Friday, April 13, 2012

GTOG Instant Reaction: We don't even recognize this team; Pens lose, 8-5

By Artistry

Let's get this done now, because I'm not thinking about it anymore this weekend:

- Marc-Andre Fleury needs to steal Game 3 on Sunday.  The defense is abominable, the penalty kill looked lost, but Flower really let us down tonight.

- Where are all the people who said the Penguins can never split up the Malkin-Neal-Kunitz line?  Those guys are getting embarrassed.  Flip Sullivan and Kunitz, as we've suggested.  Absolutely no reason not to right now.

- The Penguins alone are at fault for this 2-0 deficit, but let's be clear: the officiating has been horrible.  The Pens should have gone up 2 men in the first when Matt Read cross-checked Kris Letang well after the whistle blew.  Yes, Letang tried to sell it, but that doesn't change the fact that it happened.  If you embellish something that is already clearly a penalty, is that really equally punishable?  In any event, Letang went off for diving, Read for roughing, and the Flyers promptly scored shorthanded.  A turning point, especially considering Letang had Bryzgalov dead to rights only moments before and couldn't bury it.

- Where have you gone, Matt Niskanen?  Ben Lovejoy is completely out of his league.

- Sean Couturier is tremendous.

- Never has a single man getting bottle service at the top nightclub in Puerto Rico ever been as upset as Finesse is right now.

All this having been said, we've been through a lot worse and come out of it intact.  Our pulse is steady.  Win on Sunday, and it's a series again.  LGP.  And for the love of mercy, GTOG.


  1. Some things I think I think (as borrowed from the late Phil Musick). 1 - We won't be seeing Todd Reirdon's snappy conversation with Dan Potash between periods next season. 2 - Our older players are just that...simply older. And it shows. 3 - How can a toothless 19 year old kid consistently outplay the league's top scorer? 4 - I know it's one game at a time, but does anyone see any way we can win four out of five at this point? 5 - Claude Giroux is better than our best right now. 6 - Our special teams aren't. 7 - When did multiple goal leads become meaningless? 8 - Where is the switch that you throw to turn off the offense and the defense simultaneously? 9 - "Goon" was funny as hell, and far too few people recognize that. 10 - Finesse can (and should) find solace not in the casino, but at the edge of the infinity pool with a dark skinned beauty.

  2. I bleed black n gold.
    Fact.. Flyers have the best road record in the NHL
    Fact.. Flyers are 7 and 1 at consol
    So even in best case scenario of 7 games, the flyers have the confidence in this series.
    In the pens last 3 games, which have all been vs the flyers and at home, the pens have jumped out to at least 2 goal leads and have lost all 3 games,
    MAF is exhausted.
    Our pp is horrific. 2 sh goals in 1 game? Wow,
    Our team doesn't recognize the importance of the post season, even after Tampa bay last year.
    If we get back to consol, which is a big if, playing at home vs this team is not in our favor.
    It will be a short post season for us which will hurt us financially.... Goodbye geno, we loved having you on or team. It u wont be re-signed here.

  3. Uh oh, here come the call for Geno's head. That took about 4 minutes.

    Andrew, things look bleak, to be sure. But we've seen this many times in Penguins history, and if somehow we survive Game 3 on Sunday, the complexion of the series changes. I am not optimistic, but I am hopeful.

    And I agree about Finesse. And Goon.

  4. I see no reason to be hopeful either. I'm generally not one to be melodramatic, more the type that laughs at the immediate reactions of angry fans, etc. But if a healthy Pens team, the most talented in the league on paper, dies in the first round, the entire coaching staff should be fired.

    I'm beginning to think you guys had it right that the systems the Pens play are just too complicated (if that's what you meant by cerebral) - too complicated for the guys to follow without thinking about it, a necessity if they are going to play well. I see no other explanation for the fact that players that used to be defensively sound in past years (Orpik, Staal, and last year's Martin and Michalek) seem to never know where they are supposed to be. Like never. It's not always the same guys making mistakes - its everyone. That's a systemic problem - and the burden should be placed on a coaching staff that implemented them and refused to adjust them when they saw what was happening months ago.

    They keep suggested that this way will work if they just do it a little bit harder. BS. I saw consistent effort last night. But I also saw a team thinking itself into mistakes, one that looked lost and confused.

    The season will be over in a week, and we need:
    1) a new coach with new systems, still offensively oriented but more structured and simpler. DB has run his course.
    2) a functional back-up goalie. Flower is exhausted.
    3) a defenseman and a couple of bottom-line forwards with some size.
    4) and a defensive structure that incorporates physical play. This team is too easy to play against. Everyone has rightly said the defense is soft. But I don't think its so much the players as the system. They've been told to limit their hits so as not to get out of position and to rely on stick-checking. Lord knows that's worked. They also give up the zone way too easily, just concentrating on keeping the forwards to the outside. They do, but they can't break up the cycle and exit the zone so it doesn't matter.

  5. i''m personally drunk as hell but this is what i think.

    the core of this team has hadd to dig deep the year they won the cup against the capitals and they pulled it off.

    the core of this teasm beat philadelphia after being way out classed the first few games the yearthey won thte cup.

    the core of this team has two of the pbest players in the world and a goalie who shoes up for big games and i wwatched him in double OT the year they lost to the wings and i watched him the year they beat teh wings in the final seconds of game 7 make big saves.

    i watched them from mellon game three when they were down 2 gmes to 0 whenthey won the cup and they won.

    there is no reason to panic and thereis alwasy hope. but if the fans bail oon them like so many seem willing to do the there isi no chance. we are the 6th man on the court every single game and we have not shown up.

    we have to be better. we will make them better. in teh playoffs we have historiclly tortured the flyers at phillyy and i have no dooubt that we can do it again.

    its time to break up the malkin, neal, kunnitz line and give the best player in the world the tools he needs to rise above the flyers and torment them like he always has.