Grading Game 55

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Grading Game 55

Postby Mad City Mike on Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:34 am

Otherwise known as Jordan Staal Night in Canada.

OFFENSE: A. The goals just continue to rain down. What an amazing performance, netting five goals against a Leafs team that had been very stingy lately. Staal and Malkin are just amazing together. If only Sid had somebody that talented to play with. The Pens were once again great in transition. When they get that transition game going, a slow slug team like Toronto cannot keep up. They once again got two goals from unexpected sources (Malone and Talbot). The game winner was just a beauty. All three Pens just stormed up the ice, and the Leafs were left in the dust. It does kind of remind you of old-time Edmonton Oilers firewagon hockey. In the third period, it looked like Therrien had finally tired of Malone dragging the first line down and replaced him with Crusher Christian. Unfortunately, it helped the third line more than the first, but he needs to stick with this awhile and see if it works.

DEFENSE: F. Very ugly performance in their own end. Most of the time, they were either not skating or doing their best chickens with their heads cut off imitation. The defensemen were bad, and the forwards no better. Too many guys wide open in front of Fleury. Scuderi had a particularly rough night, being on for three goals against and taking the untimely penalty in OT (more on that under Striped Buffoons). But the forwards were of no help most of the night either, especially the Malkin line, which got lit up for two (Ouellet was actually on for three). Just not a solid effort at all here, in what is becoming more and more of a habit. In case anyone’s watching, that’s four or more goals against in four of the last six games. Not a good trend.

POWER PLAY: A. Though they only had three chances (more on that under Striped Buffoons), they managed to pot one on a beautiful transition play keyed by a tremendous Sid pass to Malkin. They also moved the puck reasonably well and had some other good chances thwarted by Raycroft. The fact they only had one PPG was more the fault of the Striped Buffoons than anything else.

PENALTY KILL: C. So-so. They essentially allowed one PP goal, though the guy had just come out of the box. But it seemed like they were never in total control on the kill, as Toronto did generate good chances. They just continue to leak oil here.

GOALTENDING: D. By far, Fleury’s worst game since Christmas. Maybe he was tired or is starting to wear down, but he definitely was not sharp last night. Lots of ugly rebounds and a long-range goal by McCabe. He never looked comfortable the second half of the game. They probably win this game in regulation if he had played up to his recent standards. But he didn’t and they still won, so what does that say?

OVERALL: C+. They simply cannot keep blowing leads like this. Three times in the last week, they blew leads that made them go to OT each time. The luck will run out eventually. There are starting to be many cracks in the armor, and these cracks will become gaping holes when they play good teams. But somehow right now, they just keep on winning. It shows how good they have become when they can play nowhere near their ability and still win.

Others…

STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. Broken record here. You know, I have never been one to continually harp on officiating, especially as an excuse for losing. But lately, I am doing it because the Pens are winning in spite of the Striped Buffoons. Last night might have taken the cake. Can someone please explain to me how Hal Gill (another no-talent hack who can’t play in the new NHL) can commit six infractions while being stared at by Blind Massenhoven and not get called for one of them. And all on one play? That might be the single greatest case of incompetence you will ever see. Let others praise Blind Massenhoven for coming back. Not me. The league is worse for it. These two buffoons quite obviously decided, for whatever reason, to call it Old NHL style in this one. Guys were being hooked and held all game long. I will leave it to the loyal readers to decide which slow slug team from Hogtown that this benefited. I will also leave it to you to decide if it was deliberate, it being Hockey Night in Canada and all. Then, after they ignore everything (and the Rock means everything) late in the game, they suddenly decide to whistle Scuderi in OT. I was livid at that point. Fortunately, they buffooned their way out of it by calling one on them where Eaton most definitely embellished. You know, if refs aren’t fired after a performance like this, they never will be. Simply disgusting.

JORDAN STAAL: A. Phil Kessel, anyone. Not me anymore. I’ll say it right now. I was wrong, wrong, wrong to say they should have taken Kessel. Staal is nothing short of amazing. Malkin is lucky they put Staal with him, or he’d be racking up all these points with Sid and giving Geno a run for the Calder. When was the last time guys from the same team finished 1-2 in the Calder voting? If Staal keeps going at anything close to this pace, it could happen.

