Grading Game 56

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Grading Game 56

Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:38 am

In a game that was likely the last of the unbeaten streak…

OFFENSE: A. They netted three goals against a team that is at least decent defensively. They had a great cycle game going most of the night and generally kept Chicago bottled up. Once again, a fourth-line goal by Petrovicky got them going. Boy, has he been important lately! The goal Ouellet scored was weak on Khabibulin’s part, but was nonetheless a twisted wrister. Then, in the third when they inexplicably fell behind, Therrien put Malkin and Crosby together and, bingo, game tied. It sure is nice to have that option. Sid looked like he had a bit more hop in this one, but was still unable to score. The only troubling part is once again they got a lead and looked like they backed off, and for the third straight game, it spelled disaster.

DEFENSE: F. Some really comical play in this one, highlighted by the Orpik-inspired 3-on-none. Good lord, what was he thinking there? Whitney was not blameless, either, as he jumped ahead way too soon. As Steigy said, how many times do you see a three on none? Just hideous. This pair was also burned on the last Chicago goal, allowing a breakaway (albeit one aided by the striped buffoons) in a tie game. Maybe these two still had the Beanpot on their brains? But, speaking of hideous, how about the incredibly lazy play by Gonchar and Whitney on the shorty? They both just stood their with their eyes glazed over watching the play as the puck came out front where it was banged in. It was a horrible night for Whitney, who was on for every goal.

POWER PLAY: D. For the most part, early on it looked lazy and uninspired. As the game progressed, they did generate some decent chances, but not a lot. Chicago’s kill was very aggressive, and the Pens didn’t adjust to that. They have trouble against teams that attack them. On numerous occasions, they were guilty of overpassing trying to set up the perfect shot, and they ended up getting nothing. They rarely won battles for loose pucks in Chicago’s end on the PP, and thus they had trouble maintaining any pressure.

PENALTY KILL: C. The battle of the irresistible force (their 30th-ranked PP) versus the immovable object (the Pens’ bottom-dwelling PK) was a draw. As usual, the goal came on a rebound where a guy was wide open. Not surprisingly, I think it was where Whitney should have been. But, as Steigy said the other day, the PK just keeps leaking oil. This needs to improve drastically if they hope to make the playoffs. They did end up even by scoring a shorty, however, so that was a plus.

GOALTENDING: B. The only goal Fleury could be faulted on was the first one, where he was slow to react to the carom off the back boards. Other than that, he really had no chance. Three-on-none, rebound to a wide open guy, and a breakaway caused by too many men not being called. He was rarely called upon to make the big save, but did so at the start of the OT with two unbelievable saves. Then he shut the Hawks out in the shootout. While I wouldn’t say he stole this one, he played solidly while being hung out to dry by Comedy Central.

OVERALL: C. Another game, another blown 2-goal lead. It’s getting to be a habit. It’s just a good thing they aren’t playing good teams right now. But the schedule is about to change. Play the way they have the last week, and the playoffs are a pipe dream. Once you get bad teams like Philly and Chicago down by two, you have to bury them, not rally to tie it late. They have lost any confidence they had in protecting a lead. They are playing like a team that is full of themselves. This happens to many teams at the end of winning streaks. They forgot what got them where they are and start getting sloppy. It is almost inevitable. It is going to take a few losses to wake them up to what they’re doing wrong. Or playing good teams, which starts Friday against the Devils. They are doing what they need to by gaining two points against these bad teams, but the warning signs are there and have thus far gone unheeded.

Others…

STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. The usual. Now they can’t even count. The Hawks had like a hundred guys on the ice for their last goal, and these clowns couldn’t even count to six.

EFFORT: F. It just wasn’t there in this game. The Hawks won all the little battles. The Pens right now are a team that thinks they can get by on their skill alone. It has been working, but sooner or later, it will bite you.

MAX TALBOT: A. Great move on the shorty to recognize that Havlat was the guy back and just wheel around him. One thing they need to do more on the PK is attack like this when there’s a forward back.

“SHOOT THE PUCK!â€￾: A. I don’t know how many times I yelled this after they tried to make that one extra perfect pass. They need to simplify and shoot, then get rebounds. Then Malkin leads a 3-on-1 and inexplicably shoots from the circle. Go figure. Heads not in the game?

