Pens At Sens Game 3 Grades
Even Strength Offense: D-
They managed only one goal against Craig Andersuck. That in and of itself is embarrassing. But what was really humiliating is how pretty much every shot hit him right in the crest. The problem was they were not doing the little things that lead to playoff goals. There were no screens. There was rarely anyone in front to jab at the plethora of rebounds Andersuck was kicking out. They decided they had the series won and quit playing the way they did in Game 2.
Even Strength Defense: B
It was adequate until the game-winner. Ottawa did that little thing called going to the net for a rebound and look what happened. The Pens had actually played a solid defensive game up until that goal, a goal that felt inevitable. They had blocked lots of shots as they clung to that 1-0 lead. They seemed to be in perfect position. They were playing solid defense, and then…
Power Play: Z——-
It was pathetic all game long as Ottawa pressured them all over the ice. They did manage 12 shots into Andersuck’s crest, but they really never had anything going most of the night. Sid was in power play killer mode, making one bad pass after another. Neal was his usual invisible playoff self. And then they capped it off by giving up one of the most heinous goals in NHL history, as five guys combined to look like they had never played hockey before and left the Old Diving Whining Choking Dog all alone in the slot for an easy shorty. They topped off the evening by failing to score on the rest of that power play as well as one in OT.
Penalty Kill: A
Perfect once again. They allowed only 2 shots in 5 ½ minutes of time. They are totally stifling the Sens’ power play.
They really wasn’t anything Vokoun could do about either goal. The first was a deft deflection by Alfredsson and the second was a rebound on a puck off his shoulder. .
We all know why this is. When you lose a game you had no business losing, this is the grade you get. They’re just lucky it isn’t lower. This is certainly one of the biggest gacks in playoff history. It happened because of poor coaching combined with pathetic execution. This series should be over right now. Instead, Ottawa has all the momentum in the world because of six moronic boneheads, each of whom will now be called out.
And now, the rest of the story…
The perpetrators are named in order of level of responsibility.
Jack Adams: F
As soon as I saw who was on the ice for what should have been a power kill, I turned to my wife and said, “no, you cannot possibly have Malkin out there for the power kill.” There is absolutely no way on God’s green earth that one of the worst defensive players in the league out there in this situation. He thinks offense first, offense always. He has no clue where to be in his own end. And you have him out there trying to protect a lead??? Have you ever heard of that guy named Pascal Dupuis? Whatever happened to that ace defensive combo you were bragging about? You know, Sutter, Adams, and Dupuis? Why were none of them out there to start the power kill? You have a minute and a half to go AND a timeout. Those three could have gone the distance And while I can’t really criticize the defense pairing, perhaps the message should have been sent to the players on the ice by having Orpik out there?
I don’t give a crap how well he played until “the play.” I don’t care how hard he tried to make up for it. He just flat-out gave Alfredsson that chance by not having his head on a swivel on the backcheck. Why? because he has no defensive awareness.
Paul Martin: F
Paul Martin erased a season worth of smart play in one fell swoop. In fact, it would be justifiable to put him ahead of Geno on the list. For a reason known only to him and maybe some other stupid hockey players somewhere, he decided to abandon his left defense position and chase the play to the right wing board. There is simply no logical reason for this, especially on the power play. It can only be described as a glorious choke.
Kris Letang: F
He failed to read that martin had strayed far from his position and was fixated on the puck. he was way too far to his right in this situation. had he taken the center of the ice, we wouldn’t be talking about Geno.
Brandon Sutter: F
Not a major contributor to the mess, but he did make a very weak attempt at a stick check at the blue line, allowing the Sens easy entry and starting the whole sequence.
Chris Kunitz: F
He had Alfredsson way back in the Ottawa zone, but let him blow away from him. I don’t blame him as much because I don’t think he can be expected to track Alfredsson all the way. He’s not fast enough.
Craig Andersuck: F
Anybody looks good when you wear out his crest due to lack of concentration.
Little Jimmy Neal: F
Plain and simple, he’s a playoff choker. His career totals are now 19 games, 4 goals. And one of those was an OT winner that never should have gone in. If Jokinen is healthy, they need to consider benching Neal in favor of a more useful player.
Jarome Iginla: SOW
Slow, old, washed up.
The Senators played a Flyer-like game last night. In other words, take a penalty on every shift because they can’t call them all. A few of the more egregious one they got away with:
Iginla got boarded and had the stick slashed out of his hands on the same shift with no call on either.
Geno was blatantly tripped on a scoring chance. No call.
He gave out two. One was on Pageau at center ice. The other was one of my all-time favorites. He just splattered Chris neal as the latter slid into the boards. Neal looked to be hurt on the play, so I’m sure Melnyk has a forensic scientist on the case already.
Inverse Crank You
Neil tried to hit Crankshaft. Big mistake. Guess who went flying?.
Yes, thank you Chris Neil. You had a wide open net to tie the game, and you put it right in Vokoun’s pads.
Here’s that name yet again. Neil intentionally fell on Vokoun after a whistle. Tells you just what kind of clown he is.
Note: You might notice Sid’s name was missing from the grades. That’s because I wanted to make him as invisible as he was last night.
I’m on Twitter.
A guide to the game grades can be found here.