!Blitzkrieg! of the Penguins

Forget the March of the Penguins, this is an all out Blitzkrieg.

They have just handed Nashville, the best team in the league, their hats and literally kick them out the door. In there own building no less!

With the recent success of the Pittsburgh Penguins I wonder just how far they can go.

Everybody knew this was coming. We all knew that one day the Pittsburgh Penguins would develop into a team that was going to embarass the competition. But nobody would have thought that it would be so soon.

I remember at the beginning of the year Bill Waters (along with many other prognosticators I’m Sure) stated that he was more than sure that the Penguins would win at least one cup in the next five years.

Now the Penguins have stampeded their way up the ranks to 5th place, and still have some leg left to go farther. New Jersey sits in 2nd place, and is the top in the division with 72 points, to Pittsburghs 63. But Pittsburgh has been beating the leagues heavy hitters and hottest teams. Making up 11 points in 30 games is far from a stretch, and Pittsburgh could very well take their division this year.

We all thought that this was 2 or even three years away, but half a season.
At the very least if the season were to end today the Penguins in 5th would play the 4th place Canadiens, who have developed a great little rivalry in the past weeks, and would be an amazing match-up.

While I think that even now the sky is the limit for the Penguins, they do need improvements, but not much. They are getting great goaltending from Fleury, who I admit I thought was a bust before this season. Most speculators and insiders truly feel that the Penguins are two stay-at-home defencemen away from being a true cup contender. And they can come cheap.

Penguins have an amazing chance this year as they have cap room, picks, prospects. They have it all, except for a new arena. And all they need to do is acquire a couple of strong S-A-H D-men and they are really rolling. With the assets they have now they could easily pick up some scoring depth to boot and really increase their chances. Any Vet that has the ability to put the puck in the net no matter who they play with would be great. Vet playoff rentals like Guerin, Murray, Tkachuk, O’neill, Bertuzzi and many others would really beef up this team.

The Pens are already looking for a hired gun to watch Crosby’s back now that players are beginning to take liberties with him. I am more that sure he can handle himself, but is better off staying out of the box and putting one in the back of the opposing teams net. They have a CAP hit of about 35 million for this year after paying out bonuses for Crosby and Malkin, who will undooubtedly hit all of their marks. That gives them roughly ten million to play with for the deadline.

I know that they would like to save money to qualify for revenue sharing, but a true shot at the cup is more than enough reason to spend the bucks. Especially for owners looking to sell the team, or maybe just move them.
What could possibly look better to an interested city than welcoming the Stanley cup champions as your new sports franchise or at the very least a conference finalist or perenial playoff contender. I doubt that if Anaheim was to look for a new city over the last summer that they would have had any problems. Mario Lemieux 1 City of Pittsburgh 0.

Think of the success the Penguins would have if they dealt a load of prospects and picks to Florida for Bertuzzi, what would this team be then? Is there anybody better than big bert to watch Sid the Kids back. Not only is he as big as any goon out there, and has the over the top enforcer credentials to prove it (just ask Steve Moore), but he can score too. Hell he could create more room for the zippy trio of Crosby, Malkin, Recchi. Look at the power play. Bertuzzi in front of the net, who even Chara would have problems moving, and Crosby, Malkin, Rechhi and Gonchar all playing the perimeter. CRAZY! That is a most likely a stoners wet dream, but it is an indication of what is possible. At 1/3 the price, Pittsburgh could make some huge splashed for guys like Bertuzzi, Stuart, and Boyton, even, Miller from LA.

If there is a team with better chance at a run at the cup with the potential to be better than they are, I’d like to see it. Buffalo is near the CAP and is relatively stuck, Anaheim has some wiggle room but not that much, San Jose has some space, but not the depth to do as much as Pittsburgh. NJ is already CAP busted.

Pittsburgh is really on the move. Look for them to be quiet over the next week or two, and if they are still in the middle of the standings and playing so well, look for them to make some big splashes at the deadline.

Forget the future, their time is already here.
I don’t think there is a team in the league right now that would choose to play Pittsburgh in the playoffs if they could avoid it.

