Well, if anyone listened to the Two Beers Deep live podcast yesterday (which you definitely should because they are GREAT), you might have heard me say during the hockey talky segment that the Penguins weren’t going to win last night…
Matt Murray showed up to play. Trust me, I LOVE being wrong about the Penguins losing. To take a piece of what I said in my article yesterday regarding the Penguins being a sinking ship (which I still unfortunately believe is the case, but I’ll touch on that later), I stated the following:
” We have talented players, even with our injuries. Sure, Malkin, Bjugstad, Rust and Galchenyuk are out, but don’t count out Crosby, Guentzel, McCann, Tanger and Schultz. They are all capable of leading this team to victory. If Matt Murray can provide them the goaltending they need, I can see the Penguins coming out on top of the Ducks tonight. “
I’ve emphasized the key part of that little tid bit. Last night, Matt Murray showed up to play and only allowed one goal on 32 shots. That’s the type of effort the Penguins need from him. He needs to be that wall in net when the team is battered and bruised. Another good factor here, I noted to not count out Crosby, Guentzel, McCann, Tanger and Schultz. Let’s take a look at the goals scored yesterday by the Penguins.
Now McCann may not have made the scoresheet, but you got at least 1 point from the 4 other players noted. Letang and Schultz assisted on Crosby’s goal, and Crosby and Simon assisted on Guentzel’s goal. They stepped up when they needed to and got the job done. That’s what the Penguins need, every night they play. The leaders to step up and play to the best of their ability. With some key leaders out and a good portion of the team coming from the baby Pens (Wilkes-Barre), they need leadership to help them.
It also helps when the captain nets an absolute BEAUTY of a redirect from Tanger, bar down. That’s a real morale boost, that’s for sure. It’s unfortunate that the Ducks scored 30 seconds later on a real soft shot from the left of Murray. He wasn’t covering the post well, and it squeaked right in. That being the only blemish though, I’ll take the game the Penguins played. Murray made some great saves during the game to make up for that.
The second goal the Penguins had was a beauty of a goal as well. Sid and the kids grinding it out the whole way down the rink. I’m not one to praise Simon, but the kid fought HARD for the puck in the Pens zone, and Sid did Sid things controlling it all the way to the goal line of the Ducks. I nice soft pass to the slot for Guentzel led to a game deciding goal.
It’s a HUGE win for the Penguins before they go on the road for the first time the season, but it’s not going to patch all the holes in their sinking ship. The title of this article refers to Murray being a coin flip, because quite frankly, he’s incredibly inconsistent. You could honestly have a different Murray every night. The wall that he was last night, or the slice of Swiss he was against the Jets.
Until the injury list shortens and Murray gains some consistency, this ship will be in a state of sinking. I’m hoping their trip to the 0-3-0 Minnesota Wild will be a good chance to get a streak going and keep the wheels turning. I have faith the Pens will lock things up, they always seem to do just that.