We're 20 Games In, So…What's Up?

Amazing how we are 20 games in and it feels as if the season started just a few games ago. It has also been a strange start to the season, but that’s not new. So where do teams stand after 20 games?So, thirteen teams have reached the 20-game mark. Some went up and down, a few cruised their way up in the stands, and some just flat out struggled. Here’s my analysis.

New York Rangers

12-7-1 and 25 points. Many expected a hot offense and a great goaltender to lead the Rangers while labeling the defense as mediocre. What’s happened with this team thus far? The defense is ranked number one in the NHL. A no name defense that ranks numero uno. Talk about mediocre. And here is something else, it scored all of the four goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night when trailing 2-0, and they go on to win 3-4 in OT. The system for these Rangers works. The offense has struggled due to some chemistry issues, but the Rangers have won nine of their last ten games. They find ways to win and that what makes up a good team. Scotty Gomez is finally starting to come around with Sean Avery and Brendan Shanahan as his wingers. Chris Drury still has UFA jitters and he struggles to do too much, but the guy is giving 100% effort every night. He is a winner and a good long-term investment. Jaromir Jagr has changed his game and he is playing like a true captain. He committs to backchecking, forechecking, and has improved Brandon Dubinsky’s game. The one part of that line that doesn’t seem to fit in is Marcel Hossa. Nonetheless, even Drury’s line with Nigel Dawes and Petr Prucha has shown to be an offensive threat, and now the Rangers have three scoring lines. What happens if they don’t score? The defense does the work. Henrik Lundqvist has been at the top of his game as well.

Things are going well for these Rangers, and they have yet to reach their potential.

Pittsburgh Penguins

8-10-2 with 18 points and why is anyone shocked? Why did people rate them so high in season previews anyway? Their defense was mediocre last season and M-A Fleury very questionable. Just because Sid the Kid is on the team, doesn’t make them winners. But let me start by saying to leave Fleury alone. The guy has been poorly developed by the Penguins, he has no guidance, no good goaltending coach, if they even have a full-time goaltending coach. Don’t blame him for much. He started out as a young teenage goalie in the NHL and was never given the confidence he needed. I watch him play and he has amazing skills to be a top five goaltender, but he keeps making these rookie-like mistakes that definitely show he does not have a good teacher. He will NEVER be a solid goaltender in Pittsburgh and I believe he will need a trade at some point to be with a team that grooms him into the goalie he should become. The Penguins have more struggles as they are playing as a one-line scoring team, obviously Crosby’s line. Jordan Staal is struggling to find the net. The defense is in the bottom ten of the league, why am I not surprised though? Changes will eventually occur for the Penguins, and Michel Therrien may be the victim.

New Jersey Devils

8-10-2 and 18 points. When was the last time you saw the Devils be 14th in defense? New Jersey is a team that looks to have a strong second half, though. I have faith in Martin Brodeur to lead this team to the playoffs. I have been disappointed in Patrick Elias, who once showed me what a great leader he was, and his approach to the game. He does not seem interested. Zach Parise is stil lshowing his amazing skills and leads the team once again in scoring. So what’s wrong with this team? I think the defense is weak, their attitude is different, and it’s just not the same Devils team I’ve come to know in years. I believe they will make the playoffs, I like how Danius Zubrus is starting to come around, and I have faith in Coach Sutter too. I think this is a second half team, but definitely not as tough as the Devils were for years.

