Grading Game 54

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Grading Game 54

Postby Mad City Mike on Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:29 am

Otherwise known as playing down to their level.

OFFENSE: D. The Pens really didn’t generate a lot in this game. Sid played maybe his worst game of the year, even admitting he couldn’t get his legs moving. Most of the other top players could say the same thing. The top two lines generated basically nothing all night. The Flyer defense is horrid, but the Pens rarely got a good forecheck established. It just seemed like they were not mentally into this. They essentially scored only one even strength goal, as two others came right after power plays. The plus was that they once again got contributions from unexpected sources. Of course, how long can we keep calling those sources “unexpected?â€￾ We are seeing the evolution of a balanced offensive attack. The energy guys keep coming through when the top guns are struggling. They were the only ones who looked impressive offensively in this one.

DEFENSE: D. They were fine through two periods, keeping the Flyers at bay at even strength. But the defense (and I mean team defense) was horrid in the third. They let the Flyers skate circles around them. The Flyers really ratcheted up the intensity in the third, and the Pens had no answer. Once the Pens got the two quick goals to start the third, they thought they had the game won. It seemed like only a matter of time before the Flyers tied it, and, sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. The Flyers moved through the neutral zone with ease, and once they gained the zone, they peppered Fleury. You simply cannot back off like that, no matter who you are playing. Give the Flyers some credit, though, as they could have folded the tents, and they didn’t. By the way, this grade applies to the team defense, not just the defensemen. This was a team collapse in the third.

POWER PLAY: A. As stated earlier, they got two goals at even strength that could have been considered PP goals, plus one on the power play. Amazingly, two of the three goals were by the second unit. The first unit was basically awful all game. Had there been a late power play, it would have been interesting to see if Therrien put the second unit on first. The first unit was making one ill-advised pass after another, and rarely got any good looks. But thanks in large part to Christensen and Staal, the second unit looked tremendous. They even got a goal with Orpik on the PP!

PENALTY KILL: F. Two out of five won’t get it done. One was on a very bad goal by Fleury. You cannot let guys score from the goal line. The second was just a good play by Pitkanen and Floppa, feeding Gagne. That will happen. But the bottom line is the poor PK basically kept Philly in this game. One huge problem was they had numerous clearing attempts that did not get out of the zone, allowing the Flyers much more zone time than they should have had. In the recent winning streak, they have been very good at clearing the puck when they get a chance. Not so in this one.

GOALTENDING: A-. Fleury gets dinged a bit for the first goal (see PK above). Other than that, he was once again brilliant as his defense pretty much abandoned him. He stole these points for the Pens. He made several impossible saves in the third to keep the Pens ahead. Only two deflection goals where they didn’t tie up Knuble in front got by him. And he was perfect in the shootout, if only by the hair on Floppa’s ugly beard. As he has gained confidence, his performance in shootouts has also gotten better. He is so quick that he has to wait for guys to make the first move, and he’s doing that now.

OVERALL: C. Not a good effort at all. But they got a win despite the struggles of the top players. They should have had this one won, but sat back and let the Flyers dominate the third period. Play like this against a real team, and it will be ugly. That’s twice this week they have had a third period lead and blown it. Yes, this is the New NHL, but you simply cannot let that happen with regularity. They are cooling off, or at least the warning signs are there. This is what happens at the end of a hot streak. Bad things start creeping in and then you go into a slide. Hopefully, they can prevent this.

Others…

DISCIPLINE: F. Three lazy, stupid penalties in the first period gave the Flyers power plays, two of which they converted. This let them hang around and think they had a chance. These are the types of penalties you simply cannot take against any team, let alone the woeful Flyers. They need to play smarter. If these were tough penalties like roughing or something, fine. Ruutu’s was borderline good, because he at least was battling for the puck. But Malone was standing still and was forced to trip Floppa, and Christensen was behind his man and took a useless hooking call.

NO-TOUCH ICING: A. After seeing the abominable call near the end where Pitkanen dummied the play and the buffoon linesman bought it, I am convinced we just need to take all judgment away from the clowns in stripes. Their horrendous call pretty much gave the Flyers the tying goal. I commented at the time that one complaint of new fans is they don’t understand the rules. How the hell can they, when veteran fans don’t even understand how the rules are applied?

