Opening Night Knee Jerk Reaction: The Penguins suck and the Flyers are good.
What an awful opening night am I right? We were all so happy for hockey to be back and then the Penguins lay that absolute egg on me (this makes many of you happy for some reason). My instant knee jerk reaction is this is going to be a long season for the Penguins. The defense looks extremely suspect, and other than the 3rd line, the offense was no where (looking at you Malkin). Here are my emotional and most likely irrational takeaways, literally with 3 minutes left in the third period in the first game of the season.
Mike Matheson SUCKS
What an AWFUL and I mean AWFUL Penguins debut for Mike Matheson. The second goal for the Flyers came on the PP due to the fact that Matheson took a boneheaded penalty in response to Malkin getting "roughed up" near the bench. The third goal by the Flyers also put Matheson's incompetence on full display with his inability to clear the front of the net while also screening Jarry. I believe he finished the night a -4. The box score isn't published yet, but who needs that, am I right?
Tristan Jarry looked spooked being the true starter
The first 2 PP goals that were let up were not entirely his fault but i can't un-see that 6th goal he let up. The rebound control on that one was extremely concerning, but I do have faith that he will bounce back. I'm not going to blame everything on Jarry, but this is exactly the same issue we had with Murray in that we need our goaltender to stand up and make a couple timely saves.
The Flyers are good
The big guns weren't even the scary ones tonight is the conercning part. Joel Farabee and Erik Gustafsson both looked very good and are both the Penguins' daddy. I take back immediately what I said in the division preview episode saying that the Flyers would choke and miss the playoffs. I did say they are better than the Penguins and the best team in the division on paper, and tonight they definitely showed that. Pierre also said that about 7 times in the third period with a creepy laugh each time he said it. They are deep, they are fast, and they have a very good goalie.
Side note: I have no stat to back this up, but I truly believe the Penguins are like 5-72 when Kenny Albert is the announcer. Our buddy Steve Mears gave Albert big praise when we interviewed him (go check out episode 53 with Steve Mears if you haven't already), but if we are being honest, he gives me PTSD and brings back bad memories.
Also wrote this before the game actually ended. There are still 2 minutes left in the third as I am typing this. Life is just wonderful.