What’s Next for the Penguins The organization is stunned at what played out in Toronto this week. While it was a case of drinking too much of their own kool-aid, several members of the organization believed coming out of the two week training camp, the Montreal series was going to be nothing more than a tune-up for an eventual deep run. High-ranking members were giddy going into the tournament that the four-month layoff gave the Penguins core a significant advantage in this tournament. Other than Sidney Crosby, no Penguin among their core met or played above expectations against the Habs. Evgeni Malkin was a complete dog in the tournament. Malkin was certainly in the biggest disappointment category for the Penguins against Montreal and just a four game sample or not, his putrid play in Toronto takes away the bounce-back season he had. It really does. Everything is not about statsRead More »
The heavily favored Pittsburgh Penguins went down easy in Game 4 and have been sent packing from the bubble after just four games. Montreal is moving on with a 2-0 shutout win in Game 4 as the Penguins now become part of the lottery sweepstakes where they will have a 12.5% chance at the first overall pick.
Penguins on the Brink Meltdown, implosion, embarrassing………. It’s fair to go in any of those directions when describing the Penguins Game 3 loss. Surrendering a 3-1 second period lead against that team was bad enough, but the way the Penguins got owned in the final 30 minutes of play was just something else. It was so reminiscent to what played out in the four game trouncing the New York Islanders gave the Penguins last spring. If Pittsburgh has a quick exit here in the bubble, an even more thorough evaluation from management will come this off-season than last spring where seismic changes were seriously mulled. Last night there was no fight in the Penguins. Listless, soft, however you want to put it. The Canadiens who punted on regular season prior to the NHL shutting down, punched back in Game 3, while the Penguins took the stance in Game 3 theyRead More »
The 12th seeded Montreal Canadiens have the Pittsburgh Penguins on the brink of elimination. Montreal scored three unanswered goals, en route to a 4-3 win in Game 3 to take a 2-1 series lead. Jeff Petry for the second time in the series, netted the game winner, this time from a bad angle, beating a leaning Matt Murray shoulder side, 5:33 into the third. Game 4 is Friday.
Game 2 Key Developments The Pittsburgh Penguins bounced back in Game 2 with a much stronger 60 minute type of performance to tie the series at 1-1. Mike Sullivan, as expected, stuck with the same lineup and lines, minus some tinkering with the lines here and there as the game progressed. The numbers might not show it as the Penguins and Canadiens played even in driving possession and high danger chances 5-on-5, but the eye test showed the Penguins talent really separated from the Canadiens in much longer stretches compared to Game 1. There was a lot to like from the Penguins’ performance, though, even with Carey Price playing as well as he is, and he was the best player on the ice in Game 2, a 5-4 advantage in Goals For through two games isn’t something the Penguins should be patting themselves on the back for. Ideally with allRead More »
PIT 3 – MTL 1 (F) *As the calls for Tristan Jarry have mounted from the fan base and pundits, Matt Murray shined in the Penguins Game 2 win, turning aside 26 of 27 shots. Murray pitched a shutout through 57:50 of regulation, *Sidney Crosby Goal (2), 4 SOG, *Jason Zucker Goal (1, GWG) *Jake Guentzel Goal (1), Assist *Conor Sheary 2 Assists, 65 CF%
Game 2: Will Penguins make the obvious adjustments or stand pat? Anything out of a coaches mouth should be taken for a grain of salt at playoff time but Mike Sullivan at least publicly on Sunday sounded like an head coach who was pretty pleased with his clubs’ performance in Game 1, a 3-2 overtime loss to the underdog Montreal Canadiens. Multiple sources close to the situation say what Sullivan put out to the media on Sunday has also been the general feeling inside the room since Game 1’s OT loss. As expected, there will be no changes in goal tonight for Game 2. Matt Murray was always going to have least a two game window and word in the organization is the coaches feel Murray is on the cusp of finding his game as the coaches have been very encouraged with the strides Murray’s taken from the exhibition gameRead More »
What We Learned: 12th Seeded Habs Take Game 1 The NHL has to love this as two No. 12 seeds took Game 1 in the NHL’s qualifying round with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the No. 5 Edmonton Oilers 6-4 on Saturday Night and the Montreal Canadiens taking the night cap against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as Jeff Petry’s overtime winner at 13:57 of OT has propelled the Montreal Canadiens to a 1-0 series lead. 1st: MTL J. Kotkaniemi (1) 2nd: MTL N. Suzuki (1) 6:53 2nd: PIT S. Crosby (1) 9:55 2nd: PIT B. Rust (1, PPG) 12:34 OT: MTL J. Petry (1), 13:57 Still, there’s two different dynamics between the 5-12 series in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Edmonton and Chicago are much closer talent wise than Pittsburgh and Montreal is. Let’s not underplay some of the alarming trends in the Penguins game over the final four-six weeks beforeRead More »