Associate GM Jason Botterill gives his three impressions from the booth of the Penguins’ 4-0 loss to Nasvhille.
1. Execution level wasn’t what it needed to be.
2. Special teams.
3. It’s a cliché, but last minute of the second period, you give up a goal. That third goal was huge.
Michelle Crechiolo gives her three impressions from the press box.
1. The Pens’ execution just wasn’t there today. They were struggling to make plays the whole game. A lot of their passes were either bouncing, behind the intended target/in his skates, or intercepted. They also had a lot of shots blocked by the Predators, who played an outstanding overall game. They’re a tough defensive team that has the speed to play aggressively in their own end, and as a result they didn’t give the Pens a lot of time, space or options and they forced a lot of turnovers. But the Pens didn’t do enough to adjust. They didn't battle through and try to exploit Nashville’s backup goalie Carter Hutton, who’s moved into the starting role with Pekka Rinne injured. They kept trying to make extra passes and move it around the perimeter without getting it intercepted instead of just getting to the net with bodies there. They needed to simplify their game, and instead made it more complicated. They needed to make smarter decisions with the puck.
2. This is one of those games where you felt for Marc-Andre Fleury, who was left hanging out to dry on all four goals. He was screened on two (with one of those deflecting off a skate as well) and the other two were the result of bad turnovers by his defensemen, which ended up on the sticks of Predators all alone in the slot. There’s not a lot he could do on any of those. He’s got to start getting more help from his teammates, as the Pens have now been shut out in two of their last three games.
3. After going down 2-0 in the first, the Pens had three power-play opportunities in the first 10-plus minutes of the second period where they could have began chipping away at the deficit, but they couldn’t get anything going. They needed to come through with at least one big goal on the man-advantage, and they weren’t able to.