Toronto Maple Leafs

8-8-5 and 21 points. I waited to see how they would respond against the Ottawa Senators, and they did well. Ottawa played poorly, but the Leafs really came out and did everything that Coach Maurice wants them to do on a nightly basis. Thing is…..it’s not going to be a trend for this team to play like that. With a defense that is worth nearly $20M it’s just not right to be in the bottom of the league in goals allowed. The Rangers defense is worth about $10.6M and they are number one, while Toronto’s is worth nearly double and it’s nearly dead last. Goaltending has also been an issue. Both Vesa Toskala and Andrew Raycroft have above 3 GAA, and are under .900 in SV%. Mikael Tellqvist of Phoenix has better numbers than those two goalies. What’s there more to say other than JFJ Jr. will be fired at some point this season. I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again. I like JFJ Jr. I think he is a good GM who is still learning and who has the right ideas. He has attempted to address every single issue on this Toronto team. They needed defense, he got defense, they needed a goalie, he got the goalie, they needed a winger, he got the winger. He had the right intentions, but poorly executed. He spent way too much on a defense that is second worst in the league. His goalies are troubled, and his offense is doing well but it can’t win games alone. JFJ needs to go to a small franchise team, with a low budget where he can really work hard to build a solid team through drafting.

Speaking of drafting, Jiri Tlusty will be an excellent player for the Leafs and what a cheap shot by whoever reported his silly photos when he was a youngster. That’s like trying to dig up dirt for politicians, cheap meaningless dirt. I found that to be disgracefull. We’ve all done crazy and stupid things in our lives, get over it. He didn’t have to apologize either. See, this is why Toronto is becoming a least favored team to play for. The pressure is ridiculous and the attention in your private life is too much. Bryan McCabe was considered a god, now he is considered a player worth dumping for a bag of pucks. He is having bad games, he makes mistakes that he’s always made. The guy grew up as a forward, is a great character player on the team, and so what if he sucks in some games. Yet, in Toronto……it does matter, you get boo’d. Now prospects are also picked on. Ridiculous. Tlusty is a great young hockey player, and the last thing this guy needs is such a distraction.

Carolina Hurricanes

12-6-3 and 27 points. This team confuses the hell out of me. They go through a stretch of games where they are unbeatable, and then they go through a stretch of games where they look average at best. Very inconsistent Hurricanes team this is. First of all, though, I am really not high on their defense. I think THAT’S a mediocre defense that plays lousy on some nights and plays correct in other nights. I am still not sold on the Hurricanes and I have a feeling they will fade by the second half of the season. Their offense is superb, though. All the forwards work great in every aspect of the game. The skill, the forechecking, backchecking, zonal positioning. When this team plays very well, it’s nearly flawless. Cam Ward is also starting to come around and has a good start to the season. This team needs to prove its consistency in the second half in order for me to consider it a top team.

Florida Panthers

8-12-1 and 17 points. Once again they are struggling in November. What is with this team and the month of November? One of the mian issues this team had was lack of character and passion on the ice. Tomas Vokoun has called out on his teammates who have slacked too much and he did right. Richard Zednik and Radek Dvorak have been effective additions to the squad, but overall this team still has problems. They still make too many mistakes and when they do the opposition capitalizes on them. Jay Bouwmeester has been unimpressive to say the least, and I will add to this that I expect this to be Bo’s last season as a Panther. Also, Coach Martin doesn’t seem to be getting his message across well enough. I really believe it is the double duty position that he is in that inteferes too much, so I’d approve of Martin stepping down and finding a coach to take over the bench. Martin has proved to be a good GM and he should stick with that. I still believe that this is a good team that just needs to come into its own more consistently. When it plays well, it really plays like a winner that usually outshoots the opponents. I think they could use more skill up front, like a puck possession type of forward. Nathan Horton and Olli Jokinen are the best forwards so far. I’ve been really impressed with David Booth’s game. Once this team gets it right, it will roll.

Chicaco Blackhawks

11-8-1 and 23 points. Could this be the year that the hawks make the playoffs? I’d count on it. I just keep raving about this hockey club and the players. Can you believe I saw this unit of five out on the ice outplaying the mighty Detroit Red Wings in some shifts? Patrick Kane, Jonny Towes, Tuomo Ruutu, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook. They average out to be 21 years old. Twenty-one years!!! What a great, young team. So much fun to watch and I think I am even getting myself a Kane 88 Hawks jersey. Whenever these guys are on Center Ice, I watch them play. I admire how they bonded. I admire how Robert Lang is appreciating this group of young players. You know what I like about this team? They play hockey. They have fun playing hockey, and they show it. I am thrilled with this Hawks team and I really hope to catch more Hawks fans on this Web site. And Patrick Kane………man is this guy good or what? He has got to be the best young US born player in the NHL right now.

