mikey287 wrote:The personnel out there would dictate that we are going to play "four corners" with the puck. Otherwise, Malkin wouldn't be out there, and Kunitz might have been replaced by Dupuis.
The instruction was 1-4 and stack the blueline. The Penguins thought and even Martin's thought, was force the play at the line and force them to put into the corner...the Letang corner. Should be an easy pick (at the line) and retrieval by Letang. Exit the zone 5-on-5 with an empty net ahead. It should work out for us.
Unfortunately, too many players were waiting for the puck to come to them...namely 71 and 58 and they were just sitting, waiting, wishing...
EDIT: The 1-4 was the choice because of the clear possession for the Senators coming out of the zone. The goal of the 1-4 is to make Ottawa surrender the puck. And generally it's effective. It's tough to enter the zone in any meaningful way against a 1-4...unless, everyone on the other team is standing still and watching the play unfold, of course. Then it's a walk right down Main St. to the net. As we painfully saw...
So this is interesting. If the goal is to funnel the puck to Letang's corner, and Gonchar is heading to that corner, I can see why Letang was anticipating the puck being there. I mean, perhaps he shouldn't cheat like that, but if he felt he had help behind him, then it makes sense to me. How many times a game does your defensive partner skate right in front of you to your side of the ice when the puck enters the defensive zone?
Malkin was slow to come back for sure, but Martin creates a de facto 3 on 2 (Gonchar, Phillips, Alfredsson vs Letang and Malkin) for no reason. If you want to throw Malkin under the bus further, you call it a 3 on 1. Just my uneducated 2 cents.
End of the day, there was nothing at all to like about the play.
Yeah, your last line sums it up. We can sit here and tear it apart limb from limb, but Ottawa deserves some credit too. Could we have prevented that? Probably. But not definitely. It's not like it was 3 on 5 and they scored. It was 5 on 5 in desperation time.
But yeah, you'll almost never see a play like Martin made there, especially from a composed, positional defenseman like Martin...there was obviously a plan in place to force the puck out of Ottawa's hands and into our mobile, puck-handling defenseman's hands...he gets the puck in the corner, swings the net, Ottawa has a lot of players on the soon-to-be weak side of the ice, Letang skates, puts it off glass, Malkin is at center, picks it up and scores from 61 feet out.
It's unfortunate. But we had a chance to finish it out in regulation, we had chances in OT, we had chances to go up 2-0. Just gotta get to Anderson early in game 4, get him rattled again, make him doubt himself and the series is ours for the taking.