Grading Game 42

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Grading Game 42

Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:33 am

F

OFFENSE: F. No effort at all. I think that Therrien hates Crosby. Why else would he saddle him with two pieces of **** like Malone and Recchi, neither of whom would even be in the lineup of a good team. Henceforth, this will be known as the Black Hole Line. Sid passes the puck, and it goes into a black hole. This line was simply awful, and earned the –2s they all got. The only line that had any spark was the Malkin line. To come out with this total lack of effort in a game like this speak volumes about the lack of character that these guys really have. You can say they work hard, yada, yada, but look what happened after they beat Buffalo. Three games with a lack of effort and focus. Unacceptable. The offensive output last night was laughable. Nothing all night. Then they basically laid down in the third period. This was a despicable showing.

DEFENSE: F. Just as bad. They were running around all night long. There was one wide open chance in front after another. I must say, my hopes soared when Melichar went limping off. Broken foot perhaps? We can only hope. Now if someone can shoot the same shot at Gonchar and get him the hell out of the lineup, we’ll all be better off. It is nice of Sergei to earn his bloated check once or twice a month. At least that’s better than some guys who never do it. Oh, and wasn’t that a nice assist by Nasreddine on Florida’s fourth goal? Sid can’t pass it any better. He has been taking Gonchar lessons.

POWER KILL: A. Very nice effort tonight. They managed to take 6 minutes off the clock without making Florida break a sweat. My guess is that, had Florida taken 20 penalties, the power kill could have taken all 60 minutes off the clock. Very impressive. They followed the perfect three step program prescribed for a perfect power kill. First, fail to gain the zone. Flawless. Second, if you do get in, pass it around the perimeter. Perfect. And if you do get a shot, make sure there’s nobody within 10 feet of the goalie. Again, spectacular. This effort actually deserves an A+++++++++++.

PENATLY KILL: C. The only aspect of their game that was decent last night. Like the night before, they allowed a PP goal, but it was totally on the goalie. The last two nights, they killed 6 of 6, but because the goalie was their worst penalty killer, they allowed one in each game.

GOALTENDING: F. The Thibault of my nightmares returned last night. Did you catch the Florida scout’s comments about him before the game. Poor lateral movement. Goes down early. But he battles. Boy, that’s good that he at least has that going for him. He actually kept them in the game with some great saves, but the two long-range shots he let in drag the grade down. Neither of those shots gets by an NHL goalie. I suspect they totally deflated the team, too. Here’s a question for you. Since, according to our dormant GM, this is not about this year, do you play Thibault more and try to get another lottery pick? Just wondering

OVERALL: F. What else. A despicable, disgusting outing. The only sound that should be heard in practice today is, AGAIN! AGAIN! Oh, and puking. This team put forth zero effort in Florida, so now it’s time to get it out of them.

Others…

OFFICIATING: F. Why did the Pens get the same craptastic refs two nights in a row? These two guys basically called the game like it was three years ago, and neither deserves further employment. It’s bad enough to have to play on bad ice, but when these *** clowns let the game degenerate into a rodeo, there is no hope of anything entertaining. And neither of these games was the least bit entertaining.

MFOM: F. Good grief, can it get any more absurd? Denis Potvin is the latest media friend of Mark. On the play where Sid set him up perfectly and Mark fired it into the next county, Potvin actually had the gall to show the replay between periods and praise Recchi for his great smarts getting into a great scoring spot.

MALKIN AND STAAL TOGETHER: A. They looked like they had good chemistry and could have had a couple more goals if Staal’s shots hadn’t hit the post. This looks like it might work if they can find a real RW for the line. But even Mango looked half decent last night.
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Postby freq019 on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:54 am

It looked like melichar took a knee on knee or leg on knee hit, not a shot to the foot.
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Postby Southern Fan on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:02 am

It's time to let Staal play. He clicked immediately with Malkin and would be awesome with Crosby. My guess is he could actually accept passes from Sid and would be in position to score on rebounds in front of the net, something that the first line wingers didn't do last night.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:13 am

freq019 wrote:It looked like melichar took a knee on knee or leg on knee hit, not a shot to the foot.


From the Post Gazette:

At 17:23 of the second period, Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar left the ice with help after blocking a shot and did not return. He has a leg injury that will be re-evaluated today.
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Postby Southern Fan on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:18 am

ICE F---- It sounded like they were skating on sandpaper.
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Postby DelPen on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:32 am

Southern Fan wrote:ICE F---- It sounded like they were skating on sandpaper.