GOLLUM OF THE GAME: Easy, Hal Gill for his attack on Colby Armstrong. What’s the matter Hal, are we not allowed to check the Big Oaf anymore? Poor guy. He needs to be taken out. Oh, no he doesn’t. We are better off with him out there. That was a beautiful little -4 he put up last night. No wonder the big goof gets frustrated.

BRYAN MCCABE: F. The nerve of the Canadian press lackeys to say that Sid whines, while totally ignoring this guy. He whines after every single call, even if it’s blatant. He was even whining about something on the game-winner.

LEAF NATION: Yes, I know you are the greatest franchise ever created, God’s gift to hockey so to speak. But I have an equation for you. 1000+900+60+7. You figure it out.

KELLY HRUDEY: A. During Behind the Mask in the second HNIC game, he told Aaron Downey to STFU, regarding his comments to Sid last week. Said the yapping on the bench was fine, but he was way out of line going to the press and saying what he did.

RAY SHERO: C. Please, please find Sid a real linemate. Please. Sid is not playing well right now, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he has nobody to help him out?

JOE MELICHAR. F. Welcome back, now go eat nachos. He was -1 in his return and looked like his usual unphysical, horrible self. Is it any coincidence they didn’t play this badly defensively the whole time he was out? Why was Orpik scratched, anyway, especially against a physical team like Toronto?
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Postby PittPensFan on Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:42 am

That's two games in a row the refs have put their whistles away in the third period. There were no penalties called in the third in Philly, and the only penalties in the third last night were Petro and Newberry for fighting.
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Re: Grading Game 55

Postby the wicked child on Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:47 am

Mad City Mike wrote:Why was Orpik scratched, anyway, especially against a physical team like Toronto?


He was sick.
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Postby Mango Salsa on Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:49 am

GOALTENDING: D. By far, Fleury’s worst game since Christmas. Maybe he was tired or is starting to wear down, but he definitely was not sharp last night. Lots of ugly rebounds and a long-range goal by McCabe. He never looked comfortable the second half of the game.


That's why I suggested that Thibault should start vs Nashville last week. After this week the schedule is brutal.



STRIPED BUFFOONS


It's funny, after virtually no whistles in the first the Pens went up 2-0 at 3:32 of the second and I was thinking it was about time for a Leafs power play. *tweet!* Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh (hooking), 3:48
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Re: Grading Game 55

Postby netwolf on Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:00 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:GOALTENDING: D. By far, Fleury’s worst game since Christmas. Maybe he was tired or is starting to wear down, but he definitely was not sharp last night. Lots of ugly rebounds and a long-range goal by McCabe. He never looked comfortable the second half of the game. They probably win this game in regulation if he had played up to his recent standards. But he didn’t and they still won, so what does that say?

I think that's a touch harsh. He never saw the McCabe shot thanks to a few bodies screening him, including Michel Ouellet. Also, factor in how rough the team defense was and I'd bump that up an entire letter grade to a C.
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Re: Grading Game 55

Postby The Snapshot on Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:22 pm

netwolf wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:GOALTENDING: D. By far, Fleury’s worst game since Christmas. Maybe he was tired or is starting to wear down, but he definitely was not sharp last night. Lots of ugly rebounds and a long-range goal by McCabe. He never looked comfortable the second half of the game. They probably win this game in regulation if he had played up to his recent standards. But he didn’t and they still won, so what does that say?

I think that's a touch harsh. He never saw the McCabe shot thanks to a few bodies screening him, including Michel Ouellet. Also, factor in how rough the team defense was and I'd bump that up an entire letter grade to a C.


Yeah, he wasn't an A player, but I'd still give him a B- because he made some huge saves in that game and our defensive coverage was terrible. The Leafs were really good on the forecheck and used their size well.

Overall, I think the forecheck issues were a result of having Melichar, Scuderi and Nas all taking regular shifts. Not a one of them can make a solid first pass to defeat a forecheck. Last night, when they got the puck down low, it was "lather, rinse, repeat" over and over.
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Postby bh on Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:05 pm

MCM, Thanks for doing these grades after every game. I really enjoy reading them and they seem like they probably take a lot of your time considering you have to watch every game and then write all your thoughts and grades. Just wanted to let you know I appriciate it. 8-)

We saw at the end of the game what Malone can do on the third line and I was plesantly surprised. I don't know if he was playing that way because he was pissed he was on the 3rd line or if he's just better playing with other grinders, but I think MT should keep him there for a couple games and see how he does.

