Points of Emphasis: Kessel Scores, Refs Sleep, Pens Fall

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.

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:

[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.”

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:


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:

You Can’t Un-See It:

Not everything about last night’s game needs to be hard-hitting analysis. Fashion also came into play:

Jay’s Telestrator:

Perhaps it’s time for former Penguin Jay Caulfield to… *snicker* just look already.

Wiz Caught Wizzing

Let’s end this on a high note, shall we?