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Chipped Ice

Quick postgame thoughts after Flyers 3, Penguins 2 at CEC.

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= GREAT, GREAT, GREAT job by the Penguins on their pregame ceremony. Understated, as I expected, but pefect in pitch. Seeing MARIO LEMIEUX skate to center ice and pour melted ice from Civic Arena onto the new ice at Consol was classic. A big hat tip to game-night whiz Billy Wareham and his devoted crew for keeping the crowd into a contest that could have been a downer given the home club’s opening two periods.

= Better days are ahead, but C SIDNEY CROSBY and RW EVGENI MALKIN didn’t shine in the final game at Civic Arena or the first game at Consol Energy Center. They had their moments against the Flyers, a team each usually dominates, but for whatever reason something wasn’t clicking. To see Crosby connect on only two of 10 shot attempts is stunning. That said, he won 18 of 29 faceoffs and did attempted 10 shots, so keep that in mind before sending any criticism his way. I’m not sure I like either guy playing over 23 minutes, but this was a big game and they each were around seven minutes of power-play time.

= I’m wondering where RW ERIC GODARD fits in with D DERYK ENGELLAND on this club. Engelland is a rare defenseman who fights, a point that coach DAN BYLSMA said allowed him to scratch Godard agaisnt the usually brawl-happy Flyers. Not dressing Godard afforded Bylsma the opportunity to dress C/RW CRAIG ADAMS, who is a top penalty killer. This is a situation worth keeping an eye on as the Penguins take on teams with enforcers.

= Good on you, RW TYLER KENNEDY, for make me look bad. I’d been wondering for weeks where you fit into the Penguins lineup. Well, you played a sharp game in the opener, and that would have been true without you scoring a goal.

Kennedy has handled himself well during camp, working hard throughout even when I openly wondered if his knees were still NHL-standard. You root for a guy like him. The Penguins will be a better team this season if he forces his way into the lineup because of his speed and scoring.

Oh, and the last time he scored the team’s first goal of the season — they went on to win the Stanley Cup. I’m just saying…

 

Cheers,

Rossi

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

 
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