Pens Vs Flyers Grades
Flyers 6, Pens 3. Record in predicting winner: 9-6
Even Strength Offense: D
This game was the complete opposite of the previous one. Against Carolina, they established a forecheck early and kept the Canes bottled up all night. In this one, no forecheck at all. No skating. No hitting. And very few great opportunities against an obviously shaky BOB. As my wife pointed out, he was spitting out one rebound after another, but the Pens never skated hard enough to capitalize. They had all the momentum early on after Staal scored, but that went by the wayside the moment they started taking stupid penalties. They only mustered a fairly meaningless Kennedy goal late to make things interesting.
Even Strength Defense: F
It’s like they made a conscious decision to make The World’s Oldest Baby look good. I mean, yeah, he’s still a very good player. But do you have to back up 30 feet from him every time he touches the puck? He and the Pixie just came through the neutral zone at will all night long. Nobody ever challenged them. Gee, that makes it real hard to score, doesn’t it?
Power Play: F
The Pens had some serious mo after scoring early. Then Fartsmell took a penalty less than two minutes in. The Pens frittered that away without generating anything, and the momentum began to shift. They had a couple more power plays later on, and they were just as ineffective.
Penalty Kill: F
Contrast that to the Flyers, who dominated on the PP and scored a goal. They left Timonen open at the top of the circle and he buried it.
Very average game for Fleury. The only slightly questionable goal was the third one, where he spit out a rebound into the slot. But when your defensemen are imitating pylons, it’s hard to blame the goalie too much.
Other than maybe the first 4 minutes, the Mans pretty much dominated the Boys. Once the Flyers got the lead, the crowd went to sleep because they sensed, as I did, that it wasn’t the Pens’ night. The Pens did absolutely nothing to keep the crowd into it. They let the Pixie and The World’s Oldest Baby just dominate action. They took stupid penalties. Their supposed top players were invisible and stupid.
And now, the rest of the story…
A worthless effort. He wasn’t skating or thinking. His stupid offensive zone penalty was what really started to change the momentum and quiet the crowd.
James Neal: F
A pathetic game for him. He was never ready when the puck came to him. And he took the second costly offensive zone penalty in the first period.
Jordan Staal: A
A goal to get them going and his line was by far the Pens’ best.
Tyler Kennedy: A
At least he was shooting the puck, and finally got one past BOB.
Matt Niskanen: P
He lat Jagr cross the slot for his goal, then stood idly by as Matt Read scored. Needless to say, it was a horrible night for the Dallas Connection.
There is none for the Pens. How else can you explain Malkin and Neal not missing any shifts after their incredibly stupid penalties.
Our Boys Versus The Mans
With this loss, the Pens fell to 0-4 against the Mans of the East (Philly, Rangers, Boston). Against the top 8 in the East, they are now 3-7 against the current Eastern Conference playoff teams. They just don’t stack up as a legitimate Cup contender. Of course, a healthy Sid and Letang might change that, but I’m not so sure.
He nailed the World’s Oldest Baby into the boards.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.