DUNCAN KEITH: A. Wow, he was everywhere. He is the best looking unproductive player (and I should know since he’s on my fantasy team) I have seen since Konstantin Koltsov.

TUOMO RUUTU: A. I know he’s not available, but wouldn’t it be nice to unite him with his brother and then play him with Sid. He is Ryan Malone with talent and grit. He would be a perfect left wing for Crosby.

COLBY ARMSTRONG: C. Great hit by Colby. Too bad it was on his own guy. What a horrible year he’s having. Nothing seems to go right for him.
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Postby DelPen on Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:48 am

I still don't know how people can blame the 1st goal on Fleury. Even ignoring Gonchar making a poor and lazy decision twice in the same play (once on the lack of a pinch in and the other on not backechking) the puck hit the metal partition and came out at an angle and speed that pretty much never happens. It surprised him and combine that with a weaker than usual shot it floated over the pad instead of hitting where Fleury positioned himself to make a save on the shot he thought would have been taken. And that save on Havlat in OT more than attoned for that. I also liked when he gave someone on the Hawks a nice face wash in the 2nd period.

Speaking of the bad bounde, the Mellon Arena gets an F tonight. the pucks were bouncing weird all night and almost cost a goal in the 2nd period.

And to add to the refs bufoonery, Petro's goal should have been waived off as Ruutu did make contact with Kahbibulin as he screened him. This was more interference than Whitney had the other night (against the Fleyrs?).

And can't any of the four officials call too many men?
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Re: Grading Game 56

Postby kirk on Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:49 am

Mad City Mike wrote:In a game that was likely the last of the unbeaten streak…

OFFENSE: A. They netted three goals against a team that is at least decent defensively. They had a great cycle game going most of the night and generally kept Chicago bottled up. Once again, a fourth-line goal by Petrovicky got them going. Boy, has he been important lately! The goal Ouellet scored was weak on Khabibulin’s part, but was nonetheless a twisted wrister. Then, in the third when they inexplicably fell behind, Therrien put Malkin and Crosby together and, bingo, game tied. It sure is nice to have that option. Sid looked like he had a bit more hop in this one, but was still unable to score. The only troubling part is once again they got a lead and looked like they backed off, and for the third straight game, it spelled disaster.

DEFENSE: F. Some really comical play in this one, highlighted by the Orpik-inspired 3-on-none. Good lord, what was he thinking there? Whitney was not blameless, either, as he jumped ahead way too soon. As Steigy said, how many times do you see a three on none? Just hideous. This pair was also burned on the last Chicago goal, allowing a breakaway (albeit one aided by the striped buffoons) in a tie game. Maybe these two still had the Beanpot on their brains? But, speaking of hideous, how about the incredibly lazy play by Gonchar and Whitney on the shorty? They both just stood their with their eyes glazed over watching the play as the puck came out front where it was banged in. It was a horrible night for Whitney, who was on for every goal.

POWER PLAY: D. For the most part, early on it looked lazy and uninspired. As the game progressed, they did generate some decent chances, but not a lot. Chicago’s kill was very aggressive, and the Pens didn’t adjust to that. They have trouble against teams that attack them. On numerous occasions, they were guilty of overpassing trying to set up the perfect shot, and they ended up getting nothing. They rarely won battles for loose pucks in Chicago’s end on the PP, and thus they had trouble maintaining any pressure.

PENALTY KILL: C. The battle of the irresistible force (their 30th-ranked PP) versus the immovable object (the Pens’ bottom-dwelling PK) was a draw. As usual, the goal came on a rebound where a guy was wide open. Not surprisingly, I think it was where Whitney should have been. But, as Steigy said the other day, the PK just keeps leaking oil. This needs to improve drastically if they hope to make the playoffs. They did end up even by scoring a shorty, however, so that was a plus.

GOALTENDING: B. The only goal Fleury could be faulted on was the first one, where he was slow to react to the carom off the back boards. Other than that, he really had no chance. Three-on-none, rebound to a wide open guy, and a breakaway caused by too many men not being called. He was rarely called upon to make the big save, but did so at the start of the OT with two unbelievable saves. Then he shut the Hawks out in the shootout. While I wouldn’t say he stole this one, he played solidly while being hung out to dry by Comedy Central.