BUFFOONS IN STRIPES: F. Yet again. Someday they will call a good game, but it likely won’t be in my lifetime. If somebody can explain why Staal’s first goal was waved off when Whitney was clearly pushed into Niittymaki, I will gladly listen. Knuble’s first goal should not have counted by this standard as he was right on top of Fleury and didn’t allow him room to make the save. And then somebody (Carter, I think, gets hit by Petrovicky and absolutely runs Fleury, but no call. The fact is he went recklessly to the net and would have nailed Fleury even if Petro didn’t hit him.

FLOPPA: A. Man, he was on last night. He played an awesome game. I just hope if they trade him, it’s to the Western Conference. Because if he plays like that, look out.

RYAN MALONE: F. Right now, his only redeeming quality is great work on the PK. But he is no more a first line winger than Jay Caufield at this point. He cannot shoot off the pass. He always tries to go one on one and gives the puck away. He had one failed clear that led to 30 seconds of sustained Flyer pressure. Then he iced the puck (well, not really, but the buffoon linesman said he did) and that led to the tying goal. He really needs to be dealt to somebody that thinks they can make something out of him, because he just is not a top-two line player.

SIDNEY CROSBY: D. Would have been an F except for the shootout winner. Terrible game by him. He was only credited with three giveaways, but there were many more where he made bad passes. Just not his night.

KEITH JONES: F. He chose the three stars, but was obviously not watching the same game I was. Floppa had four assists and was clearly the best player out there, yet Gagne got the number one star. Okay, Keith, whatever.

JORDAN STAAL: A. The kid is unbelievable. He just knows where to be, and gets there a split second early because of his reach. I have often compared him to Keith Primeau, but in Primeau’s first two seasons combined (at a year older), he scored only 9 goals in 93 games.

RYAN WHITNEY: A. He has been dominant lately. How about that pass to Ouellet? Not too many d-men make that play.
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Postby DelPen on Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:59 am

Malkin had a great effort last night. His duck on Hatcher and then hatcher running himself into the post by the bench was hilarious. Malone may be doing well on the PK but I'll gladly go with Staal, Talbot, Army and Moore as my 4 guys. Malone is becoming a drag on the 1st line. Either trade him striaght up for a scoring winger for Crosby, doesn't matter which side because Rex can play LW or RW, or add a better defensemen and promote EC. Either way, I think malone is gone come deadline time.

As far as Forsberg goes, the Fleyrs are not in playoff contention and Forsberg is a UFA this summer so he'll go to the highest bidder and that will be a team in the East. Some teams may give up more just to make sure another team doesn't get him. Say you are the Isles and you see the Leafs are putting toegther a package, you better beat that or your season is most likely done. The teams have the the prospects and dire need to get Forsberg are probably the Isles, Rags and Leafs.

If I had to bet money it would be the Leafs. They have a lot of young defensemen in their system and the Flyers biggest need is some defensemen down the road.
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby MWB on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:06 am

Mad City Mike wrote:
NO-TOUCH ICING: A. After seeing the abominable call near the end where Pitkanen dummied the play and the buffoon linesman bought it, I am convinced we just need to take all judgment away from the clowns in stripes. Their horrendous call pretty much gave the Flyers the tying goal. I commented at the time that one complaint of new fans is they don’t understand the rules. How the hell can they, when veteran fans don’t even understand how the rules are applied?



Question about this.... If there was no-touch icing, wouldn't that still have been an icing call? Isn't there still a judgment that has to be made by the ref? Just curious as to how that works.
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby DelPen on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:09 am

MWB wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:
NO-TOUCH ICING: A. After seeing the abominable call near the end where Pitkanen dummied the play and the buffoon linesman bought it, I am convinced we just need to take all judgment away from the clowns in stripes. Their horrendous call pretty much gave the Flyers the tying goal. I commented at the time that one complaint of new fans is they don’t understand the rules. How the hell can they, when veteran fans don’t even understand how the rules are applied?



