After every major loss the Pens have much like the one to Philly on Wednesday the rants pour onto the internet about who's fault it is who needs to be benched and who needs to get the ax. We all do this in a sense, like just the other day I said that while I think Byslma is a good coach his in game adjustments are just terrible I don't know if it's because he is stubborn and doesn't want to change his gameplan or what, but in no way did anyone here say fire the guy. Prime example of why was he playing you rewind a couple weeks and people were talking that Fleury should be benched in favor of Vokoun and then fast forward to Wednesday's game and these same people want to know why he was playing. While we don't know everything that goes behind a decision there are a few things we do, it was his turn in the rotation he was actually past due for a start because Flower was riding that streak and while he looked shaky at times Wednesday, all the goals were not his fault, the defense was playing overly aggressive and how do you stop a puck when there are 8 people laying in the crease not to mention one of those I'm looking at you Kris Letang was actually in the net, and yeah maybe he should have been pulled in favor of Flower but who's to know if that would have made any difference in the game. I guess what we are trying to say here is that if there was really that much of a problem with the personnel don't you think Mario and Ray would do something about it? I for one certainly think that if Byslma was that bad of a coach he wouldn't still have a job as head coach of the Penguins.
In case you haven't already heard the Penguins have shipped defenseman Ben Lovejoy to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, I know they are just the Ducks now but to a child of the 80s/90s they will always be mighty. Anyway back to the point the Pens received a whopping 5th round pick out of the deal which with Shero's draft history may not be that good of a deal for the Pens but only time can tell. We wish the best of luck to the Reverend. The Penguins have called up defenseman Dylan Reese to take the spot vacated by Lovejoy's departure.
There is no need to discount any of the Pens last 3 wins like a lot of people are. It's not like the Penguins came out and only just barely won any one of these games, they came out and executed their game plan while not 100% perfect they dismantled each team rather handidly. Who cares if each team isn't playing their best hockey this is the NHL we are talking about with a shortened season none the less where every game counts more than the last so it doesn't matter if your opponent gives 50% or 100% a win is a win. As for this goaltender debate that is starting up don't forget what goalie brought you a Stanley Cup in '09. I'm not going to sit here and say Flower is playing his best because he has had his flaws over the past couple years, but if he were to go back to the way he played during the runs in '08 and '09 the Pens could have a lights out goalie combo this year.
Oh and incase you didn't know the Staal's are brothers..
So, with today's win, the Pens find themselves in first place in the Atlantic Division.
Everybody who knew this would be the case on Tuesday after the ugliness against the Islanders, raise your hand... c'mon, don't be shy... nobody? Ok, it's good to be modest. Anyways, there were some hindsight factors that should've been evident. Among them...
-If Sidney Crosby is healthy, and playing with this kind of effort, the points are going to keep coming. Promise.
-If fleet-of-foot Ben Lovejoy is your healthy scratch, your defense corps must be fairly solid.
-Does anybody play harder both ways than James Neal? Even if he doesn't score, he's a plus player. Regardless of stats -- don't think the coaches don't know that.
-Dan. Still think we'd be better off if he was throwing sticks from the bench and berating players in press conferences? Didn't think so. He's in control, and knows what he's doing.
-Paul F'ing Martin. Even though looking at him makes you mad, and he seems to be violently allergic to physical contact, it's hard to keep ignoring how many times he gets in the way of an opposing player's intentions. This is starting to seem like more than a coincidence.
-It'd be a matter of time before last years leading PP goal scorer got to play his normal position.... and all would be right with the world once it was so.
To summarize: The sky isn't falling, they know what they're doing. Just relax.... until playoffs, when all this gets thrown out the window.
After what was thought to be a promissing start to the season with two consecutive whoopings of the Flyers and the Rangers, the Penguins came out and dropped 3 of the next 4 games against Winnipeg, the Islanders and the Maple Leafs. Most would have thought this was going to be an easy set of games for a far superior Penguins team, but turnovers by the bunches for pretty much all the forwards sealed these losses pretty decidely. Sitting at 3-3 with 41 games until the tournament the Penguins aren't entering Kenny Loggins territory yet but something needs to change soon, and it looks like some one, I'm not going to point any fingers ehem Eric Tangradi may be sitting to allow newly aquired first round pick Zach Boychuk to get some ice time. With only 73 total games played in the NHL Boychuk has netted 7 goals and 14 assists with a +/- of -4. Pens are in New York again tonight to face the Rangers. Do it...
Image courtesy Benstonium.com