I think a lot of the trouble with Sid these days is he's trying to do too much, be too fancy, and plays at a level so high that we need someone very smart to play with him. I'm hoping EC can be a guy thst will help Sid out of this funk. I think that they will have more natural chemistry together than Malone and Sid had. I also like that EC is a shoot first kind of guy. Hopefully he can put pucks on the net and Rex or Sid can bang them home. I know he isn't as good as Ryan on the wall but I think Sid likes playing from the rush better and EC will be better suited to that. I thought that Sid and EC generated a couple of good chances in the couple shifts they had together but their defensive play was horrible. This might have just been a bad night for D in general though cause the defensman were playing horrible and the forwards were playing horrible. I think a lot of the running around on Crosby's line was due to the dmen playing bad.

I like Rex and he has had his games this year but he should be the 3rd best player on the line, not the 2nd. I hope MT keeps EC on that top line for a couple of games just to see if a chemistry can develop. If it does, look out. We were all calling for it and suggesting it and it looks like MT saw it as well. If all goes well it could hopefully improve both the 3rd and 1st lines.

Overall we have a killer offense, all four line have been chipping in, creating offense and scoring goals. Our bad defense is being exposed though. We all knew that was the weak link on the team this year going in. When we get average to sub average goal tending the defense looks terrible. When Flurey is on top of his game they look adaquate. I think that it's just a product of being young, inexperienced, and in a couple of cases not very skilled. I don't know how much we can improve them from now till the playoffs but I don't think we can get far with the current group we have now. This offseason Shero will have a great opportunity to upgrade this position. With Carins, Melichar, Scuderi, and Nas all becoming FA, Shero will have a chance to build a great defense going into next year. I just don't think there is a whole lot that can be done about it now.
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Postby shmenguin on Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:43 pm

just re-watched the OT and some of the 3rd...

Did anyone mention how important whitney was on the 5th and 6th goals? he made some neat little passes to start the rushes, then flew up the ice to get in the play to free up some space for the other guys. with that kind of play, and his work on the PP, he's huge for us right now.

oh yeah, MT's facial expressions in OT get an A+. i love the bewildered, amazed, living in lala land look after the OT winner. like he couldn't beleive that there is a team with players like this.

McCabe's perception of reality gets an F-. in addition for apparently never commiting a real legitimate pentalty, what was he whining about after the game winner? i don't get it. 3 on 1's are illegal? staal was obligated by the rulebook to pass to whitney instead of shooting? take your bitter pills brian and quit whining.
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Postby Jamie on Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:55 pm

I dont know if EC is the guy to be on Sid's line or not. EC played a horrible game last night. It looked like one of those nights for him. The puck jumped or rolled off his stick all night long, he tripped and fell several times for no apparent reason at all, and just did not seem to have his legs or sense last night. By far the worst game EC has played in a while.
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Postby opie22002 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:58 pm

Speaking of officiating, the one thing that I notice teams getting away with more and more is interference. How many times did you see the Pens chip the puck into the zone (with speed) and get interfered with by defenders. How can a player skating backwards be allowed to hold up a forechecker, without any intention of playing the puck, and not get called for interference. You've got to call that interference or rewrite the rule!
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Postby Bum4T1 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:06 pm

opie22002 wrote:Speaking of officiating, the one thing that I notice teams getting away with more and more is interference. How many times did you see the Pens chip the puck into the zone (with speed) and get interfered with by defenders. How can a player skating backwards be allowed to hold up a forechecker, without any intention of playing the puck, and not get called for interference. You've got to call that interference or rewrite the rule!