44 Responses to !Blitzkrieg! of the Penguins

  1. intelligentscorpio says:

    You are right about" the time is now comment". I think that they are not a cup contender at this moment, but can get to the 2nd or 3rd round, if the right pieces are added, who knows what can happen. Montreal won in 1993 when Pittsburgh got taken out by the Islanders. Pens and Minnesota were the least probable teams to be in the finals in 1991. Pens can win this year or get real close to the cup.
    Let's go Pens, Shero are you listening?

  2. tacitus says:

    The pens were not probable cup contenders in 1991??? Is that because they finished 7th over all in the league and were the second highest scoring team in the league? or maybe it was cuz of those guys
    Recchi 78-40-73-113
    Coffey 76-24-69- 93
    Francis 81-23-64-87
    Stevens 80-40-46-86
    Jagr 80-27-30-57
    Lemieux 26-19-26-45
    I think had Mario played alot that season the Penquins woulda been a top 5 team in the league and finished 1st in goals for.

  3. NHLman says:

    What are you talking about? Did I miss something? How did Pittsburgh kick Nashville out the door?

  4. 92-93 says:

    they are scary.
    just absolutely frightening.

    seriously, everyone talking about they wont be able to retain these guys in a few years … but the way they are progressing and playing right now, who knows what they can do THIS year or next year.

  5. Mephist0 says:

    I am with NHLman, what are you f&$%ing talking about?  Shots were 25 – 26 with an empty net goal.

    I swear to god some people on this site ride the short bus.

  6. pensfan29 says:

    did you not watch the game?

  7. pensfan29 says:

    the pens manhandled them, plain as day…. outworked them…. i hope nashville brought a big pen and notepad

  8. pensfan29 says:

    i hope they can do something this year i really do, because who knows if they will still be here next year

  9. chef93 says:

    sure they keep winning games……..you can't touch crosby or he pulls his best Mario Lemieux impression and complains to the referees. Pittsburg gets so much powre play time, that's why they look so powerful. Look at their stats on the powerplay and how many opportunities they gat a game. I'm sick and tired of this punk Crosby always complaing about the officiating and all the "no calls". Did you ever hear Yzerman complain or Forsberg or even Sakic that the officiating sucked? Grow up and suck it up……I guess that's why his nickname is "sid the kid" instead of "sid the Man"

  10. gohabs24 says:

    They look good right now but their defense will be exposed in the playoffs.

    I kind of agree with Chef about Crosby, I can't stand it when players take dives and just lay on the ice. (Lapierre incident comes to mind) I lost a lot of respect for him after that.
    Aaron Downey was right when he said "if your going to be a superstar in this league you better start acting like one" 

  11. PaulK123 says:

     The only reason they are doing so well is because they are scoring alot, other than than Gonchar and Whitney they have nobody on defense, if they make the playoffs they will be swept.

  12. Hoondog2 says:

    Sure the Pens look good, but Toronto is equally man-handling the best teams in the league right now, but you aren't giving the cup to them are you?  No…., because they are both on hot streaks.  I know you will all bring up the 8-2 whomping Toronto took from the Pens, but in between pp advantages for the Pens was a highly entertaining and even game until Toronto got frustrated with the calls.  My point is don't plan the parade just yet, and expect both teams to start playing somewhere in between where they were playing, and how they're playing now.

  13. bleed_penguins says:

    Why do people think that the Pens get a free ride with the refs. They get the calls because they earn them. They outskate and outwork teams every shift and it forces teams to hook and hold them. As for Crosby complaining to the refs, why don’t you watch a game and see how players take liberties on him. He gets face washed and cheap shotted every night and most of them go un-called. Until you watch some pens games, don’t comment on things you don’t understand.

    Ps. The only thing the Pens might need to add is a backup goalie to take a few games down the stretch. Other than that I don’t think they should add anything. Keep this team and take it to the cup. Go Pens!

  14. azzkikr2100 says:

    Have you ever gotten speared? Even lightly? It hurts if it gets under the pads… No matter how hard you get speared or the end of the stick that hits you it hurts.

    I have gotten speared many times in my days of In-Line hockey and it hurts and sometimes knocks the wind right out of you. It all depends on how you are breathing at the time of the incident.

    If you are exhauling, you exhaul to fast and get the wind knocked out of you. If you are inhauling, it is not as noticeable. This is from my experience and what could be the reason for the so called dives.

