Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Booty Calling Tyler Kennedy; Pens Lose, 4-1

By Finesse

Last night was one of those games that you have to endure just so that it can eventually be over and you can get to the next one.  The Pens were way overdue for a loss.  It didn't have to be that terrible, but still, it was time.  Look at the bright side: the Pens are 15-1 in their last 16 games.

After Crosby's injury, Dan Bylsma announced that he would keep the Malkin-Neal-Iginla and Sutter-Morrow-Cooke lines intact while Sid was out with the hopes of building chemistry on those two lines in preparation for the playoffs.  His plan was to slot Tyler Kennedy in Sid's spot between Kunitz and Dupuis and just hope that TK could hold the fort.

Yeah, good luck with that.
If I had to think of the one thing that would most easily and completely turn the entire Pens' fanbase against Tyler Kennedy, it would be slotting him anywhere as "Sid's replacement."  Tyler Kennedy is a lot of things.  A replacement for Sidney Crosby, he is not.

We gave Ryan Mundy the nickname "Booty Call" for the Steelers because "he's never your first choice and you're constantly auditioning other people for the role, but he's always there when you call on him yet it's never as satisfying as you hope."  Tyler Kennedy is the Pens' Booty Call.  He's useful when you're in a pinch, but if you find yourself inviting him to your parents' house for Thanksgiving, it means something has gone horribly wrong.  We all know that it's unfair to judge Kennedy against the standard set by Crosby.  Bylsma doesn't want us to compare Kennedy to Crosby.  And Kennedy doesn't want us to compare Kennedy to Crosby.  But when you are putting him between Sid's line-mates, who are each in the midst of career years, it's impossible not to.

TK has a role on this team, and that's as a 4th liner.  If Bylsma is so worried about getting chemistry with the lines for the playoffs, then he should play TK where TK will play once Sid comes back, and that's with Adams and Glass on the 4th line.  Dustin Jeffrey can do at least as good of a job between Dupuis and Kunitz as TK, even though Jeffrey can't finish.

- The Pens were bad last night, but they were made to look a lot worse because of Tomas Vokoun.  He was dreadful.  Buffalo's third and fourth goals were completely his fault.  The second one was borderline, but it was one of those that you stop if you're playing well and don't stop if you're not playing well.  He had a shitty game.  It happens.  That Fleury came in and looked good was a positive sign, however.


- The Pens took five straight minor penalties.  Bylsma seems to treat discipline like a Weight Watchers diet: you get a cheat day.  And James Neal has no problem eating an entire chocolate cake.

- The PK was 5-for-5.  It's 13-for-13 since the Pens traded for Crankshaft.  Just sayin'.

- Trade deadline is today.  We'll be back if Shero does anything.

4 comments:

  1. AT LEAST JEFFREY DISTRIBUTES THE PUCK.

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    Replies
    1. Jeffrey couldn't finish a sentence if you spotted him the noun and the verb.

      Delete
  2. almost as bad as questioning artistry as a father.

    ReplyDelete