Pens At Islanders Grades
Even Strength Offense: D
It was a C the last two periods, but the rare F- for the first period. That was a horrendous a display of “hockey” as you will ever see. They registered only 4 shots that period, none of them the least bit threatening. They did come alive a bit after that and managed to put three past a sleeping Nabokov. Shockingly, the fourth line came through with the first one when the Isles gave it to Adams, who found Vital Joe for an open twisted wrister. They got a huge goal late in the second when Kunitz put one through Nabokov’s five hole on a very weak shot. Sutter notched another game-winner when he took a beautiful feed from Cooke on a 2-on-1. In those final two periods, they did play the Isles on about even terms
Even Strength Defense: D+
Not a good effort at all. They gave the Isles way, way too many good looks, especially in the first period. They failed to clear on so many occasions that I lost count. They left guys open at the point (like Streit on the first goal). They left guys open in front to gobble up rebounds (like Bailey on the second goal). it was just a complete and utter disaster in the first period, but did slowly improve after that as the effort picked up.
Power Play: F
Not many opportunities and even fewer scoring chances.
Penalty Kill: A
Perfect again as the Isles didn’t even register a shot in their almost four minutes of time.
Vokoun was absolutely spectacular. Were it not for him, this game would have been out of hand after the first period. As the Pens sleepwalked through it, he stood tall and allowed only a deflection goal. But then again, it might have been his own fault. It looked like he had gone to his team before the game and told them he was bored playing PPIH. he asked them to play some Florida Panther ice hockey just to help keep him sharper and remind him of the good old days of 40 shots a night. And they obliged. He got only an A- because he sure was spitting out some juicy rebounds.
On the day that Alex Kovalev retired, the Pens decided to honor him by playing Kovy in a Fog” hockey in the first period. And they did such a good job of it. That was as putrid as it gets. Luckily they were playing the Islanders and not an NHL team or the game would have been lost those first 20 minutes. Once they got the Kovy tribute out of the way, they played better. They didn’t ever sustain a lot of offense. But they were able to score three transition goals that didn’t require a lot of sweat equity. Thank goodness, because nobody really broke a sweat last night.
And now, the rest of the story…
He was headed for an F, but managed to notch two assists. Overall, though, he was mostly terrible. Almost all his passes went awry.
Vital Joe: A
Did Shero tell him he was in the market for fourth liners or something? That’s two in three games for him.
James Neal: D
I’m guessing he wants his Geno back lol.
Brandon Sutter: A
Game-winning goal specialist.
Simon Despres: A
He’s in the lineup. They win. Simple as that. I think it’s up to 19-4?
Tanner Glass: A
Congrats to him on his first goal as a Penguin. Oh, uh, wait. That beautiful deflection was past his own goalie. But hey, it was at least nice to know he is capable of putting a puck past a goaltender.
Deryk Engelland: F
Can we have Robert Bortuzzo, please? He was skating around aimlessly in front as Bailey scored. He is just awful beyond belief. No team hoping to win a championship would ever have this career minor leaguer for a reason in their top 6.
There was only one call until halfway through the third, then suddenly Devorski and LaRue discovered there was a hockey game in progress. They made three call in the next six minutes. But then, Martin gets blatantly tripped and they revert back to their old standard. You know guys, just be consistent. Even if it’s consistently bad.
NHL Network: F
Their NHL Tonight hosts, especially between periods, are absolutely brutal. The ONLY ones worth anything are Kathryn Tappen and Kevin Weekes. Those two are good, especially together. But the rest of the clowns like Jamie McClennan might as well go back in their holes.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.