort in the third period in coming back to tie the score and almost take the lead. Sidney Crosby (and Malkin to a lesser extent) simply would not be denied. My question is: where was this effort all game long? I know it's a tremendous amount of energy to expend, but why not come out working like this? Malkin missing on the breakaway just after Crosby tied the score was probably the turning point of the game. They needed that one to go in.
  2. Thibault allowed a goal on a slapshot from near the blue line with 5 minutes remaining, giving Florida the winning goal. Yes, the Panthers were on the power play, and yes, he was screened, but he was also down on his knees and not out far enough to prevent the screen. It was a huge goal that the Pens needed him to keep out. He couldn't do it.
I'm not sure what else to say. The Pens didn't play a bad game. They had a few unfortunate bounces go against them, such as with Roberts first goal - he played the puck with a high stick, and it was totally missed by the clueless zebras (and yes, they were clueless tonight, but that's not why the Pens lost). They generated lots of pressure on Auld, but kept missing the cage with their shots. If I were Therrien, I'd tell those guys to aim for the middle of the cage every time until they start getting shots on net, especially on shots from the point.

The rumor was that Therrien's job was on the line if the Pens fell tonight. It's no secret that Ray Shero wasn't allowed to bring in his own guy when he was hired. If he was looking for a good time to make a move, this would be it. The Pens are sliding fast, and can't afford to slide anymore if they have any hope of slipping into the playoffs. Looks like that fast start might be the worst thing that happened this year.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Crosby's game tying goal. It was a fantastic individual effort, adn the culmination of his dominating play over several shifts. We need to see more of that kind of play out of the Dynamic Duo.

Next up: at the Rangers on Thursday, starting a three game road trip.


Fauxrumors said...

1) yes nice comeback etc, but playing an apparent inferior talented team at home should equate into a regulation win
2) Getting merely a point should make no one happy. Hopefully things will pick up in NY. The rangers defense has been quite porous, so very exploitable

Will said...

Crosby's goal was unreal. It really showed that he is the kind of player who can change a game by himself. That said, I don't know what's up with this team. I don't blame Therrien totally because the team is playing good. They always have the bounces go the other way or miss that one pass, or open net. I can't imagine Shero not changing things up if the Pens lose out this week.

P.S. I really really hate Thibault in goal. He has not won a game in over a year. I'm sorry but the team must have zero confidence in that dude. And I also agree that even though he was screened on that last goal, he was out of position.