Pens At Hurricanes Grades
Even Strength Offense: D
It was a Montreal playoff style game for the Pens. They threw 63 pucks toward Cam Who?, but about 62 of them had no chance of going in because they were just thrown aimlessly toward the net, Okay, I exaggerate (when donâ€™t I?). But you get the point. They had a few good chances early on, but once Carolina went ahead, forget it. The Pens were just flailing. Tyler Kennedy attempted only one less shot than Crosby and Neal combined. Need I say more?
Even Strength Defense: H
As in hideous. Folks, Comedy Central defense has returned. Niskanen started the hilarity when he passed it right to a Hurricane for a breakaway right off the get-go. Dupuis had another minutes later. On the first goal, they all got out worked and outhustled by Alex Semin. Crosby allowed Staal to go unimpeded to the net for the deflection. The second goal was even worse, and as comical as they get (well, unless youâ€™re Fleury). Niskanen allowed Staal three cracks on a wraparound as he stood there watching. Sid stood beside the net scratching his butt and Martin was in never-never land as Tlusty put it in the open net. Third goal, more of the same from Martin and Bortuzzo. They just got outworked and outhustled the entire shift. On the final goal, Bortuzzo got abused by Eric Staal as Sid went for a leisurely skate into the corner. That left Tlusty all alone in front. Game over.
Power Play: F
The PP was back in total suck mode last night, led by Ledumb. He had zero idea what he was doing out there. Four shots by the unit in over 8 minutes of time, and none of those was a good chance. If Martin is out, a trade for Gonchar is sounding better and better.
Penalty Kill: A
They killed all five stupid penalties they took.
Okay, maybe it wasnâ€™t an actual A performance. But if not for Flower, carolina might have gotten to double digits. Thatâ€™s how bad the team in front of him was. He even set up the breakout on the Pensâ€™ only goal by poking the puck to Sid. I was shocked Bylsma didnâ€™t grant him a mercy pull after the second period. Oh wait, that would have been smart.
Just putrid. They got outworked by Alex Semin. Tyler Kennedy was by far their best player. Need I say more?
And now, the rest of the storyâ€¦
He appeared lazy and disinterested. Trying to get a coach fired, are we Sid? If so, thank you, thank you, thank you.
James Neal: F
Did he play?
Kris Letang: F
He is not getting better with age.
Tyler Kennedy: A
Hey, at least he earned his paycheck. Fire away, TK!
The Fourth Line: F
Is it just me, or does this unit totally suck? I mean, I donâ€™t expect a lot from a fourth line, but you know, maybe a scoring chance once every couple games would be nice. Instead, they just get trapped in their own end every shift.
Matt Niskanen: F
He should not have had a shift after his brutal first period. But our coach doesnâ€™t take away ice time like that. He has a plan and does not deviate from it.
Robert Bortuzzo: B
As in bye bye. If BYlsma is true to form, this one bad game by a rookie means ten eating nachos will follow. Funny how that never applies to Engelland, though.
Fleury making it through the game with his sanity intact.
NHL Network: F
Gawd, this outfit is awful. Would anyone care if they just went away? Last night, in the middle of the scrum at the end of the first period, they cut away to the studio so we could listen to some whiney-voiced guy named Mark Fisheggs.
Some stiff named Harrison was just cross-checking Penguins all night long. Oh for somebody to do that for the Pens.
Iâ€™m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.