Coming off a valiant effort to get two points in Montreal 21 hours prior to the start of this one, could the Penguins somehow muster the wherewithall to conjure yet another rabbit out of their ass?
Nope. They would not.
The good news was that there was no weird conspiracy theory with Jarry. He really did stay in da Burgh to get ready for the game. And ready he was…
…but Johnson and Letang were NOT.
Johnson pinched deep (so deep) which Letang was clearly NOT expecting, much as he must wake up every day rehearsing his lines on what he’s supposed to say about having to play with Johnson on his left (or right, or wherever the frk JJ decides to skate on any particular shift). Anywho, Letang was clearly in his head over this when some dude named Voltrono, which I guess is Voltron make out of five different Italian pastas, made him look like a traffic cone.
He gets the benefit of a perfect bounce, but when that went in…
Apparently, the Penguins didn’t hear me, or at least Horny and SeaMoan and McCannCannCannCann didn’t, because 84 seconds later the boys made one count.
McCann (11) from Simon (12), Hornqvist (7) – EV – 3:52
McCann has been scoring less as a wing, which is the only argument I can make for a B-Jugs return, but against his old club he was rarin’ to go. Nice work by Horny to push it up to the Moaner, and a sweet feed by him to a sniper that makes the goalie need to wipe(r)…. because he pooped a lit… nvm, funnier in my head.
The next 6 minutes were dreadful to watch, as the obviously fresher Panthers hemmed the Pens in their own zone shift after shift. The Pens just couldn’t muster anything and half the roster looked like it didn’t even want to. I kept paying close attention to the Johnson/Letang pairing, and kept wondering why I chose tonight to not drink.
Those two nearly made me change my mind at about the 10 minute mark.
You don’t see the part before this where JJ puts Tanger in a bad spot. But you clearly DO see the horrific exit pass from LeDumbass to an guy playing his first ever NHL game who did precisely NOTHING wrong because he was facing the boards expecting that his D-man would do what EVERY D-man ALWAYS does and put it up the boards. But Super Letang was in for Letang tonight, which can sometimes be pretty nifty, but not when he’s tired from lugging an anchor made of Johnsonite around for the last three weeks.
I was talking to a buddy – why don’t the coaches see what JJ is doing to Tanger? His rational, and likely correct, response – ‘they probably don’t want to break up Marino / Pettersson.’ They tried with Marino, but realized he couldn’t haul that anchor. I think there was even some time with Ruhwedel, but that does not a solid pairing make. So what the hell – let’s just pile on the best D-man in the history of the Penguins organization – I’m sure it’ll be fine.
The Pens would march on and the period would mercifully end.
The second period happened because I remember staring at the TV for 40 minutes. The Pens looked lousy and the Panthers looked content to ride it out. Then this woke me up.
Holy Jarry. I mean…. WOW. Definitely in the lead for best save of 2020, I’m sure of that.
What was that? Period over? Good, I had to pee.
Heading into the final frame, Errey and Mears informed us that the Penguins have won four times when trailing after two, while the Panters were 16-0-1 when leading after two.
Spoiler alert: bad guys won.
Though I will rewind just a bit to inform everyone that apparently McCann went to one summer of juggling camp.
But that was the only good thing. People were annoyed and scuffled, penalties were taken, Johnson kept sucking, Letang kept hating life, and the Pens hit the showers.
- Woof. But you’ll have these nights, especially when you don’t get home until 1:30 AM and already have a game starting two hours earlier than usual. Nice scheduling, Buttman.
- Jarry was very good, again – not much he could do on many of those goals. But do you know what just happened? He played the back end of a B2B. Murray is 3-1 in his last 4 starts. Jarry is 2-1-1. I’m just saying if Sully was going for the ol switcheroo, this may be the time.
- Johnson is a significant problem for the team. He just doesn’t seem to have it anymore. Based on how well all of his prior teams did when he played with them (and immediately after trading him, in the case of LA), I’m not sure he ever did. Remember – Torts benched him the entire last playoffs. In Columbus.
Rad will be back soon enough, so quitcherbitchin!