This is why if any team, besides the Devils, should be moved it's the Panthers. Bad ice in January? WTF?
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Postby freq019 on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:32 am

Mad City Mike wrote:
freq019 wrote:It looked like melichar took a knee on knee or leg on knee hit, not a shot to the foot.


From the Post Gazette:

At 17:23 of the second period, Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar left the ice with help after blocking a shot and did not return. He has a leg injury that will be re-evaluated today.


From watching the game when he went out, it was after he collided with a florida player. They replayed it a few times on FSN pittsburgh. Not the first time the P-G got something wrong
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:34 am

freq019 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:
freq019 wrote:It looked like melichar took a knee on knee or leg on knee hit, not a shot to the foot.


From the Post Gazette:

At 17:23 of the second period, Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar left the ice with help after blocking a shot and did not return. He has a leg injury that will be re-evaluated today.


From watching the game when he went out, it was after he collided with a florida player. They replayed it a few times on FSN pittsburgh. Not the first time the P-G got something wrong


Okay, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. The Florida announcers said he was hit with a shot. As long as it knocks him out, who cares how it happened?
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Postby penny lane on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:44 am

Mad City Mike wrote:
freq019 wrote:
Mad City Mike wrote:
freq019 wrote:It looked like melichar took a knee on knee or leg on knee hit, not a shot to the foot.


From the Post Gazette:

At 17:23 of the second period, Penguins defenseman Josef Melichar left the ice with help after blocking a shot and did not return. He has a leg injury that will be re-evaluated today.


From watching the game when he went out, it was after he collided with a florida player. They replayed it a few times on FSN pittsburgh. Not the first time the P-G got something wrong


Okay, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. The Florida announcers said he was hit with a shot. As long as it knocks him out, who cares how it happened?


freely admit to being a jerk , but I've never been happy about
a player being injured.
That's mean & doesn't solve lack of scoring wingers.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:52 am

penny lane wrote:freely admit to being a jerk , but I've never been happy about
a player being injured.
That's mean & doesn't solve lack of scoring wingers.


I can't say I'm happy about him being hurt. There are only a few guys in the league that I would say that about, and none of them play for the Pens. I will be happy, however, if he has to be out of the lineup, as I want this team to be successful.
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Postby penny lane on Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:03 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:
penny lane wrote:freely admit to being a jerk , but I've never been happy about
a player being injured.
That's mean & doesn't solve lack of scoring wingers.


I can't say I'm happy about him being hurt. There are only a few guys in the league that I would say that about, and none of them play for the Pens. I will be happy, however, if he has to be out of the lineup, as I want this team to be successful.


Professor MCM, just didn't want everybody out here to think
you were cruel & heartless... :P
If Noah Welch is returning, I certainly hope he plays with more
zest than he had at the begining of the season.
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Postby wallflower on Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:20 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:
penny lane wrote:freely admit to being a jerk , but I've never been happy about
a player being injured.
That's mean & doesn't solve lack of scoring wingers.


I can't say I'm happy about him being hurt. There are only a few guys in the league that I would say that about, and none of them play for the Pens. I will be happy, however, if he has to be out of the lineup, as I want this team to be successful.

You better watch out, MCM, ziggy is going to set you right as Melichar is the only guy out there on defense who can play. :roll:
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Postby psubar12 on Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:35 pm

How about a Crosby, Malkin, Staal line? Hey, it's way better than having to see Crosby play with Malone and Recchi. That was just brutal.

Officiating: What the hell NHL? The Panthers employed the "neutral-zone interference trap" last night. This is when three players stand in the neutral zone at all times and do their best to get in the way of any puck handler. This is not the same as the Pens system which is to get in the way of the puck, or steal passes that go through the neutral zone. Florida lets you pass through the zone all you want, but as soon as you get a puck, someone is standing in front of you (making no attempt to play the puck, only the body), interfering with your ability to skate with the puck. I hate this system, and it needs to go. Florida seriously could have had about 15-20 interference penalties called against them last night. If this is the way hockey will be officiated, the Pens have no chance at the playoffs. They need their speed to create offense.

I've seen the neutral zone interference strategy gain strength as the season has gone on, and the refs are encouraging it. I know open-ice checks are legal, but can you just skate into someone with the puck?

