Pittsburgh Penguins' New Rule: No Goalie Allowed Behind the Net

Matt HunterCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2009

It is pretty simple to see that the Penguins are just not a playoff caliber team after their performance last night.  They are playing with no emotion, no heart, and are just going through the motions out there.

The way the Penguins have played is beginning to look a lot like the Penguins of a few years ago.  With the talent that they have, there is no excuse for the poor play that we, as fans, have been watching for some time now.

Last night, the Penguins traveled to Montreal to play one of the top teams in Eastern Conference.  They came out flying, getting a goal from Luca Caputi in his first NHL shift. The momentum was clearly all Penguins.

Then Goddard gets into a fight, which I believe gave all the momentum to the Penguins.

Then, what happens?  Marc-Andre Fleury—who thinks that he is Martin Brodeur behind the net—makes yet another mistake trying to handle the puck, gets caught with his pants down. He then gives up a goal on a play where he should never have left the crease.

After that, one could feel that last night's game was now going to be all Montreal and it was.

They tallied a short-handed goal from a great shot by Chris Higgins on a break-away.  After the third goal, if I was Coach Therien, I would have pulled Fleury.  That was his second weak goal of the game, and that shot in no way should have went it.  He gave the shooter the entire far side of the net. Any hockey player at any level could have gotten that puck by Fleury.

One thing that really got to me was the 2-on-1 with Crosby and Satan.  Crosby had a clear lane right to the net because the defenseman knew that all the Penguins wanted to do was pass the puck. So, he clearly took that option away.

So, Crosby shoots right? Wrong! Instead of cutting to the net and taking a shot, he attempted to lift a pass over the stick of the defenseman.  Then, Satan whiffs on the one timer and takes another shot, missing the net I believe.

For a team who could only muster maybe 20 shots a game, you would think they would move the puck more? I don't know. All I know is that the Penguins looked bad last night and now have to come back home to Pittsburgh to play the Lightning tonight.

I may actually study for my exam that I have tomorrow instead of watching the game because as of right now, the Penguins are playing like they do not want to be on the ice.  Who knows though, maybe they can muster 25 shots tonight. It would be a big improvement.