Thoughts, musings and observations from the Pens' 7-1 loss against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place.
*What is most disconcerting about this loss for the Penguins wasn't the lack of effort, but lack of execution. Pittsburgh played casually with the puck, and that laziness led to turnovers. Those turnovers fed the Winnipeg transition game, and made life easy on the Jets.
It was careless mistakes that killed the Pens. Whether it was Evgeni Malkin losing the puck at his own blue line. Or Kris Letang getting shaked out of his skates. Or Zach Trotman getting lost in the neutral zone, the Penguins made plenty of mistakes.
*Pittsburgh gave up five goals in the first period, and trailed 5-0 after 20 minutes. That included surrendering three goals in a 34-second span, and a hat trick to Blake Wheeler. Although Pittsburgh played much better in the second and third period, there was no way to overcome a five-goal deficit. The Pens lost this game in the opening 20. The final 40 were a formality.
*The Penguins gave up a goal to the Jets just 80 seconds after puck drop, and it was an omen of things to come. Pittsburgh had three opportunities to clear the puck out of its defensive zone, and failed to do so. Winnipeg took advantage of Pittsburgh's tired legs and Andrew Copp scored his first goal of the season.
*Goalie Casey DeSmith had a rude introduction to the NHL. After Matt Murray gave up four goals on nine shots in the first period, the Penguins turned to DeSmith. First, he had trouble locating his gear, which was on the bench. Then DeSmith faced a 2-on-1 rush in the opening seconds of his NHL tenure. On the play Wheeler finished off his hat trick. DeSmith gave up a goal on the first shot he faced in his career.
DeSmith did make a couple exceptional saves in the final two frames, but it certainly wasn't an ideal circumstance to make your NHL debut.
*If there was one bright spot - and there weren't many - it was Pittsburgh's power play. The unit once against looked fantastic in its puck movement and generating chances. The Pens' power play registered the club's only goal of the game and continues to thrive.
However, Pittsburgh cannot win games solely on its power play. The Pens need to get much better at 5-on-5.