Does anyone have an idea of how to fix this team?
Atlanta Thrashers (13-22-5, 31 pts.) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (19-17-4, 42 pts.)
Whenever it seems that one thing is the problem, another issue arises. Yes, it’s the power play. Yes, it’s the penalty kill. Yes, it’s team discipline. Yes, it’s … everything?
The more the Pens play the more they look like the pre-lockout version of the Pens. Yes, the X-Force or X-Generation. Yet Rico Fata, Ramsi Abid and Mike Eastwood are nowhere to be found. Could this team just not be any good?
This team is good. This team, regardless of the way it’s playing, still can beat any team on any night. You know it. They know it. There are confidence issues on the team, but confidence comes with winning.
A game like tonight’s against Atlanta creates confidence. The Pens have beaten the Thrashers twice already this season and have a golden chance to get the ever-elusive win and home win tonight.
Atlanta is a bad team. Its goaltenders are horrible, with the best GAA at 3.39. The defensive corps has only two players in the plus range and can’t contribute to the offense. The offense has decent depth, but by shutting down Ilya Kovalchuk you can eliminate most of the threat.
The Thrashers give up the second most goal, 146, in the Eastern Conference. And, finally, they have the worst, WORST, WORST penalty kill in the NHL.
So, Penguins, here’s the idea. Stay out of the box.
The only way the Thrashers will beat the Pens is if they get the six or seven power play chances — exactly what Pittsburgh has been giving up as of late. If the Penguins stay disciplined and play clean hockey this game should be an easy win.
And, if the Pens can’t get a goal on the pp tonight, Mike Yeo should fear for his job. The team the Penguins are playing — they are nearly rock bottom.
This is a golden chance for points, confidence and a clean slate.
Forwards: Penguins. The Pens have two star scorers that must get point production tonight.
Defense: Even. Neither team is very good.
Special Teams: Penguins. The Pens get this, barely, because Atlanta’s pk is so bad.
Goaltending: Penguins. As mentioned above, the Thrashers ‘stable’ of goalies is a joke.
Pens win. If they don’t, this blog might just shut down. The score? I’m not saying…
Chris | PPT