The Pens kicked off the first of an end of the week back-to-back last night in Boston. There is something about Boston that is just grimey. Like, you can’t say Boston without feeling like you need a shower. People from Boston don’t understand this because they also need to shower. You know how if you live in a house with cat pee you don’t realize it smells like cat pee until someone says “yo your house smells like cat pee?” That’s what living in Boston is like. You don’t realize you’re a bitch because you are constantly bitching to bitches, to the rest of us, you be a bitch.
The Pens didn’t make any adjustments to their lineup because they don’t have any extra players. No updates were provided on the injured men, and the lineup looked the same as their last game with Jarry in net.
Imagine how good this team looks when Bjugstad and Dumoulin are back. For now, they are still out, so let’s talk about those who were in the game.
The dads on the annual dad trip were barely done making dad jokes when Dominik Simon pulled up in the neutral zone in a moment of purposeful hesitation before feeding a pass to a streaking Sidney Crosby. Since the pass was perfect, Crosby didn’t break stride, entered the zone and took the first slap shot of his career to fool Halak.
SIDNEY CROSBY (7) Assisted by Simon (14) & Johnson (7) @ 0:24
The pass by Simon is a play that is overlooked by the “watch the game” crowd. Simon had space in front of him to continue skating, it is not usual for a player to pull up in the neutral zone like he did. Like him or hate him, you hear his name a lot because his hockey IQ is yuge. Of course, if Simon scored more to earn his spot on the first line this goal would’ve counted as two. It as refreshing seeing Crosby fire one up like this, imagine what a goalie is thinking when they see Crosby coming down the wall alone, it’s not slap shot.
Following the goal the Penguins got in penalty trouble. The first call was on Zach Aston-Reese who skated over to say he didn’t like a hit. It was a good call in an attempt to keep the game under control, except the refs didn’t consistently make those calls making it a bad call. The Pens killed that penalty and then immediately went back on the kill when John Marino nearly killed a man. The Pens finished that kill off cleanly but lost all momentum.
10 minutes in Sean Kuraly took advantage of some poor gap control by Letang and fired one from the half-boards that deflected off Jack Johnson and in. The Bruins don’t use gifs on their twitter so just imagine your morning dump and that should suffice. Two minutes later a guy named Par Lindholm, made it 2-1 off a cute deflection:
The rest of the period was like watching a twitter argument between boomers and millennials as both teams clutched and grabbed like it was the 90s. It wasn’t exciting hockey, but a bunch of “OlD tImE hOcKeY” folks probably whacked off.
The Pens would get a powerplay 13 minutes in thanks to a Patrice Bergeron tripping penalty, but like most of the old time hockey people mentioned above, the PP was flaccid.
The Penguins received a golden opportunity less than 2 minutes in when Chris Wagner tripped Marino. The powerplay looked like literal saggy balls and that was that. The following 17 minutes consisted of some of the sloppiest hockey the Penguins have played in the last month, which is bound to happen eventually. The Pens got another powerplay 9:47 in that made the Pirates look appealing. The second half of the period was a bunch of chippy stuff, Hornqvist and Torey Krug fought twice, Boston fans booed about everything, the Penguins were ready to go home. The Pens had a 2-0 in the closing seconds that resulted in Halak putting on a 2010 Canadiens jersey.
In the 12:34 of 5v5 time in the period, the Bruins had 15 scoring chances to the Penguins 4, a Corsi for percentage of 78.95%.
The only bright side of the second period for the Penguins was that it ended without further separation on the scoreboard. As they tried to get back to their game and erase that period from memory, the Bruins didn’t hesitate to put the thing on ice. Three minutes in Pastrnak made a ridiculous pass to Patrice Bergeron who just buried it over Murray’s glove
Yeah, when you get beat with a pass like that you can’t be mad. Jarry playing a little deep in his crease combined with not seeing the shot get released until it was already behind Pettersson resulted in the netminder being unable to track the puck.
The goal was the nail in the coffin. The Penguins pushed back a bit, and had a marginally positive corsi percentage but Halak was Halaking them. Sullivan put Malkin and Crosby together with 5 minutes left which may be the first time he’s ever done that. It wouldn’t matter as scramble after scramble the puck just wouldn’t go in. With Jarry pulled the Bruins finished things off with an empty netter and that would do it.
- These games are going to happen, and instead of wasting any energy caring today I am more excited to see how Sullivan has the team respond on Sunday
- It will be interesting to see how non-objective people are. Tristan Jarry has cooled off substantially, 6 straight games with 3 goals against, and possibly more concerning, 3 straight games with a sub .900 save percentage. Jarry is 3-2-1 in those last 6
- Jack Johnson picked up his 300th career assist in his 915th career game.
The Penguins boarded a plane and flew to the motor city overnight for a matchup with the Redwings. The Redwings are the worst statistical team in the modern era. They are so bad that they can’t fire their coach because that won’t help them. People in Detroit are giving up their food stamps to the Redwing players. It’s a bad situation, and possibly exactly what the Penguins need following the Bruins game. For starters, the Bruins game was tough and players like Brandon Tanev, ZAR, and Hornqvist are probably banged up. The downside of this, it’s hard to get excited to play a team like Detroit in a city like Detroit when it hurts everytime you take a breath.
If the Pens play the way they have been of late, this game shouldn’t be a problem. If they take their foot off the gas and try to coast, they will lose, because there are no off nights in the NHL, even in Detroit.
Patrik Nemeth is a defender I was hoping the Pens would make a push for, a solid, young left defender with a ton of upside. In addition to Nemeth, a player like Abdelkader or Adam Erne would also fit in well in Pittsburgh. Can you imagine how pesty an Abdelkader-Bjugstad-Hornqvist third line would be?
Maybe GMJR will make tonight a productive trip after all? I don’t expect any changes to the Penguins lineup as they are basically just waiting for Nick Bjugstad to return at this point. Agozzino has been basically invisible, but so has Lafferty and Blandisi so what can you do?
Filppula pisses me off. Do you know how many times it takes me to spell his damn name correctly? Your brain thinks it Flippula, the pronunciation is Fil-pula, and the spelling is what it is. The ultimate punishment for me would be GMJR acquiring Flippula and making me type it every day.
It’s a hockey night in Detroit. January 17th, game 48, and we are getting upset because the Penguins didn’t “measure up” to the Bruins last night. Last year this time we were wondering if the Pens would make the playoffs. Can’t win them all, but you can respond appropriately. Time to roll boys.