Pens At Senators Grades
Even Strength Offense: D
Yes, they scored three goals. I certainly canâ€™t argue with that. But did you know they had only eight (yes, you read that right) shots on goal in 5-on-5 hockey. It just so happened that three went in. But eight shots all night? I knew they werenâ€™t getting much zone time, even when it was 0-0. They just never got any offense going all night. That was to be expected with all the injuries. But they managed to put three of those eight shots behind a stunned Craig Anderson. The first two were a result of beautiful passing, and the third was just plain hard work by Cooke.
Even Strength Defense: C
As usual, the Senators threw lots of pucks toward the net. They certainly dominated zone time. The Pens had trouble getting the puck out at times. It wasnâ€™t pretty, but they got the job done.
Power Play: B
They had more shots in 7:57 of power play time than they did in 43:13 of even strength time. But oddly they didnâ€™t score on the PP, mainly due to some big saves by Anderson. The PP looked good and was moving the puck well.
Penalty Kill: A
The Sens got a PP goal, but it was really a 4-on-4 tally. Otherwise, the Pens shut them down completely.
Another stellar effort from Vokoun. I will say this about the playoffs. There should be no hesitation to yank Fleury if he struggles. Vokoun is more than capable of carrying the load. Did you know he has started every single playoff game since heâ€™s been a Pen? You have to wonder if that streak might end this year.
To win on the road against a playoff team with all the distractions and an all star lineup of scratches speaks volumes about where they are right now. The new guys have fit in beautifully. They allowed some shots last night, but not a lot of great chances. And of course they are getting the great goaltending from both guys. Now, if they could just get healthy.
And now, the rest of the storyâ€¦
Jarome Iginla: A
I never realized how well he can shoot the puck
Brenden Morrow: A
What beautiful passes to set up Jeffrey and Iginla.
Ottawa Senators: F
How can any NHL team allow Tyler Kennedy 11 goals in 20 games?
Dustin Jeffrey: A
Despite rarely playing, he looked right at home last night.
Pascal Dupuis: A
That new contract heâ€™ll get goes up every game. Remember when this was all the rage?
Did UPMC transplant bionic hands onto him or something?
And now the fun stuff.
There will be no single Icehole named for this game. There are just far too many of them to single out just one. Here are a few worthy candidates.
This clown sure makes you appreciate good ownership. Can you imagine if a real owner like Mario was out there in the press saying he was working with forensic scientists to prove the guilt of an opposing player? he would be laughed out of hockey. But Melnyk can get away with it because nobody takes him seriously anyway. Why am I guess that as soon as he starts speaking at a Board of Governors meeting, out come the smart phones around the table to everyone can catch up on e-mail?
He fed the monthter by inthinuating Cookeâ€™th guilt.Dude, this game passed you by long ago. He has been in the league as a coach or GM since 1981 and never won a Stanley Cup. Thatâ€™s why heâ€™s a bitter old man.
Can you please tell me why they didnâ€™t heavily fine or even suspend Melnyk for his idiotic and incendiary comments?
And, finally, Chris Neil
He could have been given an instigator penalty every time he stepped on the ice. Probably should have been. Then he about decapitated Simon Despres behind the net. Now, I understand that Despres bears some responsibility for the hard hit he took. heâ€™ll learn. But why Neil was allowed to get off with only two minutes and likely no suspension just baffles me. He clearly targeted Despresâ€™s head with either an elbow or a forearm. Despresâ€™s head does not change position prior to the hit. It was a hit from the blind side. Yet I donâ€™t hear anyone talking about a suspension for him. If there isnâ€™t one, might I suggest Mario hire a forensic scientist to prove it was an illegal hit?
Francois Sh!t Laurent outdid himself last night. He put on one of the most disgraceful displays of officiating you will ever see. It was quite obvious from the opening draw that he was assigned this game to placate Ottawa. It seemed like every scrum, he gave the Pens the extra minor despite the fact it was clear that Ottawa was the team instigating everything. He was doing everything in his power to protect the Senators from themselves. It is a complete mystery why he was even assigned to this game.
He splattered Neil late in the game.
Iâ€™m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.