Monday, October 17, 2011

Penguins Game 7 Recap - Jets 2, Penguins 1

Going into the game you are pinned up against a team that can’t score very many goals and has a goaltender that has a GAA north of 4.00 and a team that just isn’t that good. What did you think was going to happen? I mean in all seriousness the Jets were going to win a game eventually and tonight they played a really good hockey game. Are they going to win the Stanley Cup? Probably not, but they sure celebrated like it tonight after a 2-1 game against the Penguins.

The Jets scored right off the bat. When I say right of the bat I mean eight seconds into the game. It was that kind of day early as the Jets were all over the Penguins. It took Pittsburgh over 12 minutes to get its first shot on goal and it didn’t look good. Somehow they weathered the storm and were looking to go into the first intermission only down one. Unfortunately for the Pens the Jets go another tally on the board with just over a minute and a half left in the period. Gut punch.

All in all the Penguins played a ton better after that first 10 minutes. They dictated play for much of the second and third period and might have won by 12 goals if they capitalized on even half of the scoring opportunities they had. Not just any scoring opportunities but solid scoring chances. They hit the post a handful of times and were just missing the net by inches. Frustrating to watch but sometimes it happens.

Oh yea the Penguins are only playing with like half of the team right now. Not as if that would have not made us have a lull or mean that we couldn’t lose, but having Malkin and Crosby on the ice gives us a little more offensive opportunities than Mark Letestu and Steve MacIntyre.

All told this was a great hockey game to watch. Outside of the first 10 minutes this was a great up and down contests with great scoring opportunities and equally great goaltending. I know that most people think a low scoring 2-1 game is probably looked at as boring but this was a great game to watch. Too bad the Penguins couldn’t pull it out.

I have to give big ups to Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. Dude stood on his head for the second and third period and gave his team a great performance. There were numerous opportunities for the Penguins to tie this game up but Pavelec continued to shut the door and gave the Penguins nothing. He flashed a great glove hand and was the main reason that this Jets team picked up its first win of the season.

Marc Andre Fleury also played a pretty good game. Just like Pavelec he was on his game and even on the two goals he gave up they were pretty good plays that were started by turnovers. MAF made countless huge saves to keep the Penguins in the game and nobody can say that this one was on him. Nice bounce back after letting up a goal in the first eight seconds.

I talked about it a little bit in my short MAF piece but the Penguins are giving up the puck way too much and making too many mental mistakes. Ben Lovejoy look lost for a majority of the night and Zbynek Michalek still hasn’t played very well this season so that isn’t good. When you are without guys like Malkin and Crosby you can’t make simple mistakes, that will lose you games and it did tonight. Am I worried about the defense as a whole for the rest of the season? No. This was the Penguins seventh game of the season already and they play 13 games in the month of October. That is a lot of hockey. They will be alright.

Penguins are in Minnesota tomorrow night. Hopefully they can come out and score a win.

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