Early season woes for the Steel City?

Well…the game for the Penguins last night started out great! Sidney Crosby scored to put them ahead within the first minute of the game. It looked like we were going to easily rout the Jets…I mean they haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 2006 so this should be easy right?

Photo by Joe Sargent via Getty Images

That was clearly not the case.

Almost six minutes into the game, Ville Heinola scored his first NHL career goal with a ripper from the top of the left circle. Not to discredit the kid at all, but that was a very…very bad goal. It hit into Murray and then just trickled in. It was a soft goal, but something that has seemed to be the case with Matt Murray recently. What side was it on? YOU GUESSED IT. Glove side.

Photo by Joe Sargent via Getty Images

I don’t understand what it is, but if he CANNOT get his glove side under control then something has to happen. Pull him for Jarry and give Jarry a shot. I know it’s the beginning of the season and it can get better in time, but will it? It’s been 2-3 years now that Murray has had issues with his glove side, and they don’t seem to be getting any better. Something has gotta give here.

The second goal for the Jets came from Nicolaj Ehlers, who came bursting down the right hand side to intercept a very soft pass from Zach Aston-Reese. I’m not sure what ZAR was doing when he was tapping it from the boards, but Ehlers took complete advantage of it. It was a hell of shot, one that made Murray look like his controller disconnected. He just stood there…didn’t even make a move for it. I’m not sure if he didn’t realize the shot happened, if he wasn’t paying attention, if he was staring at the crowd or what, but it was an AWFUL look. I feel like I don’t need to point out this was glove side but………..it was glove side.

The third of the night for Winnipeg came from Tucker Poolman, he ripped a shot from the slot which bounced off Murray’s right arm and into the net. This was a goal that developed from honestly a piss poor effort from Letang in the corner trying to get the puck. Absolutely atrocious effort, which led to the puck slowly coming to the slot, where two Penguins players both decided to attack the same Jets player and disregard the puck. The puck continued on and Poolman just had an easy shot to take.

The fourth and final goal of the night came from Neal Pionk who backhanded a sitting puck in behind Murray while there was a mad scramble in front of the net. It was a nice summary of the night for the Penguins.

Photo by Joe Sargent via Getty Images

Dude…there is no way to sugarcoat it. The Penguins have been ATROCIOUS in their end. They haven’t played well at all. They’ve given up pucks, made awful passes, give piss poor effort and looks where it’s gotten them. 1-2 on the season, with their only victory coming from the flaming dumpster that is the Columbus Blue Jackets at the moment. They need to figure something out, it doesn’t matter if they have the best offense in the world, if they keep playing as badly as they have been in their own zone, it’s not going to matter. They need to figure out how to protect their own net before they even think about taking the attack to the defending net.

Looking at you, Sully. Make something happen. Shake something up. Wake this team up before you dig yourselves a hole you can’t get out of. Malkin and Bjugstad being out shouldn’t account for the awful play in your own zone.

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