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Postgame thoughts from Pens loss to TOR at CEC.

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Greetings, Chipped Ice fans. It was yet another somber postgame scene at Consol Energy Center, where your Penguins are now 0-3.

Here are some tidbits.

= D BROOKS ORPIK might not be out of the lineup for too long. He was in the locker room following the Penguins’ 4-3 loss to Toronto Wednesday and was walking without a limp. He is currently out with a groin injury and while he might not play against the Islanders and Flyers this weekend, he isn’t expected to miss an extended period of time.

= It was always said that former Penguins RW BILL GUERIN knew the appropriate times to be serious, and the appropriate times to crack a joke. Maybe he thinks the Penguins need a good laugh. Even though C SIDNEY CROSBY was hardly in a good mood following the Toronto loss, the Penguins’ captain broke into a couple of smiles when talking with Guerin in the locker room.

= During a TV timeout in the first period, the Consol Energy Center crowd gave Guerin, who was sitting in owner Mario Lemieux’s private box, a thunderous standing ovation. Guerin has not retired and is still possibly open to employment, but was released after a training camp run with the Philadelphia Flyers.

= A number of Penguins again openly complained about the Consol Energy Center’s ice surface.

= C MIKE COMRIE was a surprise healthy scratch after failing to score in the team’s first three games. His replacement in the lineup, RW ERIC GODARD, was given only 3:24 of ice time in his first game of the season.

Rob Rossi will be back with you Friday night when the Penguins host the Islanders. Maybe he’ll be able to deliver a win in the new barn. It’s about time, eh?

You stay classy, Pittsburgh.

- Yohe

(NOTE FROM ROSSI: Josh, we’re American. Also, Guerin deserved a Springsteen song on his video tribute, not one written by a Brit, though a great one in David Bowie. Missed opportunity by the Penguins to honor a Cup hero and a musical icon on the day that the Cup hero’s favorite musical icon celebrated the 30th anniversary of a great album, “The River.” Talk about a true wreck on the highway.)

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

Comments

  1. Shawn says:

    The new power play is the worst thing I have ever seen.

    Sid and Geno flicking 85 foot passes back and forth to each other through the middle of the ice and a crowd of players without Geno being able to one time it. Great.

    We have heard very little about the power play’s hand in our 1-3 start…most likely because the people who used to blame Yeo for everything are too busy attacking Fleury. We are probably 3-1 if we had even a half way decent PP.

    I hate to say this, but I think Sidney is the problem. I do not believe Bylsma when he said Geno “wants” to play the left circle on the power play. Geno might say what he thinks the team wants to hear. And if Geno did say that, it’s Bylsma’s job to explain to Geno how his shot makes him more valuable on the right side. But, in reality, I think Crosby wants to play there and Bylsma is attempting to accommodate him.

    The powerplay DESPERATELY needs right handed shots. I can think of no other power play in the league that features 5 players who shoot the same way. The only one we have who is power play worthy is Letang. He should be on the top unit, not the mop up unit.

    If the Pens combine their current scheme with Yeo’s…they will have the proper formula:

    Malkin MUST play in the right circle. MUST. Crosby should be down by the net on the right side (as he was in Yeo’s PP). From there, Crosby and Malkin can switch off, or he can come out from behind the net on the other side and he can move in for rebounds after shots. Martin or Goligoski should be up at the top of the umbrella. Kunitz or Tangradi or Staal should be parked right in front of the goalies eyes. And here is the key, Kris Letang MUST be the left circle. Now, Martin or Gogo can feed Letang or Malkin (the two best shooters on the team) for one timers, Sid can QB from Gretzky’s office and we have two guys down low who can chip in rebounds.

    Oh, and no more looking for the PERFECT shot…as soon as you have an OPEN shot, fire it and jam the net. That’s how teams with 1/10th of our talent have better power plays.

  2. Maria says:

    You would think they would have gotten this PP thing down by now,
    but they are still having issues. I just dont get it.
    MAF wasn’t great last night, either, but our D didn’t help him out.

    I hope we get all our guys back healthy and ready to go.
    When everyone is back, there will be no excuses for us NOT to play well and start winning games.

    And Sid needs to play a bigger role, not sure what his issue is. At least he scored his first goal.

  3. larry says:

    or how about Crosby and Malkin on separate PP units? it’s not working as is now and hasn’t in the past…….what’s to lose?

  4. Nathan says:

    Shawn,

    I pretty much agree with what you said about the powerplay, but with what they tried last night with Goligoski ‘roaming’ and whatnot, they need to stick with it for a while until Goligoski stops finding himself at the blue line with Malkin and Martin, and starts playing where he should be, in the slot, down low, winning battles for loose pucks.