    However, he is not diving, maybe exagerates somewhat, but it hurts… maybe he doesnt need to go down but if he doesnt go down – will they notice the infraction or blow the whistle?

    Think of it like this… If you dont go down and you labor to the bench, it is 5-4 for a time and could cause a goal against. If you fall to the ice to regain your composure it can also can cause a whistle to stop play.

    The calls may be going the Penguins way, but they are generating opportunities – which causes the opposition to take stupid penalties. For the most part the refs are doing a decent job of sticking to the rules but there will always be exceptions – on both sides.

    If you havent got speared, how can you judge someone by their reaction to it? It hurts, trust me.

  15. maniachippo says:

    Its obvious that you dont watch the Pens, yes we have Whitney and Gonch but Eaton is in alot of peoples opinion the best defensmen for the Pens before he was injured he was at top of the league in blocked shots and is amazing one on two and besides him Orpik has finally come into his own and is really showing he belongs in the NHL. The sad part about this is none wants to give credit to the Pens still. they are a team to be reckoned with and yes they are on a streak but look at who they have beat all year. most of the teams beside Phily have been playoff teams its the teams behind them they have had trouble with and now they have picked that up. so they are on their way to wininning the Cup in the next 2 years and i would not be surprised AT ALL if they went to the Finals this year. THEY HAVE HEART!

  16. maniachippo says:

    Its obvious that you dont watch the Pens, yes we have Whitney and Gonch but Eaton is in alot of peoples opinion the best defensmen for the Pens before he was injured he was at top of the league in blocked shots and is amazing one on two and besides him Orpik has finally come into his own and is really showing he belongs in the NHL. The sad part about this is none wants to give credit to the Pens still. they are a team to be reckoned with and yes they are on a streak but look at who they have beat all year. most of the teams beside Phily have been playoff teams its the teams behind them they have had trouble with and now they have picked that up. so they are on their way to wininning the Cup in the next 2 years and i would not be surprised AT ALL if they went to the Finals this year. THEY HAVE HEART! oh yeah to add to the Sid is a baby i dont care what people say i have played hockey i have been hit with sticks in the face and speared and unless you see it coming no matter how hard it is it is surprising and hurts, they do need to call that stuff and if they dont yes suck it up which he does he has only once went over to a ref a flipped out, he knows if they didnt call it they wont. it is all about maturing into a Superstar from being a GREAT hockey player which he is doing.

  17. bleedingblu says:

    I agree! Well, lets face it …. if you put "Toronto" and "Cup" on the same sentence on this site everyone jumps on you! As for the 8 – 2 win…. it happens…. Toronto has smacked Pittsburgh numerous of times.
    Lets see how the boys in blue handle Nashville tonight.

  18. moreau1123 says:

    They did not "kick" Nashville out the door or "hand" them their hats, in essense it was a 3-1 win without the EN goal and your an idiot since it wasn't a game in Nashville, it was a game in Pittsburgh get your stuff together before posting a long column like that. Also Nashville could beat Pittsburgh at least 8 or 9 times out of 10, expecially if the games were in Nashville.

  19. kamullia says:

    I am of the same opinion that complaining to the officials is not becoming, but there are many things that you mentioned that are not true and others that you omitted or ignored that have to be given credit for:

    1. Although it is true that Sidney Crosby complaints to the officials, it has to be said that he has toned it way down from last year, which is good. Even if in my opinion he is still complaining a little too much, but he is not far from getting to an acceptable level.
    2. Wayne Gretzky was the player known to constantly complain to the officials. Mario Lemieux hardly ever complained directly to the officials, he complained however (or mostly vented) in the press media. But since the media was able to quote him, or better play the audio or video to the public, the public perceived Mario as a person to complain on the ice, and he hardly ever did. Crosby never complains about the officiating (meaning to a third party), he complains to the officials (directly in a relatively private conversation). In that respect, Sidney Crosby is very much like Wayne Gretzky, never complaining in the press and to the point of lying of his true feelings in the media, but always on the ear of the officials. Gretzky was even known to be an absolute diver at the beginning of his career. In fact, I find the similarities between Gretzky and Crosby, uncanny.
    3. Yzerman and Sakic have hardly ever complained in the media about officiating, but I would not put the two of them in the same category as Forsberg. Forsberg has complained periodically to the media during his career about a game or certain officiating, but what I found odd about Forsberg is that as he gets nearing retirement he has gotten more and more vocal in this respect, which is atypical of senior players. Ironically on this subject, Forsberg has done most of his latest complaining about officiating and/or to the officials in reference to Sidney Crosby. Ironic because the two sides are so polar opposites in their view, with Sidney arguing not enough calls and with Forsberg arguing too many calls for Sidney.

