Throughout the season, the Penguins will likely have their fair share of good, bad, and horrifically ugly and I’m here to bring you a game-by-game (well, not all games, but some) breakdown. Starting off with the good, we’ll move right to the bad, and end on a low note with the ugliest.
12/5/2015: Game 25 – Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles
Marc Andre Fleury – When a goaltender gives up 4 goals in a game and loses, its usually difficult to find many things positive to say about them. That’s not the case with how Fleury played on Saturday. This game would’ve been significantly more out of hand than it appeared to be going at 4-1.
Chris Kunitz – A goal and two assists for the 36-year old who seems to be finding his legs once again. Kunitz played a factor in all three goals for the Penguins, including getting them on the board to stop the Kings initial goal-scoring run.
The Kings – The Penguins have had a bunch of games this season where they don’t quite get manhandled, but they don’t overpower the other team either. This was not one of those games. The Kings are good and it showed. Their physicality completely took the Penguins off their game in the first and second and once the Penguins opened it up, the Kings not only held their own but took over. Once the Penguins started the comeback and came within one, the Kings then made adjustments and shut it down from there on out.
4pm Saturday Games – I can’t remember the last 4 pm game on a Saturday I’ve watched. Who knew, not half bad.
Shot Differential – The Penguins were outshot handily in this one by a total of 37-20 and for over half the game, the Penguins couldn’t even muster double-digit numbers. Yes, it’s cliché, but if you don’t get pucks to the net, you won’t score.
Dupuis’s health – Can anyone say with confidence that Pascal Dupuis is completely healthy right now? We all are thrilled when Dupuis is out there, especially with what he’s been through, but it seems there’s more to this picture.
2nd line defensive responsibility – They got some good chances, with Jonathan Quick making an incredible save on Perron, but they were also responsible for 3 of the Kings’ goals. Opening it up helped create multiple chances, but as soon as it went back the other way, they were in trouble.
Penguins defense corps – Woof. What can be done right now? They aren’t a good defense group with Letang, but how in the world are they supposed to manage without. Something has to change. They still have trouble moving the puck from the defensive zone up the ice to the forwards.
Jagoff of the Game: Jim Rutherford – For not offering Christian Ehrhoff the contract that he signed with the Kings. Even though he only has 7 points in 21 games with the Kings, it was not hard to see his value and what is missing on the Penguins back-end.