Sunday, April 22, 2012
Thanks For Coming Out, Pittsburgh Penguins
This is what happens when you pick a team with a tough first-round match-up to win the Stanley Cup-- right every expert under the sun?? The Pittsburgh Penguins are gone just like that. Their goaltending looking porous, their offense being hit-and-miss, the defense playing like pylons, and the tempers of the team getting much out of hand, throwing them off their game.
Starting from the goaltending, Marc-Andre Fleury looked more like an Oreo McFlurry out there on the ice, getting peppered and scored on at will most nights. While he was able to hold the Flyers to only five goals over games Four and Five, the fact he let in 21 in his other four appearances doesn't make him look like that Stanley Cup winning goalie everyone raved so much about.
Granted, he didn't get much help from his blueline, as his defense got walked around and abused more often than not. Though the plus/minus won't show it, the defense for the Penguins was horrific at best. Even with Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek back there, it didn't do much to stop the onslaught.
The only bright spot for the Pens could be the fact the offense scored their share, with eight players at or above a point-per-game clip and the superstars being the superstars when called upon. Yet, it's not much condolence for the NHL that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are out, as they are part of the premier team the NHL seems to enjoy showing off on a national stage, but it should also allow some other teams to get press....unless Crosby does something crazy like retire.
Even so, the fact that most of the hockey world is ecstatic for the the elimination of the Penguins so early will give many people the enjoyability of watching hockey once again without having to hear about what Sidney Crosby is having for an off-day meal and how good the Pens were in that four-minute clip of not letting in a goal. The hockey world can breathe again and enjoy learning new players that may have gotten lost in the fold because of the Western Pennsylvania contingency