This was the official, "welcome to the NHL season, where terrible losses can put you in a terrible mood" game. In case you forgot how annoying the Canadiens were, this was a pretty clear reminder. It's the second game of the season so you won't find any overreaction here, but rest assured, we know this one sucked. Some thoughts:
- With about 5 minutes left, the Pens were leading 2-1 and were dominating the Canadiens on the forecheck, confirming that the Canadiens are sticking to their tried and true strategy of sucking for long stretches of time and then relying on the opposing goaltender to allow a soft goal. Hey, if it works. I was taking some notes on the game in my iPhone and typed "Dance of Champions" with 4 minutes left. Won't make that mistake again.
- I'm vehemently against all habitual booing of opposing players. I don't mind some occasional booing, but to boo an opposing player every time he has the puck is a waste of energy and borderline embarrassing. Aren't we playing completely into that player's hands when we do that? Ovechkin scores about 11 goals a game against the Penguins, but some people think that booing him might get him off his game. How about ignoring these guys? We all LOVE when Flyers and Caps fans boo Crosby, so don't you think that opposing teams like when our fans boo their guys? And, why P.K. Subban? Yeah, he's annoying and a little dirty, but he was playing in his second ever regular season game. Let's not make this guy out to be more than he is - a rookie.
- That being said about Subban, he does his job well if that job is baiting the Pens players to get distracted. Way too much after the whistle stuff by the Pens, although I do understand how irritating some of those Habs players can be. The refs were calling tons of penalties in these skirmishes - I'm sure the fans were happy that in addition to paying for tickets to see the refs, they also got treated to a hockey game.
- When is it OK to be worried about Fleury? We'll have a much longer post on this if he continues to let in a soft goal every game, but last night was brutal. Maybe he never had a chance at stopping their first goal, but to not even be looking at the shooter? Fleury's weakness is when the opposing team generates offense from behind the net, and that play was no exception. I don't really need to say anything about Gomez's game-winner because we all saw it, but his tendency to let in at least one bad goal every game is getting to be troubling.
- Tangradi is far from a fluid skater, but he is usually around the action which is a good sign. When Asham is healthy, I see no reason to send Tangradi down - he should get some more opportunity. At a minimum, he hasn't done anything to show that he doesn't belong here. So, who would that leave vulnerable on the roster? Let's just say that Max Talbot may want to make sure his suit is back from the dry cleaner. We love Talbot, though - maybe our favorite Penguin.
- AGH cam is the best thing to happen to FSN in a long, long time. And to FSN's credit, they only cut to a ridiculous single-player zoom in camera on a Pens odd man break once last night. That's progress.
Time to regroup for Monday. LGP.