Monday, November 13, 2006

Pens gameday; It's not time to panic. Yet.

Despite reverting back to their old ways defensively, don't jump off of the one of the seemingly 10,000 bridges in Pittsburgh just yet.

Let's not kid ourselves boys, things could've been a helluva lot worse after 15 games.

And while I completely disagree with the "puck possession teams" argument, I will concur that the Pens' opponents these first 15 games have been mostly those of the higher ranked teams in the NHL.

So everyone needs to relax just a bit.

The REAL test, in this blogger's opinion anyway, is the next 12games. The next 12 ames go against mostly lower ranked teams in the Eastern Conference, or those who the Pens have beaten already.
  • Tonight vs. Philly
  • Friday at Buffalo (if the Pens play like they did early on, this will be an outstanding game)
  • Saturday vs. Rangers
  • Nov. 20 at Philly
  • Nov. 22 vs. Boston
  • Nov. 24 at Isles
  • Nov. 25 vs. Rangers
  • Nov. 28 vs. Isles
  • Dec. 1 at Devils
  • Dec. 2 vs. Isles
  • Dec. 5 vs. Panthers
  • Dec. 7 at Rangers
Now those are 11 games that the Pens should hit the ice with a realistic expectation to win the game, or at the very least to get points. The Buffalo game will certainly be a barometer, but whether it will be a good or bad barometer we'll see on Friday. I do not think I'm being unrealistic in that projection. 9 of those games are ones against opponents the Pens have already beaten. The Boston and Florida games are certainly winnable.


Count me as one who does NOT subscribe to the notion that Michel Therrien's job is in jeopardy. You cannot have a team this young and not have peaks and valleys. Now I will say this, they had better correct their defensive liabilities, and that may have to be corrected via a trade.


Tonight's game is dangerous, in the sense that the Pens, even though they've played terribly the last few games, could possibly come out flat, thinking that this game will be much easier compared to the previous few. That will be recipe to a blowout. I don't care what their record is, you come out flat vs. Forsberg and Gagne, and they will eat you alive.

Let's hope the veterans recognize that, come out strong, and capitalize on their defensive weaknesses.


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