You are going to have some FF games over the course of an 82 game regular season. Even the best of teams will look so out of sorts, so frustratingly incapable of competing with even non-playoff teams, that you, the fan, no matter how dedicated you may be or how consistently you may blog, will Fast Forward through that mother f****er. You just never want to see an FF game on March 29th. And that's what happened last night, folks. An FF game with only a week to go in the regular season.
|This almost sucked super hard.|
- After the game, James Neal noted that the Pens just need to "find our game." We're not sure the continual line shuffling by Dan Bylsma is helping anyone find anything. We do understand and approve of how Bylsma arrived at the combinations he put out last night: Crosby between his familiar mates, Kunitz and Dupuis, Geno between Neal and Sullivan, the reunited Staal line with Cooke and Kennedy, and the ever-dependable Craig Adams unit with Arron Asham and Tangradi/Vitale/Park. It's what we've been calling for all along. And we also understand why it's taken so long: Sid wasn't ready to play 20 minutes a night, and now he is. But now that we're here, the Penguins need some consistency up front over the next week.
|Not chhappy when team lose.|
- Maybe it's the grind of playing 64 games this year or maybe it's the pressure of knowing that he's had incompetent backup help for most of the season, but Marc-Andre Fleury has stunk the past two games. He picked game 75 of his 8th season in the league to debut the "Flower Dive-Move" whereby he lunges forward like a kamikaze pilot at an opposing forward on yet another breakaway with no discernable purpose other than hurling his body at a 200+ pound man coming at him at 30mph. Let's just say he hasn't perfected this move yet.
|This one too.|
- Sadly, Tyler Kennedy looked like the best Penguin on the ice last night. He was flying. Equally as sad, although not unexpected, Tyler Kennedy did not score any goals and missed a wide open net.
- Eric Tangradi has 1 point in 23 games this year (SPOILER ALERT: it's not a goal). The Pens are good enough that they have the luxury of giving him ice time throughout the regular season to continue to develop into a power forward who does not score any goals. But it's crunch time, and it's time for the Men to step up. And there's one Man in particular who needs to be on the ice more.
|We know women who would marry him based on this picture alone.|
- If the Pens don't win the Cup this year, our retrospective on the season will be titled, "If only Steve Sullivan could shoot."
- If the Islanders ever get into the playoffs, how many shorthanded goals will Michael Grabner score? Can you win the Conn Smythe if you score 8 shorthanded goals in the first round but your team loses in 5 games?
- But if there's one thing to smile about this morning, it's this. At least you aren't Ken Melani. (But if you are Ken Melani, thanks for reading and make sure to follow Artistry and Finesse on Twitter).