Grading Game 62

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Grading Game 62

Postby Mad City Mike on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:01 pm

The game known as, what can you do?

OFFENSE: C. It was another blasé day offensively, but what can you expect when you play this outfit, otherwise known as The Ruiners of Hockey (RoH). They didn’t manage to generate a whole lot of pressure, little transition, and only a couple good cycles. That’s about all you can expect against the RoH. Still, they did manage a decent number of opportunities, but just couldn’t put one by Stealer of His Sister-in-Law. Recchi alone had about four stellar chances. They hit two goalposts. This was Brodeur at his luckiest last night. Pucks were getting by him but going just wide, or stopping before the goal line. I can’t wait to get Gary Roberts here, because then maybe he won’t actually be able to see every single shot because we refuse to screen the goalie. The one shot of Malkin’s that clanged the post was about a foot off target. It should have been aimed right at the dirty old man’s clavicle. See how good the RoH are without him. Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to find out. All that having been said, however, that’s now 3 goals in 3 games, and no 5-on-five goals in about 202 minutes of playing time. Totally unacceptable.

DEFENSE: A. Stellar game defensively. They didn’t allow the RoH much at all, but then RoH aren’t capable of doing anything exciting anyway. It was probably their best defensive effort since about halfway through the streak. They are getting back to basics and doing a better job of hiding the weak players on the back end. There really weren’t any great second chances because the defense cleared any rebounds Fleury left. They mostly kept the RoH to the outside. If they can play anywhere near this level the rest of the year, they’ll be fine.

POWER PLAY: B. It looked decent much of the night, generating a numerous (unscreened) chances by Gonchar as well as others by Recchi. They had good puck movement and players were rotating as well. Just couldn’t get one by the old guy in goal. Again, I think Roberts can help here because he is so good at distracting goalies. And even (gasp!) touching them. It will be odd to see.

PENALTY KILL: F. The usual one PP goal against per game, and tonight it was the difference. We had Melichar playing a totem pole in front screening Fleury and letting Rupp do whatever he wanted with his stick. Put that one on the how-not-to reel along with most of his other play this year. And to think Shero didn’t go out and get a d-man. He’ll live to regret that one. The RoH had some other good chances on other power plays too. The penalty kill continues to stink out loud, Eaton or no Eaton. And nothing was done yesterday about that either. Cost them two points last night.

GOALTENDING: A. Have no fears, Marc Andre is back. Guess he just needed some time to clear his head. He was fantastic last night. He had zero chance on the only goal, as he was screened and it was deflected. Now, had he had Brodeur’s luck, it would have been deflected wide. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t. Other than that, he looked very solid, much more under control. He did look like he cleared his head while sitting. There is a method to Therrien’s madness after all. If he plays like this the rest of the year, the Pens will be fine.

OVERALL: B. For the first time this year, I break my rule that says they don’t get higher than a C if they lose. I thought the Pens played a very good game. It was all about Brodeur and dame fortune being against them. It was just one of those nights. You just knew they weren’t going to get anything past the guy. Watching it, there was just a sense of resignation. They did a lot of good things and actually outplayed the RoH. But the puck simply was not going to go in the net last night, no matter what. It’s like Lou the Devil made some kind of deal with the hockey gods or something.

Others…

LOU THE DEVIL: F. Because he is the head RoH. And because it is quite obvious he controls the refs through the mob. When you watch a RoH game, it is astounding how much they get away with that, as soon as the other team does it, they are called. You cannot tell me, just like Don Shula used to have control over NFL refs, that Lou the Devil isn’t pulling the strings.

STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. Okay, can somebody please explain to me how a guy can be tripped in the open on a partial breakaway and neither striped buffoon sees it? Classic. Then again, one of them was Brad “never met a rule book I readâ€￾ Watson, so I guess it was to be expected.

RYAN MALONE: F. Hope you enjoyed your last game on the top line, Bozo. Last night made it obvious where Roberts will be placed.

MICHEL OUELLET: F. Hell, it’s tempting to try Laraque in his spot. Ouellet has entered slump time, which means he’ll be invisible for the next month or so. Missed the net again last night on a great chance.

GARY ROBERTS: A. Very impressed by him in the PC. Seems like a class guy. Let’s just hope he has something left in the tank.

RAY SHERO: Incomplete. He had to be watching his supposed top-line wingers stumble around last night and wondering why he didn’t get another one. Recchi had at least four glorious chances and couldn’t bury one.

