Here’s about the list of what went right last night for the Pittsburgh Penguins:
That’s it, that’s the list. Well, I guess you could give props to the pilot for flying the team to Chicago and not ending up in Milwaukee or something. That’s about all that they got right.
In a way, you kind of had to feel bad for Antti Niemi when walking on to the ice to lead the Pens out for his first game of meaning, this happens:
Empathy probably was short-lived for most, though, once the game started and Niemi surrendered four goals, many of the weak variety in the first 9:16 of the game and got pulled. He didn’t get a lot of help in the way of defense, but Niemi also didn’t provide any resistance for the beating that was to come.
So in they sent Matt Murray, a night after playing (and not particularly well, either). For this game, they might as well have sent him into a five-alarm fire with half a cup of water. The results would have been about the same with the “effort” on display by the boys in white jerseys.
Between the goalie switch, a timeout, and an intermission to regroup, there was some (false) hope maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. The Pens were never threatening to think about winning the game, or even make it competitive, but when Phil Kessel scored a power play goal early in the second period it made the score 5-1, and the game seemed stabilized. Pittsburgh was bound to lose and lose badly, but maybe just maybe they could have the clock run out and get out of town with some sort of dignity, respect and pride.
(Narrator’s voice): They didn’t.
The Blackhawks went right back on the attack after the Pens scored, scoring three more goals in the second period in quick succession to make it a laughable 8-1.
The third period wouldn’t be much kinder as Chicago tacked on two more for s’s and g’s and got to double digits. The Pens were left to wonder what the hell just happened.
“When you lose a game like that, it's disturbing,” coach Mike Sullivan said after the game. “I don't care when it is in the season. So we've got to do some soul searching and right now, we are just simply not playing the game the right way. We've got a long way to go and it starts with a mindset.”
The man was not pleased. In two games, the Pens have given up 15 goals. They’ve looked like a bad beer league team with and without the puck. Beer league teams are allowed to look like amateurs. The reigning, defending, undisputed back-to-back Stanley Cup champions aren’t.
So, to cover the bases:— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) October 6, 2017
-Lots of turnovers
- Can't mark anyone on the backcheck post turnover
- Puck watching
- Forget this game happened
“It's a 10-1 game,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “It's embarrassing.”
Indeed. Now the question seems to shift to when this team decides to wake up and realize summer mode is over, and the regular season has begun.