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The game shouldn't be so difficult



I say that tongue in cheek, of course. On the other hand, maybe the sentiment is right. In a 4-1 loss, in a game in which neither Vinny Lecavalier nor Sidney Crosby was involved in the scoring, I thought the Penguins were a good example of keeping things simple and creating by doing some basic things right.

Jordan Staal's second goal, for instance, came after Lightning defenseman Mike Lundin could not get the puck out of the defensive zone. Staal beats Shane O'Brien for control of the puck in the corner, skates toward the net and simply gets a shot on Karri Ramo. If nothing else, Staal should have gotten a rebound. Instead, Ramo can't make a save he should have make and Pittsburgh is up 2-1.

The Penguins' third goal,  again nothing flashy but basic. Petr Sykora's shot off a broken stick hits Staal and goes right to Ryan Malone who is doing exactly what he should, crashing the net. See? Simple, basic stuff.

As for the Lightning, I love watching their skill players, but I feel sometimes they are ill-served by trying to make the "perfect'' play. Geez, just wind up and shoot sometimes, who knows what will happen. Especially on a power play. You've got numbers, shoot and go for rebounds. And, by the way, these guys have some of the best shots in the league. They should use them more.

As for Jan Hlavac, even he said, "I don't know what to do,'' about his inability to score. When you miss from 35 feet in front of an open net, you may never score again.

Liked this quote from Torts after the game:

"I'm not too interested in analyzing things. I'm not too interested in players analyzing things. I'm interested in players making a difference more consistently. Because if we don't stop analyzing and don't start making a difference consistently, we're done.''

It is amazing, though, that even after Thursday's loss, Tampa Bay is still just eight points out of the final playoff spot. Sure, they have many team to climb over, but the league is so (bad?) this season, a couple of wins in a row could put Tampa Bay back into the thick of things. They should think about keeping it simple.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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