Friday, October 26, 2007

Ups and Downs in Pens-Country.

Third period meltdown - that describes the Pens' game against the Leafs on Thursday night.


By all accounts, the guys were playing well in the first two periods, then something happened to lead to a collapse. Perhaps Talbot's injury took the wind out of their sails. One bad thing, then two, then the game was over and the Leafs won 5-2.

Michel Therrien decided to blame the players for the meltdown. Hmm...maybe he should invite himself to the blame party. How can the players develop chemistry when MT juggles the line combinations game in, game out, and from shift to shift? I've never been so lucky as to play hockey before, but seems to me that you'd need a little bit of time to adjust to new linemates. You know, to get timing and communication right.

My advice to MT? Give the line combos some deep thought. Think about how each player is playing and where they deserve to be playing. Once you get a lineup, keep it as is for a few games to really see how things work, then if something needs to be changed, take it one step at a time.

Now it's not like the Pens would've won all 82 games this season, so I'm not suggesting that they should win every game. However, last year proved that teams can miss the playoffs by one game - one point - so if the Pens are going to lose a game, I'd much rather it happen with them playing their hearts out for 60 (or 65) minutes. And I'd rather that MT not panic and switch things up every 2 seconds.

For the record, I give the Leafs a lot of credit for scoring 4 goals in the third last night. They have been huge so far this season when it comes to scoring goals - unfortunately for them, the goals have been coming on both ends of the ice.

Thumbs up to Jiri Tlusty, the young kid who scored two goals in his first NHL last night. Not a bad debut, if I do say so myself.

Tomorrow's a new day and a new game for the Pens. They will meet the Habs for game 2 in the season's series with Montreal. And take a wild guess who the starting netminder will be...

Let's hope the Price is wrong.
Update: The Price was right...again. I bet Carbo will start Price each and every time the Pens are in town, mark my words.

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