Game two of the season is in the books for the Pittsburgh Penguins and we’ve learned that the Pens are actually able to score. A sloppy start for both teams turned into a track meet, with a frantic pace that felt more like game two of the Finals instead of just the season.
Here are some notable notes from last night.
Points of Emphasis:
“Welcome to Pittsburgh, Phil.”
After the team was shut out in Dallas two nights ago, new Penguin Phil Kessel registered his first / team’s first goal of the season during the 2nd period.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, Phil. pic.twitter.com/7hXuaSz7R5
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 11, 2015
Mike Smith stood on his head for most of the game, allowing only Kessel’s goal. The pace of the game played to the Pens strengths, and I believe Ryan Wilson of Hockeybuzz had it right:
This is one of those games you can't really get upset if you don't get desired result. Process is correct and most nights they get rewarded
— Ryan Wilson (@GunnerStaal) October 11, 2015
[pull_quote_right author=”Mike Johnston”]”We have to get the puck to the net more, and I thought early in the game we allowed Smith to get into a rhythm by not getting the puck to him as much as we needed to.”[/pull_quote_right]
It’s true that what the Pens were doing was working. They worked hard towards the puck, were creative in their pass selection and took well-timed shots. On any other night a hockey team would have been rewarded with multiple goals. Tonight instead was Smith’s party – and only Kessel came to dance.
Dating back to the start of LAST season, the Pens have lost every single game where they trailed heading into the 3rd. After last night’s game, the team is now 0-2. The game basically ended with 3 minutes left when an errant Kris Letang pass (a “lollipop,” as play-by-play man Paul Steigerwald described it) led to an Evgeni Malkin penalty. After that, the refs put their whistles away, setting up a brutal final minute that was “No Holds Barred.”
That's an automatic first down in the NFL: https://t.co/2M2Gpk8fr4
— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) October 11, 2015
I understand that we don’t want games decided by the refs, but stuff this blatant needs to be called every time. Regardless of the time left, call the game the same way. Last night wasn’t handled that way, and that’s a shame; as it was a fantastic game regrettably marred by its ending.
Maatta of Time:
It was Olli Maatta’s 100th career game:
It was Olli a Maatta of time. Congrats on 100 NHL games, Maatta! pic.twitter.com/xkmLm7GAAA
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 11, 2015
You Can’t Un-See It:
Not everything about last night’s game needs to be hard-hitting analysis. Fashion also came into play:
Perhaps it’s time for former Penguin Jay Caulfield to… *snicker* just look already.
I'm just here for Jays telestrator.. pic.twitter.com/6RoWqfzjP1
— Becky🌼 (@rebeccaleigh423) October 11, 2015
Wiz Caught Wizzing
Let’s end this on a high note, shall we?
Police: Rapper Wiz Khalifa cited for public urination behind bar on Pittsburgh's South Side: http://t.co/k3CBI0Fq8R
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 11, 2015
Lee is a contributor here at The Hockey Writers as well as at Pens Initiative. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he worked an internship at VH1 Radio in NYC and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Penn State – New Kensington campus student newspaper, The Nittany Pride. You can visit Lee’s website here: leecjsobotka.com.