Pens Vs Flyer Grades
Even Strength Offense: B
It took 62:33, but they finally got an even-strength shot past Bryzgaluck. They had chance after chance throughout the game, but they just couldnâ€™t put one past the sieve. They fired wide on numerous great chances, making his job easier than it should have been. Finally, Tyler Kennedy, shooting machine was not deterred after having one shot blocked. He got the puck back, reloaded, and, bam, game over.
Even Strength Defense: A-
In a rare showing, they played a solid defensive game against the orange and black. They kept things close to the vest offensively, and they were generally well-positioned defensively. They basically took the way they usually play in Philly and brought it to home ice. They were once again strong in front of their own net, cleaning up rebounds and not allowing the Flyers to clog the crease like they often do.
Power Play: A
It came through with an absolutely HUGE 5-on-3 goal to tie the game late. Up until that point, the 5-on-3 had been largely ineffective. They kept the puck in the entire time, but did not generate a single shot on goal until Sidâ€™s one-timer from the right dot. But they get the A because they came through when it counted.
Penalty Kill: I
They only had one PK chance, so itâ€™s not really fair to judge. But they did allow the usual power play goal to the goons from the east when Tanner Glass made a perfect pass to Clod, who one-timed it past a stunned Fleury
Fleury was solid once again, allowing only the aforementioned goal. My wife and I had a bit of an argument on whether he should have stopped that one. I, being hard on him, said he could have. Or in the parlance, â€œit was one he would want back.â€
They really did everything right in this one. They played solid defense. They generated offensive chances. But the puck just would not get past Brygaluck. They never wavered, though. They stuck to their game and took advantage of the inevitable Flyer penalties. Gone was the lack of discipline against this outfit (it helped that Geno and Letang, two primary culprits, didnâ€™t dress). Gone was the leaky defense. Gone was the desire to outscore them. They just played pure, simple hockey and let the Flyers beat themselves, as they usually will if you let them.
And now, the rest of the storyâ€¦
It wasnâ€™t his best game, but he came through with the power play goal when they needed it.
Tyler Kennedy: A
For once, his shoot-first, ask questions later mentality paid off.
James Neal: C
Missed the net on a couple good chances, but took zero undisciplined penalties.
Paul Martin: A
The guy is just a horse this year. I know he wonâ€™t be, but shouldnâ€™t he at least be in the conversation when the Norris comes up?
Simon Despres: A
Heâ€™s in the lineup. They win. Simple as that. I think itâ€™s up to 20-4?
Tanner Glass: A
Congrats to him on his first assist as a Penguin. Oh, uh, wait. That perfect pass was to Giroux to the Flyer goal.
Deryk Stinkelland: F
Once again, he managed to be on the ice for the only Flyer goal. Of course, it really wasnâ€™t his fault, so there is that.
Lil Wayne: F
Poor Lil Wayne. He was so upset by the winning goal that he disgustedly slammed his stick into the ice. Tough break, pal, eh?
The Morrow/Morrow Trade: A
Brenden Morrow brings an element of grit to the Geno line that has been sorely lacking with everyone else theyâ€™ve tried there. He will open up ice and forecheck for loose pucks. Yes, heâ€™s not the same guy he was two years ago, but a run for the Cup will energize him. The guy is an absolute warrior who once played in a playoff game with a broken ankle. He is what they need more of. As for Joe, well, Iâ€™m guessing the Pens have been very disappointed by his transition to the pro game. I am thinking they put out the â€œuntouchableâ€ thing a couple weeks ago to up his value. He might yet develop; he might not. But this team has to be in win-now mode.
Good gawd, were these clowns horrendous last night. They missed one call after another on the Flyers. Fartsmell knocked Fleury down in the crease. No call. Voracek basically slew footed Martin. No call. Coburn got away with at least two blatant trips. Dupuis got cross checked in the back in the final minute, sending him violently into the boards. St. Laurent just stared at it dumbfounded. Then they call Martin for â€œslashingâ€ when his follow through on a pass attempt his some Flyer scum in the face. Absolute jokes.
He absolutely pasted Kurtis Foster into the boards.
Peter Laviolette. He is a cheater, plain and simple. Just this week, I had read an article on how coaches “cheat”: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/five-nhl-rules-changes-gms-recommend-fancy-meeting-162351968—nhl.html (item 3) after icing calls to buy time. Laviolette did it again last night. He intentionally put six guys on after a Flyer icing call. That took the clown refs half a day to figure out. Then he doubled down by putting Simmonds in to take the draw and intentionally get thrown out. Who needs to waste a timeout when the refs allow you to get away with this crap?
Iâ€™m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.