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Pens impressive against Wings

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Greetings, happy Penguins fans.

Even without Sidney Crosby, the Penguins have won three straight against teams that likely will be playoff participants. Although the Red Wings are depleted with injuries, they are still the Red Wings, and earning two points against them is significant.

Here are some observations that weren’t coherent enough to make the newspaper.

 

= RW Chris Conner now has six goals and, perhaps more notably, seems to give the Penguins positive energy almost every game. He isn’t a star, but his speed is electric and clearly gave the Red Wings fits.

And so, what do we think about Conner? Is he a career minor-leaguer on an insignificant hot streak, or is he a player capable of contributing to a Stanley Cup run? A month or two ago, I would have dismissed him. Now, I’m not so sure. This guy is a bit better than I thought. He probably isn’t a legitimate option on the top three lines come playoff time, but he is worth keeping around.

 

= Is it me, or did this game lack the normal buzz that a Penguins-Red Wings game generates? Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk, Chris Osgood and Tomas Holmstrom probably would have helped.

 

= Speaking of Crosby, kudos to the captain for meeting with reporters today. No one likes answering constant questions about their health, nor does anyone like reading stories about them that simply aren’t true. Crosby was surely furious about the Globe and Mail report that suggested he will boycott the NHL All-Star Game because he wasn’t properly protected by the league following two recent head shots, but true to form, Crosby handled the situation with the dignity that has become a trademark.  

 

= Although C Evgeni Malkin continues to be mired in a scoring slump, give him some credit. Malkin actually played a good game against Detroit, picked up an assist and one six of 11 draws, which is a particularly good number for him. When Malkin is at his best, he always picks off lots of passes, and we saw that tonight. Perhaps a hot streak is coming.

 

= Believe it or not, the Red Wings seemed genuinely disappointed that Crosby wasn’t able to play Tuesday. Detroit coach Mike Babcock and D Nicklas Lidstrom, in fact, spoke rather eloquently about their admiration for Crosby. While neither man came out and said it, they both made it clear that they believe the head shots initiated by Washington’s David Steckal and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman were worthy of NHL discipline.

 

Until next time, when Rob Rossi comes to you live from lovely Newark … You stay classy, Pittsburgh.

 

- Yohe

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Comments

  1. Mario L says:

    pittsburgh (sports) fans should be used to our super stars not getting protection from the league, MARIO took numerous cheap shots, ben takes shots every sunday, & now crosby….hope a few of our WARRIORS circle on the schedule when the rematches are with the CAPS & BOLTS….

  2. Mario L says:

    oh yeah, on Conner, you can’t teach speed….

  3. Frank says:

    “He probably isn’t a legitimate option on the top three lines come playoff time,” – Rossi

    Why not? He has shown me more than a few of our other wingers who consistently receive opportunities to play on the top three lines. Outside of his blazing speed, what impresses me even more when it comes to Conner is that he constantly comes away with the puck when he’s battling in the corners with guys who are significantly taller and bigger than himself. He’s been doing that all season long. He can score you goals from time to time, while playing on a fourth line with guys like Max Talbot and Mike Rupp on a consistent basis. That’s a miracle in it’s own right. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bylsma give the kid a legitimate shot on one of the top three lines and see what happens. What would it hurt?

    Or…

    Is a guy like Max Talbot more deserving when it comes to getting another opportunity to play on the top three lines? The same Max Talbot who hasn’t scored a goal since November 29th and hasn’t recorded a point since December 22nd. Nevermind the fact he only has 5 goals and 6 assists through 47 games.

  4. I imagine there are many NHL/Pens fans like me frustrated with the NHL’s point system standings that don’t take into account games played.

    Ranking teams through wins/losses (over/under 500%) much like baseball is far more accurate during the season and at season’s end standings will mirror NHL seasons. I’ve started computing standings that way and sharing with friends who wish the NHl would adopt them. So, I’m now posting them regularly along with Pens record against individual teams and how many games remaining against each team. Check it out:
    http://slufoot.blogspot.com

    Rob Rossi, maybe you can convince the Trib to keep standings this way, would save me a lot of time every morning ;-)

  5. Shawn says:

    While we are mentioning homemade statistical categories…

    I’d like to propose the “Flower Rating”. Named after MAF, of course.

    I feel this is the best way to measure a goalie’s worth, albeit rather subjectively…

    It’s very simple…it’s almost a +/- for goalies…whenever a goalie gives up a normal goal, it’s even, whenever he gives up a bad goal (one that should have been stopped) he gets a minus, and whenever he makes a great save (not just really good, I’m talking you were sure it was going in, but…) he gets a plus.

    Most NHL goalies make more big saves than bad goals, so most would be + but…

    I think this measurement shows more than just GAA or save %.

  6. GC says:

    I would like to comment from living here in Philadelphia land. Come on Penguins win the division. I am taken a beating here from these a-h!!! Flyer fans. I hate the Flyers, Eagles and there fans. Unfortunately I moved here from Pittsburgh. They are brutal. Just ask them how good the Flyers are, the best team in hockey. Michael Vic all of sudden is all world, MVP etc. glad they lost. Its tough being a Pittsburgh fan here although there are alot of Pittsburgh fans. They are without question the worst. Boy do they HATE!!! I mean HATE!!! Crosby, and there anouncers are just as bad. LETS GO PENS! HERE WE GO STEELERS! The Eagles are gone lets get rid of the Flyers.

 
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