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Powder-Puff Penguins Putrid in 3-1 Loss – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Powder-Puff Penguins Putrid in 3-1 Loss

I was searching for a word that best described the Penguins’ pathetic showing during Sunday night’s abysmal 3-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

pp0483Soft immediately came to mind.

With a chance to wrap-up their second-round series and atone for a wretched showing in Game 5, the Penguins turned in one of the most passionless performances I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching. It’s as if the team—having perfected the art of blowing 3-1 leads during individual games in round one—purposed to take things a step further by seeing if they could blow a 3-1 series lead.

Rarely have I been more embarrassed to be a Penguins fan. With the exception of Marc-Andre Fleury, Brian Gibbons, Chris Kunitz, and Brandon Sutter, no one showed up. The rest of the team should be ashamed. Indeed, until Kunitz scuffled with Dominic Moore at the end of the second period, the locals barely displayed a pulse. I can’t ever recall witnessing a more timid effort in a big game. That’s saying a lot considering some of the creampuff squads the Penguins have iced over the years.

The Rangers figured out the secret to beating our boys. In a word—compete. Challenge them, get in their faces even a little, and the Pens will scurry to the nearest official and implore them to call a penalty.

Nowhere was the difference between the two teams more evident than on Derick Brassard’s second-period goal that gave New York a 3-1 lead. Brassard literally ran over Sutter and Paul Martin to flip a loose puck past Fleury. Contrast that with the black and gold playing tic-tac-toe around the perimeter on four failed power-play opportunities.

If I were GM Ray Shero, I’d phone ex-Pen Gary Roberts and see if he’d be available to suit up for Game 7. Even at 47 years of age, he’d provide more heart and toughness than the rest of the club combined.

To think I believed this team—and I use the term loosely—had a shot at the Cup. Fat chance. Even if by some miracle the Pens manage to win Game 7, it won’t matter. They’ll get outworked and outhustled by the Canadiens, or cut to pieces by the infinitely tougher, more competitive Bruins.

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16 Comments

  1. Rex's Gravatar Rex
    June 18, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    This team was pathetic, and put together about as soft as you can put together a team. I knew it had no shot when the opening season roster came out. And the Pens had the easiest route possible… Everyone was afraid they would get the boot by the team, that isn’t even really that tough….yet manages to bully the penguins into losses…the flyers. They were eliminated and the Pens didn’t have to face them. The Bruins got bounced. A team they would’ve had no shot against and one that embarrassed them last year. They had an easy route to the cup finals, but I still had no doubt what would happen… Field another spineless team this year, which is likely thanks to the antifighting lobbyist gm they hired, who has fielded some of the softest teams in nhl while with the hurricanes… Its gonna be another long year next season…

  2. May 13, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Wow. I’ve seen this all before. The second year the Penguins won the Cup. They were down to the Capitals 3-1, just about everyone gave up, even the sports casters said it was over. I’m glad the Penguins didn’t. I’m glad I didn’t.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      May 13, 2014 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Hey Phil,

      We’ll see which Penguins team shows up tonight. The version that had the look and feel of a legit Stanley Cup contender in Games 2, 3, and 4. Or the one from Games 5 and 6 that displayed all the passion of a bunch of commuters riding the T to work on a Monday morning (my apologies to the commuters).

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      May 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Hey Phil (Part 2),

      I remember that series well. I was at a wedding reception and listened to Game 4 on the radio. The Caps won, 7-2, and Dino Ciccarelli scored four goals. I thought we had no chance.

      Then Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis met with coach Scotty Bowman about using the 1-4 delay. One month later we were hoisting the Cup.

      Unfortunately, that was a different era and a different team. I thought this year’s bunch might be made of some of the same stuff…until their lack of effort in Games 5 and 6 convinced me otherwise.

      Part of the problem is the true leadership on this team—guys like Craig Adams and Rob Scuderi (and Brooks Orpik if he were healthy)—are past their primes. They know what needs to be done and how to do it. They just can’t physically get the job done anymore.

      It’s time for the young(er) guns—guys like Crosby, Malkin and Letang—to step forward. A big game from Sid would be huge.

  3. May 13, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    They might as well lose now, they don’t have consistency to go all the way.

