It’s 686 miles to and from Hershey, PA to Providence RI.
It’s 121 miles to Bridgeport CT from Providence, RI
It’s 186 miles to Wilkes-Barre, PA from Bridgeport, CT.
993 miles the Providence Bruins travelled by bus this week. 686 over the course of a Wednesday game in Hershey, 121 down to Bridgeport for a Friday game and then 186 through the night from Connecticut to Wilkes-Barre for a Saturday night game. A game where the Bruins explode for FOUR goals in the third period to beat the Penguins 5-1 Saturday night.
Four goals. In the third period. After close to 1000 miles in a bus in the span of about 72 hours.
After their Wednesday game the Penguins flew back from Charlotte Thursday after spending an extra night in North Carolina and didn’t play Friday. They were the fresher, more rested team playing on home ice and they laid an absolute egg.
The team has no talent because all of that would be talent was cast away in the span of winning two Stanley Cups in two years and then mishandled by a GM here in Wilkes-Barre (Bill Guerin) who was in over his head and later by a GM in Pittsburgh (Jim Rutherford) who rage quit and just left town.
Tonight isn’t about talent. Tonight is about coaching. J.D. Forrest gets a long leash from me because you can’t turn water into wine unless your first name is Jesus and you were a carpenter and your last initial starts with C. How Forrest lets his team get outworked by a team which has lived on a bus for the last three days come in on home ice and run circles around them in the third period and show more life and juice is beyond me.
Maybe the coaching, like the players, are just average and it is what it is.
Pens took three penalties in the third, including back to back. Providence’s Zach Senyshyn cashed on his first of three in the period on a power play. Pens up to this point were 0/4. In hindsight I wish I could make an argument that an overall close game to this point was decided on special teams.
Senyshyn scores again when a rush up ice started by Samuel Asselin is broken up but Asselin has enough time and space to dish a puck over to Senyshyn who scores to put the game out of reach and make it 3-1.
Pens scrambling, pull starter Louis Domingue and Jack Studnicka scores an empty netter to really insult you and it’s 4-1.
Senyshyn again, this time with Domingue in net to make it a hat trick.
They played “Hard Days Night” by the Beatles on the way out of the building tonight. So apropos.
Here’s all three Senyshyn goals because I hate myself.
Unless Senyshyn has his own pilot, he’s on the same bus as the rest of his team traversing I-81 and I-84 up and down the Atlantic Division, all 993 miles in the span of 72 hours.
Here’s the Penguins goal, a Radim Zohorna goal that opened up the scoring in the second period.
Here’s how they lined up. Kyle Keyser opposed Domingue.
Nathan Legare for the injured Kasper Bjorkqvist was the only lineup change.
Pens are sixth in the division, a .500 team, and will likely play at this level for the remainder of the season. It’s a division full of mediocrity. You have Springfield and Hartford playing as the class of the field, Bridgeport and Lehigh Valley playing as the class clowns and a bunch of C students thrown in between. If one of those C students meets a pretty girl who starts assisting them with their Algebra homework, watch out.
They go again next Friday in Syracuse, then back home for Charlotte and then the first of six in the month of December with Hershey. All winnable. You have to have a coach that gets the team rightfully prepared and a group that wants to be better every shift. Until then, the mediocrity continues.
Power Rankings Tuesday. Pens will be in the bottom third.