Pens At Islanders Game 6 Grades
Even Strength Offense: D
Yet another game in which they really didn’t generate many chances. The first 2 ½ periods were just pathetic, as they let the Islanders basically walk all over them. There was virtually no offense save for the two chances that went in. One was off a great rush by Crosby, the other on a nice centering pass by Vitale. The Pens started to awaken with about 10 minutes to go. Geno awoke from his slumber just in time to make a beautiful pass to Martin, who tied it up. Then he made a similar play behind the net to Kennedy, who slipped it to Orpik for a similar shot on the winner. But the scoring chances for the night were minimal as the Islanders continued to skate circles around them.
Even Strength Defense: D
Since this is tied so closely to the offense, it gets the same grade. This was a reprise of Game 4, but with a real goalie between the pipes for the Pens. The breakdowns were many and they were great. On the first goal, the Geno line was just running around in their own end and then Kunitz failed to spot Tavares in time.The second goal was a terrible play by Orpik, as he left the front of the net unattended to go help Martin behind the net. They lose the puck, bam, back of the net. The sad thing is Grabner came into the Pens’ end 1-on-4 and they end up scoring. The final one, I have no idea what happened. Vokoun either juggled the puck or intentionally tried to keep it moving. Then Dumbtang with an incredibly horrible giveaway and it’s in the net. Then we have all the odd-man breaks. And the times they were bottled up by the Islanders’ forecheck. it was just a mess.
Power Play: I
The one PP they did have was a stinkfest.
Penalty Kill: A
If there’s one thing that won them this series, it was the PK. That was the biggest difference between this series and last year. For the series, they killed 18 of 20. Some of this was goaltending at times, but many other occasions they just stifled the Islanders. It was tremendous all series.
Vokoun wasn’t perfect, but he was just good enough. The only goal where he could be blamed at all was the last one because of how he played the puck. Even if he did screw that up, they were still in good shape until the Letang giveaway. And he had about zero chance on any of the shots.
This might be about as undeserved a win as you will get in the playoffs. You almost have to feel sorry for the Islanders, as they sure didn’t get what they deserved in this one. The Pens certainly didn’t earn the win, either. But the overwhelming skill advantage manifested itself just in time at the end when Geno finally decided to play. Just like the series, pretty much every metric you want to look at would suggest the Islanders would have won last night. You can chalk it up to the poise of the Pens, or maybe just dumb luck. Long point shots by Martin and Orpik probably had no business going in, but somehow they did. But then again, both were set up by great plays by Geno. So somewhere in the middle lies the truth. The Pens can play much better, but they might not get as much to show for it if their luck starts to run dry.
And now, the rest of the story…
He had the one rush for the goal, but really wasn’t all that noticeable otherwise.
I’ll say this, he showed up when it counted most. But he was absolutely brutal up until then
James Neal: F
He must still be hurt. For the second straight playoff, he was just terrible.
Tyler Kennedy: B
Another solid game by him, including setting up the winner.
Chris Kunitz: F
He failed to backcheck on Tavares. Other than that, he was invisible.
Kris Letang: F
The only tape-to-tape pass he made all night was the one to Aucoin.
Another “why the hell do you even bother having refs” game. As it went along, it was obvious that Daddy’s Boy and Rooney are the Garage League’s go-to guys when they need a result. Yes, the Pens were outplayed, but the lack of calls on the Islanders had to be intentional. They were just manhandling the Pens with no calls at all. The classic example was the shift where Iginla got nailed from behind with no call on a play that was almost a carbon copy of the one where they had called Morrow earlier.
Brooks Orpik, overtime winner? That might be even more surprising than Kasper way back in the day.
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A guide to the game grades can be found here.