Edmonton Oilers

7-12-1 and 15 points. They are the Canadian version of the Hawks, but not succeeding. And you know what? Who cares, but to a certain extent. Good young group of players that are trying their best to win. Will they? Of course they will do more losing than winning, but Oilers fans should be happy with what they are seeing from a really young group of NHL’ers. The only thing that irritates me on this team is Dustin Penner. I still say the guy is nothing more than a 3rd line goal scorer, and Kevin Lowe should get a kick in the ass because the Ducks are awaiting a top five, eight overall pick in 2008’s Entry Draft. For what? An overpayed average player. Anyway, just five games under .500. It’s not so bad and the Oilers can still find ways to patch things up and actually be a .500 team. Nonetheless, they are a cool Oilers team to watch.

San Jose Sharks

11-7-3 and 25 points. They are great and they also suck at times. Sharks defense is a bit of an issue even if numbers say otherwise. Generally speaking, they play solid D, but they ahve these moments of the most untimely defensive breakdowns that make the opposition score big goals. Jonathan Cheechoo is struggling and I am wondering if he will remain a Shark for the rest of the year. Devin Setoguchi is one heck of a player. Seven goals in 10 games, this kid is the next Cheechoo for the Sharks. Cheechoo is a very marketable winger. Only 26 years of age, and his contract is not too bad either. What many people don’t say about the Sharks is that they are one hell of a young team with Matt Carle, Setoguchi, Cheechoo, Marc-Andre Vlasic, and Milan Michalek. What a solid young nucleus that is with Steve Bernier also making attempts to be a heck of a player. Evgeny Nabokov is also playing very well as the starter. The Sharks are a great team, but their record should be much better than that. Only four games above .500 in twenty games isn’t not impressive, at all.

Anaheim Ducks

10-8-3 and 23 points. Stanley Cup hangover, and losing two top NHL players will get your team to lose, for sure. The Ducks have a lot of talent, but you can tell that they miss Scotty Niedermeyer, who may come back soon. I really did not understand Brian Burke’s reasoning behind waiving Ilya Bryzgalov. I just did not get it. Sure he could not get anything for him….now, but what about later on in the season when weaknesses become glarring for teams? Burke had nothing to lose by keeping Bryzgalov as his back up for 15 more games or so. Nothing to lose. So, he is definitely up to something and if not I must say it was a bad move. A huge issue for the Ducks is offense. It should be scoring a lot more as they are ranked just 26th in the league, and it appears like it won’t get much better either. Still, the Ducks have won four games in a row and things will change for this Cup defending team. Will it be a trade, or will it be #27 coming back? By the way, speaking of the number 27, how classless is it for the New Jersey Devils to allow a minor leaguer, Mike Mottau, to wear that number? I thought they should have showed more class for Niedermeyer.

Anyway, that’s all the teams that have reached 20 games. Soon I will write up another part for the next teams reaching the 20 game mark. Enjoy this fun hockey season. It’s very interesting and quite a crap shoot, but that’s what makes it fun.

Thanks for reading as always,

Micki Peroni

Vice-administrator


28 Responses to We're 20 Games In, So…What's Up?

  1. wingerxxx says:

    One thing that really cracks me up is how there were rumblings early in the season about Tom Renney's job being on the line.  If the man has earned anything, its the chance to coach himself out of a hole.  Well, its happened, and then some.  I do like this year's Rangers team more than last years, and not just because of Gomez and Drury.  It's guys like Marc Staal and Dan Girardi that have me excited.  The younger guys like this are just as important to the team as Jagr, Shanahan, Lundqvist, etc. 

