Friday, March 02, 2007

Hurricanes 3, Penguins 2

This was a playoff style game. It was very intense and fast moving, especially in the first period. The reasons for the Pens loss were very simple (and few):
  1. No production on the power play. The Pens needed to throw a different look at the Canes, as noted by Steigy at the end of the broadcast. They kept the same five guys on for the majority of their seven opportunities. Roberts and Laraque both logged a little bit, but for the most part it was Malkin, Crosby, Recchi, Gonchar and Whitney. I kept waiting for the second unit with Christensen and Ouellet, or for Staal to get out there with the top unit to stand in front, but it never happened.
  2. Thibault. He WAY overplayed a shot in the first and barely got back to stop a shot by Brind'Amour. Then, just a little bit later, he did exactly the same thing and couldn't get back to stop the shot into the empty net by Scott Walker. Then, in the third, he didn't freeze a puck that everyone watching (including Errey) knew he should have frozen, as the guys on the ice were already tired. That led directly to the decisive goal by the Canes.
The Pens threw everything they could at the Canes, but there weren't any truly good scoring chances that I can remember. The Canes just mucked their way to a win once they got the third goal.

Disappointing to lose one like this, but the team is obviously competitive in these games. They're just a good bounce or two away from winning.

Next up: at home for the finale against Philly on Sunday. It's a chance to go 8-0 against the Flyers!


Will said...

I've said it before and I have to say it again... can we please trade T-Bound or chain him to the rafters with a lock that cannon open until sometime in July. I thought the Pens actually played a good game for the 2nd in back to back nights. Carolina really did not seem to put too much pressure but he did not step up when it came. Why he did not hold the puck right before the 3rd goal was is beyond me. I was really hoping he'd turn the page this year but I have not seen it. I would rather see that new guy from San Jose get the chance. Send him to WB and let him hurt them for a while. END OF RANT I also think Ryan Malone's goal was one of the best one-timers I've seen this season. The 30 second cycle they had going before it was great, too.

Teej said...

While I agree Thibault's play in the past few games hasn't impressed me so much (his play before the third goal was a bit dubious), I don't think we should give up on him yet. After last year's abysmal performances, I was hoping Shero would make some moves involving Thibault, but the way he's played this year has had me eating crow for most of the season.

He's going to have to come up big this month with the hectic schedule the Pens have, and I think he'll be fine.