-Hey, guess where we are.
-No, not quite. Although, it's about that cold out right now. And the Parkway East tends to resemble that in the snow.
-We're not at the MTS Centre either sadly.
-Yup, on the couch. Frankly, given the reports of the nasty weather in Winnipeg, being warm and comfortable under the blankets is a better alternative.
-The Penguins take on the Jets tonight with a slightly retooled lineup. Tyler Kennedy is up on the left wing on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. We'll be interested to see how much of a leash he gets. THe primary requirements for that line seem to be offering a strong forecheck and backcheck, each a strength for Kennedy. We're not sure how well he'll work with the offensive creativity Malkin and Neal provide given that his idea of offense is shooting the puck 20 times a game. That said, he's a better alternative at this point than Eric Tangradi.
-Speaking of which, Tangradi goes down to the fourth line on the left wing with Joe Vitale and Craig Adams. Tangradi had some success in that role last season with Adams and Arron Asham. He was almost in a Mike Rupp type of role providing a big body and some solid hitting.
-Tanner Glass moves up from the fourth line left wing to the same position on the third line. He seems to be a natural fit after that.
-Ben Lovejoy replaces Simon Despres on the third defensive pairing alongside Deryk Engelland. Lovejoy has a lot more experience in the NHL and presumably, has earned more trust of the coaching staff than Despres at this point.
-Tomas Vokoun goes tonight. It seems the coaching staff is very committed to giving him a fair amount of games in order to keep Marc-Andre Fleury fresh as the season wears on.
-The Jets offer a big lineup. They have Nik Antropov (6-foot-6), Dustin Byfuglien (6-foot-5), Ron Hainsey (6-foot-3), Andrew Ladd (6-foot-3), Ondrej Pavelec (6-foot-3), Anthony Peluso (6-foot-3), Alexei Ponikarovsky (6-foot-4), Chris Thorburn (6-foot-3), Blake Wheeler (6-foot-5) and James Wright (6-foot-4). But they also have a good amount of speed. We saw what the Maple Leafs were able to do against the Penguin with that speed. Hopefully for the Penguins' sake, they can adjust for that quickness.
-EN reader @NickHetland: is on hand and spotted this awful jersey foul. A combined Andrew Ladd/Sidney Crosby jersey?
-The Penguins' starters are Matt Cooke, Tanner Glass, Brandon Sutter, Paul Martin, Matt Niskanen and Tomas Vokoun.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres and Dustin Jeffrey.
-The Jets starters are Jim Slater, Chris Thorburn, James Wright Grant Clitsome, Paul Postma and Ondrej Pavelec.
-Their scratches are Antony Peluso, Zach Redmond and Mark Schiefle.
19:24: from the right circle, Glass chops a loose puck wide on the near side.
18:38: Kris Letang races up the right wing wall and attemps wrister which Tobias Enstrom appears to deflect with a stick on puck.
18:22: Crosby gets some space on the left wing and pops a slapper on net. Pavelec says no.
18:09: Lovejoy, working with Letang, retrieves a chip in by Kane. He gets to the puck first but gets slammed into the boards hard by Kane for his troubles.
17:35: Kennedy settles a bouncing puck above the left circle and pounds a shot on net. Pavelec fights it off.
16:21: Burmistrov chops a slapper from the right half wall. Tangradi gets a piece of it.
16:13: Ponikarovsky used to be a Penguin x1:
15:34: Crosby strikes in his first game in Winnipeg. From the right wall in the neutrla zone, Letang chips a puck into the offensive zone around the boards. It swings around to the left wall. Byfuglien offers a lazy effort to recover it. Kunitz settles it along the boards and deals to Crosby in the left circle. Crosby is abe to lift it over Pavelec's right shoulder on the near side. What a horribe effort by Byfuglien. He needs to get to that puck. Kunitz and Letan gget assists. Penguins 1-0.
12:01: Malkin collects a puck in the right wing corner, moves towards the net and lifts a little wrister into Pavelec. Pavelec makes the easy save and freezes play.
11:29: Malkin wires a slapper from the right half wall. Pavelec punches it away.