    I've never bought into the whole defensive weakness of the Rangers thing.  A lot of teams have proven that you can have a defense by committee and win.  It's good because there is no one single guy that you have to lean on.  Anaheim is finding out how rough life is without Scott Niedermayer.  The way they are playing right now, I'll take this Rangers defense along with any in the league.  Yes, there are some chemistry issues still, but chemistry can be generated from plain hard work, and thats something the team does well.  So for now…..good times. 

    It doesn't matter how well Crosby, Malkin and Staal play in the end, Pittsburgh is not going to be a Stanley Cup threat until Fleury can take the next step.  And no, the Pens have not developed him well.  And he can definitely still be a top goaltender in the league.  I know that Sergei Gonchar has his supporters, but I just don't believe he is solid enough to lead a defense.  That is just one issue.  They could catch fire, especially if Staal gets it together, but they have a ways to go.

    I think that all of the free agent desertions has finally caught up to the Devils.  They have just lost so much in recent years.  It amazed me that they were still hanging in there without Scott Stevens and Niedermayer.  Brodeur is really going to have to have a great season if Jersey is going to make a move. 

    The whole Tlusty photo thing is barely worth a comment.  It's really pathetic that people will stoop this low to bash a kid. 

    Ferguson is going to be a polarizing guy.  Yes, he addresses weaknesses, which is great.  But he has invested in the wrong players.  If Jason Blake loses his wheels, its all over for him.  His game is all speed.  McCabe, Kubina…as stated, too much cap room invested.  He's a competent GM, but not a very good one.  Definitely not a horrible one, but I agree that if the Leafs organization can find a better guy for the job….they need to go in that direction.  There is no quick fix for the Leafs. 

    The Dustin Penner thing reeked of desperation when it happened, and its even more apparent now.  Lowe had better hope that Penner pans out…power forwards can take longer to develop, but the Oilers do not have that kind of time right now, and not with Penner's contract.  If you are going to sign an RFA, you'd better make darn sure its worth it, and Penner was far from a sure thing.  I'm not as high on Edmonton, but they always seem to fight hard.

  2. tancred says:

    The Devils as an organization just don't like the higher jersey numbers.  Its the same story every time a player moves on to another team, and someone else takes their position, so to speak.  How many #16's have the Devils had since Holik left?  A lot!  Rafalski is gone, and there's Rachunek with the #28.  Langenbrunner has MacLean's #15, Asham has Lemieux's #22, and now Mottau has Niedermeyer's #27.  There's no real difference between all of these, and no disrespect meant, I'm sure.  Perhaps as the years go by, the organization might think of retiring these numbers, but that's just not the way its working for now.  Personally, I'd like to see MacLean's 15 and Lemieux's 22 retired.  Those guys were just wonderfully vital to the Devils, even in the years before the first Cup.   

  3. wingerxxx says:

    MacLean's #15 is the one that should be retired by the organization, in my opinion.  Maybe Lemieux's number too.  I highly doubt we'll see anyone wearing #4 for them anytime soon.  I had no idea that Mottau was wearing Niedermayer's old number there, thats pretty surprising. 

    I remember in New York when Pavel Bure got Adam Graves' blessing to wear number 9.  I guess that every organization works things differently when it comes to jersey numbers. 

  4. NHLman says:

    The most important thing for the Rangers is depth. Martin Straka, Ryan Callahan, and even Marek Malik have missed time and the team is still getting stronger without them. I don't know who's going down when these guys come back. Brandon Dubinsky has showed me a lot, he has captain potential. His presence alone has made the Rangers as dynamic as just about any team. Three solid scoring lines. It seems the Rangers have a few extra parts and enough extra prospects to get something done at the trade deadline, if need be, to really make a run at the Cup.

    The Penguins defense is atrocious. Last night you could literally see them chasing after the puck. Pittsburgh is devoid of any defensive system know to man. Fluery is not a starting goalie in the NHL right now, and probably will eventually need to be traded. They will probably ride Fleury out for the season, however.

