Penguins

Penguins Fall In Shootout…Orpik Frustrated…

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Well, the Penguins probably played well enough to win last night. Unfortunately, they didn’t.

They were down 1-0, clawed back to take a 2-1 lead and watched it fizzle away when the Capitals made them pay for a couple of mistakes that they made in the game.

The tying goal came off of the blade of Sidney Crosby, when he went to the “cross ice pass” well one to many times. Alex Semin was lying in wait, picked off the pass and was off to the races. He made a great individual play before lashing a wicked wrist shot past Marc Andre Fleury. Sure, there were other problems with that play, but Sid has got to stop forcing that pass.

The second goal came on a situation where the Penguins just couldn’t get the puck out of their own zone. It was eventually worked out to Mike Green, who got the puck into an area where Eric Fehr could tip it in behind Fleury.

Again the Penguins wouldn’t be denied and Jordan Staal found a way to get a shot past Jose Theodore. Staal picked the far top corner, with a great wrist shot moments after Theodore robbed him on a rebound opportunity in front of the net.

At that point the Penguins had MO on their side and it seemed as if they were finally going to get the defining victory that they had been looking for heading down the stretch. That wasn’t to be…an overtime and four shoot out rounds later they were leaving with another OT loss at the hands of the Capitals.

There were definitely some good things to hand our hats on in the game. They outplayed the Capitals for large stretches during the game. Shot the puck from everyone on the ice and played a pretty decent defensive game. The thing that most impressed me was the fact that they did it all without Sergei Gonchar and Evgeni Malkin. You would like to think that having those two players in the line-up would have been enough to secure the victory last night.

Missing stars aside, at least one Penguin was disappointed with the loss and I am sort of glad to hear it. Brooks Orpik made some very harsh statements post game and though they were doom and gloom, they were the type of thing that we have come to expect from Brooks. He is a “tell it like it is” kind of guy and is always a great quote. He doesn’t have much of a self censor and he isn’t satisfied with where his team is.

Orpik’s comments were on display for all who tuned in for the Penguins post game show.

“Do I think so? Yeah,” Orpik said when asked if his team should have come away with a victory. “We’re up by a goal in the third period. We get a power play and have a chance to make it 3-1, and instead we give them a short-handed goal. So all due respect to them, a team that’s as experienced and as good as we are, we shouldn’t be losing games that way.”

He wasn’t done there as he went on to explain his feelings on saying they the team deserved better and the whole “They’ll turn it on in the playoffs” philosophy.

“Maybe I’m in the minority here, I’m getting tired of hearing that we played hard and we should have deserved better,” Orpik said. “We’re not winning hockey games, and that’s what it comes down to. I don’t know. I don’t feel very good leaving the rink when you lose, no matter how you played.”

The scrum went on to ask Orpik is he is concerned about what has been happening as of late to his team…blowing leads and losing games late etc.

“I’m getting very concerned. Everyone wants to talk about the playoffs,” Orpik said in a disappointed tone. “We’ve still got eight games to go here, and we’re not exactly playing too well. The way we’re playing now, we’ll be out in the first round. It’s getting pretty frustrating, yeah.”

The interviewer then asked him if there was any concern about not beating the Capitals to this point on the season. (Thanks to the boys at the Pensblog for this quote…I somehow missed it!)

“Look at last year; I think they beat us 3-1 last year, too,” Orpik said. “That didn’t add up [in the postseason]. So I don’t think it matters, but I think obviously, no matter who you’re playing, you’ve got to take care of what you’re doing a little better right now. We’re not. We’re finding ways to lose.”

Obviously some harsh words from Orpik, but some very true ones… they might have been a bit more appropriate after Monday evening’s game, but it was clear that the Orpik’s visible frustration had been building for a few games.

If there was one area that struggled more than any other last night, it was a fairly listless power play. The Penguins had multiple opportunities with the extra man and did nothing with them. I realize that can be traced back to the absence of Malkin and Gonchar, but it isn’t as if the PP was devoid of talent.

The Penguins paraded out a top unit featuring Letang, Goligoski, Crosby, Guerin and Ponikarovsky multiple times. On paper that looks like a unit that can wreak some havoc…well, it wasn’t able too.

Unproductive nights with the extra man like last night are why I am blown away by all of the folks that would be content to see Sarge walk after this season. Neither Goligoski nor Letang seem ready to become a power play quarterback.

Overall, the Penguins did show me that they cared last night, which is more than we can say for the past few games. If they can maintain their level of play once they get their full compliment of players back in the fold, then they just might be fine after all.

However, dropping back into the situation we had been seeing; where 4 or 5 players on the ice seem to be shouldering the load, will certainly prove Brooks Orpik right.

More shortly…

Comments

About Brian Metzer

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He currently serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, does similar work for TSN 1050 in Toronto, is a contributing writer for NHL.com, the Beaver County Times and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

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24 Comments

  1. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Amen Brooks at least 1 guy on this team doesn’t have his head up up his ASS !!!

    Sit Sid the **** down now that he keeps doing the Cross Ice Pass when all 4 opponents are backing off of him & daring him to shoot & when the Media asks why he wasn’t on the PP Bylsma you Nutless Coward tell them why

    I am beginning to believe the only thing that Bylsma has on MT is he Isn’t MT & the Players were sick of MT shit & at some point that wears off & he has to be able to coach & he can’t

  2. Rival

    March 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Yeah… great solution… sit down the league leader in goals and top 3 points guy from the struggling powerplay. Genius idea there Eric.

    But yes, Brooks is right… I think we’re all hoping that they can find that switch to turn on for the playoffs, but nothing this season indicates that that’s going to happen.

