Sports Tankers put penguins to shame as ‘Fire Hextall’ screams rain in Pittsburgh...

Tankers put penguins to shame as ‘Fire Hextall’ screams rain in Pittsburgh – Sportsnet.ca


February 23, 2023, 11:52 p.m.

“I’m not impressed,” the Pittsburgh Penguins coach spat after the game. “It was a miserable performance.”

“Are we going to be happy playing eight minutes?” she asked. «I would not be happy playing eight minutes. If we take away 50 percent of their salary because they only play 50 percent of the time, what will they say?

Those quotes came after the Edmonton Oilers won in Pittsburgh, not This is Edmonton Oilers win at Pittsburgh.

In an old Pittsburgh igloo, 17 years and one month ago, a legendary post-game was born. The final score was 3-1, the first star being Shawn Harkoff, who scored all three of the Oilers’ goals, and a sarcastic, sarcastic assessment from coach Michael Therrien.

He filled his crew that night like a starving fisherman on a salmon run.

“I’m really starting to believe that their goal is to be the worst defensive team in the league,” Therrien said of her team, in that delicious Quebecois accent. And they do a good job. They turn the puppy, they have no vision…

“They’re soft. He had never seen defenders so soft ».

Fast forward 17 years and you’d have to wonder if Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t, after a 7-2 thrashing by the Oilers on Thursday night in Pittsburgh. YouTube The Therian Rand Use as his address before practice on Friday morning.

The Edmonton Oilers swept Pittsburgh in six straight games Thursday through Sunday, embarrassing the Penguins with a converted touchdown in front of a ravenous crowd of 18,400 pouring into PPG Paints Arena.

The Oilers handed the game’s first goal to Kris Letang at 1:05 into the first period, then stepped on the gas and left the Penguins in the dust after a 6-1 lead after 40 minutes.

The Penguins had 12 shots in 40 minutes. To the naked eye, they did not appear to have touched the side a dozen times before the second break.

“This is how we want to play,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who went 1-1-2 on a flawless 600-point night. “Don’t give them anything. We will hold them down as long as we can. It’s a talented group, so keeping them (under pressure), limiting their shots and Grade A opportunities is important for our team.”

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Alas, after his team was beaten in every conceivable aspect of hockey, Sullivan was less Therrien-esque, sounding more like the guy who bought a blockbuster two weeks before Netflix came along.

“Tonight was a step back,” he said. “Definitely… a step back.

“We have to find a way to move this in the right direction.”

See, there’s always that game when your team doesn’t have it and the other team flies.

The Oilers couldn’t have played a more structured and focused team game than Thursday, and individually, Connor McDavid was as good as he’s been in any game this season. He opened the scoring for the Oilers with a goal you’ve seen 10 times already, shooting from behind the goal line and placing a puck on top of the plate on the back of Tristan Jarry.

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From there, McDavid’s wheels — and the Oilers’ team speed — made the Penguins look old, slow, and very old. It was Pittsburgh’s fourth straight loss and fifth in six games as they failed to clinch a wild-card berth in the East.

“Obviously, when you lose a few games, there’s an element of weakness that worries you… It’s human nature,” Sullivan said. “Do we worry a little about that? Absolutely. Shall we talk about those things? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, professional sports are not for the faint of heart, we just have to grab it, dust ourselves off, and get back in the fight.

“We were outmatched. They played better than us.

The Penguins played awkwardly when they came off the ice after 40 minutes. “Hextal Fire” Steeltown fans told their general manager what they thought of the roster he put together.

“It was a tough night for everyone,” admitted Sidney Crosby. “We don’t like doing such a performance in front of them. They pay their ticket and they want to look good. I understand. It’s not a great night for anyone.

Meanwhile, the Oilers, leaving town with points in 14 of their last 16 road games, arrive in Columbus, where the 32nd-ranked Blue Jackets await Saturday’s matinee. Lyon scored in their sixth straight game at the dry side, and Devin Shore fired in a fine pass from Jesse Puljujarvi, his first goal since March 17, 2022.

Therion’s words that night fit perfectly:

“Tonight, it looks like men against men.”

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