OVERALL: C. Another game, another blown 2-goal lead. It’s getting to be a habit. It’s just a good thing they aren’t playing good teams right now. But the schedule is about to change. Play the way they have the last week, and the playoffs are a pipe dream. Once you get bad teams like Philly and Chicago down by two, you have to bury them, not rally to tie it late. They have lost any confidence they had in protecting a lead. They are playing like a team that is full of themselves. This happens to many teams at the end of winning streaks. They forgot what got them where they are and start getting sloppy. It is almost inevitable. It is going to take a few losses to wake them up to what they’re doing wrong. Or playing good teams, which starts Friday against the Devils. They are doing what they need to by gaining two points against these bad teams, but the warning signs are there and have thus far gone unheeded.

Others…

STRIPED BUFFOONS: F. The usual. Now they can’t even count. The Hawks had like a hundred guys on the ice for their last goal, and these clowns couldn’t even count to six.

EFFORT: F. It just wasn’t there in this game. The Hawks won all the little battles. The Pens right now are a team that thinks they can get by on their skill alone. It has been working, but sooner or later, it will bite you.

MAX TALBOT: A. Great move on the shorty to recognize that Havlat was the guy back and just wheel around him. One thing they need to do more on the PK is attack like this when there’s a forward back.

“SHOOT THE PUCK!â€￾: A. I don’t know how many times I yelled this after they tried to make that one extra perfect pass. They need to simplify and shoot, then get rebounds. Then Malkin leads a 3-on-1 and inexplicably shoots from the circle. Go figure. Heads not in the game?

DUNCAN KEITH: A. Wow, he was everywhere. He is the best looking unproductive player (and I should know since he’s on my fantasy team) I have seen since Konstantin Koltsov.

TUOMO RUUTU: A. I know he’s not available, but wouldn’t it be nice to unite him with his brother and then play him with Sid. He is Ryan Malone with talent and grit. He would be a perfect left wing for Crosby.

COLBY ARMSTRONG: C. Great hit by Colby. Too bad it was on his own guy. What a horrible year he’s having. Nothing seems to go right for him.


Regarding the PP, I think it's two things: First, as you note, the Pens seem to struggle against PK's that attack. Second, the PP is becoming a little predictable again. Chicago overcompensated all night to take away the back door. That does create an opportunity to try something on the other side of the ice. I don't know that it's a problem, but I'd like to see a little adapting in terms of how the Pens move and rotate players to how a particular PK is playing against them. As an aside, I'd also like to see Malkin attacking more-- challenging defenders when he has the puck to commit to him and shooting sometimes when the shot is there to take.

I pretty much agree with the rest of the assessment, although saying Army is having a "horrible year" is a bit of an overstatement.

One last thing: I never thought I would think this, but I do hope that Nasserdine is back on Friday so Melichar can play where he belongs-- by and with himself, in the press box.
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Postby Gaucho on Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:57 am

Interesting. Numerous times last night I wondered what it would take to get Duncan Keith. But maybe I was just mesmerized by his skating. Surely a treat to watch.

I also think that saying Army is having a horrible year is a bit harsh. He seems to be much more at ease since he was taken off Sid's line.
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Re: Grading Game 56

Postby shmenguin on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:07 am

Mad City Mike wrote:But, speaking of hideous, how about the incredibly lazy play by Gonchar and Whitney on the shorty? They both just stood their with their eyes glazed over watching the play as the puck came out front where it was banged in. It was a horrible night for Whitney, who was on for every goal.


i don't know if you can really blame them on this. they'd both been out there for 90 seconds (and it was 90 seconds of non-stop skating considering how the hawks cleared the puck 3 or 4 times). i knew when i saw sid miss the goal hard, that the hawks were going to capitalize on the turnover and our D being fatigued.
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Postby penny lane on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:08 am

when teams haven't seen each other for period of time
I think they just don't know how to approach the play.
A win is a win & is 2 more points in the hopper.

