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Thoughts from being at Game 1

Interesting times in DC.  Wear a blue Penguins jersey there and the fans will call you (as they walk by, never to your face) a word that starts with Q and a rhymes with "fear".  Whatevs.  At this point all that needs to have been said about the game pretty much has been said in the past 24 hours, but here's what I thought from being there:

  • It seemed like the Penguins were trying to matchup Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi against Alex Ovechkin.  They were fine when Brooks Orpik and Sergei Gonchar were out there, but often they would short-change to get #2 and #4 out there.
  • Every fan seems to think they are a power-play coach...Or at least a power-play guru, so we all have opinions of what is going wrong and what they need to do.  My sense is that once the Pens get setup, too many players are stationary.  It doesn't seem like anyone is moving unless they have the puck.  So it's allowing opponents to clog the passing/shooting lanes that are not shifting around.  Regardless of what is wrong, they need to get some more pressure and goals to have a chance of winning.
  • Simeon Varlamov did make a heck of a save, but he also gave up a weak goal to Mark Eaton.  I think if the Pens keep peppering him with shots, he's going to start cracking a little more and more.
  • Brooks Orpik was on the ice for both of the even-strength goals against.  Once he let Matt Bradley get a centering pass through and then he didn't really pick up Tomas Fleischmann in time.  Gonchar was a little sloppy too, allowing Nicklas Backstrom to get the pass over to Fleischmann.  The top units needs to tighten up.
  • The Pensblog "jobbed" us for part of Frank's recap...Here's what they said, if you haven't seen (click for better resolution if you need to be):


  • I'm gonna step up for Frank a little here...As the Pensblog pointed out, Malkin got caught up ice for the Caps first goal.  Malkin did have an assist, but he wasn't a very visible player most of the time he was out there.  I wouldn't have been so harsh to say he didn't show up, but Malkin definitely has to be better for the Penguins to win.  Getting some support, any support from his linemates in Petr Sykora or Ruslan Fedotenko would go a long way.

Adjustments for Game 2:

--Figure out something on the power-play to convert

--Stay out of the box whenever possible....This isn't the Philly series anymore.  Being as Pittsburgh only took one foul (and the automatic delay of game), so far so good on that front.

--Keep the shot total up on Varlamov.  Make the rookie make the saves...He did yesterday, but he's been known as a

--Keep Ovechkin's chances to the outside where he is less effective.