    Sidney still has a lot of maturing to do, but that can certainly be said across the board for all teenagers, regardless of what they do or where they are at. However, if we are going to compare maturity of teenagers, it is hard to argue against the notion that Sidney Crosby is well ahead of the curve when compared to the typical maturing curve of a teenager. Therefore all in all, he is not doing so bad of a job considering he is the brightest of spotlights of any 19 year old, perhaps in the entire world.

  20. kamullia says:

    I have to agree. I have heard the 1990-91 Penguins categorize in many different ways, but this is the first time that I can recall anyone referring to that team as not probable cup contenders.

  21. kamullia says:

    Nashville was truly dominated the vast majority of the game. However, it is true that Nashville had some injuries, and that Mason although he played excellent, was still coming on after not having played in a while.

    Both goaltenders were excellent, and if it was not for them, that game should have finished 7-4 Penguins if you account for the excellent chances that were dwarfed by both Fleury and Mason. The only goal that even Mason himself acknowledge that handcuffed him because he was not ready for it (the only true sign of rust from not having played he gave) was Recchi’s goal, which was of his trademark quick release, and went through the 6 hole on Mason. Other than that, the Pens would have easily scored 7 ir not more goals against most other goaltenders in that game.

  22. kamullia says:

    Nashville had to make up a big differential in shots from the 1st period, even though they had the lead after one period. Nashville started to shoot more with desperation once they fell behind 2-1, and the shot count does not even tell how many the Penguins blocked before the pucks got through to Fleury. But overall, the Penguins clearly outplayed Nashville most of the game, other than a 5-7 minute time frame in the third when they were pressing to get back in the game after having fallen 3-1.

    However, the true story of this game was the goaltenders. Excellent goal tending display. I keep saying the true score of this game should have been 7-3, at least, if not for Fleury and Mason.

  23. DeathCab says:

    I agree.  The Pens look to have everything they need for a playoff birth, but to start talking cup in February is just stupid. 

    The thing I worry about is with a team playing as hard and intense as the Pens are, how long can they keep it up before they tire out?  Or worse yet, how long before all of this leads to injuries…

  24. jjm301 says:

    They might not have kicked Nashville out of the door but they won the game.  I feel that the Pens are just as good as the Preds because they can match their speed and have more goal scoring ability then the Preds.  There was a stat posted during the game that shows Nashville might not be as good as their record shows. Nashville has a 16-1-2 record against Chi,Stl and Columbus.  Granted they still had the win the games but those teams clearly are bottom feeders in the league and they have a little less then half their points from beating them.  The Penguins deserve the credit they are receiving.  They are beating teams with defense, and shutting them down and Fleury has been outstanding. 

  25. kamullia says:

    I have to agree that it is irresponsible for anyone to say that the spearing incident, or any spearing incident, is diving. It is impossible to say if the player lost his wind, or even got poked in the exact spot of an existing bruise, or any of other mitigating circumstances. I also do not think that should be the point, after all, because spearing of any form is against the rules. Period. And Lapierre was clearly trying to hurt Crosby, because in order to spear him the way he did with the butt end while holding the stick wide with both hands, he had to purposely turn that stick around to an unnatural position in order to spear Crosby.

    I find it ridiculous that people are OK with bending the rules, and if someone gets hurt, then they should be tougher. If it’s against the rules, then it should not be tolerated. And if it is going to be tolerated, then change the freaking rules. Otherwise, call the game by the book.

  26. DeathCab says:

    That's True!  I just checked Nashvilles site, and the game was @ Pittsburg.  Funny how all the Pens fans talk about "Did you even watch the game???" meanwhile they're all thinking it was in Nashville.  Smooth move guys.