SIDNEY CROSBY: A. Pity the kid. He has to play with guys who simply cannot finish or, in Malone’s case, even know where to be. This is why he can’t score goals anymore. Teams are challenging him and taking away the shot, daring him to pass. They know that when he passes, they will end up with the puck after a failed scoring attempt or a whiff or a giveaway.
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Postby conforto45 on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:07 pm

i was so ready to read this after the game last nite.. to see if you might have judged everything differently.. but nope, you hit it all right on the head.

it was a great game played. if you dont score on Brodeur in the first few minutes of the game, you aint going to score the rest of the game.

nothing more you can do about it. if there is a such thing as a "good loss" this definetly falls under that category
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Postby newarenanow on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:08 pm

I like your assessment except for the F on the PK. They are bound to let on in every once in a while. They killed the important ones at the end of the 3rd to keep the team alive. I think an F is a little harsh.
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Re: Grading Game 62

Postby kirk on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:17 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:The game known as, what can you do?

OFFENSE: C. It was another blasé day offensively, but what can you expect when you play this outfit, otherwise known as The Ruiners of Hockey (RoH). They didn’t manage to generate a whole lot of pressure, little transition, and only a couple good cycles. That’s about all you can expect against the RoH. Still, they did manage a decent number of opportunities, but just couldn’t put one by Stealer of His Sister-in-Law. Recchi alone had about four stellar chances. They hit two goalposts. This was Brodeur at his luckiest last night. Pucks were getting by him but going just wide, or stopping before the goal line. I can’t wait to get Gary Roberts here, because then maybe he won’t actually be able to see every single shot because we refuse to screen the goalie. The one shot of Malkin’s that clanged the post was about a foot off target. It should have been aimed right at the dirty old man’s clavicle. See how good the RoH are without him. Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to find out. All that having been said, however, that’s now 3 goals in 3 games, and no 5-on-five goals in about 202 minutes of playing time. Totally unacceptable.

DEFENSE: A. Stellar game defensively. They didn’t allow the RoH much at all, but then RoH aren’t capable of doing anything exciting anyway. It was probably their best defensive effort since about halfway through the streak. They are getting back to basics and doing a better job of hiding the weak players on the back end. There really weren’t any great second chances because the defense cleared any rebounds Fleury left. They mostly kept the RoH to the outside. If they can play anywhere near this level the rest of the year, they’ll be fine.

POWER PLAY: B. It looked decent much of the night, generating a numerous (unscreened) chances by Gonchar as well as others by Recchi. They had good puck movement and players were rotating as well. Just couldn’t get one by the old guy in goal. Again, I think Roberts can help here because he is so good at distracting goalies. And even (gasp!) touching them. It will be odd to see.

PENALTY KILL: F. The usual one PP goal against per game, and tonight it was the difference. We had Melichar playing a totem pole in front screening Fleury and letting Rupp do whatever he wanted with his stick. Put that one on the how-not-to reel along with most of his other play this year. And to think Shero didn’t go out and get a d-man. He’ll live to regret that one. The RoH had some other good chances on other power plays too. The penalty kill continues to stink out loud, Eaton or no Eaton. And nothing was done yesterday about that either. Cost them two points last night.

GOALTENDING: A. Have no fears, Marc Andre is back. Guess he just needed some time to clear his head. He was fantastic last night. He had zero chance on the only goal, as he was screened and it was deflected. Now, had he had Brodeur’s luck, it would have been deflected wide. But he didn’t, and it wasn’t. Other than that, he looked very solid, much more under control. He did look like he cleared his head while sitting. There is a method to Therrien’s madness after all. If he plays like this the rest of the year, the Pens will be fine.

OVERALL: B. For the first time this year, I break my rule that says they don’t get higher than a C if they lose. I thought the Pens played a very good game. It was all about Brodeur and dame fortune being against them. It was just one of those nights. You just knew they weren’t going to get anything past the guy. Watching it, there was just a sense of resignation. They did a lot of good things and actually outplayed the RoH. But the puck simply was not going to go in the net last night, no matter what. It’s like Lou the Devil made some kind of deal with the hockey gods or something.

Others…

LOU THE DEVIL: F. Because he is the head RoH. And because it is quite obvious he controls the refs through the mob. When you watch a RoH game, it is astounding how much they get away with that, as soon as the other team does it, they are called. You cannot tell me, just like Don Shula used to have control over NFL refs, that Lou the Devil isn’t pulling the strings.

STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. Okay, can somebody please explain to me how a guy can be tripped in the open on a partial breakaway and neither striped buffoon sees it? Classic. Then again, one of them was Brad “never met a rule book I readâ€￾ Watson, so I guess it was to be expected.

RYAN MALONE: F. Hope you enjoyed your last game on the top line, Bozo. Last night made it obvious where Roberts will be placed.

