The Pens snagged a point from the depths. When this long season reaches those final days in early April, remember this point.
Meanwhile, the Pens still have some bad habits. Hopefully, in April, we’ll remember these, too, and not still be talking about them.
1. Giveaways in the last 9 games.
Pens have 72 giveaways in the last 9 games. That is a massive issue.
2. The Dark Cloud
When the third or fourth line comes onto the ice it is like a dark cloud floating into your area, like one of those summer thunderstorms that ruins a delicious picnic. Sutter, Vitale, Adams, Gibbons, D'Agostini, Sill, etc. Are Gibbons and Vitale the same person? Although we’ll say it again: Gibbons is showing signs of something different than these guys.
3. Why does Dan Bylsma refuse to play Robert Bortuzzo?
The stats show it. The play shows it, but Dan Bylsma and the coaching staff refuse to play Robert Bortuzzo. It is actually unbelievable.
4. Kris Letang
People can bag on Malkin or Crosby, but remember: starting next season, Letang will be the Penguins’ third-highest-paid player. Even though he’s been removed from the power play, he still played 25 minutes against the Bruins. In other news, he led the Penguins with four turnovers. Where is the accountability? Do people notice when Letang tries to enter the zone, loses the puck, falls, then yells at the ref looking for a penalty? Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, who won the game for the Bruins, has 7 goals and 8 assists. Letang has 4 goals and 1 assist. Kris Letang has played 10 less games, but given his pedigree, his numbers should be closer to Krug’s anyway.
If your rebuttal contains the thought, “Well, Scuderi is out, so…," just stop. You are wrong. $8.5 million.
When Malkin and Crosby are clicking (and, Jesus, have they turned it on), problems can get masked. And right now some problems are getting masked. And the Pens’ schedule still isn’t getting easier. Toronto at home on Wednesday, then they head to Florida for the double-header over the weekend.
- Crosby and Malkin were flying again. Crosby drew an early penalty. Malkin undressed Chara with a nasty move. The Pens’ power play with Martin still looks lethal. Pens were knocking on the door like Kimmy Gibbler on that power play and for most of the first 10 minutes.
- Second 10 minutes were a different story. The Bruins were starting to settle in. It didn’t help that Orpik, who has been legit, had his worst shift of the season. A bouncing puck handcuffed him at the Bruins’ blue line then was in no-man’s-land when the Bruins went the other way on a 3-on-2.
Loui Eriksson found himself all alone on MAF. Ovechkin-like backcheck by James Neal, too. 1-0.
Eriksson missed the first Pens/Bruins game. He was a difference-maker in this game.
- Dupuis went off for interference late, and the Bruins made it 2-0 real damn quick. 2-0.
- The Fleury chants started until the fans had to go complain about the NFL.
Pens were up 10-1 in shots before the tide shifted.
- The Pens did exactly what they needed to do early in the second: score. James Neal with a beautiful shot. 2-1.
This girl was behind the Pens’ bench, so at least they had that going for them.
They stopped showing her after her Twitter name became known and she got flooded with creepers.
- Then the game pretty much disappeared for a long stretch. Everyone woke up when Neal cracked one off the pipe after another Geno rush.
- Penguins were seemingly dominating, but they had nothing to show for it. The Pens broke up Dupuis-Crosby-Kunitz at some point.
- Unreal post here from @pensbender. He details shot selection by the Pens. [ The Pensnation
] These shots are the key. You have to beat Rask close. Look at the Stanley Cup Finals. The Blackhawks scored a ton of goals maybe 5 to 10 feet from the net.
- Pens were doing a nice job of entering the Bruins' zone. Kunitz had some elite tip pass to Neal. Neal had a breakaway but couldn't score.
- Here was Kris Letang entering the zone:
- One hiccup in the “close to the net” Rask theory. Maybe you just need a sniper firing. And the Pens have that. Neal came out of nowhere and scored from 30 feet away. 2-2.
So you know how teams usually gain momentum after they score? That didn't happen. Instead, the Penguins all of a sudden were on their heels. The Bruins won a couple faceoffs and caught the Pens on a long shift. Chara fired a puck on net. It hit Crosby's stick. 3-2.
Vom dot com
- It was bad news bears. The clock ticked away, and Fleury found himself headed to the bench for an extra attacker. Things looked bleak as the final 10 seconds ticked off, then James Neal sent one to the net. Chris Kunitz battled and sent a desperation pass to Crosby, who knocked it with 0.3 on the clock. Emotional times.slkdnaslkfnsdkfnlkdslksdnflkds
34 seconds in.
- Clean game overall. Good stuff.
- James Neal is officially back. My Lord. Carrying the offense right now.
- Pens definitely lucked out on the refs missing the Dupuis hgh stick on Boychuk.
- Did Iginla play?
- Kris Letang: +2. He was on the ice when the Penguins scored goals.
- Pics: AP/Getty