As the Blackhawks played their final game of 2014 - and their last game before the Winter Classic - it was a roller coaster game against the Nashville Predators.
First came the deep plunge of going down 3-0 in the first half of the game. Roman Josi opened up Nashville's scoring on an even-handed goal at 11:50. Craig Smith would stretch out the lead to 2-0 at 17:12. Finally, ten minutes of play later, James Neal would score his first of the night to make it 3-0.
But the Blackhawks weren't about to lay down and take it. Brad Richards scored a few minutes later to get the Blackhawks on the board, 3-1. Andrew Shaw would have his first goal in several games to mak...
It takes an entire team effort to lose a playoff series when you have a 3-1 lead. From the goaltending, to the defense, to the forwards, the coaches, and the management, there is no one who will be able to escape blame for this disappointment.
It starts and ends with the captain…?
This played out old adage shows that we as fans have learned nothing. You win as a team and lose as a team. Yes, Crosby has to perform better and he is a big reason the Penguins are now eliminated, but that is not the only reason, or even the majority of reasons, that Pittsburgh’s season is over.
Sidney Crosby was pummeled from start to finish in this post season play. Say what you...
At this point, it is safe to say that the game one overtime loss to the Rangers was the only resemblance of competition in this series.
Since then the Pittsburgh Penguins have won by a collective 9-2 score. They have clearly been the better team, they have had the better drive, and they certainly have been the more composed team. The Rangers have had 45 giveaways in the past two games; compare that to the Penguins 16. The Rangers have zero power play goals in this series and have had maybe two chances all series.
The problem in trying to break down all of this information is that you cannot get a legitimate read on how this series is being...
The Pittsburgh Penguins dropped game one of their series against the New York Rangers in terrible fashion on Friday night. There were multiple instances of horrible turnovers and poor positioning that inevitably led to a Rangers victory.
The Rangers Benoit Pouliot was the most visible player on the ice for a majority of the game. He played physical and smart, leading his team with a goal and an assist. His line mate, Derick Brassard, scored the overtime winner after a horrible Rob Scuderi turnover below the net.
Matts Zuccarello failed to register a point in the game, but certainly had himself a strong afternoon. His mix of speed and tenacity helped keep the Penguins top line ...
The series came to end after a dominant performance by the Penguins and a third period they kind of showed up for.
This is not entirely fair to say. The Jackets did come back in game three in an epic way. Scoring three goals in the final ten minutes to scare Pittsburgh was a great ending for all. It gives hope to the fans for next season and reminds Pittsburgh to stay humble.
Although, in all fairness Pittsburgh had to play short Joe Vitale and Brandon Sutter for the final frame. With both leaving via injury, the Penguins only had three lines available. They got caught flat footed, tired, and instantly fell into penalty trouble. The Jackets then threw everything they had...
It is becoming an all too familiar storyline in the Steel City. Once thought to have a dynasty in the making, led by two of the leagues brightest and most dominant young stars, the Penguins are now perrinial playoff disappointments.
Wednesday night was no different. The Pittsburgh Penguins came out of the gate and absolutely dominated. They scored three goals in five minutes. The asserted their will and looked poised to take home a three to one advantage in the series.
Instead, the Penguins once again proved that disappointment is truly their greatest talent.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have yet to score a single goal ...
When teams have a two goal lead, the announcers like to bring up the old adage that this is the hardest lead in hockey to hang on to.
They might have a point.
In three games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team with the two goal lead in the game has gone on to lose said game by a score of 4-3. Pittsburgh was victorious in games one and three, Columbus won game two.
For the first time in this series the special teams were not special. There was not a single power play or shorthanded goal scored in this game despite ten combined power play chances.
Here are a few observations so far from this series.
Columbus beat the Penguins for the first time this season thanks to a valiant double overtime effort in game two.
The Blue Jackets once again used their special teams to their advantage. When Pittsburgh used four forwards on the Power Play, Columbus pressured hard. They were able to score their second shorthanded goal of the series, this one at the expense of a poor decision by Evgeni Malkin.
The game was not a strong one for the Penguins, but it certainly is not a series killer. Tied at one apiece, the Penguins are forced to assert themselves on the road against a confident young team. If Pittsburgh wants to play the series clinching game at home on Saturday, here are a few a...
Penguins – The Penguins are the more talented team in this match up and it isn’t all that close. Pittsburgh is a very lucky team in terms of talent.
They will have a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, something questioned last season with Crosby coming off a broken jaw. Pittsburgh has a legitimate top six on the back end this season. It currently looks like the only player that will miss significant time in the playoffs is Marcel Goc and his return can be as early as next week.
(Disclaimer, this is not including Pascal Dupuis who is out from ACL surgery in February, there is no possible way he can return this season)