Time For A Change
Jordan Staal, who played center on the Penguins 3rd line for most, if not all, of the season, is about to find himself in a different situation then what he is used to. According to ESPN.com, Staal, along with Pascal Dupius and Tyler Kennedy, will play on the 2nd line in game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Staal and his new line mates will overtake slumping/sleeping Evgeni “Geno” Malkin and Petr Sykora (along with “Mad” Max Talbot) who will move down to the 3rd line. Sid “The Kid” Crosby, Marian Hossa and new member Ryan “Bugsy” Malone will lead the way on the Pens top line. Does anybody else think that interchanging players who have become comfortable with each other’s play is a bad idea at this point in the season? If you’ve read my last post, you will see that I think the problems stemmed from the game plan. Staal seemed to agree with my assessment of their play.
“We were kind of sitting back and kind of watching them move the puck,” Staal said. “We have the speed to pressure them and make them make mistakes. We didn’t do that in the second and we started doing it in the third.
Thank you Jordan for pointing out the obvious. You get a gold star! Coach Michel Therrien called it the team’s “worst performance of the playoffs.” Coach, you only get the silver star because you didn’t include yourself in that statement.
Perhaps I’m the one who is looking at this the wrong way.
“Maybe the lines will match up better against their team,” Staal said. “Obviously, we want to shake it up and get a new look from different players. Hopefully it does the job.”
However, there is a ray of hope/sunshine/universal bliss yet to come. The almighty “Scary” Gary Roberts will be back, suited up and ready to rip someone’s still beating heart out of their chest and take a bite so as to steal their soul. He didn’t enjoy having to sit out the last game even thought he said that he was healthy, so I’m sure that he’ll be looking to take that anger out on someone.
“I’m focused on what I need to do to help the team win,” Roberts said. “Any time you lose a game it’s tough, but this team has bounced back before. There is a lot of character in here and there’s no reason we won’t bounce back. I’m excited. For me, bringing some emotion, some intensity. I’m obviously not going to change my game at this point. I know what I need to do to be successful. This team we’re playing against is really smart.”
Well, when Roberts speaks, God listens, so I expect more intensity from the Pens in game 2. Ryan “I Make Too Many Mistakes On Defense” Whitney said before today’s practice that Daryl Sydor has won 2 Cups and lost the first game in each of those series, except he was playing at home at the time, so I guess it’s not time to push the panic button yet. Still, it doesn’t give fans a warm and fuzzy feeling to see players shifted around in such a way that makes it look like we are at DEFCON 2. Then again, we need to be at that alert level if we are going to start dropping some bombs on those commie Red Wings.