Michelle Crechiolo gives you her three impressions of the Pens' 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
1. Rob Scuderi described the Pens' effort as "flat," which was very fitting. The Pens looked tired and depleted, and as a result, they were lackadaisical. The effort wasn’t there. They weren’t skating hard or winning battles. And when they did have the puck, they just couldn’t get anything going. Vancouver did a fantastic job of clogging things up and making it difficult on the Pens to go north, and as a result, they weren’t creating. Their season-low shot total reflects that. The Pens had just thirteen shots through two periods and 21 total. Twenty. One. Unacceptable. Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack may have gotten a shutout, but he didn’t have to work very hard for it. He was barely tested through the first 40 minutes, and while the Pens picked it up in the third period, it was too little, too late by then. Normally, you can never count this Penguins team out no matter what the situation is with all the talent they have. But tonight was one of those nights where you just felt that 3-0 was an insurmountable deficit. And it was.
2. It wasn’t the greatest night for Thomas Greiss in his home debut, as he misplayed a puck behind the net that directly resulted in the Canucks’ third goal. It was a big turning point in the game. Blake Comeau had just laid a thundering hit on a Canucks player and Vancouver took a too-many-men penalty seconds later, which that got the building rocking and the momentum going in the Pens' favor. But they lost it quickly when the Canucks got a shorthanded goal. And overall, Greiss just seemed somewhat shaky. “It just was an awkward game,” he said. “It felt like it was hard for me to get into it. Just never felt quite comfortable in the game.” But after speaking with him postgame, I think he’ll bounce back just fine from this performance. He's got an unflappable demeanor.
3. The Pens lost top-six winger Patric Hornqvist in the second period after he was stood up in the neutral zone by defenseman Ryan Stanton. Hornqvist headed straight to the locker room after the hit and did not return. After the game, head coach Mike Johnston said he didn’t have a chance to talk to the trainers and had no update on Hornqvist.
“Hopefully he’s ok,” Sidney Crosby said. “If he’s out, then we all got to step up and find a way. I don’t think there’s anyone here who’s going to feel sorry for us. Other teams aren’t, so we just got to find a way to get through it.”