Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Penguins 1 - Blues 4: A Real Stinker

The Penguins had a nice home date set up with the NHL's worst team, the St. Louis Blues. Instead of racking up some nice stats and getting a nice win, the Penguins ended up stinking worse than a baby's diaper, losing 4-1.

Sidney had an assist on the lone goal and finished with a cruddy -2 in 20:10 of ice time. The only positive for Crosby was that he went 13 for 23 on faceoffs.

From Yahoo Sports:
Andy Murray was hired as the St. Louis Blues coach last week to get them to play like this. It surprised his players that it took five games to happen.

Doug Weight and Dan Hinote each had a goal and an assist and the Blues stopped an 11-game losing streak that was threatening a franchise record, beating the uninspired Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Tuesday night.

The Blues began the game with an NHL-low seven victories and a losing streak that was two short of last season's franchise-worst 13 in a row, only to dominate the Penguins for the second season in a row. The Penguins' dismal 3-0 loss in St. Louis in mid-December a year ago led to former coach Eddie Olczyk's firing two days later and Michel Therrien's hiring.

This time, the Blues won for their new coach. They dropped their first four games after Murray replaced Mike Kitchen, including an overtime decision and another in a shootout on successive nights to Nashville last weekend.

"We've been so close, it was disappointing the last couple of games," defenseman Barret Jackman said. "We knew Pittsburgh was a great offensive team and if we played a good defensive team game, we had a chance to win it."

The Penguins scored 27 goals while winning four of their last five. But they were 1-of-8 on the power play and are only 2-of-25 in their last three games, a low output for a team that often has Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the ice with a man advantage.

"It's hard to get anything going on the power play when the work ethic isn't there," said Crosby, who had an assist to run his scoring streak to nine games. "We have skill, but when we don't work hard that isn't enough."

The Penguins played so poorly, Therrien couldn't believe what he was watching.

"It's unacceptable," Therrien said. "The building is full, they come and support the team, and to have a performance like this ... I'm really disappointed in a lot of guys."
A big lump of coal for the Penguins this Xmas.

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