The Pens lose. And why did they lose? A combination of being out played by the Flyers and not wanting it as much. Sometimes when you go up 3-1 in a series you tend to play a little “soff” to quote Michel Therrien. Well, tonight was one of those nights. Were there chances to put the puck in the net? Sure there were. Did Crosby and Malkin play their hearts out like the guys on Versus say, eh, I tend to disagree. Yes they did have some chances, but their insanely talented and will get chances with half the effort.
So what more can we say about this game? Well, the Pens just didn’t have it together offensively or defensively.
Offensively they just didn’t seem in sync. They weren’t making crisp passes, they didn’t attack the net the way they should’ve (consistently). Every shot taken seemed to be right in Biron’s chest. Congrats to Biron for the shutout but I didn’t see one shot where he had to work for. TK missed a gem on the doorstep which could have changed the game.
Defensively you didn’t see the effort. They were out hustled to loose pucks; out muscled in the scrubs along the boards. But more importantly they weren’t closing the gaps in the crease. This allowed for so many more chances overall. Okay so the goal from Asher was moderately lucky. But Giroux and Knuble’s goals were from legit bounces which should have never happened if the defenseman would have been in place.
Give the Flyers their due, they did work hard. But as a Penguins blog it behooves me to criticize my club.
“The first half we were right there. For some reason we weren’t able to generate a lot after that. They shut things down pretty well.”
I said in my pre-game thoughts that if the Pens lose this game the series will prove to be a more difficult road back to Philly for game 6. Perhaps by this loss the Pens will gain some of their tenacity and killer instinct back. Bylsma labeled this as a “must win,” the players clearly didn’t. I along with the plethora of Penguins fans do not want to see this go to a 7th game, but that will depend on what effort we see Saturday.
My advice to the Pens on Saturday is in the words of Chancellor Palpatine to young Anakin Skywalker, “kill them, kill them now…DO IT!”