MICHEL OUELLET: F. Hell, it’s tempting to try Laraque in his spot. Ouellet has entered slump time, which means he’ll be invisible for the next month or so. Missed the net again last night on a great chance.

GARY ROBERTS: A. Very impressed by him in the PC. Seems like a class guy. Let’s just hope he has something left in the tank.

RAY SHERO: Incomplete. He had to be watching his supposed top-line wingers stumble around last night and wondering why he didn’t get another one. Recchi had at least four glorious chances and couldn’t bury one.

SIDNEY CROSBY: A. Pity the kid. He has to play with guys who simply cannot finish or, in Malone’s case, even know where to be. This is why he can’t score goals anymore. Teams are challenging him and taking away the shot, daring him to pass. They know that when he passes, they will end up with the puck after a failed scoring attempt or a whiff or a giveaway.


MCM, don't joke. Last night was different, but Malkin and Staal typically play about 12 minutes at even strength. I would try Laraque there. First of all, the guy was playing with Sopreykin all of the time and Perrault sometimes (plus with some pretty skilled guys in Edmonton). Second, I am sick and tired of watching Malkin have to spend so much time along the offensive zone boards supporting Staal because Ouellet can't cut it. Can you imagine Laraque and Staal working 2 on 2 along the boards? How many battles will they win? And, if the defense commits a third guy, that leaves Malkin in the middle of the ice 1 on 1 or a completely clean shot from the point. As a further point, this guy can forecheck and cycle. One of the clowns, before the game, noted something Doc Emerick said about going to Phoenix and the Devils giving Laraque so much room along the boards that you'd have thought the guy had a communicable disease. Third, how anxious would people be to try the cheap shots against Malkin and Staal with Laraque as a linemate? It may not be a solution, but it's definitely worth a look on Thursday.

By the way, last night was a simple lesson as to why Shero targeted Roberts. I see Malone as 3rd line LW on Thursday and EC centering Ruutu and Petro (I hope) but probably Ouellet to make us suffer.

Maybe this is why Shero didn't overpay for one defenseman. Maybe he figured that, if the Pens play their A offensive game, then they'll still need a little toughness and grit and that, if they don't, one defenseman really wouldn't make a difference.
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Postby DelPen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:18 pm

I can handle Oullet in a scoring slump but what is unacceptable is him hurting the play of the lines. There were numerous times last nigth where he let a puck roll of his stick and it lead to a 3-2 rush the other way because Malkin and Staal were waiting for a dump in to the corners. And there were also a few times where he just got in Malkin and Staal way.

I am really hoping to see Ekman play eith malkin and Staal and see Ouellet sat a few games. He has been horrible the last 4 or 5 games and is hurting the team on this ice now instead of his usual zero-sum game.
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Postby Jesse on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:24 pm

With Ryan Malone's play and Oulette's, I'm almost tempted to put Roberts on the Malkin line and Talbot up with Crosby until Ekman comes back. Let EC center a Oulette/Malone third line.
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Postby DelPen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:32 pm

Jesse wrote:With Ryan Malone's play and Oulette's, I'm almost tempted to put Roberts on the Malkin line and Talbot up with Crosby until Ekman comes back. Let EC center a Oulette/Malone third line.


Isn't Ekman cleared and practicing with full contact? Ekman would be a abetter RW for Malkin's line and Roberts is Malone except gives effort and that would create more space for Sid.
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Postby joopen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:42 pm

DelPen wrote:
Jesse wrote:With Ryan Malone's play and Oulette's, I'm almost tempted to put Roberts on the Malkin line and Talbot up with Crosby until Ekman comes back. Let EC center a Oulette/Malone third line.


Isn't Ekman cleared and practicing with full contact? Ekman would be a abetter RW for Malkin's line and Roberts is Malone except gives effort and that would create more space for Sid.


I don't think he has full contact yet. Should in the next few days. Ekman is a LW so that is probably unlikely he will play with Geno and Staal altho it is not a bad idea since he can handle the puck and skate with them. I personally like placing Army on that line b/c of what he can do on the boards allowing one of Staalkin to get into scoring position. Right now we have a glut of FWDs so they are all playing for their jobs. If that is the effort we are going to get from MO and Malone I would rather have them benched. I know I sound like a basher but honestly I can't remember how many time MO handled the puck like a bar of wet soap. I think it was one of his worse games but he just didn't show much heart out there. Malone just might not have a spot on this roster anymore when Ekman comes back healthy besides maybe aas a 4th liner. I don't know he just is less and less impressive every game.
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Postby DelPen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:54 pm

joopen wrote:
DelPen wrote:
Jesse wrote:With Ryan Malone's play and Oulette's, I'm almost tempted to put Roberts on the Malkin line and Talbot up with Crosby until Ekman comes back. Let EC center a Oulette/Malone third line.


