A win’s a win, but improvement is necessary

If you decide to be picky about how a team wins in the playoffs, you’re crazy.

pitphi

Penguins 3 — Flyers 1

That’s not what I’m trying to do, by any means.  What I do want to point out, though, is the fact that some things didn’t shape up.  Had Marc-Andre Fleury not been an absolute force in net the Pens would have been trounced in this game.

I’ve been giving Fleury alot of love lately, and deservedly so.  I’m not trying to beat a dead horse as some might say, but the forwards and defense need to play much better in front of him as the playoffs continue.

With numerous chances blown on the power play and eight total penalties, you’re doing everything BUT helping Fleury’s cause.

I just couldn’t believe that people were giving Fleury so much flack after losing in game 3.  The guy can’t be everywhere all the time. I’m not going to repeat myself about that game, because I’ve already written about that here.

Tonight he was everywhere, but it’s not realistic to think he can continue to do so.  The guy can’t stop 45 shots a night and be you’re sole defender for the majority of the game.

NHL/

As for the game, the Pens did what they needed to do.  They weathered the storm — the first eight minutes or so — which was dominated by the Flyers.  They got a hustle goal from Sidney Crosby, albeit a lucky bounce from his stick to his thigh and in.

Tyler Kennedy then used a beautiful backhander to score what ended up being the winning goal.  A 2-0 lead after two periods was the perfect position to be in.

Then the third period came and Philly outshot Pittsburgh 21-7.  The goal they scored was garbage, with Fleury being knocked out of position just before the shot.  But, again, playoff goals are garbage goals and, oftentimes, they are lucky.

With a chance to clinch the series win in game five on Thursday, I hope we see a different Pittsburgh team.  There’s no better place to right your wrongs then at home in front of 17,132 fans on YOUR side.

With everything said, what a job by the Pens to be able to split in Philly.  Just huge.

Chris | PPT

“Avenge 6-4-08”

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2 thoughts on “A win’s a win, but improvement is necessary

  1. Chaiwoman

    I agree for the most part. A couple of improvements from the loss in game 3 that I saw in addition to Fleury’s play:

    1. The 3rd line regained some of its dominance. It was shut down more than I’ve seen in a long time in game 3. last night, they managed some cycling, and they were outworking the boards. Staal had the highest number of shots on net last night (5), followed by linemate Kennedy (3) and Fedotoenko (3).

    2. They killed 8 penalities (and really, about 3 of them were questionable in my mind). While Fleury was the best PK guy, and quite frankly, goalies have to be, the PK units, mostly the Staal unit, tried breaking out again short-handed, something they got away from in game 3. Philly had 16 shots on net in the man-advantge situations, which breaks down to 2 shots per power play. We were not much better when you look at it that way, less than 1 shot per powerplay (4 shots in 5PP).

    3. We got back to a more north-south movement of the puck, but I’ve got to say, the drop pass has to be the exception and not the rule. Teams are getting so they can predict it.

    4. Talbot’s empty-netter. He’s been dry, and a similar situation earlier in the season (if memory serves, about 18 games in) when Malkin fed Staal to get him started for the year, helped him “get off the schnie” (sp??) and rolling a bit. You need guys like Talbot and Dupuis (who is also due as well as Sykora) to chip in.

    The power play makes me want to scream. Great article!

  2. christophergates

    I’ve got to agree. The 3rd line was huge and Tyler Kennedy might be my MVP other than Geno and Flower of this series just because he has been so solid.

    As for the power play, I wonder if any city has had a power play that has done the same thing for 15 straight years … not shooting the puck! What is it about this team!? We’ve had some of the best talent EVER, and have blown it by being picky!

    Chris | PPT

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