  27. kamullia says:

    I am sorry, I find your reply about scoring hysterical.

    Last I checked, the winning team is the one who scores the most. Scoring and winning obviously go hand in hand…in every sport that I can think of. Hence if they keep “scoring a lot,” they have pretty good chances of keep winning. What I find most ironic about that whole thought is that the Pens are desperately in need of scoring wingers, because the production from wingers has been truly pathetic thus far. Give the Pens two decent scoring wingers and good luck to whoever plays them, defense or no defense.

    I do however, but for other reasons, agree that they will not make it that far into the playoffs. Perhaps even being swept. But that is a different topic.

  28. kamullia says:

    I completely agree that the Pens should not be put with a Stanley Cup sentence this year, although admittedly they are playing fantastic. 20 points out of 22 possible points is not something to just overlook, and frankly I thought by now they would have slowed that pace down. I totally agree that what matters is how they play once they get off that hot streak, meaning will they keep up with the playoff pace, or will they go into a slump. Just one thing about your PP comment:

    The Pens are naturally built for taking advantage of the power plays. They are a speedy and highly skilled team. Crosby, Malkin, Staal, and even their penalty killers like Talbot, Armstrong, and even Moore and Malone, present specific problems to all teams that might force them at times to take penalties in order to prevent a possible goal. The Penguins are currently the team that has the most penalties called in their favor, and it is routine to see them play 4-4 after having been down a man and one of their penalty killers forcing a defenseman into taking a penalty to prevent a shorthanded goal. Therefore the rest of the NHL (and that certainly includes Toronto) needs to find ways of not taking penalties against the Pens, especially considering that they have climbed lately all the way up in the top 5 of scoring with the man-advantage.

  29. kamullia says:

    The Pens have several things going for them as far as your concerns:

  30. They are young, and the energy re-charge rate of a younger player is simply superior.
  31. They are in excellent physical condition. Therrien and his coaching staff made a point for this team to be drilled and grilled into top shape and they succeeded. The team thrives on being in top shape, with the entire team always showing up for all the optional skates. In fact, the team has recurred lately to barring players from skating whatsoever, in order to force them into taking breaks. And even then, Crosby and other have admitted to cheating and sneaking even if for 15-20 on the ice with kids on a rink.
  32. Both of the two earlier points above help immensely with injuries. Being young and in top shape goes a long ways against getting injured. Older teams, especially the ones with their players in not top shape, have to worry much more about injuries when maintaining a high-end pace.
  • kamullia says:

    I don’t know about taking the team to the cup, but I do agree with most of what your general premise is. As far as the backup goaltender, they do need a better backup, but only as insurance, not to take games. If Fleury has shown something through his time as a Penguin, and this year he has firmly cemented that notion, is that he thrives and does better the more he plays. When Therrien gives Fleury a break, it is always because of tactical concerns, forcing a break into Fleury’s schedule against weaker teams, so that he can be fully charged against top teams.

  • duffy14 says:

    First of all, Crosby is 19, hence the name Sid the Kid, so no, he's not going to act like a seasoned veteran every game. Second, how can you all claim to know that he is diving when replays clearly show players taking shots at him. This isn't like the World Cup where the replays show the player didn't even touch anything. Third, Pittsburgh is winning because they're scoring goals, they have great team chemistry, and they're getting great goaltending. While I don't believe Pittsburgh will win the cup, I do think they can play the underdog role that we have seen each and every year for awhile, a role that always seems to be filled by a team that doesn't necessarily have all the best players but plays the best together. Also, I the Pens didn't "kick the preds out the door," however give them some credit as 4-1(even with an empty net goal) is impressive over the top team in the league, don't get so defensive as to break out short bus comments. Pittsburgh has games in hand on the teams they are vying for a playoff spot with, so the test will be to keep their play consistent.

  • kamullia says:

    Absolutely correct that the game was in Pittsburgh, not in Nashville. But you had to watch the game to get a sense of how dominating the Penguins were, even if for only one game. It is also true the Pens had their lineup virtually intact, while the Preds had several injuries, and were not playing their top goaltender either (although Mason was superb, except for getting surprised in the Recchi goal). Truth is, that since Nashville and Pittsburgh will not see each other again, we have nothing to go by but this one game. But the score sheet hardly says how dominant Pittsburgh was in this specific game, or how good both the goaltenders were. If it wasn’t for Mason, the game could have turned into a blowout (in the Pens favor) in the first period alone, even if the end result of the period was 1-0 Preds.