Thats one thing I've been noticing for the past few weeks. Every time they chip it in, the defenseman tries only to get in their way rather than go after the puck. I know that players are allowed to establish position on the ice but to allow the dman to shadow the forechecker and get in his path towards the puck is stretching it.
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Re: Grading Game 55

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:38 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. Broken record here. You know, I have never been one to continually harp on officiating, especially as an excuse for losing. But lately, I am doing it because the Pens are winning in spite of the Striped Buffoons. Last night might have taken the cake. Can someone please explain to me how Hal Gill (another no-talent hack who can’t play in the new NHL) can commit six infractions while being stared at by Blind Massenhoven and not get called for one of them. And all on one play? That might be the single greatest case of incompetence you will ever see. Let others praise Blind Massenhoven for coming back. Not me. The league is worse for it. These two buffoons quite obviously decided, for whatever reason, to call it Old NHL style in this one. Guys were being hooked and held all game long. I will leave it to the loyal readers to decide which slow slug team from Hogtown that this benefited. I will also leave it to you to decide if it was deliberate, it being Hockey Night in Canada and all. Then, after they ignore everything (and the Rock means everything) late in the game, they suddenly decide to whistle Scuderi in OT. I was livid at that point. Fortunately, they buffooned their way out of it by calling one on them where Eaton most definitely embellished. You know, if refs aren’t fired after a performance like this, they never will be. Simply disgusting.


Colby got the elbow up to start it.

That very well may have been the most entertaining game of the year. Why? Because the refs let it go.
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Re: Grading Game 55

Postby 71Aj66ax87 on Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:01 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:Otherwise known as Jordan Staal Night in Canada.

OFFENSE: A. The goals just continue to rain down. What an amazing performance, netting five goals against a Leafs team that had been very stingy lately. Staal and Malkin are just amazing together. If only Sid had somebody that talented to play with. The Pens were once again great in transition. When they get that transition game going, a slow slug team like Toronto cannot keep up. They once again got two goals from unexpected sources (Malone and Talbot). The game winner was just a beauty. All three Pens just stormed up the ice, and the Leafs were left in the dust. It does kind of remind you of old-time Edmonton Oilers firewagon hockey. In the third period, it looked like Therrien had finally tired of Malone dragging the first line down and replaced him with Crusher Christian. Unfortunately, it helped the third line more than the first, but he needs to stick with this awhile and see if it works.

DEFENSE: F. Very ugly performance in their own end. Most of the time, they were either not skating or doing their best chickens with their heads cut off imitation. The defensemen were bad, and the forwards no better. Too many guys wide open in front of Fleury. Scuderi had a particularly rough night, being on for three goals against and taking the untimely penalty in OT (more on that under Striped Buffoons). But the forwards were of no help most of the night either, especially the Malkin line, which got lit up for two (Ouellet was actually on for three). Just not a solid effort at all here, in what is becoming more and more of a habit. In case anyone’s watching, that’s four or more goals against in four of the last six games. Not a good trend.

POWER PLAY: A. Though they only had three chances (more on that under Striped Buffoons), they managed to pot one on a beautiful transition play keyed by a tremendous Sid pass to Malkin. They also moved the puck reasonably well and had some other good chances thwarted by Raycroft. The fact they only had one PPG was more the fault of the Striped Buffoons than anything else.

PENALTY KILL: C. So-so. They essentially allowed one PP goal, though the guy had just come out of the box. But it seemed like they were never in total control on the kill, as Toronto did generate good chances. They just continue to leak oil here.

GOALTENDING: D. By far, Fleury’s worst game since Christmas. Maybe he was tired or is starting to wear down, but he definitely was not sharp last night. Lots of ugly rebounds and a long-range goal by McCabe. He never looked comfortable the second half of the game. They probably win this game in regulation if he had played up to his recent standards. But he didn’t and they still won, so what does that say?

OVERALL: C+. They simply cannot keep blowing leads like this. Three times in the last week, they blew leads that made them go to OT each time. The luck will run out eventually. There are starting to be many cracks in the armor, and these cracks will become gaping holes when they play good teams. But somehow right now, they just keep on winning. It shows how good they have become when they can play nowhere near their ability and still win.

