Pens/Flyers Game 5 Grades
Even Strength Offense: C
They did put two past Sievegalov, but they had trouble generating good scoring chances. They had only 41 shot attempts, one of the lowest they’ve had all year. They did have some good shifts here and there where they totally bottled the Flyers up, but those were few and far between. They got one goal on a rush by Staal and another after a good shift when Kennedy banged it home. Once they got the lead, though, they kind fo back off in the third, and the Flyers took it to them.
Even Strength Defense: C
The first half of the game, they were stifling. The Flyers generated very little. They were keeping everything to the outside. But once they got the lead, the Flyers just kept coming at them, and they had no answer other than to ice it. They allowed WAY too many quality scoring chances.
Power Play: B-
They scored one power play goal in three chances When Sullivan slapped home a beautiful pass from Letang. However, they really floundered most of the night, generating only one other shot on goal in almost six minutes of time.
Penalty Kill: F
They continue to be brutalized by the Flyer power play. It’s to the point they might as well just give the Flyers a goal if they take a penalty to save Fleury’s confidence and prevent injuries. They simply have no answer for the Flyers’ quick puck movement and great passing. The only hope is to get totally aggressive and just give them no time at all. Or put Sid and Geno out there and outskill them. They gave up two more last night, although one was one a 5-on-3.
Welcome back, Marc-Andre Fleury! He absolutely stole this game for them with his third period brilliance. He made one superlative save after another, especially during the Flyer power play. I totally lost count of how many spectacular saves he made. The crowd was chanting his name from the opening faceoff, and he gave them every reason to keep chanting it. He certainly wasn’t the same goalie we saw earlier in the series. If not for him, the whole team would be making tee times today. Instead, the season goes on. As someone tweeted last night, my three stars of the game are:
Thanks to Fleury, the Pens got away with one last night. Overall, they really didn’t play all that well. The power play got a goal but floundered most of the night. The PK was once again awful. And the Pens retreated into a shell once they got ahead. But for three words, they would be done right now. Marc. Andre. Fleury. What a show he put on to keep his team alive! He single-handedly covered up for his mates’ uneven play. The skaters need to be better. I’m not sure Fleury can be.
And now, the rest of the story…
I barely noticed him last night, well, except when he got leveled by Geno. h attempted only two shots the entire game. Not good enough.
He had a couple decent rushes, but was horrible otherwise. He attempted seven shots. But he took two dumb penalties that ended up with pucks in the back of the net. His horrid playoff continues.
Kris Letang: A
A beautiful pass to set up Sullivan’s goal.
Jordan Staal: A
Offensive machine. he scored again last night on an identical play to the previous game where he just zinged a wrister over the shoulder of the goalie on a 2-on-1. Believe it or not, he leads the team in playoff scoring right now. The only downside is that every goal makes that next contract more and more expensive.
Steve Sullivan: A
He just continues to produce.
Tyler Kennedy: A
I, and many others, have been highly critical of him all year. But he is producing in these playoffs. He has 6 points and is +2 so far. Maybe he’s been saving himself lol.
The Top 4 Defensemen: A
Letang, Orpik, Niskanen, and Michalek basically played the entire third period. The other three guys combined for 8:52 of ice time.
Comcast/NBC/NHL Officiating: F
It was as if Ed Snider himself handpicked the refs last night. Every time the Pens so much as breathed on a Flyer, the arm went up. Witness both Engelland’s and Malkin’s penalties. Yet Devorski and O’Rourke didn’t manage to see even a single Flyer infraction after the 53 second mark in the second. They couldn’t see Orpik’s stick being slashed out of his hands, yet they clearly saw Adams do the same thing to a Flyer. I would just like to know why it isn’t a total conflict of interest that the same guy who owns the Flyers also owns the TV networks that the league depends on for revenue. Can someone answer that for me?
Icehole of the Game
The poor little pixie Clod Giroux was so frustrated that he smashed his stick over the crossbar at the end of the game. And then there was this:
Marc-Andre Fleury’s entire third period. Goaltending just doesn’t get any better than that.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.