10:43: After a turnover by Niskanen in the neutral zone, Kane has a chance on the left wing but whistles his wrister wide on the near side.
9:43: Ponikarovsky has a chance with a wrister in the left circle. Vokoun appears to get a piece of it with is stick.
9:08: Hainsey has a slapper from the right point blocked by K unitz.
8:56: Dupuis chops a bouncing puck from the left circle on net. Pavelec steers it away.
8:25: The great Joe Vitale lifts a wrister from the slot. Pavelec fights it off.
7:18: Mark Stuart lifts a wrister from the left point over the cage.
6:44: Malkin deals a pass from the right wall in the offensive zone to Kennedy in the left circle, Kennedy rips a wrister. Pavelec is able to slide to his right and makes the save. Kennedy needs to release that shot earlier.
6:15: Cooke rips a wrister from the left circle to the far side. Pavelec kicks it out with his right skate. Brandon Sutter has a chance with the rebound but can't settle it.
5:02: Guess Crosby is acclimated to Winnipeg. With 12 hounding him Niskanen is able to lift a puck up ice to the neutral zone with a backhanded clear. Crosby recovers the puck, glides up the ice and enters the offensive zone on the left wing. He slows down a bit and allows Dupuis to drive to the cage. Byfuglien and Start appear to get lost in space. Crosby takes advantage of their confusion and rips a backhander which clunks through Pavelec's five hole and into the cage. Another poor defensive play by Byfuglien. Niskanen get assists. Penguins 2-0.
2:53: Enstrom hustles up the left wing, enters the offensive zone, wheels behind the Penguins' net, emerges on the right side and whips a forehand shot on net. Vokoun fights it off.
2:11: Stuart has a chance in the slot but Engelland appears to block his shot with a stick on puck.
2:04: Wheeler snaps off a wrister form the left point. Vokoun fights it off despite being screen by Crosby
1:47: Hainsey spins and fires a shot from the left falf wall. Crosby blocks it with his legs.
1:15: Byfuglien settles a bouncing puck at the right point and booms a slapper on net. Vokoun eats it up.
0:46: Byfuglien puts a shot on net from the right point. It it his a body in front and bounces in front of the crease. Vokoun grabs the stick of Andrew Ladd to prevent him from getting the rebound and smothers the puck himself.
0:28: Glass, on with Crosby and Sutter, puts a slapper on net from the left circle. Pavelec eats it up.
0:20: A slapper by Cooke above the left cirlce is bloked by Wheler.
0:07: After a poor turnover by Cooke in his own zone, he's able to recover and breaks up a pass from Wheeler to Kane in the neutral zone.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 2, Jets 0.
-The Penguins dominated that period in phases. They controlled the puck for the most part in the offensive zone but allowed the Jets to have a few spurts off offensive zone time.
-The big thing for the Penguins was no penalties. They didn't have to kill any Jets power plays and made life much easier on themselves.
-The big thing we take from this period is how the Penguins dispersed their ice time on defense. Letang only has 7:28. Engelland (4:34) and Lovejoy (04:48) are over four minutes each.
-Kennedy looked strong on the second line. He just needs to fine-tune his timing with Malkin and Neal.
-Tangradi looked a lot more comfortable on the fourth line.
-Lovejoy looked a lot more comfortable than Despres did at any time in the first three games.
-Dustin Byfuglien's defense is almost tragic.
-Pavelec could have made saves on either of the Penguins' two goals.
-Vokoun was hardly challenged but stepped up on the few tough shots he faced.
-The Penguins have a 14-12 edge in shots.
-Crosby and Kennedy each lead the game with three shots.
-Byfuglien and Stuart each lead the Jets with two.
-Paul Martin leads the game with 8:40 of ice time
-Byfuglien leads the Jets with 8:30.
-The Jets have a 10-5 command of faceoffs (67 percent).
-Nik Antropov is 3 for 3 (100 percent).
-Sutter is 2 for 5 (40 percent).
-No one has more than one blocked shot.
