Pens At Lightning Grades
Even Strength Offense: A
The Pens were simply dominant after the first 5 minutes or so. They kept the puck in Tampa’s end much of the time, ending up with 26 even-strength shots. They also put three of those past a leaky Ben Bishop. Jokinen started the fun by knocking a Morrow rebound past Bishop and later ended the parade by deflecting a Murray shot. In between, Geno scored a spectacular Geno-of-last-year goal to break their backs at the start of the third period.
Even Strength Defense: A
They allowed only 14 even-strength shots to a disorganized Lightning outfit. And none of the got past Vokoun, nor were they particularly threatening. They pretty much held Stamkos at bay, aiding in Sid’s scoring title quest.
Power Play: A
The second unit notched the first one after the top unit really struggled on the first penalty. Kennedy had a nice rush and Dupuis finished it off. The top unit got in on the act early in the second when Kunitz deflected an Iginla buzz bomb. Then late in the game, Bylsma put Tanner Glass out for some garbage work and lo and behold, he actually scored! The PP, after the first attempt, looked good the rest of the night, putting 13 shots on goal in over 9 minutes of time.
Penalty Kill: F
Now that was ugly. All three goals against were on the power play. And all three times, it was guys left alone in front that scored. I discount the last one because it didn’t matter. On the first one, Stamkos made a great pass when everyone thought he’d shoot. That will happen. But the second one was just a breakdown.
Vokoun really wasn’t tested very often, but there was little he could do on the first and third goals.
A tremendous performance. The Pens pretty much steamrolled a hapless opponent like they should. As Regis said a couple times last night, this team is scary right now. To do this without Sid, Neal, and Martin, and your backup goalie playing, is pretty incredible. Imagine the depth up and down this lineup when (if?) those guys get healthy. You could conceivably have a guy like Jokinen on the fourth line. Not too shabby.
And now, the rest of the story…
He had an excellent game save for one dumb penalty. He is starting to get more pucks on the net (8 last night).
Jarome Iginla: A
That was a rocket that Kunitz deflected.
Jussi Jokinen: A
And to think Carolina is paying some of his salary. Methinks Shero has found another fleecing partner.
Pascal Dupuis: A
His amazing season continues, even without Sid. He gets very little attention, but his body of work is just amazing these past couple years. Seriously, how many people in the Minnesota, New York or Atlanta organizations would have ever envisioned anything remotely like this? Or even Shero, if he’s being honest? Talk about an unsung hero.
He earns an A+ for putting Glass on that late power play. But Stinkelland is still playing and Despres is still sitting.
Douglas Murray: F
He was on for all three power play goals against, and they were all in his area of responsibility.
The sequence where they called Bennett for a hook when he barely touched the guy, followed by the Lightning blatantly interfering with Dupuis at the blue line, leading to a goal stands out in my mind. They also let Radko Goonas run wild in the third with no consequences. Oh, and please explain why Crumbeem didn’t get an instigator for going after Murray.
Tampa Bay and that whole squalid division
Why is Goonas in the NHL?
He nailed Sh!t Louis behind the net then got Panik for good measure.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.