Penguins Game Four Loss: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Game Four Loss: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In the wake of the Penguins’ brutal 4-3 overtime loss to Columbus in Game 4, I decided to summarize the team’s Jekyll-and-Hyde performance by breaking it down into three categories: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.pp0458


— The First Period (or at least the first 11 minutes): The Pens looked fast, crisp and confident as they bolted to a 3-0 lead on goals by Craig Adams, Chris Kunitz, and James Neal.

Marc-Andre Fleury: For 59 minutes and change “Flower” was superb as he kept the swarming Blue Jackets at bay. But the playoff demons he’s worked so hard to suppress sprang forth like a crazed jack-in-the-box at crunch time (see The Ugly).

The Third Period: The Penguins held Columbus to nine shots and did a decent job of playing playoff-style defense—until the final 22.5 seconds.


The Second Period: The black and gold barely touched the puck while Columbus peppered Fleury with 18 shots. Lee Stempniak’s unfortunate double-minor and a delay of game penalty to Brandon Sutter opened the door for the Blue Jackets and led to a 5-on-3 goal.

The Two-Headed Monster: Chalk up another O-fer for Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Geno picked up an assist, but failed to register a shot on goal. Sid had three shots, but was a minus-2. The Pens need a lot more from the former dynamic duo.

Faceoffs: Crosby won 16 of 25 draws, but Columbus dominated the faceoff circle (39-29). For a prolonged stretch of the second period the Pens couldn’t buy a faceoff win.

Power Play: The locals were 1-for-4 with the man-advantage. However, when James Wisniewski drew a tripping minor midway through the third period to hand the Penguins a golden opportunity, the power play sputtered.

Muscle Beach: The bigger, stronger Blue Jackets (51 hits) continued to bully the lightweight Pens.


Marc-Andre Fleury: His dreadful puck-handling gaffe in the waning seconds of the third period led to Brandon Dubinsky’s game-tying goal. Then, at 2:49 of overtime, he allowed Nick Foligno’s game-winner on a knuckling wrister from inside the blue line.

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  1. florida penguin's Gravatar florida penguin
    April 25, 2014 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    that was easily the worst play in the history of hockey

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 25, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Hey Florida Penguin,

      Sadly, I agree. Funny thing is, I was just starting to feel like we were going to escape with a win. Then Fleury wanders behind the net and my eyes almost popped out of my head. I began yelling at the top of my lungs for him to get back (you probably could hear me in Florida).

      You could see things start to break down the instant Fleury left his cage. It was like watching a terrible accident unfold before your eyes and being powerless to stop it.

      Ironically, sometime during the second period a hockey buddy turned to me and said, “Fleury should NEVER handle the puck.” How right he was.

      Let’s hope Flower can bounce back from this. He’d played pretty well up to that point.

  2. pen's 4ever's Gravatar pen's 4ever
    April 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Now that’s the MAF we are used too!!! I was waiting for him to show up!!!

    I mean it isn’t all his fault ( just the last few min. of the game!! ) the rest of the team sucked and playing a trap like system with 12 min still left in the game!!
    WTF was with that??
    We don’t deserve to win….Bylsma you suck as a coach

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 25, 2014 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Hey Pen’s 4ever,

      I feel your pain. The Penguins can’t seem to play anywhere near 60 minutes of solid playoff hockey. The closest they’ve come was in Game 3, when they were behind most of the game.

      Unfortunately, this isn’t a new development. Remember the Flyers series a couple of years ago? In Game 1 the Pens took a 3-0 lead and looked like they’d run Philly right out of the building. We lost 4-3 in OT. The Pens started Game 2 in a frenzy and took a 3-1 lead. They lost 8-5. This team simply doesn’t know how to play with a lead.

      To me the most disturbing part of Game 4 was the second period. The Pens literally didn’t touch the puck for 20 minutes. To a man they skated two strides behind the Blue Jackets all period long. No one took the body. No one got in the way. You can’t play like that for extended periods and expect to win.

  3. April 24, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Why always put Crosby and Malkin on the power play? They are guaranteed not to score. Bench them on the power play until they start scoring.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      April 24, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Hey Sue Ann,

      Your frustration with Crosby and Malkin is understandable. However, I don’t think Dan Bylsma can arbitrarily bench or take players of their pedigree off the power play. Even though Sid and Geno have yet to score in the playoffs, you never know when they might break out.

      I agree that the power play can get a little stale at times. Sometimes it seems there aren’t enough pucks to go around with Crosby and Malkin on the ice.

      Perhaps a change-up is more in order—like giving each one their own power-play unit. While that might sound good in theory, usually the No. 1 unit winds up chewing up most of the power-play time. So it’s probably not a realistic solution.

      In the end, I think we need to be patient and hope Sid and Geno start to produce. What choice do we have? The team is built around those two cornerstones. If the formula no longer works—and there’s no guarantee that it does—perhaps management will address the issue during the off-season.

  4. Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
    April 24, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I read that Mario Lemieux came into the locker room after the game, gave Fleury a tap on the pads, and had a conversation with him in French.

    Good for Mario. I’m sure that meant the world to Flower.

    • Andy's Gravatar Andy
      April 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Where did you read that?

      • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
        April 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        Dejan Kovacevic’s article in the Trib–“Don’t abandon Fleury … not this time.”

  5. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    April 24, 2014 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Penguins poop is right


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