The Pittsburgh Penguins may be one of the NHL’s hotter teams as of late, but getting pounded 8-2 by Philadelphia as they did Tuesday night is bound to take the spring out of their step (watch highlights).
The loss snapped Pittsburgh’s four-game win streak – their longest of the season – but more importantly, the manner in which the Flyers dismantled the Pens should be cause for concern for GM Ray Shero, particularly in terms of his goaltending department.
The lack of consistency demonstrated by Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin this year is a significant cause of the Penguins’ struggles to stay in the playoff picture. If Sidney Crosby & Co. continue to receive shaky netminding and if Shero doesn’t deal for a reliable veteran, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Pittsburgh could miss the post-season altogether.
What a colossal embarrassment that would be for the game’s marquee player, the league itself, and a franchise still aiming to rebuild and pad its fan base.
• If you’re a Bruins fan, you probably won’t want to read this Boston Magazine profile of team president Charlie Jacobs.
If you’re not, settle yourself down somewhere comfortable and enjoy.
• As a follow-up to my mailbag column from Tuesday, here’s a little note from Matt Thacker of West Jordan, Utah, that was far more polite than the rest:
I definitely would not descend to the level of some of the letters you received, because I don't believe you're a bad guy. However, your blogs are pretty negative about the game. It truly seems to me that you don't like it. It seems like writing about it is just a job that you have to do to pay the bills. I try to read between the lines, but in the end, it seems to me that hockey is just not something you love... or even like... even a little. Of course, I don't know you personally. I'm just calling it as I see it (and I'd be the first to admit it if I'm wrong). We obviously know what you don't like, but is there anything you DO like about the game? I bet I wouldn't be the only one who would like to read that.
In the end, thanks for providing me with something to read at my cubicle while waiting for (John) Buccigross' next article to come out. You definitely have a better job than I do.
I get this question every so often, and I even answered it here last March.
And you’re absolutely right; I’ve got a pretty cool gig. But like a music critic that has to suffer the craptastic tones of Toby Keith and the Black-Eyed Peas before he gets to true artists such as The Arcade Fire and Feist (a.k.a. Mrs. Proteau the Third), I’ve got to wade through a good degree of god-awful hockey before I see the type of game I enjoy.
For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.