Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Ducks 3, Pens 2 (OT); You don't shoot, you don't win

It's a common statement to make in sports.

Doesn't matter whether it's baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or shuffleboard.

If you don't score points, you can't win.

And you don't score if you don't generate offense.

So you can attribute the 17 shots on goal last night in Anaheim to the Ducks' defensive pressure on Crosby/Malkin, or the fact that they were 1) on the PK so many times and 2) on the PP so few times, or simply that the Pens continue to desire for that perfect feed for the one-timer, and are very hesitant to puck the puck on net from the blueline and pounce on the rebounds.

Admirable effort from Thibault last night, although I won't go as far as to describe his performance as "heroic", as was stated online on some of the websites. He got caught early for the first goal, but settled down and played a very respectable game for the remainder. The OT goal by Selanne, from a beautiful feed from Niedermayer, can't be faulted to T-bo, it's tough enough on a 4-on-3 penalty kill.

Which leads me to the penalties. I won't kick and scream like I've been reading this morning, but you can't seriously tell me that the Ducks were playing that game last night with as much discipline as resulting in only three non-scrum penalties.

I'm not sold on Thorburn on the 1st line with Sid/Geno. Matter of fact, I'm not sold on pretty much anyone at this point. I will say this though, Ekman has impressed me much more than he was the first several games of the year, maybe it's time he got his old job back.

So it turns out that the Pens got 5 out of a possible 8 points on this road trip. I would confidently say that if you asked knowledgeable Pens fans, aware of their past failures on West Coast swings, they'd take those 5 points at the drop of a hat.

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