clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Skate: In hindsight, Antti Niemi was lucky to be pulled in dismal Penguins loss

The Blackhawks hung 10 on the defending champions, whose goaltending situation has come into question.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

You love hockey. You love SB Nation. You love reading hockey at SB Nation. Search your feelings. You know these things are true. But life's too busy to browse the whole network for news. So we'll send hockey news to your inbox every morning. All you need to do is subscribe.

Lace ’em up. Time for the Morning Skate.

The first few days of the 2017-18 NHL season have not been kind to new netminders. One night after Steve Mason had a debut to forget in Winnipeg, Pittsburgh’s Antti Niemi had his own stinker of an evening after giving up four goals on 13 shots in the opening five minutes of the game.

Niemi isn't the Penguins normal starter, but coming off an overtime loss to St. Louis the previous night, Pittsburgh opted for the right choice in starting its backup. Unfortunately for them, the right choice in sparing starter Matt Murray ended almost as soon as it started.

Even worse for Niemi, his night ended just as bad as his first steps out onto the ice did.

Much like what we said about Mason's situation in Winnipeg, the goaltending yips aren't something to overreact to just yet. It's game two of an 82-game season, and it's a fix the Penguins can address at any point throughout the season.

The only worrying aspect of this for the Penguins is what this means for Murray. The young netminder hasn't been extremely healthy throughout his short NHL career so far, and one injury could set the team on its heels. Injuries aren't assured, of course, but Penguins fans would surely feel better if a more competent backup was waiting in the wings.

But hey, we hear a goaltender from Vegas was just put on waivers if you're looking to take a flyer on somebody, Pittsburgh.

One sentence recaps

  • Bruins 4, Predators 3: Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy made their marks, but lazy late play almost spelled Boston's doom.
  • Canadiens 3, Sabres 2 (SO): Jason Pominville's welcome back to Buffalo was sweet, but Montreal prevailed in the shootout.
  • Avalanche 4, Rangers 2: Somehow, Matt Duchene is still contributing points for the Avalanche.
  • Capitals 5, Senators 4 (SO): Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick spurned Washington to a shootout win.
  • Red Wings 4, Wild 2: Detroit opens Little Caesars Arena with a win after a two-goal third period.
  • Blackhawks 10, Penguins 1: Everything that could have gone wrong for the Penguins went wrong.
  • Ducks 5, Coyotes 4: Youth showed for Arizona after getting out to a great start.
  • Kings 2, Flyers 0: Philadelphia used all of its offense on the first part of its California road trip.

More hockey