Pens Vs Islanders Game 2 Grades
Even Strength Offense: D
It was as bad as it was in Game 1, but this time, Nabokov was sharp and gave them no weak goals. They are not dominating zone time in the least. Total shot attempts in the first two games are Isles 141, Pens 105. That is just pathetic. For the most part, they are not getting in on the forecheck and bottling the Islanders up. And they are unable to get any transition offense working.
Even Strength Defense: F
The defensive zone coverage was just awful. Even when they were up 3-1, they were surrendering way too many quality chances. The “attention to detail” just wasn’t there. Guys were left wide open for shots and even rebounds. They were unable to move the puck out of their own zone. It reminded me of the Philadelphia debacle last year where they just hung Fleury out to dry.
Power Play: C
They notched an early power play goal when Sid tapped in a beautiful Iggy pass, but that was it for the night. The fancy power play returned, with way too much passing, too many giveaways, and not enough hard work.
Penalty Kill: D
The Pens actually scored a second power play goal. Unfortunately, this one was Paul Martin with an own goal. He failed to tie up Boyes’s stick and when the puck came to them, Boyes was able to whack Martin’s stick and guide it in. In general the PK sucked, as they were unable to clear the zone on numerous occasions when they had a chance. Again, it was mostly due to the Isles outworking them for loose pucks.
I want Vokoun in tomorrow. Yes, the Pens were outplayed. Yes, they gave up way too many shots. Yes, Fleury was outstanding in the first period. But the second and fourth goals simply cannot go in if you hope to win a playoff game. Back is the same old leaky Fleury from previous playoff debacles. I don’t care how many great saves he made, he once again erased it all by allowing to absolutely horrid goals. First, he fails to get over in time to stop a slow developing wraparound. Then, after another fairly weak goal by Matt Martin that I don’t totally blame on Fleury (but that he certainly could have been sharper on), he allowed one of the most clownish goals you will see. The shot goes wide, but as it rebounds off the back wall, he starts swimming around looking for it and guides it into his own net. He should have been yanked right there to send a message to the entire team about accountability.
And now we have a series. The Islanders played better in Game 1 than the score indicated, and totally dominated this one. There wasn’t a single facet of the game last night in which they weren’t better than the Pens. Okay, faceoffs. But that was it. For Pittsburgh, it was the Nightmare on Broad Street revisited. They played poorly from the outset, but got a 3-1 lead just because they were opportunistic. Shot attempts were 35-19 Islanders in the first period. That should have been a red flag, but it wasn’t. They just kept trying to pile on more goals, exhibiting their normal lack of attention to defense that the playoffs bring out of them. And in the end, they got what they deserved. Now the question becomes, was this a harbinger or a wake-up call?
And now, the rest of the story…
He scored two opportunistic goals, but was otherwise not very good. There are two good reasons for that—rust and the fishbowl helmet—that time will hopefully heal. But he had way too many giveaways and was not anywhere near his usual self along the boards.
He came out flying on that first shift and his great diving shot got past Nabokov.
Chris Kunitz: F
Did he play?
Paul Martin: F
The playoff, afraid-to-get-hit Paul Martin reappeared. He scored one into his own net and almost added a second for good measure.
Deryk Stinkelland: F
Was out there with his thumb up his posterior for the second and third goals. Also took two stupid penalties as he once again proved himself to be a very capable ECHL defenseman. But…
Jack Adams: F
Is it Stinkelland’s fault, or the fault of the idiot who keeps playing him? You saw this coming all season when he was Jack’s little pet. Anyone with even a quarter of a brain could see that Despres (despite some growing pains) and even Bortuzzo were better defensemen than Stinkelland. But Jack just keeps sticking with the guy because he can fight or something. And last night is what you get.
Then we have Jack getting outcoached by the mobster Jack capuano. Once again, it’s the playoffs and no adjustments were made. The Isles changed up their forecheck and bottled the Pens up. But our Jack just keeps throwing his guys out there trying to play the same way every night. The shot attempts in the first two games show that is not working. But I’m sure he’ll just tell the boys, get to our game,” and all will be well.
Same old, same old. The classic one was where Cooke and Hamonic came together. Cooke did nothing while Hamonic punched him in the face. But Cooke got two minutes for being Matt Cooke. Or how about the one where Sid got cross checked with no call, then Iginla just gives the guy a little shove and is sent off? The NHL has decreed that they need the New York audience and the refs are obeying.
Travis Hamonic, if for no other reason than Regis was gushing about him.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.