Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In-Game Reaction: Pens hold optional skate during Rangers game; fall behind 5-1 after 2

By Artistry

With no Sid, Letang, Martin, Juice [that's going to be my nickname for Jussi Jokinen - I just decided it] or Eaton, and three new guys getting folded into the lineup, there is no reason to get overly dramatic about this debacle at MSG, or even to take it seriously at all. Hey, the Penguins aren't. But there are only 10 games after this one until the playoffs begin, so let me humbly offer some observations.

Where's that smile?
- Aside from ensuring Marc-Andre Fleury doesn't go into a tailspin right now, the biggest thing I'd like to see over the next couple of weeks is Geno regaining his form. He has 5 goals on the season, and with Crosby out, I expect him to double that total down the stretch.

- Brooks Orpik is thoroughly exposed in this role as a top pairing defenseman without an elite partner. This is no surprise at all, but it doesn't make it any easier to watch.

- Brandon Sutter needs to find the place between greatness and invisibility and occupy it more often.

- Brenden Morrow looked considerably more effective playing with Geno and Neal, when he didn't have to be the guy on the puck at all. He could concentrate on drawing defenders to him in front of the net. Not sure how best to utilize him yet, but I'm a touch worried about the current fit. Like Crankshaft, he needs to play with guys who can cover for his deficiencies (read: stop playing Crankshaft with Brooks Orpik).

- I think I speak for all of us when I say, I love you Jarome Iginla.


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  2. It is so nice to see the Wizards point guard contribute to this blog. Is it too early to call the J Morrow for B Morrow a trade raping? Brenden doesn't even look good on the 3rd line... he is too slow. If I were Danny Disco, I may consider sending Morrow to the 4th line. I guess he could play better, but as of now, he looks incredibly washed up. My new nickname for B Morrow is tennis shoes because he looks like he is running on ice and playing Dek hockey out there.

    Geno is not playing with any type of fire this year. He is such an emotional player and his indifference is really showing. Perhaps he is still suffering from some injuries??

    Brooks Orpik has been exposed this year. What does this guy do well besides giving out free candy and driving a van with tinted windows?

    Why is Tanner Glass still getting playing time? I wouldn't even send him to the WBS Pens, I would send him straight to the Nailers.

    Byslma deserves to be fired if the Pens do not reach the Stanley Cup this year. He has one playoff series win since they won the cup and I actually think they were outplayed by the Sens in that series.

    1. I agree that both Morrow and Malkin need to be better, but instead of dropping Morrow to the fourth line, he may be more useful skating with Geno. In the limited time they were together, he did a great job occupying the front of the net and opening up space for Malkin and Neal. It might be redundant to have both Iginla and Neal on Malkin's wings.

      Orpik is exposed every time he is left out to be exposed, which is basically any time he is asked to do more than he should be asked to do. With Letang and Martin out, Orpik is being given top-2 responsibilities. He's not that good. He's much better when asked to do less. That's impossible with injuries right now.

      Yes, Tanner Glass stinks.

      Bylsma is under tons of pressure to make a deep run, but it's way too soon to start speculating about what it would take to get him fired.

    2. If you move Morrow to Malkin's line, then you have to move Iginla to line 1 which would move Dupuis to line 3. Of course Duper has been effective even on a line sans Crosby, but do you really want to break up the 9-87-14 line?