Well if you went to the CONSOL Energy Center today in order to see the Penguins shake the hands of the Tampa Bay Lighting then you were sorely disappointed. The Penguins game out like gang busters for the first 13 or 14 minutes and then they just fell off the proverbial edge. Tampa Bay took charge and silenced the rocking crowd in Pittsburgh. The Lighting got out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on a couple of quick goals and then cruised scoring three more times early in the second period. Fleury was chased after giving up four goals on 14 shots and it wasn’t much better for anyone else.
-Although MAF gave up four goals on 14 shots he was not even close to being the one to blame. The Penguins defense was out to lunch almost the entire game and really laid a egg. They were atrocious and really didn’t look like they were even awake for the game today. They were soft and not physical, letting Lightning players sit on the doorstep and make plays at will. Paul Martin was unusually bad and Kris Letang wasn’t much better. The good thing about this is that playing like this for our defense is more of an aberration than it is normality. I really wouldn’t be shocked if they came out in game six and played like this did in the Penguins wins.
-The Penguins power play really cost them in this game. Usually you talk about a power play being the difference in a close game, but when you need to come back and you are down two or three goals and you get a couple of power play chances and you don’t do anything with them. Sure, the Penguins were down 3-0 but they had a power play chance right after the third Lightning goal and if they put one in the back of the net there then this whole game is changed and they have a chance. They couldn’t do that and really floundered with the man advantage. Nothing new to people that actually watch the Penguins a lot, and it isn’t likely to chance, but whatever.
-Tampa Bay finally showed up to play and they seemed to take out a lot of pent up offensive frustration on the Penguins. Steve Stamkos finally showed up and scored two goals and so did Simone Gagne. This is something that Penguin fans do not want to see. If Stamkos decides to show up for every game then the Penguins might have a really tough time. A lot of this had to do with the horrid defense that the Penguins played today, but hopefully this isn’t a continuing trend.
-The noon game really sucked. Not because it cost the Penguins the game or it threw them off, but because this just was a shitty time to have a playoff hockey game. I know CBC wants to show the Canadian teams and all but this needs to be fixed.
-To be honest I think people are getting way too out of shape about this game. Does it suck that we can’t close out a series at home? Yea. Does it suck we have to go back to Tampa Bay? Yea. Is the series over? No. Being on Twitter today you would honestly have thought the Penguins were getting swept to day at the CONSOL Energy Center and that they never scored a goal in the series. People get way too high or way too low on one game of a seven game series. The series is set at 3-2 in the Pens favor, not the other way around. The Penguins have two shots to win one game, I will take that. If I told you before the series that the Pens would be up 3-2 before the series started going into game six everyone would take that 100 times over. This Penguins team has been through a lot and they are still in a pretty nice position. Please stop acting like one game is the definition of a series; you really make yourself look like an idiotic fan.
-MAF wasn’t strong, but like I said before this is a good bounce back team and an even better bounce back goaltender. I have a good feeling that the Penguins will bring their “A” game in Tampa and have a really good shot of winning the series. To be honest the Penguins aren’t that good at home in clinching games of the playoffs. Haven’t won a single one under Disco. The Penguins, under Dan Bylsma are 5-1 on the road in game clinchers. Take it for what it’s worth.
-The Penguins showed some life in the third period. After spotting the Lightning seven goals the Penguins put a few in and actually carried play for a good portion of the period. The crowd (that was left) actually got into it and it was really nice to see them show some life and maybe give Tampa Bay something to think about for game six. This isn’t like the Penguins didn’t have chances, they hit posts and had pucks nearly go into the net, it just didn’t happen. So is the life in the playoffs. Focus up for Monday.
Whatever. Bring on game six.