Excuses for NHL Players

There’s about 15 of them on one team.

Fresh off of a 5-0 rout by Minnesota, Mark Recchi officially called this, “the lowest point in his career”.
When will anyone else on the Penguins join in his honest and genuine frustration. Reading the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette daily, you would not believe how many, “It’s a little frustrating.”; “we maybe could have come out with more energy tonight.” “We should be better than this, with all the talent we have in here,” defenseman Dick Tarnstrom said. “It’s kind of frustrating.” “KIND OF”?!?! What is wrong with these players? I hope they are just *****footing around the truth, because if they legitimately only feel “kind of” frustrated, that is pathetic.

And what does all of this show? That Olcyzk should stay. If these players cannot get themselves fired up for a game that they all agree during the week is a “must win”, then the players are the problem. Maybe Edzo didn’t deliver a twice in a life time, truly inspiring speech before the game, although I don’t know that even that would have done the job, but if you need a speech like that to at least come out with energy, then something is wrong with your desire to play the game. Yea, there’s no doubt there are some systems issues with this team that fall back on the coaching, but when you can count the number of players that showed heart in a “must win game” on one hand — thats on the players.

Sidney Crosby, Erik Christensen, Mark Recchi, John Leclair are really the only fowards that showed any kind of life last night, and all but Christensen might even be a stretch. You could maybe throw Murley and Talbot in there, but thats more because of their role. Brooks Orpik played a decent game, but Gonchar and Tarnstrom looked utterly lifeless. I would have offered Thibault as someone who played a strong game, but after giving up 5 goals for the 6th time this season, he had this to say last night: “It’s starting to be a little frustrating,” Thibault said. “I’m sure everybody here wants to win. … We have to turn it around. I don’t know what to say.”

Well I just hope that Edzo doesn’t turn into the scapegoat for these apathetic “professionals”. Its clear to the leaders of this team that there are guys playing without the urgency that you need to have when your team as at this point in the season. “It’s going to be a sleepless night for a lot of people who care,” forward Mark Recchi said. “There have been a lot of sleepless nights lately.” I’m sure that Recchi knows who the people who care are, and its about time that someone step up and call out those that don’t.

I guess the problem is, there’s really players that can be dealt to send a message. To bring someone in to change the make up of this team, the Pens will need to deal picks and prospects, and that doesn’t send the same message it does to trade one of the habitually lifeless guys playing for the team now. I’m about to start longing for the days of 03-04 when the Pens at least put a team with some desire on the ice.

Time’s about up for this team to get it together and play like pros.

(all quotes taken from Pittsburgh Post Gazette: http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/penguins)