    Devils have a bad defensive corp and that's what is really killing them. Brodeur has shown his age. It's not good that NJ has him signed for another four seasons. And Devils fans should be really concerned about finding a new goalie. The organization has neglected that area since they've had Brodeur and even goalies they were grooming as a backup haven't been able to make it.

    Not much to say about the rest, other than the Maple Leafs need to clean house. Trade Sundin, Blake, Tucker, and McCabe-they will not be around for when they have a chance to win.

  5. markjohnston says:

    I feel bad for JFJ.

    In my opinion, the only mistake he made THIS year was not getting some PK help (resign peca?!).

    the big problems last year were PK and goaltending, with a secondary problem of sundin needing a winger.

    so, he addressed 2/3.

    goaltending – got toskala who has great career numbers. left him with two proven tenders…you had to think ONE would work out. no suck luck.

    PK – did nothing. I'll hold that against him

    winger – got blake. overpaid? yes…but he needed it and got it. the guy scored 40 last year, and most people (myself included) had him pegged for around 30. what happens? the guy develops CANCER and stinks it up on the ice. can't blame blake – can't blame JFJ. no luck!

    so, that's why I feel bad for the guy. I'm sure his millions keep him warm at night, so I'm not losing any sleep. but, I think he did a pretty good job of fixing problems over the past few years and avoided what quinn always did – trading away 1st rounders like crazy.

    he also stuck with antropov when many suggested he dump him, and resigned mats, who is dominating this year. many suggested he let him go.

    I will still (4th year running!) say the leafs need to blow the whole thing up and start over…but I don't think that's an option that JFJ has been given.

    so, working with what he had, I would say he's been OKAY, and has had bad luck two years running (injuries last year HAD to be the difference between playoffs and not…one point, and this year no goalies showing up and blake stinking it up).

  6. beckfan05 says:

    Thats because #4 was retired last season.

  7. habsrock99 says:

    It's been a very entertaining season thus far.

    For years I had bashed the Wings as being a team that had the luxury of playing in what was the NHL's weakest division. But the Wings fast start definitely isn't helped by their divisional opponents, seeing as the Hawks are 4-0 against them. Now if they win the division, I believe it will be their last title and I also believe that if they win it, it'll be because they give up less then 15 shots a game. Which isn't a dis-respecting remark, it's a compliment to their defence. Though, I believe Dominik Hasek is no longer the game breaking goalie he once was and I doubt he will lead the Wings to a Cup berth.

    It's funny, I said the Hawks and Blues would end up surprising most people and I even went as far as to say the Hawks could make the play-offs. People laughed at me but, all I can say is I was right about the Hawks…so far. I knew Pat Kane would be a great NHL scorer because I watched him in London last season and knew it'd be hard to keep him off the scoresheet. I just didn't know that it'd be this year that he'd breakout. I was hoping, as were many London Knights fans, that Kane would go back to the Knights.

    The Oilers, at least in my opinion, are suprising. I had them pegged at finishing 28-30 by year's end. I figured Penner would come out hard but the money went to his head and he showed up to training camp over-weight and sluggish. I still believe that he'll be a 40 goal man, just not this year.

    I figured the Ducks would start off slow, seeing as they didn't have Giggy in net to start the year and Niedermayer's replacement (Schneider) was injured for the first month. They are slowly turning around but they are one good goal scorer away from being Cup favourites again. Tell me, how quiet has Chris Pronger been? I look at what he's done and I was surprised to see he had 15 points already.

    I will continue to stand by my analysis of Marc-Andre Fleury and that he will never lead a team to a championship. I continue to believe that he is haunted by that 3rd period meltdown at the World Juniors and I believe it will effect him for the rest of his career. I had the Pens pegged at finishing around 6th in the East but with Fleury's confidence issues and Dany Sabourin stealing starts, they may finish lower though it is unlikely.