Isn't Ekman cleared and practicing with full contact? Ekman would be a abetter RW for Malkin's line and Roberts is Malone except gives effort and that would create more space for Sid.


I don't think he has full contact yet. Should in the next few days. Ekman is a LW so that is probably unlikely he will play with Geno and Staal altho it is not a bad idea since he can handle the puck and skate with them. I personally like placing Army on that line b/c of what he can do on the boards allowing one of Staalkin to get into scoring position. Right now we have a glut of FWDs so they are all playing for their jobs. If that is the effort we are going to get from MO and Malone I would rather have them benched. I know I sound like a basher but honestly I can't remember how many time MO handled the puck like a bar of wet soap. I think it was one of his worse games but he just didn't show much heart out there. Malone just might not have a spot on this roster anymore when Ekman comes back healthy besides maybe aas a 4th liner. I don't know he just is less and less impressive every game.


Google "Nils Ekman RW" and you'll see hockeydb, Yahoo, SI, Sporting News, Sportsline and ESPN all list him as a RW. What does this all mean? He can play either wing so don't discount him as a RW just because he's played LW with SJ and for us...so far.
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Postby joopen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:56 pm

Sorry if I made that mistake. I thought he was playing LW when he was on Sid's line earlier in the year. My appologies for the mistake.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:59 pm

joopen wrote:Sorry if I made that mistake. I thought he was playing LW when he was on Sid's line earlier in the year. My appologies for the mistake.


No, I think you are right. Maybe he CAN play RW, but he has been a LW for at least the last few years.
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Postby DelPen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:59 pm

joopen wrote:Sorry if I made that mistake. I thought he was playing LW when he was on Sid's line earlier in the year. My appologies for the mistake.


You didn't make a mistake, it's just that he has only played LW so far. But he obviously has played RW in the past, otherwise all those sites would not have him listed as such. I don't think it can hurt at all to have Ekman play the RW with malkin and Staal. He's a better player than Ouellet in all aspects of the game except being able to put in tap ins when standing uncovered by the crease but even then, who knows since he's never been given PP time.
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Postby joopen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:02 pm

DelPen wrote:
joopen wrote:Sorry if I made that mistake. I thought he was playing LW when he was on Sid's line earlier in the year. My appologies for the mistake.


You didn't make a mistake, it's just that he has only played LW so far. But he obviously has played RW in the past, otherwise all those sites would not have him listed as such. I don't think it can hurt at all to have Ekman play the RW with malkin and Staal. He's a better player than Ouellet in all aspects of the game except being able to put in tap ins when standing uncovered by the crease but even then, who knows since he's never been given PP time.


Ok I figured he could play RW if placed there. Right now anyone except Malone might be an upgrade of MO on the RW of Geno and Staal. Ekman is a good choice if you keep Roberts with Sid. If you but Ekman with Sid I like sliding Colby up to that line to round out what I think would be a very solid line.
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Postby Spikey on Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:03 pm

Max Talbot: A for outstanding effort on the penalty kill and general awesomeness.
Last edited by Spikey on Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pfim on Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:04 pm

Anyone suprised that Nasreddine got no PK time last night and Gonchar had over 3 minutes? Had nothing to do with the outcome, but I was kinda surprised he wasn't out there, especially since that's what he's good at and he was the extra guy.
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Postby joopen on Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:06 pm

pfim wrote:Anyone suprised that Nasreddine got no PK time last night and Gonchar had over 3 minutes? Had nothing to do with the outcome, but I was kinda surprised he wasn't out there, especially since that's what he's good at and he was the extra guy.


I think they were just trying to ease him back into the flow of things but after Melichar allowing Rupp to pretend he is Dino Ciccarelli I won't be surprised if Joe sits for Nas next game.
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Postby bigkam on Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:25 pm

I think the offense did a much better job than you said at generating chances and cycling the puck. Heck, the third and fourth lines both had shifts where they kept the puck in the Devils zone for better than a minute on cycles. Bottom line: Brodeur, the zebras, and the posts were not kind to us in this one.

Edit: And personally, I think the RoH's are becoming the officials. The only time you see the Devils get away with their clutching and grabbing shenanigans is when those stupid officials let them get away with it; and it is becoming abundantly clear that they are no longer calling obstruction the way they were in the first half of the season. If they call it the way it's supposed to be, the Devils are a more medicore team.
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