Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sharks 3, Pens 2; Just one of those games...

You just had the feeling as last night's game went on that a Penguins victory just wasn't in the cards.

Just one of those games that the puck wasn't bouncing their way.

One of those games where those tape-to-tape passes that were near-perfectly executed in the first 10 games of the season were just off last night.

The Pens gave it their best shot, but it just wasn't meant to be as the Sharks prevailed with a 3-2 win.

But give the Sharks the credit they deserve, they just provided the NHL a blueprint on how to slow down the Crosby/Malkin machine.

You hit 'em every time they've got the puck, or at least try to.

Malkin especially got the physical treatment, he took several good checks along the boards.

What is quickly becoming one of the biggest concerns to this Penguins team are the early goals being given up starting periods. After only 11 games into the season, the Pens have given up eight goals within the first 3 minutes to start a period. It happened twice in L.A., and it happened twice more in San Jose last night. I don't know whether you attribute that to lack of focus, concentration or whatever is lacking, but you could tell that when Mike Grier (who made me look silly for sure) scored on that shot early in the 3rd period (arguably it sure looked like MAF wasn't prepared for that shot), it immediately made it a very difficult task to overcome.

I lost track on the amount of open nets the Pens failed to capitalize on. What was it, five, six ? As I mentioned before, those pucks were bouncing right on their sticks to poke it into the net the first 10 games, but last night, that dog wasn't huntin'.

Offensively, I don't believe the forwards played that badly at all. They had numerous good rushes, but the majority of those centering passes were just not connecting. Give the Sharks defense credit, they took away a lot of those passing lanes.

I can't say the same for the Pens' defense. Those guys appeared a step slow last night, they did a poor job on loose pucks, and did not do a very good job with their outlet passes, many times having the Sharks intercept the puck before the blue line. Have to say, a lot of those times, it was coming from Ryan Whitney, it most definitely wasn't one of Ryan's better games.

But for all of the things going wrong for the Pens last night, they were one shot away from tying the game up for the majority of the 3rd period.

I really thought that the pressure they applied in the last two minutes of the game had a real good chance to score that tying goal, they had several good scoring opportunities, but once again, just couldn't get the finishing touch to get the game knotted up.

So it's onto Anaheim, where I'm sure Pronger and Neidermeyer were taking plenty of notes last night. Here's to hoping that the Pens come out with a boot in their ass and finish the road trip strong, rather than on a sour note.


Anonymous said...

i like reading your recaps man.

Tony said...

Appreciate it Adam....

Anonymous said...

Good read, keep it up