Friday, January 8, 2010

Pens 4 Flyers 7

THE WORST. There's really not much to say here. What a terrible game. A few thoughts.

This defense is a complete mess right now. I think part of that is due to not having Gonchar out there, but one player cannot make that big of a difference. There is zero organization and it shows; too many odd-man breaks, the middle of the ice is barren, and there is just too many chances on goal. That's 15 goals in the past three games, and it could have been worse, as BJ really saved our bacon against Atlanta (and it could have been worse tonight as he played fantastic in relief and kept us in the game). I never thought I would say this, but the Pens might miss Mike Yeo. The only other thing I want to say about the defense is that Letang's effort on Philly's 5th goal was pathetic. I don't even want to think about that one. I will give Letang credit for his play on offense, he has been a lot better of late, and his ability to carry the puck into the offensive zone makes him quite valuable and actually led to the Pens second goal.

Marc-Andre Fleury is obviously in a funk, and he is prone to these types of streaks during the season. What is important is how he goes into the playoffs, and he is usually on the upswing at that time. The goal on Van Reimshmuck was bad, but the one by Pronger... let's not talk about that one either. If Fleury really wants to be vaulted into the top tier of Goaltenders (if he already is not), he needs to level out a bit and stay focused through the December/January/February grind of the season. These next five games will be quite important for MAF, because it's tough to keep putting him out there while BJ is playing this well.

Goligoski needs to lift his shot. There were two instances in the last period where his inability to lift his shot cost one guaranteed goal and another scoring chance (the close range shot set up by Geno with about five minutes left, and the PP shot from the point that was blocked by Laperriere, respectively).

On the bright side, the game was wide open and entertaining. Tons of scoring chances on both sides, and you have to tip your hat to Leighton, he played well (about as well as you can for giving up four goals). Sid bounced back and had a good game, while Geno built on his solid third period performance from Tuesday and put together an impressive game tonight. Rupper scored another one, the third line continues to dominate with the cycle, and Jordan Staal is playing like a man (sorry, Jay Bilas).

All is not lost, but this one will sting ferrabit.

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