Greetings, frustrated Pens fans.
For the first time all season, it appeared the Penguins had found “their game,” as they’re so fond of saying. But then the Boston Bruins exploded for five third-period goals, silencing the Consol Energy Center crowd and making speculation that something is simply wrong with this team a little louder.
Here are some postgame thoughts.
– What exactly were the defensemen doing this evening? The Penguins’ blue line was a complete train wreck. D Alex Goligoski’s hesitancy on Boston’s fifth goal, in which he jumped into the play late and gave the Bruins an odd-man break, was the most memorable of mistakes on this evening, but it wasn’t the only one. D Ben Lovejoy returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three straight games and was a minus-3, which probably wasn’t the impression he wanted to make. D Paul Martin and D Zbynek Michalek haven’t been awful, but also haven’t distinguished themselves. The Penguins’ defense core looked like a unit playing without any structure against Boston, which isn’t a good thing.
– C Evgeni Malkin had quite the eventful evening. He had two assists in what was without question his best performance of the season. Malkin was simply electric every time he touched the puck.
The downside to Malkin’s evening is that he was injured twice. He fell awkwardly in the second period in a non-contact situation, and hobbled to the bench. Then, in the third period, he collided with Boston LW Shawn Thornton and stayed down for a few tense seconds before slowly skating to the bench. Malkin returned to the game shortly after going to the bench.
Malkin was nowhere to be found in the locker room following the game, though there appeared no reason to fear he was injured seriously.
Speaking of Malkin, he’s been at center the past four games and suddenly looks like Malkin again. Just sayin’.
– C Sidney Crosby remained on fire with three more points, including his 10th goal. Crosby did, however, lose six of seven faceoffs in the nightmarish third period.
He is now second in the league in scoring with 22 points, two points behind Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos. Oh by the way, Crosby and Stamkos will do battle Friday at Consol Energy Center.
– On a night when you score four goals against Tim Thomas, you need to win the game. Plain and simple. And the scary part tonight was that none of those goals could be directly traced to G Brent Johnson. It was a horrible night for the blue line, and Stamkos is coming to town. Uh oh.
Until next time, you stay classy, Pittsburgh.