18:50: The Jets take advantage of some bad defense by the Penguins get on the scoreboard early this period. After a turnover by Cooke in the neutral zone, Wheeler controls a puck in the right circle and taps a little pass to Kane in the left circle. Kane rips a wrister over the glove hand of a diving Vokoun. Niskanen and Letang were in poor position on that. Wheeler and Byfuglien get assists. Penguins 2-1.
17:15: Lovejoy chases down a puck on the right half wall of the offensive zone and taps it down low to Neal in the rigth corner. Neal deals a cross ice pass to Malkin to the left of the cage. Malkin leans down and one-touches it on net. Pavelec is able to kick it out. Big save.
16:09: Letang tries to rip a wrister from the left point. Slater blocks it and pushes the rebound up the right wing. Letang gives chase but can't track down Slater. As Slater approaches the net, Niskanen chases him down and forces the puck behind the Penguins net with a stick on puck. Good recovery by Niskanen.
15:40: Wheeler lifts a wrister from above the left circle. Vokoun gloves it.
14:31: Engelland cranks a slapper from the left point. It hits Dupuis in the slot.
13:08: Malkin and Kennedy each have a chance in tight but can't get it by a scrambling Pavelec.
12:15: Hainsey booms a slapper from the right point. Vokouns directs it out of play.
11:24: Dupuis has a wrister from the right wing blocked to the corner.
10:31: Kunitz fumbles a puck in his own zone. Slater takes it in the slot and rips a wrister on net. Vokoun fights it off. Kunitz reovers the rebound and again turns it over. Postma cranks a slapper on net. Vokoun eats it up. Kunitz owes Vokoun a beer.
9:35: Alexander Burmistrov wires a wrister from the right wing. Vokoun fights it off.
9:09: After Malkin loses a puck in the slot, Kennedy recovers it, drives to the net and takes a tumble. Olli Jokinen is called for hooking. That looked a little ticky tack. Either way, Kennedy gets the Penguins a power play. Malkin, Neal, Crosby, Kunitz and Letang take the ice.
8:57: Neal rips a wrister from the top of the slot. It hits a body in front and is cleared.
8:31: Crosby coasts up the left wing, surveys the offensive zone and deals a pass to Malkin streaking in from the right point. Malkin unloads a one-timer which Pavelec kicks out.
7:59: Antropov steals the puck off Malkin in the right wing corner. Malkin responds by hooking him up. That's two minutes. Four on four for 50 seconds.
7:09: The Jokinen minor expires. The Penguins will have 1:10 of shorthanded time to kill.
6:25: Byfuglien and Enstrom play catch with the puck at the points. Byfuglien takes a pass, winds up and chps rising slapper to the far side which whistles by Vokon's right shoulder on the far side. Antropov had a great screen on Vokoun who was lost on the shot. That's the first five-on-four power-play goal the Penguins have allowed this season. Enstrom and Ladd get assists. Jets 2, Penguins 2.
5:58: Tangradi is getting time with Kunitz and Crosby.
5:44: Tangradi controls the puck in the left wing corner an loses it to Jokinen on a light check. Inexcusable for someone his size. That should be his bread and butter.
4:48: Neal pushes the puck up the left wing and chips a little pass to Kennedy in the left circle. Kennedy lifts a rising backhander on net. Pavelec fights it off.
3:29: Jokinen has a chance in the left circle but Dupuis blocks the shot out of play with his stick.
2:54: Cooke chases after a puck behind the Jets' net. He knocks down Grant Clitsome and deals a pass towards the slot. Neal has a chance but punches the shot wide.
2:25: Malkin wins a faceoff in the left circle and attempts his quick draw play with Neal. Neal rips a wrister which hits a body and kicks out to the point. Engelland drives the rebound on net but Pavelec says no.
2:06: After a turnover by Malkin and Neal on the left wall of their own zone, Bryan Little wheels up the boards and veers towards the net. He sneaks a backhanded pass above the crease to Ladd on the back door. Lovejoy has his back turned to the play and can't defend Ladd who rips a wrister by the blocker of a helpless Vokoun. Just an ugly play for everyone involved in a white jersey. Little gets the only assist. He could claim two. Jets 3-2.
