Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

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Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby doublewinder on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:48 pm

I didn't have this one on TV...but when I checked on NHL Net...it was 3-2 Pens...then 3-3....later 4-3 Flyers.
I said this better not be another game we had a 3-0 lead only to have blown.
After I went on to see the box score...what did you see but another 3-0 lead BLOWN.

Let's review the season
1) NJ loss 2-1...blown lead late in the 3rd.
2) WAS loss...blown 3-0 lead.
3) PHI win....blew a 2-0 lead.
4) NYR loss...blew a 2-0 lead in the 3rd period.
5) PHI win....blew a 3-0.

Another win...but this is really not good seeing the Pens continue to blow leads. When you have a multi goal lead it should not be thrown around so carelessly...if they keep this up they will not have close to the sucess of last year.

What I'd like to know is, those of you who do get the Pens on TV, why is this team so lousy at holding multi goal leads?
Last season, in the playoffs, the Pens were solid holding leads, they had a good defensive system...they went into shutdown mode and did quite good along with their goaltending in those situations.
What has switched between the end of last year and to date?

1) The goalie?
2) Loss of Gonchar/Whitney?
3) Loss of Hossa/Malone/other forwards?
4) Early season chemistry?
5) Bad team effort/focus?
6) Other
7) All
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby farnham16 on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Early in the year with a younger defense. I highly doubt this team will be giving up leads like this at the end of the year.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Bob McKenzie on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:51 pm

The team only seems to have the killer instinct when they are behind.

They need to take a page out of the Stanley Cup Pens playbook. When that team was up by 3 goals, they kept driving and didn't care if they beat you by 7 or 8.

I think the Pens get a 2 or 3 goal lead late and go into a trap and develop no offense, hence why they are blasted on shots on goal as well.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby ron_duguays_hair on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:53 pm

I think that they have to realize also that now every team is gunning for them. You can't relax. You have to give it your all for 60 minutes. Everyone wants to beat the best.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby saveourpens on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:54 pm

Who cares? They're getting it done. Yeah ,some cause for concern, but this wont happen later in the season when theyre in a groove and everyone healthy.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Easton on Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:55 pm

I have to say - I love it. Curse me if you want to, but I'm loving these high scoring games.

As long as we stay on the right side of the score.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Antonio on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:01 am

Easton wrote:I have to say - I love it. Curse me if you want to, but I'm loving these high scoring games.

As long as we stay on the right side of the score.


Well that is all great and good when you play Detroit because it does not matter that they get the extra point....but this giving away free points to every East team is ridiculous. Also, that is just in games we end up WINNING...unlike the Washington fiasco, and a few other less scandalous, but still troubling blown leads.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby pens#1 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:04 am

you could say that the Flyers gave away a point just as easy as you can say the Pens did
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby doublewinder on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:05 am

I forgot to mention the Oilers game.
It makes sense this would be a combo of killer instinct and young defense.

Alright...why then do the Pens lack that killer instinct?
I am concerned this is more than Gonchar/Whitney and early season. Maybe this is the cumulative loss of Hossa/Malone/Roberts/Hall/Ruutu/Laraque?
I thought the Pens would be fine since Hossa was not a Pen most of last year...that Staal would replace Malone in front of the net...Cooke for Ruutu...Fedotenko would be a good role player...Goddard for Laraque.
What gives...did the loss of all those forward really mess up the heart of the team...are the replacements not up to par?
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Pens15 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:07 am

Honestly who the hell knows. It seems like Fleury has been playing like crap with a big lead as well. It's hard to explain, and you would think after it happened a few times it wouldn't keep happening.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Mongoose87 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:08 am

We had more hits than the Flyers. It's not a killer instinct.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby netwolf on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:14 am

Teams take time to gel. Satan, Fedotenko, Cooke, Zigomanis, and Godard weren't on this team last year. Eaton was gone for so much of it, he might as well be on that list. Goligoski is also new to the roster, is still adjusting to the NHL, and he isn't exactly being eased into the lineup. Letang isn't new, but he is still young and he's playing a ton of minutes, something he didn't do last year.

Gonchar and Whitney are also missed, not only for their individual strengths, but also for the trickle-down effect it has on the rest of the defense being asked to fill bigger roles.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby largegarlic on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:16 am

I would say that at least tonight lack of a killer instinct was not the problem. The first and fourth Flyer goals were the result of strange bounces/deflections and could happen at any time. The two short-handed goals were a result of the Penguins making bad decisions on the PP.

The first one is on Goligoski and his inexperience. He has to be aware that he has no cover and that if his shot gets blocked, Gagne is likely off on a breakaway. The safer play when you have a two goal lead is to just dump it around the boards if you aren't absolutely certain you can get the shot past the first defender.

The second short-handed goal was the result of the team as a whole pressing too hard for a goal. Letang carried the puck in deep and no one covered for him, giving the Flyers a 3 on 1 going the other way. I don't think this is a result of lack of killer instinct, just lack of game awareness.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Bob McKenzie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:23 am

doublewinder wrote:
Alright...why then do the Pens lack that killer instinct?


I'm going to throw the following up for discussion as to answering this question. Keep in mind, none of these maybe right, but I think it may be worth discussing:

1) Coaching: Players this year according to Tim Benz are saying that Therrien is not as harsh on them as he was in the past. This was the Bill Cowher effect after a while. After chewing his players out for years, he became a more friendly coach. Maybe this is affecting the drive of this team late if he's not pushing them or becoming too lax.

2) The Captain, yes, Sidney Crosby: Before you jump down my throat about this and how he captained this team to the SC team last year, he also had Malone, Roberts, Gonchar, Whitney, etc. Sid isn't surrounded by the veteran leadership he had from last year. Though the team was handed over to him, is he really being a captain at his current age? Does the team need an outspoken veteran?

