Pens At Canadiens Grades
Canadiens 3, Pens 2. Record in predicting winner: 21-10.
Even Strength Offense: D
Popguns on parade. Once again, they generated very few quality scoring chances. And only Neal was able to dent Price’s armour at even strength. For awhile in the second, play was going up and down and they did force Price to make some good saves. But for most of the night, they got Montrealed again. Shoot from the perimeter, get it blocked. Shoot from the perimeter, Price makes save, but nobody there for a rebound. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Even Strength Defense: B+
Their defense at even strength was pretty good for the most part. They allowed only the Leblanc goal where Letang (which I believe is French for “in a fog”) inexplicably floated over toward Engelland and left the whole left side wide open.
Power Play: F——-
That might just be the most hideous power play display you’ll ever see. Most of Montreal’s great scoring chances came while the Pens had the power play. it was one breakaway after another for Montreal. The play of the point guys (Sullivan and “in a fog”) was just brutal. Time after time, they let a Canadien escape the zone and take off on a breakaway on Fleury.
Penalty Kill: A
Montreal was a much bigger threat shorthanded than they were on the power play, and the Pens notched a shorty to boot. Nice play by Vitale to just throw it to the net, where it deflected off Dupuis.
Yes, it’s a brutal grade. But when you give up a brutal goal like the Eller one, you earn a brutal grade. That gaffe likely cost them a point. Errey made it out like it was some great play by Eller, but guys do that move all the time. It just never works, kind of like the fake the throw to third and try to pick the guy off first in baseball. It only works against sleeping opponents. Not to mention that Fleury wasn’t his usual stellar self in the shootout, either.
You just knew the Pens weren’t going to sweep a season series from Montreal. The hockey gods simply will not allow it. They showed up in full force, with the Pens hitting two posts in regulation and two more in the shootout. Then Eller’s goal goes in off both posts. What can you do? Well, you can not allow a brutal goal. You can get some scoring chances from a line other than the top one. You can have a power play that gets more chances than it gives. Do those things and you overcome the hockey gods.
And now, the rest of the story…
A much better effort last night, and a spectacular shootout goal.
James Neal: A
Hey notched a goal and had several other opportunities.
Dustin Jeffrey: F
Any resemblance between him and an NHL player is purely coincidental. When Staal comes back, bye bye Jeffrey.
In a Fog: F
Needs to be a healthy scratch until he gets his head out of his posterior. maybe the scrum at the end will do it.
Jack Adams: F
I cannot figure out why he continues to lead off the shootout with Letang, who has been awful (2/9) this year. It’s like he always has to do something fancy.
Pascal Dupuis wasn’t just flying. he wasn’t just soaring. He was levitating. But not so much that he was a Duperstar.
He made a windmill save on a wide open shot in front.
We have two. The first was the Eller goal. I had to look twice to make sure I actually saw that. But then Geno topped it with the spinorama shootout move. Maybe Letang should try that one.
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A guide to the game grades can be found here.