Greetings, and a belated Happy Thanksgiving, Pens fans.
* Maybe Marc-Andre Fleury doesn’t stink after all. What an incredible week for “The Flower.” The Penguins haven’t exactly been spectacular offensively this week, managing three goals in Florida, one in Buffalo and two against Ottawa Friday at Consol Energy Center. And yet they emerged with three straight wins. You can chalk up those six points to Fleury, whose early slump suddenly seems like a long time ago.
* If you have seats in sections 211 or 212 at Consol Energy Center, you might have to bring sunglasses to future games. No, really. As Rob Rossi and I sit here in the press box, we noticed about 20 seats covered in late-afternoon sunshine. It actually looks pretty cool. (I suspect the odd sensation of sun shining into a hockey arena is simply because there is lots of exterior glass in this building, and the sun is shining. Or, maybe the fires have already begun in Morgantown, and we can see it from here. Rossi, a WVU man if ever there has been one, will surely take part in celebrating tonight in Morgantown.)
* The Penguins’ penalty killing is simply unbelievable right now. They’ve killed 24 straight penalties and 50 of 52. If Montreal gives up a power play goal tonight, the Penguins will overtake the Habs for the No. 1 spot in the NHL. I don’t need to consult Penguins’ expert/historian/statistician Bob Grove to know that the Penguins have never led the league in penalty killing. As an organization, preventing goals has never really been a top priority. (Of course, if I’m wrong, feel free to send me snotty e-mails. I’d deserve it.)
* I forgot to mention this from the other night, but the Penguins sang happy birthday to Eddie Johnston before the morning skate in Buffalo Wednesday. It was a nice moment for a nice man.
* How good has Kris Letang become? Even on days when he doesn’t record a point, like today, he does a few things every game that make your jaw drop. He isn’t on the all-star ballot, but that shouldn’t matter. If he’s not in the NHL All-Star Game this season, there shouldn’t be a game. Well, there probably shouldn’t be anyway. But that’s another story for another day.
Enjoy those turkey sandwiches tomorrow while watching another afternoon game, as Jarome Iginla and the Flames make a rare visit to town.
Until then, you stay classy, Pittsburgh.