3) Immaturity: Does this team look around in the locker room and see all of the talent and believe that's good enough to compete night in and night out? When the old SC champion Pens had all that talent and more in the locker room, they also had the Coffey's, Trottier's, Mullen's, etc in the room as well. That team was all business. That team was filled with veterans that knew they may never make it back to the SC again and how hard it was to get there. That's what Roberts was trying to instill in the team last year and why he was so pi$$ed when he was benched in game 1 for BGL. Does this team lack the maturity of a champion?

Again, this is all for discussion and not meant to cut down the team. I think many of these issues are going to work themselves out as they grow as a team. This team is going to be a young powerhouse once they put it all together and I'm thankful that Shero is inking all of the young guys to long deals.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Bob McKenzie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:24 am

Mongoose87 wrote:We had more hits than the Flyers. It's not a killer instinct.


They have killer instinct in the first two periods and then completely lose it in the 3rd.

This has happened in several games this year.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby wallflower on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:25 am

"WHAT is with the blown leads?"

Because they know they can come back to win and they like to give people message board fodder. :P
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Bob McKenzie on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:25 am

netwolf wrote:Teams take time to gel. Satan, Fedotenko, Cooke, Zigomanis, and Godard weren't on this team last year. Eaton was gone for so much of it, he might as well be on that list. Goligoski is also new to the roster, is still adjusting to the NHL, and he isn't exactly being eased into the lineup. Letang isn't new, but he is still young and he's playing a ton of minutes, something he didn't do last year.

Gonchar and Whitney are also missed, not only for their individual strengths, but also for the trickle-down effect it has on the rest of the defense being asked to fill bigger roles.


+1

Good points.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby wallflower on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:28 am

Bob McKenzie wrote:1) Coaching: Players this year according to Tim Benz are saying that Therrien is not as harsh on them as he was in the past. This was the Bill Cowher effect after a while. After chewing his players out for years, he became a more friendly coach. Maybe this is affecting the drive of this team late if he's not pushing them or becoming too lax.

Or Therrien knows that if he's the "Tough Guy" too much, all the time, the players will start to tune him out.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby pens#1 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:30 am

10-4-2 is nothing to sneeze at, especially with your top 2 Dmen out

with that said i think we need to play better with the lead but i cant see how we can complain at this point
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby PittPensFan on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:32 am

It's part of the master plan to systematically demoralize every team in the East.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Guido on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:34 am

Don't forget the nearly blown game against the Oilers...

I believe it comes from lack of experience along with a bit of the 'we have the skill to easily win' attitude. Like others have said, down to Earth, veteran players like Gonchar, Roberts, and even Malone are the ones that would make these players realize that they have to maintain their focus, regardless of the score.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby bakeman81 on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:38 am

Not having two of our top 6 defenseman is probably the biggest reason. Goligoski and Letang are playing big minutes and big situations. One is 23, the other 21. Eaton's coming back off basically a two year lay-off. Sydor is in and out. Scuderi puts his body on the line basically every night and Gill is off to a so-so start. Combine that with a 5-6 new forwards and you're obviously going to have trouble on the defensive side of things, especially when trying to stick to a system while holding a lead.

Still 10-4-2. Could be 13-3. Imagine what's going tohappen when this team really comes together down the stretch.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby bhaw on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:41 am

I think mainly that they don't have two of their starting defensemen. One who replaced them is a rookie. Another is in his 2nd year. None of the guys left are a true offensive dman like Gonchar or Whitney would be to keep the pressure on (hence they back off).

New faces make it difficult as well. The season is still young. Teams know they have to keep the pressure on to not get blown out. And let's be honest, I'm sure the short off season doesn't help. Detroit has had some similar issues this year blowing leads (see last game).

It's a lot of things going on. I imagine that we see improvement as the year goes.
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby Idoit40fans on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:43 am

How many Flyers fans were cheering when the lead was blown?

How many Pens fans cheered when Goligoski scored to win?
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Re: Alright...WHAT is with the blown leads?

Postby netwolf on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:50 am

Bob McKenzie wrote:2) The Captain, yes, Sidney Crosby: Before you jump down my throat about this and how he captained this team to the SC team last year, he also had Malone, Roberts, Gonchar, Whitney, etc. Sid isn't surrounded by the veteran leadership he had from last year. Though the team was handed over to him, is he really being a captain at his current age? Does the team need an outspoken veteran?

3) Immaturity: Does this team look around in the locker room and see all of the talent and believe that's good enough to compete night in and night out? When the old SC champion Pens had all that talent and more in the locker room, they also had the Coffey's, Trottier's, Mullen's, etc in the room as well. That team was all business. That team was filled with veterans that knew they may never make it back to the SC again and how hard it was to get there. That's what Roberts was trying to instill in the team last year and why he was so pi$$ed when he was benched in game 1 for BGL. Does this team lack the maturity of a champion?


I think Crosby is a captain, not so much in the vocal sense, but in how he approaches the game. I think his drive to excel is right up there with Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, maybe even higher. The point you make about the support in the leadership department is a good one and ties in with your third one. I'm sure Hall Gill and Rob Scuderi are great guys and all, but neither strikes me as a great leader. That's another part of the trickle-down effect from Gonchar's injury. If your captain says more with his actions than words (and I'm sure Sid does talk on occasion), you still need to have a vocal guy or two. I think Orpik and Talbot are growing into that role well, but even they don't have the standing like a Roberts or Trottier, or even Gonchar for that matter.

I think the recent success of this franchise makes it easy to forget that, at it's core, they are still really young. You want to see improvement, and I'm sure that overall, we will, but that doesn't mean they aren't going to still have their share of growing pains along the way.
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