    The Devils have been a disappointment but Brodeur will most likely lead them to a play-off berth. He isn't showing his age(though it is apparent), it's just that when your best defenceman is Karel Rachunek, you're in trouble. Also, the Devils have been missing Colin White all year, which has had some effects on the team.

    The only thing I'll say about the Leafs is that this is what you get when you hire a GM and tell him you're fired if you miss the play-offs and then continue to give him that ultimatum for 3 consecutive years. Take it, it's funny that they have missed the play-offs 2 straight years and he's still there.

    San Jose's been a bust so far but they will turn it around. Joe Thornton's one of the most complete hockey players in the NHL. It also doesn't help a team's cause when the Captain (Marleau) slumps terribly to start the year. As for Cheechoo, he's an over-rated player who will in all liklihood never reach nor come close to scoring 50 goals again.

    I expected more from the Panthers but I agree that Jacques Martin needs to relinquish the coaching job in order for this team to fully utilize it's assests.

    I'm not sold on the Hurricanes just yet, as you stated, they go through streaks of being unbeatable followed by streaks of mediocrity. Though, I believe Cam Ward is proving that the Cup was no fluke and that he is an NHL goalie. Now, the only question that remains is that can Ward lead a team through an 82 game schedule then lead them through the play-offs?

  8. beckfan05 says:

    So who sits when Callahan and Straka are ready to return?

    How do you mess with the chemistry of a team that has won 9 or their last 10?

  9. leafy says:

    Completely agree on Tlusty.  This guy is the real deal.  He has the potential to be even better than Antropov in a few years.  He's extremely skilled and can do everything….skate, shoot, pass…and at high speed.  Safe to say the Leaf scouts didn't screw up on this one.

  10. wingerxxx says:

    I didn't know they already retired the number.  Obviously, I don't keep up with things like that, as far as the Devils go.

  11. jpmac says:

    To say that Blake's cancer is the root to his scoring troubles is a cop out. Blake scored forty in his contract year.  You and most LEAF FANS had him pegged for thirty, while most others had him around twenty.

    I am not saying that his cancer is not affecting him…but if it is affecting him this much maybe he should take some time off.

    It isn't luck with the goalies? How are either of them proven? Raycroft had one good year…then has been bad since, while Toslaka has played mostly as a back up in SAn Jose, whose "great career numbers", could be attributed to that.

    But goaltending not showing up is not your biggest problem..that would be the defence.

  12. wheresthesoda says:

    I think it's fair to say when Straka is ready to come back, Hossa will get the boot on the top line, because unlike last season, he is not working out well on the top line. Unless he starts scoring like crazy in the next week, Straka will be put on the top line with Dubinsky and Jagr without hesitation.

  13. mikster says:

    I was actually starting to get impatient with Renney because it seemed as if he was not connecting with the players anymore and his insistance with Gomez-Jagr was nervewrecking. He got things to work out though. I actually stated Dubi-Jagr combo weeks before he tried it!

    Last season the Rangers D ranked #2 in the EC. Why should it be any different this season? I never got that either.

    For the Penguins, you can’t win a Cup without a goalie, but Fleury will never develop into what he should with the Pens. They should trade him.

    The Devs will make it. They have a good core of players, but definitely not as threatening as years before. They also didn’t draft as well in recent years besides Parise and Zajac.

    As for Penner….Lowe will regret it.

  14. mikster says:

    MacLean’s could have been retired, but definitely Niedermeyer. It’s like a slap in the face from the Devils there. Maybe they will in the future, but they certainly should not have allowed Mottau to wear that number. I mean, if it was a very good defenseman, fine, but Mike Mottau?

  15. wingerxxx says:

    I have to agree with soda, right now, the finger of suspicion is pointing at Hossa.  I also don't think Orr needs to be dressed for every game either. 

  16. tancred says:

    Yeah, they retired Daneyko's #3, as well.  

