Early Thursday, the Penguins called Philip Hollander for an emergency recall from the AHL, meaning they lacked 12 healthy forwards. Due to an illness unrelated to COVID-19, the locker room was only a question of which of the two strikers could not play. One eventually became the birthplace of Zohorn, in any case a recent healthy scratch, but the second sick player was Sidney Crosby. Add John Marina to miss his first game of the season due to illness, and the Pence played behind even before the game began.
However, 20 minutes later Pittsburgh was impressively kept there with the New York Rangers. Perhaps they had the best chance to score in the period when Danton Heinen took the pass to Teddy Bluger to have a great look at the net. He missed the goal with his shot and the game continued.
Lately, the Penguins have been throwing goals in critical situations, which coaches always emphasize. The first minute of menstruation. Last minute of menstruation. Shift after goal. These are crucial moments, and in the first minute of the second period Frank Vatran scored, opening the scoring for New York. Blog friend Jesse Marshall did a great showdown on where and how the Pens check didn’t give them just a second, and how it ended up biting them.
The season is too late to see such fundamental failures in a system like this. This is a clear example of what I mean when I say that the lack of prior verification means instant death in this system. It’s just like the day. This comes from a controlled breakthrough. pic.twitter.com/bNsX4PmWs0
– Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) April 8, 2022
In the middle of the second period, the Rangers increased their lead to 2-0 at an almost identical start to the series at the peak. Artemiy Panarin scored from the backhand, and maybe Tristan Jari will want it back.
Part two. The same segment passed in the same lane due to lack of prior inspection. This time it’s an intrusion into the offensive zone and it works (in my opinion). See how quickly everything is falling apart here. pic.twitter.com/hKOWe0WkRZ
– Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) April 8, 2022
That would be about all for the highlights of the game when teams exchange multiple forces and then Dryden Hunt earns on an empty net to set the final score in the form of a 3-0 Ranger win.
- A lot of strength for this game flowed with the announcement that Crosby was injured, Marina and Jason Zucker today also did not return after injury. It’s not much to preview a playoff that lacks so many parts, and not too much to draw from.
- When Marina missed the game today, Evan Rodriguez becomes the only candidate from the team as an iron man to have played in all 72 games this season.
- Philip Hollander made his NHL debut (barely 5:14 of ice time). But it also finally becomes the answer to the little things: “who was the first Penguin player to be born in the 2000s”?
- For all the fans’ love for Guentzel-Malkin-Rust, there was no special instant spark. Igor Shesterkin really robbed Gunzel right ahead in the second period from a good pass by Malkin, and the Rangers stopped an attempt to transfer Gunzel to Malkin in the third, but otherwise a fairly quiet night for the best remaining players.
- Speaking of Shesterkin, he will close the regular season against the Pence, scoring just four goals in four games, only one of which was scored 5 to 5. It doesn’t leave a very good feeling of reaching the playoffs when you see a goalkeeper with 0.960% rescue in the season series, but at such a pace that if Carolina loses to Buffalo in the press, who knows, the NYR may do the unlikely and make it come out on top in the division if current trends continue.
- Anthony Angela made a few waves by dropping Tyler Motto with a big hit at the end of the game. Motte, 5’10 for a start, reached out to play the puck. Angela, 6’5, could have cut him in the break, but didn’t and smashed the player in a vulnerable position. There was no head contact, but it was a hard blow. The judges obviously decided that something should be called, and focused on the intervention of a minor, which did not please any of the coaches. Mike Sullivan would have had a better point, it definitely wasn’t an intervention since the puck was in play. If anything, it was for a rough hit on a smaller player too hard,
- The national broadcast was a bit critical for Angela about his decision to go for the big hit if he could concede, but we have a fourth-line player who gets a few minutes into the game and (literally) tries to get out of the impact. Angela was credited with four shots in the game, despite playing less than seven minutes. He tries to throw the body and do his job, which is to finish his checks and play hard. Let’s hope that with Motte everything will be fine, but this is not exactly a player to target or anything else, rather a failed clash.
- The pens got three strengths of play, and none of them were effective or very beautiful. Of course, given that Crosby was not there.
- The hard news is actually the start of three games in four days and four games in six. From here, the schedule only increases, and hopefully the worst truancy is over. Just when you thought there was anything left in 2020 or 2021 ….
And it’s going to be a really big weekend when the Caps and Prades come to Pittsburgh for a couple of hockey games this afternoon.