Pens Vs Senators Grades
Pens 4, Sens 3. Record in predicting winner: 11-7.
Even Strength Offense: F
Oh boy. At least the last few games, they could claim they were stymied by great goaltending. Not last night. I’m not sure they forced the immortal Craig Anderson to make a single great save. They didn’t forecheck. They didn’t cycle. They had few rushes. It was just an absolute disgrace. They managed one goal when Gonchar gave the puck to his Russian buddy, but that was it. I encourage you all to come up with your own words to describe it.
Even Strength Defense: F-
If the offense was bad, the defense was even worse. No sooner had my wife and I agreed that Lovejoy had been good since coming back, did he then just hand the Sens two quick goals. First, he inexplicably skated away from Neil as he came out from, allowing him two crack to put it by BJ. Then he just got schooled by that elite offensive talent Nick Foligno, leading to another goal. Niskanen got caught out of position, allowing Spezza to have his way with BJ. Then Michalek left his brother all alone for an easy tap in. Just a total debacle.
Power Play: F
They only had one power play, and it was useless as usual. The Sens, as per normal, had the best scoring chance.
Penalty Kill: F
They left Michalek all alone in the crease for an easy tap (kick?) in.
Okay, it took half the season, but I have seen enough of Brent Johnson. Not that the first two goals last night were his fault. But the third one certainly was. Last night’s horrid performance left him with a sparkling .876 save percentage. Only two goalies with any significant playing time are worse. Only 5 goalies have lower GAA than his 3.46. And that’s twice in a row he has been yanked. It’s time to see what Brad Thiessen can do.
This might well be the low point of the Bylsma Era. The team just went through the motions last night. There was no spark, no fire. It does make you wonder if the players are tuning him out. I mean, how many times can you hear, “get to our game” before it just becomes white noise? He calls a timeout after the first two goals, and there was no noticeable effect. This team is dead in the water, and screaming for a change. But there is no change to be had. No trades to be made because they don’t have any healthy bodies to trade. No news from Sid. Or Letang. Just nothing. Total deadness. Silence. Depression.
And now, the rest of the story…
Yes, he scored a goal on the gift from his countryman, but that was his only shot of the game. And he was just as invisible at the other end, doing a beautiful fly-by backcheck on the first goal. And he took another of the lazy, stupid penalties that Brooksie called him out for last game.
Arron Asham: F
What a worthless hockey player. For a guy that’s supposed to be out there stirring things up, he sure is invisible. Well, except when he’s taking stupid penalties like the last two games he’s played.
Eric Tangradi: C
He looked good offensively, but ended up -2.
Simon Depres: I
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Wear your injury like a badge of honor.
Ben Lovejoy: F
He wins the Human Pylon Award tonight.
You knew the Pens were in for a long night when well-known Penguin-hater Steve Kozari was in the building. he and Justin St. Pierre did not disappoint.. The most egregious idiocy was the goalie interference sequence. First park for called on a very questionable goalie interference when he backed into Anderson, who promptly flopped like he’d been hit with a shot from an Uzi. Mere seconds later, Neil backs right into Fleury, quite obviously intentionally considering who it was. But no call. Huh? Not that the officiating made any difference. Even the most pro-Penguin officiating wouldn’t have been enough on this night.
Icehole of the Game
That was pretty impressive by Zack Smith. Who the hell takes a dive with his team dominating the game in the third period?
That goal by Spezza was something special. It’s one thing to have reach. It’s quite another to have the reach AND soft hands to be able to tuck a puck in from behind the goal line.
The Eunuch nailed Gonchar late in the game.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.