Wow, it felt good to be back at the old Igloo after the Olympic break. It felt like I hadn’t watched NHL hockey in months. (No knock on the Olympics intended) The good news is the Pens looked pretty good in their first game back. The team really seemed to play consistently for that elusive “60 minutes”. Now, that is not to say they played their “A” game for the whole game, but it was better than what we have been accustomed to in recent history.
It was nice to see the fore-check in full effect tonight. Extra special kudos go to the fourth line. I thought that Talbot (nice to see him back in uniform), Craig Adams and Mike Rupp played a very good game. Their fore-check was impressive. They hemmed the Sabres in their own zone for extended periods of time. They controlled the puck and punished the Sabres players every chance they had. To add some whip cream on top of the fourth line sunday, Rupp pummeled Paul Gaustad in a third period fight.
Obviously, it will take time to see what Jordan Leopold will bring to the table. Tonight, he looked like a guy playing his first game with a new team. He was a bit out of place and tentative. That is to be expected. I hope that coming to the Penguins will allow this kid to realize his vast potential. He has been considered an underachiever so far in his career. That is not to say his career is horrible, but the expectations were very high for him.
- I can’t wait for the time when Letang starts to hit the net more than he misses it. This kid will be great, but not until he gets a whole lot more accurate.
- It was nice to see a good ovation for the medalists before the game.
- I gotta tell you, Ponikarovsky would look real good on the left side of Malkin.
- Though the Pens looked decent, I would like to see a bit more scoring touch. It seems like they leave a lot of good chances out there.
I hope the Pens can keep up the momentum for 20 games and hit their stride for the playoffs.