Tuesday, October 18, 2011

GTOPG: Penguins Curiously Decide to go to Winnipeg to take Nap; Lose 2-1

By Artistry

It was about 10 minutes into the first period of the Pittsburgh's 2-1 loss to Winnipeg when colorful color commentator Bob Errey gave up. "They're discombobulated," he said of the punchless Penguins. "What do you want me to say?" You hush now, Bob. GTOG will handle this.

- The first minute of the game at the MTS Centre on Monday must have felt for the Penguins like waking up out of a sound sleep and finding yourself in the middle of a rave. They were disoriented, virtually paralyzed, and Zybnek Michalek hallucinated and thought he saw the Zhamnov-Selanne-Tkachuk line bearing down on him when it was really only two lesser Russians and Kyle Wellwood. Then Michalek fell, Wellwood scored, and the good citizens of Winnipeg reacted like Ted Leonsis at a post-regular season victory buffet. The Penguins then went 10 more minutes without a shot on goal and looked like they were skating in quicksand. After one period of play, it was 2-0 in favor of the untalented Jets, which any true fan knows could only mean one thing: the Penguins would proceed to dominate the final 40 minutes of the game, fail to bury a dozen sterling chances, and lose 2-1.

- Really, if you turned this game off after 20 minutes, huge mistake. This turned into a tremendous goalie duel between Marc-Andre Fleury and that guy Pavelec. Fleury was tremendous. GTOG co-founder Finesse missed most of the game and says he has few regrets this morning: "Any time the Pens are in a goalie duel with a goalie who has a career 4.6 GAA against us, it's bad news. I think 40% of Sid and Geno's goals over the past 3 years have come against Pevelic. Pavelic. Whatever." Indeed.

- The Penguins asked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to field questions from the media after the game. "Our early season schedule has been brutal. Starting out with a Western Canada trip, then Winnipeg and Minnesota on consecutive nights? 7 games in 12 days? That's unheard of," Ben said while flexing his throwing hand. "Without Sid, Geno, Kennedy. Most teams would take a .500 record after this stretch and be thrilled. Not this one. It's up to me take these guys on my shoulders and carry them in all three zones. I just need to squeeze my swollen, throbbing foot into some skates. No excuses."

- The top line of James Neal, Stevie Sullivan, and Richard Park dominated the second half of the game, and the sold-out crowd was on such a high that they may not have noticed the Penguins top line was centered by Richard Park. It was Sullivan's best game as a Penguin. He was dancing. Neal has been the team's MVP in these first two weeks, and it's not close.

Giving Mark Letestu first line center lessons.
- Matt Cooke showed his true value last night. He raised his game after the sluggish start, hit somebody every shift, drew a penalty, then later made a great play to get the puck to the point and screen Pavelec on Michalek's goal.

- Jordan Staal hit a post last night and made a strong move to the net to set up a prime rebound chance for Chris Kunitz, but he did nothing to shake GTOG's feeling that he's not doing enough. He's totally ineffective on the power play, and there is no reason that we can see - none - that Staal should be doing anything aside from standing directly in front of the net when we have a man advantage. We never want to see him trying to make plays along the half board.

- Kris Letang has a disciplinary hearing scheduled today to address his hit on that Burmistrov kid who had earlier in the game stripped Letang of the puck and set up the Jets' second goal. With any luck, Letang will get a one game suspension and be forced to not play 29 minutes tonight against Minnesota.

No comments:

Post a Comment