0:55: HUGE save. Wheeler hustles up the right wing with Letang defending. He puts a wrister on net fto the far side, presumably hoping for a big rebound. Vokoun clicks out and offers big rebound. Kane is there in the slot and puts the rebound back on net immediately. Vokoun is above his crease and robs Kane with a big glove save. Wow.
0:00: End of period. Jets 3, Penguins 2.
-What a downer of a period for the Penguins. Everything they did wrong against Toronto Wednesday they did in this second period. They turned the puck over like it was on fire and played loose in their zone. Just sloppy.
-Tangradi's an odd case. He made some nice plays on the fourth line but dogged it on his one shift with Crosby and Kunitz.
-Malkin may have been the third-best player on his line that period.
-The Jets are big and fast. The Penguins had some issues with both of those traits that period.
-Pavelec was really sharp that period. He gave his team a chance to take the lead.
-As awful as Byfuglien is in his own zone, he's a dynamo in the offensive zone. Just so dangerous.
-The Penguins' third line has offered little tonight.
-The Jets have a 26-25 lead in shots.
-Malkin leads the game with six.
-Byfuglien leads the Jets with four.
-Byfuglien leads the game with 17:35 of ice time.
-Letang leads the Penguins with 16:15.
-The Jets have a 23-16 lead in faceoffs (59 percent).
-Antropov is 6 for 9 (67 percent).
-The great Joe Vitale is 2 for 4 (50 percent).
-Hainsey, Antropov and Crosby lead the game with two blocked shots each.
18:21: Niskanen recovers a loose puck at the top of the slot and chops a slapper which hits a skate in front.
17:28: After chasing for a puck deep in the right wing corner and crashing shoulder first into the boards, Glass is on the bench being checked out by athletic trainer Chris Stewart.
17:23: Little puts a wrister from the right point. Vokoun eats it up.
15:54: Kunitz is slammed from behind by Stuart on the right wing wall of the Jets' zone. No call. If this was like the Maple Leafs game Wednesday, that would've been boarding.
15:20: Engelland appears to hook up James Wright behind the Penguins' net. No call.
15:02: The great Joe Vitale hustles the puck up the left wing boards and leaves a drop pass for Craig Adams. Adams puts a wrister on net with snels through Pavelec's glove hand and bounches wide to the far side.
13:30: Malkin takes a shift with Sutter and Cooke.
11:59: Kunitz, playing with only one glove, turns the puck over in the right wing ocrner of his own zone. Kane get the puck in the slot and has two shots denied by Vokoun.
11:16: Big kill coming for the Penguins. Engelland is called for high sticking Kane. Martin, Orpik, Cooke and Adams take the ice. This is do or die for the Penguins.
9:09: As the Engelland minor is killed, Postama has a wrister from teh top of the slot blocked by Adams.
8:53: Dupuis chops a slapper from the top of the left circle. Byfuglien blocks it.
8:11: With Crosby driving to the net, Kunitz snaps off a wrister which Pavelec fights off despite a screen.
7:17: Neal drivse a big one-timer from the right wing which which clinks off the near post.
5:30: Off the left wall, Poniakrovsky sneaks in to the left circle an uncorks a low wrister. Vokoun kicks it out.
4:10: Off the left wall in the offensive zone, Ladd hustles after a puck, recovers it and attackes the net. his shot pops over the cage.
3:38: Malkin pushes the puck into the offensive zone but loses it after being hit by Stuart along the boards.
3:22: Vitale races up the left wing and snap off a wrister which Pavelec fight soff. Jokine clears the rebound.
3:11: Martin has a wrister blocked by Kane.
2:59: Sutter booms a slapper from the left wing wide to the far side.
1:37: Vokoun is pulled for an extra attacker which is Neal.
1:26: Malkin deals a pass off the right wing to Niskanen at the left point. Niskanen boms a slapper whch miss the net, hits the end boards and clears the zone.
1:05: Niskanen forces a bad neutral zone pass which hits off the stick of Letang and goes right to Kane at the Winnipeg blue line. Kane pushes a pass up ice Wheeler. Wheeler snap off a shot from inside the blue line into the cage for one of us:
Kane gets the only assist. Jets 4-2.