Thibault was tremendous last night, there's no other way to say it. Did you see Jokinen's shots? They were absolute rockets; those shots may have broken the sound barrier. Absolutely no one made any attempt to impede these shots and Jokinien was in good scoring position every time. When a puck is shot that hard, either someone needs to block it, or it needs to hit the goalie in the chest. I thought that Thibault was in good position on all the shots, but they were good shots that found the corners of the net. Thibault kept the Pens in the game until the third period and that was a miracle. The Pens should have been down 5 or 6 to one after that second period.

I too hope Melichar is hurt.
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Re: Grading Game 42

Postby kirk on Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:44 pm

Mad City Mike wrote:F

OFFENSE: F. No effort at all. I think that Therrien hates Crosby. Why else would he saddle him with two pieces of **** like Malone and Recchi, neither of whom would even be in the lineup of a good team. Henceforth, this will be known as the Black Hole Line. Sid passes the puck, and it goes into a black hole. This line was simply awful, and earned the –2s they all got. The only line that had any spark was the Malkin line. To come out with this total lack of effort in a game like this speak volumes about the lack of character that these guys really have. You can say they work hard, yada, yada, but look what happened after they beat Buffalo. Three games with a lack of effort and focus. Unacceptable. The offensive output last night was laughable. Nothing all night. Then they basically laid down in the third period. This was a despicable showing.

DEFENSE: F. Just as bad. They were running around all night long. There was one wide open chance in front after another. I must say, my hopes soared when Melichar went limping off. Broken foot perhaps? We can only hope. Now if someone can shoot the same shot at Gonchar and get him the hell out of the lineup, we’ll all be better off. It is nice of Sergei to earn his bloated check once or twice a month. At least that’s better than some guys who never do it. Oh, and wasn’t that a nice assist by Nasreddine on Florida’s fourth goal? Sid can’t pass it any better. He has been taking Gonchar lessons.

POWER KILL: A. Very nice effort tonight. They managed to take 6 minutes off the clock without making Florida break a sweat. My guess is that, had Florida taken 20 penalties, the power kill could have taken all 60 minutes off the clock. Very impressive. They followed the perfect three step program prescribed for a perfect power kill. First, fail to gain the zone. Flawless. Second, if you do get in, pass it around the perimeter. Perfect. And if you do get a shot, make sure there’s nobody within 10 feet of the goalie. Again, spectacular. This effort actually deserves an A+++++++++++.

PENATLY KILL: C. The only aspect of their game that was decent last night. Like the night before, they allowed a PP goal, but it was totally on the goalie. The last two nights, they killed 6 of 6, but because the goalie was their worst penalty killer, they allowed one in each game.

GOALTENDING: F. The Thibault of my nightmares returned last night. Did you catch the Florida scout’s comments about him before the game. Poor lateral movement. Goes down early. But he battles. Boy, that’s good that he at least has that going for him. He actually kept them in the game with some great saves, but the two long-range shots he let in drag the grade down. Neither of those shots gets by an NHL goalie. I suspect they totally deflated the team, too. Here’s a question for you. Since, according to our dormant GM, this is not about this year, do you play Thibault more and try to get another lottery pick? Just wondering

OVERALL: F. What else. A despicable, disgusting outing. The only sound that should be heard in practice today is, AGAIN! AGAIN! Oh, and puking. This team put forth zero effort in Florida, so now it’s time to get it out of them.

Others…

OFFICIATING: F. Why did the Pens get the same craptastic refs two nights in a row? These two guys basically called the game like it was three years ago, and neither deserves further employment. It’s bad enough to have to play on bad ice, but when these *** clowns let the game degenerate into a rodeo, there is no hope of anything entertaining. And neither of these games was the least bit entertaining.

MFOM: F. Good grief, can it get any more absurd? Denis Potvin is the latest media friend of Mark. On the play where Sid set him up perfectly and Mark fired it into the next county, Potvin actually had the gall to show the replay between periods and praise Recchi for his great smarts getting into a great scoring spot.

MALKIN AND STAAL TOGETHER: A. They looked like they had good chemistry and could have had a couple more goals if Staal’s shots hadn’t hit the post. This looks like it might work if they can find a real RW for the line. But even Mango looked half decent last night.


