Monday, February 19, 2007

Islanders 6, Penguins 5

There were too many things wrong with this game:
  • Fleury wasn't sharp, especially on the game winning shot by Sillinger.
  • The Pens were sloppy, especially during the second period.
  • The line changes were bad at critical times (like when the Isles were scoring).
You can't have those things happen on the road and expect to win.

Some of them were trying to keep things in perspective, like Recchi:
"Guys in here are disappointed and upset, and that's a good thing. We played three hockey games in such a short time, and to see people unhappy after losing the third one is a good sign."
and Sidney:
"Losing is never fun, but it was going to happen sometime. Mentally, it's tough to go through something like that and come up short."
They're both right, of course, but the Coach had a slightly different perspective:
"When you score five goals on the road, you've got to win those games."
Therrien also seemed to have an idea of where the blame should lie:
"Lately, we've given [Fleury] four, five goals a game. His last four games in a row, he's not been good enough."
The good news is that the Pens offense continues to click. That bodes well, because you know that with two entire days off, Michel Therrien can beat the defense into them.

Ryan Malone and Mark Recchi provided all of the scoring, with Malone notching the hat trick. It was nice to see the big guns take over for a game and provide some firepower. The Pens have been receiving balanced scoring lately, but you can't count on the third and fourth line for a goal each game.

Speaking of the first line, they were the line that scored all three goals at even strength, which gives them all a +3 to start with, but Malone ended up at even (0), Recchi at -1 and Sid at -2. That tells you pretty quickly who the Isles did their work against. Not a good thing.

It doesn't get any easier, as the Pens depart to the site of their last losing streak - Florida. They traditionally don't play well there.

To make matters worse, when the Pens lose in regulation after a win this season, they've only bounced back with a win twice this year, and both times were before Thanksgiving. In other words, once they shift from winning to losing, they have a tough time shifting back.

Anyway, it was bound to happen. They lost. Hopefully they'll get over it, and quickly!

Next up: at Florida on Thursday


will said...

Well you have to agree with what Therrien said about Fleury. That last shot was real soft. Lame way to end the streak but it was going to happen sooner or later, and I'm just glad that after the past few years we finally had a real winning streak to enjoy! Let's hope they can rebound and stay right in the mix for the 4th seed.

Teej said...

Couldn't catch the game, but by the way it sounds, Fleury needs to break out of his mini-slump... I had defended him in the past few weeks when he was giving up 4+ goals per game saying that he has made the important saves at the end of the game, something that Barrasso did this many times in his career, but down the stretch and into the playoffs he'll need to settle down and get his groove back, and the team will take care of itself.

Go Pens