Pens At Jets Grades
Even Strength Offense: C
Unlike against the Leafs, they at least generated some offense in this one. They dominated the first 15 minutes or so, when Sid scored twice. But then they decided the game was won and really didn’t do as much thereafter. They did have lots of shots, but (SSDD) most of them were from the perimeter.
Even Strength Defense: F
They left Vokoun on an island pretty much all game long. SSDD, it was just one giveaway after another that led to Winnipeg goals. First goal, Cooke with a bad turnover up the boards ends up in the net. Third goal, Neal and Geno team up for a horrid turnover trying to be fancy. Bang, in the net. Those two plays epitomize the Bylsma “go north” system. They had total control of the puck in their own end and were so anxious to get north that they never worried about the consequences of making a failed play. When is this organization going to break down and admit that this system simply doesn’t work because all they end doing is playing pond hockey?
Power Play: I
When they only have 1:10 of power play time, you can’t judge it.
Penalty Kill: F
Yeah, I think it’s a good idea to let Byfuglien wind up from the center point and blast 100 mph slappers at my goalie. Do you agree?
SSDD. Well, if Vokoun thought he had it bad playing for bad teams, he’s learning that being a Penguin goalie might be the most thankless job in sports. Most of the night, he needed a telescope to spot any of his forwards. He’s got Geno handing the other guys the puck. He’s got defensemen failing to block out and get body position in front. He is forced to hold opponents’ sticks because his defensemen won’t tie them up. Tomas, I know you said you wanted to win, but there has to be an easier team to do it with.
For the second straight game, the second period was a debacle. For those scoring at home that’s 6-1 against the last two second periods. Once again, they got up early and forgot how to play sound hockey. Either Byslma’s message ain’t getting through anymore, or worse, it is. Either way, and good feelings generated by the first two games are long gone as the real Penguins slowly show themselves. I saw an interview with Dan Ellis on NHL Network this morning where he said it will take most teams from 4-6 games to feel comfortable in their systems. Well, the Pens must have been playing on fumes when they won the first two, now Bylsma’s system is taking effect and we see what happens.
And now, the rest of the story…
In his first visit to Winnipeg, he dazzled. That second goal was a thing of beauty.
For the second game in a row, he was putrid. He had a chance to bury one in the second, but shot it along the ice, allowing Pavelec to make a pad save. When you’re paid $8.7 mil a year, you bury that one. You don’t shoot it like Craig Adams. He had a giveaway then took a dumb lazy penalty. He had a giveaway that led to a goal. Somebody needs to tell him he’s ain a real hockey league now, not some pond hockey league like the KHL. SSDD.
James Neal: F
Is it me, or is he playing way too much on the perimeter?
Tyler Kennedy: F
Nothing epitomizes Kennedy more than the play where Neal was passing to Geno (or vice versa?) and Kennedy intercepts it to fire a one-timer. This will not work because it also removes and hint of scoring from the third line.
Brandon Sutter: C
He’s a C. Average. Mediocre. Typical third line player. He has zero offensive talent from what I’ve seen. But he is good defensively. Well, except for that lovely 3/13 on faceoffs.
Ben Lovejoy: B
Interestingly, he looked more confident jumping into the play than Despres had. And he was even on the night, so not too bad.
These last two games neatly sum up what’s wrong with the NHL. Against the Leafs, you couldn’t breathe on your opponent without something being called. Last night, you had to murder somebody to get a call. I’m not saying which one is right and which one is wrong, but the lack of consistency is appalling. When you don’t know from one game to the next what’s a call and what isn’t, how are you supposed to play the game?
Bibsy’s Tortured English
He actually had the nerve to compare Tyler Kennedy to Brett Hull. At least he said Kennedy wasn’t there yet, but anyone who thinks Kennedy ever will be like Hull really needs to have their head examined.
So many choices, so little time. SSDD. But I’ll go with the giveaway on the power play, only because he then took a stupid lazy penalty trying to make up for it.
Oh, and if you don’t know what SSDD means, here you go
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.