A Saturday-night game in Ottawa became a nightmare to watch for Penguins fans. There would be no patting of the helmet with smiles following this game.
Before the game could even begin, there were smiles on the Penguins bench, though they wouldn’t last for long. Take a short listen and watch as the players, especially James Neal, react during “O Canada.”
In Brad Thiessen’s first road start the end result can be called less than desirable. But to be clear, the Penguins gave up breakaways and allowed passing not previously seen by the squad. A total of 12 goals were scored during the 60 minutes, but unlike the Winnipeg game, it was Thiessen who felt the sting of loss after giving up eight goals because Dan Bylsma did not pull the rookie.
Many times during the game there were glimmers of hope that maybe the Penguins scoring would come through again. In the second period the Penguins would give up a goal to make the game tied at 2. Then they give up two quick goals and score one of their own, the score 4-3. But one more goal for Ottawa in the second put any hope of points a little further out. Even in the third period, after Sidney Crosby finally scored a goal, it looked like maybe, just maybe the Penguins could come back. But then the Senators put the nails in the coffin. The score went from 5-4 to 8-4 in a matter of minutes, placing the game, and any hope of points, out of the Penguins grasp.
Two things became very clear in this game. One: Brad Thiessen is not ready for NHL action yet. Two: Fleury’s talents are needed on nights when the defense leaves the goalie to fend for himself. At least Marc-Andre’s talent shines through even on bad defensive nights by the Penguins.