MCM, the fact that Mango looked halfway decent with Malkin and Staal should tell you all you need to know about how great Malkin and Staal could work together, which is precisely why that pairing won't last long. I started a thread elsewhere-- the coach panicked in the name of "balance". Tonight's victim was Sid; it's been Malkin a lot of other times. Frankly, here are the lines I'd love to see:

Staal-Sid-Malkin - not forever, but let them develop chemistry now; heck, the team is 8-3-1 when it's just Sid and Malkin and 10-20 [sorry, 10-14-6] when it's "balanced" lines. Plus, Staal, unlike Recchi or Malone, can play first defender, thus freeing up Sid and Malkin to attack together. Staal is better than Rex or Malone along the boards. And, he'd work nicely as a trailer.

Rex-Moore-Army - really a glorified third line, but defensively responsible enough to cover for Rex

Ruutu-Talbot-Thorburn - works every time until the coach goes for "balanced" lines.

Malone-Christensen-Ouellet - 6 minutes a night at even strength tops . . . hold your nose and hope the coach doesn't expose them in line matchups.
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Postby 71Aj66ax87 on Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:06 pm

DelPen wrote:
Southern Fan wrote:ICE F---- It sounded like they were skating on sandpaper.


This is why if any team, besides the Devils, should be moved it's the Panthers. Bad ice in January? WTF?


They had to play on the same ice,that's an excuse.
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Postby FuturePens on Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:53 pm

In my opinion, besides Crosby, Staal is the smartest player on our team. I honestly believe that he is going to be better than Malkin in the future.
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Postby bigkam on Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:55 pm

Tip of the cap to Mike, he nailed this game.

T-bo is not a bad back-up, just as long as we only see him play every month or so. He kept them in the game with some big saves, but the early goal to Jokinen was a killer. And watch the replays: he's almost inside of his net, and (surprise!) was down way too early.

It's about darn time we see Staal on a line with Malkin. They have some chemistry together, and both are skilled enough to make things happen. If Staal doesn't hit a couple of posts, that line gets 3 goals last night. Not too shabby.

Other than that, they better get their crap together before Philly on Sat. This is looking like a real must-win for the Pens to stay in the thick of things.
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Postby Hawkeynut on Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:04 pm

That was definitly their worst game of the year. I couldnt even finish watching it. Pathetic.
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Postby Mad City Mike on Thu Jan 11, 2007 9:49 pm

ziggystardust wrote:ummm.....

I think that has been pretty much proven.

Its funny that Melichar's +/- is so much higher than either of the defender's he has played with this season, yet people still bash him. He's a damn fine #4 defender - which makes him the best defensemen on the team. Losing Joe hurts a lot.


No, losing Mark Eaton hurts a lot. Losing Joe Melichar and replacing him with Noah Welch actually improves the team.
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Postby Bowser on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:13 pm

I'll ask it again as I've said countless times this season - WTF has Sidney Crosby done to deserve Ryan Malone and Mark Recchi at his wings? You just can't have both sucking the wind out of Crosby.

Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin played well together, not a fan of Michel Ouellet and tired of the coach's pet getting this kind of blatant favorable treatment.

Didn't Crosby prove last season, he plays well with guys who will accept their roles? Move Armstrong back to RW and see if Christensen can play LW like Andy Hilbert did last year.

What do they have to lose, this is not a playoff team.
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Postby dagny on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:32 pm

I've slowly grown to appreciate the little things Melichar does. (No, I don't mean scoring into his own net. :wink: ) Getting a dvr really helped. I spend a lot of time rewinding and very often get a completely different image of what I thought I saw first time through. That said, THIS:
Mad City Mike wrote:Losing Joe Melichar and replacing him with Noah Welch actually improves the team.
remains to be seen... no?
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Postby dagny on Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:38 pm

Tade wrote: Thank YOU For speaking the truth MCM....I agree 100% with all you say except for Gonchar. If it were possible, sub the baby pens in for the Pens for one night and make all the players watch them....they would see how hard they play because the want to play at that level.
I actually think this is a terrific idea, were it possible. I'm always a proponent of sending a message in the biggest way possible.

Tade wrote:well they must have been smoking the same thing that MT was last night when he didnt bench the Crosby line for being ghosts.

