Pens Vs Rangers Grades
Even Strength Offense: A
They scored only two on Luckqvist, but they had chance after chance after chance. They tied the Ranger up in their own zone for long periods of time, even after they were up 3-0. It was a thoroughly dominant performance. They notched the only goal they would need a minute and a half in when Bennett slammed one past a stunned Luckqvist, quickly wiping the smirk from the Swedish metrosexual’s face. The Pens kept peppering him until they finally put the game away with a sweet move by Duperstar off a nice pass by Jeffrey.
Even Strength Defense: A
They gave the Rangers squat most of the game. Sure, there was a chance or two here and there, but nothing felt threatening. There were no open looks in front. No horrid screens or deflections. The Pens did a magnificent job of keeping everything to the outside. THe defense combo they dressed yesterday might be their most effective one, though I imagine that Engelland will be back in today because “toughness” is required.
Power Play: A
They scored a key goal late to put the Rangers out of their misery. Of course, up until that moment, it had looked wretched as the pass-pass-pass-blocked shot-cleared power play reared itself. But leave it to Tyler Kennedy to finally get a shot through.
Penalty Kill: A
Only two shots against, and they were harmless. They totally frustrated the Rags.
Fleury did what he needed to. It certainly wasn’t the toughest shutout you’ll ever see, but he did make a few key stops while the game was still 1-0. The new defensive emphasis has made him a much more relaxed goalie who doesn’t feel the need to have to do everything.
Yes, the rare A+. It doesn’t get any better than this in the regular season. A dominant shutout against a hated rival. A “give-up” by the opposing coach, who played his bottom two lines almost exclusively once it was 3-0. Well, except he played Gaborik on the last shift. They pressured the Rangers all day long. They kept everything to the outside in their own end. They got the big save when they needed it.
And now, the rest of the story…
No points. What’s up with THAT???
Tyler Kennedy: A
I crap on him all the time, but he was excellent yesterday. His breakout pass set up the Bennett goal and he was the only guy who dared to shoot on the power play when they were up a man AND a Ranger had lost a stick.
Dustin Jeffrey: A
Two assists for him. He was the only player on the ice for both even strength goals.
Kris Letang: A
Another excellent game at even strength.
Simon Despres: A
He’s in the lineup. They win. Simple as that. I think it’s up to 18-4?
Steigy asked why Girardi was barking at the ref after Sid interfered with him. Um, because Sid got away with one, maybe?
We had two. First was the namesake himself all alone in front, holding, holding, holding, then holding it some more. No shot though, just a broken up pass.. Then Sutter carried in on a 2-on-1 with Eaton. And tried to pass to Eaton. Um, no, bad move.
BlindMassenhoven and Furlatt made a mockery of the rules yesterday. I pretty much lost count of how many things they let the Rangers get away with. Glass’s stick was slashed out of his hands. Automatic, until yesterday. Eminger then tackled Glass beside the net. No call. McDonough pinned Sid to the boards for a good 5 seconds. No call. Who knows how many more there were?
How long did he go on about stick tape? I wanted to put a piece of it over his mouth.
Canine Obesity: F
Somehow, our dogs seem to be gaining wait. Could it have something to do with them now barking for biscuits when they hear us cheer for a goal?
Micheal Haley, because he was on the ice and because his parents were too dumb to know how to spell the name.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.