Pens Lose: Habs 4 - Pens 3 (preseason blunders)

[Standard "loss photo"]

The Penguins traveled to Montreal for their third preseason match-up. In the previous two games the Pens split one each against Columbus and the Maple Leafs. Tonight they looked to get some more solid practice and test some of the younger guys. Tomorrow they do more of the same against the Maple Leafs again.

This game was semi-hyped as both Crosby and Malkin were in the line-up against the Habs "Big Three," Gionta, Gomez, and Cammalleri. This is about as much hype as you're gonna get in a preseason game. Well, they didn't disappoint. Only Crosby was left off the stat sheet, but not without getting his chances. He came out in the first few minutes and showed some skill with a behind the back pass to himself nearly resulting in a goal. Geno went farside on Price with a 'practice' wrister to net his only goal of the night.

The Habs played well in my opinion particularly in the third period where they scored three of their four goals, one a shorty from a Gomez chip-in. I also thought Cary Price showed a little more maturity as well staying on his skates more often. All in all the new look Habs out played the Pens and it showed in the outcome.

-The Good-

John Curry - Despite giving up four goals, Curry look very solid. In fact, the Canadians probably should have had at least six goals if not for the play of Curry. He played smart and made several aggressive plays to clear the ice in front of him. He needs to improve on repositioning for rebounds, but that will come with experience.

The Transition Game - One of the aspects of the Penguins game that makes them so dangerous is how rapidly they transition from defense to offense. Tonight they continued to pick up the puck in their own zone and quickly get it up ice for an offensive opportunity.

-The Bad-

The Transition Game - As good as the Pens were going from defense to offense, they were just the opposite trying to get back to their own zone. Often you saw the forwards getting caught up ice and Montreal would end up with a good scoring chance or an odd man rush.

Aggressiveness - With a 2-1 lead, the Pens seemed to sit back and lose any momentum they may have had. It was not until they were down 3-2 that they seemed to try to get back in the game, but by then it was too late. This was one of their biggest problems last season before the All-Star break.

Short-Handed Goals - Even one is too many. This just can't happen.

-The Ugly-

Back Checking - Aside from banner boy Craig Adams the Penguins looked complacent and disheveled in their own zone when Montreal put any kind of pressure on them. They were getting beaten to the puck often, and several times the forwards started up ice before the puck had been cleared; this led directly to the Canadians fourth goal. The Penguin forwards need to get deep in the defensive zone and create the break-outs they are so good at turning into goals.

-Quick Hitters-
  • Billy G played better than last game...even netted a wrister from Letang.
  • Craig Adams is playing like a mad man, very physical to the puck and causing turnovers.
  • Crosby looked very good on the draw.
  • Letang and Despres seem to be having some good communication.
  • Tangradi played more physical (as we all know he can)
  • Kunitz and Orpik both showing their typical physical sides.
  • Point play wasn't looking so hot in the first period, a lot of chasing the puck down the ice.


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