Jason Mackey's Penguins chat: 5.18.17
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Andy
11:03
This series reminds me of Boston in 2013. Pens trying to play a more open offensive game that they can't play because the opponent is playing defense too well, and they are getting frustrated. Sully has ńo answers just like Bylsma lacked then. Why not just play tough defense first, and try to get bounces for a transition offense when the Ottawa is out of position? In other words, play their own game against Ottawa. Let the Sens attack first. It's not the Pens game but then I don't see them winning this series trying to go on the offensive attack first without the speed and tenacious forechecking they are lacking from last season, Thoughts?
Jason Mackey
11:06
The Penguins won the Stanley Cup last year and finished as the NHL's second-best regular season team this year because of their ability to play a speed-based, aggressive game. Why change? They're not going to. I disagree with the comparison to Boston in 2013; this team is much, much deeper, with the stars performing better. In Game 7 against Washington, Mike Sullivan made several adjustments that had a tangible effect. Now, he can't? I'm also not buying that argument. The Penguins do need to play more of their game than Ottawa's.
Andy
11:06
Jason, Crosby has not looked the same since the Niskanen hit. He's not going to the high traffic areas and he looks like he's playing more tentative. Noticeable drop off. Do you agree and has anyone asked him about it?
Jason Mackey
11:07
Nobody has asked him about it, and I wouldn't expect him to admit that's been the case -- that would essentially be throwing the Penguins' entire medical operation under the bus, plus absolving himself from any sort of blame. However, I do agree that Crosby has looked different and hasn't been the same player he was before the hit. I don't know if they're related. We probably won't until after the season, if then.
Guest
11:07
Is there anything Sullivan can do to win this series? I'm not being negative after just one game but I don't think the Pens can win this series the way they have been playing the last three games, getting only one goal a game. Their luck with mediocre goalies from the first two rounds has run out. What did the Rangers do to get 4 and 5 goals over four games against Anderson? We need some other strategies
Jason Mackey
11:08
Can Mike Sullivan play defense and cover the forward at the far post? Can Sullivan win one-on-one battles and come out of the corner with the puck? Can Sullivan make it seems like his skaters give a flying you know what at the drop of the puck? He can maybe do the last one, but I don't think the Penguins have been horrible at the skate because Sullivan isn't preparing them or approaching his job with the same intensity. This is a player-related problem.
Guest
11:09
I know a lot of the media calls last night was not to replace MAF for Friday's game. But I think Sullivan should replace him, or because he won't bounce back or because he played horribly, but just because MM plays much calmer back there and the visibly frustrated with the Sens. What do you think?
Jason Mackey
11:11
I'm not sure I saw one media member call for Fleury to be replaced, nor do I think it's the correct move. MAF has earned the right to start Game 4. If he stinks at the beginning, then I think it would be perfectly reasonable to yank him, and then all bets are off moving forward. But the guy got you this far. He was OK, and the team in front of him was lousy. Not enough, in my opinion, for the guy to lose the starting job.
Guest
11:11
Do you think we'll see Rust, Hornqvist and Schultz playing on Friday? They are sorely missed. Do any of the injuries seem worse than the initially appeared?
Jason Mackey
11:12
They don't, and I think you will. I watched all three skated yesterday, and all three were really pushing it, Hornqvist chief among them. I would not be shocked if all three play. With Rust, I don't have this confirmed, but I've seen no signs that would point me to a concussion. More a neck issue. Which is at least marginally better in terms of recovery.
Guest
11:13
Reason for the Pens' failure to score goals in this series in your estimation and the reason they are losing: 1) pens own injuries or exhaustion, and failure to play "their (speed) game" at a high level; 2) Pens are being out coached including Sully's failure to put together workable lines for both forwards and defense; or 3) it's mostly Ottawa outplaying the Pens, playing great defense and with a hot goaltender?
Jason Mackey
11:15
That's like a nine-pronged question. I do think injuries and exhaustion are real. I also think you're asking Chad Ruhwedel and Mark Streit to play in situations they're not suited for; they could be in over their heads. Workable lines? I honestly don't know what else I would do or could do if I'm Sullivan. Where is the magic formula that he's resisting? As I said above, they have played more of Ottawa's game than their own, I'll agree with that. And it has to change. Much like Game 7, I think the Penguins have gotten away from their aggression. They need more speed away from the puck and to simplify things. Ottawa's packing it in. It's not going to be pretty. Shoot it a lot. Get a ton of traffic. That's not happening, and it won't be remedied by different line combination.
copall
11:15
Jason, my main concern for the Pens going forward is their inability to win stick battles in front of Anderson. He gave up some juicy rebounds off of shots from the point, but no one from Pittsburgh was in a position to take advantage. How can the Pens generate a stronger net-front presence?
Jason Mackey
11:17
Good question. Might be the question that ultimately determines this series. I'll start with the obvious: They need to go there. Winning stick battles is great, but that's running. The Penguins need to walk first. There isn't enough of an urgency, in my opinion, to penetrating the insulated approach Ottawa takes in front of Anderson. Passing the puck and shooting it from distance won't do squat unless Anderson is abjectly terrible, which he has not been. There's honestly not wrong way here. Go to the net. Get in the way. Win stick battles. Hit somebody. Get in the way. Cause chaos. Whatever.
