PITTSBURGH VS OTTAWA
PPG PAINTS ARENA – PITTSBURGH, PA
8:00 PM EST. NBCSN
PENS TRAIL IN THE SERIES 1-0
For the first time in these Stanley Cup Playoffs the Penguins are trailing in a series, and everyone is losing their shit.
How quickly we forget.
Coming off an emotionally and physically draining series with the President’s Trophy winning CapitaLLLLs the Pens didn’t look themselves in Game 1 of the Eastern Finals for the 2nd straight season. No matter the opponent, there was going to be a slight let down coming off that Caps series. It happened last year, and it happened this year. This isn’t an excuse, but players and coaches, are human. Transitioning from one series to the next is a psychological hurdle and the Pens tripped and fell on their face.
The playoffs are a short season of ebbs and flows. One game can make it seem like a series is over and the want to overreact is strong among many. The Canadian media is whipping themselves into a frenzy on Twitter and so many, even Pens fans, seem anxious to bury this team. It’s…weird.
There are absolutely real problems with this team right now. The defense is still struggling to make controlled exits from their own zone, too many odd-man breaks, not generating enough shots, 0/5 on the powerplay, the trap.
But hey! Last year THERE WERE PROBLEMS TOO. Murray barfed all over himself most of the Tampa series (Fleury started a game!), people were bitching about Sid not scoring goals, Tampa looked WAY WAY faster and everyone was losing their shit about Vasilevsky. But nobody talks about or remembers any of this shit because of CUP.
I guess all I’m trying to say is teams lose games in the playoffs. No team is perfect. The Penguins are good. Take a Xanax, log off twitter and chill the fuck out.
Lines: Don’t really expect any changes from either team.
Hagelin skated in Hornqvist’s spot but only because of a maintenance day. 62 says he’s day to day but it’s seeming more and more like he’s in healthy scratch territory with the 4th line doing work. Rich pointed it out on his podcast that it’s tough to be effective when speed is your main attribute coming off a broken foot.
Daley skated on his own before practice Sunday and is also day to day.
There are a lot of questions still to be answered by this Pens team, but the more I think about game 1, look at stats, and read all the taaaaaaaaeks it just doesn’t seem to me, the unintelligent hockey gameday pensblog guy, that it’s as bad as everyone is trying to make it out to be.
They’re coming off a draining series like I said up top, the powerplay isn’t going to go 0/5 every night, and drawing 5 penalties is good! Plus everyone is acting like this game didn’t go to overtime. There’s plenty of shit that needs fixed (and fast), but god damn it’s one game.
That said, there’s a lot riding on tonight. All post-season the Pens have been able to deliver a quality effort when they’ve needed it and that’s what I’m looking for tonight. That team that skates with precision and attention to detail. The team that has superstars that deliver in the spotlight and role-players who can score and shit too.
We’ve got long ways to go. Buckle up and enjoy the god damn ride.