That was the Fleury last night that I thought we were going to see for most of the series. He usually plays better after a shit game or a bad one especially at home.
Lets be realistic-the Pens were not ready that first period. The fact that they were only down 2 at the end of 20 was nearly miraculous.
A couple of Pens took long stretches off last night. The first and foremost was Sheary.Don't know if he was hurting or if he thought it was going to be easy. He had nearly half a dozen TO's in his own end and in the neutral zone that led to breaks for the Jackets. His laziness hurt the top lines mojo.
Kessel was another that took the first period off. Malkin barked at him in the beginning of the second period when Kessel didn't hustle for the puck and it nearly cost the team. Kessel did play better after that.
Hainsey can be very steady back there but he guilty of turning the puck over way too often. I hope he cleans that up.
To me the Pens woke and got serious the second half of the game. They bring that Thursday night and this will be over.
Remember that the Pens have gotten to Bobrovsky every game in this series. I don't see that changing going forward.
I expect Crosby to put on a clinic next game much like he did against San Jose in game one of the finals last year where he was clearly the best player on the ice.
I'm no hockey expert, but I don't put this loss on Fleury. He might not have played great, but the rest of the team sauntered through the first period like it were practice. I agree, it should have been 5-0 after one.
But in my humble opinion, the first two games were won because of Fleury, not despite of him. I'm willing to cut him a break, but I do with Murray were healthy.
This is where I'm at.
The defensive intensity needs to pick up...especially in the first period...or it doesn't matter if Fleury or Murray is back there.
Yeah, MAF was bad on a couple of those goals, but he was out on an island for a lot of them as well, magnifying every mistake he made.
It wasn't like he was letting in soft goals from the perimeter.