  • GoalJudge says:

    Sid the Kid as a compaliner is a joke, and people should think before they speak.

    And Yes all the guys you talk about complained to the Refs just like Crosby.  Only it was when they were young and broke into the league.  Wait a minute, Sidney Crosby is young and has just exploded into the league.  He, like Gretzky, garners a lot more attention then almost any player on the ice, and a lot of the time "no calls" are deliberate because if the refs called every infraction against him, the Pens would spend like 50 minutes a game on the power play.  I has less to do with his whining than it does with the actions taken by other players to try to contain him.  He is only asking for the refs to call the game the way it should be.  The two items that people complain about Crosby's complaining were Blake's Spearing and a stick to the face.  The spear was blatant and should have been called regardless of whether or not Crosby went down and tried to sell the penalty.  The stick to the face speaks for itself, but in defense of the refs it was a little away from the play on the boards, and therefore can't hold them too accountable for missing it.  It is not like McSorley's (SP?) hack at Brashears head.

    For re-inforcement of the topic-de-jeur here is a link to analyst Bob McKenzie's take on it.


    And for the record Lemieux did a similar thing, and you can bet that is where Sid is getting the influence from.  Lemieux retired early because he did not like the state of the game and how it deteriorated in the 90s to goon squads, and no talent hacks clutching and grabbing with blindfolded refs.

    And if you noticed at that time it was Lemieux complaining to the ref. Lemieux, the CAPTAIN of the team speaking out to the refs, as a captain or assistant captain is suppose to.  Sid the Kid speaks out because he has no captain, the penguins did not elect one to honor Lemieux, and there for the assistant captains are left to fend for themselves.  That means Sid the Kid not only has to play for himself, and fend for himself, but he is the only who can, by league rules, stand up for him (for those that don't know only Captains and Assistant Captains can officially speak to the refs on behalf of the team.  An option for the future would be to let Recchi or Gonchar whom ( I believe) are the other assistant captains speak up for him.  Their age and tenure may hold more sway and respect league wide that a young star player. If anything to keep up appearances and play a little politics.

    Yzerman, Sakic, Forsberg et al did not complain to the refs as much for two reasons. 1) The did not garner as much attention to them selves as Crosby does.  They are all extremely talented players, but they developed better overtime, not 100 pts players in there first seasons. 2) and most, inmportantly, they had captains who spoke on there behalf.  That is why you don't equate them with being whiners or complainers.

  • GoalJudge says:

    Don't forget that he actually had to takes some side steps to actually spear him.

    How more blatant can you get than to step into it?

    And as for Downey; and I am a Habs fan too; he was just mouthing off because the opportunity was there. He and the Habs were getting humiliated, and they were trying to hide behind a 'moral victory' by mouthing off about Crosby.  I like chippy players, but come on.  If he spent time on the bike instead of mouthing off to camera's he might get a little faster and maybe just maybe be able to keep up with Crosby.

    Memo to him and every other palyer in the league.  This kid is good, and fast.  And in the off season he spends his time training and getting stronger, faster, and better. NOT on the golf course.  All summer he spent his time strengthening his legs and getting speed and balance.  So don't complain because he worked and you spent your summer at Agusta National.

  • GoalJudge says:

    I did not watch all of the game, and watched most of the first period and maybe half of the remaining periods.

    SO therefore, I apologize for not even noticing or remembering (which ever the case may be) that the game was in Pittsburgh.  So I will give a little credit back to Nashville, a team I like that has quietly built a contender for years.  But you cannot ignore the utter dominance that Pittsburgh has displayed in that last two or so months.

    True, it is early to talk cup predictions, and no one but die hard Pens fans would have dared to call them for the cup this year.  But they appear to be more than just a darkhorse now.  I agree that while possible, it is highly unlikely that they keep this pace up.  Only two teams I can think of did that and that was a HABS team from the 70s (I believe) and the Red Wings in the 90s.  That aside, the Pens can go as far as they want.  Like I said, and others have supported me, they are performing with a deminished D ( or non existant past 1-2-3 spots) and without quality wingers.  So that supports my statement before that they can do better if they spend a little money or make some deals.  They have some talented young kids for depth, Picks, and most of all CAP space, 10 million or so of it, to make whatever moves they want. Short of some exceptional play from some other teams, they could basically buy their way to the conference finals, if they choose too.

