The Pens lost in another back-to-back situation, once again getting their teeth kicked in, this time it was 7-1 in Tampa against the Lightning. The Pens were downright dogshit — it’s barely worth discussing. They also made a trade. Antti Niemi is still terrible.
- I know it’s early in the season, but I’m already beginning to question what is the point of all these back-to-back games? Does the NHL think this is good for business? How are 10-1 and 7-1 games enticing to the casual viewer? Let’s start with the obvious: It’s almost a given that the team on the tail-end of the back-to-back is taking the L. The product is just terrible. If the schedule is such a constraint that it forces an absurd number of back-to-backs, just shorten the season. If a team needs more than 70 games to prove it belongs in the postseason, it probably wasn’t very good in the first place. Shorten the season, significantly reduce these situations for all teams, continue to improve the quality of the product, profit.
- So we can continue to assume the Pens will lose the second half of every back-to-back, especially as long as Antti Niemi is the backup goaltender. Niemi was awful, once again last night.
Just have a look y’all…
The idea that Tristian Jarry should remain in Wilkes-Barre to develop is baffling to me. He projects as Matt Murray’s backup, so I’m not sure how or why a call-up to serve as Matt Murray’s backup stunts his development. Actually serving as Matt Murray’s backup seems like the perfect way to get a player ready to serve as Matt Murray’s backup, unless I’m missing something. Another year getting a full workload in Wilkes-Barre would make sense if he was coming to Pittsburgh to be the starter, but he’s not. You can’t say he’s too young, either, considering Matt Murray is only a year older and has already won two Stanley Cups. The only argument anyone could make for him not replacing Niemi is that he’d only start the second half of back-to-backs, where the Pens, you know, play like dogshit and automatically are taking the L. But at this point, I don’t think it matters because Niemi has been that bad. The better goalie should be the backup, and that definitely is not Antti Niemi.
- The Pens traded Scott Wilson and a third to the Red Wings for Riley Sheahan and a fourth. He’s good at faceoffs, kills penalties and is more defensive than offensive, so he checks some boxes in the need column for the Pens. I don’t know if this is the answer at third line center, but it’s worth a shot. The Pens have done well recently with reclamation projects, and Sheahan is definitely a reclamation project. If the change of scenery on a better team is all he needs, then it’s a definitive win for the Penguins. Scott Wilson certainly is not a loss, nor is the exchange of a third for a fourth. It’s a dart toss but that’s really all that GMJR had to work with given the market right now. And it’s better that the Pens are throwing this dart early in the season, so there is still plenty of time to make another move if Sheahan ultimately doesn’t work out. I like it.