0:30: Orpik booms a one-timer from the right point which hits Chris Thornburn in the skate.
0:22: As Vokoun is pulled, Glass has a shot in tight denied.
0:00: End of game. Jets 4, Penguins 2.
-After Sunday's game in New York, a one-sided 6-3 win against the Rangers, the Penguins held a players' only meeting as a result of a sloppy third period where they gave the Ranges a few chances. The meeting was intended to snuff out anything that might linger from that third period. Whatever that meeting hoped to accomplish, the exact opposite has happened.
-The Penguins have been sloppy and undisciplined for roughly four and a half periods since. Wednesday's game against Toronto was bad from start to finish with regards to the multiple turnovers and poor positioning. Tonight, the Penguins seemed to get off to good start and controlled the first period. Then everything caved in during the second period. They dug their own graves tonight.
-Evgeni Malkin had a pure and simple bad game. He had some ugly turnovers and simply just didn't create much offensively beyond the first period. Plus, his penalty in the second period, following his own turnover, snuffed out the Penguins' only power play. He needs to be better. When he's the third-best player on his third line, that's bad.
-Chris Kunitz was another player who had an ugly game. He had three turnovers in his own zone which led to quaility scoring chances. He's normally very reliable with the puck.
-Tomas Vokoun was probably the Penguins' best player. If not for him, this could have been uglier.
The third line had a very quiet game. Sutter just didn't provide much. Cooke had a few strong forechecks which led to turnovers but those were nullified by some turnovers of his own. Glass was hardly noticeable.
-Crosby was obviously the Penguins' best skater. He didn't have any sort of negative plays defensively and was the Penguins' sole source of offense.
-Even though there were fewer penalties than the first three games, special teams proved key for the Penguins. They had the first power-play of the game but lost it when Malkin took a bad hooking penalty. As soon as the Jets went up a man, they struck for a goal. That was a turning point of the game.
-The lack of penalties allowed the Penguins to even out their ice time on defense. That's one of the rare pluses out of this game.
-After being a little shaky in the first period, Ondrej Pavelec tightened things up and cleanly handled the quality scoring chances the Penguins did have the rest of the way.
-Evander Kane was fantastic. He was very physical, very engaged and just very involved.
-Dustin Byfulien is almost like a big slow version of Paul Coffey in the respect that he plays no defense and offers nothing but offense. And that one dimension he offers is outstanding.
-Mark Stuart really buttoned things down in his own zone after some early issues. He laid out more than few hits and cluttered up a lot of the shooting and passing lanes for the Penguins.
-Eric Tangradi looked so much more comfortable on the fourth line than he did on the top two lines. He had a nice hit against Byfuglien in the offensive zone during the second period which led to a scoring chance. Plus, he made a heads-up clear from his own slot when Vokoun was caught behind the net. Perhaps he's more of a Mike Rupp instead of a Milan Lucic.
-The pairing of Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy was better than Engelland and Despres. They were on the ice for winning goal by Andrew Ladd but that was off an ugly defensive zone turnover by Malkin. Either way, they commanded a lot more ice time than the third pairing was getting in the first three games and appeared to have a little bit more trust.
-Tyler Kennedy was okay on the second line. Not great, okay. He seemed a little hesitant playing on the opposite wing but he still managed to do what he does best. He put the puck on net.
-The Penguins had a 34-32 lead in shots.
-Malkin led the game with eight shots.
-Kane and Byfuglien each led the Jets with five.
-Letang led the game with 26:04 of ice time.
-Byfuglien was second with 26:03.
-The Penguins had a 27-23 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Nik Antropov was 7 for 12 (58 percent).
-Crosby was 8 for 14 (57 percent).
-Ron Hainsey and Antropov each led the game with three blocked shots.
-Pascal Dupuis and Crosby each led the Penguins with two.
-Crosby (614 points) passed up Ron Francis (613) for fourth place on the team's all-time scoring list. He trails Rick Kehoe (636) by 22 points for third place.
-Letang (175) passed up Pat Boutette for 41st place.