Greetings from Buffalo,
The Penguins were a happy bunch after claiming their 12th straight win, but were also a bit aggravated by some of Buffalo’s tactics, and the officials subsequently letting much of it fly. Sidney Crosby is always careful with his words, but the captain’s body language indicated that he wasn’t real pleased. And really, who could blame him? If I were punched in the face repeatedly and went to the penalty box for, well, being punched in the face, I wouldn’t be too thrilled either.
Crosby didn’t enjoy one of his best games of the season, but still extended his scoring streak to 18 games. What’s truly remarkable is that Crosby has accomplished this despite playing on a power play that is something less than impressive. Cheap power play points are a good way to keep a streak going, but Crosby doesn’t get those kinds of points. He is hockey’s greatest player, and no one else is even close.
= The Sabres took physical liberties with the Penguins all night. D Deryk Engelland and RW Eric Godard were healthy scratches. Coincidence? I kind of doubt it.
= Crosby appeared to have a gash on his face following the game, perhaps from his altercation with Mike Weber. He was polite as always following the game, but there was a clear feeling that he was annoyed by what had taken place.
= There were a ton of nasty hits in this contest. Max Talbot appears to be OK after remaining on the ice for a few seconds following a hit in the third period. There were too many big hits to mention every one, but it was quite a nasty game.
= Line of the night goes to the referee. After a curious review of Dustin Jeffrey’s goal in the first period, the referee said, “That’s a good hockey goal.” Yeah, because I thought I was covering a soccer game or something.
= Jeffrey did not look out of place tonight. He was impressive. Will be interesting to see if he sticks around.
= Do you think Marc-Andre Fleury’s slump is over? Wow. He was impressive again. It could be argued that the two poorest games the Penguins have played over their 12-game winning streak have come in Buffalo. Yet Fleury was there to play dynamic goal in each victory.
= The Penguins will go for their 13th straight victory Tuesday in Philadelphia. It should be the best game of the regular season. The atmosphere in Philadelphia should be off the charts. Rossi will be there to provide all the coverage in about the biggest December hockey game you’ll ever watch.
Hope you enjoyed Saturday’s game. I’m about to head off into the cold, Buffalo night. How exciting.
You stay classy, Pittsburgh.