  4. pen's 4ever's Gravatar pen's 4ever
    May 12, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    HA..I wouldn’t say Kuntiz showed up,
    And it is Ray’s fault this team plays like a bunch of wussies..he has built it.

    I’m sick of the same old crappy play, behind the back no look pass, 5 on 3 PP and Letang Sid and Malkin sure can pass it around.. no don’t worry about shooting it.
    I hope they lose..I’m tired of watching Pen’s hockey this year

  5. Jon's Gravatar Jon
    May 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Pens better freaking win no excuses or poor play and if they have the lead no slacking on the D.

  6. 55 on point's Gravatar 55 on point
    May 12, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I suppose they could win game 7 but I doubt they will. I think game 5 was the pivotal game. The Rangers will barely have to break a sweat to beat the team I watched in games 5 and 6. Embarrassing, indeed! And still nary a Pittsburgh Penguin in front of Lundquist.

    And one more thing. I’m not defending Sid — the best player in the world would find a way to shake a hounding defender — but I feel that even if a Ranger player pulled a gun out of his jersey and shot Sid, no penelty would be called. Just my opinion.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      May 12, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      Hey 55 on point,

      I guess we should’ve seen this coming. After all, the only consistent thing about this team over the second half of the year has been its inconsistency.

      Your point about our net-front presence (or lack of) is spot on. And yes, Crosby’s been taking a beating. There simply isn’t anyone in the lineup to deter the Rangers (or any other team we play) from roughing Sid up. It was tough to watch Marc Staal cross-check him in the back of the neck a couple of games back without a whimper of retaliation. Sure wish we had a Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Bill Guerin (or Jarome Iginla) to ride shotgun.

      I have absolutely no idea what to expect Tuesday night.

      • Rex's Gravatar Rex
        June 18, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        Ryan Malone???? lmfao!

  7. Tim's Gravatar Tim
    May 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    There has been no D, and a lot of stupid and unneccessary passing. Put it on net and crash the rebounds, and quit skating it into the corner, FFS!

  8. Chris's Gravatar Chris
    May 12, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Big and little Pens need to step it up

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      May 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      You said it, Chris.

      It isn’t so much that the Penguins have lost two in a row. Every team goes through dry spells now and then. Rather, it’s the WAY they’re losing that’s troubling.

      Suddenly, it seems to be a real chore for the black and gold to show up and compete, let alone win. While there’s always hope they’ll find the “on” switch in Game 7, there’s no guarantee. Thanks, in part, to the Pens’ lack of passion, the Rangers are playing with a renewed confidence. And Lundqvist has been tough all series long.

      You never want to give an all-but-beaten adversary new life. And that’s what the Pens have done.

  9. Travis's Gravatar Travis
    May 12, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Rick,

    Talk about a swing of emotions. It seems like the unfortunate death of St. Louis mother was enough to spark the Rangers. The power play is horrible, players like James Neal need to score goals. They are professional’s they should not need a reason to be motivated to win a series.

    I think win or lose tomorrow, it might be time to blow this thing up. Mario was in the locker room last night and he did not talk to anyone; he was not happy.

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      May 12, 2014 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Hey Travis,

      You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the swing in emotions. Up through Game 4, I thought the Pens were playing really well. But these last two games … I don’t think I’ve ever seen the bottom drop out on a team like this. It’s like–all of a sudden–they just don’t feel like competing.

      I can understand being flat for, maybe, one game. Every team goes through peaks and valleys, and you’re bound to have an off game once in a while. But to come up with a second-straight lame effort is inexcusable.

      I’m especially appalled by how soft the team’s become. I don’t blame the players as much as I do Shero and Bylsma. You can’t pack a lineup with skill guys and expect them to play like lions. You need to incorporate functional toughness, and on that count the Pens’ brain trust has failed miserably.

      The Rangers are taking liberties with us, and they’re not even a particularly physical team. I shudder to think what the Bruins will do to the Pens if we somehow win Game 7 and meet them in the Conference Finals.

    • Rex's Gravatar Rex
      June 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Lemieux shouldn’t talk to himself. He hired the spineless gm that got this pansy soft team together…. And did he learn from it? No. He hired of all people, the CAROLINA HURRICANES ex. Another soft gm, antifighting, antitoughness…. Anti-win as in no playoff appearances in the last several years…


            

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