Saturday, November 19, 2011

Penguins Game 21 Recap - Panthers 3, Penguins 2

Usually going to Florida is awesome, you know with the good weather and all the babes and junk. Well for the Penguins this trip to Florida wasn’t very good as they played two contests and didn’t come away with any points after a 3-2 loss to Florida tonight. To be honest it wasn’t like it was a terrible trip. Not knowing the score and just casually watching the game you probably thought the Penguins would have got at least three points from this trip but alas that is how sports work. The Penguins gave up two more power play goals with the second one being the killer that Stephen Weiss scored with 3:30 to go in the game on a bench penalty for too many men on the ice. Penalties like that will kill you and might have cost the Penguins at least a point. To say that the Penguins were buzzing in the third period would be a vast understatement. Evgeni Malkin had some chances that players would dream of but they just wouldn’t fall mostly because of Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore who was standing on his head. Just some unreal saves by Theodore and his defense down the stretch. There were some good things in the game as I thought the Penguins were decent tonight. Brent Johnson really kept the team in the game when the defense was only so-so. He made some big time saves on wide open shots and really kept the Penguins in the game and give the offense a chance to help him out. Unfortunately that didn’t happen tonight. Jordan Staal was again a beast tonight as he having a pretty great season if you haven’t been paying attention. He scored the second Penguins goal tonight and the patients that he showed waiting for an opening to shoot the puck was really crazy. I know it might look easy to wait for as long as he did but if you were ever an athlete you know how hard it can be to wait and wait to take a shot. Chris Kunitz also has been continuing his great play as he scored the first Penguins goal. It was a redirection that Theodore was able to save then Kunitz hit the puck out of mid-air into the net. Really great goal. It wasn’t just the goal but he is creating so many opportunities for himself and his teammates through his hard work and persistence. He is the perfect type of player for Dan Bylsma system and we are really seeing that with his performance. The defense wasn’t that great tonight. Over the past handful of games they have been “meh” at best but they haven’t been as assertive as they normally are and they aren’t clearing bodies out from the front of the net. I can think of nothing better than the go ahead power play goal in the third by Weiss as a prime example. Weiss was able to maneuver right in front of Johnson and redirect a puck with his skate and then get his stick on it to beat him. Sure, that was on the power play but I think you get what I am saying here. A garbage goal counts just as much as a pretty goal but you have to start getting bodies out from the front of the net and clear some players out. I realize that Letang, Martin, Picard aren’t really guys that are used to doing that but even moving them out of the way a little and getting in their way would be awesome. The PK has also fallen on some hard times. The Penguins have now given up four power play goals in the last two games which is a far cry from what they were doing earlier this season. I am not going to get into panic mode because things like this are going to happen but it sucks. On the same wave length the power play has struggled also going 1-for-21 in the last four games. Granted they have be getting some unreal looks and I think they are moving the puck well and getting good shots but they just aren’t going into the net. They will though it just sucks to not be able to knock one in when you need a goal. The Islanders on Monday. I will be making the 10 hour drive back to Pittsburgh on Monday and will not get in till after the game so I doubt there will be much of a pregame/post game. Who knows.

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