Samstag, 14. April 2012

[Hockey] Something is missing: the defense - Pens lose second playoff game against the Flyers

Well, as I am from Germany, the NHL playoff games usually start really late or early. The first two games in the playoff mseries between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers just started 1:30am and it was almost 4:30 in the morning, when they ended. Thanks to ESPN America for showing the Pens' games, also the upcoming ones (Game 3: Sunday 9pm CET)
So, after last night's game, I was just awake at 5:30  and far from any sleep, just heard that the birds started to chirp outside and the sunrise wasn't far away.
To tell it at the beginning, Pens lost both games at home against the Flyers and both times in a way, I was really surprised and concerned about.

Just some quick notes and recap, didn't manage to write a continuous text, after sleeping only 2 1/2 hours last night:
- when Pittsburgh's captain Sidney Crosby scored the first goal in the first game of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pens had a 3-0 lead after the first period, no one ever thought, that the Penguins could blow that lead just like that and lose the first game in overtime 3-4. But they did, it was just like they stopped playing defense or at least hockey.

- so I was just waiting for a reaction the Pens had to show in the second game, the story of this game is told quickly: they started like the first game and just blew it away. Crosby scored after 15 seconds in the first period. Pens just worked on the powerplay and they scored a second goal. But nothing lasts forever. The Flyers just had a shorthanded goal (well, they had 2 in the game, their first and third) Pens answered and managed to have a 3-1 after 20 Minutes. Then they just gave it up and we had the equalizer 3-3. Pens just got another lead, 6 seconds after the Flyers scored the 2nd shorty. But lost it again, within 3 seconds to play in period 2, we were tied in 4. Pens came out strong in the 3rd period just took a 5-4 lead after 1:04 minutes. And then I don't know what happened. All seemed like a deja vu. Pens just really lost it, blew their lead away just 17 seconds later and the Flyers just took their first lead with 10 Minutes to play. The Penguins never came back. Gave it up to 5-7 and faced an empty net goal seconds before the final buzzer. Endgame 5-8.

-great starts --> weak endings

-blowing away leads (and come on, I do not mean the 4-3 and 5-4 leads, I mean the 3-0 and 3-1 leads) and losing then is the story of the Pens playoff games 2011/12

-Offense wins games, defense wins Championships. Maybe a cliché, but the truth! You can't win the playoff games and the Stanley Cup with playing no defense, like the Pittsburgh Penguins did. Defense?! We don't care about defense?!

-Sidney Crosby with 2 goals and 2 assists in 2 games. Evgeni Malkin 2 secondary assists (both on Pens' powerplay goals), you know when Tyler Kennedy (2 goals) and D-man Paul Martin (1 goal) both have more goals than Malkin in this playoff season something is clearly wrong!
-I am at least not convinced what the Penguins' first line did the 2 games. They were just shut down by the Flyers.

-Game 2: Flyers: C. Giroux 3 goals, 3 assists, S. Couturier 3 goals, 1 assist
-Both, J. Jagr and M. Talbot, who are former Pittsburgh Penguins' players (and won the Stanley Cup with them) scored in the second game.

Just wanted to make it clear, nothing is lost, it's not over till it's over, but it's going to be tough in Philadelphia for the next two games, they'll have to make a 180 to turn around. Without an improvement, there is still the chance to lose just in 4 games (getting swept by the cross-state rival is not really what you want to achieve). They have to eliminate the mistakes and get rid off their sloppy style, they're showing for a month now (sometimes, you don't recognize that, when you win 8-4, but getting 4 goals is not a great defense play) and nothing changed.
-When they have a lead, the have to keep it till the end!

Just got this from twitter. If you are interested in hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins you should follow! 

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