Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Yesterday in the Post Gazette, Dave Molinari reported this:

It took most of the season -- and a couple of serious injuries -- for defenseman Brooks Orpik to get a spot on the Penguins' penalty-killing unit.
Getting him off of it might be tougher.
Orpik has logged 18 minutes, 23 seconds of short-handed ice time in the past seven games and has not been on the ice for any of the seven power-play goals the Penguins have allowed in that span.

All I can say is this: how damn stupid is Michel Therrien? To rip off a Guinness ad: “use a stay at home defenseman on the penalty kill instead of an offensive defenseman? Brilliant!” Seriously, Therrien is just figuring out now that using Orpik, a guy who’s pretty good in his own end, is more effective on the penalty kill that Ryan Whitney, who has proven to be a liability at best in his own end and is the softest defenseman on the team. I always thought this was obvious, but apparently not. It is also forcing me to reiterate what I have said in the past: the Penguins cannot win with Michel Therrien as coach. This is a perfect case of him not grasping a simple aspect plus shows he is still playing favorites.

I would also like to mention again that whole effort thing, or lack thereof that continues to plague this team. When is the last time the Pens actually outplayed the other team? I honestly do not remember. And the most disturbing recurring trend: having about ten shots through two periods of play. You are one of the most offensively gifted teams in the league and they are managing about five shots in each of the first two periods before they decide to show up in the third. When it happens once or twice, ok, the team is in a funk. When it happens on a regular basis? I’m sorry, but that is coaching. Two years after Therrien has taken over this team can still not get up for an entire game. Two years!

The Pens have been frustrating to watch this year because they can be so much better than they are. It’s simple, idiotic moves like putting Whitney on the PK that is keeping this team from being better than they are. Therrien’s complete lack of strategy is also another grave concern, as all this team can really do is cycle the puck.



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