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Take a team in the NHL - let's just say any team above .500 and put them in a position where they can run three 5-on-3 power plays. Tag on an additional four 5-on-4 chances and you would more or less have a formula for success. Right?
Wrong. Only the Pens and their disgusting, lackadaisical power-play efforts can screw up on seven of eight chances, three of which left the Sabres down two skaters. On only one occasion did the Pens score, a sheer matter of volume in terms of shots on and out-of-position Ryan Miller. The guy can't be everywhere all the time, but he sure was in the right place at the right time on more than a few chances (ie. two saves with the helmet).
How does all that talent - you know, the top two scoring forwards in the league - screw up so regularly on the power play? Is it a result of too much passing? That's my assumption at least, but I'd be happy to hear what all of you have to say about it.
The old saying goes, "Two goal leads are the hardest to hold." I agree. We saw that tonight. The Pens were up 3-1 in the second period, a lead that always has me chewing my fingernails down to nubs and sweating like a marathon runner.
Ultimately Buffalo scored three unanswered goals and routed for the win. The Pens have done it a few times this year, so we all know how it feels to be on that end of things. But now we're seeing what it's like to be the Hurricanes, Red Wings and Islanders.
If the Penguins as a collective group were embodied in a single person, they'd have more issues than any psychiatrist could cure.
I have an idea - let's start with the power play and go from there.
The good: Evgeni Malkin mad some incredible passes to Fedotenko tonight.
The bad: Poor passing resulted in the Sabres having odd-man rushes all night.
The ugly: The aforementioned power play.
Next game: Devils. Wednesday. 7:00.