Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Game 4: Penguins 1 - Senators 2

Ruh Roh!!!

The Penguins are just one loss away from hitting the links after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of those Senators last night.

Sidney, while he didn't hit the score sheet, was dangerous all night long.

So, why are the Pens losing?

Well, according to Jon Press over at The Fanhouse, the Pens' role players are sucking big time:
The Pens have had goals scored by only three different forwards -- Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Gary Roberts. Notably yet to light the lamp (or bulge the onion bag, as our British friends might say), are big guns Evgeni Malkin and Mark Recchi and role players Michel Ouellet, Erik Christensen, Ryan Malone and Colby Armstrong -- half a dozen players who combined to score 122 goals during the regular season.

The common thread here (with the exception of Recchi), of course, is youth. This is the first playoff experience for the other five skaters, and it shows. Malkin has four assists, but looked largely indifferent until late in Game Three. Armstrong has provided a bit of a physical presence, but no offense. Ouellet has had his moments skating mostly with Roberts and Staal, but has fired only seven shots on goal in the four games. Christensen is getting no ice time (and was scratched for Game Four), and Ryan Malone has a team-worst minus-4 rating. The list of goal-less Pens goes on and on, but you get the point.
Sidney played 22:22 and finished with 4 shots on goal. With Sidney snakebit, nobody was picking up the slack, and now the Penguins are on the brink ...

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