Others…

STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. Broken record here. You know, I have never been one to continually harp on officiating, especially as an excuse for losing. But lately, I am doing it because the Pens are winning in spite of the Striped Buffoons. Last night might have taken the cake. Can someone please explain to me how Hal Gill (another no-talent hack who can’t play in the new NHL) can commit six infractions while being stared at by Blind Massenhoven and not get called for one of them. And all on one play? That might be the single greatest case of incompetence you will ever see. Let others praise Blind Massenhoven for coming back. Not me. The league is worse for it. These two buffoons quite obviously decided, for whatever reason, to call it Old NHL style in this one. Guys were being hooked and held all game long. I will leave it to the loyal readers to decide which slow slug team from Hogtown that this benefited. I will also leave it to you to decide if it was deliberate, it being Hockey Night in Canada and all. Then, after they ignore everything (and the Rock means everything) late in the game, they suddenly decide to whistle Scuderi in OT. I was livid at that point. Fortunately, they buffooned their way out of it by calling one on them where Eaton most definitely embellished. You know, if refs aren’t fired after a performance like this, they never will be. Simply disgusting.

JORDAN STAAL: A. Phil Kessel, anyone. Not me anymore. I’ll say it right now. I was wrong, wrong, wrong to say they should have taken Kessel. Staal is nothing short of amazing. Malkin is lucky they put Staal with him, or he’d be racking up all these points with Sid and giving Geno a run for the Calder. When was the last time guys from the same team finished 1-2 in the Calder voting? If Staal keeps going at anything close to this pace, it could happen.

GOLLUM OF THE GAME: Easy, Hal Gill for his attack on Colby Armstrong. What’s the matter Hal, are we not allowed to check the Big Oaf anymore? Poor guy. He needs to be taken out. Oh, no he doesn’t. We are better off with him out there. That was a beautiful little -4 he put up last night. No wonder the big goof gets frustrated.

BRYAN MCCABE: F. The nerve of the Canadian press lackeys to say that Sid whines, while totally ignoring this guy. He whines after every single call, even if it’s blatant. He was even whining about something on the game-winner.

LEAF NATION: Yes, I know you are the greatest franchise ever created, God’s gift to hockey so to speak. But I have an equation for you. 1000+900+60+7. You figure it out.

KELLY HRUDEY: A. During Behind the Mask in the second HNIC game, he told Aaron Downey to STFU, regarding his comments to Sid last week. Said the yapping on the bench was fine, but he was way out of line going to the press and saying what he did.

RAY SHERO: C. Please, please find Sid a real linemate. Please. Sid is not playing well right now, and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he has nobody to help him out?

JOE MELICHAR. F. Welcome back, now go eat nachos. He was -1 in his return and looked like his usual unphysical, horrible self. Is it any coincidence they didn’t play this badly defensively the whole time he was out? Why was Orpik scratched, anyway, especially against a physical team like Toronto?


I don't get it you say Scuderi had a rough night but single out Melichar as flat out awful.

Scuderi was far worse than Melichar.
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Postby redmosqui on Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:21 pm

Staal - A+
Crosby - C
Malkin - A+
Fleury - C
Whitney - B+

I've constantly impressed with Staal and playing with Geno has simply lit a fire under him and these two click like crazy!!! I really want to see Staal replace Mark on the PP to camp out in front of the net,...i'm tired of watching teams push the elder around.

Crosby, I don't get it...is he having some problems with that groin again but feels that he has to play through it at this point? or that it's not AS bad and doesn't need to rest it? I dunno. Is he better to us at half-ability from here out...or to rest him a game or two and let him heal up? Assuming that's it?! I'm just waiting for him to blast out of this funk....then again, as others have stated, he plays with Malone (who can't finish off plays enough to be on the top line) and The old man, who is having a good year and I like with Crosby, assuming they stop bunching up so much with each other...

Whitney is impressing me more and more, but him and sid really need to watch that 1 timer across the ice on the PP...teams and goalies are so ready for it right now...sure it works alot, but the unit needs to add set plays to their file to keep teams guessing!!

MAF, needs a rest....period...oh, and a defense that can clear the net, and the zone!!
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Postby Ron` on Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:34 pm

Mike doesn't Staal's wingspan impress you? That kid's a gem of a hockey player for sure. One with enough patience to bury that game winner. There was almost no room short side on that shot too, truely amazing.

