From the Point Too
Entries with the tag: james neal
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.
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.
A new season is usually looked at as a rebirth of sorts, a veritable wiping clean of the slate and a chance to start over. The Penguins, like their 29 NHL counterparts, were hoping to do just that, but for as much as they would like to start a new, they just cannot seem to shake the injury bug.
They are still dealing with the lingering injuries to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, probably the two that affected the team most last season, and have grafted several others onto the injured list during the early stages of the 2011-12 campaign.
Though the Penguins didn’t come away with the victory tonight they picked up a couple of small victories. First and foremost, they were able to pick up a point in a game in which they looked as if they were destined to lose. The second came in the form of how they picked up that point – two goals from James Neal.
Neal, who has been maligned to a certain extent by fans and media alike since his arrival in Pittsburgh last February due to his meager goal output, is quickly showing all involved that he is a pretty capable goal scorer.