Mad City Mike wrote:F
OFFENSE: F. No effort at all. I think that Therrien hates Crosby. Why else would he saddle him with two pieces of **** like Malone and Recchi, neither of whom would even be in the lineup of a good team. Henceforth, this will be known as the Black Hole Line. Sid passes the puck, and it goes into a black hole. This line was simply awful, and earned the Ã¢â‚¬â€œ2s they all got. The only line that had any spark was the Malkin line. To come out with this total lack of effort in a game like this speak volumes about the lack of character that these guys really have. You can say they work hard, yada, yada, but look what happened after they beat Buffalo. Three games with a lack of effort and focus. Unacceptable. The offensive output last night was laughable. Nothing all night. Then they basically laid down in the third period. This was a despicable showing.
DEFENSE: F. Just as bad. They were running around all night long. There was one wide open chance in front after another. I must say, my hopes soared when Melichar went limping off. Broken foot perhaps? We can only hope. Now if someone can shoot the same shot at Gonchar and get him the hell out of the lineup, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll all be better off. It is nice of Sergei to earn his bloated check once or twice a month. At least thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s better than some guys who never do it. Oh, and wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that a nice assist by Nasreddine on FloridaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fourth goal? Sid canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pass it any better. He has been taking Gonchar lessons.
POWER KILL: A. Very nice effort tonight. They managed to take 6 minutes off the clock without making Florida break a sweat. My guess is that, had Florida taken 20 penalties, the power kill could have taken all 60 minutes off the clock. Very impressive. They followed the perfect three step program prescribed for a perfect power kill. First, fail to gain the zone. Flawless. Second, if you do get in, pass it around the perimeter. Perfect. And if you do get a shot, make sure thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nobody within 10 feet of the goalie. Again, spectacular. This effort actually deserves an A+++++++++++.
PENATLY KILL: C. The only aspect of their game that was decent last night. Like the night before, they allowed a PP goal, but it was totally on the goalie. The last two nights, they killed 6 of 6, but because the goalie was their worst penalty killer, they allowed one in each game.
GOALTENDING: F. The Thibault of my nightmares returned last night. Did you catch the Florida scoutÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comments about him before the game. Poor lateral movement. Goes down early. But he battles. Boy, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good that he at least has that going for him. He actually kept them in the game with some great saves, but the two long-range shots he let in drag the grade down. Neither of those shots gets by an NHL goalie. I suspect they totally deflated the team, too. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a question for you. Since, according to our dormant GM, this is not about this year, do you play Thibault more and try to get another lottery pick? Just wondering
OVERALL: F. What else. A despicable, disgusting outing. The only sound that should be heard in practice today is, AGAIN! AGAIN! Oh, and puking. This team put forth zero effort in Florida, so now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time to get it out of them.
OFFICIATING: F. Why did the Pens get the same craptastic refs two nights in a row? These two guys basically called the game like it was three years ago, and neither deserves further employment. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bad enough to have to play on bad ice, but when these *** clowns let the game degenerate into a rodeo, there is no hope of anything entertaining. And neither of these games was the least bit entertaining.
MFOM: F. Good grief, can it get any more absurd? Denis Potvin is the latest media friend of Mark. On the play where Sid set him up perfectly and Mark fired it into the next county, Potvin actually had the gall to show the replay between periods and praise Recchi for his great smarts getting into a great scoring spot.
MALKIN AND STAAL TOGETHER: A. They looked like they had good chemistry and could have had a couple more goals if StaalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shots hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t hit the post. This looks like it might work if they can find a real RW for the line. But even Mango looked half decent last night.
MCM, the fact that Mango looked halfway decent with Malkin and Staal should tell you all you need to know about how great Malkin and Staal could work together, which is precisely why that pairing won't last long. I started a thread elsewhere-- the coach panicked in the name of "balance". Tonight's victim was Sid; it's been Malkin a lot of other times. Frankly, here are the lines I'd love to see:
Staal-Sid-Malkin - not forever, but let them develop chemistry now; heck, the team is 8-3-1 when it's just Sid and Malkin and 10-20 [sorry, 10-14-6] when it's "balanced" lines. Plus, Staal, unlike Recchi or Malone, can play first defender, thus freeing up Sid and Malkin to attack together. Staal is better than Rex or Malone along the boards. And, he'd work nicely as a trailer.
Rex-Moore-Army - really a glorified third line, but defensively responsible enough to cover for Rex
Ruutu-Talbot-Thorburn - works every time until the coach goes for "balanced" lines.
Malone-Christensen-Ouellet - 6 minutes a night at even strength tops . . . hold your nose and hope the coach doesn't expose them in line matchups.