Tim Benz: A lot to piss off the penguin fans in the Game 1 loss to the Islanders

13 minutes ago

What does that mean? Big picture That defeat of Game 1 of the playoffs of the Stanley Cup 2019 for the Penguins against the Islanders.

For me, it means a series that I thought would go through Pittsburgh in five games that will now end in six.

That is all.

Otherwise, that defeat by 4-3 in extra time was essentially an opening scene of a multi-act play that came out exactly as we expected.

Close. Back and forth. No advantage ever greater than a goal. A tie that forced the extra hours.

In general, we saw some goal and shot opportunities more than expected. And as good as the Islanders goalkeeper, Robin Lehner was, boy, once, with 41 saves, if the highly promoted defense of coach Barry Trotz gives the Penguins a lot of chances, they will eventually beat him.

However, none of that means that penguin fanatics should be content with how that defeat developed. Because many went wrong.

Let's start at the end.

Anatomy of a heartbreaker

How many things went wrong in the winner of Josh Bailey's extra hours?

The sequence began when the penguins got away with it and the karma reached them. Phil Kessel kept the puck in the area with a flagrant verification of Tom Kuhnhackl from behind to regain possession. Then he dropped a pbad to Brian Dumoulin, who made a fabulous play to shake Kuhnhackl. Dumoulin created space to open a backhand line, got Lehner down and had plenty of space to cover a shot.

But it was lost. That electrified a break upside down for the islanders. The penguins were lucky again immediately, when Dominik Simon intercepted a pbad in the neutral zone and pushed the disc to Kris Letang.

That's where he left the rails.

Letang tried to go one to three against the islanders' defense at the counter with a partial change of penguins that occurred behind the play.

When Letang turned the record over, that left Mathew Barzal walking against goalkeeper Matt Murray of the Penguins.

"I'm not sure we had the awareness we needed in that situation," said Mike Sullivan.

Letang hurried back. Murray tried to remove the net by throwing himself with his cane. Dumoulin waved Barzal's shot that came off the post. But Bailey scored on the rebound.

That is one.

Game 1 goes to the @NYIslanders after the winner of Josh Bailey OT! #YES YES YES #LGI #Islands pic.twitter.com/8xAOd6Guzq

– MSG Networks (@MSGNetworks) April 11, 2019

The Penguins reviewed the game to determine the disadvantages and interference of the goalkeeper. But, appropriately, the call was kept and the penguins left the losers.

After two revisions on potential targets against the islanders before the Old Testament winner, it remained as indicated on the ice.

Alignment decisions

With Dumoulin and Zach Aston-Reese ready to return from injury, Sullivan needed to accommodate two players.

I did not like the two decisions.

Olli Maatta remained dressed despite the return of Dumoulin. Jack Johnson got on the bench. I would have reversed that. And nothing of what I saw of Maatta last night changed her mind. He was a minus-2, did not receive credit for a blow, had two gifts, made a bad ice formation, did not block a shot and did not have a shot on goal.

Maatta could not trace an album in her final over the Islanders' first goal and, later in the game, lost possession, which led to another score for the Islands.

SURVEY: Do you agree with #Feathers Coach Mike Sullivan's decision to sit defenseman Jack Johnson for Game 1 of the # Stanley Cup playoff series vs. #Islands? Vote below and tell us what you could have done differently. https://t.co/QR6BdHp3XI

– Tribune-ReviewSports (@TribSports) April 10, 2019

Meanwhile, I have no problem inserting Aston-Reese, but I would have done it at the expense of Garrett Wilson, not Teddy Blueger.

When I see Wilson trying to make pbades between his legs like he did in the first period, I've seen enough.

Blueger, however, can do that kind of game. And others. But not from the press box.

Sid was not Sid

It was not the usual dominant performance of Sidney Crosby against the islanders, apart from the first overtime turn, in which he was the owner but did not score.

His line was almost scored in the seven minute mark of the third, down 3-2. Their line went out of the ice in the first minute of play, but Kuhnhackl's first missed goal of the night came off the board for offside.

Crosby finished with minus 1, had three draws and no conclusions, lost 14 of 24 matches, and only recorded two shots in 22:43.

The death penalty

New York scored on its first power play opportunity and was effective on the other.

Maybe Johnson can help the penguins if he gets him back into the lineup on Friday.

We hope that decision is made.

The beginning

The penguins were supposed to be the polished, balanced and experienced team in the confrontation against New York.

But they looked nervous, nervous and overcome in the first minutes.

The start of the game resembled the 2007 playoff opening against the Senators when the Penguins did not even seem to belong to the ice, falling 6-1 and losing 6-3.

Two records obtained by Matt Murray in the first 100 seconds. Luckily for the penguins, only one counted. But during the first minutes of the game beyond that, they were beaten and they were lucky to be tied 1-1 when the six minutes came, thanks to Phil Kessel's goal.

Apart from all that … it was a great night.

Tim Benz is a writer of Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or through Twitter. All tweets can be republished. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.

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