Today is the first time that I can remember this season that the entire Pittsburgh Penguins squad is healthy. As far as timing goes, this is definitely the time of year you want a healthy squad. The big question is: Which Penguin team is going to show up today? It would seem like the Penguins have been playing hockey a bit like Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde, but that is not the case.
The Pittsburgh Penguins defense is really coming together and if they could stop their “brain farts” now and then they could really be one of the top defensive corps in the league. Yes I just said that. Over the last three games they have held the opposing teams to an average of 19 shots a game, culminating with Boston Bruins only having 17 shots on Thursday. Did you hear the Bruins fans booing their own team? That is solid defensive play.
The goaltending seems a bit suspect, but it really isn’t. Marc-André Fleury posted his first shut-out of the season on Thursday, the day after he got pulled from the game on Wednesday for poor play. The shot total was about the same the difference was the quality of shots. During Wednesday’s game he faced a ridiculous amount of breakaways. The Penguins defense fixed that problem on Thursday but not making stupid passes.
I bet you didn’t see this coming. The Penguins offense is the problem. They are throwing a great amount of shots at opposing goaltenders, but their highest goal total in the last six games is 3. Yes, 3. They need to start putting some traffic in front of the net, and start putting the biscuit in the basket.
Bylsma is mixing the lines up a bit again today throwing Billy Guerin down to the third line, Pascal Dupuis is taking Guerin’s spot on Sidney Crosby’s line. Max Talbot & Eric Godard are sitting this one out.
Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
Ponikarovsky – Malkin – Fedotenko
Cooke – Staal – Guerin
Rupp – Adams – Kennedy
The defense will be the same. Fleury is in net.
I bet you were just thinking, hey the only thing I’m missing in life is having the Penguins logo on my toast in the morning. Frank over at Pensburgh has just the $39.99 at Dicks Sporting Goods answer for you: “Don’t get me wrong. I’m as big a fan as they come. But this may be a bit too much for me.”
Alexander Ovechkin is back from his suspension today. Isn’t it time that he starts answering for his cheap shots the way Matt Cooke does?
The NHL is kicking off it’s playoff promotion today called “History Will Be Made” and it will feature among other things, Mario Lemieux’s goal he scored against the North Stars where he split the defense.
Jim Shearer just put out another great new Yinz Luv ‘Da Guins! Episode #6 – Lady Gaga takes front stage in this episode.
Ah… and I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a good way to get looped early this afternoon: The PuckHuffers: “Staal Brothers Drinking Game.“
Gametime is 1PM and can be seen in High Definition at the Igloo or on FSN.