  3. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Yep!!! the Guy Who continually Fs The PP up with his FORCED backdoor Plays when EVERYBODY backs off of him !!

    Who is Causing it to Struggle abreath?? He is Learn Hockey & don’t Blow Sid !!!

  4. Rival

    March 25, 2010 at 11:42 am

    lol, ok Mr. angry internet blog commenter guy :)

    But YOUR random Use of CAPITAL letters IS pretty FUNNY.

  5. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Oh Good Comeback Hockey illiterate

    I’m sure you Have been a Fan since way back when Sid was Drafted Huh ?? I was a fan Before Mario was Drafted So I think I have a Little More knowledge than you about Hockey

  6. Rival

    March 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Assume whatever you like…

  7. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    No you assume !! I KNOW !!!

  8. bmetzer

    March 25, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Hey guys…

    I don’t mind a good discussion in here with disagreements etc. But please watch the language…

    Thank you!

    B

  9. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Sorry Metz : (

  10. bmetzer

    March 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    No worries E! I love the convo…

  11. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    That comment from Brooks about Tired of hearing about we played well enough to win was aimed at Sid who obsessive compulsively repeats that after every loss!!!

    Way To be a Stand up Guy Brooks keep it up !!! Captain material he is

  12. Jagoff

    March 25, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Eric is right. We should sit Sid on the power play. To take it a bit further, Letang and Goligoski looked very shaky at the points and defended that shorthanded goal poorly. We should have sat them, too. And why were Guerin and Kunitz passing the puck to Crosby knowing full well he was just going to turn it over? Let’s sit them.

    I’m in favor of a Mark Eaton – Jay McKee – Craig Adams – Max Talbot – Mike Rupp power play unit.

  13. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Well at least you took the right Fake name

  14. Jagoff

    March 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    I have a fake name?

  15. Walshy

    March 25, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Split the PP into two units…. Sheesh if they could do it back in 91-92 why not do it now… Are the egos here that big already at the ages of 20-22 that they cant stand being PP1 or PP2.

    Give Malk one unit and Sid one unit, let Gonch run one and Letang run one, not Gogo please. Whatever point is out there with Gonch just defers to him anyway so its a lost dman.

    If the PP is told to treat the 2 mins like a 1 min shift and get off when the puck is dumped then I tell you they will be more efficient.

    Either that or get rid of Yeo (that old catch cry….)

  16. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    I don’t think that’s a Good Idea Walshy!! Sid over passes with With Geno & Gonch on the PP, What would he do without Geno on the PP?? Pass even more

    Teams are sitting on Gonch at the Center Point & preventing him from getting shots off, Other teams have scouted the Pens, Don’t the Pens Scout themselves & tell the 3 STOOGES what they are doing to them

  17. Walshy

    March 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    They all overpass because they can… Too much talent on the one unit always means they try to overuse that talent.

    Keep it simple.

    Tanger Gonch
    Leopold Eaton
    Billy Kunitz
    Croz Staal
    Poni Geno

    Yes put Geno on the wing, use him on the half wall where he is comfy and Staal will win the face offs. You can use Kunitz as the screen, eaton has been getting PP2 mins anyway. I just dont want Gogo on the PP at all. If BG doesnt get PP mins he shouldnt be on the ice, same with Poni.

    Without all the talent stacked they will have to simplify what they do, one pass, open shot, with a screen, rebounds. No tic-tac-toe passing plays…. Its just not happening this year on this pp, with this team!

    At least that is my opinion anyway ;-)

  18. Eric Sucks

    March 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Eric, are you one of the guys at the arena that constantly yells SHOOOOOT! when we are on the powerplay? It seems as if you would be, jagoff.

  19. Walshy

    March 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    ouch…..

  20. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    UMMM no Rival/Jagoff I’m Not !!!

    Multiple Personalities on top of Being Hockey Illiterate !! Good Job !!!

  21. Eric

    March 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    By the way, WE are you a Penguin too?? WOW delusional on top of Multiple Personality disorder & Hockey Illiterate you Have hit the Lotto Genius !!!

    Off to bed Now & Mommy will bring you your Milk Cookies & then you Have to take your Effexor & Paxil

  22. guins6668

    March 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Look, I like Sid as much as anyone but he is either hurt to some extent or just plainly making bad decisions. I’m not going to say sit Sid like someone else did but he has to be better (yes I know he’s probably playing the best on the team, but not as good as he should be). There are times when you don’t notice him on some of his shifts and for as good as he is there should be very few shifts he’s not noticeable. There are times when he has the puck and instead of making a few moves and making something happen he just dumps the puck when a guy gets close to him or tries to make unmakeable passes. There are many other problems with the team but if Sid and Geno for that matter play like they’re capable of some of these other issues would probably not be so glaring.

  23. Rival

    March 25, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Eric, just to clear things up, Jagoff and Eric Sucks aren’t me. Once again, you assumed something incorrectly.

    Anyway…
    Walshy, I like the two unit approach, and yes, Malkin should be on the halfwall. I don’t mind Gonch being out there for the full 2 minutes (as long as his 5-on-5 & PK time aren’t too much). They really don’t have another true PP pointman… Letang is ok at making the simple play, but Gogo’s decision making with the puck reminds me a lot of Ryan Whitney’s.

  24. Eric Sucks

    March 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Eric, I’m just looking for some basic grammar and comprehension and obviously you have only mastered those skills at the third grade level because you capitalize words in the middle of the sentence and TYPING LIKE THIS does not make your point any better, just makes you look like an idiot.