That play with Brooks/Whitney/ Talbot all got tangled at center
and that led to a goal. :o

For the goals score on him, it was nice to see Nikolai Khabibulin.
He flashed his talent and skills on some nice shots.

Chicago has a nice center that I noticed all evening,
Denis Arkhipov.

First line players still missing. dont want Geno there
for long. although, to throw the devils off...love to
see geno/sid/jordan to start.
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Postby nexguy66 on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:54 am

Completely disagree with the F for lack of effort.

Hawks worked extreemely well, yet so did the Pens. Crosby was insane with his work.. every player was flying down the ice with numerous great scoring chances. Khabibulin was both good and lucky. Score should have been 5-1 after the 2nd period. 7-4 after the 3rd.

Agree with everything else.

Maybe it is impossible to ref the new NHL. Ref's much call much closer fouls now.. maybe they need to think of something new.
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Postby ChinookUT on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:57 am

DelPen wrote:And can't any of the four officials call too many men?


I'm reasonably sure the too many men call is solely the responsibility of the linesmen.
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Postby mattyj5571 on Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:09 pm

im just happy that while barry melrose sometimes says things i couldn't disagree more with, during the game highlights on sportscenter counted out how many blackhawks were on the ice and said its a ridiculous non-call and then went out to point out our maturity in being able to overcome that.
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Postby Racer17 on Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:53 pm

One of the strangest things I've ever seen. After the 4th goal. all six Hawks went down the bench tapping gloves and celebrating as the fans and MT screamed and pointed. The Hawks didn't even try to hide it! The ref just stood there and watched. Then, right before the next face off, I believe Aucoin jumped back on the bench and play resumed. Unreal!
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Postby pcm on Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:51 pm

Racer17 wrote:One of the strangest things I've ever seen. After the 4th goal. all six Hawks went down the bench tapping gloves and celebrating as the fans and MT screamed and pointed. The Hawks didn't even try to hide it! The ref just stood there and watched. Then, right before the next face off, I believe Aucoin jumped back on the bench and play resumed. Unreal!


All I can think about is the 6-fingered man from princess bride.
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Postby Ron` on Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:35 pm

I am all for a Dman named Duncan on our blueline and Rutuu X 2 gracing our wings.
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Postby KennyTheKangaroo on Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:53 pm

Ron` wrote:I am all for a Dman named Duncan on our blueline and Rutuu X 2 gracing our wings.


I, too, am for taking a teams best players.
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Funny

Postby Andrew on Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:02 pm

One of the strangest things I've ever seen. After the 4th goal. all six Hawks went down the bench tapping gloves and celebrating as the fans and MT screamed and pointed. The Hawks didn't even try to hide it! The ref just stood there and watched. Then, right before the next face off, I believe Aucoin jumped back on the bench and play resumed. Unreal!


According to Eerie, a Hawk came out of the runway after the goal was scored. There weren't actually 6 people on the ice when the goal was scored.
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Postby Ron` on Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:28 pm

KennyTheKangaroo wrote:
Ron` wrote:I am all for a Dman named Duncan on our blueline and Rutuu X 2 gracing our wings.


I, too, am for taking a teams best players.
Hey now, I didn't wish for Havlat. lol
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Re: Funny

Postby mumbobob on Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:07 pm

Andrew wrote:
One of the strangest things I've ever seen. After the 4th goal. all six Hawks went down the bench tapping gloves and celebrating as the fans and MT screamed and pointed. The Hawks didn't even try to hide it! The ref just stood there and watched. Then, right before the next face off, I believe Aucoin jumped back on the bench and play resumed. Unreal!


According to Eerie, a Hawk came out of the runway after the goal was scored. There weren't actually 6 people on the ice when the goal was scored.


The Hawks made a terrible change on the play and should have been called for too many men. The guy who came on early was Rutuu who immediately was involved in the play as it went by the bench. As soon as he joined the rush after jumping his change the arm should have gone up.

That said, we still won, so it's pretty tough for me to get into complaining about it now.l
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Yeah

Postby Andrew on Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:29 pm

I am not saying it wasn't too many men on the ice. Just that the too many men, and the 6 on the ice after the goal were actually two different things.
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