Question about this.... If there was no-touch icing, wouldn't that still have been an icing call? Isn't there still a judgment that has to be made by the ref? Just curious as to how that works.


Yes, it would have still been icing but Pitkanen and the linesman made a mockery of the rules last night. There have also been times where icings are waived off when the linesman thinks a player could ahve skated harder. Anything to take discresion away from officials is good. The only change I would do in tenadem with no touch is get rid of the red line for icing calls, this way if you dump it outside your defensive zone it is no longer icing, icing would only be called from clears from your defensive zone.
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Postby Pitts on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:25 am

DelPen wrote:If I had to bet money it would be the Leafs. They have a lot of young defensemen in their system and the Flyers biggest need is some defensemen down the road.

I think Carolina gets Forsberg. They have a ton defenseman available, led by Anton Babchuk.
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Pitts on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:26 am

MarioLemieux1992 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:SIDNEY CROSBY: D. Would have been an F except for the shootout winner. Terrible game by him. He was only credited with three giveaways, but there were many more where he made bad passes. Just not his night.

It seems he has been in a slump since that habs game now, good to see we can win without him, but it would be better to win with him

I think he's tired. And, if he's this tired right now, it doesn't look good for that over-loaded schedule in March. If need be, they may need to give him a night or two off soon.
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby DelPen on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:28 am

Pitts wrote:
MarioLemieux1992 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:SIDNEY CROSBY: D. Would have been an F except for the shootout winner. Terrible game by him. He was only credited with three giveaways, but there were many more where he made bad passes. Just not his night.

It seems he has been in a slump since that habs game now, good to see we can win without him, but it would be better to win with him

I think he's tired. And, if he's this tired right now, it doesn't look good for that over-loaded schedule in March. If need be, they may need to give him a night or two off soon.


So you mean Bret Hull's idea of playing him 27 minutes a night wasn't a good one?
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Pitts on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:33 am

DelPen wrote:
Pitts wrote:
MarioLemieux1992 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:SIDNEY CROSBY: D. Would have been an F except for the shootout winner. Terrible game by him. He was only credited with three giveaways, but there were many more where he made bad passes. Just not his night.

It seems he has been in a slump since that habs game now, good to see we can win without him, but it would be better to win with him

I think he's tired. And, if he's this tired right now, it doesn't look good for that over-loaded schedule in March. If need be, they may need to give him a night or two off soon.


So you mean Bret Hull's idea of playing him 27 minutes a night wasn't a good one?

I don't know, what do you think? :wink:
I look at that March schedule and cringe! And, it actually starts on February 25! They play 4 games a week through the end of the season!
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Guinness on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:47 am

Mad City Mike wrote:BUFFOONS IN STRIPES: F. Yet again. Someday they will call a good game, but it likely won’t be in my lifetime. If somebody can explain why Staal’s first goal was waved off when Whitney was clearly pushed into Niittymaki, I will gladly listen. Knuble’s first goal should not have counted by this standard as he was right on top of Fleury and didn’t allow him room to make the save. And then somebody (Carter, I think, gets hit by Petrovicky and absolutely runs Fleury, but no call. The fact is he went recklessly to the net and would have nailed Fleury even if Petro didn’t hit him.


Can someone answer this question: They waved off the first Staal goal because Nittymaki was interfered with, but they didn't call interference. Does that mean it wasn't a penalty? If so, why wasn't it a goal?
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Spikey on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:52 am

Guinness wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:BUFFOONS IN STRIPES: F. Yet again. Someday they will call a good game, but it likely won’t be in my lifetime. If somebody can explain why Staal’s first goal was waved off when Whitney was clearly pushed into Niittymaki, I will gladly listen. Knuble’s first goal should not have counted by this standard as he was right on top of Fleury and didn’t allow him room to make the save. And then somebody (Carter, I think, gets hit by Petrovicky and absolutely runs Fleury, but no call. The fact is he went recklessly to the net and would have nailed Fleury even if Petro didn’t hit him.


Can someone answer this question: They waved off the first Staal goal because Nittymaki was interfered with, but they didn't call interference. Does that mean it wasn't a penalty? If so, why wasn't it a goal?