That said, not a bad pick of the litter at three. I still think the others will have some success, but what is the top end on this kid? When his coordination catches up to his frame and hockey sense.
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Postby Kicksave on Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:41 pm

redmosqui wrote:I've constantly impressed with Staal and playing with Geno has simply lit a fire under him and these two click like crazy!!! I really want to see Staal replace Mark on the PP to camp out in front of the net,...i'm tired of watching teams push the elder around.


Recchi, for the better part of the last 2-3 weeks has been one of your best players. He absolutely needs to be out on the powerplay right now but the thing is this, Recchi, where he would be bet suited on the power play, is where Crosby sets up.

When they can get the power play going full speed, usually what happens is Whitney (playing the right point) slides over and plays along the boards, Gonchar sets up in the middle, Crosby gets the whole right side where he can try and hit Whitney with the cross-ice pass, give it off to Sarge or he just turns around and takes it to the net himself. Malkin, who originally sets up at the left wing, floats down low and Recchi then goes to the front of the net. They seem to like this kinda diamond type set up, with Malkin behind the net, Gonch at the point, Whitney on the left, Crosby on the right and Rex in front and so far its been successful.

When on a 5 on 3, Staal has been in front of the net and has caused havoc. They are just now phasing him into the power play. He is seeing a lot of minutes now on the 2nd line and getting top PK billing. Its only natural that they phase him in slowly. It has worked thus far, I don't see a drastic change coming.

redmosqui wrote:Whitney is impressing me more and more, but him and sid really need to watch that 1 timer across the ice on the PP...teams and goalies are so ready for it right now...sure it works alot, but the unit needs to add set plays to their file to keep teams guessing!!


I agree. He seems to be trying to force a lot of plays right now instead of just winding up and take a shot. He goes through this occasionally and when he snaps out of it, he'll go on a tear like he did before the all-star break. Luckily, hes doing it now which means he'll be going on his tear just in time for the final playoff push. :D

redmosqui wrote:MAF, needs a rest....period...oh, and a defense that can clear the net, and the zone!!


He does need a rest, eventhough I don't want to give it to him when he'll be off for 5 days straight. Give it to him when its just 3-4 days, that way he doesn't lose an edge.
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Postby DelPen on Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:49 pm

How could you forget Petro? He gets an A for answering Newberry's challenge after Talbot scored to tie it 5-5 and then destroying him in a fight.
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Postby redmosqui on Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:27 pm

i agree Recchi should be out there...with the way he has been playing,...but he is not big enough nor strong enough to camp out in front of the net...Staal is a strong, and HUGE, and has great hands....so, i'm not saying they should abandon their set up right now, as it's been strong...but maybe instead try a PP Unit 1.5, with Staal in front instead and move the others around...just to give different looks....

Kicksave wrote:
redmosqui wrote:I've constantly impressed with Staal and playing with Geno has simply lit a fire under him and these two click like crazy!!! I really want to see Staal replace Mark on the PP to camp out in front of the net,...i'm tired of watching teams push the elder around.


Recchi, for the better part of the last 2-3 weeks has been one of your best players. He absolutely needs to be out on the powerplay right now but the thing is this, Recchi, where he would be bet suited on the power play, is where Crosby sets up.

When they can get the power play going full speed, usually what happens is Whitney (playing the right point) slides over and plays along the boards, Gonchar sets up in the middle, Crosby gets the whole right side where he can try and hit Whitney with the cross-ice pass, give it off to Sarge or he just turns around and takes it to the net himself. Malkin, who originally sets up at the left wing, floats down low and Recchi then goes to the front of the net. They seem to like this kinda diamond type set up, with Malkin behind the net, Gonch at the point, Whitney on the left, Crosby on the right and Rex in front and so far its been successful.

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Re: Grading Game 55

Postby penscup on Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:01 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:Otherwise known as Jordan Staal Night in Canada.

OVERALL: C+. They simply cannot keep blowing leads like this. Three times in the last week, they blew leads that made them go to OT each time. The luck will run out eventually. There are starting to be many cracks in the armor, and these cracks will become gaping holes when they play good teams. But somehow right now, they just keep on winning. It shows how good they have become when they can play nowhere near their ability and still win.