Guest
11:17
Jason, uhhhhh what happened last night?
Jason Mackey
11:17
Not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't flipped through their DVR, but the Penguins lost, 5-1.
Guest
11:18
I was sad to see that Chris Cornell died yesterday. He was the lead singer for Soundgarden and I know that you've expressed your fandom of the Grateful Dead and ICP in this chat, but did you ever follow the grunge scene back in the 90s? Favorite Soundgarden song or memory? THanks.
Jason Mackey
11:18
I did, for sure. Never disliked Soundgarden but was also not a fanatic like some, including my wife. Would go with "Fell on Black Days." Favorite Cornell tune period would be Audioslave's "Doesn't Remind Me."
PENS
11:18
is scoresese really making a Grateful Dead documentary? about time!
Jason Mackey
11:19
He is. There's also one coming out June 2. Not sure if that's it or not. Just saw something about a documentary out then.
7 sTEELERS
11:19
Jason, I'm gonna keep this simple...WHAT THE [BLEEP] HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?!?!?!?!
Jason Mackey
11:19
The Penguins weren't terribly good at hockey-ing.
beat the sens
11:19
I was wondering, baseball has the spitball and corked bat. Football has the deflated ball. But what does hockey have in the way of sneaky cheating techniques? And do the players use pine tar on their sticks like baseball bats?
Jason Mackey
11:21
I've never seen or smelled pine tar, although stuff like that isn't regulated as much. There's a tacky stick/tape thingy they use. Don't know what you want to call it, but they rub it on their sticks for tackier feel. I guess the parallel you're looking for is stick curve. I'd be comfortable saying it's less of a thing than it used to be, but that would be my hockey equivalent.
Guest
11:21
How do the Pens stop Karlsson? Perhaps roll an extra defender his way? Rough him up? He seems unstoppable right now.
Jason Mackey
11:22
I wouldn't pay any extra attention, honestly. I don't think Karlsson has been the difference in this series. Not even close. I think the Penguins need to put Karlsson more on his toes and play less into the Senators' system. Generate more offense basically and change the style of game being played. He's a great player, but he hasn't been their biggest issue.
goalie
11:22
Was Fleury just off last night? Is there reason to bench him tomorrow?
Jason Mackey
11:24
He wasn't great, but it was a combination of poor play in front of him, Ottawa having a strong start and a few bad bounces. Those four things together. The only thing I'll blame Fleury for is not doing SOMETHING to change momentum, but even that's tough. Their defense was bad. Not one of the four goals was 100 percent Fleury's fault. Extenuating circumstances on all of them.
t
11:24
turris seems like a real punk out there. does he have a bad reputation for being an instigator/punk around the NHL?
Jason Mackey
11:25
Not that I'm aware of. I Googled "Kyle Turris punk" and nothing came up.
fish
11:25
Do you think the Pens have anything left in the tank, or was last night the beginning of the end?
Jason Mackey
11:25
Fish ... tank. Sorry. Yes, I think they have plenty left. Honestly, I think last night was more an aberration than a bubbling trend.
Dead Fan too
11:26
A lot of people don't realize that Soundgarden formed back in 1984 out on the West Coast, which makes me wonder if something my uncle always says is true. He says that the 1987 Grateful Dead album In the Dark was heavily influenced by the burgeoning grunge sound coming out of Washington state. I can hear hints of grunge on In the Dark, but do you think any of that is true? Did Soundgarden influence Jerry G and crew?
Jason Mackey
11:26
Have zero clue. But I'm going to re-listen to "In the Dark" with that in mind. Never thought of that or heard it.
Guest
11:26
Could getting Phil Kessel more ice time be the answer to the scoring drought?
Jason Mackey
11:28
I wouldn't. Not because I don't think Phil's capable, but playing guys more isn't always the solution. You may just tire them out and render them ineffective. I actually thought Kunitz-Malkin-Kessel was decent last night, although admittedly, that's a low bar comparatively. If I was Sullivan, I'd keep that line the same -- or swap Rust for Kunitz if he's healthy -- and tell Phil that I wanted to see 10 shots on goal for Game 4 or he's benched for Game 5. Serious.
NHL
11:28
Do the Ducks have any chance to beat out the Preds? It seems like Nashville is just a magical team this year.
Jason Mackey
11:28
I agree with you. I think Nashville is playing an exciting brand of hockey. That, coupled with the best goaltender of the postseason ... is pretty darn hard to be. I think they win this one. Great trip for the Stanley Cup Final.
Purdue Fan
11:29
Jason, as a Purdue grad I've been a longtime admirer of you and your family, especially your grandpappy Guy Mackey. He was a great leader at the university. But more relevant to the chat...Did Crosby have an off night last night? I was a little worried he might have been favoring his right leg. I hope it isn't an injury. Thanks!
Jason Mackey
11:30
We aren't related, although I do own a Drew Brees Purdue jersey. ... Anyway, I know what you're saying. I don't think Crosby was 100 percent. I don't think he's been 100 percent. Is it the Niskanen hit? A leg? Something else? We'll never know. But I agree that he hasn't looked like his usual self in a while.
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