IIRC, there are two levels of goaltender interference. One with a penalty, one without. Both result in no-goal.
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Postby Rohit on Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:19 pm

DelPen wrote:Malkin had a great effort last night. His duck on Hatcher and then hatcher running himself into the post by the bench was hilarious. Malone may be doing well on the PK but I'll gladly go with Staal, Talbot, Army and Moore as my 4 guys. Malone is becoming a drag on the 1st line. Either trade him striaght up for a scoring winger for Crosby, doesn't matter which side because Rex can play LW or RW, or add a better defensemen and promote EC. Either way, I think malone is gone come deadline time.

As far as Forsberg goes, the Fleyrs are not in playoff contention and Forsberg is a UFA this summer so he'll go to the highest bidder and that will be a team in the East. Some teams may give up more just to make sure another team doesn't get him. Say you are the Isles and you see the Leafs are putting toegther a package, you better beat that or your season is most likely done. The teams have the the prospects and dire need to get Forsberg are probably the Isles, Rags and Leafs.

If I had to bet money it would be the Leafs. They have a lot of young defensemen in their system and the Flyers biggest need is some defensemen down the road.


any idea if there is a youtube video of malkin's duck under hatcher?
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Postby redmosqui on Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:29 pm

i love the idea of icing only applying from clears from INSIDE your defensive zone, NOT simply behind the center ice red line...no touch icing or not, i'd vote a HUGE YES for that rule change...just another way to keep the play moving and less whistles...


as for sid. well, it seems to me that his problem on the first line is trying to play for two. himself and ryan malone. tooooooo many times have i seen great passes or plays by sid to only be fouled up by ryan malone.

staal....what can you say, just a great player...offense and defense...PP and PK....much more than i ever thought he'd be this year. what a force!!
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Guinness on Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:34 pm

Spikey wrote:IIRC, there are two levels of goaltender interference. One with a penalty, one without. Both result in no-goal.


Thanks Spikey. I guess I can wipe that from my list of referee gripes...
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby BCHill on Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:36 pm

Guinness wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:BUFFOONS IN STRIPES: F. Yet again. Someday they will call a good game, but it likely won’t be in my lifetime. If somebody can explain why Staal’s first goal was waved off when Whitney was clearly pushed into Niittymaki, I will gladly listen. Knuble’s first goal should not have counted by this standard as he was right on top of Fleury and didn’t allow him room to make the save. And then somebody (Carter, I think, gets hit by Petrovicky and absolutely runs Fleury, but no call. The fact is he went recklessly to the net and would have nailed Fleury even if Petro didn’t hit him.


Can someone answer this question: They waved off the first Staal goal because Nittymaki was interfered with, but they didn't call interference. Does that mean it wasn't a penalty? If so, why wasn't it a goal?


It was considered incidental contact. The goal is waived off and no penalty is assessed.
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Postby tluke53 on Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:28 pm

Post-Game Comments....


* I agree with many of you about Malone. I am now convinced he needs moved to another line. He doesn't have the consistent scoring touch needed for the first line. However, I still think he provides good depth and would be a great thrid liner. He can play wing or center and his penalty killing and board work have been very, very effective. He just doesn't capitalize on enough of Sid's passes. Sid needs a player who is good at 1 timing the puck like Gagne (sp?). I am not sold that EC is that player. I think they will need to find that outside the organization.

* Ryan Whitney has really arrived and become noticable almost every time he is on the ice. He is playing adequate defence, but really plays the role of offensive D-Man well. IMO, he is more effective than Gonchar right now.

* I am not so sure the Sid is the Pen's MVP. What would our record be without Fluery? I think he has stolen a lot of points this season and certainly did last night.
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Postby redmosqui on Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:59 pm

while i think MAF has stolen a few points for us, i also think that the league's points leader can not really be denied his teams MVP....now, if MAF was leading the league in shutouts and Save% or GAA or something like that, then I be more inclined to agree with you...but as it stands today, I still say Sid is the Pens MVP....
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Paulie_WalnutzII on Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:49 pm

Pitts wrote:
MarioLemieux1992 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:SIDNEY CROSBY: D. Would have been an F except for the shootout winner. Terrible game by him. He was only credited with three giveaways, but there were many more where he made bad passes. Just not his night.