Good teams??? You mean like Nashville, Dallas, Montreal, Buffalo, Carolina, New Jersey, or Atlanta whom they've all beaten once or more this year already? Try giving them a little more credit than laying it all on Lady Luck. Of course they have weaknesses, but they are by any definition already overachieving this year as it is so lets enjoy it while it lasts.

Mad City Mike wrote:
STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. Broken record here. You know, I have never been one to continually harp on officiating, especially as an excuse for losing. But lately, I am doing it because the Pens are winning in spite of the Striped Buffoons. Last night might have taken the cake. Can someone please explain to me how Hal Gill (another no-talent hack who can’t play in the new NHL) can commit six infractions while being stared at by Blind Massenhoven and not get called for one of them. And all on one play? That might be the single greatest case of incompetence you will ever see. Let others praise Blind Massenhoven for coming back. Not me. The league is worse for it. These two buffoons quite obviously decided, for whatever reason, to call it Old NHL style in this one. Guys were being hooked and held all game long. I will leave it to the loyal readers to decide which slow slug team from Hogtown that this benefited. I will also leave it to you to decide if it was deliberate, it being Hockey Night in Canada and all. Then, after they ignore everything (and the Rock means everything) late in the game, they suddenly decide to whistle Scuderi in OT. I was livid at that point. Fortunately, they buffooned their way out of it by calling one on them where Eaton most definitely embellished. You know, if refs aren’t fired after a performance like this, they never will be. Simply disgusting.


Your one sided view of the officiating continues to be beyond ridiculous. Yeah, they suck, but learn to live with it. You give them an F almost every game whether they deserve it or not, undermining your entire analysis of every game. Good teams rise above the officiating and win regardless like the Pens did yet again against the Leafs. Stop the incessant whining and crying.
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Postby redmosqui on Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:26 pm

yes, people complain about refs...but, if they don't plan to follow the RULES...why have them at all?
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Postby Ron` on Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:30 pm

The officiating changes that were promised to open up the game (speed) are slowly slipping away. This is why Mike continually harps about the Officials imo. It's true and hard to deny.

The old school mentality is driving this league right back in time to the trapping, interferring, clutch and grab play of the past. If there was a problem with diving, then call the diving tighter. Don't let the rest of the garbage slide to compensate.
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Postby gregor on Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:46 pm

opie22002 wrote:Speaking of officiating, the one thing that I notice teams getting away with more and more is interference. How many times did you see the Pens chip the puck into the zone (with speed) and get interfered with by defenders. How can a player skating backwards be allowed to hold up a forechecker, without any intention of playing the puck, and not get called for interference. You've got to call that interference or rewrite the rule!


write the league
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Postby penscup on Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:01 pm

Ron` wrote:The officiating changes that were promised to open up the game (speed) are slowly slipping away. This is why Mike continually harps about the Officials imo. It's true and hard to deny.

The old school mentality is driving this league right back in time to the trapping, interferring, clutch and grab play of the past. If there was a problem with diving, then call the diving tighter. Don't let the rest of the garbage slide to compensate.


Yeah, these 6-5 & 5-4 games are just killing me. :roll: Oh how I long for the days of a good 1-1 tie...

Come playoff time we'll know one way or another whether the officiating is truly slipping back to the old bad habits, but until then I'll be reserving most criticism of the job they're doing, and if they can continue to build on the success of last year's playoffs I'll be more than happy, because in my judgement it was prenty damn exciting!
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Postby Geezer on Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:13 pm

Let me prefave this comment by saying I saw the firstb period, listened to part of the game on my way to work, and got to see most of the rest at work so I may have missed some plays that would lessen Talbot's grade. From what I saw Max had a very nice game and not just because he had the tying goal.I especially liked when he lined up Gill and nailed him pretty good.
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Postby joopen on Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:43 pm

MAF needs a break. Give him the Chicago game off since we should be able to beat them w/ JT. Fleury is our #1 and we can't wear him out before the playoffs even start b/c there is no resting a goalie once it starts. I know this is a bad game to state this after but has anyone else been totally impressed with Gonchar in our own end recently? It seems like every time he is getting challeged he makes a good poke or uses good positioning to take the guy out of the play. But like i said poor game to say this after I just dont have much of a chance to post often.
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