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A Jarry disappointing loss

February 7, 2021, 11:27 AM ET [149 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins played well against the Islanders. They probably deserved more than the zero points they got. It happens over the course of a season. Unfortunately, it just seems to be a growing coincidence that it happens when Tristan Jarry is in net. He isn’t the Penguins only problem, but he is the biggest one. He is one of the, if not the, worst starting goaltender in the league so far this year.

His goals against average is 3.95 which means the Penguins have to score five times to win a game when he’s in net on average. The Penguins don’t have an offense built to do that anymore. I’m not all that interested in listening to people say Jarry made a few great saves last night. All goalies do. It is the NHL and they are pretty much expected to save eight out of ten of those. This has not been the case. It has been rather ugly.

Out of the 37 goalies who have played 200 minutes this season Tristan Jarry ranks 36th in 5v5 save percentage at .886. Casey DeSmith is 35th at .890 so he isn’t off the hook either. Matt Murray has absolutely struggled this year as well, but even playing behind an Ottawa team that has been a punching bag he is 34th at .891 ahead of both Penguins goalies. This isn’t suggesting the Penguins should have kept Murray. They absolutely should not have. It is just putting some context into how bad the Penguins goaltenders have been. As far as high-danger save percentage at 5v5 Tristan Jarry’s rank is the same as his goalie number and he does not wear #1. He is 35th overall at .667 which is way below average. DeSmith is 30th at .741. When you invest heavily into defensive players like the Penguins have it doesn’t mean it will actually help the goalies. It just means you can’t outscore those mistakes anymore. It is why I very much dislike acquiring a bunch of players with no offensive upside. I also don’t understand who Rutherford was bidding against when he rushed to give 3.5M to an RFA goalie with 62 games played in the league that was trending down after a scorching start to year. Nobody was going to send him an offer sheet. Nobody sends anybody an offer sheet.

I don’t know who needs to hear this but Teddy Blueger isn’t a third line center and Mark Jankowski is probably on the fringe of even being an NHL player. This setup is not going to work. I would say bump McCann to center for now on the third line, but he left the game with an injury, did anybody notice? I didn’t. The Penguins need whoever is making the decisions to quickly analyze their current bottom six and start to get creative with solutions. This isn’t going to cut it. Perhaps the next general manager will be more open to seeking out players that weren’t just drafted in the first round. It is kind of funny that most of the moves Rutherford made since the 2017 Cup was basically just trying to find former first round pick retreads:

Riley Sheahan, Jack Johnson, Jamie Oleksiak, Derick Brassard, Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk, Patrick Marleau, Mike Matheson, Kasperi Kapanen, Cody Ceci, and Mark Jankowski. Not many of these players did or do good things for the team. Kapanen is probably going to turn out to be the best of this bunch, but even then it took two first round picks. Oleksiak was serviceable until Tom Wilson punched him and the GM held a grudge over it and traded him away to make room for Jack Johnson.

There is one player who I could have included in that list above, but I felt like he deserves his own paragraph because he has been one of the bright spots on the team this year. Pierre-Olivier Joseph is also a former first round pick. He has been great in his small sample this year. He scored his first ever NHL goal and it was one to be proud of

Joseph will probably be the best of the former first rounders Rutherford acquired, but in a classic Rutherford move he signed like 100 players to play in front of him to block his ascent and only when 98 of them got injured did he get his chance. Thankfully, he made the most of his chance. He won’t be leaving the lineup and he might be the saving grace to move one of these defense contracts out to help reshape the roster.

Evgeni Malkin looked pretty good. He scored his first 5v5 goal of the year leaving his buddy Sid as one of the few without one this year. It brought back memories of his goal against the Predators in the Stanley Cup Final a few years back

It was a classic stab poke check from Geno and a classic snap shot high glove. Looked like it could have been a play from 2009.

Jake Guentzel also found the scoreboard. He just gets open and reads plays well. Combine that with his incredibly high career shooting percentage and you have yourself a natural goal scorer

So on this night the top six did their job. The goalies and bottom six not so much.

The Penguins don’t play again until Thursday which makes it only three games played from January 31st until February 11th. It is good to get players fresh and allow for practice, but they are going to be hit hard at the end of February and most of the month of March. I worry about the ability for Crosby, Malkin, and Letang to stay fresh and avoid injury during this upcoming stretch. The stretch includes 20 games in 36 days.

Thanks for reading!
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