FF Telestrator: Round Two - Game 3
Let’s get the game tying goal out of the way early.
There were a lot of positives to take out of this game for the Penguins. Even in a losing effort, their play in the neutral zone and their grittiness on the puck produced positive results for about 59:30 of regulation time.
This game was about an overtime loss that was primarily the result of one lapse in concentration by the Penguins.
I don’t place a single ounce of blame for this goal on one player more than another. After repeatedly watching it, all five guys bear the burden of blame. And I can exemplify that in one simple screen cap.
Also, blaming the coach is fruitless to me as well.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re Tyler Kennedy or Evgeni Malkin, when the coach calls your name with a one goal lead and a man advantage in the final minute of the game, it’s your responsibility as a player to ensure that you do everything you can to prevent the opposition from tying the game.
That didn’t happen last night.
As far as I’m concerned, there is only one still you need to look at in the breakdown of the game-tying goal.
I want you to pay specific attention to the sight lines of every single player on the ice for the Penguins.
There is not a single player that is looking away from the puck.
You will get burned in the NHL every time you do not have your head on a swivel. That’s the bottom line.
Move on, get back at it on Wednesday, and start to close this thing out.
The Penguins approach in the neutral zone this series has both frustrated and handcuffed the Ottawa Senators.
The Penguins forecheck prevents the Senators puck carrying forward from engaging in the play offensively. The Senators aren’t having success bringing their full compliment of forwards up ice.
The Penguins 1-2-2 features a prominent forchecker that forces the puck to one side of the ice.
Once the puck is forced up ice, that player immediately back checks.
Craig Adams is forcing the play in this circumstance. The two high forwards in the sequence are going to immediately pounce on potential puck carriers.
What this effectively does is kills the momentum of the Senators forward that retrieves this outlet pass.
Adams will now move up ice to cover the high winger, because both forwards for the Penguins are going to pinch on the puck carrier.
While two Penguins collide on this play, it still forces a bad outlet pass that Brooks Orpik, who is hanging back in the weeds, will make a punishing body check on.
Craig Adams, who provided the initial token pressure on the play, already has the far side winger covered. So does Paul Martin.
The puck is played off the wall, where Orpik is lining up his man.
Tyler Kennedy has solid positioning on the center, who is now stuck deep on the breakout.
The Senators dump this puck in, and they probably get beat to the retrieval, if they try and make a cross ice pass, it’s a turnover, if they try to skate it in, Orpik has them lined up.
This controlled breakout by the Senators has turned into a disaster.
The Penguins essentially “swing” their forwards around to cover multiple areas of the ice at once. The pressure they provide to the potential first pass recipient takes him out of the play completely and generates a good amount of turnovers in the neutral zone.
I predicted the Penguins would win this series in five games, with Craig Anderson stealing one of the five.
The funny part about last night is that Tomas Vokoun almost took the one Anderson was supposed to have. We’ll see how the Penguins rebound on Wednesday night.