On February 18 of final season the banged-up Penguins dumped Toronto, 5-2, to seize first place within the Metropolitan Division, a wonderful achievement contemplating all of the accidents to key personnel.
Nevertheless, simply as we reached our apex, we fell…onerous…shedding our subsequent two video games to Toronto and Buffalo by a mixed rating of 9-2 to set off a six-game shedding streak. To not point out a subsequent fall from grace that prolonged by means of the qualifying spherical of the playoffs months down the highway.
I bear in mind marveling at how a group that had been taking part in so properly may unravel so rapidly.
Effectively, buckle your seat belts, of us. Historical past appears set to repeat itself. Certainly, after climbing right into a first-place tie within the MassMutual North on the heels of a unprecedented March, the Pens have been strafed previously two contests by a mixed rating of 15-9.
It’s onerous to seek out positives after yielding eight objectives to the Rangers final evening. And make no mistake, we had been by no means actually within the sport. Not after leaking for 3 objectives within the first 10 minutes of play. Though we tried to make a sport of it as our 4 tallies will attest, we had no solutions for the gifted younger Blueshirts, who’re extremely quick and expert.
Certainly, watching them skate in, round by means of us just about at will dropped at thoughts our 1991-92 champs, who eviscerated San Jose, 10-2, and annihilated Toronto, 12-1, inside a nine-day span.
A lone glimmer of hope? With the commerce deadline quick approaching, maybe this provides GM Ron Hextall and president of hockey ops Brian Burke a greater deal with on what we have to compete for a Stanley Cup. And who to dangle as commerce bait with a purpose to make these strikes.
I’ve expressed this sentiment in feedback, however I’ll make it official. I don’t assume Jason Zucker’s match. To my eye he isn’t very noticeable, and when he’s it’s often as a result of he’s zigging when his linemates are zagging. I had the identical impression of David Perron just a few years again, one other good hockey participant who by no means appeared to be in sync right here. Form of an on-ice model of Captain Wrongway Peachfuzz.
In fact, discovering a taker for Zucker’s $5.5 cap hit might be problematic, particularly given right this moment’s flat-cap economics and the truth that he’s signed by means of the subsequent two seasons.
With fellow port-side defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph progressing, Marcus Pettersson might be one other, maybe extra palatable choice, for potential buying and selling companions to swallow ($4.025 million AAV). Though there are holes in his sport (weak shot, lack of foot pace and muscle) he’s a reasonably stable third-pairing defender who can slot up when the necessity arises. At age 24, he nonetheless possesses some upside potential.
No, he received’t fetch a burgeoning star. However maybe he may land us a Sam Bennett or a bodily defenseman.
Final evening’s sport felt quite a bit like our season-opening losses to Philly. Our goaltending, air-tight over the previous couple of months, was a shambles as Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith allowed 4 objectives apiece. That they had loads of assist, as we usually performed on the unsuitable facet of the puck all evening lengthy. Certainly, we hung our goalies out to dry just like the bedsheets on wash day.
The Pens outshot the Rangers, 45-25, and received 59 p.c of the faceoffs. However the penalty kill, higher of late, was shredded for 3 power-play objectives in three tries.
Jared McCann (tenth), Mike Matheson (4th), Jake Guentzel (seventeenth) and Brian Dumoulin (1st) had been the goal-scorers. Matheson has two objectives and 4 assists in his previous 4 video games; McCann 5 objectives and eight factors in his previous seven. Guentzel, hotter nonetheless, 10 objectives and 18 factors in his final 15 video games.
Rookie Radim Zahorna rejoined the lineup and was efficient, recording an help, three hits and a shot on objective in 11:01 of ice time. The Mark Jankowski curse (two assists, plus-two) is alive and properly. We’re 2-4 when he scores a degree.
John Marino departed halfway by means of the third interval with an undisclosed damage.
We’re presently in third place within the MassMutual East with 50 factors, 4 forward of Boston (three video games in hand) and 9 in entrance of Philly and the Rangers. Thank goodness New York acquired off to a sluggish begin this season. These guys are scary good.
Inform Me Why (or WTF?)
Pardon my bleep. However may somebody please clarify to me in clear, concise English, why the Penguins selected to ship Anthony Angello to the taxi-squad?
All this child’s executed is play actually stable hockey, particularly of late. Over his final 5 video games he’s tallied a objective and two assists and if something appeared to be hitting his stride. He’s an enormous physique (6’5” 210) who can skate and brings a minimum of some extent of physicality (51 hits in 19 video games).
However, no, Mike Sullivan yanks him from the lineup so we are able to costume Colton Sceviour, a journeyman ahead deemed so useful he was positioned on waivers a month in the past.
Hi there? Is anyone house? Or extra to the purpose, does anybody in cost have half a mind with regards to issues of personnel?
*You should definitely try Rick Bukers books,
accessible at TriumphBooks.com,