Bill Guerin gives his three impressions of Pittsburgh's 3-1 loss to New Jersey.
1. We didn’t have enough guys going tonight.
2. We didn’t score on the power play, we didn’t generate enough on the power play.
3. We turned pucks over in the wrong areas against a team that’s notorious for creating turnovers and scoring off those opportunities.
Michelle Crechiolo gives her three impressions from the media level.
1. NOT A FULL 60
While the final score doesn’t reflect it, I thought the Pens played a solid first tw periods, give or take a few minutes – the defensemen especially. They were making smart reads in thir own end, especially in 1-on-1 situations. They maintained good gaps, going for the pokecheck/stood up their guy at the right times. They also did a great job of protecting the puck on retrievals, boxing out the Devils forwards coming in on the forecheck, and making sure the puck got out by making a good first pass to their forwards or jumping up to be outlets. That, in turn, helped the forwards get up the ice, who were all skating well. But they started getting sloppy as the game progressed, and they paid for it. So while there’s things to build off of, the Pens need to make sure they play a full 60 moving forward. It’s a cliché for a reason.
2. GOT TO STOP THE SKID
This was the Pens’ third straight regulation loss, extending their winless streak to four games. I’ll defer to the captain on what they need to do to keep this from snowballing. “Of course, it’s something that we’ve got to stop,” Sidney Crosby said. “But we’ve just got to find a way to get the first one. We can’t look at it as a whole; I think you just go out there and make sure we improve off of this one and get a win. But we definitely don’t want to continue this same way.”
3. CROSBY WAS MAGNIFICENT
With two goals in his last 15 games entering tonight’s matchup against New Jersey, Crosby spent the last few days answering questions about why he’s not scoring and how he keeps from getting frustrated. “The chances are there. Obviously that’s the last part of it, just putting the puck in the net. So you have to trust that they’ll eventually go in,” he said this morning. And with 5:22 remaining in the first period, one did. The goal was vintage Crosby. He stepped around defenseman Andy Greene, leaving him in his dust, and roofed his trademark backhand – which is harder than some NHLers’ forehands – into the top of the net. Overall, I felt like Crosby was magnificent tonight. He was so strong with the puck and was skating with so much speed. It was one of those nights where you just didn’t want the puck to leave his stick because he was making magic happen.