There are a lot of narratives that get created surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Hockey Club.
Most of them get recycled year in and year out. Some are new. Some are true. Most are false. But there’s one that always hangs around when the Pens play a team’s backup goalie.
“The Penguins always make back-up goalies look like superstars!!!”
And while the first 40 minutes could have lended some credence to that narrative, it’s still an anecdotal belief. Thomas Greiss was brilliant through the first two periods, but he had no answer for the Crosby-led onslaught the Penguins brought in the 3rd period and for 19 minutes and 33 seconds. Neither did the rest of the Islanders team.
A lot can be said about the Penguins resiliency as Crosby picked them up by their balls and dragged them to a comeback. A lot more can be said about them spotting the Islanders a 3 goal cushion in the first place.
But all the Isles needed was the last 27 seconds to take the game back and hand the Pens their 3rd division loss, despite blowing that 3-0 lead.
Figuratively every chance each team had in the first came from a turnover. Literally. The Islanders were matching the Penguins speed and with both teams skating as hard as they were, it should come as no surprise that we had a bit of a track meet.
Both teams traded off powerplays. Isles hit a post in there somewhere. Hornqvist and Kessel each missed yawning 4x6s. Rust made a big play in the crease to keep the puck out while Murray was down and out late. And Thomas Greiss was stellar.
With everything being so even, the Islanders just had to strike first. And with 13.4 seconds remaining, they did. Unsurprisingly, Tavares took a Penguins offensive zone turnover the other way. Dumoulin almost did enough to break up the play, but neither he nor Cullen nor Malkin stepped to the loose puck and instead all created traffic in front of Murray for the Boychuk laser beam. 1-0 Isles
Before you could unmute your tv and grab another beer, the Islanders were flying from the late goal. First, it was Anders Lee setting up Cizikas with a wide open net that he steered wide. But as luck would have it, this ugly sumbitch would get himself a bounce.
Off Chimera. Off Murray. Off Schultz. Get bent. 2-0 Isles
If there was a moment in the game that could’ve been one of those “turning point” moments, it came when the Penguins took a too many men penalty, then took a faceoff violation penalty on the very next draw to go down 2. Pens killed both off because Matt Murray is going to be my dad.
Pens had to kill off a Cole delay of game penalty too almost immediately after that before getting a powerplay of their own with 5:34 to play. They managed 0 shots. Hard to imagine a second period powerplay being that important, but…
First off, f
uck your bitch and the clique you claim you cannot shoot that puck in that spot on the ice with everyone down low into the legs of Andrew Ladd if you’re Trevor Daley. Again, the Islanders got a favourable bounce in front of Murray for Cizikas to cash in on trash for gold. 3-0
Definition = PutDaTeamOnMyBack – One’s will to carry the team, and not let any obstacle come in between. A desire he must achieve. To go ahead, and get that green. If you know what I mean.
Look at Sidney. “Yeah, I did that shit for y’all.” Child’s play. 3-1.
Unreal play by Cole to hold it in and make the play to Schultz. Take a bow, Justin. What a goal. 3-2
“NO YOU CAN’T TAKE ME DOWN! YOU NEED MORE THAN THAT! LITTLE BOY! LITTLE BOY!” So much determination, doe. 3-3
But with overtime looming and 27 seconds remaining, the fun and games were over.
Great deflection. Poor defending. Cannot leave Lee all alone in front like that with 0 traffic in front of the Hickey shot. Empty netter 3 seconds later sealed it. 5-3
- Can’t stress enough how good Sidney Crosby is. His game is at a different level.
- Couple of rough bounces turned into goals. Tough game for Murray.
- Pens play the whole game like they played the third and this ends 45-2 and no one even remembers Thomas Greiss played. Just cannot spot a bad team 3 goals and expect to win.
Pens head home to take on Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and the Dallas Stars in about 18 seconds tonight. Do the thing.