    I very strongly agree about Crosby, watch the four minute powerplay, and Crosby did not move from the top of the circle, it’s ridiculous. He won’t attack the middle and take a shot (he sort of did once on a powerplay in the third). That will create goals or rebounds and chaos. He wants to be unpredicatble this year, well start on the powerplay and move. Any successful powerplay through time has movement, pulling penalty killers away from where they want to be, and confusing them.

    Stanley Cup year – Crosby scored 16 goals, and wherre was he for the majority? Beside the net bagning home rebounds, and tipping in shots.

    So I’m okay with them sticking with it and trying to get better with yesterday’s formations, but the classic Crosby down low, Malkin ripping one-timers from the right circle, Letang on the left, body in the blue paint will always be what these guys should be doing.

    They just need to move their bodies, and especially outnumber the penalty kill on loose pucks, that’s the big momentum killer, moreso than their difficulty gaining the zone (Martin has been great, using his speed through the neutral zone to back off defenders, and make a smart pass to gain the zone, I’ve been impressed with him in all areas).

  5. Nathan says:

    Oh, and

    “You stay classy, Pittsburgh.

    - Yohe”

    No. Come ooon. No. Yo-Yo-Yohe would even be better.

  6. Jay Baileys says:

    Here’s a crazy idea, I know won’t be popular. But why not let them both play on the right half boards on seperate pp units. They want to make great passes, then let them each run their own unit. This way, maybe you don’t have a great top pp unit, but two pretty good ones. They haven’t had a top10 unit in awhile, and the other team has to put their top d pair against one and then the other can come in and maybe clean up the garbage. They will be fresher, not having to play 1 and 1/2 minutes of the pp and the other team has to have two decent penalty killing units or we should be able to score more often than not. Go ahead tell me Im an idiot.

  7. Al says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your comments. Look at the 4 power play goals Letang had in the playoffs. He should be on that left side, Geno on the right. They are the two most dangerous shooters on the power play. Letang, for whatever the reason, plays better when given more responsibility. It must play on his confidence. I can’t figure out why he always falls out of favor with Bylsma on that power play.

    The new concept of Goligoski as the “rover” is the most bizare formation yet. It seems like Bylsma is determined not to take Goligoski off of that first unit, no matter what.

  8. john says:

    did you just say the words letang and best shooter in the same sentence?

  9. Maureen says:

    Amen. Malkin has God’s gift of a one-timer at the right point. I’ve never seen Crosby moved to the left side at all during his career as a Penguin. He’s always playing right side half wall. If that is where Sidney is most effective, then why can’t Geno be placed permanently in the area where he is most effective. Honestly, I am getting tired of Evgeni being moved around constantly (2nd through 3rd lines, sometimes playing on the 4th to get other players “going offensively”; moving from center to right wing and back again, etc.) while Sidney’s position never has to change even when he’s not scoring.

  10. harp says:

    I agree, the PP was hilarious. Crosby and Malkin playing catch from the end boards is just not going to cut it. They were looking for that highlight reel goal and passing up simple shoot and crash situations that everybody else uses.
    Crosby has great hand to eye and should be wandering around the net. Letang and Gogo/ Martin up top for shooting, Malkin on the half wall for setting up or one timing.

    Still can’t understand why Comrie was a scratch. He was great in the preseason, so he has not scored yet but it’s impossible to score while bench sitting.
    Comrie and Dupuis should be flanking Crosby on the top line as both have speed and a good shot.

    It’s ironic that Leopold is doing so well so soon. I think the pens made a mistake at not signing him for a fraction of Michalek and using that cash to pick up a top winger for Crosby.
    Nothing against Michalek as he’s hurt already so it’s hard to see why his price was so high yet.
    Good to see Billy.G back in the house, now if only a few bucks were left over to sign him and bring him back for one more year so he can retire a pen.

  11. Moe says:

    Well said. I totally agree with your critique and analysis. It is a travesty of sorts that teams with 1/10th of our team(insert Maple Leafs) here, score TWO pp goals against Pens, and our players are running around wasting a FOUR minute pp with stupid passes and even worse plays.

  12. Nathan says:

    harp,

    Yeah, Shero should’ve signed Leopold for the 3 million he’s making now, then sign that “top winger” for the 1 million left over. Great thinking.

  13. PensFan says:

    This all having been said, and the powerplay critiqued to death, and what do you know, as of today it is 20%, in the top 10 and Sid’s onetimer a la Gonchar and slap shot were dazzling. Suddenly the movement on the powerplay looks efficient, and Geno and Sid look brilliant.

    What do you know?

 
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