Posts Tagged ‘Maxime Talbot’

Penguins 3, Hurricanes 0: I Think We All Saw This Brent Johnson Season Coming

October 31, 2010

This was one of those “simple analysis” type games, which is good, because I never feel like writing long posts on the weekend. I prefer spending the weekend relaxing by the beach, re-enacting Corona commercials by, like, pouring a mai tai on my cell phone, or whatever. I literally do that every single weekend. I’ve gone through hundreds of cell phones, but it’s totally worth…nah it’s not worth it. I really should stop ruining my cell phones with mai tais every weekend to prove how relaxed I am.

Whoops, I’m already rambling and making the short post long. The simple analysis:

1) The Penguins showed a lot of jump, particularly for a road game the night after a home game (though the ratio of Pens fans to Canes fans sounded downright Yankees-in-Tampaesque).

2) Brent Johnson played awesomely, and Cam Ward played not awesomely.

Johnson stopped 33 Carolina shots to notch his first shutout in a Penguin uniform, improving to 5-0-1 on the year. Ward, conversely, let in a Max Talbot goal after Talbot attempted to make a forehand move, lost the puck, and it slid in under Ward, then allowed a second goal to Pascal Dupuis on an unscreened, untipped wrister from the right circle.

The Johnson / Fleury disparity this season has been so glaring, it doesn’t require in-depth statistical analysis, but right now the numbers are just staggering:

Johnson: 5-0-1, 1.16 GAA, .960 SV%
Fleury: 1-5-0, 3.35 GAA, .863 SV%

At what point do we stop just automatically assuming Fleury will reclaim the starting job? That’s not a smart-assed rhetorical question, I honestly have no idea how this situation is going to play out over the next couple months. Brent Johnson has allowed 7 goals in six games – Bylsma has to keep starting him over Fleury for the foreseeable future, using Fleury only on their upcoming Friday/Saturday back-to-backs in the next two weeks, if at all. 12 games is a small sample size, and obviously we can’t throw Fleury under the bus after 6 games (and a bunch of bad games last year including several playoff ones ok I’ll stop this parenthesis has made its point). But Johnson’s certainly making it interesting.

By the way, that two-year, $600,000 / yr deal the Pens gave Johnson is looking slightly decent now, huh?


Place Your Bets: Who’s Getting Injured In The Pens Game Tonight?

November 19, 2009

Maxime Talbot and Sergei Gonchar are both scheduled to return for the Pens against Ottawa tonight, which can only mean one thing: Someone else is getting injured in tonight’s game. The only question is, who?

I feel like a Crosby or Fleury injury would be too on-the-nose for this season, so I don’t think Pen-karma will go quite that far, and Eaton going down to complete the cycle of injured opening night defensemen would be the easy choice, so I’m not gonna go there either.  I’m predicting it’ll be a more minor player, but with a more major injury than we’ve seen so far, just to keep things interesting / annoying.

My prediction: I’m putting $50 on Craig Adams going out 4-6 months with a lower body injury.

My friend Doug bets on a Talbot re-injury in the middle of the game tonight, which isn’t a bad prediction either — you can practically already hear Bob Errey saying “We haven’t seen Max Talbot since he went down the runway in the middle of the second period, no word on his condition yet, hopefully it’s not anything serious…”

Anyone else want to throw an injury prediction on the record? Feel free to leave ’em in the comments.

UPDATE: Mark Eaton is “questionable” tonight. Why wouldn’t he be?

GAME FOUR: Pens 5, Capitals 3 — A Goaltenders’ Duel…ON OPPOSITE DAY LOLOL

May 9, 2009

The Pens are back even in the series after an absurd 5-3 victory in Game 4, a highly entertaining if chaotic affair that likely chopped a few years off the lives of both head coaches. Lots to talk about after this one, but two elements stood out in particular:

1 — Simeon Varlamov quickly morphed from being alternatively unbeatable and untested by the Pens’ finishers to suddenly incredibly vulnerable, allowing inexcusable goals to Sergei Gonchar, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Max Talbot. All three were unscreened, undeflected shots from a relatively far distance, with the Fedotenko goal coming on an exceptionally pathetic bounce off Valramov’s lazy glove hand. Fleury also let up an awful goal to Nicklas Backstrom to let the Caps on the board early, but followed with a couple redemption saves including an absolutely sick glove-snatch of a Sergei Federov wrister heading into a wide open upper-corner. I hesistate to interpret Varlamov’s performance as anything other than a one-game anomaly, but it’ll be up to the Pens to be sure to test him early in Game 5 in front of a restless home crowd in a pivotal series game to force him to prove that it was indeed just a one-game funk.

2 — The officiating in this game was just outright horrible on both sides, and likely didn’t end up affecting the outcome because of its balanced stupidity. The Chris Clark cross-check on Max Talbot never happened, Sergei Federov’s stickless holding penalty on Evgeni Malkin looked like an infraction in real-time but definitely wasn’t one, and the Pens got away with a really clear interference of Tom Poti on their own power play (Poti has now thrown his arms up to the refs three times in two games, including the BS Dupuis penalty in Game 3 — Crosby is a whiner!!!). Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin only received two minutes for a knee-to-knee injuring of Sergei Gonchar, which Empty Netters argues wasn’t a malicious hit and isn’t suspendable, but even the most random, careless high stick is a 4-minute penalty if it draws blood, so how can a half-intentional brutal kneeing only be two minutes? Matt Bradley also got away with two incredibly blatent interferences on the Capitals’ third goal, including pushing Brooks Orpik into the Penguins’ net right before the goal was scored. All in all, the game had a totally chaotic and choppy rhythm, and I’m hoping for the Pens’ crappy power play’s sake that Game 5 errs more on the side of few penalties for both sides as opposed to tons of man advantages for both sides.

Other odds and ends:

Matt Cooke has had a horrible series against his former club, from the awful Ovechkin hold in Game 1 to the second Caps’ goal last night, where he was apparently covering the imaginary Ed Harris character from A Beautiful Mind on the right side of the net. Dupuis has also been ineffective, which is largely expected, but he can’t take dumb penalties like the slash in Game 4 during his twenty seconds of ice time.

Miro Satan with a skillful, significant assist!!! And the contract is totally justified!!!

Hal Gill, Rob Scuderi, and Mark Eaton have all played like legitimate, steady NHL defensemen in this series, and especially in the last two games. Eaton’s initially-regrettable two-year deal looks like a solid bargain for Ray Shero at the moment.

— The team that’s scored the first goal has now lost every game in the series. This is what we stats-lovers call, “A meaningless detail that we hope Versus tries to talk about as if it’s significant.”