  17. tancred says:

    I think that's the key–MacLean is retired.  As of yet, Niedermeyer isn't.  So, its a future possibility; no need to worry about it or even consider it if Niedermeyer is still playing (if he is).  Brodeur's will be retired some time in the future, no doubt.  

    So, in my mind, its not a slap in the face if someone else is wearing #27, even if it is a player who hasn't accomplished much so far.  The Devils just don't like the higher numbers.  Weekes had to go down to #1 and Asham down to #22.  I've only been a hockey fan since '93, but to my knowledge, the Devils have never gone higher than Richer's #44.  Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, or let me know if there was a higher number prior to that.     
  18. Archion113 says:

    Rangers haven't won 20 games yet =P

  19. markjohnston says:

    I never said his cancer was the root of his problems.

    re-read.

  20. senators101 says:

    Mogilny? I don't remember, but I think he still wore 89.  Not sure.

  21. tancred says:

    Yeah, you're right.  I didn't remember that until after I posted and was already going to bed.  Bothered me all night!  

    Sort of a special situation for a very accomplished player, though.  Other than him and Richer, I still can't think of a higher numbered Devil in the past almost fifteen years.  
  22. mikster says:

    Nitpicker!!! I fixed it, hehe. Thanks for pointing that out.

  23. Archion113 says:

    Hahaha.. i wasn't gonna bother even saying anything… then boredom crept up over me…

  24. CrosbyMalkin66 says:

    This article is just retarded… im not going to listen to someone talk about the Penguins when they obviously have no knowledge about them.  No goaltending coach?!?! They do have a goaltending coach and Fleury is just not with it this season. Last season he did very good and no one talked about the Penguins bad management of the situation. Cam Ward went from Playoff MVP to a Bed Shitter the next season. It happens to goaltenders. Jose Theodure, even Martin Broduer is sucking this season. Kipprosoff is doing terrible also. It happens to goaltenders, Fleury will bounce back. Also Crosby and Malkin arent even on the same line so I cant see how you call them a one scoring line team. They center different lines so thats just absurd. The Penguins last year had almost the same record at this point and then in January they went 16 straight games without a regulation loss. I wouldnt throw in the towel on this team yet.

  25. habsrock99 says:

    I always thought Mogilny was 24 in Jersey. Guess I was wrong.

  26. BruMagnus says:

    Fleury will one day develop, in Pittsburgh. He is the youngest starter in the NHL. He had 40 wins last year, 2nd most in Pens history, and 3rd most of last season. And he stole some of those games, just ask the Pens.
    The reason the Pens are struggling has more to do with the defense and totally pathetic offensive production from guys like Staal, Recchi and Roberts.
    In fact, past Crosby and Malkin and Sykora (who cannot steal a game alone like the former two but leeches off of them), there is no one, aside from Gonchar perhaps, that I have faith in to pick the Pens up. This is their problem. I said it before when I said the Pens needed a TRUE top line scoring winger and a true defensive defenseman… sigh, Scott Hannan.
    Anyways, perhaps thinking long term Staal's patheticness in his sophmore slump is good, because he certainly won't be asking for more than 1, maybe $1.5 million after this poorness.
    I still wish the team would have spent near the Cap instead of this self-imposed cap while all the young talent is still on entry-level contracts. The fact that they didn't  take advantage of this wonderful occurence is mind-boggling. I mean, they should just asked Mario to lend em $5-10 mil… ah well. 2010 is still my prediction.

  27. BruMagnus says:

    hear hear
    I was gonna mention the Pens poor start last season too, but figured why bother with these ignoramuses. Fleury is still super young. Goalies hit their prime at what, 27? That means he has 5 years til he's the elite status he's supposed to be. He's obviously not Patrick Roy, but he may one day get there. Trading him is not an option. They'd have to get something like Eric Staal back (who they coulda drafted over him), which I doubt would happen, and then still need a goalie anyways.
    It woulda been nice to pick up Brygalov.

  28. BruMagnus says:

    Pens on their way back up.
    I predict Malkin wins the scoring title.

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