The Penguins get their second win of the season in defeating Mike Babcock and the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. So let’s take a look at the Good, the Bad and Post game thoughts.
While he may not be registering any points, he is still pulling off impressive moves and plays.
Congratulations on Fleury playing in his 600th game of his career!
Malkin takes the team on his back
Malkin is absolutely a man on a mission. Since the game against the Senators Evgeni Malkin has been the best player in a Penguins uniform.
Not only is Malkin leading the team in the Goal column, but he is proving to be one of the strongest Penalty Killers the team has right now.
The Power Play
The Penguins Power play is abysmal (0-16 in five games). The inability to transition into the zone is hampering the success they should be having. The other problem is the inability to properly set up and shoot the puck once they do get into the zone.
My thoughts would be to have Malkin and Kessel just blast the puck every time they get it. They are the two best shots and are more than capable in forcing the goalie and defense to respect the shot. Only once you convince the opponent that those two will shoot all the time can either of them attempt the fancy quick passes.
They need to set a precedent before they can change it up and attempt to fool the other team.
If not go that route maybe read what Ryan Wilson of Hockeybuzz.com wrote up last year.
Something needs to change though as they are 0-16 so far this year.
Losing battles along the boards, making errant passes and being unable to finish when Crosby makes a solid pass to him is just a snippet of what I have seen from him this season.
He isn’t terrible, but its obvious he isn’t the player everyone was hoping he would be.
Even if just for one game, we need to see Daniel Sprong along side Crosby or Malkin and at this point Kunitz would make the most sense in removing from the top six to give the youngster his chance.
Sidney Crosby is still Pointless
It has now been 5 games without a point for Sidney Crosby but I can assure you it isn’t for the lack of trying. In the past two games he has had three sticks break when he has had excellent opportunities.
There isn’t much more to say on this matter that hasn’t been said already, but maybe Crosby should call up Jagr for some pointers.
While he wasn’t terrible tonight there were times where I looked and couldn’t help but think he didn’t belong to the lineup. There was one shift where he started to skate towards a puck 3 feet away from him in the corner but essentially gave up when he noticed his partner, who was 10+ feet away would reach the biscuit sooner.
Just baffling why he is still being played.
The Post Game
Malkin started off the scoring early on in the first period after taking a penalty. He is released from the box, takes the puck, rushes down the boards and takes an impossible angled shot to beat Bernier on the far side.
33 seconds later Olli Maatta grabs a loose puck and rockets a shot past Bernier to net his first goal of the season and first goal since last season.
A very impressive goal by Maatta for sure. Much like the rest of the team he had a bit of a slow start to this season but has looked better each game.
And like I said above, Maatta’s last goal was last season and to be more precise almost an entire year has passed since.
Sergei Plotnikov registered his first NHL point tonight assisting on Maatta’s goal.
Speaking of Plotnikov, tonight was the second game in a row that he has played and was very OBVIOUSLY hooked or interfered with and no Penalty was called.
Unsure if there is some sort of conspiracy against him by the Refs, but it was a bit discouraging for sure.
Play of the Game
Though Maatta and Malkin were the only two Penguins to score goals tonight, however Hornqvist had an incredible opportunity which was robbed by Bernier off of a face-off in the second period.
– Robert Slavinsky