From the Point Too
The National Hockey League’s trade deadline is right around the corner; in fact it is now just 13 lucky days away. Which means that trade chatter and speculation is picking up. Of course there has been little activity to this point, which essentially speaks to the fact that there are a number of teams sitting on the fence trying to determine which direction they are going to go – buy or sell?
Well, the league did what Penguins fans have been clamoring for since the All-Star rosters were announced just about two weeks ago, they have added James Neal to the festivities as a replacement for the sulking Alex Ovechkin. Many believed that Neal should have been included from the start, however I wasn’t so sure.
It is rarely a treat to get up and down to the Consol Energy Center on a Sunday morning; however a performance like the one the Penguins put forth today somehow makes it worth it. Sure they did their best to give this game away to the Capitals, who they haven’t beaten in Pittsburgh for close to three years, but again… they found a way.
It is no surprise that at the root of finding their way was the line of Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Chris Kunitz. Though the team has been playing much better as of late, it is a rare victory that hasn’t funneled straight through those three guys.
The Penguins’ morning skate produced some good news and some bad news… let’s start with the bad: Arron Asham suffered his second concussion in less than a year and will miss tonight’s game and beyond. Asham’s is just the latest in a long line of concussions that have afflicted this team this season. He joins a list that already featured: Sidney Crosby, Zbynek Michalek, Robert Bortuzzo, Tyler Kennedy, and Kris Letang.
Just as the Penguins dropped six games before our very eyes over the past couple of weeks, they have now won three in a row. I guess there is nothing like a healthy dose of the Southeast Division to help right some of the wrongs hat have been going on.
The Penguins finished off their three game set against the Southeast tonight with an impressive come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. They got another amazing performance from Evgeni Malkin, who looks to be playing the finest hockey of his career, 6 more shots out of James Neal and an impressive performance out of Marc Andre Fleury.
Though there was a hockey game being played on the ice at the Consol Energy Center this evening, many were already starting to buzz about realignment news that was breaking across the league. We will have some thoughts on the new “conferences” etc, but wanted to quickly share Sidney Crosby’s thoughts on what looks a lot like the old Patrick Division…plus the Hurricanes…
The Penguins and Bruins, who were separated by just 3 points at the top of the Eastern Conference coming into tonight, met at the Consol Energy Center in what was supposed to be an epic clash of two of the league’s best. Unfortunately for the Penguins they were never really able to get to their game and when they did, Tim Thomas was there to slam the door on them.
The Bruins looked like the better team for roughly two periods, though the Penguins had the edge in shots and hits. The Penguins owned the third period, but were only able to get one puck by Thomas who made 22 stops in the stanza.
To a man, the Penguins were disappointed that they didn’t make Thomas’ life a bit more difficult, especially on two 2-man-advantages that they had against the B’s during the second period that totaled 3:10.
New comes per a team press release…
The Penguins will honor their 25,000,000th fan during Wednesday’s game against St. Louis at CONSOL Energy Center. Game time is 7 p.m.
Counting regular season and playoff games since their inception in 1967, the Penguins have drawn 24,983,853 fans.
Through bar code technology, the Penguins and arena operator SMG will be able to track when the 25,000,000th fan enters the gates Wednesday night. The fan will be notified during the first period and honored during the second period.
The lucky 25,000,000th fan will win a road trip to a Penguins game as well as an autographed Sidney Crosby jersey.
All fans in attendance will receive coupons for a free cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee; free skate rental at Penguins Pond at SouthSide Works; and 25 percent off one purchase at the PensGear store at SouthSide Works.
The Penguins are expecting their 220th straight sellout crowd Wednesday. Capacity at CONSOL Energy Center is 18,387, and the Pens need just 16,147 to reach 25,000,000.
For the record, the Penguins have drawn 22,733,362 fans to regular season games and 2,250,491 fans to playoff games.
No one really knew what to expect from Sidney Crosby’s first game since January, but it felt like it had the potential to be a special evening in Pittsburgh. The interesting thing is that the word “special” doesn’t even come close to describing what played out on the ice at the Consol Energy Center.
Sidney Crosby’s comeback is finally upon us, as he will skate in his first game in almost a year this evening against the New York Islanders. The interesting thing is that this comeback isn’t without precedent here in Pittsburgh…in fact, when it comes to the Penguins it was something of the norm during Mario Lemieux’s time in the league. I remember being in the crowd at the Civic Arena with my “Mario’s Back” sign, the nervous anticipation building as we all waited for the “big guy” to make yet another triumphant return.
About From the Point Too