My Prediction

Rangers Devils 4, Pens 1. Record in predicting winner: 12-6.

Even Strength Offense: F

The popgun attack came through once again against an Atlantic Division rival, mustering one whole goal. Is it me, or does it seem like rival coaches have totally figured out how to stifle Jack Adams Bylsma’s system? They just use the Montreal method. Let the Pens aimlessly cycle the puck all they want, but then pack the front of the net to prevent screens and rebounds. When you have an attack that consists of Malkin, Neal, Staal (likely no more this year), and nine hacks trying to whack pucks behind an elite goalie, well, this is what you get. Lots of opportunities, but few goals. Yet “our game” never changes. And the results rarely do, either.

Even Strength Defense: B

The ES defense gave up only one goal. That was on a Kovalpunk bomb after the Pens won a defensive done faceoff. It was the perfect illustration of Minus Machine Martin’s ineptitude. Dupuis won the draw back to him, but he got beat one-on-one by Parise.

Power Play: F-

Totally ineffective and they allowed a goal on a shorthanded 3-on-1 against. The Rangers Devils had four shots, the Pens six on their two power plays.

Penalty Kill: F

Even they allowed a goal. Nothing is going right.

Goaltending: A-

This time, you couldn’t blame Fleury. He made a handful of ten-bell saves to keep them in the game. None of the goals was the least bit his fault.

Overall: F

Same old, same old. The Pens are simply incapable of beating the good teams. And with Staal’s injury, I am rapidly losing hope that this team will even make the playoffs. And I’m not sure I’d want them to, anyway, just so they could get blown out in the first round. Yes, this past 10 days has been very depressing.

And now, the rest of the story…

Geno: C

At least he had a goal, but otherwise didn’t do much..

James Neal: F

Pretty much invisible.

Our Boys Versus The Mans

With this loss, the Pens fell to 0- 5 6 against the Mans of the East (Philly, Rangers, Boston). They are now 3- 9 10 against the current Eastern Conference playoff teams.

Striped Buffoonery

How on earth did that first Devil goal count? For years, the NHL has said the rule is “intent to blow.” Well, not only was there intent to blow, the whistle actually blew before the puck went in. And yet they call it a goal? Okay, fine, it SHOULD have been a goal. LaRue blew it twice, first by blowing the whistle and then not adhering to the rule. I would love to hear the War Garage’s explanation for this one. Actually, they could just say it in five words: the mob runs the league.

Minard of the Game

Kunitz, wide open in front, decides for a reason known only to him, to try to pass to Neal at the bottom of the opposite circle.

I’m on Twitter.

A guide to the game grades can be found here.