I'm a little confused here. Fla. announcers were commenting on MT sending Sid a message by not playing his line hardly at all in the third. I was confused by their comment too, at the time. But, still wondering. Was it just Sid and NOT his linemates? If so, probably to keep him safe in a game we were not going to win?
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Postby dagny on Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:01 pm

ziggystardust wrote:
dagny wrote:I've slowly grown to appreciate the little things Melichar does. (No, I don't mean scoring into his own net. :wink: ) Getting a dvr really helped. I spend a lot of time rewinding and very often get a completely different image of what I thought I saw first time through. That said, THIS:
Mad City Mike wrote:Losing Joe Melichar and replacing him with Noah Welch actually improves the team.
remains to be seen... no?


dagny, you actually are watching the games. I like to hear that lol.

MCM is just a boob. You should try to teach him a thing or two about hockey.


Ziggy, if you know anything about me, you know I'll first teach you to post w/in the confines of the rules. (i.e., no personal attacks. Calling MCM an idiot/boob, etc. falls under personal attack. We, clear there?)

Just because MCM(or any other poster, for that matter) may not have seen what you or I did, doesn't mean he's anything of the sort. We all read posts and wonder, at times, was 'so and so' watching the same game??? Your Melichar arguments will be taken more seriously if you can refrain from attacking and just explain his high points.

Now, I'm glad you're happy that someone else, (who used to HATE Melichar, btw), besides yourself, has grown to appreciate him. There are other Pens fans who feel the same, even some posters on the board. They just don't bother posting due to what a Melichar thread can devolve to. Besides, you really point out the details of his game more than just about anyone can or would. Which is why I really think you can add a lot to the discussion if you did not take disagreements so personal.

Then there are those afraid of posting something positive about Melichar for fear of being crucified. :wink: Myself, I'm a straight shooter.

FWIW, you can defend/prop-up Melichar without attacking everyone who's not Melichar. Y'know what I mean?

MCM, if you don't have a DVR, it's the greatest tool, other than HD, that was ever invented for watching hockey games! :wink:
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Postby penscup on Fri Jan 12, 2007 2:02 am

Yet another completely absurd analysis. Thanks for the laughs though.
Keep'em coming.

Thibault with an F of course -- after facing 39 shots and keeping us in the game until midway through the 3rd period with a number of big saves, and yet you continue to give him no credit at all. At least give him a friggin D for the love of God! And you blame a PP goal scored on him on a 100+ mph slapshot from the top of the circle through a screen which he had no chance of stopping??? 2 goals came on amazing deflections at the last second, and the other was on a pitiful giveaway by Nasraddine directly in front of our own net, but I guess that was all Thibault's fault right? The success of a goaltender on any given night is usually strongly connected to how well his D and the whole team is playing in front of him that night, so if you think our D and the whole team played so terrible overall, why don't you seem to understand that this has something to do with how many saves a goalie can make that night???

Why not give Crosby an F since he failed to score on a wide open breakaway at a crucial part of the game - think that may have "deflated" the team a little bit.

Our offense with an F -- even though they scored 2 goals -- brilliant deduction once again!

Officiating with an F -- of course of course its all the refs fault. No game recap of a Pens loss would be complete without whining and crying about the officiating. But I'm confused, if you give the team an F and the refs an F, who's really at fault for the loss???

If this team was giving so little effort throughout the whole game why was it such a close game until midway through the 3rd period?

The Pens have certainly struggle the past 3 games, but thats what young teams do. It is certainly not as bad as you make it out to be and after coming off of 3 big wins against quality teams, its understandable to have a letdown like this.

I agree with those that understand how valuable Melichar is to the team. If people think our D sucked last night just wait for the next couple of games. Melichar isn't an allstar obviously, but he is decent NHL caliber player. I like what I've seen from Welch so far, but his inexperience is going to be costly at times.
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Postby Jerez on Fri Jan 12, 2007 11:49 am

dagny wrote:
MCM, if you don't have a DVR, it's the greatest tool, other than HD, that was ever invented for watching hockey games! :wink:


Believe you me, we have a DVR -- in fact, an HD/DVR. Can you really imagine MCM without all the best tools for watching hockey? We watch all the goals (and suspect penalties, and great passes) -- and OF COURSE all the "horrible" plays by the Pens -- a couple of times during the course of the game. I don't think we've watched a game live end-to-end this year (well, at home).

As far as whatever ziggycrackdust says, MCM really couldn't care less. Doesn't even pay attention to guys like that. He's got his opinion, and he's schticking to it! :wink:
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