Saturday, January 21, 2012

GTOPG: Perspective from a patriarch; Pens Win 5-4

By Finesse

I didn't watch the game last night, so I was planning on posting the highlights, using some hyperbolic analogy to describe Malkin's one-timer, and mentioning Artistry's love of Dustin Jeffrey before calling it a day.  But I woke up to an unsolicited but appreciated email from my dad about the topics dujour and thought, "PIXELS!"

Finesse's Dad's thoughts on the Pens after the jump...

Do you think there is a story about Fleury brewing? First, another high glove-side goal last night - a common theme. He sometimes seems slow to raise the glove high enough. Second - too many games (some of which has to do with subbing for poor performance by Johnson). Do you think that the Pens have lost confidence in Johnson as back-up, since I think he's been pulled in his last two starts? That puts significant pressure on Fleury and also wears him out. Have we found ourselves in a position where we can't trust Johnson to go 60 minutes? They mentioned that Johnson may go against St. Louis as his next start, but that's no easy task either. They will have to figure something out quickly if Johnson plays poorly in that game because getting Fleury into every game to cover for Johnson is NOT the answer. He'll be worn out big-time by the end of the regular season if he can't take a night off with confidence he won't have to go in to clean up.  
If Lovejoy is odd man out now, is there any way to package him and a forward for someone who can score. Who is Sid to play with if/when he returns, because it will be very difficult to break up our current top line and redistribute them back to Crosby? Don't mess with success. Anyone out west (like another Kunitz) we can find in a trade? Ray should be on the lookout. Who wouldn't want to come to Pittsburgh if they were immediately slated to skate on Crosby's wing? And there seems to be injury-related cap money available to pull that off.  
Finally, getting Letang back on defense is every bit the equivalent of getting Crosby back as a center. When he went down, you had to look for a story about his progress, but the guy is unbelieveable. He raises everyone's game because they have so much confidence in him. That diagonal backcheck to prevent a clear scoring chance was amazing. And he throws his body around like nothing ever happened. he's certainly not tentative on his return to the lineup.  
Who will be the headliner in Sunday's first period fight against the Caps? That seems to be the Pens new M.O. But really, who will be watching? It's football, football, football this Sunday.  
No reason to go to the gym today. I already shoveled 3 inches of ice from the driveway so mom could get to work. 
Pitt tonight at 9. Insert yawn here.


  1. Starting goalies win championships in the spring. Backup goalies win championships in February. Fleury can't play 70 games and be expected to be sharp in the playoffs. Having him in there last night was a major indicator for the level of confidence the staff has in Johnson. I'll be surprised if the Pens don't add a backup goalie before the deadline. Lord knows many of them are available and the Pens have the cap space for anyone they want.

    In other news, the biggest star of the 2010 trade deadline, Alexei Ponikarovsky, has been traded to NJ, his fifth team in less than two years.

  2. Luongo was having the same problem as Fleury in the beginning of the season. He changed his approach to begin with the glove up and come down to meet the puck, and has been back to normal ever since. Something I hope the coaches take at least a brief look at.

  3. P.Co - totally agree about confidence level in BJ, i.e., the coaching staff has none. Fleury is as in-shape as any goalie in the league and the Pens do a decent job keeping the shot totals down, but 20 games in a row is unsustainable. It's too much.