If you were in attendance at Saturday’s game agains the Milwaukee Admirals, you may be thinking that the referees, Alex Ross and Mitch Dunning were awful and cost the Penguins the game. One that the Penguins lose 5-3.
Here is where I am going to tell you you are dead wrong.
Let me set it up for you. The Penguins were in a 4-1 hole early in the third period when J-S Dea and Teddy Blueger scored goals a little over 90 seconds apart from one another and it’s a one goal game all of a sudden. Wilkes-Barre was rolling and the Admirals heads were spinning. Milwaukee head coach Karl Taylor called time out to try to calm things down a bit.
Those are not spectacular numbers from your back up. The Penguins play a bunch of Friday-Saturday hockey games in the month of January with the exception being a 1:05 start on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and a 10:30 Wednesday kids day road start in Bridgeport on January 23. The moral of the story is that if I am Clark Donatelli, I tell Tristan Jarry that he better eat his Wheaties cause it’s his net from now on.
The Penguins are in a dogfight for a playoff spot. They are in an OK spot for now, but it’s games like these that will have Wilkes-Barre kicking itself if it is mid-April and a playoff spot still isn’t sewn up. With numbers like Peters has been giving you lately, you have to take the option and either let Tristan Jarry play all the games or call up your NHL contracted goaltender in John Muse from Wheeling and let Muse back up or get starts.
On Peters, the Cincinnati Cyclones own his ECHL rights, so the Penguins can’t just send him to Wheeling. The Cyclones and Nailers play in the same division so sending Peters down is a fighting with your family situation. Unless the Penguins flip Peters in a trade, they are in a precarious position unless Peters can regain the magic of old.
Frederic Allard hooked Sam Lafferty down on a breakaway and the Penguins were on the power play. A power play which included Jimmy Hayes getting ice time which I cannot explain, but Allard served his two minutes, was sprung on yet another breakaway against given up by Wilkes-Barre but was denied by Peters. Yet, Nicholas Baptiste was there to clean up the wreckage and the Admirals went on top 2-1.
Refs Ross and Dunning may have or may not have, depending on your view, started losing control of the game. They called Anthony Angello for a cross checking penalty when a linesman couldn’t drop a puck the right way. That set the Penguins off a bit because it seemed at the time that the game was spiraling out of control and the Admirals were getting all the calls.
Ex-Penguin and current Admirals captain Jarred Tinordi scored in a pile with players draped all over Peters that made it 3-1.
Big deal. That will probably get him a few more games when Chad Ruhwedel gets recalled at the end of his conditioning stint. He’s been questionable too, even paired up with the All-Star Ethan Prow.
The Good: The fight that the Penguins showed in the third period early is a promising sign. It was game that they should have won.
The Bad: The backup goaltending is a mess. You have a guy in Peters on an AHL deal that can’t get sent to your ECHL affiliate because of a technicality and a NHL contracted goaltender buried in the ECHL. Sorry, there is no time to “play your way” out of a funk especially with how tight things are now for the #3, #4 and #5 spots in the Atlantic and most especially with a road trip to Charlotte coming up next weekend. If a plan is to give Tristan Jarry only one game next weekend, then call up Muse and bring him to Charlotte and have he and Jarry split Friday / Saturday. Anthony Peters should not see the net in a live fire game for the rest of the month, in this writers opinion.
But like I say countless times before, I just blog about this team, I don’t coach it.
Wouldn’t put all on Peters tonight but will admit he did give up one soft one. Thought defense was confused at best most of game. Special teams play was a joke especially shorthanded.
One again can’t hold a lead and missed several open nets. Refs did have some terrible calls as well but they did miss one on #22 to start game and perhaps made a make up call or 2 after that.
Agree officiating was terrible. I remember a play when of the admiral players was basically pinning down one of our men. Peters tried to intervene. Right in front of the ref and no call.
Milwaukee did a good job releasing a player in from the neutral zone once they gained possession and penguins were caught napping.
Not sure where all the bad blood came from between these 2 teams- they don’t regularly play each other and one atlantic and one central ?