It seems he has been in a slump since that habs game now, good to see we can win without him, but it would be better to win with him

I think he's tired. And, if he's this tired right now, it doesn't look good for that over-loaded schedule in March. If need be, they may need to give him a night or two off soon.


A night or two off meaning, a game or two, or a couple of practices? I'm hoping you don't mean a game or two. After Satruday's game in Toronto, they don't play again until Wednesday. So, I think that will be plenty of time for him to get some rest. There is absolutely no way this team can afford to give Crosby a game off.
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Postby arizonahotrock on Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:52 pm

Honestly, I'm a fan of Malone...but it is getting frustrating to watch him on that first line. I can't even imagine what it must be like to actually BE on the line with him.

He's just not getting it done right now...and I credt Therrien for sticking with his lines, but I disagree with him basically getting rid of his "reward system" and bumping players up or down depending on their play. I think Malone should get bumped down for a few games and EC bumped up, just to see how it works out. And, I think once Ekman is back, put him on that first line and scratch Malone for a game or two.

Now, I'm not complaining about the game last night because, while it wasn't the Pens' best game...a win is a win. You know that Flyers team was hungry...and they're going to be even hungrier when we play them for the 8th and final time this season. The Pens did what needed to be done. It wasn't pretty but, as we all know (as opposed to some of the women interviewed in Trenni's piece) nothing in hockey is.

P.S. Here's another grade for you...

Steigy: A+++++++ If only for bringing back the hilariously awesome Staal nickname "The Pterodac-tile". Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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Postby Spikey on Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:11 pm

arizonahotrock wrote:P.S. Here's another grade for you...

Steigy: A+++++++ If only for bringing back the hilariously awesome Staal nickname "The Pterodac-tile". Thank you, thank you, thank you!


I squawked out loud when he said that. I thought I was the only one. :lol:
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Postby arizonahotrock on Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:56 pm

Spikey wrote:
arizonahotrock wrote:P.S. Here's another grade for you...

Steigy: A+++++++ If only for bringing back the hilariously awesome Staal nickname "The Pterodac-tile". Thank you, thank you, thank you!


I squawked out loud when he said that. I thought I was the only one. :lol:


Absolutely not. It makes me laugh so hard every time. It's just so ridiculous to begin with...then you factor in the mispronunciation. Amazing.
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Postby Paulie_WalnutzII on Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:02 pm

arizonahotrock wrote:
Spikey wrote:
arizonahotrock wrote:P.S. Here's another grade for you...

Steigy: A+++++++ If only for bringing back the hilariously awesome Staal nickname "The Pterodac-tile". Thank you, thank you, thank you!


I squawked out loud when he said that. I thought I was the only one. :lol:


Absolutely not. It makes me laugh so hard every time. It's just so ridiculous to begin with...then you factor in the mispronunciation. Amazing.


I'd like to know how he spells it.
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Re: Grading Game 54

Postby Paulie_WalnutzII on Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:23 pm

Paulie_WalnutzII wrote:
Pitts wrote:
MarioLemieux1992 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:SIDNEY CROSBY: D. Would have been an F except for the shootout winner. Terrible game by him. He was only credited with three giveaways, but there were many more where he made bad passes. Just not his night.

It seems he has been in a slump since that habs game now, good to see we can win without him, but it would be better to win with him

I think he's tired. And, if he's this tired right now, it doesn't look good for that over-loaded schedule in March. If need be, they may need to give him a night or two off soon.


A night or two off meaning, a game or two, or a couple of practices? I'm hoping you don't mean a game or two. After Satruday's game in Toronto, they don't play again until Wednesday. So, I think that will be plenty of time for him to get some rest. There is absolutely no way this team can afford to give Crosby a game off.


If I may add, that over the last two years, the Pens have not won any games without Crosby in the lineup. They also have only won 2 games in which he didn't register a point. As evidenced by last night's game, even though he didn't register a point, he still scored the game winning goal.
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Postby Froggy on Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:52 pm

Rohit wrote:any idea if there is a youtube video of malkin's duck under hatcher?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4AK_oGC-0Q

here is one
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