Post Game Thoughts
Defensive breakdowns and the failure to put the Sabres away on the power play was the story of the game.
This was clearly a game the Penguins gave away. Head coach Michel Therrien said it best in his post game comments, “It was a horrible performance That’s the truth.”
Tonight’s loss overshadowed the performance of Evgeni Malkin who was clearly the best player on the ice. It is a common theme that the Penguins are carried offensively by either Malkin or Crosby on any given night. Malkin had two assists and Sidney Crosby had 1 assist. Malkin played a part in the Penguins first two goals which were scored by Ruslan Fedotenko and Sidney Crosby assisted on Kris Letang’s second period goal. Letang’s goal at 1:31 of the second period was his first in 52 games dating back to last season.
The Penguins are clearly banged up on the blueline but that is no excuse for the Penguins play in the defensive zone. The Penguins were playing out of position from mid way through the second period until the end of the game and on the Sabres fourth goal, three players including Brooks Orpik and Sidney Crosby all went towards the puck carrier and left Kris Letang out to dry in front of the net that resulted in the Sabres game winning goal.
It is a known fact that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have little help on the wings. Miroslav Satan may have 10 goals on the season but his play of late has been awful. Satan has only 2 goals in his last 14 games and he has looked a step slow playing with Sidney Crosby. Satan has always been a streaky player but it’s his play out of the offensive zone that has the coaching staff frustrated.
Dany Sabourin made 25 saves on 29 shots and it was only a matter of time before his play began to slip. Since the Rangers game he has taken a step back and it should not come as any surprise. He’s a backup goaltender.
Janne Pesonen’s days are numbered according to a source. Sources tell me the coaching staff would like to see Bissonnette or James playing in his place for the time being with Tyler Kennedy injured. Pesonen played a total 2:55 against the Sabres. There was a play early in the game where Pesonen pulled up at the blueline that resulted in a offsides call. He rarely saw the ice after that.
Pittsburgh Penguins (15-7-4-34) vs. Buffalo Sabres (12-11-3-27)
Dupuis – Crosby – Satan
Fedotenko – Malkin – Sykora
Cooke – Staal – Minard
Pesonen – Talbot – Godard
D – Pairs
Orpik – Letang
Eaton – Scuderi
Goligoski – Lovejoy
Dany Sabourin is expected to start in net
Scratches: Mike Zigomanis and Hal Gill will be out of the lineup. This will be the third straight game that Zigomanis will miss. He is expected back this week. Phillipe Boucher remains out with concussion symptoms. His status is still week to week. I’m still hearing Saturday is a target date for Marc Andre Fleury if he doesn’t have a set back.