    And look for Washington to do the same next year when Backstrom comes in to solidify Ovechkin's supporting cast.

  • CrosbyMalkin says:

    Um, did you forget Eaton? The guy blocks more shots than anybody in the leauge and incase you have not been watching the rest of the defense is starting to take lessons from him and they are doing the same thing. Crosby even blocks shots. Orpik makes the ocaasional bone head plays but he is getting better on defense every game.

  • kamullia says:

    Although I have to say that it is a welcomed surprise how good the Penguins are presently doing, how better than expected their defense is, and how surprising (at least for myself) Jordan Staal has been, among many things to be surprised about, it is quite premature to think this team is ready for lengthy playoff run.

    All in all, is not so much what they are lacking in the matter of players in certain positions, but their inexperience that I firmly believe will more than likely do them in a lengthy battle in the playoffs. Manifest of this experience can be shown just about everywhere in the Penguins roster, including their best player, Sidney Crosby. Witness the last game in Montreal of the Penguins, and see how the winning goal was scored in overtime, and you will understand what I am referring to. Or witness Mark-Andre Fleury, who is by a very large part, the main reason the Penguins are in the position they find themselves in at this point. Fleury has never thus far shown to be strong under the highest pressure games/series, having had unfavorable results during WJCs, QJHML, Memorial Cup and Calder Cup runs.

    This year is not a year for the Penguins to make acquisitions, especially of rent-a-players at the price of prospects or up and coming players, but a year to get that experience under the belt for the young players already on the roster. After all, there are several players waiting to crack the lineup who might solve some of the perceived problems the Penguins have in their lineup.

  • kamullia says:

    You pretty much took the same stance that I did, therefore I will assume your reply was really directed to Chef and you just happened to post it under my reply to Chef?

    Otherwise, I will be glad to reply in more detail when I get a chance.

  • CrosbyMalkin says:

    I agree with all of that except that they do not have anyone, anywhere that I know of in the goal tender position. I do believe that they need a better back goaltender than what they have right now.

  • kamullia says:

    Not in the system, you are correct. Although there are two or three prospects that might fight the bill. However, backup goaltending you can be sure is one of the things that Shero will have to work on during the off-season. I am almost sure that Thibault does not want to stay as a backup and I believe that most in the organization would like to have a backup type goaltender that can do a good job with almost no playing time, because Fleury’s games played I expect will increase even more than this year. Fleury simply thrives the more he plays.

  • BruMagnus says:

    ppl who talk about them not retaining their key players in a few years are either (a) jealous or (b) idiots (or a little of column A, a little of column B). as is pointed out ages ago, ANY TEAM WOULD LOVE to have these players. IF IT IS DEEMED NECESSARY TO TRADE ONE, you can be assured it will be before they become free agents and for a HUGE RETURN.
    As it is, the Pens have a very low cap, and could sign Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury to max contracts and still be under the Cap. As it is, only Crosby and perhaps Malkin would command that in the near future.

  • BruMagnus says:

    Furthermore, I'd dare to say that Crosby gets the LEAST amount of penalties called in his favour in the entire League. I have seen at least two dozen no calls on BLATANT penalties, I'm not even talking about the slight hooks that go uncalled, only to be called against a Gonchar or the likes wtih 2 minues left in regulation, I'm talking about high sticks to the face (knocking out teeth!), spears, foul hooks, and cheapshot hits from behind trying to injure him…

    I'll bet this: IF CROSBY goes down with an injury, you won't hear the end of it from the player who did it, and it'll be ENTIRELY THE FAULT of the pathetic refereeing we are seeing. TWO REFS and they cant even figure it out?!?!?!

  • BruMagnus says:

    another idiotic comment from a moron

    must be a Canucks or Leafs fan.

  • BruMagnus says:

    have more faith and stop being so analytical

    did u expect TB or the Canes to win the last two seasons?

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