Since Nelson already described the Pens-Sharks game, I see no point in
rehashing it. But I'd like to add that I wasn't impressed with the Pens
win. I thought they looked sloppy at times, and remembering thinking "If they
play like this against the Kings, they'll lose."
Well, they did play like that against the Kings, and they did lose. 5-3.
The Pens allowed 3 break-away goals (one a short handed goal.) Kelly Hrudy
stopped 35 of 38 shots. Not to take anything away from Hrudy, because he
played an excellent game, but a numberof those shots were stoppable. That's
because the Kings had disrupted the Pens style of play, and forced them
to take shots they normally wouldn't. The Kings outplayed the Pens in
almost every aspect of the game. The Kings didn't score on the power play.
Which was probably due more to Coffey being out than the Pens playing well.
I'm not suprised that they lost, considering the Pens have a losing record
this season against teams above .500. The Kings looked like a team gearing
up for the playoffs, and the Pens looked like a team struggling to make the
The Kings were up and ready to play. They controlled the tempo of
the game from the opening faceoff. The Pens occasionally would play them
even, but couldn't do it consistently for the first 2 periods, and didn't
do it at all in the third.
The Kings scored first at 3:49. Luc Robitaille's shot (McSorley, Thompson)
bounced off the inside of Barrasso's skate and into the net. That was all
the scoring in the first. Both teams had power play chances, but neither were
able to capitalize.
The Pens power play continues to look totally disorganized, with practically
every player on the team with the exception of the goalies playing the points.
Bowman is trying to fill the void left by Coffey, and he's trying every
combination of point men he can think of. So far, nothing is really working.
And this inability to generate any kind of action on the power play is really
hurting the Pens.
The Pens were able to score in the second. In one of the few instances the
Pens were able to put anything together, Larry Murphy(Stevens, Lemieux 5:15)
on a nice feed from Stevens, put the puck between Hrudy's legs. The puck
either bounced off or bounced over the heel of Hrudy's left skate.
The Pens scored again at 9:04, on a flukey goal. Bryan Trottier (Loney),
was to the right of Hrudy. He was standing almost parallel with the net, and
he was about halfway between the boards and the net. He just shot the puck.
I don't know exactly what he was trying to do, but all of the sudden the goal
light game on. On the replay it looked like the puck bounced off the webbing
in Hrudy's glove, fell to the ice and hit the post, and bounced into the net.
That's the last time the Pens would have the lead.
The Kings scored the tying goal at 10:24. Jarri Kurri fed Wayne Gretzky with
a grat pass, and he and Tony Granato were off to the races. They had a two on
one break, with Larry Murphy the lone defenseman. Barrasso moved over to play
Gretzky, who then passed to Granato. Murphy was unable to cut off the pass.
Barrasso tried to move back but was too late. The game was tied after 2.
:17 into the third, the Kings scored again. Taylor(dont know his first name.)
put a rebound past Barrasso. Larry Murphy could have cleared the rebound, but
didn't appear to see it until it was too late. (Donnelly, McIntyre assisted.)
At 3:16, Hrudy came up with a big save, which lead to a big score. He stopped
Jaromir Jagr on a backhander. Thompson(Sorry, I don't know his first name
either.) got the rebound and passed it to Gretzky. He and Granato took off
on another 2 on 1, with Paul Stanton as the lone defenseman. (Hi Ho Silver.
The Pens defen*** should start wearing masks.) Granato went upstairs to
The 3rd Kings goal came during a Pens power play. The disorganization finally
caught up with them. Gretzky (Robinson, McIntrye) and another King (I didn't
see who.) took off on yet another 2 on 1, with Murphy back. Gretzky passed the
puck, Barrasso slid over. Murphy went down, and actually blocked the pass.
Unfortunately for Larry, the puck bounced off his body and back out to Gretzky
who put it past Barrasso who was trying to get back to Gretzky's side of the
The Pens scored a power play goal at 18:37. Larry Watters went out on a five
minute major for high sticking at 16:14. Rick Tocchet(Stevens, McEachern)
beat a screened Hrudy. But it was much too little too late. The Pens pulled
Barrasso to put a sixth attacker on. All that meant was 6 Pens were totally
confused on the power play instead of the normal 5.
Lemieux was looking a bit ragged by the end of the game. I don't know why
Bowman played him in back to back games. I expected him to sit out the San
Jose game. Because Lemieux always has trouble the next day, especially if
travel is involved. His legs looked to be gone by the third.
I also thought Wregget would play in San Jose. I was surprised to see Barrasso
playing. Has Wregget found his way into Bowman's doghouse, too?
Scratches: Wendell Young, Frank Pietrangelo, Kjell Samuelsson (Friday only.
Due to the flu.), Paul Stanton (Friday only.) Peter Taglianetti (Saturday only)
Grant Jennings (Saturday only), Jiri Hrdina, Ken Priestlay, Jamie Leach,
Jim Paek. (I have no idea way Paek was scratched. I didn't hear anything about
him having the flu. If Bowman scratched a perfectly healthy Jim Paek, he's
Craig Patrick admitted he is having a difficult time trying to deal his
surplus players. His main concern right now is trying to move one (or
both) of the spare goalies. He has until 3:00pm March 10th to trade players.
I don't know if he'll be able to do it, or what he'll have to sacrifice to do
In yesterday's Pgh. Press, it was reported that Patrick was trying to look
for a defenseman to replace Paul Coffey. (He's obviously going for a younger,
cheaper model. Otherwise, he's have kept the original.) It was also reported
that the Calgary Flames have expressed interest in Ulf Samuelsson. But Patrick
is not interested in dealing Samuelsson.
Bryan Trottier is quoted in an article in this morning's Post Gazette as saying
that the players are closer than ever in calling a strike if nothing is
resolved in this most recent round of player/owner talks.
"Absolutely. As the deadline gets closer and closer, there's a greater and
greater chance." said Trottier after the Pens-Kings game on Saturday. "We
need to see some movement."
"The mood and the general feeling that we get from the owners will determine
the course the players have to take." he said. "Hopefully, it will be very
positive, and both sides will be willing to hit the books."
If nothing is resolved, the players could strike as soon as Mar 16, the day
after they receive their final paycheck of the season.
Trottier, president of the NHLPA, flew to NYC yesterday afternoon to prepare
for today's meetings. The meetings are expected to last all week, but
Trottier said he plans to fly back for the Pens game at home against Calgary
Contact for the Penguins