Within the Eighties, Wendy’s famously hit a house run with a intelligent TV advert that poked enjoyable at their chief competitor by asking, “The place’s the meat?”
Nicely, I’ll alter that time-honored slogan a tad and ask, “The place’s the oomph?”
Following a pair of scintillating victories, the Penguins entered yesterday’s Sport 4 with all of the momentum. However an unlucky mixture of dangerous ice (slushy, anybody?), a decided Islanders squad that’s removed from able to throw within the towel and our personal lack of urgency and depth coalesced right into a lackluster 4-1 defeat by the hands of the New Yorkers.
Relating to our effort, or lack of, we simply couldn’t appear to realize any actual traction. Numerous perimeter play. And provides the Islanders credit score. On this afternoon they had been the higher staff, and never by just a bit.
The poster youngster for the Pens’ disappointing efficiency was Evgeni Malkin. “Geno’s” loads just like the little woman with the curl. When he’s good, he’s very (very) good. And when he’s dangerous…
Nicely, yesterday he was Malo Geno. No pictures on aim, one-for-four on faceoffs and…most egregious of all…three quite dumb minor penalties.
The rangy Russian was removed from the one perpetrator. As he’s wont to do at occasions, Kris Letang performed over the sting all afternoon and drew his personal careless penalty to place us two-men brief, main on to the Isles’ third aim and successfully ending any hopes for a black-and-gold comeback.
The Sidney Crosby line, so dominant in opposition to the Islanders throughout the common season, was held off the scoresheet for the second straight recreation. For the document, Jake Guentzel, who drew a late cross-checking penalty, has one aim in his previous 9 video games. I’d say that qualifies as a hunch.
The one participant who did appear totally invested was Tristan Jarry, particularly after it was apparent we weren’t coming again. If Tristan hadn’t stood on his head at occasions throughout the ultimate interval, the result may’ve been worse. A lot worse.
A phrase of warning…the Islanders by no means stop. We’d higher convey our ‘A’ recreation Monday evening at PPG Paints Area, or we may discover ourselves on the fallacious facet of a 3-2 sequence deficit and questioning how within the vast, vast world of sports activities we obtained there.
The Pens outshot the Islanders, 30-26, and outhit them, 34-31. However New York dominated the faceoff circle, profitable 34 of 51 attracts to negate our stunning 55-34 edge in Corsi occasions.
Regardless of our territorial benefit, the Islanders held an 11-7 edge in 5v5 excessive hazard scoring probabilities.
Josh Bailey, Ryan Pulock, Oliver Wahlstrom and Jordan Eberle tallied objectives for New York. Zach Aston-Reese scored short-handed with 2:35 left to finish Ilya Sorokin’s shutout bid. It was ZAR’s first-ever playoff aim in 21 postseason video games.
Brian Dumoulin and Frederick Gaudreau picked up assists.
Across the League
Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves to steer Vegas previous Minnesota, 4-0. The Golden Knights maintain a 3-1 sequence lead.
Toronto rallied to even their sequence with Montreal, crushing the Canadiens, 5-1. Tampa Bay walloped Florida, 6-2, pushing the Panthers to the brink of elimination.
A lot has been fabricated from the toughness challenge and coach Mike Sullivan’s aversion to gamers who present a real bodily presence.
We witnessed an unlucky consequence of that bias yesterday afternoon. Mainly within the type of stars like Malkin and Letang (and Guentzel) making an attempt to shoulder the toughness mantle for the staff.
The very last thing you want or need is for Geno and Tanger, each passionate and, sure, at occasions overly emotional gamers, to really feel a press to defend the staff’s honor. Which is exactly what occurs if you ice a lineup nearly bereft of real pushback. Your stars get sucked into combating the staff’s battles.
That’s not the kind of assertion you need them to make. You need them filling the web, not the penalty field.
Sadly, there’s no speedy treatment. Anthony Angello and Sam Lafferty every present grit and a willingness to battle, however they’re depth gamers in our current scheme. Even when they performed, neither is able to dealing with a Matt Martin.
It’s a difficulty that may hopefully be addressed over the offseason.
*Be sure you try Rick Bukers books,
accessible at TriumphBooks.com,